Effective education depends on good communication and relationships, but face masks hinder visual and verbal cues and can be unsettling. So how can teachers and students overcome these issues?
Digital technology and COVID-19 have transformed the ways universities are delivering courses. But some are taking a minimalist low-cost approach, while others are aiming higher.
Universities can best prepare students by teaching them in ways that reflect the realities of how professionals and the wider community now operate.
Lynn Grieveson/Getty Images
New Zealand health authorities were quick to react to the threat of a COVID-19 outbreak and managed to avoid community transmission, but the unique nature of how the virus spreads also played a role.
The pandemic has accelerated some urban trends and reversed others, while focusing attention on the vulnerabilities of cities. The old planning certainties will have to be revisited.
Chen Jimin/China News Service via Getty Images
There are several earlier examples of people studying infectious pathogens being infected in the laboratory, even while working under strict biosafety conditions.
Would anyone want to spend more screen time talking about pandemics? Yes, learned an anthropologist, biologist and historian who developed a course on the topic.
The course offers a model for teaching about complex problems, and underlines the critical role of university learning, research and outreach in understanding and addressing them.
A November 2020 memorial in Washington, D.C. consisted of thousands of flags, each planted to remember someone who died of COVID-19.
Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images
Record-keepers have a pretty good sense of how many people have died. But figuring out the cause of those deaths is a lot trickier – and that’s why reasonable modelers can disagree.
Isolation and other pandemic stresses can harm pregnant women’s mental health, with effects on their babies too.
Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Pregnant women’s experiences can affect their babies’ health, even into adulthood. Researchers know societywide stresses can lead to these long-term consequences – and the pandemic likely fits the bill.
James D. Morgan/Getty Images
The trans-Tasman travel bubble has come to a temporary regional halt three times now, highlighting the challenges in tracking the risk of an outbreak across jurisdictions with different systems.
International students have been admirably persistent in studying online for more than a year. But as other countries open their doors, Australia risks losing them if it fails to show they are wanted.
Rebecca Conway/Getty Images
COVID-19 has overwhelmed India’s hospitals partly because decades of under-investment in public health have left the country with one of the most privatised health systems in the world.
AAP/AP/zz/Dennis Van Tine/STAR MAX/IPx
With the country’s vaccine rollout succeeding where pandemic management failed, and Biden moving boldly on climate and immigration, his presidency is off to a promising start.
Our current quarantine capacity would take six months to handle the return of 150,000 existing students, but 70,000 new students every six months would also be needed to halt the fall in enrolments.
At one time more than one in three Australians did volunteer work. Only one in five are now doing so, but there are some positive signs as volunteering organisations adapt to changing times.
Richard Wainwright/AAP Image
Another city, another snap lockdown, and another round of asking whether it will successfully prevent disaster this time, or whether the coronavirus has already spread undetected through the community.
Getty Images/Mark Tantrum
Although most border workers are now vaccinated, regular testing remains essential to guard against the risk of a major outbreak in the community.
A tomato vendor attends to buyer at a makeshift food market established to cushion the effect of COVID lockdown in Lagos.
Photo by Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images
To overcome food insecurity, especially in a pandemic, Nigeria’s emergency preparedness requires a total overhaul of it’s agri-food supply chain.
New Zealand and Australia both had COVID-19 outbreaks originating from border facilities, but as frontline border workers are prioritised for vaccination, the risk of this happening again is lower.
Treating online education as a cheap alternative to lectures will be a mistake. At first universities will probably have to allow more preparation time and invest more in training and technology.