Build a community with your students

Cat on a laptop
Cat on a laptop
My servers all have a “cute furbabies” channel. Mental health is important, y’all. Pixabay

As we move into online and remote (and hybrid, whatever that is, for however long/short it lasts) teaching, a few folks have asked about having a “teaching on Discord” tutorial.

Well, I won’t call this a tutorial; rather it’s an overview of how I’ve used Discord on various servers (note: I’ve included a glossary at the end of this post) for online community interaction. …

I have always described myself as a lazy academic, particularly when it comes to teaching. If I’ve made innovations, it’s because they save me time and effort, first and foremost. When I or colleagues get super stressed from the drudgeries of academic life, I remind us: we’re not medics. If we screw up, no one dies.


The decision to bring students back to uni campuses is a LIFE OR DEATH choice. Not just for staff and students, but for the local communities. This doesn’t boil down to league tables or recruitment figures. Decisions being made in Higher Education (HE) right now can either cost lives or save them. …

Weird Facebook and tag groups are the relief we all need

Image for post
Image for post
How I like to imagine every tag group admin. Photo by Alexas_Fotos on Pixabay.

I am way late to the Weird Facebook scene, but damn am I glad I’ve discovered it. Between the cat groups and the tag groups, I have found a new joy in online life.

Like a lot of people, I’ve wished many times I could leave Facebook — my feed is a depressing scroll of fascism, stupidity, and the occasional animal cruelty “awareness” photo (WHY DO YOU SHARE THESE?!?!), alternating with fundraising pleas and passive aggressive shade memes. Unfortunately, my reasons for continued existence are cats and horses, and my local horse community communicates exclusively through FB.

I hate it, but I just. can’t. quit it. …


Lyle Skains

Writer/researcher in digital writing, interactive narrative, & digital publishing. Hoping for the United Federation of Planets; worried we’re doomed to the 100.

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