Thursday, February 28, 2013

Attending my first Webinar

For this week's assignment, we were to attend a Webinar.  I chose:

Whatever happened to Joy?  Teaching in a Digital World  on

Discovery Education, Wednesday, February 27, 2013  4:30 – 5:30PM

Here are my reflections:

1.  What were the strengths and weaknesses of the show format?


To be honest, it was an amazing experience to attend such an informative session straight from the comfort of my home.  There I sat in front of my computer with my kids near me completing their homework.  I wasn’t sitting in some cold classroom in a tiny student desk trying to stay awake after a long day of work just thinking about how much I missed my family and wanting to hear about their days.  Not only did I benefit from this experience, but as my children got to listen in it led to some very interesting dinner discussion on what they really enjoyed about school. 


For a more professional response, it was really easy to follow the webinar.  The sound was clear and the presenter was extremely enthusiastic and “real” which captured my attention.  He spoke at a good pace.  He used a variety of notes, videos, links, etc. He was able to reach 80 of us at the same time.  The ability to share comments and questions through typing in the sidebar made it completely interactive.  I like the fact that you are able to comment and question without disrupting the presentation.  There was another man in charge of the “logistics” who was able to keep the flow of the secondary conversation going and respond to questions that were being posted.


I opened a word document while following the webinar and instantly started taking notes.  Everything I needed was right at my fingertips.


One weakness was that for some of the 80 attendees of the webinar, parts of the webinar could not be viewed because they was downloaded from youtube and these educators were viewing the webinar from schools that had filters that blocked Youtube.


Another weakness was that at times I missed a link or quote that I had hoped to jot down.  I had hoped to go back in his presentation to get the link, but that was not possible.  I’m understanding by what others posted that I will be able to download his presentation at some point and then be able to share it with others.


2.  Would you participate in future shows of this nature?


Absolutely!  I love the fact that as the presenter shared additional resources and websites, I was able to continue with the webinar and yet go to the sites he was talking about to experience them firsthand.  Multitasking at the ultimate level!  While all that was going on, other attendees were sharing additional resources.  I just kept jotting them down to research later.  And while all that was going on, my 4 year old was sitting on my lap watching the videos with me.  She loved the Harlem Shake video!!!


3.  How could this type of webcast be incorporated into the classroom?


Being a language teacher, I have seen the importance of making my teaching visual!  Although I try to present my information from all different learning styles, I know that there are always those students who just didn’t get it.  I can easily see how a lesson could be transposed into a webinar with the same verbal instruction, but also with corresponding visuals, graphics, and demonstrations.  Add in another explanation of the same concept from YouTube or another source and very possibly that student who just didn’t get it during class time with me, may now understand.  Sometimes just hearing it from someone else is what it takes.  In the readings that I have done, this is also a valuable tool for students who are absent as well as for substitute teachers who are covering your class for an extended period of time.


4.  How might you use it with students?   As attendees or broadcasters?


Again, using a webinar as reinforcement or some “reteaching” for difficult concepts I think would be very beneficial.  I can also see students using this as broadcasters.  I’m picturing my students holding a webinar about a specific Spanish speaking country.  This would be so much more entertaining than the traditional PowerPoint or in class presentation. I love the idea of being able to pose questions without interrupting the pace of the presentation. 



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