|Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash
The prospect of power cuts and major energy saving measures this winter highlights the need for digital resilience and offering alternative access to educational resources. Up till now we have simply assumed that electricity and internet access were ubiquitous and unlimited, at least in privileged economies. One lesson of the pandemic was that many students did not have unlimited connectivity. Some were learning on pay-as-you-go mobile subscriptions and couldn't afford to watch heavy video files or attend long Zoom sessions. As a result many educators have learnt to offer alternative low-bandwidth formats such as text versions of videos, podcasts and downloadable files and these will be vital if the threats of power cuts come true this winter.
When the power goes out, this means no lights, no power, potentially no heating and no broadband. Of course a blackout also means as well no mobile signal, so no 4G. So though you may have a mobile device with enough battery power to use it, it you won’t be able to use the internet.
If you’re not using video, you don’t have to be constrained by text, downloaded audio recordings and podcasts are possible options. Audio also means that the screen can be turned off (or turn the brightness down) again increasing battery life.