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The Dilemma of English
International Higher Education
Winter Issue No. 100 (2020)
No. 100 Winter Issue 2020
The Dilemma of English
Philip G. Altbach and Hans de Wit
English is and will remain the key global scientific language and an important language of instruction for the foreseeable future. Yet, at the same time, a worldwide debate is emerging about the role of English and about the role of languages in general in higher education. There are no easy solutions to what some call “English imperialism.” Understanding all the implications and the costs and benefits of the use of another language is crucial, and decision makers bear a heavy responsibility in doing so.
English; foreign languages; language of instruction; scientific language; colonial languages
Click the link below to download the article:
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The road less travelled to internationalisation of HE
University World News
Amit Marantz Gal 18 January 2020
From the article:
Research tells us that academics find it difficult to engage with the process of internationalisation of the curriculum for various reasons.
First, they tend to find the concept too abstract and struggle with how they can put it into practice.
Second, they sometimes view it as an external or unnecessary demand imposed by their institution, pressurising them to respond to the realities of a ‘globalised’ context.
Finally, like any other curriculum work, internationalisation of the curriculum is a long and complicated process requiring hours of work on their part. So why would they be motivated to engage? And why should they be motivated if the local context doesn’t provide obvious reasons to internationalise the curriculum, such as the presence of international students on campus?
A contemporary approach to curriculum design
In the framework of my doctoral research, I have taken the road less travelled into the study of curriculum internationalisation and rediscovered its pragmatic, creative and intellectual powers as a contemporary approach to curriculum design. My research is set within the context of an Israeli college that has no international students on campus and a minimal amount of outgoing student mobility.
This unique context offers an opportunity to study the value of the process in its ‘purer’ form, without the obvious, external factor that typically drives it: massive student mobility. The research is an in-depth, qualitative examination of the journey of three academic teams into the process of internationalisation of the curriculum. The study records their responses, motivations, interpretations and enactments of internationalisation of the curriculum in their respective academic disciplines.
The results show the powerful role of internationalisation of the curriculum as a change agent for academic teams on several levels. They demonstrate that academics are motivated to embark on the process for the purposes of empowering their home student population, and that different academic teams gravitate towards it for various instrumental reasons.
Some see it as an opportunity to reposition themselves as innovators on campus; others see it as a platform through which they can add greater clarity and quality to their academic programme and some are attracted to the pure intellectual exercise and deep reflection it offers.
Nobody in this research was indifferent. In addition, the local, immediate context alone proved sufficiently invigorating to drive the process. The study showed that responses, motivations, interpretations and implementation varied across the different academic disciplines and cultures, lending further support to previous research showing different disciplinary and contextualised understandings of internationalisation of the curriculum.
Establishing an institutional culture of curriculum design
The study also shows that engaging academics in discussions around internationalisation of the curriculum can serve to establish an institutional culture around curriculum work, making it less invisible and less solitary. Research participants were eager to share their pedagogical philosophies and approaches, were stimulated to reflect critically on their curricula and were willing to engage with the richness of curriculum work.
Realising that internationalisation of the curriculum is not a narrow concept, such as teaching in English or supporting student mobility needs, but rather an opportunity to challenge existing knowledge paradigms and push the boundaries of the curriculum served as a key point of engagement.
This supports the original intention behind internationalisation of the curriculum: it is not a practice helping academics align with educational trends, but one which positions them as key designers of knowledge, communication and research in the globalised context in which they now operate. Moreover, it stresses the fact that it is a process that can take place, in all its richness and depth, even in institutions with relatively low international profiles.
Internationalisation of the curriculum should not be viewed only as an effective response strategy or support apparatus for internationalisation in higher education.
Rather, it is a contemporary approach to curriculum design that takes into consideration the multiple complexities of different contexts and encourages academic teams to reflect critically on curriculum development in their authentic setting.
Institutions looking to educate graduates with a ‘global soul’ will be more successful if they embed internationalisation of the curriculum in their institutional culture as a professional learning opportunity for faculty, rather than a set of practices to abide by.
Amit Marantz Gal is a doctoral student at the Centre for Higher Education Internationalisation, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milano, Italy. She is an English language lecturer and head of academic internationalisation at Sapir College, Israel. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2020, the Boston College Center for International Higher Education’s International Higher Education (IHE) will mark its 100th issue, after 25 years of publication. IHE is committed to publishing independent analysis of higher education globally. Published in six languages (English, Chinese, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Vietnamese), it is one of the oldest publications on higher education worldwide.
This essay is one of four runners-up in IHE’s competition on “Unprecedented Challenges, Significant Possibilities, Key Challenges and Opportunities for International Higher Education in the Coming Decade and Beyond” leading up to its 100th issue. The winning essay is included in the special IHE issue in January 2020 and will be published subsequently in University World News. It is written by Stephen Thompson, post-doctoral research fellow at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, United Kingdom, and is titled “Developing Disability-Inclusive Higher Education Systems – Unprecedented challenges, significant possibilities”.
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INTRODUCING BESPOKE LIVE, A NEW WAY FORWARD FOR VIRTUAL EVENTS
The shift to virtual events is inevitable. However, there is a serious problem: most virtual events are boring. Here are our tips for successful content planning to host virtual events that look great, sound great, and are safe and reliable. #events #virtualevents
The shift to virtual events is inevitable. However, there is a serious problem: most virtual events are boring.
Major exhibitions including Tokyo Game Show have announced their decision to move to an online-only format. Global companies including Twitter have cancelled all in-person events for the rest of this year.
Why? The reason is simple. Up until now, virtual events have mainly been seen as a cheap, simple alternative to a “real” in-person event with a live audience. Without receiving the same level of attention or budget, most virtual events are destined to be less engaging than the in-person keynotes, symposiums, and exhibitions that make up Japan’s ¥17 trillion Yen ($160 billion USD) event industry.
The risk of losing out on all of this engagement is astronomical.
Here is our solution:
Bespoke Live, a new service for virtual event production and promotion developed by Parthenon Japan.
Services: Bespoke Live
Bespoke Live is a comprehensive solution for planning and execution of virtual events that provide an engaging audience experience.
Using a strategic combination of experience in public relations, communication training, creative direction, video production technology, and digital promotion, Bespoke Live delivers virtual events that Look Great, Sound Great, and are Safe and Reliable.
What makes Bespoke Live different from other solutions is an unparalleled commitment to creating quality digital video content from live virtual events that would not have been achievable with an in-person event.
A virtual event should be more than streaming an in-person event online or using a consumer video conference software.
The key to success is understanding that virtual events are completely different from in-person events. Now that virtual events are becoming the new standard, people’s expectations are quickly changing. There is rising demand for virtual events that offer completely new value propositions.
For successful content planning, here is where virtual events should focus:
Shift to two-way communication that engages your audience
Optimize content for recording that has long lasting value
Take new creative directions that go beyond the limits of real events
Shift to two-way communication
One difficulty of in-person events and a core benefit of virtual events is the ability to engage in dialog with your audience. Events that lecture their audience are already in declining popularity. A successfully interactive event is created together with the audience.
Optimize content for recording
When doing an event that is streamed live, you must anticipate that the content once released will remain for life. From the perspective of reputation management, careful content planning is an absolute requirement. However, if you are too cautious and create content that is boring, this is also not ideal. A strategic balance of proper messaging and creativity is required. It is also important to produce a live video that will not just be timely, but also age well and not be seen as embarrassing in the future.
Take new creative directions
Because virtual events have completely different conditions from in-person events, they should be arranged with a different approach. For example:
In-person event: must be done on stage facing audience, and take into account limited audience visibility
Virtual event: can be done anywhere with internet, with anything that you can put a camera in front of
Keep the fundamental differences in mind while planning, because there are opportunities to do new and unprecedented things that will create a more memorable virtual event.
Does this sound familiar?
“We want to do something new, but are not sure how to approach planning and execution.”
“We’ve never hosted a virtual-only event before, so we don’t know where to start.”
“Virtual events are the only way forward, but we are concerned about the risk because it will be recorded.”
“Our virtual event is already planned and scheduled but we don’t have the streaming equipment or production team.”
If so, we can help you.
Virtual events produced by Bespoke Live utilize industry-standard live video production techniques also used by popular TV programs. The broadcasting technology that powers this service has been jointly developed in partnership with Tokyo-based production agency Boomachine, a team of creative professionals led by film director Marc-Antoine Astier. With broadcast-grade video and audio recording equipment, including the same grade of gear used in film production, and a crew of skilled technicians, we can help you produce virtual events that rival Hollywood.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you host a virtual event that looks great, sounds great, and is safe and reliable.
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Relationships vital in post-COVID internationalisation
Catherine Montgomery 16 May 2020
University World News
From the article:
With international mobility restricted and professional relationships across distances seeming fragile, we need personal contacts more than ever. Among the proliferating internationalisation strategies and formal partnership agreements of international higher education, there is something which universities often overlook – the power of interpersonal relationships.
Effective and long-lasting international and transnational partnerships are built on relationships between the individuals and groups of people who negotiate and develop them. These sorts of transnational learning communities are key to the quality and sustainability of international higher education in the next decade.
The complex communities of staff who need to sustain research and teaching collaborations across geographic distances and disciplinary differences, and students who need to engage in genuinely intercultural learning relationships with both local and international peers and staff are of paramount importance. In the case of transnational education and flying faculty models, there is particular risk in the current circumstances.
So how might we maintain these crucial interpersonal relationships in international and transnational higher education against the background of the current and future COVID-19 crisis?
If universities become more aware of the risks to international and transnational learning communities, it may help to inform the way forward. There are three areas which seem important to highlight.
First, the value of and the risks to interpersonal relationships; second the dangers of ignoring what has gone before, namely the historical and cultural contexts of international and transnational higher education; and finally, the risk of misalignment of agendas in collaborating international communities caused by political turbulence.
Risks of losing interpersonal relationships
If collaborations between universities are relationships between networks of individuals, then interpersonal links are crucial. Individuals already act as agents on behalf of institutions to foster partnerships so institutions should be much more aware of the human part of the process of building partnerships and developing international and transnational education between complex institutions in different cultural contexts.
Universities often fail to recognise the risks to partnership where interpersonal relationships between working groups of academics break down. This could become an even more significant problem where physical mobility is no longer possible.
Fragile relationships between transnational groups of academics also have an impact on student learning communities, particularly in transnational education contexts. So how can learning relationships between staff and students and students and students be sustained?
We will need to work harder at this and be creative, especially against current challenges. There will be a need for ‘team-playing’ across groups of individuals and institutions. Institutions will have to work hard at building trust so that they can maintain belief and engagement from individual academics on the ground.
A genuine sense of trust in local partners and capacity building in local hubs will be important. Otherwise discontinuity may develop in terms of people who are involved in the ongoing partnerships between the institutions and communities and programmes could be affected.
Risks of ignoring what has gone before
Both transnational education or TNE and international collaboration are often built on historical or cultural pasts and universities develop the most successful partnership relationships where there are long histories of collaboration or research exchange.
The most successful and sustained TNE relationships tend to be built on these long-term collaborations, not just between universities but between regions where there is a history of cultural, social or economic exchange.
If we look at China’s first transnational campus outside of China, between Xiamen University in the South East of China and Malaysia, we see that there was a long social and cultural relationship between the city of Xiamen and cities in Malaysia. Xiamen University itself was founded by a Malaysian national and so the choice of a TNE presence in Malaysia was built on a long social and cultural relationship.
Successful learning communities are built on shared values where attention is paid to historical and cultural contexts and the cultural contextualisation of programmes. In the current situation, universities could explore their most sustained international collaborations. This could be the time for deeper partnership with trusted colleagues rather than aiming to build new ventures with new relationships.
Risks of political turbulence
Crisis or change in political contexts (including the current virus outbreak) can cause turbulence in institutional-level relationships. Subsequent misalignments of university agendas in the collaborating countries mean that international and transnational communities could be affected.
Internationalisation agendas work best where there is an alignment between the collaborating universities’ institutional agendas. These agendas are based on institutional values and missions and are part of the transnational learning community. Within an institution, when individual staff and departmental research and teaching communities align with the strategic international agendas of the university, that is where internationalisation becomes a powerful force.
During political turbulence, there is a danger of disruption to the alignment of these agendas and values. Competing priorities within universities could drive a wedge between academic communities and the strategic agendas of the institution. Sudden changes in direction could cause division between collaborating transnational institutions’ shared directions and agendas. Economic issues could be particularly divisive.
This will be a time for higher education institutions in a particular country to work together to make sure that transnational learning communities are not disrupted by misalignments in agendas, in a context of political and economic turbulence.
A missing link?
Interpersonal relationships could become a missing link in sustainable transnational partnerships. Against an increasingly turbulent landscape of higher education internationalisation, we will need these more than ever.
Universities should see risks to learning communities as threats to international partnership. If universities can recognise the value of interpersonal relationships, we might move to a more responsible and sustainable model of internationalisation. In that case, the local communities of the host country can be developed and trusted and transnational collaboration could come into its own in this unpredictable era.
Catherine Montgomery is professor in the School of Education at Durham University, United Kingdom.
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Why Your Global Learning Course Needs an Organizing Principle—Now
Apr 12, 2020
by Dr. Stephanie Doscher
From the post:
The COVID-19 pandemic: In our lifetimes, have we ever experienced a more all-encompassing transpersonal, transnational global problem?
Global learning was invented to help people understand and address such problems. But in our lifetimes, have we ever experienced a harder time to teach and learn? In addition to the sudden and complete transition to education online, teachers and learners just can’t think straight. We aren’t sleeping. We’re scatterbrained. We feel anxious because solving the problem seems so complex, and the future seems so unpredictable, there are so many new factors emerging every day, so many unknowns. It’s a painfully difficult time to do any learning, much less global learning.
But this has me thinking: Global learning is always difficult to do. It’s difficult for precisely the same reasons it’s so difficult to think straight during a pandemic. It’s difficult because global learning is about learning how to conceptualize, and be comfortable with, complexity, unpredictability, and emergence.
To be clear, not all problems, and not all courses, demand global learning. Simple and complicated problems involve linear thinking, replicable processes, and predictable causes and effects. Traditionally, educators help students learn how to understand and solve these problems by facilitating analysis—breaking things down into their constituent concepts and skills. Teachers design courses around developmental, observable learning objectives, digestible course units and modules, and criterion-based assessments, ensuring that students are mastering the fundamental building blocks of knowledge. This approach makes good sense when it comes to teaching people about simple or complicated things. But it doesn’t work so well when we are dealing with complex questions, problems, and phenomena.
Global learning problems are complex because they involve:
Multiplicity, a high number of connected elements;
Interdependence, elements that are mutually reliant on each other; and,
Diversity, a high degree of heterogeneity or divergence.
We can’t do global learning just by examining the parts because that distracts us from the point of global learning—seeing the whole.
When it comes to global learning, instead of breaking things down into their disconnected parts, we need to help students identify what holds the parts together—their organizing principle. In complexity theory an organizing principle is known as an attractor, a point toward which the disparate elements of a system are pulled. An attractor brings momentary order to chaos.
If you want students to get a hold on complexity, then your global learning syllabus needs to have at least one organizing principle—maybe more. The organizing principle you choose will be a lens through which students can see multiplicity, interdependence, and diversity. It will also be a framework that helps students connect and combine ideas that previously appeared disconnected and uncombinable. The organizing principle can help guide your students’ thinking past analysis—problem identification—toward synthesis and creation—solution making.
This post is the first in a series about organizing principles for global learning. I’ll focus on how principles of scale, flow, and power can be used to infuse global learning into courses across the curriculum taught on campus, in the community, online, and abroad. I’ll also explore the importance of de-stabilizing your organizing principle and of having students develop their own principles, in order to increase their ability to view the world from multiple perspectives and adapt to change.
But for now, I’m curious: What are the organizing principles already at work in your courses? What principles are you curious about? How are you making sense of complexity?
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HEC Paris : How tomorrow’s economic actors pivot to new business models in a disruptive global environment.
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From international research into teaching collaboration
University World News
Hanne Smidt and Michael Hörig
11 January 2020
From the article:
The three missions of universities in Europe are often described as learning & teaching, research and knowledge transfer. Although these three domains are intended to interact in the so-called knowledge triangle, they often seem to operate in parallel universes at institutional, national and European levels.
This is caused by funding patterns and incentives that do not interact.
Notably, however, there is an underused value in providing a bridge between the world of learning and teaching and the world of research, especially when it comes to supporting internationalisation. The question therefore is “How can research collaborations underpin more exchanges in teaching and learning?”
Research funding has grown very substantially over the past 20 years in European Union countries, from 1.77% of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2000 to 2.06% in 2017. The very positive development in funding for research both at national and European level has led to a great number of new research results in multiple areas.
However, has this also led to a visible spill-over effect in higher education?
Even though research cooperation is considered to be an important driver for internationalisation, our recent case study of the cooperation between Germany and Sweden seems to indicate that the intensity of research cooperation is not necessarily a good indicator of deep international collaboration in teaching and learning.
Germany and Sweden were two of the countries that invested the most in research in 2017, with 3.02% and 3.4% of GDP (Eurostat) respectively.
The two countries are key partners in many international research projects and the co-publication rate is very high, but this is not entirely reflected, for example, in the mobility of scientists or students from Sweden to Germany, in the participation of Swedish universities in Erasmus+ Strategic Partnerships or in cooperation projects funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
In interviews with vice-chancellors and representatives from organisations supporting internationalisation in Sweden, we witnessed a strong commitment to facilitate a much closer bilateral cooperation and to develop the support needed to foster a spill-over effect from close cooperation in research to a variety of short educational offers.
At the European level, the new structure of the European Commission, with a commissioner responsible for ‘Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth’, has the potential to strengthen the knowledge triangle. Furthermore, the pilot European Universities Initiative presents a vision of how a coherent internationalisation and cooperation plan that balances the three missions of the university can bring the European Education Area to a new level.
Alongside other European programmes, a case can be made for bilateral activities. Again, if we take Sweden and Germany as an example, the potential for more intense collaboration is realistic. To unleash this potential, new formats for networking and topic-related exchanges would need to be developed. Blended learning scenarios and using the opportunities digitalisation offers for research-based education would be central elements.
In combination with intensive summer courses, industry placements or training sessions aimed at developing innovation skills, the dichotomy between teaching and learning on the one side and research on the other might be partially overcome. Projects funded within a bilateral programme could offer a format to experiment, ensure a faster transfer of results and support innovation, both in the public and the private sector.
Universities are training the next generation of scientists and the workforce of the future. Therefore, a variety of agile formats, with results that could possibly be scaled up at the European level, would be a necessary complement to European initiatives.
Should the interest formulated by policy-makers, funding agencies and university leadership in Sweden to engage with German universities be transformed into concrete cooperation-supporting activities, a unique opportunity to combine digitalisation, innovative teaching methods and joint research with innovation activities could emerge.
Given the shared values between the universities in Sweden and Germany and the daunting challenges our world currently faces, deepened bilateral cooperation in addition to targeted European programmes could provide success stories that have the potential to strengthen our whole continent.
Hanne Smidt is senior adviser at the European University Association (EUA) and Michael Hörig is head of the strategic planning division at the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
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Two (2) CFPs: Seeing Clearly Through COVID-19 & Biomedical Knowledge in a Time of Pandemic :: History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences (Global)
May 11, 2020
We are pleased to help the journal History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences bring attention to two (2) Calls for Papers for short- and long-form essays about the pandemic.
Topical Collection 1
Seeing Clearly Through COVID-19: Current and future questions for the history and philosophy of the life sciences
Editors: G. Boniolo – L. Onaga
Rationale: This epidemic of global proportions has seemingly surprised everyone, from laymen, laywomen and children, to politicians, economists, clinicians and biomedical researchers. The world-wide pandemic has drastically changed our ways of living and will likely continue to change our ways of living in the future. At the same time, historical reflections have indicated that there have been precedents for the conditions leading up to and representing the disastrous effects taking place. It is the right moment to humanistically reflect simultaneously upon what has been happening and what is going to happen to our lives, planet, socio-economical relationships, and interpretations of our own meanings of life. The time is critical to think seriously through these historical and philosophical issues in terms of global health and global justice. HPLS wishes to invite a diverse group of scholars representing different regions of the world, disciplines, and intersectional concerns to produce short papers that each grapple with a historical-sociological-political-epistemological-ethical question. These papers would not only engage with current aspects raised or stimulated by the COVID-19 pandemic but also with views concerning questions about our future. Together, we hope these collected papers could design a foundation for ongoing conversations that highlight the expertise and contributions of scholars in the history and philosophy of the life sciences. In particular, we appreciate that the following themes could be tackled: scientific experts and laypeople; national science policies and international scientific organizations; governance and governmentality; uncertainty; policy requirements and political interference; big data; privacy and social control; herd immunity; eugenics; assessment of epidemiological positions; clinical and biomedical research; vulnerable and fragile groups; death and suffering; legal and illegal businesses; zoonotic diseases; environmental links; scientific globalization; re-globalization; vaccine research, animal models and experimentation on humans; structural and latent racism; agriculture; food security; etc.
Format: Short pieces of about 1000 words, excluding references (max 10), abstract consisting of no more than two or three sentences, and a maximum of three keywords. Each question has to be well-posed and effectively contextualized both in the literature and in real health and field frameworks.
Note: Titles, abstracts, and keywords, must include searchable terms like virus, SARS, coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, etc.
Publishing process: Authors have to send their pieces to HPLS through the Editorial Manager, choosing Notes & Comments and, then, our Topical Collection “Seeing Clearly Through COVID-19.” Manuscripts will be handled by Boniolo and Onaga, and they will undergo a light reviewing process involving at least one external reviewer. Manuscripts will be sent to production and published online immediately following acceptance, so as to facilitate the swift publication of research pieces of high societal and scholarly relevance.
Time window: Beginning of papers acceptance: August 15, 2020; Closure of papers acceptance: December 31, 2020.
Topical Collection 2
Biomedical Knowledge in a Time of Crisis: Historical and Philosophical Perspectives on COVID-19
Editors: D. Teira – S. Leonelli
Rationale: This Topical Collection brings together scholarly reflections on the COVID-19 pandemic from scholars in the history, philosophy and social studies of biology and biomedicine. Themes may include, but are not limited to, the role of modelling, data practices and uncertainty in pandemic science and policy responses; the genealogies and reconfigurations of life science expertise in the face of the pandemic; the biopolitics and governance of biological knowledge, particularly in related fields such as epidemiology and immunology; the implications for research organizations and management worldwide, including experimental practices and work with non-human organisms; the intersection between private and public research activities and services, including with regard to population monitoring and public health services, across countries; the history and implications of the specific discourse and metaphors (e.g. military) used to depict human relationships with disease; relevant conceptual underpinnings and methodological questions in epidemiology, such as how to compare different populations; historical links to eugenics and racism, particularly in relation to the focus (or lack thereof) on vulnerable populations; and methodological reflections on how the pandemic may affect scholarly work in the history, philosophy and social studies of biology. HPLS invites a diverse group of contributors representing different regions of the world, disciplines, and intersectional concerns. We hope that this collection will highlight the relevance and significance of contributions from the history and philosophy of the life sciences towards understanding the roots, unfolding and implications and of the pandemic.
Format: Papers between 5000 and 10000 words, including references.
Note: Titles, abstracts, and keywords must include searchable terms like virus, SARS, coronavirus, COVID-19, SARS-COV-2, etc.
Publishing process: All papers will be peer-reviewed as soon as possible and will be published online immediately following acceptance, so as to facilitate the swift publication of research pieces of high societal and scholarly relevance.
Time window: Submissions are welcome from August 15, 2020 until May 31, 2021. This long window for submission constitutes an exception to normal HPLS practice: it is meant to account for the widely diverging effects of the pandemic on prospective authors around the world (some of whom may have had ample time to research and write due to lock-downs, while others have had to take a break from work due to illness, caring duties or abrupt shifts in their working patterns and focus).
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences is an interdisciplinary journal committed to providing an integrative approach to understanding the life sciences. It welcomes submissions from historians, philosophers, biologists, physicians, ethicists and scholars in the social studies of science.
The Teach311 + COVID-19 Collective began in 2011 as a joint project of the Forum for the History of Science in Asia and the Society for the History of Technology Asia Network and is currently expanded in collaboration with the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science(Artifacts, Action, Knowledge) and Nanyang Technological University-Singapore.
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Crowdsourced Advice about Remote Teaching
April 26, 2020 Shannon Spasova
A free magazine on technology integration in language teaching and learning
From the magazine:
The FLTMAG asked our readers to tell us about some of the best advice they had heard or given to others about remote/online teaching in this time of COVID-19. We got great advice about a mixture of topics. Thank you for all the submissions!
Keep it simple
Keep it simple and be understanding. Not all learners are tech savvy nor self-starters.
-Keith Corona, University of California, Santa Barbara
Don’t try to do too much
We have limited preparation time, so don’t try to do too much. Keep everything as simple as possible for yourself and for the students.
-Betsy Lavolette, Kyoto Sangyo University
Apply this to your face-to-face teaching
Give students choice. Provide low tech and high tech options for both learning and demonstrating proficiency. Connect the content to TODAY’S world. Allow yourself to be vulnerable enough for students to know you as a human, not just the voice on the screen. Add in and encourage humor. We all need a little sunshine in every day. These are good practices that can be applied with or without a pandemic. So use what you learn through this “forced” experience and apply it at such time as we return to a F2F environment.
-Lauren Rosen, University of Wisconsin
Be concerned about the human
Do less and let go. Be concerned about the human rather than the classwork.
Prioritize students’ well-being over course requirements and be flexible.
-Andie Faber, Kansas State University
Slow down. Anticipate that you are going to cover much less than you wanted originally. Do not overwhelm students with HW assignments. Be consistent with deadlines.
-Iryna Hniadzko, Johns Hopkins University
If you are using Zoom with breakout rooms, create a Google doc that you can give the students the link to that has all of the information that they need to know to complete the activities in the breakout room and concrete expectations for what they need to be ready to share afterwards.
Students will not remember your lectures, they will remember whether you cared.
Our tool is empathy
The most important tool for us right now is empathy. We need to be understanding of how life is being disrupted for our students and fellow faculty.
-Cory Duclos, Colgate University
Synchronous vs. asynchronous
Less is more; allow for more asynchronous assignments whenever possible; make all quizzes and tests take home or replace with something that is not an assessment (project, assignment, time spent on an online vocabulary flashcard app like Quizlet, etc.); it’s ok if your class(es) this COVID-19 quarter are not good and definitely even if they are not perfect.
Give yourself a break
Do what you can. Don’t expect perfection. You’re learning new skills, using them in a new environment, in a bewildering time. Give yourself a break. Your students are going through a similar transformation. Give them a break, too.
-Lisa Frumkes, Yellow Wood Academy
Remote and online teaching
Remote teaching does not equal online teaching!
Reduce content, and keep what is essential. Remember that we are teaching in the middle of a pandemic.
-Tatiana Calixto, University of Michigan
Keep directions simple and clear.
My institution doesn’t have any educational technologists, so it’s nobody’s job to develop online teaching resources. I’ve been doing what I can to help. The following resources (Moodle, Microsoft Office, Zoom, etc.) were developed for faculty members in the Faculty of Foreign Studies at Kyoto Sangyo University, but I’d like to share them in the hope that they can be useful to others as well. I’m still adding to the list, so check back! Sharing resources
-Betsy Lavolette, Kyoto Sangyo University
Little by little
You do not have to master it all in one day.
If you choose to do synchronous Zoom session, remember that it will require a lot more setup time than an in-person class. Don’t expect to be able to accomplish the same amount of work in the same amount of time. Try to figure out what aspects of your class can be done asynchronously and what aspects must be done in person.
-Cory Duclos, Colgate University
Take factors into consideration
Do not overburden students with work. Take into consideration the variety of factors that may be affecting their ability to work from home.
Feel comfortable without cameras
We all should feel comfortable with students not having their cameras on. They do not have to.
-Tatiana Calixto, University of Michigan
Be open to new ideas
Try not to force the activities you were doing in-class to somehow pull them off online. Instead, be open to new ideas and speak with peers about how they’re approaching things.
Be patient with yourself and with your students. Be ok with not being yourself.
The context in which something is taught is important as is the social aspect of learning (especially for languages!). Considering that I really missed those moments before class where I get to chit chat with the students, I figured they might miss it, too, so for each virtual class, I created a “pre-class banter” on Flipgrid. I ask them questions about how they are doing, what they are up to, things they enjoy, etc. Students get a half point of participation extra credit if they want to engage. I normally do not offer any extra credit in my classes, but it felt appropriate in this situation. I wanted it to be optional since I know that many students are in full blown survival mode and I don’t want to put extra work on them when they are already maxed out, but I also wanted to reward students who are continuing to show up and engage. I also figure it’s a good way to help students keep up their language skills in a low-stakes environment.
-Andie Faber, Kansas State University
Be flexible and try to remain engaged.
-Noah McLaughlin, Kennesaw State University
Talking about our experiences
We all need to talk about our experiences. Figure out ways to do this that also fosters your learning objectives.
-Lisa Frumkes, Yellow Wood Academy
What is at the core?
Keep it simple. Less is more. What’s at the core of what you want your students to learn?
Do what works
Do what works for you. Don’t expect it to be perfect.
I have found that I need to move from one activity to another many times over during our 50 minute class. I prepare 6-8 activities for each class. Each activity uses a different app (Kahoot, fill in the blanks, linoit, wheel decide, Google docs, YouTube, breakout rooms for conversation, Snapchat…) while we are on Zoom for the class.
-Arna Bronstein, University of New Hampshire
It takes time
Realize that teaching online may take more time than teaching in-person.
Be compassionate! Students are simply surviving this spring just like we all are. Our students might go even to the most expensive universities, but back at home they might lack some of the most basic things that we expect everyone to have nowadays, like Internet or a printer.
-Iryna Hniadzko, Johns Hopkins University
I IIGE CD
Japan gov't eyes lifting virus emergency in most prefectures Thurs.
May 11, 2020 (Mainichi Japan)
From the article:
TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Japan is arranging to simultaneously lift the nationwide state of emergency declared for 34 out of Japan's 47 prefectures over the novel coronavirus on Thursday after consulting a panel of experts, government sources said Monday.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has indicated some prefectures could be taken off the list of those placed under the state of emergency before its May 31 expiry. Speaking in parliament, he said Japan is on a "steady" path toward ending the coronavirus epidemic.
Of the remaining 13 prefectures which have been designated by the government as requiring special caution due to their large number of infections, Ibaraki and Gifu prefectures are also being considered, the sources said.
"We are planning to hear expert opinions on May 14 and announce if any partial lifting will be possible," Abe told a session of the lower house budget committee.
The premier initially issued a monthlong state of emergency until May 6 for seven urban areas including Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka. He expanded it to all 47 prefectures in mid-April and extended it by about a month until May 31 in the hope there would be a downtrend in new cases, thereby easing the strain on hospitals.
The government has divided the 47 prefectures into two groups. The first group, numbering 13, is made up of prefectures such as Tokyo and Osaka, while the remaining 34 are not on such a special alert.
Economic revitalization minister Yasutoshi Nishimura told the same parliamentary session that the emergency declaration could be lifted in "many" of the 34 prefectures if the infection situation is judged to have stabilized. The same can be also said of the other 13 prefectures, Nishimura said.
Even if the state of emergency is removed, however, the government will continue to ask people to refrain from moving across prefectural borders and holding large gatherings.
"If the number of infections rises and signs of 'overshooting' emerge (in a prefecture where the state of emergency has been lifted), we'd have to consider placing it under the declaration again," Nishimura said. Japanese officials use "overshooting" to mean an explosive increase in virus cases.
The government has faced the difficult challenge of pursuing the containment of COVID-19 and the resumption of some economic activities at the same time.
Amid increasing calls for more emergency measures to support struggling businesses and students and another extra budget to fund them, Abe said he will act "boldly if judged necessary."
He told the parliamentary session that the government will take additional steps to extend support to students who are struggling financially and whose income depends on part-time jobs.
Last week, the ruling coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito proposed to Abe that the government should shoulder part of the rent for small and midsize companies hit by sharp revenue falls due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Yuichiro Tamaki, leader of the opposition Democratic Party for the People, pressed Abe to make multiple cash distributions to all individuals, to which the prime minister said he will consider further steps based on the assessment of the panel of experts.
Under the state of emergency declaration, prefectural governors can request businesses to shut, though there are no penalties for noncompliance, seen as a limit of the current legal framework.
In the 13 worst-hit prefectures, local governments have asked people to refrain from nonessential outings and businesses.
Some governors have already set out their own criteria for relaxing curbs on business activity. After Osaka Gov. Hirofumi Yoshimura took the initiative, the governor of Aichi, the central Japanese prefecture that is home to Toyota Motor Corp., followed suit on Monday.
Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura set three criteria -- the numbers of new cases and hospitalized patients and the percentage of those testing positive for the new coronavirus.
Omura said he will ease calls for self-restraint if the three criteria are met, regardless of whether his prefecture remains designated by the central government as an area needing "special caution."
"The number of infected people has been falling since April 25. We've entered a stage in which we need to prepare for economic activity to resume and schools to reopen," the governor said at a press conference.
If the number of new cases stays below 10 a day, the percentage of those testing positive below 5 percent, and the number of patients in hospital below 150 for seven straight days, the governor will consider relaxing the curbs.
Osaka has similar criteria: the number of cases with untraceable routes, the percentage of those testing positive and the bed occupancy rate for patients with severe symptoms.
Japan has avoided an explosive surge in infections and recent data suggest that the epidemic may be leveling off. But the government panel of infectious disease and public health experts has said the pace of decline in new cases is not rapid enough and it is too soon to relax vigilance.
Abe said clinical trials of a vaccine are expected to begin in Japan as early as July, adding that the University of Tokyo, Osaka University and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases are developing one.
The total number of cases, including about 700 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo in February, has surpassed 16,500, with over 640 deaths.