Rest, Recharge, and Fun

The year of 2022 gave me wonderful professional opportunities. After 9 years at The University of Tampa I accepted a position at The University of Tennessee Knoxville. It was not an easy decision from me because living in Tampa allowed me to surround myself with a large Latinx community. I spoke Spanish regularly, had a favorite radio station, and could eat all the amazing Latin American food that I wanted. I also just had to take a 3 hour non-stop flight from Tampa to Panama City. But there were also many concerns I had. Some were related to my family members (i.e. school district, future employment opportunities of partner, etc.) and others were related to my own career goals and aspirations as well as my changing level of satisfaction with living in Florida. When the opportunity came to apply for positions, with the support of my family, I decided to move forward with it. I accept a position and that meant relocating across states. I had an idea of the level of work and commitment the relocation would take but it was so much more than that. I am so glad I had cleared my schedule last summer. Selling a house was emotionally exhausted. The move itself was not as draining but dealing with one of the craziest real state markets was too much mentally. What kept us moving forward with knowing that the move would give better educational opportunities for our son, a career change for my partner, and a position in which I could further my career goals, while living a city and region that we knew we would enjoy exploring.

Long intro that leads me to say that unlike most people, last summer was anything but relaxing. So with lots of work and school assignments during the Fall term we decided that it was time to reclaim so rest and relaxation during the Winter Break. Those plans took us two sunny destinations: Panama and Costa Rica. After leaving Panama in such a rush at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, I wanted to go back to finish the trip that was cut short for us. We also wanted to enjoy beautiful Costa Rica. During his undergraduate years, my partner spend a Summer studying Spanish in Costa Rica and he is full of stories of his travels throughout the country. I had visited Costa Rica as a child with my parents but was limited to mostly visiting the capital city, San Jose (and surrounding areas: Cartage and Queretaro). So needless to say we were all very excited to explore Costa Rica as a family. Words can not really describe the beauty of these two countries. I would highly recommend them. I am so incredibly grateful and I know also privilege to have taken this time to rest, recharge, and give myself permission to have fun.

DICE Conference Workshop on Digital Literacy

This past week I joined the DICE Conference to host a workshop on Digital Literacy. The aim was not to enhance the digital literacy of the participants but to discuss how we can organize, collect data, and execute a digital literacy plan. The workshop was hosted at 3 am local Knoxville time. I really did not know how responsive I was going to be, but it is amazing how you feed from the energy of others. The participants of the workshop were energetic, open, and engaged, they made the three-hour session go by so fast. Grateful to the organizers of the DICE conference for the invitation to join the conference and organize this workshop. Here are some of the resources I used during the workshop:

Semana de la Innovación: Educación del Futuro (CIED)

During the week of November 22 to November 25, 2022 the Centro de Innovation y Excelencia Docente (CIED) of the Universidad Autonoma de Chile hosted the Semana de la Innovation: Education del Futuro.


I was honored to join the event as an invited speaker for the day of “Mujeres Innovadoras”. It was a wonderful experience to shared an hour with colleagues in Chile and other Spanish-speaking scholars. The hosts of the event Claudia Osorio Alfaro, Maria Jose Suazo Ocares, and Ignacio Andres Vilos Fredes were amazing and very welcoming. The title of my presentation was “Pedagogia Intersectional Digital: Inclusion y Equidad en la Enseñanza en Linea”. Here are the link to my slides: tiny.utk.edu/CIEDChile

To learn more about the event here are two press releases by the Universidad Autonoma de Chile:


los docentes debemos de ser juiciosos en el uso de la tecnología en la aprendiza, es importante saber cuándo y cómo el uso de la tecnología es beneficioso para la estrategia educativa y cuando es una barrera para el aprendizaje

Enilda Romero-Hall

Tenured. Again.

A few weeks ago, I found out that the Tenured Upon Appointment process at The University of Tennessee Knoxville (UTK) was completed. I am grateful to the UTK community for honoring my work and contributions as an Associate Professor with tenure. I look forward to continuing my work as researcher, instructor, and member of my professional community. Also, thankful to the many collaborators so much of the work that I do is a join effort with colleagues and students.


The Key Podcast | @InsideHigherEd | Ep. 91

A few weeks ago, I was invited to join a podcast to talk about HyFlex Instruction. I was on travel when I saw the email from the editor in my inbox and, without too much information, I accepted to join the conversation. I really did not know what direction the podcast was going to take. I know HyFlex learning is “controversial” and even “unwelcome” by many, but I really was just going to speak facts. I reviewed some of the research I have done on the topic and the reviewed the literature I have read on the past in preparation for the podcast. I am very happy that the editor had a conversation approach to the podcast and that guided the conversation on the “what comes next” direction. I will be speaking and doing more research on this topic in the upcoming months. So, this is just the beginning of the conversation.

I really do not like listening to my voice in recordings so I just know what I said from the actual recording session. I have not heard the podcast, so I appreciate colleagues who have reached out to let me know that they enjoyed listen to the podcast and the points I shared as part of the conversation. Above is a link to the tweet from Inside Higher Ed and here is the link to the webpage: Ep.91: The Pros and Cons of HyFlex Instruction

UTK STEM Education Seminar

This past week, I was invited to speak as part of the STEM education seminar sponsored by the Theory and Practice in Teacher Preparation (TPTE) Department STEM team. I am part of the STEM Education team in the department and this semester a group of colleagues are organizing this seminar with presentations for faculty and graduate students every two weeks. I have really enjoyed all of the presentations this semester. Our STEM Education team is doing really amazing work and I love learning about it.

For my presentation, I was a bit nervous because I was not sure how my work would relate to STEM education. I know educational technology is consider part of STEM education. However, I think of my work as more than just educational technology. I actually see Learning, Design, and Technology as the umbrella term under which educational technology, instructional design, instructional technology, learning engineering, and others similar terms come together. Perhaps one of my main concerns is that under the term STEM, learning design is primarily associated with the “technology” term which I really see as just one aspects of the far more complex ecosystems of the learning, design, and technology field.

The presentation focused on how it is okay to have many areas of research interest. We are often encouraged to stay very narrowly focused on a topic. But, what if you are curious about other topics and want to explore them? So, basically, I used myself as an example of an eclectic research agenda. My research has evolved so much and in part it due to my curiosity to explore other topics. This has also been true in my life, curiosity to try new things or study programs outside my focus has helped me evolve and grow. Here is the link to the slides, in case you are curious.

#AECT22 International Convention

Last week, I attended the AECT International Convention. It was my first time since 2019 that I attended in person. It was great to see so many colleagues who I have communicated with via email or Zoom for the last three years. Also, I got to meet new colleagues who I had never connected with before.

It was a fairly busy but rewarding schedule for me. I started early every day with a conference presentation or panel session. I am writing this blog post primarily to share some resources and presentation slides from AECT.

CLT- Prioritizing Care, Respect, Empowerment, and Intersectional Identity while in Emergency Remote Teaching: Analysis through a Feminist Pedagogy Lens

This was a presentation with co-author, Dr. Nadia Jaramillo Cherrez. It is work that we have written up and plan to published as part of a forthcoming book on Feminist Pedagogy in Online Learning. Here are our presentation slides.

D&D- Ethnographic Experiences in Learning Design

This was a panel session in which panelists were discussing the different journal articles published in the TechTrends Special Issue related to Ethnography in the Learning Design and Technology field edited by Jill Stefaniak and Jason McDonald. I highly recommend reading this special issue. As part of the panel, I was specifically discussing the process of writing an autoethnography and the purpose of this autoethnography: Navigating the Instructional Design Field as an Afro-Latinx Woman: A Feminist Autoethnography

CLT- Marginalizing What ALSO Matters: It’s time to consider equity factors in design that impact student learning

This panel was great. I do not have slides to share, but here is the link to the recording. Unfortunately, it will only be available until Nov. 15 so please view it before then if you want to learn more about our discussion.

LED- Authentic Practices and Considerations for Mentoring ID Professionals

In this panel we came together to discuss mentoring future instructional design professionals in our programs of study. All of the panelist were contributors to “The Instructional Design Trainer’s Guide” book edited by Jill Stefaniak and Rebecca Reese. I was particularly interested in sharing about “Supporting Instructional Design Graduate Education through Networked Learning and Institutional Social Media“.

GSA- Culturally Responsive Research and Practice

This panel was organized by members of the AECT Graduate Student Assembly (Mia Knowles, Lili Yan, and Bree Kirsch). Thank you so much for your work organizing this panel. Some of the central questions that Dr. Tutaleni Asino and I discussed during this session were:

  • How would you describe culturally responsive research, pedagogy, and practice? What are other relevant concepts that show up in your work?
  • What are your experiences in doing work with culture? Any important stories or challenges to share?
  • What is your favorite methodology for culturally responsive research?
  • How would you negotiate the cultural self and the academic self in your work?
  • Advice/resources for grad students doing work with culture, particularly in our field?

Mia, Lili, and Bree created this slide with a QR code that links to additional resources and readings.

Flyer with photos of two panelist and a QR code that links to additional resources related to culturally responsive research and practice.
Photo of three women learning design scholars standing together at a conference.

2022 Early Career Symposium

This year during AECT, I was also invited to serve as a mentor as part of the Early Career Symposium. I hope the insights I shared with my mentees are beneficial to them. I also learned a great deal from their experience and knowledge. I am thankful to those who presented during the symposium because I found their presentations useful even in my current career stage as an academic. I hope AECT continues to support the Early Career Symposium. I have served as a mentor twice and was a mentee many years ago. It is truly a great way to give back to our learning design and technology community.

A page of the AECT Early Career Symposium program with informs about group 2 including the mentor’s name, position, department, and Institutional affiliations. The imagine also includes the names of the two mentees and their professional bios.

University Reception and Distance Learning Award

Huge thanks to my colleague, Dr. Rachel Wong, for traveling to the AECT 2022 conference with our University of Tennessee Knoxville poster and goodies to give away during the university reception. We met many colleagues and graduate students during the university reception. Thank you to everyone that stopped by and grab some goodies. Also, thanks to the AECT Distance Learning Division for recognizing one of my recent publications with 1st Place Mixed Methods Journal Award (“Hybrid flexible instruction: Exploring faculty preparedness” published with co-author Caldeira Ripine in the Online Learning journal). Last, but not least, during the welcome reception I put my name in a raffle and won some DDL gear. I never win raffles, I was so excited.

Valley of Fire State Park

I really do not think that this pictures will properly depict the true astonishing beauty of the Valley of Fire State Park, but I wanted to share them because it was a wonderful experience. I was actually going to hike in Mount Charleston but my ride was cancelled and instead I was given the option to visit this state park. I knew nothing about it and almost decided to decline completely. I am glad I decided to move forward with the visit to the Valley of Fire State Park and I actually want to go back.

The next big social network for me

Some academics are leaving Twitter. I have no plans to leave Twitter as of right now. I am not on Instagram or Facebook. If you join Twitter one day and do not see me there, please know that I have switched to the next big social network: The great outdoors. I do not feel motivated to join a different social network platform. So, again, if I remove myself from Twitter that just means I dedicate more time to spend outside in nature (i.e., a park, a bike ride, a short hike, a farm, kayaking).

I was already considering a Twitter break later this year. I will see how things go with over the next month or so before making a decision. But honestly, if things go South with Twitter and I just shut my profile down radically please know you can always reach out to me via:

You can also subscribe to this blog. In the main page of this blog (https://enildaromero.com), you can type your email and click subscribe to read future posts. I write professional and personal blog posts. I am not a New York Times best seller but I put a few sentences together and sometimes share some decent content (in my humble opinion).

Public Transportation

I really miss having the option to take public transportation.

In the past I have lived in two cities with pretty amazing public transportations systems: Panama City and Toronto. Panama city’s public transportation is fairly inexpensive but it is also very chaotic. I grew up in that system so the chaos was actually fairly normal to me. The Toronto’s public transportation system is pricey and it has a high level of organization that I have not experience anywhere else I have travel to.

For many years, living in Toronto the TTC was my best friend. At that time I resided in Scarborough on the East side of the Greater Toronto Area but worked downtown so daily I would take the Cliffside (20) bus to Kennedy Station and get on the subway going West bound to Young and Bloor station where I would transfer to the South bound train towards Union Station. I would get off at the Dundas Square station.

Commuting to work in public transportation was very relaxing for me (I did not have to use it during the traditional rush hours). This was before smartphones even existed so I would bring something to read or I would listen to my CD player (ha!). If I missed a train, I could easily catch the next one in 5 or 10 minutes. The Cliffside bus would run every 15 or 20 minutes.

Although I have tons of experience with the TTC, I had never tried commuting into downtown Toronto using the GO Train, which is a regional commuter train serving the Greater Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario, Canada. I recently took a ride in the GO Train and it was amazing. It is a bit more costly than the TTC ride but if time and comfort are important to you then is is probably worth it.

I wonder why we cannot have the same transportation system in the United States. I lived in Tampa for 9 years and honestly the public transportation system sucked. A bus would run every hour. That makes no sense at all. I do not know if Knoxville has any public transportation system. There is a bus that runs from UTK to downtown but I am pretty sure that is all I have seen.

Having a car is a privilege. There are many people who cannot afford the cost of having a car (i.e., car insurance, car payment, repair and maintenance) or cannot drive because of many other reasons, it would be nice in the United States to have the option to use public transportation that runs regularly and that you can count on if needed. I read this article (The real reason American public transportation is such a disaster) and I think it is kind crazy to me that public transportation can be treated as a “political charge issue”.

Anyways, I do not want this to be a really long post but a reflection on some recent experiences and hopes for a better public transportation future.