fbpx

Building Classroom Culture in the Zoom Classroom Era

Building Classroom Culture in the Zoom Classroom

It is a strange and challenging semester for us and our students. Many of us are teaching online synchronously through platforms like Zoom. While adjusting our content and delivery approaches are challenges in and of themselves, there are other important considerations for building a positive and effective learning environment. For me, classroom culture and establishing rapport with and between my students are important considerations. A welcoming classroom culture can make all the difference in our students’ learning and in our sense of accomplishment and satisfaction with the classes we teach.

Building rapport with our students and developing a classroom culture are skills that we learn throughout our years in the classroom. But how do you build rapport and culture in a Zoom classroom?

I know many people are coming up with fun, creative ways to brighten up their students’ day and make classes feel more human.  In this post, I will share a quick and easy activity I introduced this semester with my Zoom classes to help overcome this challenge: the Zoom Background Challenge.

Continue reading Building Classroom Culture in the Zoom Classroom Era

A Note to My Fellow Educators: You Are Awesome

Fall 2020 is like no other academic year we have experienced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented new challenges that impact our institutions, our lives, our teaching, and the lives of our students. Simply put, we are in a time of disruption – both personally and professionally.

I started this blog with the goal of sharing my work in the classroom with others. My hope is to make teaching a little less stressful and a little more fun, all while helping our students prepare to be ethical and excellent professional communicators.

Like many of you, I spent much of this summer reflecting on deep questions. I spent a good deal of that time preparing for the academic year ahead and coming to terms with what can be controlled and what cannot be. But I also spent a good deal of that time making sure to cherish and enjoy the present moment.

We are in a time of revaluation. We are in a time where our compassion and humanity are our greatest assets.

On this blog, I have generally started each semester by providing sample syllabi from my classes in a series I call “What’s Changing?” But this year, with things being so different, I want to start the semester with something so very different. I am going to go out on a limb and hope that this post offers a reminder that is of some help to you, my friends and fellow educators.

Continue reading A Note to My Fellow Educators: You Are Awesome

The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Academic Blog Today

This post contains affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Please read my disclosure for details.

How to Start an Academic Blog Today

Are you a researcher, faculty member, or PhD student considering starting a blog? Good, because the best professor websites are blogs. And this is the post is for you!

There are many reasons why academics should blog. But getting started can be tough. You’ve got a lot on your plate and are probably wondering if blogging is worth the time investment. You may be wondering what to even blog about.

Have no fear! In the below post, I’ve put together my ultimate guide to starting an academic blog, whether you’re a PhD student, a university professor, a post-doc, or other scholar. This guide contains everything you need to start a blog today.

It includes:

  • Reasons why academics should blog.
  • Examples of successful academic blogs – both from PhDs and PhD students.
  • A step-by-step guide for planning a successful academic blog.
  • Resources for finding a web host and setting up your blog.
  • WordPress plugins that make blogging easier.

Continue reading The Ultimate Guide to Starting an Academic Blog Today

Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg [Big Announcement]

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Please read my disclosure for details.

Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg: What is it?

The public relations educator’s community is abuzz with news that Dr. Karen Freberg has a new public relations textbook coming out, Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices.

I’m thrilled to announce that I have had the honor of creating the ancillary materials for Karen’s new textbook. This new textbook is designed for the public relations class. It is currently on pre-order and will be available in August, in time for the fall 2020 academic year.  Below, I discuss Discovering Public Relations: An Introduction to Creative and Strategic Practices and the ancillary materials I have created for it.

Continue reading Discovering Public Relations by Karen Freberg [Big Announcement]

Brand Crisis Response Activity for Social Media and PR Online Classes

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Brand Crisis Response Compare and Contrast Activity: Brands Doing Good in a Time of Crisis

I’ve created a brief online discussion/presentation activity for students in my Public Relations Principles class. The assignment asks students to compare and contrast 2 brands in the same category in terms of how they are communicating with publics amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s my ask for students: Find 2 organizations that are doing good during these trying times and share them with us.

Continue reading Brand Crisis Response Activity for Social Media and PR Online Classes

Transitioning to Online Teaching During COVID-19: Resources and Tools

Teaching Online in the Age of COVID-19

With the news that many universities are closing in person classes, the transition to online teaching is underfoot. Many of us are scrambling to take our face-to-face model and put it online, amid the general uncertainty and other pressures we are facing (e.g., concerns for our loved ones, children suddenly out of school or daycare, runs of food and household supplies, the general stress of this event, etc).

Below, are some online teaching resources that have been shared by amazing, dedicated faculty these last few days. It is so heartwarming to see professors from across the globe coming together to help one another out. I’ve also sprinkled in some of my past blog posts that you may find helpful for both online teaching and for thriving as a ‘virtual educator’ in the weeks and months ahead.

Continue reading Transitioning to Online Teaching During COVID-19: Resources and Tools

Google Analytics Assignment in the Communication Research Class. Lab Guide Included!

This page may contain affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, if you click a link and make a purchase, I will make a commission. Please read my disclosure for details.

A Google Analytics Assignment in the Communication Research Class? Yes!

The question of teaching Google Analytics is part of the larger conversation of what we can manage to get in amid the many skills we want our students to learn.  Beyond that, we’ve been talking a lot lately in the social media community about what certifications we should require our students to complete. The Google Analytics Individual Qualifying (IQ) Exam, which evaluates knowledge about Google Analytics, is commonly brought up.

But how do we tie the certification into the classroom? How do we teach our students to navigate Google Analytics in a hands-on manner?

Continue reading Google Analytics Assignment in the Communication Research Class. Lab Guide Included!

A Social Media Education Blog by Matthew J. Kushin, Ph.D.