Tuesday, April 7th, marked our first-ever virtual cohort meeting. We used Zoom to connect participants in different parts of the city and state. Though we were physically separated, we wanted to use our usual meeting time as a chance to reconnect. Most people had no trouble getting into Zoom but a few non-UT email addresses had some glitches. Ultimately everyone was able to join. We had over 30 makers in attendance.
The evening started a quick check-in and then a quick write where makers were asked to respond to a few questions: What adjective would they use to describe how they are feeling? What should UTeach Maker look like this spring, and What support do they need? Makers and fellows were then sorted into breakout rooms to discuss their responses. A google doc was created to capture ideas for UTeach Maker spring events.
After spending time in breakout rooms, the whole group got back together and several people reported out on their group conversations. It was decided that we wanted to keep checking in but there was a need to mix up the media outlets and use things like Facebook and other social media. Makers wanted ideas they could do at home or with their students. We also decided to keep the April workshop in place. It will focus on making to promote health and well being - something we all need right now.
This has been a challenging semester for UTeach Maker and many others in our community. The April cohort meeting showed that we are united and in need of creative outlets more than ever. We look forward to seeing how the rest of the semester unfolds.