Tuesday, 26 January 2021

A word to the wise

Just word of the week this time, as I have an electrician working in the new house and he often has to turn the router off. I hope to return to normal service next week.

Word of the week: Lockdown learning

Not specifically the BBC's new platform to help school students, which I applaud, but online learning in general. Have you tried it and how do you get on with it?

I registered for Oxford University Department of Continuing Education online course on the Architecture of English Cathedrals. It officially started yesterday and is all online: no Zooms, no Teams, no face-to-face. I got my login details soon after 9am, filled in my profile, got on to the course through the Portal but I might as well have tried entering through my wardrobe.

I went to the Introductions Forum and there was no-one there but me and e-tumbleweed. In the course of the day others arrived and this morning I found a whole new forum discussing the themes of the first unit. It will be fine. But I take my hat off to all those students and teachers trying to teach and learn in this new way.

Of course lockdown learning doesn't have to be digital. I did retrieve some of the losses of yesterday by reading a chunk of one of the set books, which felt more comfortable because familiar. We hear all the time about people who have used one or all of the three UK lockdowns to learn a new skill - a foreign language perhaps, a new-found gift for cordon-blue cookery or at least baking sourdough loaves and banana bread. Some have written a whole book, bought a dog, made a baby.

But the online community is also full of exhortations to be kind to yourself and not worry if you have spent the time lolling about but count it as a win if you have got washed and dressed every day. This applies to adults and children, with a strong emphasis on survival and sanity.

Still, you could always decide to learn more about grammar. See you next week.


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