For the online learning world


eLearning People: Be Kind to Yourselves

With the Coronavirus Pandemic spreading across the globe, many industries and workers are finding themselves shutdown and unable to work. In eLearning, we are fortunate that the ability to work from home is inherent to our discipline, and that our services are more in demand than ever. Our work is critical to keep our institutions at any semblance of operational during this crisis. To say it’s been a busy few days is an understatement, and I see many colleagues on Twitter and in Slack groups at different institutions gritting their teeth, leading their colleagues through change and challenge.

At my school, I can say that my small team of four has been scrambling to support hundreds of faculty. transition their courses to an all-online format in just 5 days (2 of which were over a weekend). Most of the faculty have never taught online, and some are completely unfamiliar with our tools. I’ve been working to make sure our Moodle install is up to the task of handling a massive usage increase, answering hundreds of emails, leading webinars, handling tickets, calling faculty at home, and more.

I must say, the faculty at my school have been incredibly gracious and appreciative as we work to support each other. It’s easy to get lost in this much work and to forget that there has to be some boundary between your time and work time, especially when you are cooped at home day and night (yes we are practicing social distancing religiously).

So yes you will be working more than normal. Your boundaries might look very different than normal. But don’t forget there are other people that need you too. Maybe you have kids at home with you that you are caring for during the day(I have a two year old). Perhaps friends, relatives or neighbors who are sick or more vulnerable and need help getting supplies or filling prescriptions. Maybe you have a dog that really just needs a good walk. And don’t forget that you still need time for yourself to recharge, whatever that looks like for you. Don’t burn yourself out. I have a feeling that this crisis is far from over, and online learning will be critical in the years to come. We’re going to need you.

Ben Kahn

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Ben Kahn

Ben works as a systems administrator, systems architect, instructional designer, and technologist at the University of Portland, managing Open Source tools for learning, including enterprise Moodle & WordPress installs.

One thought on “eLearning People: Be Kind to Yourselves

  • Interesting post Ben 🙂
    I like the overall positive message !
    Yes, I think people in the e-learning industry, and IT in general, are in for a very busy year, as clearly It and networking plays an increasingly important part in enabling more remote working and learning, and support.
    Interesting times ahead – we are getting multiple calls every day asking for e-learning support.


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