I hope you are all staying safe in this time of unprecedented challenges. Needless to say, the COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated rapid changes in plans globally.
Our colleagues in Ukraine found the January workshop invaluable for transitioning to remote learning, although the speed of the transformation prevented them from fully exploring new opportunities. Like most of the rest of the world, our colleagues transitioned to learning management systems (like Moodle) and Zoom to carry on their teaching responsibilities, but were not able to implement creative new interactivity through systems like H5P due to lack of development time. Additionally, like many other places, the sudden transition to all remote learning has had inequitable outcomes, with students in more remote mountain regions with poor internet connectivity having more difficulties in keeping up with their studies.
Towards that end, I have pivoted Science Voices away from in-person teacher training while travel restrictions and remain in place. Instead, I have spent the past few months developing a new digital teaching tool designed to work in challenging teaching and learning environments, with the goal of getting the tool into the hands of Ukrainian teachers by the end of the year for trial runs. You can follow the developement of the project at DevPost.
If you're interested in helping to develop the tool or testing it, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next time, stay safe, wear your masks and socially distance when in public until this pandemic is under control and we can all safely be together again.
With the new year, we finally began our work to transform science classrooms in Ukraine. This past January, I traveled to Lviv, Ukraine, and worked with faculty at two universities, Ivan Franko National University of Lviv and Lviv Polytechnic. Overall, more than a dozen faculty members from both geology and biology departments participated in some or all of the week-long programming, which included talks about active learning, how to structure an active learning classroom, and the many digital resources that are available to help transform the classroom. Faculty members had the opportunity to dissect lessons and virtual field trips developed in intelligent tutoring programs and to try some of these programs for themselves. Over the next six months, many will be developing their own approaches and techniques starting from what they learned at the workshop.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Dr. Ihor Bubniak and Dr. Serhii Tsihon' for helping organize the workshop and securing space at Lviv Polytechnic where we could work together to see what's possible in digital science education and I'm looking forward to seeing what innovations they pioneer in the near future. I hope you are as well.
As always, thank you for all your support. You are helping to make a difference!
Thank you for your generous contributions during our September campaign. As a result of your generosity, we are in a position to organize and run several workshops with our Ukrainian colleagues.
Our first workshop is scheduled for the week of January 20th. During this workshop, university teachers will learn about active learning and technology that they can use in their classrooms to help them achieve their learning goals. Additionally, we will work together to apply good teaching and technological practices so that workshop participants have examples to work from over the next six months. Currently, we are expecting about 15-20 teachers to participate in our inaugural workshop.
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