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This New Digital Age…. April 1, 2020

Posted by irishelectionliterature in Uncategorized.

It’s been so strange since many workplaces, schools and colleges closed. I’m working at home, something I wasn’t a stranger to maybe one day a week but certainly not full time like we are doing now.
My Third Level Student son was watching lectures, doing assignments and so on, it’s different but manageable although the exams have been cancelled.
My daughter has a few online classes every day , indeed they have even had an online Assembly. Still there’s no onus on attending the classes, and attendance at the early morning ones aren’t great.
My wife is sending out instructions to her classes daily via Teams. There’s not a huge level of engagement. Many wouldn’t have laptops, wifi, phone credit or even the space and time to do work whilst at home. Many wouldn’t have any interest in doing it either.
Still a Friend in Kerry was telling me since there are sadly no funerals to go to, certain TDs have adapted to the digital age, and have been stalking RIP.IE to ensure that they are on the first page of the condolences section!
There’s an etiquette to it , in that you can’t be the first comment as it looks a bit pushy , but you’d still want to be on the first page, the digital equivalent of “being seen” at the funeral.


1. Tomboktu - April 1, 2020

So far, I’ve been given seven homework and revision assignments by different teachers in two schools.

I was also signed up for a secondary student ISIC card.

(When I told them I wasn’t in the running and asked them to remove my name from their database, I got an email back telling me I needed to do it myself by clicking a non-existent button at the bottom of the email. That drew a pointed reply asking the person who contacted me to escalate it because under data protection it is *their* responsibility update their database.)

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2. WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2020

It is very strange, agreed IEL. What is it going to be like when things regain some degree of ‘normality’? Having a close sense of the education side, like yourself, it’s remarkable how much is being done at second and PLC level. Primary is a bit spottier at the moment. As to general work, got to wonder how that is going for many sectors of the economy and companies and so on.


irishelectionliterature - April 2, 2020

It’s like everything is on hold, The Hospitality Sector is in big trouble, Anything to do with travel, be it airlines, airport staff and so on. What Companies are going to invest in anything?
It’s going to be some recession when we come out of it.


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2020

It really is. I think the idea of ‘furlough’ for businesses is a good one, but it depends on how long the toughest restrictions last.

I’d imagine international travel for the next year or two or possibly longer will be very limited. Who would want to take the chance on going somewhere where a new outbreak/lockdown might occur. That might help in Ireland if people travel within the island but it’s going to be a heavy blow.


3. benmadigan - April 2, 2020

“As to general work, got to wonder how that is going for many sectors of the economy and companies and so on”.

Heard one American IT multi-national told its Dublin staff to “carry on working at home for the present. We’ll see after a a couple of months but prepare for radical restructuring. Nobody’s job is certain”

Staff can’t start job search as there are no openings elsewhere at the moment


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2020

that’s a great point ben. Really agree. People are blocked just by the parameters of the crisis.


4. Seanad elections… more | The Cedar Lounge Revolution - April 2, 2020

[…] In two minds about this one, to be honest. IEL’s overview of this New Digital Age really brings home how much everything has changed in j… […]


5. Jim Monaghan - April 2, 2020

Saw this on online conferencing, schools business whatever. “This is what our employer has to say about Zoom:

do not download
their app – but you can use the web based version if you are invited to
a Zoom meeting. It is gaining popularity thanks to Coovid-19 but the free
version is limited to 40 min meetings, which can be too short.
The Wikipedia entry explains Zoom’s serious privacy transgressions
as recently as 2019 (link below).

An open source code (non-profit and free) alternative is Jitsi Meet, by
the Jitsi project.
The Wikipedia link below provides a safe link to the Jitsi.org web page.
Having seen the demo, we are still testing it – it is web browser based
and takes only minutes to start a meeting. It prefers Chrome but works
on Firefox. It provides a link to the meeting, which can be emailed or
texted and should be accessible from any device with web access.

For other alternatives see the Wikipedia comparative table at the end.
” Hope this is useful to someone


6. Jim Monaghan - April 2, 2020

Wonder what the teachers think of RTE’s primary provision. I am surprised at how little RTE is doing. They could show various versions of the Shakespear plays and have discussions. They could cover the languages etc. Now that non-stop sport has ceased, surely they could do something more


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2020

I think the programme itself is good, actually very good in parts, but agree, more than one hour a day would be a plus.


NFB - April 2, 2020

They will be showing Shakespeare, five plays over April. Announced yesterday. https://www.rte.ie/culture/2020/0401/1127835-rte-to-screen-shakespeare-classics-for-students/

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7. Lamentreat - April 3, 2020

That’s a great anecdote about the funeral website.

The situation here in Mexico is quite complicated. In terms of education, public schools are not doing online tuition (expensive private ones probably), but there are TV stations doing programming related to specific year requirements. Public universities tell people to “teach using whatever platform you prefer” in other words, wash their hands of all the issues raised by IEL: ” laptops, wifi, phone credit or even the space and time to do work,” etc.

In general, the government is doing a restricted shutdown. Schools, a lot of shops, etc. are closed, domestic servants kept away, a lot of social distancing, but it isn’t total.The thinking is that most people in the country can’t afford to go without working for more than a couple of weeks, so a lockdown could collapse exactly as the curve peaks. So the govt is waiting to go to the next phase as the pandemic takes off, as most fear it will.


irishelectionliterature - April 3, 2020

Anecdotally I have heard of teachers setting up zoom meetings for classes of 20 plus students and nobody attending.
The numbers attending or querying/answering work sent out is far less than 50% in most schools.
I would assume it’s somewhat higher in Private schools but then again locally before the “lockdown” I was hearing complaints about certain schools not having any digital planning at all. Supposedly the Rugby coaches were more organised to give digital content than the educational staff!


WorldbyStorm - April 3, 2020

Yeah, had that sense of matters too. Many students are engaging, but a good cohort aren’t.


8. Joe - April 3, 2020

The new digital age is helping me to keep the old man out.

Last night I was at the Thursday night music session in my local GAA club – on Zoom.
Tonight I’m meeting a few of my very best and oldest friends for a few pints – on Whatsapp. (We’ll be discussing one of my friend’s contention (backed up by a news video he sent us all) that the whole coronavirus thing is a Chinese plot for world domination.)

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9. sonofstan - April 3, 2020

Teaching online has been a challenge and not one to which I’ve risen particularly successfully. The straight lecture format simply doesn’t work remotely at least not without much more sophisticated tech than Zoom/ Teams/ whatever. I use a fair bit of video content in most lectures and a lot of music, and neither can be streamed all that seamlessly with any of the channels we’ve been asked to use.

When you’re in the room with them, you can gauge what’s working and what isn’t, and thats just not possible when they’re a group of names at the bottom of a screen. Equally, the energy that you get from simply walking around in the front of a lecture theatre vanishes when you’re talking to a screen in the spare room with the clothes horse behnid you.

Individual tutorials and supervisions have been fine, more or less, group ones less so – someone always has less than ideal broadband, things need to be repeated and it all gets to be a chore quite quickly. Overall, it’s waaaay more tiring, and less inspiring than ‘normal’ working life.
All that said, I wouldn’t be averse to recording a few lectures properly and using them as a base from which to build seminars and more interactive sessions.

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