June Newsletter: This is what I’ve been up to …

I hope everyone is surviving 2020, which I’m sure we’ll all agree is starting to feel a lot like the manifestation of the Chinese curse ‘May you live in interesting times’! 

However, it is not all doom and gloom. In-between the coronavirus chaos, I’ve learnt a lot about how best to work remotely, what productivity looks like when you are not chained to a desk, and who the best online grocer in Cape Town is.

South Africa has (so far) been spared the worst of the pandemic. Our schools were, however, shut for two months. I’ve worked on a project to make support packs available for grade 12 learners, so they can still pass their end of year exams. We kept the file-size small and gave them permission to WhatsApp the material to their classmates. I’m also currently working on a series of worksheets and teachers’ resources for schools in Africa, providing training on the coronavirus, how it spreads, prevention methods, stigma and mental health—coming soon!

In Cameroon, I published a book for English-language learning in Francophone schools. The education ministry liked it so much they selected it as the one and only book students could use. Take a look at some pages on my blog. You’ll be able to get an e-book edition pre-loaded to an Android tablet (along with some other books) later this year. Still on supporting language learning, I developed a set of (fun!), off-line, digital resources to teach isiXhosa to primary school learners. I made a short product video, which is on my blog.

Speaking of blogs, I am back up and blogging regularly. For any publishing types, I wrote out my thoughts on a modern book publishing workflow. Electric Book Works has produced an excellent infographic (unrelated to my blogging) which illustrates this workflow and Pressbooks have a platform where you can put this workflow into practice. 

As we bravely move into the world of digital work (accelerated due to the coronavirus), I put together some ideas on skills that may be needed and how to teach them in the classroom.

Lastly, for teachers and learning professionals, I wrote a short guide on how to use Bloom’s Taxonomy, the classic educational framework, in a digital environment. It’s free on Amazon for a week – please download it and let me know what is missing or what can be improved on by completing  this form.

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