COVID-19/IT-Infrastructure

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An important epidemiological goal is to reduce social face to face contacts. The IT-infrastructure (e.g. video conferencing, home office, e-Learning, ...) plays an important role to replace face to face contacts at least temporarily. The high availability of IT services and the increasing demand on those services are integrated in the logistical planning and administration of IT infrastructure.

Learning Tasks[edit]

  • (Requirements and Constraints of IT-Infrastructure) Identifiy requirements and constraints of the IT infrastructure during the Global Challenges|global challenge of COVID-19 and analyze use-cases in economical and educational settings!
    • Analyse why the demand of video conferencing is rising,
    • Analyse how Open Source IT video conferencing systems work (peer-to-peer connection, limitation of upstream for Clients that work in homeoffice with simultaneours, VoiP phone calls, upload of files to the company, uploaded video of a workout in sports for analysis of the teacher, ... . Keep in mind that IT infrastructure for internet connection are designed in a way that the downstream has a larger bandwidth and the upstream is used for requesting a media files and internet resources. The request is just a small string in the upstream and watching a video require the bandwidth in the downstream. Explain, what are the required changes in the upstream-downstream ratio of the bandwidth, to support collaborative work from home in the digitale age!
  • (Digital Learning Environment) Analyze the contribution of e-Learning during the COVID-19 epidemics.
  • (Risk Management) Discuss current capacities, availability and vulnerability of IT service for video conferencing.
  • (AudioSlides4Web) Analyze AudioSlides4Web for creating capacity building material with slides and audio comments in educational setting.
    • Can web-based presentation for capacity building be shared and used offline in a browser?
    • Can web-based presentation easily be maintained due to dynamic changes in the epidemilogical spread of the disease?
  • (KnitR and Dynamic Reports Documents) Discuss the role of dynamic report systems like KnitR or Shiny WebApps[1] as Open Source solution to represent the epidemiological spread of the disease based on a constant in-stream of data?
  • (Wikiversity) Discuss of the role of Wikiversity learning resources in context of COVID-19 in comparison to Wikipedia:COVID-19 and official web resources of Public Health Agencies or WHO.
    • (Health and Wikis) What is important, so that the Wikiversity content add value to global risk mitigation effort instead of duplicating the information? Keep in mind that maintaining web content is always and effort and duplication of content doubles the workload to keep the content sychronized and up to date.
    • (Wiki2Reveal) How can Wiki2Reveal in Wikiversity be used to create online course about the learning content.
  • (Workflow Transformation) Explain why the IT requirements and constraints have a major impact on the success of Workflow Transformations in times of Corona.

Videoconferencing[edit]

Example: OpenSource[edit]

We setup an Open Source Videoconferencing Software Big Blue Button and analyze the requirements and constraints embedding implementation in the educational infrastructure

Capacity of Video Conferencing[edit]

  • How can you test the capacity of a videoconferencing server?
  • How can you manage the load of videoconferencing server?
  • Teachers and lecturers that are used to book a lecture room for a class must go through a workflow transformation. Teachers book a virtual classroom in the video conferencing software (e.g. Big Blue Button). By booking the overload of the video conferencing server can be controlled. Free assignment of video conferences on the server could lead to poor performance of the server and all participants are not satisfied with the IT-infrastructure. Search for an OpenSource booking system that can be used for virtual classroom management for videoconferences and which assures that no more video conferences can be booked if the capacity of the video conference server is exceeded!

How does E-Learning work?[edit]

In the current situation, classic educational institutions whose programs are based on a massive culture of presence (based on a political desire), require a framework for action that helps them to transfer their current programs into the online world. Due to FROLLEINFLOW (2020)[2] the following points are important to realize:

  • It is not about tools.
  • Nor is it primarily about methods.
  • It is about people and social learning relationships.
  • Do not tackle everything at once, but equalize processes.
  • Less is more.

Home base for the design of teaching[edit]

To organize the teaching process, a central point of contact is required, through which the teachers and learners can communicate how the new design of teaching works and what everyone can, should and must do to make the system work. This can be a learning platform like moodle, wikiversity courses or a homepage. The collaborative technology used should be open and in line with data protection (which is a challenge when progress has to happen fast!).

How to deploy a home base?

  1. Think about a structure down to the individual courses and map this structure on your homebase as a hierarchical model with links to subsequent pages.
    1. Everyone (teachers and learners) should be able to access the content they need to be able to work online with as few clicks as possible.
    2. The procedure of the courses, the timeslots for the courses, the content, the interaction options have to be explained.
  2. Usability test (quick & dirty): a target group-specific detail task should be given to 5 different people that they should be able to solve via the home base. 80% errors in the mapping of the future structure can be found and corrected in this way.
  3. Regular operation should be performed for at least 1, rather 2 weeks.
  4. In the meantime it should be considered whether there are synergies between the courses or classes.
  5. A streamlined organizational structure should be worked out to merge human resources and work more team-based.
  6. Learners should be involved: the more people think on a problem, the better the result can get.
  7. The optimized structure has to be mapped on the home base.

Communication environment[edit]

Regular communication is very important for disance teaching activities. What is needed is a way to communicate asynchronously and synchronously.

  1. It is crucial to enable Mobile communication.
  2. Communication services that are already used by the target group or are easy to install will be successfull.
  3. As soon as this basic equipment is introduced in regular operation and actively used, gradually more, especially asynchronous communication channels, can be added.

Regular Operation[edit]

Attention: The mobile data volume is limited for most people. WiFi is not available in every household. Depending on the preconditions one might have to look for creative solutions depending on the target group.

  1. Establish morning routine => Goal: give daily structure. Everyone comes together in a certain short time window to strengthen social bond. A messenger channel is probably sufficient here to exchange greetings, the status quo, daily or weekly planning, the status of work and to spread a good mood.
  2. Put together collaborative teams to work on a certain task.
  3. Afternoon routine: After lunch everyone could come together again and report on the challenges, problems, results, lessons learned etc. Afterwards, the time could be used to search for, collect, summarize, prepare certain content in any form for different target groups etc. One could exchange ideas and assign tasks. This is the time when networked learning can come to fruition: all together and everyone at their own pace.
  4. Exchange of teachers to identify best practice.

Links (german)[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. Shiny WebApps Gallery (2020) Open Source Demos URL: https://shiny.rstudio.com/gallery/ (accessed 2020/03/16)
  2. FROLLEINFLOW (2020). Wie geht Online-Lehre quick & dirty? [electronic resource] https://frolleinflow.com/2020/03/15/wie-geht-online-lehre-quick-dirty/amp/?__twitter_impression=true