Chris Nesi from House of Ed Tech, Teaching During a Pandemic and a New Yankee Podcast – HGG469

Chris Nesi from House of Ed Tech and the new The Chase for 28 Podcast is our guest this week.  We spend our time talking about what is happening with his teaching during the current COVID pandemic. Lots of updates and conversation from Chris. We also spend some time talking about his newest podcast, The Chase for 28 and how the MBA, MLB, NHL and NFL have handled fan interactions and who has done it the best!  All that and more!

Full show notes, transcriptions, audio and video at

Join Jim Collison / @jcollison and Mike Wieger / @WiegerTech for show #469 of Home Gadget Geeks brought to you by the Average Guy Network.


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Podcast, Home Gadget Geeks, Chris Nesi, Students, Teachers, COVID, Pandemic, Camera, Yankees, Class, Teacher, Home, School

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[2:13] Welcome Chris Nesi

[5:27] Chris talks about being and educator during the pandemic

[1:00:26] Chris’ new podcast – The Chase for 28 –


Jim Collison  [0:00] 
This is The Average Guy Network and you have found Home Gadget Geeks, show number 469 recorded on November 19 2020.

Here on Home Gadget Geeks, we cover all your favorite tech gadgets that find their way into your home news reviews, product updates and conversation, all for the average tech guy. I’m your host, Jim Collison, I don’t even know my own name, broadcasting live from The Average Guy Network. TV studios, holy cow, my tongue is stuck in my mouth. Here. Of course, in a beautiful Bellevue, Nebraska, we post a show with World Class show notes. I don’t know how many you’ll be out there, the transcripts will be out there. But you can head out to for this show, Big thanks to our friends over at hover, of course, a hover in affiliate relationship working with us if you need a domain for for anything, if you start thinking of starting a new website, head over to get your first domain is two bucks off. And it’s just a great place to house store. Keep keep track all that great stuff. Mike, you’ve had some pretty good experience with hover, right?

Mike Wieger  [1:18] 
Yeah, I think I don’t know how many domains I just go check how many domains I have over there. But they’ve been one of us since the beginning and hosts all over they’re super easy to use, and you don’t get all the extra fluff, which is what I love. They’re just

Jim Collison  [1:28] 
down to business kind of straightforward domain hosting. Chris, do you have a host provider that you like to use for for your domains.

Chris Nesi  [1:37] 
Hover is one of the ones I use. I’ve got a couple of domains over there. So I can give a thumbs up to hover.

Jim Collison  [1:43] 
I appreciate that. Head over to $2 off your first one and then just stay for the great service that is there. While you’re at it. If you need hosting, you can head over to Maple Grove Partners The to go really well together. Of course, you know, that’s Christian get high speed hosting for people that you know and you trust plans start at $10 a month. And a lot of great service from Christian so head out to And of course we appreciate Christian for his partnership. I’m here as well.

Chris Nessie is with us tonight, Chris, welcome to Home Gadget Geeks.

Chris Nesi  [2:17] 
Thanks for having me back. It’s uh, I must be doing a good job. This is like my fourth time on the show.

Jim Collison  [2:22] 
Yeah, well, that’s good. I you know, I’ve kind of developed about 20 you know, guest hosts that we kind of just roll through about every six months that I just like, and so that’s it’s fun, right when you like people,

Chris Nesi  [2:37] 
so nobody else was available.

Mike Wieger  [2:39] 
That basically.

Jim Collison  [2:42] 
But Chris, welcome. We’re gonna get to we’re gonna catch up with you here in a second. I do want to thank Joe for sending over Joe Hope you’re feeling better. Joe sent us over the last of the the Arkansas beers and this is an Ozark lager. Mike you enjoyed this already? Pretty this pretty good one right?

Mike Wieger  [2:57] 
It was really good. So good. I enjoyed it a week before I was supposed to. And also I looked at the fridge like oh, no, I have no left gyms we mad I didn’t leave one open on the show. But yeah, they were delicious.

Jim Collison  [3:07] 
Mike has no control like zero. That’s like, dude, save at least one for the show. And he’s like, Hey, dude, I drank them all.

Mike Wieger  [3:17] 
Yeah, he’s in the house. It gets drunk.

Jim Collison  [3:20] 
Kind of a light lager. Again, that’s kind of you know, that day drinker that we had. Mm hmm.

Mike Wieger  [3:25] 
That’s what kind of reminded me of what so Hannah actually had one of these. And she said it reminded her of more of like a, a more just a little bit more flavorful. Kind of like a Coors Light. Very light. Very easy to drink. Yeah. I don’t want to relate it to that. But you know to lager?

Jim Collison  [3:42] 
No, I, I you know, I’ve trashed you about Coors Light in the past. But I fully made the way over to Bud Light like I did. I just, I used to just use the dog you about that. But now. So Joe, thanks for sending those over. Eric janeski sent a beer that we’ll talk about in two weeks. Sammy is back next week in our kind of second annual Thanksgiving Friday, kind of update with Samantha and so she’ll be on the show my daughter. And everybody always looks forward to that one as well. 10th Anniversary Show is coming up here December 3 10 years of Home Gadget Geeks, Hometech before that, and I want you to do one thing for me. So head over to That’ll take you to our pod page. There’s a microphone right there. You can just click on that leave a message for us and kind of what I’m looking for. Whether you’re a longtime listener, first time caller, short time listener, you’ve called a lot you email me every week, whatever, I don’t care. Get over there. We’re just looking for some messages and I’m not necessarily you know, if you hung around if you’ve been around the home server show community very long. You know the joke about congratulatory backslapping, right. You know, that was a comment that was made in our first year. When we did the home server show, we kind of celebrate ourselves. I don’t want to necessarily be that but I just kind of want some interesting things. tidbits from you. You can say whatever you want. favorite parts of the show, whatever what things you’ve gadgets you bought as a part of the show, whatever, whatever you want. 30 seconds. That’s it. 30 seconds, it’s gonna cut you off. So long winded folks, you got 30 seconds short winded, folks, you got 30 seconds, head over to Leave us a message that shows coming up here in a couple weeks. So get get busy on it right now. And love to have your messages.

Chris, we had you back on here. I’m gonna say April. I think it was April May timeframe right. I think we were all just locking down. We had a group who had come on Brian and and Nathaniel had come on before you to talk a little bit of education, you came your education situations a little bit different in what you both do and teach. Can you can you catch us up? Chris? Just toss a little bit again? What your day job? What do you do? What are you responsible for now, even in the middle of a pandemic?

Chris Nesi  [6:01] 
Alright, so what? Well, first, the last time I was here, I had hair. So look what it’s done.

Jim Collison  [6:06] 
Holy cow COVID just really stinks just

Chris Nesi  [6:10] 
I gave up basically when, you know, so it’s new, it’s light, its airy, it’s fresh. And I like to patients to let it go back.

Mike Wieger  [6:18] 
I like you. Yeah,

Chris Nesi  [6:19] 
thank you. Let’s do that all the way. And, you know, as short as it’ll go that there’s still something there. Yeah, um, but anyway, so I’m a high school social studies teacher. By day, I have a passion for education and a passion for technology. So there’s a nice intersection there for me and what I do, I’m also a podcaster. I teach at the college level, I’m an adjunct professor of communication at Rutgers University, and I’m married, I have two children. And I’m going crazier. The days go by,

Jim Collison  [6:53] 
okay, let’s maybe we should have maybe these shows should become kind of an intervention. For some people. Are you really? Okay, are things are you making? Do I need to? Do I need to send someone out? Are you trapped in the house? Are you okay? Chris,

Chris Nesi  [7:05] 
I need to get on the mailing list for the for the drinks.

Jim Collison  [7:09] 
It’s a pretty good gig. There’s these stores that you go into. And then you can just take them right off the shelf and just be in touch list and have masks. We are fortunate to have listeners, very generous listeners to send those to us. But I’m so you’re, you’re still so from a high school perspective. When when we caught up with you in the spring. It was it was kind of messy. Like some thing, there was a lot of unknowns at that point, right?

Chris Nesi  [7:39] 
It was very messy. We were at a point in education where teachers were being asked to do things they had never done before on very short notice. And notice is even too long of a time period. So it was I mean, it was exciting. And at that point, a lot of people that know me were like, oh, Chris, this is like your Super Bowl you like this is your bill, you’ve been trading for this forever, like, you are the house of edtech. You are the guy this is you. And yeah, I saw some success, but not without the trouble that went with it. And you know, we talked about it back then. But, you know, it was low student engagement, you know, I was ready and raring to go and you know, doing live streams using stream yard to conduct my classes. And, you know, at the high school level, it was challenging. And there were things way beyond anybody’s control, like getting access to devices getting reliable access to reliable internet service. And I’m not saying those problems are gone, even now. It’s better. One of the biggest improvements from the spring to here in the fall, is I get engagement. So whereas we were just kind of trying to land the plane at the end of the school year, last year, now we’re we’re back in the air, and we’re still kind of I hate this. We’re kind of building the plane as we go in some respects. And that frustrates me in so many levels. But

Jim Collison  [9:02] 
Chris, do you feel like at least the plane has a frame this time? Like if you’re building if it’s getting put together in the air at least as a frame for something? Or is it still as cry like, the spring felt like literally you were trying to piece it together? somebody threw you in the air? And you were drying? So

Chris Nesi  [9:21] 
some days? Yes. And some days It feels like it’s Wonder Woman’s invisible plane for those out there who get that?

Jim Collison  [9:30] 
Yeah, in what way? In what way? Does it feel invisible to you?

Chris Nesi  [9:35] 
Because sometimes I still, as much as I have knowledge and skill and know what I’m doing so to speak. There are some days that I’m at a loss for what to do. When, you know, I know I have students who are struggling. And it’s beyond my control. It’s beyond their control. And I got into education because I care about people and I care about the kids I teach and when I can Can’t help them. That just, it hurts. Yeah, it’s legitimate hurt.

Jim Collison  [10:05] 
Yeah. Do you feel like from a technology perspective? I have, have you? And maybe what have you learned in that? Has it gotten better? And what have you learned over the course, the the advantage to having you this late in the year is that you now, three months into the fall, right. And so there’s, there’s even more water that’s going into the bridge. So anything new that you’ve learned, or if that were if things gotten better technology wise,

Chris Nesi  [10:32] 
for me, and people like me, I think the thing we’ve gotten better at is patience. And you might not think that that goes with technology. But if you use technology, you have to be patient with technology, you know, even when I set things up at home, and it’s like, you know, plug this in, hit the button, wait 10 seconds, you’ve got to sometimes wait 15 seconds for things to connect to the Wi Fi and, you know, things of that nature. So I’ve learned to be more patient, I’ve learned to have more empathy, and, you know, be even more understanding of what, whether it’s my colleagues that are asking me for help with technology, or my students. And I’m, you know, I’m in a Google meet, and I’m trying to have them share their screen. And, you know, it’s, it’s a lagging connection, and I need to help support them, use a specific website we might be using for an activity in class. So patience, empathy. Just that that’s, that’s the biggest skill right now.

Jim Collison  [11:27] 
Right? You feel like you’ve gotten any better at that I said, Have you gotten more patient more compassionate as time has gone on, or just you hit the end of your rope.

Chris Nesi  [11:37] 
I’ve hit the end of my rope for other reasons. But definitely, from day to day, full of empathy, full of compassion, you know, teaching with grace, and just a lot of understanding right now. And I think that’s something that, you know, for, for anybody in your audience, you know, hear live or listening after the fact. If you’re not a teacher, you might not fully understand what we go through, and what it takes, and take some pause. And if your children are at home, or they were at home, I know that teachers are dealing with a lot right now. You know, even people like me, where I’m worrying about somebody else’s kids. But I’ve also got my own two kids at home as well, that I’m responsible for, because they’re also home, and virtual. So

Jim Collison  [12:25] 
it’s just a lot. It’s a lot to keep track of, and a lot to kind of worry about do you are you 100% virtual? Let’s talk about high school, are you 100% virtual their high

Chris Nesi  [12:36] 
school is 100%. Virtual, my school has been that way. That’s how we start a year. So here in New Jersey, you know, my school year runs September to June. And before we even started, we knew in August, we’re going to be 100% remote, there was a hybrid plan in place to bring, you know, certain percentage of the kids back, but we never even started with that plan. And they announced before school started, we’re going to be virtual through the first half of the school year. So I am remote until February 1. And I don’t think I’m going back in February, not the way things are looking here in New Jersey, the nation. So I think this whole school year, I will be 100% remote the whole year.

Jim Collison  [13:16] 
We’re talking a little bit about that and pre show, just kind of feeling like, you know, it’s so funny when we when this first happened in March, we went home and I remember being in a meeting like the 19th of March, and we started saying, Okay, how long is this going to go that we were we kind of started to pull people were saying like June and July, you know, and July felt like that. Oh my gosh, that was gonna be on July it was 100 years. Right. And we all missed it. You know, we all kind of missed it from from a planning that planning standpoint. Brian, in chat room says that we just got Microsoft Teams for our students and staff so much better, overall with tech, but lots of tech help stuff now. does take patience. And, Chris, that’s kind of what I’ve heard. Do you do you feel like though the students are getting better, maybe the parents are getting better? Like, are we getting better at the tech because we have to after this long?

Chris Nesi  [14:12] 
Definitely, again, when I was here in the spring, I talked about a lack of engagement. So again, I had students in the spring who when we went out on March 13, what a Friday it was through the end of the year, I had kids who I didn’t see or hear from from since then. I don’t know where they are. I don’t know what happened to them. They were gone. Now, starting the year virtual my students and I still teach ninth graders so god bless freshmen. They attend they show up so that’s the biggest hurdle that they overcome attendance and showing up to these Google meats is like 90% of the battle and they do show up.

Jim Collison  [14:54] 
Are you guys are Google infrastructure is that kind of what you’ve? what everybody’s? Yeah,

Chris Nesi  [14:58] 
high school, my school, my district As a uses Google for education, the Enterprise Edition, so we’re, we pay for extra googly things. So yeah, we’re a google google school.

Jim Collison  [15:09] 
You kind of alluded to this earlier, Andrew says, you know, a portion of your school students have had working broadband at home. Is that a pretty high adoption? Do you track that you guys survey Do you know,

Chris Nesi  [15:22] 
at my level, as a classroom teacher, I don’t have access to that information. In terms of the statistics. I do know that my community, you know, it’s an urban urban school district that every kid has access to internet that the district is providing. So they’re working with the local cable company to provide access to the, the free and public Wi Fi on the district devices. So the students in my district K through 12, have Chromebooks. They are one to one, the district has set up in various elementary schools. Like, they call it a device depot. So it’s like Geek Squad, like Best Buy, where kids can go and when they need to swap out a laptop or have repairs done, they can go there. And you know, they do like curbside touchless, contactless you know, tech support, but the kids do have access. But I also know that some of my students, you know, depending on where they are in their house or their apartment, the connection isn’t that great. You know, we I mean, wireless is what it is. And you know, even here at my own house, I’ve had my own, I’m hardwired, you know, from my office to Mike and I still have issues. So I can only imagine what these kids and some of these families are having to deal with. But in theory, they should all be connected.

Jim Collison  [16:39] 
Do you think some of the kids disappeared? Just because they didn’t have access early in the spring? Like you didn’t see him? Because? Like they just couldn’t get connected? Or or do you think some just the opportunity in chaos, to just kind of

Chris Nesi  [16:54] 
kind of bow I think it’s a little bit of both couldn’t get connected? I’ll use the excuse that I couldn’t get connected, or some apathy, some lazy some I don’t care. Right. So it’s all over the spectrum. But, you know, was what it was?

Jim Collison  [17:10] 
Brian says in the chat, he said, Yeah, for us, it’s about 50%. So I’m gonna try to get by on their cell phone hotspots, but we supply families with my files, who needed them? And that’s a pretty common did our folks in your district GOP? And maybe you don’t know, but can they get Can people apply if they don’t have it, and they apply for things to get help with private?

Chris Nesi  [17:35] 
So even in the spring, you know, companies like T Mobile, Verizon, they made it known that they were going to make things available, whether it’s these, you know, personal hotspots. I know, Sprint, T Mobile, whatever. I don’t know who merged with who recently. But they’re doing like, I think it’s the sprint 10 million or the T Mobile 10 million, where, and this is where I don’t think it moves fast enough. They’re like, over the next five years, we want to get 10 million students connected, you know, for free? Well, we need 10 million students connected yesterday. Yeah. I mean,

Jim Collison  [18:07] 
Chris, do you think that though, this will fix like, it doesn’t fix it this year, but over the next five? Do you think we get eventually to a spot where the every student is connected? Does this bring us a show the emphasis, the emphasis on having connectivity? At home, do you think we get there or two years from now, things kind of fit, wrap it up, and we go back to where we were before?

Chris Nesi  [18:32] 
I really hope so I think this pandemic and everything going on, has really magnified a lot of the blemishes that exist in public education. And this has caused a lot of things to speed up in terms of what districts around the country, maybe what their technology plans were in terms of, maybe we were planning to go one to one and all of a sudden we have to go one to one. I know that was the case in my district, where we had laptops available for kids to use in the building and wonder one in Florida. Is that what them? Yeah, okay. One to One is every kid has a device. So that was available in the building during the school day, but my students in the district didn’t take devices home. When we went out for the pandemic, it was all right, the technology department gathered up every laptop from every classroom and every mobile cart, and then distribute it to the kids. So that’s how they got to one to one. Was it the perfect plan? No. Are we going to move away from one to one when things go back to quote unquote, normal? Probably not because now kids have had these devices they are, will be accustomed to using them and having the access regularly. And you know, as a teacher, to know consistently, that when my kids go home, they’ve got access to the technology, that’s going to make my job easier, because I know they got access. And I think over the next 235 years, we’re going to take what we’ve learned In this 12 to 18 month period, and hopefully we learned some lessons, I know, things are gonna change at the top with a new commissioner of education when you know, things settle down at the federal level. So hopefully, like all good educators should do, we reflect, we make adjustments, we grow, and we move forward.

Jim Collison  [20:22] 
Chris, anything you keep from this time is we think, you know, there’s no new you’ve had new opportunities, and this in the do some things that maybe you couldn’t have done before. I don’t know if that sentence was correct. But anything you’ll keep, or hope that you’ll keep going forward, that you’re doing technology wise, in particular,

Chris Nesi  [20:43] 
tech wise, you know, taking advantage of some of the tools and the screencasting opportunities and creating the content. You know, I was big on taking advantage of the face to face time with my kids in, you know, traditional times, but creating screencasts and tutorial videos and making content and sending that to my kids. And, you know, it just becomes so easy. You know, this year, at the start of the year, I use a tool called loom l om, which is, you know, a free screen capture tutorial maker that, you know, I can also send a video of just me. And when it emails the kid a link, there’s a nice Gmail plugin. It’ll let me know when whoever I sent the video to watches the video. So if I’m taking the time to make a quick, two minute screencast for a student, I know when they watched it. So I there’s that return on the investment of my time that I know the kid watched it. Because they’ll email me say, you know, thank you so much, Mr. Nessie, I watched the video. Because I also say, let me know when you watched it. So I know that you watched it. So things like that, taking my time to create and go above and beyond to make some content, whether it’s for the entire class, or for one or two kids. I’m going to keep doing that because it’s working.

Jim Collison  [22:01] 
I always thought podcasting would fit really well in this from a model perspective. So let me explain my model, which is what we do, we have a weekly kind of program where we talk about things. I watch di wires, who maybe do three or four shows a week, and they just show what they’re doing. It’s literally them just saying, I’m building this barn, I’m going to show you exactly how I do it. Or I watch them shipbuilders or I watch right I watch guys who fix cars. I have learned so much that way. And I thought you know it without actually necessarily even doing anything. I mean, I think I’ve been able to apply some of those things to other things here at Gauss to go, Yeah, I saw somebody do this. I had to do it that way. That makes sense. I always thought that would make sense from a teaching perspective to do your teaching as a podcast. And then the connection times are really just to have the meetup. Right. That’s just now the meetup time. Does that work? If you forms that it work? Have you been doing anything like that, where you’ve kind of turned it into a podcast, as opposed to it being a teaching time, it does the same thing.

Chris Nesi  [23:04] 
forms of that work in education, the term we would use would be flipped learning, flipping the classroom, where we would create the content or have students consume content, whether I created or I send them to YouTube or listen to an actual podcast, they consume the content. And then when we have our meeting time, we’ve done the heavy lifting now we can have time for activities and you know, really get into the nitty gritty of the topics. Me being a podcaster I didn’t I didn’t do that. You know, I like live. So I would live stream I do my classes live. You know, there are times where I will record what I’m doing to make it available after the fact. Certain lectures and you know, different presentations I’ll do. But I wouldn’t take the step to create another audio podcast to make it available to my ninth grade World History students to listen to me yap about world history. I understand my kids, and that wouldn’t work where I’m at. Could that work for some other teachers? Absolutely. Is it worth trying? Sure. Which means I didn’t try it, but I have my reasons.

Mike Wieger  [24:18] 
Yeah, that reminds me a little bit of how you know law school was right law school was go read this these 100 pages before every class. Here’s my out the teacher maybe give an outline of like some specific points on it that he was going to cover. But then it was all Socratic method. So you got in once you went into class, there was no presentation because you you were supposed to have read everything done everything or in this case, maybe listen to the podcast, listen to think ahead of time, and you were coming together for a conversation. And Socratic mistwood more the professor was like, Hey, Mr. Wieger. Tell me about the case. You would summarize the case. Okay. So you know, what is x point x, y, z, and he was calling different people. It was a conversation. The professor was more of just a facilitator at that point. Yeah, they were Come in with some commentary to keep it on track or to kind of, you know, yes, that’s right. And or no, not really or go to my class cuz you didn’t read that happened a few times. You obviously weren’t prepared for today. But

Jim Collison  [25:11] 
that last word they say that,

Mike Wieger  [25:13] 
yeah, oh, I got I got kicked out of my very like not kicked out but he told me to come see him after class Wow, I didn’t know I showed up to law school first day, we had an old army guy teaching constitutional law. And I didn’t know there was an assignment for his class on the very first day. And he said, come down and see me and so I came down Tommy goes is the first day of class question. It’s not gonna fly and everything like that. But from he goes, this was a pass on the first day after that you were just out he said get up pack your stuff. Get out if you hadn’t read a that that. So not that would be that serious. But that took so much discipline that was honestly hard for us 2223 2425 year olds to kind of do that much prep work ahead of time. I don’t know, I’d be interested to see like what students if you did do the pre recorded stuff, grew record, it’s hard. It’s it’s hard, you know, without that active engagement, and without the teacher, you know, being there, kids are going to, at least maybe I was a bad kid. But kids are going to get away with what they can get away with. So I think without that live, hey, I’m here. I’m watching you. You know, we’re all having this conversation. Everyone’s here all together show up. That might be hard for some students, if it’s not kind of a live on the spot thing for them to do besides basic homework?

Chris Nesi  [26:22] 
For sure, because you’re gonna find I mean, 25 year old law student Wieger is probably a lot different than 14 year old ninth grade. Oh, for sure.

Mike Wieger  [26:32] 
I was way more mature when I was 23 than I was when I was 14. So very different, very different. Yeah, what do you got? You’ve gone through it. All right, you’ve gone through undergrad, you’ve learned that way of teaching, you’ve gone to the high school way of teaching. And now you’re like, Okay, now I can be responsible for my own stuff. But I could never have done that style, I could never have been responsible for that much prep work. I could never have been responsible for answering that South conversation in my teens, no way.

Chris Nesi  [27:01] 
And, you know, in my live Google meat lessons, you know, it’s me, and you know, I have an in class support teacher who I can see her I hear her, but then it’s, you know, upwards of 25, avatars cameras are off, microphones are muted. And it’s, I mean, pulling teeth is easier than getting these kids to talk. And I know that, you know, in my school this year, we moved from teaching the classes every other day. So a block schedule, you know, for the full year seeing them every other day, I now see them every day, and we move to semester, I know that these kids who I have in the fall, we’re going to get comfortable. And then it’s going to be a new group of kids in February, just at the point where I got them. And, you know, we’ve got those connections and those relationships in that rapport. I’m going to get a whole brand new group of kids, and I’m going to start from zero.

Jim Collison  [27:56] 
Do you think those kids coming in, though, from I mean, it’s not going to be zero? Because they were working with a teacher before you right? So do you have right

Chris Nesi  [28:06] 
but but they would have, they would have had that relationship in that positive rapport with that teacher already. I’ve got to build those relationships. There’ll be good with the technology, you know, they will have been asked to use some of the tools already. But now it’s they have to learn who Mr. Nessie is. I have to learn who they are. And yeah, I mean, that’s challenging when we’re face to face in the same room sometimes. Yeah. Now, I can’t even see you.

Mike Wieger  [28:31] 
Yeah. So relationship with the students is interesting. Have you noticed on the relationships amongst the students, you know, when I was in high school, my biggest driver to get to school was to see my buddy john, maybe catch Sally Susie in the hallway, you know, like interact with people. So you’d have your class and then in between class, you get that nice little break, remove, interact with all your friends, and they’re not getting that in between classes, does their focus? I think like that would that would really affect my focus, right? Because there you can least get those breaks, go to your locker, get stuff, interact, talk to your buddies, they’re not getting that like personal interaction? is it affecting kind of how those students relationships are working? Are they less engaged than they were before later in the day? I’m really curious how mental is affecting the students not having that physical interaction when they’re remote all the time. That might be sometimes the only interaction they’re having with peers of their own is maybe during class and obviously, you know, you don’t want them talking amongst themselves during class.

Chris Nesi  [29:28] 
Right, ah, we’ll be talking amongst themselves. Again, whether you’re a teacher using zoom or Google meet, you know, you do have the chat. So there are some times where I can see in the chat that Mike, the students are there talking about some stuff? Yeah. It may not be related to the topic and I kind of let that go, because it’s not really interrupting me the way it would be if, you know, Bill and Joe are yakking it up in the back of the classroom. Yeah. them talking in the chat room. Doesn’t disrupt my flow. Sometimes I see it on and I want to laugh or You know, whatever they’re talking about. So that’s one aspect. Definitely, them not seeing each other. School is a social place. And you’re right. They’re not getting that. That’s where, you know, for places around the country where high school athletics has been able to happen. That’s been good for those kids, because they’re a part of their team, they get to interact with other young people, you know, through competition. So like, in my school, you know, they had football, they had soccer, they had some of the fall sports, here in New Jersey. So I know that some of those kids were having their social emotional needs met. I was just funny, because, you know, I do the public address announcing for my school, I’m the voice of the zebras. And early in the year, I said to my kids in the Google me and I said, you know, come out to the football game this Friday. I’m the voice I play music, bah, bah, bah, you know, come up to the press box. You can meet me, I’ll be there live. So I had a couple of kids come one Friday night, and they knocked on the door and like, Are you Mr. Nessie? I’m like, yeah, who are you? Because I don’t see their faces. They’re like, Oh, we’re so and so we’re in your block. to class. I’m like, oh, fist bump. Nice to meet you six feet apart, mass on. And one kid says to me goes, you know, Mr. Darcy, I thought you’d be taller. And I’m like, Well, what do you mean? He goes, Well, they see me like this. How you guys see me now I’m sitting down. You can’t tell how tall I am sitting here. And then I was just like, Well, okay, I know. I know what you look like and sound like, and I had another kid, just last Friday, football player. He said, Hey, Mr. Nessie. I’m like, Hey, he’s like, you don’t know who I am. I’m like, I haven’t got a clue. He goes, Oh, I’m so so I’m in your class. I’m like, Oh, nice to meet you. It’s the beginning of November. I’ve had the kid in class every day since September eighth. Yeah. You know, but the cameras aren’t on. I don’t really hear their voices. And they’re not if they do something with some of the tools where they can turn their cameras on. You know, I see this. Yep. So So for those listening, I see the ceiling.

Mike Wieger  [32:06] 
Yeah. Is that is that was that always from the beginning? That was curious about that. When you said you see avatars and their cameras aren’t on? Is it not a requirement for them to have their camera on?

Chris Nesi  [32:17] 
In my classroom? No, it is not a requirement. So it’s classroom district? Well, classroom by class, my district hasn’t mandated that cameras have to be on. But I do know that there are places where teachers or districts are saying cameras have to be on or my son, he’s in third grade. And the teacher, the third graders are more willing to put their cameras on because they’re Goofy, not like ninth grade Goofy, like their third grade, Goofy. And when he’s taking his tests or little quizzes, he’s got to have the camera on his laptop pointed down so the teacher can see, you know what they’re doing. My dad, he’s a high school math teacher makes the kids have the camera on when they’re doing assessments. I don’t agree with that. I think anybody who is making kids turn on the camera, you’re making a big mistake. And it’s not fair to the kids, because you don’t know where these kids are, what their learning environment is. And that could make some kids feel uncomfortable. And if you’re forcing kids to turn the camera on, you are blatantly disregarding their emotions, their feelings, their perspective. So I don’t even go there.

Mike Wieger  [33:30] 
I love to hear that because I thought the same exact thing you know, there were so many kids even in, you know, my high school where, you know, they came to school, and that was their escape from their kind of reality of what they lived in. And all of a sudden, if if we would have had a live camera into their house while they were home. It would have completely You know, it some of them might have been embarrassed some of them might have just, it wasn’t the best learning environment they didn’t want to broadcast that things like that. And you know, you don’t know what emotional toll that’s taking on a freshman right? I mean, that that’s everything when you are physically in school, you get to be physically in school and all that doesn’t matter. Right? They you know, your your clothes might be the only thing that like, you know, people can judge you on but as soon as you put that camera on I I like that stance but that’s got to be a hard stance for all the reasons you just mentioned. You feel like you’ve never met a near students because you’ve you’ve you know, never seen their face, which is got to be so hard as a teacher, when I’m sure you are motivated by you’re motivated by your students and putting a face to a name was probably so important for you guys.

Chris Nesi  [34:29] 
It is critical. And you know, I mean, we have like our student information system where we do grades and stuff and I can look up their, you know, profiles. So some of them have pictures, but you know, some of them, it’s like their third it’s like the pictures outdated and you know, that they don’t like it’s like a third it’s a it’s an elementary school picture. So it’s not current. It’s just, it’s tough. teachings, not easy.

Jim Collison  [34:54] 
It’s not by the way, this camera thing is not limited to school. So when we came when we came home You know, this is the studio look, right? And it’s I’ve fashioned it, you know, to be what I want in this look and if you get outside of the boundaries, and it’s it’s not what it looks like, right?

As ensues it a little bit a little bit it’s I mean, this is our kind of our our basement area we have storage down here and we hang some extra shirts over off to the side, kind of use it as some extra storage down. Well, my work friends, like you know, they’re they were used to seeing this or my office at work in the work computers here. And I would just turn the camera on and face this way and it would face right into the basement, in people cannot get past the, you know, have some shelves with some boxes on them and sleeping bags and the cat box and some other things right. People just couldn’t get get past that. Mike, you had some coworkers who said your

Mike Wieger  [35:53] 
co workers, clients, clients?

Jim Collison  [35:55] 
Yeah, your backgrounds, not professional?

Mike Wieger  [35:58] 
Yeah. What do you in your garage, it’s not very professional, and they don’t even talk to my face, they talk to my boss, yeah, who didn’t have to give me the comment. And I had to find, you know, now I’m upstairs in my dining room. And because the backroom The background is a bunch of family portraits, and it kind of looks like an office background. They don’t realize I’m in my dining room, you know, because I live in a small house, a little ranch style house, and there’s not much room, either in my bedroom, or I’m in my dining room, or I’m down here this is this is where all my tech is. This is where I have the best audio. This is where you know, and yeah, sorry. It’s like a workshop, right? It’s an unfinished basement with a workshop in the background. And it’s kind of a rustic style. But yeah, that comment still just kills me, I think about my background, every single color. Now, it made me so self conscious. So that’s why I say I can totally like, I don’t know how that would affect a 14 year old. If you’re embarrassed at all by your background, and you know, kids are commenting on it, they’re gonna get a text like, Oh, that’s like, you know, something about their background that they see. And it made me self conscious, I will never ever gonna work called down here ever again.

Chris Nesi  [36:55] 
It’s so it, you know, that’s interesting. So like, I get kids who, you know, they, if it goes on when we’re all together in a Google meet, it’s like by accident. But something I’ll also do is I’ll open up a separate Google meet. So I call that like the one on one help room. So if a kid has a question, they don’t want to ask in front of everybody or in the chat, they can go in this other Google meet, where I’m also active in on with the camera. And, you know, there they will turn the camera on when it’s just me and the kids. So I have heard some voices, and they feel more comfortable. Definitely the voice thing, though, you know, I know when I ask a question. And I hear silence that they’re, they’re trying to like, type it out. And I’m just like, Wieger just turn on your microphone and say it, it’ll be a whole lot faster. Yeah, exactly why there’s this big delay between my question and then trying to type out their response. So

Jim Collison  [37:46] 
right, well, I eventually went bought some curtains. And because they wouldn’t like I would, these are, these are people who know me. Like these are coworkers who are like, I was like, guys get past it. Like it’s just a thing. Like I, it’s more convenient for me to have the camera on this way right now then, to sign into my studio computer, set all that up, bring the microphone over. They already you know, they already thought that microphone was crazy to have, you know, until the pandemic and then they all want to win. And so I’ve had to put some curtains up. And just to kind of keep the distractions down. So I totally, like I didn’t totally understand that, Chris, until that happened to me. And then I’m like, Oh, I get this. I get this now. And I when when folks join in, it’s funny. Everybody’s really worried about their background, and I am not I really don’t care. I mean, there’s a lot of things I could do with this, I’m actually changing it around all the time, I’m moving things in my background, I don’t care. But that’s not the way it is for everybody. And so good, good for you for kind of recognizing that. But then

Chris Nesi  [38:52] 
there’s people like me who, when I show up to the faculty meeting, or when I first signed on to my classes, it’s like, look at this guy and his microphone and

Jim Collison  [39:00] 
right, no, right on, right on. Yeah, it’s it’s, it’s it’s another outside of the norm it those things, whether you’re in person or you’re virtual, when you go outside of the norm, it still gets attention. It gets people’s attention, you know, and, and so yeah, I think an important lesson in that is as we think about the norms, and the norms have changed. couple comments from chat. Brian said, it’s been fascinating to see students log in our a 33, traditional school days, especially the high school level, should really be rethought. Chris, any thoughts on that?

Chris Nesi  [39:38] 
Yeah, definitely. So I mean, there are a lot of school districts, my own included where they’ve taken the physical school day, you know, eight to 220 and just made it virtual. So my classes are still 80 minutes. They’ve just kind of tweaked a few things because there’s no you know, lunch periods. When we’re in school, we have three lunch periods. Now there’s one virtual lunch that the whole school is on lunch at the same time. So there are 10 minutes between the Google meats. But that 10 minutes flies by, if we had 10 minutes between classes in the building, there’d be chaos. And a lot of things could happen in 10 minutes. Now, 80 minutes, 10 minute break, 80 minutes, 10 minute break, everybody gets their hour or 40 minutes for lunch, virtually. I would have liked to have seen shorter classes, shorter time during the day, because I don’t care how old you are, whether you’re in kindergarten, or you’re a senior in high school, sitting here at the computer for that amount of time. It’s not good. It’s not effective long term. So yeah, I know, Brian, we’re on the same page,

Jim Collison  [40:47] 
we, we have gone to 15 minute meetings, kind of not mandatory, but suggested like a make it 50. And if you make a 45, it’s even better, and give people some time. Because we were doing you know, we used to have that time where we would move around the building, and you had five minutes, 10 minutes to reset, maybe visit the bathroom, on the way to the next meal. You know, we start meetings a few minutes late, it’s just the way it was. But now virtually, you can literally go meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting, and people are feeling like I can’t even get out of my chair, you know, much less. You know? So you’re just they felt they got all bound up on that. I imagine the kids are feeling the same way. Is the school schedule set in a way that so there’s some break, there’s some break for them to kind of reset until the next class? Or is that up to the teacher? Or how’s that work?

Chris Nesi  [41:41] 
Well, like that’s that 10 minutes. So for example, I’ll use my myself. So my first class goes from eight to 920. Then there’s a 10 minute break. The next the period two starts at 930. That goes till 1015, then there’s a 10 minute break, kids might have a class at 11. So it’s class, 10 minutes class, 10 minutes, and my students are taking four classes a day, and the teachers are teaching three. We get our lunch in our prep.

Jim Collison  [42:09] 
Yeah. You feel just as effective as before, less effective, more effective. As we think about this in this space. How are you feeling about the the mode?

Chris Nesi  [42:24] 
I’m not quite sure I understand what you mean.

Jim Collison  [42:26] 
So think back to last year, at this time, you were in class doing this. And you kind of felt like you had some amount of effectiveness with the students and other words, your ability to teach them their their, their grades, their scores, those kinds of things.

Well, right. Okay. So, because the spring was a mess, but now that we’re a year later, the way you’re teaching now, do you feel less effective? in in in the teaching that you’re doing?

Chris Nesi  [42:52] 
Well, I don’t I don’t know how I would rate my effectiveness. I mean, I think what I’m doing the best I can. So I write that. That’s That’s all I can ask of myself. Would I prefer to be in my classroom with, you know, 25 to 30 kids in the same room? Yes. You know, I, you know, I can see more, I can hear more. You know, there are times where I can use the breakout room feature in a Google meet where I can have the kids in smaller group settings. And I can bounce from group to group to group but when I’m not in there, I don’t know what’s happening. All I know is when I show up, cameras are off mics are muted. nobody’s talking, which means what are they doing when I’m not there? Right, cameras are off. The mics are muted. nobody’s talking. When I’m in the classroom, I can be on one side of the room. And I can yell at the five kids on the other side of the room. What are you doing? Right, I can hear you’re off task? You know. So it’s been a little challenging to create, or recreate what a classroom is in the virtual setting. But we’re all doing the best we can. That’s the bottom line.

Jim Collison  [44:00] 
Chris, haven’t asked this question. Yeah. But at the college level, then it’s vastly different. As far as engagement goes, and teaching and teaching styles. You were online anyways, right? You were doing those courses online to begin with, right? No,

Chris Nesi  [44:14] 
those were also in person. But so so so in the spring, I had to make the shift to go completely online. And that was easier because you have kids who are financially and emotionally invested in their education, you know, they they’re paying to be there. So it was easy for me to say to those students. All right, come to the live stream, go to my YouTube channel, go to the private stream, and using stream yard, get the kids in the chat, bring them through here. Like I’m doing a live show. And that was class that was able to work. It was really great for the one class I teach called virtual team dynamics, which was talking about how all this worked. So halfway through the semester in the spring, they got a real hands on experience of what it meant to be very And now teaching that class and all the classes, this entire academic year at Rutgers are all virtual. So I’ve been able to right off the bat, do the live streams or do Google meats or do zoom calls. And I still deal with kids who come on and they’re like, do we need to have our cameras on professor? And I’ll say, That’s up to you. So even at the college level, I’m not going to make it a person. You have to turn your cameras on, I need to see you the whole time. But I know that some college educators are think it’s okay to make adults turn their cameras on. So it’s been an experience.

Jim Collison  [45:35] 
Other Jim says, cameras open you up to hold on to legal reporting by what goes on. So does that is that true?

Mike Wieger  [45:43] 
is true? Yep.

Chris Nesi  [45:45] 
Yep. And so if I don’t see it, I don’t if I don’t see something, I don’t have to say something. Right.

Jim Collison  [45:51] 
Yeah. We Mike, I don’t know about you. But for me and Chris, you can weigh in on this too. I love the camera on in a professional setting. I love camera on I don’t like talking to a picture. Or just audio. Like I’m not a big fan of that. In early in early on. I would say I would join a call and then you ever cameras off. And I’d say you’re gonna turn your camera on. Like just a question. You turn it on. And in a few would go No. Like, I’m not not today not doing it today. And I would I would peer pressure them into turning it on and in someone somewhere. Now, in mic, I guess this is where I want to ask you to now if I just show up with the camera on. I hear them fumbling to get their camera on. They don’t even need to say it anymore. They’re kind of like oh, give me a second I’ll turn my camera on almost like if you join a call in somebody else’s on camera you should be on camera too, is kind of kind of what the I won’t say the rules but the norms of come mic for you any difference?

Mike Wieger  [46:49] 
No. Yeah, those norms are true. I wish they weren’t in my scenario only on the client facing side. I think it’s it’s sometimes really awkward especially with like opposing counsel, you know, or having discussions and me I there have been deals that I worked on this one deal last about a year and me and the other opposing counsel finally gotten the gist of we’re good with no cameras. She had kids, I had kids like we know we had dogs like you know what, let’s just do because I miss honestly, on a lot of calls, I do miss the conference call with no face speak mainly because I’m a pacer. And in my office at work, I just I get on my headset, and I just pace around the room. That’s how I think best and I can’t sit in front of a computer and pace. And I just so whenever I got on calls at a pace, I can’t do that now, especially on external calls when I’m doing a lot of negotiating. And I need to be kind of fully present. I’m too wrapped up in looking at you to be fully thinking so but you’re right all internal calls now are pretty much all video if someone doesn’t have it on and everyone else does. It’s kind of just you here, you start to see one person turns on and they’ll start to click, click, click, click, click and they go on. And there’s but also at the same time, the shaming for not having video or the questions for having video have disappeared. If someone’s video stays off, we all just assume you got a kid at home, he’s on your lap, you got you’re doing something else you’re you know doing a little laundry while you’re on a call no big deal. Like we all get it. So that question is like, Oh, we can’t see you remember, like that comment was so common in the first part of quarantine with, hey, we can’t see where are you? And that’s going away, which I really appreciate. Because there have been days where it’s but not I cannot be on video. I have a sick kid at home. I’ve got this. You know, for whatever reason. And you know, I didn’t my kid was running late. So I didn’t get a shower quite yet. And I’m in a ball cap. And this is a client meeting, not control my video on just clay. Yeah, you know, things like that where the questions have gone away. I’m fine. Either way, I really don’t mind or that people turn their video on or off, I would probably now prefer them off. I would say I’m not not a huge fan of the lawn all the time. I was in the beginning. I was a big fan of video in the beginning. But now, you know for internal meetings of a tight group that sees each other all the time. That’s fine for video. But I’m just not a fan of there was I don’t know why. I’ve become less disenchant. Just chant just franchised with the idea of video on all these calls. What happens when you’re franchised?

Jim Collison  [49:15] 
Nobody ever says that one

Mike Wieger  [49:17] 
like, right. Yeah,

Jim Collison  [49:18] 
I’m franchised. I

Mike Wieger  [49:19] 
got franchised into it. I got it. Yeah, yeah. And I don’t know, I don’t know when that changed. For me. I don’t know what it has been. It’s almost just exhausting at this point with video on every single call. And I think mainly in business there are so I think it’s because of this. And maybe this is bad. And maybe this will change the way we do meetings. In business. There are so many meetings that you do not need to be fully fully present for. And it is so evident that I’m doing email that I’m doing other things when I’m literally just a passive participant in the meeting and there are so many of those. So maybe this will change, maybe do meetings and only have the required people present. But there are meetings where I am technically required, right. I need to be listening to this, but only passively like I’m there for Or, you know, be listening kind of. And then Oh, hey, Mike, on the legal issue of this, what is it? And then and then I’m there, right? And I’ve been listening, but I’m also cranking out email, I’m drafting a document while I’m doing that. And it’s just I think of it as rude for me to be, I’m looking over at my other screen, doing this little time and the person talking, it’s distracting to them, like that person’s not paying attention to me, and losing their attention.

Jim Collison  [50:24] 
I don’t see it that way. I don’t really know. No, I don’t. And I know there’s like, I used to do it, when in person, I would be you know, we’d be in a meeting and I would only be paying half attention, I’d be checking email in policy that

Mike Wieger  [50:35] 
would distract that I would, I would consider that like, I would get mad at that. I would be like, That’s rude. Like, I’m talking, you’re in this meeting, be present while you’re here. And that was always the great part about conference calls, is because it was kind of a you could all be on and just be listening. Because even our cues, like our quarterly meetings company wide, a lot of people have video on and I do it because it did. But it’s like, okay, it’s a company like update meeting, you know, and what people have that need to feel like they need to be staring. Right, that camera, you know, focusing in?

Jim Collison  [51:06] 
I don’t, I just can’t. Maybe that’s why I haven’t ever been promoted. Chris, of what? You, Mike, you’ve just helped me realize why. Maybe I haven’t done very well work. Crystal, when you’re meeting with do you guys do staff meetings with teachers do you have as your teacher training? Like, those were a very important part of things. When we think about the actual faculty are you guys getting together and our cameras on when you’re doing?

Chris Nesi  [51:34] 
We do still have, we have our monthly faculty meeting. So those are a joy to be inside of a Google meet with 220 people. So for that, typically, it’s cameras off, because that saves on bandwidth. And the meeting doesn’t lock up on you, and you got 250 people in the meeting. But But something I hope would come out of that would be maybe administrators could record some content, make a screencast and send it out and we wouldn’t have to sit inside of a Google meet, you know, or, you know, I keep trying to get my principal to use stream yard. Tim who Yeah, do because YouTube is a lot more powerful than, you know, Google meats. And we could ask questions in the chat and they could do their presentation.

Jim Collison  [52:15] 
Yeah. That’s where a podcast is actually a good idea. Right? In that sense? Yes.

Chris Nesi  [52:19] 
Yes. Yeah, I’m working on that. But like, weekly, you know, we have common planning time. So every Tuesday, there’s my vice principal, some other social studies, administrators, and like five of my colleagues, based on our schedule, we get together, we’re in a Google meet once a week, there’s like six of us, and cameras are on cameras are off. It was never even going back to the spring. And maybe it’s us as teachers, it was never you must have your camera on, you know, it was more frustrating in person to go to a department meeting, and be told, close your laptops. We can’t be on our devices. And I’m just like, I like Mike, like what you’re saying, I could passively listen to what you’re telling me. While I’m grading or checking my email. Yeah, but now that I’m at home, I can do whatever the hell I want on my own computer. And I can still be listening to what you’re saying. And I just tell people, hey, if it looks like I’m bouncing around, I have three monitors and my cameras up here. So I’m looking at you on the screen. But I got whatever I want on the screen over here over there. So I’m covered.

Jim Collison  [53:27] 
Yeah. Well, even when I’m paying attention, I’m still I can’t I still have squirrel eyes. You know, I’m always looking.

Chris Nesi  [53:34] 
Only God knows what you’ve been doing this whole time, Jim.

Jim Collison  [53:37] 
I know Mike is watching the game. So like, true. stuff here. I’ve been wanting to say the flat TV mount to the bottom.

I’m okay with it. Like I guess in this, I guess is where everybody’s different. Is I’m okay with that. You know, there wasn’t too many years ago, Christian and I would work together Christians that he runs Maple Grove Partners. And I’ve done a lot of work with Christian we just open up a call do work. And we would rarely talk to each other. But the call was open in case we needed to say something. And we make an hour or two it just dead air. And then like, Hey, can you test that now? You might hear him typing and doing some stuff. Can you test that out? Yeah. Okay. And it was just convenient to do it that way. And I don’t know, for me, I never really worried about that camera piece. If you’re paying attention, Chris, I’ll be honest with you, even tonight, if you were if while I was talking you are looking at other places, you could be looking at the chat room, you could be looking something up, I think of Dave Jackson. And on Saturday mornings, we are constantly looking things up and you know, answering things in the chat. So I don’t know I guess I forgive all that. I just when when people do it. I’m just like, that’s fine. Look away. I’m good. You know, you don’t have to listen. So. So you’re forgiven Mike for watching the game. podcast. That’s true.

Mike Wieger  [54:55] 
I guess I was speaking on both sides of my mouth right. There wasn’t that I was going away. It’s

Jim Collison  [55:00] 
It’s okay. I forgive you not just kidding. It’s it is actually okay. Andrew says job for last, we routinely had video calls between sites. And this is another thing where we did two, or you might have a conference room in one place in a conference room in another, and you could kind of see people, but you kinda couldn’t, because it was kind of far away. And it was awful. Right? just didn’t just didn’t work. Chris, anything on the college level that’s worked really well, for you that was that’s maybe different than at the high school level. I mean, if you take one thing away, on the college side of doing this, this way?

Chris Nesi  [55:40] 
Not you know, not really, I mean, it’s just it comes down to the students want to be there. So they’re maximizing whatever technology I throw at them, you know, whether it’s a Google meet, or if I go live stream on my YouTube channel, you know, they show up, the only difference has been, you know, we’re, we’re doing asynchronous instruction. So I can’t conduct my classes, you know, on Tuesday nights from eight to 930, let’s say, so I have to have way more flexibility. In my schedule, I have a set time where, yeah, it would be the time where we would have had class, but I can’t say, Well, if you weren’t there, it counts against you for attendance or participation. You know, I just make that content available after the fact. So it’s kind of like podcasts, it’s I send them the YouTube video. So that’s one thing, and I wish I could do more of that at the high school level. But unfortunately, in many places, they measure seat time. So they’re measuring the wrong end of the student, in my opinion, when you do that? You know, I gotta take it in.

Mike Wieger  [56:48] 
I like it. Oh, that’s, that’s accurate. A good one.

Jim Collison  [56:51] 
That’s a good one.

Chris Nesi  [56:52] 
If I could do my lecture with the high school class in 25 minutes, and just end the meat. I would. But no, I and other people around the country, gotta keep your kids in there for that 80 minutes, you know, from top, from bell to bell instruction. And, you know, but but there are times where even my last class of the day, you know, I’m supposed to end at 220 sometimes I ended at 210 to 15. You know, there have been days where I’ve had to go into meetings, I’m like, Alright, I’m ending this at two o’clock. You keep working? I know, they’re not gonna, but, you know, I’ve got this other thing to do. You know, it is what it is, you know, technology, empathy, compassion,

Mike Wieger  [57:34] 
understanding, technology offering wise, do you find one is better than the other university versus your freshman course? Like the offerings from the school district compared to the university?

Chris Nesi  [57:46] 
Um, I know that all of the kids have devices on on both levels. I’ve had a couple of kids at the college level Tell me, you know, I don’t have a webcam. Okay. You know, you can still join the meet or watch the video, you know, you don’t need the camera. I never said, Yeah. You know, I had one kid, tell me, you know, it’s a PC that I built. And I’m thinking, alright, you built this computer from scratch and you didn’t put a webcam? And come on?

Jim Collison  [58:18] 
didn’t buy a webcam. That’s probably what they’d say. Right? Yeah. You, Chris looking ahead to the spring. Okay, so follow us over. Right. For the most part, we’re getting pretty close. Are you guys going to do school in December? Well, you have classes I know a lot of colleges are stopping at Thanksgiving. And then Christmas break or winter break is all December and a good chunk of January? How are you guys?

Chris Nesi  [58:42] 
I’m at Rutgers. Again, I can’t speak for other institutions. But at Rutgers, the school year has been said it’s virtual. So they’re keeping the same calendar. So my fall semester and December 7, December 8, when it normally would. And then they’ve got their winter break. And then the spring semester starts virtually, at the end of January. Same calendar just everything’s remote. That makes sense.

Jim Collison  [59:07] 
Yeah. But my daughter is in person. And they did not want people going home at Thanksgiving. And there’s good thinking now with everything spiking at the moment, going home and thanksgiving coming back for two weeks. And then you know, but it just it seemed like a petri dish. Right. Experiment. Right. So they were like, Yeah, but even more so than normal college time. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Now, I think it’s changed. I really do for the for the folks that are meeting in person that you know, the beginning of the semester was just all hands on deck literally in the bunch of kids got infected right away, and then they seem to have kind of gotten it figured out on campus in there. I think they’re doing better now than they were at the beginning of the semester. For in person. She’s still scared to death. You’ll hear from Sammy. I guess next is next week Thanksgiving. Yep. Yeah. So you’ll hear from Sammy next Friday. That we’re gonna talk a little bit about what it’s like to be in a college newsroom during a major election, which will be super fun. And then we’ll talk a little bit about kind of being on campus during this COVID situation. So to kind of follow up, Chris to this conversation that we’re having here, but for you, since you’re 100% virtual on both ends, yeah, I guess that makes sense. calendar stays the same. Yeah, cool.

Chris, you started a new podcast in the middle of all of this. And sure, why not? And yeah, why not in the middle of all this, but maybe a little bit different than what people think you know, you’re an educator you got house Abed tech. You know you you’re in this area but your new podcast something completely different. What are you guys doing?

Chris Nesi  [1:00:49] 
completely different. My my buddy and I got the swag on the other show I do is called podcast. pd, my friend AJ Bianco, and our other friend Stacy lindis. We do that show. And it’s anytime anywhere professional development for teachers. We do a live stream every other Sunday. But AJ and I are both big baseball fans. We are big New York Yankee fans. And we decided just a couple of weeks ago, Hey, why don’t we start a podcast about the Yankees fan podcast, we can just talk baseball and just not do anything with education. But we can do all the fun stuff with the live streaming and podcasting that we’ve enjoyed for the last couple years. So he was like, I’m in. I need this. I have two young children. He’s got three young children. We both needed something that was not education, just talking baseball. So we started a podcast called the chase for 28. If you’re not a Yankee fan, the Yankees have 27 World Championships. And we are chasing the 28th one. So we started a podcast, all about baseball. And you know, hear through the offseason, we’re going to talk about the Yankees every two weeks. And then when the season gets going in the spring, we will do a weekly show and just talk Yankee baseball and just have some fun.

Jim Collison  [1:02:05] 
We had a big conversation between the three of us in pre show how Major League Baseball in high end in the NHL kind of mishandled the spring, the NFL seems to be handling it. I think, Mike, I think a ton better than anything. Right? Right to date. I mean, they’re doing you’re in fact, you’re watching right now, which is pretty great. It’s actually happening right happened on schedule. It’s happening on time. Chris, do you think Major League Baseball will get their act together? I mean, pitchers and catchers are coming up here in the next, you know, three months. Well, they get their act together in time to be able to do a full season.

Chris Nesi  [1:02:41] 
I hope so, I mean, I’m a baseball fan, I would love to see a full season. I can’t afford to go to as many games as I would like. So if there’s no fans in the stands, the view on TV looks just the same. I could do without you know, something like Fox put in the fake fans like the digital video game fans in the stands. That’s just creepy. But the crowd noise. That’s cool. You know, as long as it looks good on TV. That’s fine. Let them play. And I hope that they do get that together. I think they’ll all the leagues as they go through their offseasons will revise their their COVID plans or you know what their bubbles will look like I know, you know what the NBA looking to start? I think in January, you know, they just had the draft the other night. I think sports is gonna look different. Again, in in many places, I think I want to say I think I heard in Australia. I want to say rugby or Australian Football, something like that. They’ve been able to hold major sporting events where they’ve got 60,000 fans in the stands. You know, so they’re doing it right. Whereas here you know, we got the Dodgers win the World Series and you got a guy who tests positive for COVID ins out running around celebrate when as mass gone. Well, you have to America,

Jim Collison  [1:03:59] 
we got to be number one at something and we are definitely number one at COVID.

Chris Nesi  [1:04:05] 
where we are. We are so good at COVID it’s lievable.

Jim Collison  [1:04:09] 
We win. We win it over. We should joke about that. Mike, you think back to back World Champs baby. Mike, did you watch the World Series? Do you baseball guy normally would you if

Mike Wieger  [1:04:22] 
if the Royals are in it? Yes. But otherwise no.

Jim Collison  [1:04:25] 
Go? Yeah, I it was hard.

Unknown Speaker  [1:04:27] 
I don’t

Jim Collison  [1:04:28] 
think Chris Did you watch the World Series?

Chris Nesi  [1:04:31] 
I did. I mean, I wasn’t fully invested. It was like background like it was on just because you know, the World Series on a baseball guy. But yeah, I mean, it wasn’t invested.

Jim Collison  [1:04:41] 
Yeah, no, it was it was really hard. Just It was hard to watch any of those and yet, I’ve been invested in the in the NFL, where I was mentioned in pre show I’ve gotten hooked on the YouTube 10 minutes summaries of each game. So Sunday night, I kind of I don’t watch anything through the weekend. By the way, I’ve stopped watching college football altogether like that used to be all day Saturday. I watch zero college football now, which can’t be good, right? But on Sundays, I wait till the evening to do dinner and get get down here and then that’s kind of my unwind time is I watch three hours of all the games from Sunday you can get them all in because they’re just a little 10 minute and they’ll just play one after another after another on the NFL channel. It’s been super like I’ve really liked that Mike, you had mentioned the tonight there’s some you there’s some twitch influencers that are are talking about the game as it’s being played, right? I

Mike Wieger  [1:05:38] 
think it’s Cardinals. Seahawks Seahawks. Yeah. It’s kind of cool. NFL teamed up with, uh, with Twitch and some of their top streamers. So you know, Tim, the tap, man, if you’re a twitch guy, you know who he is Nick mercs, all those guys, they have teamed up so on their actual channel. So if you go to Tim, the tap man’s channel, you’re watching the game, it’s a way for you to watch the game. He’s in the corner, talking about the game. But they also have an overlay. My favorite part is the NFL overlay that you can like they’re like, okay, on this drive, are they gonna pass or 50 yards, run 50 yards or neither? right and so and then it’s a competition amongst the fans of that channel. So not only are you in with a guy that you usually watch or listen to you love him but community you’re competing with all the people he’s talking to chat the whole time. He’s okay chat. And he’s like, he’s you know, he’s like a Brett Farve or, or whatever he’s like, and everyone’s like, oh, in the chat, they’re all ranting over their favorite quarterback. It is the most interactive sports experience I’ve ever had. And it’s a ton of fun, like they only do on Thursday nights right now, but I can see them doing this. Because you got to think of I mean, these guys alone, when they’re playing just video games weekly. They’re bringing in 30 to 60,000 live viewers, which is nuts. I mean, they are constantly 30 to 60 live. And a lot of those fans, I’m guessing this is a stereotype Don’t kill me gamers might not be interested in football. But hey, if you’re commentator, if your guys actually listen to is just talking for an extra three hours on a Thursday night, they might watch the NFL smart, they’re reaching into a whole new audience that may not typically with stereotypes, be interested in NFL football, and I think it’s a smart move on their part. And for me, I used to just watch on Fox or YouTube TV, but I go over there because like if I’m gonna watch the game anyway, it’s like watching with a friend. It’s like watching with a guy that you always love talking to. And I think they’re doing a really, really good job.

Jim Collison  [1:07:27] 
Chris, do you think you bring any of that? In your podcast? You bring any different elements to like, instead of just talking about it? Might you try to talk about it during a game? or do something live on Twitch during the game with that? Would that be a possibility for you?

Chris Nesi  [1:07:45] 
I 100% thing so because, you know, being live and streaming using something like this, I do it for other stuff. So why wouldn’t my buddy and I try to do that and leverage the audience on say a twitch or say, Hey, we’re gonna go live on YouTube. And watch the game with us. You know? Didn’t you hear? Just do like a virtual meet smoking event? Mm hmm. Yeah. With your community. So yeah. If you can do it with me, you can do it with sports.

Mike Wieger  [1:08:11] 
Well, and that’s why sports needs it opens up their licensing, though, because you would get in trouble, honestly. Because remember, Jim, you had the NFL game on that tiny little screen behind you. podcast, Dwayne, my

Jim Collison  [1:08:21] 
guest had it on.

Mike Wieger  [1:08:22] 
That’s right. Dwayne had it on his screen, and we got pulled off YouTube. Because in his tiny screen behind him, he had the game on.

Jim Collison  [1:08:30] 
Here it was that Chris, and we have the game on no sound. It wasn’t just in YouTube found that which is amazing. Like, hold it. Think about that think they found it in this little square and they pulled it from it from us.

Mike Wieger  [1:08:42] 
This is why the sports like NFL is so smart to like actually do it the right way. Give them the rights to stream it. I don’t know what he has to go through on the back end to even get that to work. I can’t imagine it’s easy. But they need to open up because, Chris, I mean, that’s a perfect opportunity for you and your fans to do that. Exactly. Even if you’re just listening to on the radio while you guys are talking. You know, if you’re an audio on the podcast or watching it, it’s such a good way to get interaction into the into the

Jim Collison  [1:09:08] 
sport. Chris, Mike and I are Kansas City. And we hope the Yankees never win another game ever, just to be honest. Just to be 100% we would be fine if the Yankees lost every game for the rest of our lives. But you’re certainly passionate about it. Where do you hope? Or do you hope the podcast goes? I mean, sure it’s an outlet of doing something different but but kind of what are the hopes and dreams on this thing? What would be a success for you?

Chris Nesi  [1:09:38] 
hopes and dreams, having some type of relationship with the team and getting to leverage that, you know, and you know, maybe getting access, you know, interviewing players would certainly be fantastic. Maybe we should have started way back in the spring where nobody was playing and you know, you hear that all these people were available and you doing interviews? I mean, who knows where it could go? I mean, we want to do it for fun. It’s it’s low pressure, no low risk. But you never know. I mean, for all we know, we could put out a couple episodes and get a cease and desist from the team saying, don’t talk about us.

Jim Collison  [1:10:17] 
Well, you didn’t go that way. You did the smart thing. You’re that the, the name of the podcast is nowhere close to anything that’s even resent that even resembles. You have to tell somebody, oh, yeah, this is a Yankees, you know, Yankees fan podcast. So good job there. You know, you hang out with us on Saturday mornings, and we talk about this podcasting stuff all the time. And typically, we would say, don’t name your podcast, something you have to explain. Because that’s but I think in this one case, with sports, and especially with these big, you know, NFL, Major League Baseball, NBA, I think it’s essential that you name it something that’s you have to explain, because you don’t want them coming in saying I think, you know, Nick superlink had inside the jungle, or, or it was something kind of related to the bangles. And they they came in and smack that down where we had IV envy. Which about the Cubs? Well, okay. Don’t IV isn’t really what they you know. So you’ve got some ability to kind of distance yourself but yet grow a fan base. Have you looked at other Yankees podcasts? If you kind of, I imagine. I mean, the Yankees are super popular. There’s got to be

Chris Nesi  [1:11:35] 
there are other podcasts out there. I’m not as creative with the name. Some of them have Yankees right in the title. So the things that I considered and like you just told stories about there are podcasts out there that haven’t considered that or, you know, that they use terms and things that might be trademarked or that the team uses where you know, the chase for 28? I’d have to if i if i told that to somebody wearing a Yankee hat outside the stadium, I said, I do podcast called the chase for 28. They would get it. You know, if I was talking to somebody, you know, no offense, Mike, if I’m saying to Mike was Kansas City fan, I do a baseball podcast called the chase for 28. You might say, Oh, what’s that about? And I would if the term would go over your head?

Mike Wieger  [1:12:20] 
Yeah. But, you know, US Royals are only to chase for what? Two, three. So I can’t imagine people are out there trying to win our third.

Chris Nesi  [1:12:30] 
But see now but but in doing that we’ve kind of boxed ourself in. So what if the Yankees go out next year and they win a World Series? Yeah. Are we done with the podcast? We kind of joked about that in the first episode, like, all right, then we would like have to change the name. You know, we could podcast for a year two years or two your guys’s happiness, they may never win again, which means I’ll be podcasting till I die. Jim’s very excited.

Mike Wieger  [1:12:53] 
I wish you all the best success Chris. podcast for many years. Two years. Yes.

Jim Collison  [1:13:00] 
Oh, and 28. Listen. There’s only one other team and that’s the Patriots that I hate more than the Yankees. And so it’s, but we hate them because they’re winners. Like they are winners. They have 28 or 27 in this case, and they were very used to being losers. Except for recently with a cheese. We’re finally coming through here. That’s working out. That’s where that that part’s working out pretty well to be a cheese fan. The last couple years.

Mike Wieger  [1:13:25] 
Still not a Husker fan? Not a good time still.

Jim Collison  [1:13:28] 
No, no, but college football is a mess. But it is just like it’s it’s a weird, you know, it’s why I haven’t watched any games you’re like, do they matter?

Unknown Speaker  [1:13:37] 
Like, do

Jim Collison  [1:13:38] 
they even matter? If are they even really playing? Right? Are these high school kids that they brought in? You know, you just, I just have not like the college is meaningless at this point. So I just don’t, it’s been super hard. Well, Chris, good. Good luck and good fortune. It’s not for the Yankees. But for you may be I can’t I can’t appreciate. It’d be like saying I like Tom Brady. I just can’t say it right. So no good luck to you and that and then we’ll, we’ll check back in with you as we think about spring. You know, again, as we get through the wintertime and think about spring, let’s check back in with you again and see how things how the podcast is going how school is going. Do you and you got to have some hope for the spring right as we think about potential vaccine that has come out we’re getting better at this a change in administration here in the United States. You gotta have some hope going forward to spring I would think don’t you?

Chris Nesi  [1:14:37] 
I got a lot of hope a lot of hope hope springs eternal hope has 2020 vision you

Jim Collison  [1:14:42] 
know. Well, good. I you know, I do I do too. In mic. I have hope because crypto is have you seen Bitcoin? Chris Do

Unknown Speaker  [1:14:54] 
you want at all

Jim Collison  [1:14:55] 
Are you a Bitcoin guy have you followed

Chris Nesi  [1:14:57] 
I don’t have any but is something like $17,000 There’s a coin or something,

Mike Wieger  [1:15:01] 
hit 18. Today. It of course it did, because my guys have my thought it was gonna drop about three weeks ago. And it was at 11,000, just a few weeks ago. And it went on the biggest run. It’s gone on since 2000. That was at the 17 run or the 17. Right when 17 innovating and innovating. And yeah, so I played that completely wrong. And I sold a few weeks ago, expecting to get back in when it dropped. And obviously, it has not done that. So I left a lot of money on the table there.

Jim Collison  [1:15:33] 
Create crazy days, crazy days, unlike Bitcoin, the real things I have some hope over I think as we think about the spring, going forward, and all the great stuff that’s out there, Chris. Good luck. I’ll continue to see as you come out on Saturday mornings for ask the podcast coach, but thanks for being a friend of the show. Thanks for coming back and doing this again. And, and you know what, thanks for doing the tough job of teaching like us. You know, I’m fortunate my kids are all well, I have one college, but the rest of them are done for the most part. And so we’re kind of done in that space. But many aren’t. Mike, you’re on the cusp. Yeah, they

Mike Wieger  [1:16:10] 
are three and four. And you know, they go to a Montessori school right now, sigh teachers, I’m like, I cannot thank you enough. There is a three month period where the school is closed. And you really, it’s sad that it takes that to form the highest level of appreciation. I appreciate teachers then after that, I’m like, I appreciate you a million times more because like this, the stuff like their brain just grows so much more when they’re with you well educated great educators than they would ever be with people like me. So I appreciate all the hard work you guys put in you guys have stuck through that you guys have been asked to do so much more than you signed up for and you guys have been, you know, rising to the occasion. So I really appreciate the work you’re doing Chris.

Jim Collison  [1:16:48] 
Sorry. Hold on. I

Chris Nesi  [1:16:49] 
appreciate the Thanks.

Mike Wieger  [1:16:51] 
Yeah, exactly. It’s so much so we pulled all your hair out. Come on. Geez.

Chris Nesi  [1:16:55] 
Let me just say this one. Thank you and to to everybody who is listening to this or or hear live. If you’ve got school aged children, and there are teachers in your life. send them an email, say thank you.

Mike Wieger  [1:17:09] 
That should be everyone’s homework this week, Jim. Yeah. If you have kids send the teachers a note. And, Tom, you’re appreciating there but I mean, tough. We’ve heard and signed episode. How difficult it’s been.

Jim Collison  [1:17:21] 
We had Veterans Day last week we need to have a Teacher’s Day. I think that this a national day and then teachers get to drink all day. So they get the day off.

Mike Wieger  [1:17:32] 
Yeah, great. And the parents provide the booze we send it we say it’s like this show we send the beer in you guys get to just drink it take the day off and and then you guys can tell us how bad our kids are. It’s a free day you can do whatever you want. You can send us letters and your kids a jerk

Jim Collison  [1:17:48] 
like a reverse Halloween where you send you send the treats into the teachers yes and you know baskets of them and things like shooters and things like that. Okay, let’s just say we’re probably gonna get crystal trouble if we go too much farther was Chris if you want to hang around for the end in the post show you’re welcome to but I’ve kept you an hour and some change if you need to go I would completely understand in this but thanks for coming out if you want to stay or can we shoot

Chris Nesi  [1:18:15] 
I do need to the work of the teacher never ends even here you know 1030 at night I do have some things that I have to get done for tomorrow but I appreciate you guys for having me. I really appreciate it.

Jim Collison  [1:18:25] 
Great to see it We’ll see you next time.

Unknown Speaker  [1:18:27] 
Take care guys.

Jim Collison  [1:18:28] 
We’ll see you a couple reminders on our way out for for those of you regulars Don’t forget that December 3 that’s just three weeks away right i think or two weeks two shows away. I think it’s two shows away.

Mike Wieger  [1:18:40] 
Oh my God Is it right?

Jim Collison  [1:18:41] 
I think it is. So December 3 send in your voicemail 30 seconds worth just love to hear your voice and we’ll be playing those live on the show. Mike we did that at a gallop show and it worked out really really well.

Mike Wieger  [1:18:54] 
So I’m excited yeah a new alright two weeks away next week is Thanksgiving so no show on Thursday. In Friday are you doing a live gym Are

Jim Collison  [1:19:02] 
you reporting a live same time so it’ll be 8pm Friday CME and me y’all can talk about her life so it’ll be kind of fun you guys like to see me so jump in here and and listen to her Home Gadget for the to leave the message join us in our discord group, which in the last couple days kind of blew up a little bit. It’s kind of fun to see discord blows up it blows up it gets super quiet so there’s been a lot of traction in the average slash discord will get you in there as well and this week’s been a busy week so appreciate it. I think bust out has been leading the charge out there all folks like scoot over and Mike you to drop in a few comments and then things get going for a while it’s not as crazy as Facebook. So join us over there but if you are on Facebook, will get you there as well. You can send me an email Jim@theaverageguy.TV on Twitter. I’m @jcollison. He is @WiegerTech. Don’t forget TheAverageGuy.TV platform both web and media hosting powered by Maple Grove Partners. Get secure, reliable high speed hosting from people that you know and trust. Visit For plans start as little as 10 bucks and then just head over to hover, go to, buy that first domain. Just buy your name like everybody should I can’t get Jim By the way, it’s not his Mike Wieger Have you ever looked at it? Yep, you’ve got it. I have it. It’s on hover. Right is Yep, we have slash hover get $2 off your first and support the network by the way we get $2 as well. super helpful. and head out to Mike, Thanksgiving is on its way. You guys staying in town you head out you do anything? What’s the family tradition for Thanksgiving? Yeah, I’ve

Mike Wieger  [1:20:52] 
been tradition is to have a big ol family blowout. But no, we’re we’re keeping our finger on the pulse of everything. But the max we are going to do is we’re going to head down to Kansas City and just be with my parents. So my parents and my family would be the extended my sister. But you know, yeah, but everyone’s just Hey, if you have the most minor of exposure, we’re gonna call it off this year. It’s no big deal. We’re kind of keeping it up as like we all understand. So it’s gonna be just us as my parents, unless someone has exposure and we’re just gonna call it off.

Jim Collison  [1:21:24] 
Yeah, it’s good call.

Mike Wieger  [1:21:25] 
It’s tough not seeing the grandparents. I mean, that that’s been the hardest part for me is that seeing my grandma on both sides and you know, so you gotta always make an extra effort to you know, send him a message give him a call. We’ve dropped by with the kids and within their yard and kind of like, hey, come out, come out to your front door and wave to them and they love see the grandkids so so check in on your, your, you know, grandparents and things like that, because this time can be really lonely for them.

Jim Collison  [1:21:49] 
I I got a funny story about my mom. Maybe I’ll save it till next time. Jim Shoemaker in technology. Jim Shoemaker. It says Teacher Appreciation Day is Tuesday, May 4 2021. So I kind of figured there was already one out there. Yeah, we should celebrate that as well. We are live every Thursday except next week. It’ll be Friday. So don’t forget Thursday, thanksgiving here in the US. Friday, 8pm. Central nine Eastern but every other week. It’s Thursday. The week after that is the big Anniversary Show. We are live 8pm Central nine Eastern down here at Going into our 11th year. I’ve never done anything why I’ve been married for 30. But I’ve really met every well. I’ve had kids for a long time, but never really done anything else that long and appreciate you guys and you if you’re listening if you’re hearing this. Thanks. Thanks for listening. It’s It’s fun to know that a couple 500 to 1000 of you. I don’t know what that means. Yeah, listen to each every single week and we appreciate it. We’ll we’ll wrap this up. So Mike finishes his NFL game with that awesome goodbye.

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