Even though we’re back in the classroom, I’m definitely still feeling the distance. Whether it’s the remote game of Dungeons and Dragons my oldest son is now very much into, or his frequent (possibly endless?) desire to Google Hangout so he can play Minecraft with his friends, I can see that we will be taking much of the current remote and socially-distanced world with us into the future. How can we connect in meaningful ways and promote community within these new parameters?
Although the social distancing revolution has seemingly brought the whole world to our fingertips, navigating that world can feel lonelier and more overwhelming than ever. There are now endless platforms and people jockeying for our attention, but few offer real connections.
The TCEA Community
One of TCEA’s greatest strengths is its far-reaching, supportive global community. This community of tens of thousands is fostered by events, like our annual TCEA Convention & Exposition, interactive webinars, like our Lunch and Learns, our online Community, and much more.
The online Community is a browsable web forum where educators from around the world can gather to share resources and information, and offer each other support. If you search the Community, you’ll find a myriad of posts by thousands of members. For example, our members have covered everything from “cheat sheets” on various tools and platforms to tech carts, cybersecurity, and keyboarding. Indeed, there are many opportunities to connect, problem solve, support, and encourage each other through this forum.
A Few Examples
In this example about Canvas, an educator received 42 comments offering support and solutions. Another member needed help with Minecraft and Microsoft, specifically how to transfer licenses between students. As usual, our Community members came through and went above and beyond. They shared instructions on how to do this in the Microsoft Education Store. Additionally, they provided information on how to get free training from Microsoft on this. Problem solved!
One of our recent entries came from our Executive Director, Lori Gracey. She posted a notice that the G. W. Carver Middle School campus in Waco ISD had experienced a fire, rendering it unusable for the upcoming school year. Many teacher materials and resources had, sadly, been destroyed. Consequently, nearly half of our TCEA Community members responded to the post, some publicly and many privately, pledging their ideas and their support. This has been one of our highest viewed posts to date with over 23,000 views.
Want to Be a Part of it?
Connection is a tough thing to imagine these days, with virtual meetings, remote work, and social distancing. Without it, genuine support and encouragement don’t happen. But in spite of today’s challenges, it’s a privilege to see connection and support happening within the TCEA Community for educators across Texas and the world. If you want to be a part of a supportive, collaborative community and connect with other educators, we’d love to have you.
Connecting is easy for TCEA members. You can log into the website, use the free Mobilize app, or just post and respond through your email system. It’s convenient and incredibly useful. Give it a try today!