My student the supernova


Black screen, NASA image of a supernova remnant, and the text "My student the supernova"




Creative Commons Licence

Contributed date

February 4, 2021 - 10:26am

Critical Commentary

This image was created after we interviewed a public high school teacher with over 20 years teaching experience. In describing the challenges he faced teaching online he talked about the relationships teachers try to build with students over a school year and how those relationships have been fundamentally altered by the pandemic.

This visualization refers to one story where, as the teacher was leaving school four months into the school year, a student greeted him with familiarity and he had no idea who this student was. The reason? In the online classroom he had online known his student by his online avatar—a supernova amidst a field of tiny avatars.

This story of the added distance within distance-learning offers a small insight into teaching High School during the pandemic that describes not just a different form of education (in-person —> virtual), but a fundamental challenge in developing personal relationships as the teaching year unfolds during the pandemic. 

Cite as

Anonymous, "My student the supernova", contributed by Nadine Tanio and Fred Ariel Hernandez, Disaster STS Network, Platform for Experimental Collaborative Ethnography, last modified 4 February 2021, accessed 14 August 2022.