On the Film & Screen Studies degree, we study screens of all sorts – cinema, television, videogames, smartphones, social media. We know screens are important, but little did we know how they would come to dominate our lives in 2020. There has been a revival of trust in television as a news medium with soaring ratings to match – 24 million UK viewers watched the Queen’s address to the nation in April and almost 30 million watched the Prime Minister’s emergency broadcast in March. At the same time, social media has been vital to keeping people informed about events such as the Black Lives Matter protests in the USA as well as keeping people connected with family and friends as they struggle with the challenges of life in lockdown.
And screens have been vital at the University of Brighton in helping us stay in touch with our students as well all try to adapt to the new world of lockdown learning. Our students have been getting to grips with downloading recorded lectures, getting to grips with platforms such as Microsoft Teams, learning how to negotiate video tutorials, and working in isolation with only electronic library resources. They have risen to the challenge magnificently. We are amazed and impressed at the way in which our students are keeping in touch with us, attending online seminars, keeping themselves motivated, submitting work online, and working independently. These are skills that will be invaluable in the workplace of the future. So, to all our students, we would like to say a heartfelt well done for getting to the end of a uniquely challenging year.
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