Who are the people behind Teach It Online Now?


Teach It Online Now was created and informed by a diverse team of passionate professionals with varying experiences and expertise. Inspired by watching teachers and professors (as peers, parents, and professional partners) struggle through the spring of COVID, they came together to innovate with the desire to be helpful and relevant—and also timely.


Miriam R.B. Abbott | Foundations Course Primary Author
Day Job: Humanities Professor & Academic Department Leader, Teaching & Learning Faculty Fellow

Why did you join the TION team? "I’ve been teaching online for a long while and have worked with Jenzabar, several versions of Blackboard, Canvas, and a number of independently designed learning management systems. It made sense to be a lead contributor since I’ve written about online teaching for Faculty Focus, eLearn Magazine, and SoftChalk’s blog.

I am also a peer reviewer for Quality Matters and have presented nationally at its conferences. In 2020, I earned invitations to present at the Higher Learning Commission's Annual Conference, as well as the Online Learning Consortium's.  So online learning is a huge focus for me and well, I love to write. And help others learn how to do both well."

Acacia Duncan |  Content Reviewer, Talent Coach  
Day Job:  Executive Speech Coach  

Why did you join the TION team? "I have been in talent development my entire career most recently in communications. But, I lead a double life as a professional theatre director and actor. This course provided me a wonderful marriage of the two - helping to prepare talented teachers to present these meaningful lessons via video while applying the best of what I’ve learned in the adult education fields in the development of each piece of content."

Dan Longhouse | Technical Director
Day Job: Instructional Design Innovator

Why did you join the TION team? "For nearly 20 years I’ve been building on-demand adult learning programs on a wide range of topics mainly in the private sector. I immediately viewed this class as an opportunity to translate our extensive experience in professional virtual learning to the education sector. I too, am a parent of two small daughters, and strongly desire to help make a difference for this generation—of students and teachers—who are navigating these uncharted waters."

Ruth Milligan | Content Design and Development, Course Ambassador
Day Job: Communications Coach

Why did you join the TION team? "I watched my children struggle online with their very smart and talented teachers through the spring of COVID. I wondered, "Can't we do better?" And I kept asking myself, "How can I be helpful and relevant?"

This course is my answer to both questions. It intersects with my 30 years of helping people to achieve their potential as a communications coach and trainer. The inspiration for this course was the result of dozens and dozens of discussions intersecting with people helping them achieve their potential through communications coaching. "

Ben Palchick |  Content Design and Development  
Day Job:  Instructional Design Leader  

Why did you join the TION team? "For over 15 years, I’ve been leading learning solutions teams with a specific focus on the design and development of engaging online content. I'm very excited to lend my experience and background to such a fun and unique project team. As the father of two young boys, I'm especially motivated to provide tools and techniques that will assist instructors in teaching online successfully."

Teaching Contributors

Michelle | Elementary School Content Contributor and Course Instructor
Day Job: Elementary Music Educator, Positive Psychology Practitioner and Resiliency Trainer

Why did you join the TION team? "Last spring, after over a decade of teaching kids music and getting them to sing together in rooms, I found myself alone, at home, singing to my laptop. It was hard, and I saw many of my fellow educators struggling. The stresses of teaching online during a pandemic were making them feel lost. Working with Teach It Online Now seemed like a good way to give teachers positive strategies to help."

Drew |  High School Content Contributor and Course Instructor  
Day Job:  High School English and Speech Teacher (Previously a college instructor)

Why did you join the TION team? "I love my students. I love their wiry 9th grade energy. I love watching them expand their minds as they read and discuss novels and plays. Every teacher I know loves their students and wants to see them succeed. When I was approached by TION, I was happy to think that I could help my fellow teachers reach their students online."

David | Middle School Content Contributor and Course Instructor
Day Job: Middle School and High School Performing Arts Teacher

Why did you join the TION team? "I teach theatre, an art form that is inherently live and in person. I teach kids to get comfortable in their bodies, to speak up and speak out, and to share their emotions. It was disorienting to pivot and try to teach this to my students remotely. It felt like everything had changed overnight. What didn't change was my desire to connect and make an impact with my students. TION provides a path for me, and teachers like me, to do just that."

Shanelle | Professional Development Educator and Course Instructor
Day Job: Senior Communications Consultant and Facilitator

Why did you join the TION team? "I wasn't ready to pivot to virtual communication in the spring—I had never thought of myself as a technology person. I also saw my colleagues struggling to support their children as their classes went virtual. As a communications professional, I knew that focusing on preparation and the needs of the audience would make all the difference—even in this new virtual landscape. Collaborating with TION was a great opportunity to make an impact so that we can all be the best we can be in these uncertain times."