Sunday, 29 March 2020
Additional comments after a couple weeks into remote schooling.
File sharing: I got familiar with nextcloud, which offers a great amount of functionality such as typical file sharing services like Google Drive and MS OneDrive. Whatever system you use, I would separate communication in two flows:
- One direction, from teacher to students (release tasks and announcements), i.e. a public folder, most likely with subfolders for each subject as per the picture above.
- Private comms between each student and the teacher. This requires a password protected folder for each student.
Students and parents use different email providers, a 5MB file may be a problem for some, a 10MB may be a problem for many, a 100MB video will probably not work with most. Just sync a local folder with a cloud one and store there whatever is required for the students to pick it up.
Videocommunications: In these two weeks I have tried zoom a lot, discord, Jitsi, whatsapp and heard about MS Teams and whereby.com Zoom has many pros but one big con, privacy issues.
I have the feeling that the others have shortcomings when it comes to getting other people join (think elderly people, as my parents) and whatsapp is easy but it limits participants to just 4 people, plus many teachers may not want to disclose their private phone number for obvious reasons.
I am not clear that video conferences are strictly required or that they would even work for most classrooms. To much hassle to set up and still difficult to extract value from time invested. Maybe best to record a video and follow up with one to one sessions as required?
Photo app: I know, not new item, but please, do yourself a favour and use MS Office Lens or equivalent. Why send 4 separate photos instead of a single pdf? Or spend time cropping and aligning photos?