No. 4 – How to build communities of support for teachers? Education in time of a new normal

5 October 2020, 17:00 CEST

EDEN webinar



Registered webinar participants will be awarded by EDEN open badges.



In the “new normal” that the ongoing pandemic is forcing us to assume, a lot of attention has been given to the way in which students have to adapt to online or blended learning and how they can be supported. This has not necessarily been the case for teachers. The response to this situation by educational institutions has been varied, and while most now provide the necessary tools for their teaching staff to use, relevant training and support has often lagged behind. Although teachers are accepted experts in their fields, that does not equip them with the knowledge or skills required to carry out their teaching activities online in an effective way. The speakers today will consider the issues related to providing support for teachers and the role communities can have in that process. In a similar way to previous webinars, our speakers will share their expert advice and practical tips, responding to a variety of questions such as:

  • What kind of support can most benefit teachers during the ongoing pandemic?
  • What is the value of communities of support for teachers?
  • How can teachers share their concerns and benefit from the experiences of other teachers in similar disciplines?
  • Is it reasonable to expect face-to-face teachers to adapt easily to online learning. How might that adaptation process go?
  • How can we ensure students feel welcome in online spaces?
  • How is intentionally equitable hospitality an important part of building a community online?
  • How do we incorporate pedagogies of care into online community building?


Vlad Mihăescu
Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology, Politehnica University of Timisoara

Vlad Mihaescu has a PhD in educational and technological models of MOOCs and has more than 10 years’ experience as a trainer and teacher in areas like multimedia technologies, social media, e-tourism, e-learning, usability, entrepreneurship, programming, soft skills and leadership. Author of over 25 scientific papers and book chapters published in international conferences and journals, Vlad is involved in several European research projects in the field of eLearning. He is also a lecturer for UPT.


Maha Bali
Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo, Egypt

Maha Bali is Associate Professor of Practice at the Center for Learning and Teaching at the American University in Cairo. She has a PhD in Education from the University of Sheffield, UK. She is co-founder of (a grassroots movement that challenges academic gatekeeping at conferences) and co-facilitator of Equity Unbound (an equity-focused, open, connected intercultural learning curriculum, which has also branched into academic community activities Continuity with Care, Inclusive Academia, and Community Building Resources). She writes and speaks frequently about social justice, critical pedagogy, and open and online education.

She blogs regularly at and tweets @bali_maha.

Mia Zamora
Associate Professor of English, the Director of the MA in Writing Studies, and the Director of the Kean University Writing Project in Union, NJ, USA

Mia Zamora, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of English, the Director of the MA in Writing Studies, and the Director of the Kean University Writing Project in Union, NJ, USA. She has recently received the Kean University “Professor of the Year” Award. Dr. Zamora’s commitment to equity, digital literacies, data rights, and intercultural understanding is clear in both her scholarship and leadership work. She has founded several global learning networks including Equity Unbound (#unboundeq) and Networked Narratives (#netnarr), and was Co-Chair of ALT’s #OER20 conference on “Care in Openness”.

Autumm Caines
Instructional Designer at the University of Michigan – Dearborn, USA

Autumm Caines is an Instructional Designer at the University of Michigan – Dearborn in the Hub for Teaching and Learning Resources, prior to which she held professional appointments at St. Norbert College and Capital University. She holds a MA in Educational Technology from The Ohio State University. In the Open, she is a Co-Director of Virtually Connecting where her work explores questions of presence and spontaneity in synchronous virtual conversations as well as equity and inclusion in online community. She also helps to organize and facilitate Open/Connected online events for the purposes of faculty development and her own practice in digital stewardship, most recently with the tags #DigCiz, #DigPINS, and #EthicalEdTech. Autumm tweets @autumm and maintains a web portfolio at


Bali, M., Caines, A., Hogue, R. J., DeWaard, H. J., & Friedrich, C. (2019). Intentionally Equitable Hospitality in Hybrid Video Dialogue: The Context of Virtually Connecting. eLearning Mag (special issue)Retrieved from:

Bali, M., & Caines, A. (Dec. 2018). A call for promoting ownership, equity and agency in faculty development via connected learning. International Journal of Educational Technology in Higher Education.

Equity Unbound site



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