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Zooming In: Education in 2021

In the year since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared and SFU made the switch to remote education, students, staff and faculty have faced steep learning curves while adjusting to this new reality.

Although remote learning may ensure student safety, it has also proven to be challenging, stressful, frustrating, and inequitable. As we think about the future of both online and in-person learning, the following questions come to mind:

  • How can we create positive change within the remote education system?

  • What are some ideas and solutions to foster a safe and accessible environment, both remotely and in-person?

  • How can we continue to strengthen our connection and togetherness with the community?

  • What can we learn from the experiences of remote education as we transition back to in-person learning?

Join SFU Public Square’s Peer Ambassadors for an interactive online event as we reflect on the COVID-19 remote education experience. We’ll discuss what lessons and solutions we can take forward from it — no matter what learning at SFU will look like by this fall.


Wednesday, March 31, 2021

6:00 PM


Online event

A link and password to join the event will be sent to registrants via Eventbrite.


Closed captioning will be available at this event.

If you have any questions about accessibility, please contact

Event Schedule

  1. Hear key insights from knowledgeable guest speakers about issues within the remote learning environment.

  2. Participate in breakout rooms with fellow students to speak on your experiences, concerns, and potential solutions to better the learning experience in remote education as well as the transition back to in-person learning.

  3. Debrief with the rest of the group to summarize and reflect on your takeaways.



Meet the Peer Ambassadors to see a full list of Peer Ambassadors hosting the event!

Christina Lam
Peer Ambassador, SFU Public Square

Christina is an SFU Public Square Peer Ambassador and a first-year student studying in the fields of health sciences and social sciences. As an Ambassador with SFU Public Square, Christina hopes to create a positive and welcoming environment where all members of the SFU community can connect, grow, and learn together by engaging in conversations on diverse issues—thus becoming part of each other’s learning journeys.

Haebin Pan
Peer Ambassador, SFU Public Square

Haebin is an SFU Public Square Peer Ambassador and an SFU alumna with a major in English and a minor in learning and developmental disabilities. The wonderful experiences that she had at SFU led her to continue serving the SFU community by becoming an SFU Public Square Peer Ambassador. Her passion lies in fostering engagement and strengthening connections for the SFU community. Haebin looks forward to creating a safe space for meaningful and productive dialogues that inspire innovation. 

Guest speakers

Dr. Martin Laba 
Associate Professor, School of Communication, Simon Fraser University

Martin Laba, Ph.D. teaches in the School of Communication at SFU with a particular focus on "applied communication for social issues". He has researched, designed and implemented a wide range of communication/media messages, strategies and campaigns around urgent and critical social issues in local, national, and international contexts. After serving as Director of Academic Community Engagement for the university initiative that established an open source educational technology platform at SFU (Canvas), his research has focussed on teaching and learning in complex and dynamic communication/media environments. He has been prominent in the media and at SFU on issues, currents, and controversies related to teaching and learning during the pandemic. His most recent published works address issues of educational futures, teaching and learning for social change, education and digital culture, popular culture and transformative education, educational resets the jobless society, activism and education, and more.

Read some recent reflections from Professor Laba on remote teaching.

Aleisha Fernandes
Health Peer Educator, SFU Health and Counselling Services

Aleisha is a SFU Health Peer Educator and a soon-to-be SFU alumna with a major in Health Sciences and minor in Kinesiology and certificate in Health Ethics. As a Health Peer Educator, she has hosted a number of outreaches and workshops related to self-compassion, nutrition, mental health and more. During the pandemic, she has pivoted to creating podcasts, blog, and social media content. Recently, she co-founded Chai Chat, a virtual peer support space for International students to connect and discuss topics related to health. She is also a Co-lead for the Student Health Advisory Committee at SFU Health and Counselling Services, where she is currently coordinating a health equity impact assessment of virtual services. Aleisha is passionate about education, mental health and issues related to social justice, especially gender and racial equity. 

Mariel Olaguer
Health Peer Educator

Mariel Olaguer is a Behavioural Neuroscience major and Health Peer Educator that started volunteering during the pandemic. Going online, she has contributed to blogs, social media outreaches and hosted workshops for topics from body image to cultivating resilience. Mariel looks forward to making Health & Counselling resources more accessible to the SFU community while normalizing mental health through awareness and open dialogue.


Accessibility, Technology & Privacy


Closed captioning will be available at this event.

If you have any questions about accessibility for this event, please contact

Registration and password

A password to access this event will be sent to all registrants via email in the days and hours preceeding the event.

Technology requirements

This workshop will be presented in a participatory webinar format. To engage fully you will need:

  • A laptop, computer, or smartphone
  • A webcam
  • A microphone
  • Speakers or headphones

Protecting your privacy

To ensure that we are using online meeting technology in a privacy-conscious way, we are following best practices for this online event series:

  • We will only circulate the meeting link to those who are registered for the event
  • We will password protect the meeting
  • We will enable end-to-end encryption
  • We will not use attention tracking

To protect your own privacy we suggest that:

  • You use a unique email address to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference your profile with the rest of your digital profiles under your email address.
  • We suggest you do not use your Facebook profile to log into the webinar. This is so that the webinar platform can’t cross-reference you with your Facebook account.
  • We remind you that whatever you say in the webinar is public and recorded, so please do not share sensitive information about yourself or others, and do not say anything you do not wish to enter the public domain.

To protect the privacy of others we ask that:

  • You do not record or photograph yourself, other participants, or the hosts during the webinar, unless permission is requested and given.