Research Reflections on the Positives of COVID-19 for Work in the Northern Territory
Keywords:pandemic, technological inequity, remote research, adaptation, virtual engagement
Across Australia, COVID-19 has certainly disrupted our lives. For many researchers it has caused us to push the pause button on our activities and rejig our timelines, our methods and our ethics approvals to suit the changed conditions. As an educational researcher in the Northern Territory, my plans between March and July 2020 were thrown out the window as not only our borders were closed but our access to remote communities was suspended with additional 'biosecurity restrictions' which were designed to protect people living away from major centres, and who had limited access to health services. Not only were there limitations on travel, but many of the sites of my work, such as schools, were closed. Conferences were cancelled, virtual meetings became the norm and 'the office' shifted from the university to home. But it wasn't all bad, and in this short article I want to focus on the benefits of a year of COVID-19 and how I think my work--and the work of other researchers--will have changed forever as a result. These are personal reflections and I acknowledge that others' experience of research in a COVID-19 environment may well be different.
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