Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles 11: who knew that Tik Tok would become the social media star of 2020?

  Back in January 2020, before in-person undergraduate classes were cancelled in March 2020, at one 8:30 am Winter Semester Applied Plant Ecology lecture, we discussed how science communication happens on social media platforms. I'm pretty sure it was Julia Bava (who recently completed a virtual Fall Semester research practicum in my lab.) who asked […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles 10: 2020 taught us the importance of Open Access

One of the silver linings among the many clouds of 2020 was the large number of newspapers and magazines who made their pandemic-related content freely available to readers. This includes the Toronto Star (Canada), the Financial Times (UK), and the Atlantic Magazine (USA), all of which usually require a paid subscription in order to access […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles 9: 2020 science-policy-politics-lessons

It's a year since scientists sounded the alarm was sounded about a novel, rapidly spreading coronavirus centred in Wuhan, China. Today, the New York Times published a review of the early events, in which politics over-rode the science and doctors who encountered what we now call Sars-cov-2 virus died. One year ago, the first alarm […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles 8: #AdventBotany VLOGs & BLOGs

I've been touting the benefits of blogging for developing student writing skills, ever since 2006, when I learned how to write posts for the Institute for Research and Innovation in Sustainability website, after I became its director. On my return to full-time teaching in 2014, I immediately added Blog writing assignments to all my Biology […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles 7: How Hallowe’en Helped me to Humanize Science

My favourite book by Charles Darwin is the one about worms (The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms: with observations on their habits: 1881). Today, Darwin is still a larger than life iconic figure, but thanks to his habit of writing in books, known as marginalia, we have insights into him as […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles Part 6: Returning to my lab. feels like finding the Marie Celeste

Canadian higher education has mainly functioned virtually since March 2020, when campus buildings were closed. The residential population of the York University during this pandemic has consisted of students and their families, for whom their campus apartments are their main homes, and international students who simply could not get home at the end of April, […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles Part 5: Mourning what we have lost in this pandemic

Lost relatives, friends, careers, jobs and money Cancelled plans that had been long in the making. In the months since the SARS-Cov-2 virus has spread across the globe, people have experienced many losses, big and small. Some are, sadly, grieving for family and friends who died from COVID_19, which has turned out to be a […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles Part 4: Addressing Black Lives Matter in our Courses

The day that in-person classes were cancelled at York University, was the same day that Breonna Taylor was shot and killed by policemen. They erroneously entered her apartment looking for someone who didn't live there. The police have still not been charged for the murder. I read a newspaper article about Ms. Taylor's death the […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles Part 3: All Zoomed Out

Zoom is the platform that somehow won the online meeting software wars during the COVID-19 pandemic. I've previously used it, Adobe, Skype, Bluejeans, Citrix, GoTo, and many other platforms for virtual meetings, including doctoral defences, and webinars going back to the mid 2000s. via GIFER But Zoom became my pandemic pedagogy mountain. I've been climbing […]

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Pandemic Pedagogy Chronicles Part 2: creating good online courses takes resources

Since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down in-person classes across North America, conversations have proliferated about online learning and the time it took to teachers to pivot to courses online. In early April, I decided I was obligated to come up with an online substitute for the cancelled in-person field courses that affected […]

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