Find Your Tribe: Connecting During COVID-19

Who do you call when you have news to share? Your parents? Spouse? Friends? Often, when something ‘big’ happens we have a core group to turn to for support. This is incredibly important during these uncertain times with the COVID-19 outbreak. While we no doubt are talking to those close to us (probably more than we should be) there are times when we need to talk to others who understand us in a different context. Educators around the world have been catapulted into online learning. Some are prepared and welcoming the opportunity while others are going in kicking and screaming. Although I am no longer school-based I am in the “thick of things” just like educators- only in my role, I’m supporting multiple counties, districts, and coaches. Who do I turn to for support? The following is a list of groups I’ve leaned on during these chaotic times. All are free and welcoming of new arrivals. Perhaps they will work for you too.

Social Media

Facebook Groups

Online Learning Collective- (a group o…

Reflective Journal for Coaches

In my role as the Regional Educational Technology Coordinator for ISBE's LTC, one of the perks is I get to work with instructional technology coaches. As a coach for 10 years prior to this position, it is where I feel most at home. In Chicago, coaches aren't plentiful. I was the only one in my building, in a city without many others. All of my professional personal growth came from opportunities I sought outside of my district, and on my own: volunteering, serving on boards, Twitter chats, conferences, etc.

Recently in one of my meetings, there was a discussion about how there isn't much out there for coaches to improve on their own practice. After all, many coaches strive to improve the practice of educators in their school building. In response to this, I created a reflective journal for coaches to use if they were interested in improving their practice on their own. The journal contains 8 sections:

Learning Style & Connecting with Others- an area for coaches to ident…

Podcast Update 2019: What's in your playlist?

In one of the graduate courses I teach I recommend various technology tools that may be of interest to my audience. For one of the weeks, I decided to share with them several podcasts that can be found in my playlist. Below are some of my most visited podcasts. While the majority of what I listen to is related to education and technology, some I listen to just for ear candy. The podcasts are listed in no particular order. 

Teaching in Higher Ed-this podcast deals with many aspects of teaching at the university level.
The Mind Online- this podcast focuses on digital literacy and how it shapes our interaction with content online.
The Privacy, Security, and Open Source Intelligence Show- this is a really higher-level security podcast that almost always goes so far beyond my comprehension I don’t know why I listen! But sometimes I can find out some cool privacy tips and tricks.
Ear Hustle- by far, one of my current favorites, and one that actually changed my point of view on judging people. …

Using Multimodal, Asynchronous Discussion Forums in Public (aka: Why My Students Blog)

An article written for a special edition of elearn magazine on Technology in eLearning.

Article URL:

Special Edition:

Hour of Code Participation Guide 2018

Google Workflow Tips & Tricks 2018

Originally presented at IETC conference.