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This Episode will air at 5 30 pm EDT on Saturday August 7th

Episode Description

The year 2020 revealed many things about 21st century education–some positive and some negative.  Teachers and students from PreK to postsecondary obviously dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced a close examination of issues like equity, access, preparedness, and professional development under the broad umbrella of remote emergency instruction. Teachers also began exploring new ways to teach and learn.  And many scholars and educators led discussions related to how to return to a better normal.  In the midst of living through the pandemic,  46 authors from around the world paused, reflected, and wrote chapters for an open access book on lessons that teacher educators should have learned from 2020.  In this presentation, one of the co-editors and authors from two of the chapters will discuss lessons learned and next steps for teacher education.  Dr. Rick Ferdig, lead editor of “What Teacher Educators Should Have Learned From 2020” ( will provide an initial discussion of the impetus for the book, some general lessons learned, and how such reflective activities can be continued beyond the pandemic.  Dr. Rebecca Nelson will provide an overview of her co-authored chapter titled, “The Four Pillars of Digitally Infused Education: Transcending Modalities in a Post-COVID Learning Environment.”  She will talk specifically about the importance of instructional design, flexibility, building relationships, and a pedagogy of care. Dr. Aimee Barber will then discuss ways to use effective pedagogy to design online learning experiences.  She will draw on examples from her co-authored chapter, “Using Knowledge of Effective Pedagogy to Design Online Learning Experiences: Restructuring Teacher Education Coursework to Reflect Virtual Learning Shifts,” pointing to ways she and her team restructured teacher education coursework during the shift to virtual learning.  The session will then broaden into a time of discussion and Q/A about next steps for the field as we begin the start of yet another uncertain school year. More about our guests below the video

Episode Guests

Aimee Barber is an assistant professor of educational technology, curriculum, and pedagogy in the College of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Barber holds a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, a master’s degree in Education of the Gifted, both from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and a doctoral degree in Curriculum, Teaching, and Teacher Education from the University of Florida. She is a former first grade teacher and current teacher educator with 16 years of experience designing and implementing curriculum for diverse learners to see themselves as designers of their worlds.  She teaches educational technology, maker-centered learning, restorative classroom management, PK-3 math methods, and coaches teacher interns. Her research interests include maker-centered learning, design thinking, and using Practitioner Inquiry to develop innovative and inquiring mindsets in pre-service and in-service teachers to become change agents for education.


Richard E. Ferdig is the Summit Professor of Learning Technologies and Professor of Educational Technology at Kent State University. He works within the Research Center for Educational Technology and also the School of Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum Studies. He earned his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University. He has served as researcher and instructor at Michigan State University, the University of Florida, the Wyzsza Szkola Pedagogiczna (Krakow, Poland), and the Università degli studi di Modena e Reggio Emilia (Italy). At Kent State University, his research, teaching, and service focus on combining cutting-edge technologies with current pedagogic theory to create innovative learning environments. His research interests include online education, educational games and simulations, the relationship between faith and technology, and what he labels a deeper psychology of technology. In addition to publishing and presenting nationally and internationally, Ferdig has also been funded to study the impact of emerging technologies such as K-12 Virtual Schools. Rick was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Gaming and Computer Mediated Simulations, is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, and also serves as a Consulting Editor for the Development Editorial Board of Educational Technology Research and Development.

Rebecca M. Nelson holds a doctorate from the University of Toledo, Toledo, OH, in Secondary Education, with an emphasis on sociolinguistics and literacy. She has an M.Ed. in Secondary Education, with an emphasis on English Language Arts, and her BA is in Communications, with an emphasis on journalism and business administration. Currently, she teaches at the University of Nebraska at Kearney online in the graduate Transitional Certification Program for post-baccalaureate students, and in person in the undergraduate teacher education program. Her research focuses on the sociolinguistic and educational implications of multidialectal secondary students.