Cuenteach: Helping Network Educators Across Latin America to Connect, Inspire, and Learn
Lea esta historia en español
Cuenteach is a social organization founded by Enseña por Colombia alumni Natalia Ossa and Cristina Hernandez that defines itself as a community of professionals committed to education. The idea was sparked when Enseña por Colombia encouraged us to find a way to connect with alumni from other Teach For All network partners. We saw an opportunity to create an innovative solution to share and learn from educational projects led by teachers in Latin America, giving voice to our experiences and helping us continue the transformation of our countries’ educational systems.
During Latido Latino 2018 in Peru, we learned about some initiatives led by alumni who also sought to share the knowledge they acquired in the classroom, and we reaffirmed the need to create a support network. It was then that we decided to create Cuenteach, a digital platform to share all of those stories.
By the end of 2019 we had more than 30 stories, learnings, and reflections divided into three categories: opinions, projects and ventures, and news, all written by alumni and second-year teachers from different Latin American countries. This inspired us to continue innovating, and with Gina Villalba we created our first Cuenpodcast. Thanks to the dissemination we did in various communications channels, such as Teach For All’s newsletter for participants and alumni, CONNECT, we’ve been able to expand our work and more teachers and alumni have shared their experiences and stories. One year after the launch of the podcast, we have made 11 episodes on topics related to alternative education, financial issues, the environment, sex education, digital learning and STEM, with 1,500 downloads in 23 countries, and we have facilitated approximately 65 connections between alumni and participants across the Teach For All network. In order to continue growing, we are sharing our podcast interviews via Facebook Live, which enables us to interact with the audience in real time.
The pandemic presented an opportunity to share our digital experience
The COVID-19 pandemic prompted the need to have tools to continue working and teaching remotely. At Cuenteach we decided to help by sharing our knowledge. We launched our first online course about the creation of educational radio pieces, and also produced special episodes on alternative education and financial education in times of COVID-19. Teachers from Enseña por Colombia, Enseña Ecuador, Enseña Perú, and Enseñá por Argentina participated in the course, and we are happy to say that we supported the creation of more than six educational audio projects. The educational podcast “Aprender la onda,” for example, is a community radio program led by more than 30 teachers and students from Enseña por Colombia that has managed to produce more than 100 episodes and reach over 30 stations nationwide in Colombia. (Our next step is the launch of 20 scholarships for the Second Online Course on Educational Podcast Creation. You can read the details on how to apply here.)
In May, we decided to apply to Teach For All's Communities & Connections Fund with a project to expand our online platforms to connect more participants and alumni in the network. The funds will also allow us to have a professional Zoom account to do the interviews and share them on Facebook Live, pay for a year of our website’s domain, and get the license to upload the podcast to Spotify, among other things. We were the first to apply to the fund with a project to encourage digital connections, and to be selected. It is certainly an opportunity we recommend to other alumni who are leading initiatives and seeking to connect and share knowledge online with peers within the Teach For All network.
At Cuenteach we believe that sharing success and learning stories, including the challenges found in teaching, facilitates collective growth. Cuenteach seeks to continue connecting Spanish-speaking teachers in the Teach For All network to continue to inspire each other and share useful teaching tools.