Webinars for Online Educators: Professional Development on the Web

The concept of a webinar is brilliant; being able to learn from an expert in his or her field of expertise with only an Internet connection and a laptop -regardless of where you are.

Webinars are seminars on the web given by one or more individuals in an area of their specialty, are ‘live’ (in real-time) typically one hour in duration, and are usually open to anyone who is interested. The benefit of the live webinar is the interactivity; participants can ask questions (through a chat feature) and converse with other participants through chat and/or with interactive white boards.

In this post I’ve compiled a list of upcoming [live] webinars geared to educators. I’ve also included for readers that might be new to this format a list of webinar basics in ‘Webinars 101’ below.

Webinars 101

  • Pre-registration is required for most webinars. You’ll need to provide basic information, [name, area of work/interest, etc.] including an email address.
  • Costs vary; many are free to all, though some are fee based.
  • Upon registration you will receive a confirmation email with a link [and sometimes a password] which will give you access to the webinar on the given date and time.
  • Check the time zone.
  • On the day of the webinar, it’s a good idea to log on 10 minutes before the start time. Usually no special software or plug-ins are required, but if you do, at this time you’ll receive a prompt notifying you of the necessary files or links required for downloading.
  • You’ll need audio to hear the session. The presentation usually consists of slides accompanied by the voice of the  facilitator.
  • Participants can ask questions by typing into the chat box, which usually appears in the lower portion of the screen. Frequently, the last 10 minutes of the webinar are devoted to Q & A.
  • Take notes or not. Listen. Learn. Enjoy.


Upcoming Webinars

Title: The Virtual and the Reality of Avatar-Based Learning
Led by one of the principal leaders in 3D learning, Ran Hinrichs, CEO of 2b3D, an award-winning virtual education company and University of Washington Virtual World faculty.  Offered through ISTE, International Society for Technology in Education.
Date: August 1, 2012 – 2:00pm – 3:00pm
Cost: Non-member Price: $99.00 / Member Price: $39.00.  For further details click here.

Title: Changing Mindsets, Motivating Students. Education Week PD Webinars
Renowned psychologist Carol Dweck discusses how teachers can use new discoveries in cognitive development to improve student motivation and engagement. Hear about the most common mistakes teachers make in trying to motivate students and discover detailed strategies for promoting a “growth mindset” rather than “fixed mindset” in the classroom.
Date: Tuesday, August 14, 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET
Cost: $49. For further details click here.

Title: The Pervasive Wireless Campus: Creating Life-Long Learners
Sponsored by Campus Technology
Join this session to hear what digital learning means to college students. Travis Allen, a college junior and president and CEO of the iSchool Initiative, will discuss how bringing technology into the classroom opens up the world of learning for students raised in the Information Age. We’ll also talk about how institutions can take advantage of virtualization to achieve this new wireless, learn-on-the-go pedagogy.
Date: August 2, 2012, 11:00 AM PT
Cost: Free. For further details  click here.

Title: Universal Access to All Knowledge
This talk will give an overview of the collections and challenges now facing those building digital libraries and end with a list of projects that might now be possible because of these collections.  Sponsored by: American Library Association
Date: Wednesday, September 5, 2012, 11am Pacific | 12 Mountain | 1pm Central
Cost: Member $39, Non-member: $49. For further details click here.

Webinar Round-Up: Get thinking out of the Box…

I find Webinars [web based seminars] a tremendous, efficient and effective way to stretch my thinking beyond the ‘normal’ parameters that I work within day-to-day, kick-start my creativity and learn something new that often leads to novel way to approach a project. Usually only an hour-long, often for free, [and with a web-enabled device], Webinars allow you to log on and listen to an expert in a given field [social media, leadership and education which I’ll focus on in this post] ask questions through chat and learn about a new topic, technology or perspective. As part of my own personal development, my goal is to participate in one Webinar a month on a topic that might be related to my work though often is not. In this post I’ll share some upcoming Webinars around the Web that may be of interest.

Below I’ve listed upcoming sessions in May and June that look interesting –  in a previous post, I explained the ins and outs of Webinars, with some tips for maximizing their effectiveness, if interested, click here.

The Culture Cycle: How to Shape the Unseen Force that Transforms Performance, Sponsored by Harvard Business Review. Date: May 21.  No cost. The host is one of Harvard’s esteemed professor’s James Heskett who will discuss his new book Culture Cycle, describe how culture evolves, is shaped and sustained, fosters innovation, and can promote organizational survival in tough times. Click here for further details.

Conversations in Leadership. Sponsored by Skillsoft. Date: June 6. No cost. Author  Shawn Achor, former professor of Harvard University, has extensively researched the elusive concept of ‘happiness’ and in this webinar discusses his findings in his new book, The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work.  Though this webinar is free, it is promoted by Skillsoft company, likely for leads for new business. Click here for further details.

In Conversation with Jay Cross: Social Business takes Social Learning. Sponsored by Social Learning Centre. No cost with free membership to the Social Learning Centre. Hosted by Jane Hart and facilitated by Jay Cross, author, educator, who is considered “the Johnny Appleseed of informal learning”. Jay has challenged conventional wisdom about how adults learn since designing the first business degree program offered by the University of Phoenix. A champion of informal learning and systems thinking. Click here for further details.

Social Media
Using Social Media to Support Workplace Learning, featuring Jane Hart (a leader in social media for professionals and educators, founder of Social Learning Centre a terrific network that offers free resources and insights into emerging tools and technologies). Sponsored by eLearning Guild. Date: Fee based. June 12. In this session, listen and discuss with Jane Hart about her experiences in, ideas about, and predictions for using social media to support workplace learning. Click here for further details.

Managing Traditional and Social Media for Libraries. Sponsored by the Public Library Association. No cost.  Date: May 31. This session, geared to the media library media specialist, will discuss the fundamentals of media planning and outreach, social media, and skills required to promote library activities and advocacy efforts.  Click here for further details.

Higher Education
Meeting Today’s Workforce Education Challenges. Sponsored by Pearson Learning Solutions. No cost. Date: May 31. The Webniar’s host, Pat Gerity, is VP of Workforce Education at Westmoreland College in PA,  and appears to have extensive experience in  transitioning college students into the workforce. Click here for more info.

Captioning for Lecture Capture. Campus technology. Sponsored by Campus Technology and Tegrity, McGraw Hill. June 5. No Cost.  Click here for further details.

Improving Student Engagement Through Early Career Mapping. Sponsored by EDweek. Date: May 22.  No Cost. Click here for further details.

How States use Digital Learning to support Education Reform. iNacol (International Association for K12 Online Learning).  Date: June 13. Members $39, Non-members $99. In a report from Illinois State Board of Education, co-authors Dr. Tom Clark and Dr.  E. Oyer explore the changing landscape of education reform and technology programs to develop and sustain innovation. Click here for further details.

Empowering School Cultures to Support all students. Sponsored by Edweek. Date: June 5. No cost.  Education author and speaker Alan M. Blankstein, will discuss how to create and build resourceful and confident school cultures. Click here for further details.

Beyond LMS Boundaries: Web 2.0 Enriching Online Learning and Assessment. Sponsored by iNACOL  (International Association for K-12 Online Learning). Date: June 21. Fee based. Click here for further details.

Learning Management Platforms
Haiku, Learning Management Platform. Learn about this K-12 LMS platform with webniars offered every Tuesday and Thursday. Click here for further details.

The Flipped Classroom. Sponsored by Sophia, Learning Management Platform. May 22, and June 12. Click here for further details.

The Moodle Gradebook. Moodle Rooms. Date: May 30. Click here for further details.


Photo Credit: Tic-Tac-Toe, Think outside Box, by ArtJonak

Webinar Round-up: Professional Development for the e-learning Educator

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Information is not knowledge“, Albert Einstein. There is no shortage of information given the ‘information gateway’ at our fingertips – yet finding the time to select relevant, meaningful and worthy information that can be synthesized into knowledge is a challenge.  I’ve struggled with how to choose from the deluge of information,  materials that I can use to expand my knowledge base, and keep current with the ‘latest’ developments in the realm of educational technology. One solution?  Webinars. These online seminars are time efficient, relevant, inexpensive [often free] and cutting edge [for the most part]. Through trial and error, I’ve been able get the most out of these sessions in an efficient way.  I’ve shared my strategy below, and included a selection of upcoming webinars  that may be of interest to educators.

What are Webinars?
The term webinar, defined by Webopedia“is short for a Web-based seminar, a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the Web” .  The key feature of a webinar is interaction. Though not at a high level, there is ability to ask questions of the presenter, ‘chat’ with other participants and hear live from one or more experts on a given topic. Several platforms deliver the webinar, and as the user, for the most part you don’t need to download any software. It’s easy to participate. First step is registering, done online of course, at which time a link is provided by the host. On the day and time of the webinar, participating is as simple as clicking on the link provided 5 minutes before the start time, and you’re in.  🙂

Benefits of the Webinar for Professional Development
Recently I’ve learned much by attending various webinars including:  how lecture capture systems are being implemented in traditional campuses and what that means pedagogically (and gathered ideas of how this will benefit the online program at my workplace), the new LMS platform Canvas (Instructure), identified new instructional design strategies, identified a new method for making learning more personal for our students, and more. All through attending various webinars in the last three months. Though each topic has not been directly related to what I’m working on at the moment, I’ve expanded my knowledge base, by listening  to experts in an area of educational technology –  without leaving my office, without spending more than one hour to do so, and at no (or little) cost!

Webinar Strategy
Finding webinars and choosing ones of potential benefit can be challenging in itself. But worth the effort. Here’s what I have gathered.  First, free webinars are terrific, but you want to identify who the sponsor is, and who might be involved as a ‘guest’ or as a supporting presenter. Sponsors of the webinar are those paying for the delivery, not a bad thing, but be aware that the sponsor usually is using the webinar platform to gain more clients or sell a product (bias is possible of course). The benefit is that one can identify trends in the market (by the product featured) and often can hear from users of the product, and their experiences. Often you’ll here from instructional designers, technology leaders etc from other educational institutions. They often share experiences and answer questions not necessarily related to the product. Here’s some further points:

  • Establish a goal of attending one webinar a month – picking a topic that is not necessarily related directly to your area of expertise. I find this helpful in expanding my knowledge base and I often get ‘ideas’ for my work by doing so.
  • Sign-up for for e-newsletters of ed tech organizations or associations. Sign-up is usually free, and you’ll receive notification of upcoming webinars. The downside is the emails; there will be emails aplenty. Suggestions: Campus Technology, ISTE, ASTD, EduCause and the e-learning Guild.
  • Take notes while participating, filing them in a designated file. I have a folder, Webinars on my desktop to keep my notes and any materials from the webinar such as power point slides.
  • Ask questions during the webinar (typed in through the chat box) – they usually get answered.
  • Take note of the email of presenter if you have  information, question or project you would like to share with him or her. I find most hosts are very open to participants questions and feedback after the fact.

Upcoming webinars 

Mobile Learning: Designing Instructionally Sound and Engaging mLearning
No cost. Sponsored by:
Date: Wednesday, April 4th, Click here for details

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Image via CrunchBase

Social Media for Faculty Engagement: Utilizing Social Technologies to Improve Faculty Communications & Collaboration
No Cost: Sponsored by GoingOn
Date: March 27th. Click here for details

Tegrity and the Flipped Classroom
No Cost. Sponsored by McGraw-Hill Tegrity
March 20, 2012,Click here for details

EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative 2012 Online Seminar
March 19, 2012 • 1:00–4:00 p.m. ET (UTC-4) convert to your time zone  Runs three hours.
Click here for further details (I’ve attended a webinar by this presenter – she is very good)

Hybrid Learning and Instructional Design:
No cost for Sloan-C members, $99 for non-members/Guests of Sloan C
Date:  March 20, 2012. Click here for details

What to Expect in Learning Technology and Learning Content in the 3-5 Year Horizon
No cost. Sponsored by Next is Now Click here for details
Date: April 25, 2012

Remote Proctoring in Online education:
No cost. Sponsored by: Campus Technology (magazine) and Software Secure
Date: March 27, Click here for details

Keep Learning 🙂