Virtual Teachapalooza: Front-Edge Teaching Tools for College Educators


June 4, 2021– June 5, 2021

Virtual Teachapalooza: Front-Edge Teaching Tools for College Educators

This is a two-day online conference where college journalism educators catch up, power up and reignite their passion for teaching.

Originally broadcast: June 4-5, 2021. Replay available on demand.


  • Learn front-edge teaching tools for college educators and advisers
  • Originally broadcast: June 4-5, 2021. Replay available on demand.


SKU: NUOGS10-21 Category:

Learning Outcomes

At Teachapalooza 2021, you will:

  • Hear from approachable national experts about the future of higher education — what’s next for remote learning, four-year journalism schools, community colleges and international students.
  • Explore cutting-edge tech tools and the latest journalism best practices for immediate application in your classroom.
  • Learn to better understand America’s racial reckoning and its connection to journalism, and how to facilitate difficult conversations about race, gender and belief systems among your students.



  • Learn front-edge teaching tools for college educators and advisers
  • Originally broadcast: June 4-5, 2021. Replay available on demand.

Training five or more people?
Check out our custom training.

Now in its 11th year, Teachapalooza is the place for college journalism educators to catch up, power up and reignite their passion for teaching. A successful virtual gathering in 2020 gave more educators the opportunity to attend, allowed for more guest instructors to tune in and share their wisdom, and provided a unique focus on the art of online teaching, so we will host a virtual version of Teachapalooza again in 2021!

Join us for two fast-paced days of relevant, cut-to-the-chase learning for journalism educators. We will record the sessions so participants can capture anything they miss in the live online session. Our plan is to bring you fresh, practical and specific teaching — exactly what you have come to expect from Teachapalooza.

Poynter Director of College Programming Barbara Allen will join longtime Teachapalooza Senior Faculty Al Tompkins as co-lead of Teacha 2021. Before coming to Poynter, Allen spent nearly 10 years at Oklahoma State University as adviser to the school paper, The O’Colly, and as an adjunct professor teaching courses in multimedia reporting and public affairs writing. She oversees Poynter’s College Media Project, writes the weekly Alma Matters newsletter and develops training for educators and students. Together, Tompkins and Allen will lead a thoughtful, hands-on and fun event.

Teachapalooza alumni have come to rely on this community of teachers and its yearly meeting to help them navigate challenges, reconvene with friends and refuel with ideas for the coming academic year. Once you attend, you’ll find that the Teachapalooza community supports you every step of the way.


If you need assistance, email us at

Originally broadcast June 4-5, 2021. Replay available on demand. 

Join Tompkins, Allen and your other Teachapalooza colleagues virtually June 4-5, 2021, for high-energy, practical training. We will convene each day for large group instruction, breakout sessions, chat forums and virtual networking.

Day One, June 4

11:00 a.m. — Welcome to Teachapalooza XI (Al Tompkins)

  • The vital nature of the work you are doing

11:15 a.m. — The post-pandemic future for higher ed (Barbara Allen and guest experts)

  • The role of community college (Martha Parham)
  • The future of four-year schools (Kathleen McElroy)
  • Will foreign students return (Miriam Feldblum)

12:30 p.m — What your president/provost/dean hears when budgets get tight and how to make your department/job vital (Bob Atkins)

1:15 p.m. — Break

1:30 p.m. — Deeper dive to chat with our opening experts (choose one) (Moderators, Barbara, Katy, Mark, Al)

2:15 p.m. — Reconnect to the main room

2:30 p.m. — The end of “objectivity?”  (Wesley Lowery)

3:30 p.m. — Break

3:45 p.m.— Teaching students how to get off the texts and emails and talk with people (Dean Nelson)

4:45 p.m. — Wonder Tools (Jeremy Caplan)

  •  Wonder tools to help your teaching
  •  Wonder tools to make your life easier

5:45 p.m. —Virtual cocktail hour (pick a room) These are chat rooms for you to share and help each other, not structured presentations

  • What I learned teaching remotely (Mark Johnson hosts)
  • My best idea or something cool I learned this year (Michael AJ Randolph hosts)
  • Student media (Barbara Allen hosts)
  • Job hunters and job openings (Self hosting, come in and introduce yourself)
  • Managing demanding / stressed students (Bob Gould/Bethany Swain host)
  • Homie hangout (catch up with your Teacha friends in an unstructured conversation) (Katy Culver hosts)

6:30 p.m — End

Day Two, June 5

11:00 a.m. — What do we keep from our distance learning experiences (Katy Culver/Mark Johnson)

12:00 p.m. — Break

12:15 p.m. — How to talk with students about implicit bias (Doris Truong)

1:15 p.m. — Covering conflict does not require you to abandon who you are (Anzio Williams)

2:15 p.m. — Break

2:30 p.m. —  Deep Dive (Choose one)

  • How to do the big field trip class assignment (Kanina Holmes)
  • Rethinking police and crime coverage for a new generation of journalists (Kelly McBride)

3:45 p.m. — Break

4:00 p.m. — Every day, every way: It’s always about the story (Brian Storm)

5:15 p.m. — Closing thoughts (Al Tompkins)

5:30 p.m. — Program concludes

Who should apply

College educators and student media advisers who work to teach journalism, communication, advertising, public relations, television, radio, online and social media classes. High school journalism teachers are welcome, too.

Application process

The process to apply is straightforward and simple. No letter of recommendation or reference is required. Please be prepared to answer questions about your professional experience, areas of interest and basic demographic information.

Applications closed. Replay available on demand.


Tuition for this two-day live event is $150. Scholarships are available!

Thanks to the Headliners Foundation of Texas, Texas educators can attend Teachapalooza at no cost. In your application, enter promo code, 21TXHFTeacha100.

The first 50 HBCU professors, or educators at predominantly Hispanic-serving or Indigenous-serving institutions, will also have their tuition covered. In your application, enter promo code, 21LmnScpTeacha100.

In order to complete your application, we require authorization of payment. Your card will not be charged until you are accepted into the program. Upon acceptance to the program you will receive an email notification and your credit card payment will be processed.


Lead Faculty

  • Al Tompkins, Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online
    Al Tompkins
    Senior Faculty, Broadcast and Online
    Al Tompkins is The Poynter Institute’s senior faculty for broadcasting and online. He has taught thousands of journalists, journalism students and educators in newsrooms around...
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  • Barbara Allen
    Director of College Programming
    Barbara Allen is the director of college programming. She spent most of her professional career working in local media and higher education before coming to...
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Guest Faculty

  • Kathleen McElroy
    Director and Professor, School of Journalism and Media - The University of Texas at Austin
    Kathleen McElroy is the director of the School of Journalism and a professor at The University of Texas at Austin. She spent nearly 30 years as...
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  • Kathleen Bartzen Culver
    Associate Professor; James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics; Director, Center for Journalism Ethics
    Kathleen Bartzen Culver is the James E. Burgess Chair in Journalism Ethics, an associate professor in the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Journalism & Mass Communication...
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  • Mark Johnson
    Senior Lecturer, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, The University of Georgia
    Mark E. Johnson teaches photojournalism, multimedia journalism, video journalism and graphic design courses in addition to serving as the Chief Technology Officer at Grady College...
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  • Wesley Lowery
    Pulitzer Prize-winning Reporter; Contributing Editor, The Marshall Project
    Wesley Lowery has joined The Marshall Project as a contributing editor. He will spearhead a new initiative to develop original locally-reported investigative stories, continuing The...
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  • Dean Nelson
    Founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene
    Dean Nelson, founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, and founder and host of the annual Writer's...
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  • Jeremy Caplan
    Director of Teaching and Learning at CUNY's Newmark Graduate School of Journalism
    In his role as director of teaching, learning and assessment at the Newmark J-School, Jeremy Caplan serves as adjunct coordinator, implements new faculty development programs,...
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  • Doris Truong
    Director of Training and Diversity
    Doris Truong is Poynter's director of training and diversity. Her portfolio includes helping newsrooms better cover their communities and providing the resources to recruit, retain...
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  • Anzio Williams
    Senior Vice President of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for NBCUniversal
    A respected broadcast professional with 27 years of experience, Williams has worked at TV stations all across the country and held numerous leadership roles with...
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  • Kanina Holmes
    Associate Professor, Carleton University Ottawa
    Kanina Holmes is an Associate Professor at Carleton University Ottawa, Ontario. Kanina will be guiding us through how she organizes her field-trip teaching project called “Stories North.”...
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  • Brian Storm
    Founder and Executive Producer, MediaStorm
    MediaStorm publishes diverse narratives, offers advanced training seminars and collaborates with a diverse group of clients. MediaStorm’s stories and interactive applications have received numerous honors,  including over 50 awards from Pictures of...
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  • Miriam Feldblum
    Co-founder and Executive Director, Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration
    Miriam Feldblum is co-founder and executive director of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration. She previously served as vice president for student affairs,...
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  • Bob Atkins
    CEO and Founder Gray Associates
    Bob leads Gray and the development of Gray’s education industry software and services.  He works with  Gray’s education clients, consulting with Presidents, CAOs, CFOs, and CMOs...
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  • Martha Parham
    Senior Vice President of Public Relations, American Association of Community Colleges
    Martha Parham is the senior vice president of public relations for the American Association of Community Colleges. Parham leads the marketing, publications, media and public...
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  • Kelly McBride
    Senior Vice President and Chair of Craig Newmark Center for Ethics and Leadership
    Kelly McBride is a writer, teacher and one of the country’s leading voices when it comes to media ethics. She has been on the faculty...
    Read More

Thank you to these organizations for supporting scholarships for Teachapalooza: