Online Learning Collective: a support group for teachers across the world during COVID-19

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 4:36 PM EDT
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Friday, March 20, 2020

News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Everyone in the country is going through unprecedented changes in the ways they live and work, especially teachers. However, Online Learning Collective is offering resources and support teachers need as they take on the rest of the semester.

It started about a week ago when one local professor got an idea to help start a movement for teachers around the globe. That idea is Online Learning Collective. A group of university professors started a

support group, one that got almost 20,000 followers in one week.

“I was sitting on the couch, with my phone, literally with one click, made a Facebook group for collaboration," Dr. John Broome, founder of Online Learning Collective, said. “The first night I had one person added, my friend Kelsey. And then the next day it was 3,000. And then 10,000. And now it’s about 17,000 members.”

“We’re trying to create, curate, and give advice to people that are new to online learning,” Dr. Andrew Kemp said.

Andrew Kemp is one of the 12 founding members of the Online Learning Collective and he knows this new normal will be tough to get used to.

“A lot of people have kids at home full time, so they’re having to do some home-schooling, taking care of kids which they didn’t have to do when they were working full-time, putting all this stuff online, plus just the general stress of a pandemic,” Kemp said.

Online Learning Collective has grown beyond Facebook, using YouTube and a website to offer teachers tutorials, resources, humor, and even virtual classes to help take the edge of the semester off.

“Every weekday at noon, you have free meditation for 15 minutes and then every evening, she also offers zoom yoga,” Broome said.

For some teachers, the best resource right now is each other.

“It’s focused on all of us as people going through crisis together and thinking about what it means to teach during a time like this,” Dr. Corinne Hyde, another founding member, said.

The 12 founders are rapidly expanding the network to include virtual happy hours, live Q & A sessions with education experts and merchandise.

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