Working in a new way
New terms are being used to describe how we will teach over the coming months – as we manoeuvre our way out of COVID-19. Blended learning is one such term.
Blended learning is an approach that combines online methods and opportunities for interaction online with traditional classroom-based methods. As an environmental chemist much of what I do is linked to the outdoors. This is how we instill a love of the environment in students, by bringing them to see and experience these places we study.
A field trip that we do takes us to the coastal area to measure water quality: taking samples onto the boat, measuring, observing and experiencing. We don’t know if we can continue this and maintain the degree of social distancing that is currently recommended. Though of course being outdoors has advantages over being inside, so perhaps the risks are less. In the same way a chemist needs to experience the laboratory, the environmental scientist needs to experience the outdoor environment. So, in planning our work for the coming year, it is an opportunity to think about new ways to relay the important messages and skills that can be translated to future years. But part of this must involve getting our hands dirty and feet wet