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Virtually Viral Hangouts: Convening a Global Online Support Community

We're delighted to participate in a panel discussion at the Media Ecology Conference to reflect on our experience with Virtually Viral Hangouts, a 55-day learning experience launched in March to support educators during the first three months of the covid pandemic, sponsored by the Media Education Lab. 

DATE: Saturday, June 20

TIME: 11:30 - 12:45 PM ET

LOCATION. Room 1, Online. 

The Media Education Lab has hosted Virtually Viral Hangouts as a synchronous one-hour online gathering every day (Monday through Friday) since March 17th. More than 150 people from a dozen countries have attended at least one session. The program is designed to provide emotional support, dialogue, and sharing during the coronavirus pandemic. The program changes daily but each session provides space for small-group conversation, dialogue and emotional support.  In this session, we model the format of an actual Virtually Viral session. Participants reflect and share how the experience has affected them personally and professionally. We then use dialogue to generate some "best practices" that have emerged from our experience and consider potential applications of this experience in other educational contexts beyond the pandemic.


  • How would you describe¬†VV¬†Hangouts¬†to people who are unfamiliar with it?
  • What were the key elements of the program?
  • Describe one memorable session that was especially valuable to you.
  • How did the program affect you personally and professionally?
  • What insights from the experience are relevant to your work in media literacy, digital literacy and¬†online¬†learning?


Natasha Casey, Blackburn College (IL)

Michelle Ciccone, Foxborough High School (MA)

Ariel Dagan, Tri-County Regional Vocational Technical High School, Milford (MA)

Renee Hobbs, University of Rhode Island (RI)

Lauren McClanahan, Western Washington University (WA)

Ed McDonough, Canton High School (MA)

Frank Romanelli, University of Rhode Island (RI)

Scott Spicer, University of Minnesota (MN)