March 20, 2020

Updated March 24, 2020

As higher education continues to pivot into a virtual reality, here are some resources for professionals and students charged with teaching or covering campuses remotely.

Free virtual teaching

Poynter announced it is giving away many beginner classes that previously cost $19.99 and up (as well as some advanced classes). Here’s a full list of all of Poynter’s classes (most self-directed courses and webinars are now free, though online group seminars and certificate classes are not). For educators shifting to a virtual classroom for the first time, check out “How to Effectively Teach Online.”

The Institute for Nonprofit News has compiled a list of journalists (along with their locations and areas of expertise) willing to appear virtually in classes for drop-in teaching.

The Student Press Law Center has assembled many resources. Professors or student media leaders can invite an SPLC expert to speak to their class or newsroom via Zoom. SPLC is also offering PowerPoint presentations that cover some of the most common media law issues faced by student journalists, as well as online quizzes about student press law, the First Amendment, copyright law, libel law and more.

Educators across the country have collaborated on this Google Doc, Free Tools for Schools Dealing with Coronavirus, for those suddenly thrust into an online-only teaching role.

Support groups for professors

Poynter’s Teachapalooza Facebook group is designed for participants in our June training, but with more than 400 members — many of whom are college journalism educators — it’s a goldmine of real-time ideas and engagement.

Other helpful Facebook groups include the nearly 25,000-member Pandemic Pedagogy, for “educators, students, and others share insights, best (and worst) practices, advice, successes, challenges, and research about converting to fully online instruction during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic” and the 8,000-member Teaching in the Time of Corona: Resources.

More reading

Longtime journalism educator and student media adviser Vince Filak created the Corona hotline for journalism instructors and keeps a helpful blog with posts like Resources for journalism professors teaching writing and reporting classes online, thanks to the coronavirus and How to motivate your students and meet their psychological needs in an online, Coronavirus educational world.

Generating ideas

Michele Day, professor and adviser at Northern Kentucky University, is compiling a spreadsheet of student media COVID-19 coverage — see how other students are handling this crisis and get story ideas.

The Lead newsletter for student journalists is a great resource all the time, but especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

And this Washington Post story highlights the efforts of collegiate journalists across the country working to keep their campuses informed.

Barbara Allen is the director of college programming at Poynter. She can be reached at or on Twitter, @barbara_allen_

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Barbara Allen is the director of college programming for Poynter. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of She spent two decades in…
Barbara Allen

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