What Happened? The EdTech Pandemic Podcast

I want to get this out of my head and on to the blog because I had this idea while in conversation with Reclaim’s Pilot Irwin and Occidental College’s Jacob Alden Sargent yesterday, and after sitting on it for more than 12 hours I think it could be interesting. The idea is pretty simple: channel my best Terry Greene and talk to folks about their edtech pandemic stories, and the subsequent fallout. This is a topic that came up again and again while traveling with Brian in February, and it’s no secret the sector was hit particularly hard, and seems many are still shell-shocked professionally (not to mention the broader personal toll). This was already one of the themes I planned on writing about from the road trip given there was a tentative sense of trying to move on.

And yesterday while talking with Pilot and Jacob, the impact COVID had on Jacob’s edtech group came up once again and the stories are powerful and important. Sounds very much to me like folks are still trying to make sense of what happened. So, in that spirit, I would be interested in just talking to people about the the impact of COVID on their edtech affiliated group(s). How did it play out? What was the aftermath?

In other words, “Jim Groom, what happened?” said in my best Dr. Oblivion voice. I understand folks may want to avoid this topic like the plague (pun intended). I also understand this may be a terrible idea. What’s more, someone may already be doing it, or want to do it, and in that case go for it. But if not, and folks are interested, I would love to have some conversations with any interested parties about their edtech group’s institutional story during COVID, as well as get a sense of where they are now. Maybe I’ll have a couple of folks interested from OER23, and I would love to put together a bit of an archive to capture these stories before they get lost in oblivion.

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17 Responses to What Happened? The EdTech Pandemic Podcast

  1. I love this idea! Beyond capturing these stories for posterity I think there’s something important happening right now in terms of what people are taking from the experience and the choices they’re making. There’s important signals here about the futures of our field too.

    • Reverend says:


      I agree, I think there is something in these discussions that may be illuminating about where we are and where we are going, at least that is the hope. I think part of this is the hangover from the road trip given I feel there is a moment we are dealing with that is truly shared, like the early pandemic seemed, at the same time elusive in the push for a return to normalcy, especially when that new normal seems equally dubious.

  2. JR Dingwall says:

    This would be a really great podcast. Over the last three years I’ve gotten glimpses of what it was like for others but I get the sense it played out in specific different ways for so many even if they work in the same sector. 10/10 JRs think it’s worth a shot Jim.

    • Reverend says:

      With a 10/10 review, I am in. And a little bird told me you might have changed positions recently, got a story you want to share 🙂

      • JR Dingwall says:

        I’ve been meaning to try to catch a Reclaim Community or other Reclaim events, but keep missing ’em. Super thankful for the recordings and opportunity to try Mastodon though.
        The little birdie is right, 2023 turned out to be new year new adventure. I look forward to keeping in touch and connecting with the crew sooner than later!

  3. Audrey Watters says:

    Yeah. Despite everything, I am here for this. Super important to capture this before it gets memory-holed.

    • Reverend says:

      I have to say, see this comment made my day. I had no idea you still read the bava :: Big fan! Memory-holed is absolutely right on, the sene of marching on and hearing story after story just how a lesson about institutions that can be a tough pill to follow: they cannot and do not love you.

  4. Frances Bell says:

    We offer space for stories at our FemEdTech Splot. We always have the stories category on the Write form.

    We had a storytelling activity during COVID – stories available here https://femedtech.net/category/published/COVID-19/
    I’ve realised they are hard to find so I think I will put a clearer link in the archive

    • Reverend says:

      Hi Frances,

      That is excellent, I am going to have to check those out, looking forward to catching up in a couple of days, it has been too long!

  5. Taylor Jadin says:

    This is a great idea, and I think a podcast would be a great format to explore / catalog this stuff in.

    I’d definitely be in to help with this, if you like in terms of editing, production or whatever.

    • Reverend says:

      have always struggled with a podast cause it would be too freeform and uninteresting and the idea of doing it would overtake everything else. But in this case it is focused and finite, and when the stories stop so does the podcast. Also, it need not all be public, some of it might be better heard later, and archived for another day. I just like the idea of collecting the stories before they get forgotten and we all pretend everything was fine 🙂

      I definitely will take you up on the help element, and I am think Zencast(er)? might work for this give how nice that tool was when Terry Greene used it. Having any experience with that one?

      • Taylor Jadin says:

        I’ve played with Zencastr (although I haven’t used it for a large project) and I think it would be a good choice, but Streamyard has some new local recording features that I think would let us just use that, and basically throw away the video parts. Might be worth going that route, using the tool we know.

  6. Adam Croom says:

    Hey Reverend,

    I did a thing I haven’t done in awhile. I typed a URL into a browser just to see what my friend was writing about on his blog. Now I’m here.

    As fate would have it, I actually penned something publicly on the ol dot com TODAY about what it was like to teach during 2020. I’m starting to finally see the calluses on my fingers from the pandemic and willing to talk more openly about the experience. Oh yeah, I lead one of those teams too, and so I have stories there.

    Anyways, in the event that this idea comes to any level of fruition, come in your old pal Adam.

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