Out Now: Education, Wherever We Are

01-04-2020

In response to the widespread closure of schools, universities, and public gatherings due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have rapidly put together a collection of professional development articles from FEMS Microbiology Letters that cover teaching, learning and education, using online only tools.

Read the Thematic Issue: Education, Wherever We Are

Image from: ‘Cell-fies: sharing microbiology with global audiences through Instagram’ by Hunter N Hines. Clockwise from upper left: The ciliate Loxodes rex; a Tardigrade full of algae; a single cell ciliate in the genus Frontonia packed with endosymbiotic algae; the algal cell Micrasterias undergoes division.

As much of the world is practising social isolation in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, universities, colleges, and schools have been moving education very quickly from the lecture theatre and the teaching laboratory to the internet, whilst staff work from home, necessitating their administrative activities to be conducted online. This is not without its challenges, and we have a number of articles in the FEMS Microbiology Letters Professional Development Section that cover good practice in terms of online tools to support blended learning, and can now help educators to better negotiate what is new territory in many cases!

These resources include articles on use of social media (specifically TwitterFacebook, and Instagram) and podcasts and vodcasts, with elements of the ‘flipped classroom’ approach (e.g. students listen to/watch pre-recorded podcasts or vodcasts followed by participating in a live online discussion session lead by the academic). We have also included in this collection of articles one relevant to candidates who now have job interviews (or viva voce examinations) at a distance telephone, Zoom, or Skype rather than face-to-face.

Whilst we are a microbiology journal, we must stress that these educational resources are suitable for educators from most any discipline (though are particularly suited to those in the sciences), educating those from many age groups and educational levels.

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