Today, Tech Learning Collective is pleased to invite you to our new community chat channels. These free, online, in-browser chat rooms make it easy to stay in touch with fellow and former students as well as other community members before, during, and after your course or workshop experiences. We’re starting small, with only one open-to-the-public chat room, but we’ll be adding more as needed. All public channels will be free forever and will offer another way to get ad-hoc tech help from our talented team of technical experts, or just socialize with our welcoming, politically engaged student and alumni community.
Our public community chat room, accessible by clicking the “Open Chat” tab at the bottom of every page on our Web site, is a semi-moderated chat channel where everyone is welcome to stop by and spend a while. Discussions range from the technical to the humorous to the completely off-topic. As with all Tech Learning Collective spaces, racism, queerphobia, transphobia, sexism, “brogrammer,” “manarchist,” or any kind of similarly awful behavior will result in immediate removal from this space. Please refer to our lightweight social rules for details on our strictly enforced no-tolerance policy against bigotry of any kind.
Additionally, as we complete the transition to a fully remote educational format so that we can continue to provide best-in-class, affordable, security-first IT training to politically motivated individuals and groups even under the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are introducing per-course private chat channels to current and former students. If you are currently enrolled in a Tech Learning Collective course, you should already have an email waiting for you with instructions for how you can access your course’s private chat room. (New students will get a similar message near the start of their own course.) We intend for this new offering to augment our already highly social and Socratic pedagogy by providing opportunities for gatherings like virtual “office hours” for students to interact with one another as well as their instructor(s) in between classes.
We also recognize that many already under-resourced organizations are facing immense pressure to “go virtual” and collaborate with colleagues and constituents completely online. This is why we feel that our decision to begin facilitating live chat and to offer these resources for free to interested members of the public is the next logical step in our committment to do what we can to support our community during this extended period of social distancing and other hardships. Although we don’t have the resources necessary for making this a round-the-clock operation, our small teaching team will be taking turns moderating the public channel and doing their best to answer whatever technical questions you have on a volunteer basis (within reasonable limits, of course). If you’d like to support us in this, please consider making a donation.
We hope you’ll stop by and say hello to us, and one another, soon! See you at an upcoming webinar or, now, in the community chat!