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Posts Tagged ‘lockdown

I started listening to the Obsessed With… podcasts from BBC Sounds when they started following up with Line of Duty episodes. Why? I like gaining insights into the thought processes behind television products.

I listened to an old episode in the series which focused on Killing Eve. In the interview of Fiona Shaw, the hosts and guest reflected on why people disliked lockdown during the current pandemic.

They avoided superficial answers, i.e., how we are social animals. We can still socialise albeit differently, and we know we will eventually come out of lockdown.

Instead, they concluded that lockdown forced people to spend time with themselves. The question that each person had to ask themselves was: Do you like what you see?

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Can you face yourself without the distraction of work or taking care of someone else? What do you see in that mirror? Are you happy with or disturbed by that reflection?

I know why I liked the quiet that came with our lockdown last year. I had been preparing for it since 2014 when I left full-time work to be an independent consultant. That move forced me to examine my priorities and to look both in the mirror and the crystal ball. I took comfort in what I saw then and what I see now.

This is Singapore — if we are not eating our food, we are talking about it. This CNA Insider video, Belly of a Nation, explored the impact of the pandemic lockdown on hawkers.


Video source

It was nicely done, but I wish that the information about the hawkers (e.g., their stall locations, social media links) were included in context. That way I could offer support by visiting a stall or three.

This is one critical difference between traditional media productions and social media efforts. The former do it for themselves. They profit from the time and effort of the hawkers, and we do not know if the hawkers are paid appearance fees.

The least CNA could do is provide the addresses of the hawker stalls as overlays or chyrons on screen. A few savvy hawkers might also be on social media or have their own websites, so including that information would also be helpful.

CNA did list the hawkers’ names in the scrolling credits at the end of the video, but that is what they already have to do in other contexts. They need to keep up with what a YouTuber would do if the video is also shared on YouTube.

A typical YouTuber does not have the clout of a media company. So they will offer to not just provide hawker stall details in the video when that hawker appears (i.e., provide contextual information) they will also list that information in the video description for the convenience of the viewer.

A YouTuber does this because they see what their collaborators and what their viewers need. They find ways to connect the two as a means of payback. Everyone benefits that way.

I reflect on this not as a media critic, but as an educator. Those of us in schooling and education need to also keep up, not just with relevant technologies, but more critically with habits of use.

One habit is the collective practice of creating, commenting, critiquing, and collaborating. These are shaped or redefined by the new tools we use. For example, the reach of an artefact or idea can go far beyond one’s classroom walls. That should be the expectation and consequence. One might need to learn how to act local and think global.

If there is a flaw in most teacher professional development (PD) sessions, it is their design. The PD does not address in equal measure the following:

  • Knowledge (the what)
  • Skills (the how)
  • Attitudes, beliefs, teaching philosophies (the whys and so whats)

If we do not adequately address this trifecta of PD, we entrench behaviours in the same or the past. We do what CNA did — not change essential behaviours — when moving to a different context. We do not push and pull for change that stems from changes in attitudes, beliefs, and teaching philosophies.


Video source

Are you complaining about the restrictions during lockdown? Is fighting a war by staying at home or wearing a mask when going out for groceries difficult to stomach.

Consider what the visually-impaired have to go through. Look through their eyes. If there is anything worth developing while in lockdown, it is a sense of empathy.

I am going off on a tangent from a tweet and an article.

I do not yearn for human interaction, particularly the ill-defined, non-functional, or pointless sort.

I am enjoying the COVID-19 lock down because I interact with the ones that matter most, i.e., my immediate family, close friends, or key collaborators. I do this with enabling technologies like the phone and email.

Do not get me wrong. I value face-to-face interactions when they matter.

Before COVID-19 (BC19), I would ask to meet face-to-face if the immediacy of interaction or the earnestness of conversation was key to effective communication.

BC19, I was asked if I could conduct my already-in-progress course online instead. I pointed out that it was designed for classroom and studio interaction, so a complete redesign had to be part of that conversation.

But I can also think of “human interactions” that are demoralising or burdensome. Consider the top-down meetings that turn into monologues. This happens whether they happen offline and online.

BC19, inconsiderate people would gather and talk late into the night in a large grassy area beside my apartment building. Earlier in the evenings, dog owners and their illegally unleashed pets socialise with their kin and create a din of shouts and yelps.

But now I enjoy a quiet of the neighbourhood because people cannot amplify their idle chat past midnight or use a public space as a dog run. I do not look forward to things returning to normal post-lockdown.

My point is this: “Human interaction” defies simple definition. It is also not automatically good or universally yearned.


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