Thursday, February 26, 2015

Attending a Webinar

     As I move deeper into my understanding of the benefits of Web 2.0 resources I decided to attend a Webinar.  There were two difficulties I faced in finding the best one to attend.  First I really wanted to attend one that was interesting and worthwhile to something that I was currently struggling with.  Second, as I live on the West Coast finding one that was not while I was teaching or driving home to pick up my kid actually proved to be a bit of a challenge.  When all was said done I attended a Webinar from simplek12 on launching an iPad program at your school.

      This Webinar was a 30 minute discussion between two people about the six steps that you need to go through to successfully launch an iPad program.  These two people did a great job clearly explaining the required steps and providing helpful advice and suggestions to avoid some common mistakes.  The true weakness of the show was that it was just 30 minutes and the presenters did not have time to respond to questions or interact much with the audience.  It was just at the end of their time that they discussed questions or even acknowledged there was an audience listening to them. 

      Despite this, there was a great deal of useful information that could be learned and this is something that I will definitely look more into.  I would recommend anyone who is looking for creative ideas or teaching strategies to look into a Webinar as people from all over can collaborate and create truly amazing things.  I actually found it really helpful to be seeing exactly what they were talking about on the screen and it provided me with an idea of how I might use this with my students.  I have found that often times students who are absent during a PowerPoint lesson who review the material on their own really do not get the main idea.  If I could record myself teaching and then post that it could be beneficial to students.  This seemed a very successful strategy for this Webinar and one I want to look further into. 

      For students, a Webinar could be a way for them to teach a mini lesson on a topic and then post to the class website.  This would allow them the freedom to do whatever they would like for their lesson, without the pressure of the class staring back at them.  Also, by giving them the flexibility to incorporate other mediums into their lessons they will be able to really show their level of understanding. 

      Regardless of your level of comfort with this technology and learning style, Webinars are something that can offer a huge benefit to anyone.  By having students attend, participate or create you are encouraging them to be global learners who can contribute to world with their views and ideas.  As the world shifts more towards one that is constantly connected, the ability to navigate this new way of doing things is one that our students should participate in or even lead.

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