Since March 2020 most of us have been in a deluge of online meetings. But how often do we willing log on to the screen of faces for something with no agenda, just to talk, decompress, or to share a cup of coffee?

This was the simple idea of Educator Coffee (or Tea) Time aka #educoffee created by Ken Bauer, professor of computer science at Tec de Monterey in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Ken has been an active and sharing open educator, encouraging his students to blog about their coursework, participating in Virtually Connecting, leading discussions on topics such as Ungrading, and being a board member of the Flipped Learning Network.

This is his description of #educoffee:

Many of us in education are now working from home. This can be challenging as we juggle family responsibilities, finding quiet space for each member of the family to work, as well as time together with family to work through issues and concerns in the middle of a pandemic.

We need time to talk with colleagues and friends. It helps us to realize that we are not alone with our challenges in these times as well as an opportunity to learn and teach with others.

We could describe it more, but listen to this recording of an #educoffee session we made (with everyone’s consent) with Ken and seven other repeat visitors- Miguel, Donna, Viviana, Jakob, Lawrie, Jorge, and Joe dropping in from various locations in Mexico, the US, Paraguay, and the U.K.

The format of #educoffee was/is simple. When he started Ken opened his zoom room twice a day, offering times for conversations in Spanish or English. He announced via his blog and twitter, offering the login details via email or direct message. His schedule is not quite every day but he still offers maybe two or more per week.

You will hear participants describe here the essence of care that is an important topic for educators, in all times, but even more so during COVID-19. Some find solace here, a relief from tension, even described as place for emotional healing. Others describe how they have adopted similar approaches in their own work groups. There is something to be said for the power of no agenda

Coffee Art
Coffee Art flickr photo by kenbauer shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-SA) license also used for the featured image of this episode.

To learn more or participate in #educoffee:

Podcast Note

In a typical podcast (and all the ones we have done so far for OEG Voices so far), we invite guests to come to our space, our “studio” to record a conversation. What if we flipped this around? This episode is an experiment in a different modality, where we put take podcast recorder “on the road” and visit the spaces others meet or record podcasts. We are curious how this might change the atmosphere and we have a plan or two for more like this. If you do your own podcasts or just group gathering and want to invite us in to your space, we would welcome the opportunity.

Music for this episode is  “Joyful Meeting” by Crowander from the Free Music Archive shared under a Creative Commons BY-NC (Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0) license.