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Posts Tagged ‘youtube

… of misinformation and disinformation about COVID-19.


Video source

Like the coronavirus, such “alternative facts” are insidious and easy to distribute. Unlike the coronavirus, this disease infects the thinking and belief systems of its victims.

Has the story been reported anywhere else? Is it from a reliable source? Has the photo or image been taken out of context?

There is no known cure for either. But we do have treatments for symptoms. They range from simple heuristics like the one presented in the video (screenshot above) to agencies offering frameworks (e.g., NLB’s SURE) to courses on media literacy (e.g., Crash Course YouTube playlist).

Preamble: I am adding this important note after writing and scheduling my reflection. I just found out that the creator of the video below, Raynard Heah, passed away recently after a battle with cancer. He was also the interviewer and narrator in the video. I knew Raynard for only a short period, but I valued his passion to share what he learnt with his colleagues. The teaching service has lost a valued son.

This was odd — my blog stats alerted me about an entry from 2013 was receiving an unusual number of hits.

That entry was my reflection about a video interview when I was the head of a centre for e-learning.


Video source

I could not remember what happened during the interview, so I watched the video again. After cringing at my droning voice and frumpy appearance, I was surprised at how relevant the questions and answers were today.

The three main questions were:

  1. What is e-learning?
  2. What are some common mistakes teachers make when implementing e-learning?
  3. How might teachers get a good start on e-learning?

The short version of my answers were:

  1. Here is what e-learning is not: Simply completing tasks for a checklist; trying to replicate classroom teaching.
  2. Mistakes: Focusing too much on the “e” and not enough on the “learning”; trying to transfer face-to-face strategies wholesale and uncritically to an online environment; assuming that being technologically savvy is the same as being digitally wise.
  3. Starting with e-learning: Plan simple but different; design for learner empowerment and ownership; leverage on what students are already doing or using.

The teachers and I elaborate on examples of each idea above.

In 2013, I concluded with this thought:

On hindsight, there is one other non-example I should have given about e-learning. The “e” in e-learning should not be thought of as emergency or extra.

That mindset relegates the activities to something you pull out of a hat when the school has to close due to something like SARS or reduces it to an afterthought.

That mindset makes the design of e-learning hurried, its implementation curried (too hot to handle), and its evaluation buried!

When we collectively get of the COVID-19 curve, will we have learnt anything and changed our expectations and behaviours? I reflect on this question tomorrow.

Today I draw inspiration from how some Italians are dealing with an extreme form of social distancing — self-isolation in a bid to flatten the curve.


Video source

The reminder? Science will eventually heal the body. But music already heals the soul.

I get to conduct workshops on game-based learning every now and then. I firmly believe in a pure application this approach and am against its bastardisation via gamification [1] [2].


Video source

All that said, I have not consumed a resource quite like the video above. It focused on the art of video gaming. It gave me a new appreciation of the beauty of this learning environment.

The band WOTE performed a tribute to the Beatles. It put together a medley of some the latter’s songs from 1962 to 1970.


Video source

This reminded me of blending instructional strategies, educational technologies, and content. Both processes are creative and I reflected on what they have in common: Deep knowledge, practice, passion, and talent. Take any one component out and the blender stops working.

I enjoy watching YouTube clips of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert because the show is smart and uses humour to disarm and inform.


Video source

However, it is not perfect. While I enjoyed the ridicule flung at apparently how beards might interfere with face masks, my Spidey sense tingled.

Science Alert confirmed my suspicions. The graphic that was real and from the CDC in the USA. It was created in 2017 as part of a series on workplace safety. It was not created to provide advice on what sort of facial hair might interfere with masks people might wear in response to COVID-19.

In any case, masks do not prevent reception of infected droplets. They reduce transmission, e.g., our coughs or sneezes.

The Late Show’s joke was a form of misinformation because there was no intended malice. But it was misinformation transmitted to many viewers of television and YouTube in the name of entertainment.

At best, this is a teachable moment. At worst, more will prefer the entertainment or ignorance than a valuable lesson on fact-checking.

Or the science of art?


Video source

That was my thought when I watched the mesmerising kinetic art of David Roy.

Though less glamorous and obvious, the same could be said about pedagogy. Is it the science of the art of teaching or the art of the science of teaching? I say that pedagogy is both.


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