Dr. Sheila Marie Aird and Dr. Tom Mackey discuss online teaching and their collaborative Digital Storytelling course

In the article, The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how, the World Economic Forum argues that, “Globally, over 1.2 billion children are out of the classroom” due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this unprecedented time, "education has changed dramatically, with the distinctive rise of e-learning, whereby teaching is undertaken remotely and on digital platforms” (April 29, 2020). As this article demonstrates, the significant challenges of the global pandemic have had a dramatic impact on the design and delivery of education around the world. This has shed a new light on the benefits of online learning, a pedagogical model that has been developed for decades. 

In a Zoom chat, Dr. Sheila Marie Aird and Dr. Tom Mackey, both from SUNY Empire State College, discuss their own experience teaching online through the lens of their fully online and collaborative Digital Storytelling course. This version of the course is an international collaboration that brings together students from the United States, Canada, Czech Republic, and Albania. Dr. Aird and Dr. Mackey take us on a brief tour of their online course in Moodle and discuss how they designed it and then further revised it especially for this unique experience. It also demonstrates the approach and participatory nature of the course that promotes community and active learning. The conversation offers several valuable takeaways for faculty and students who are presently teaching, or interested in teaching and learning in a fully online engaging environment. 



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