By Urban Anjar

There is a couple of weeks since the course Open Network Learning started with me as a participant. Confusing weeks. Not only a new course and in a new subject in one dimension far away from the subjects I have formal academic credits in, but very near stuff I have worked with or tinkered with as a hobby.

But the confusing side of is more on the private level where my whife had to undergo surgery last week and on the societal level with covid-19 and all the turbulence around that. The government in Sweden has listend to the expert authorities and that means that schools and universities are open.

Working from home
But of course students, staff and faculty tries to work from home as much as possible. I have also been working partly from home but this morning I went to campus. Our normally crowded parking lot was rather empty. But the usage of the e-meeting service Zoom peaked today with 9820 users. A normal peak in February was about 3000 users (1).

Zoom users the last four weeks

Questions about Zoom, Skype for Business, headsets and web cams are now pretty common, nobody asked about that before, we had to nag about that! The need for help with projectors and microphones in lecture halls and auditoriums has instead diminished.

During the week end I found the timing right to share some of my thoughts about how to make small simple educational movies. I have played with film making for a couple of years now both as a hobby (2) and as a tool to spread knowledge about our services at the university (3, 4). I think i have refined and simplified my kit and my processes so far that I can explain what I do and how I do it 😉 (5)

Yesterday I posted The meta film – film making in a corona context on Youtube 

In the course we are divided into PBL-groups, where PBL stands for Problem Based Learning. I’m part of PBL 02. Our first exercise was to make to make a group presentation (7). Now we are investigating blogging and different aspects of private and professional aspects of network life.

Bad timing – or the best?
Is it really good timing to attend a course in a moment like that? I prefer to think that the timing is perfect. This might be the a turning point where digitalisation and distance learning really can make a breakthrough. Confusing yes! But it is the time to rethink and redo.

Circles of Confusion, Photo: Urban Anjar 2017, Model: Saga Björling

I think one of the most powerful obstacles for digitalisation and distance learning is that it is fun to stand before a group and explain stuff. Well, it’s kind of scary too. But if it works out well its gives a “kick” you seldom get in other ways.

This might be the time when we learn that you can get the same or better kick sharing your skills, knowledge and creativity through digital media – if you do it well.

(1) https://status.nordu.net/zoom.html(2020-03-16)
(2) https://youtube.com/urbananjar (mostly in swedish)
(3) https://play.lnu.se/media/t/0_zh1w3olj/171977(english subtitles)
(4) https://play.lnu.se/media/t/0_zh1w3olj/171977 (english and swedish)
(5) https://youtu.be/nPlAX3h9nT4
(6) https://youtu.be/dGfwosnXJOg

In the eye of the storm