Saturday, October 11, 2014

Learning from a Webinar

I have been using video to teach in my flipped classroom for four years. Oddly, I had never considered teaching with a webinar until this week in my Master’s Degree program where the focus has been on webinars as a teaching tool. I chose a webinar about using flipped classroom methods in adult training, Extend the Shelf Life of Your Training: Lessons You Can Implement from the Flipped Classroom. This topic is interesting to me as I am transitioning from the classroom to working with teachers using technology.  With a dual purpose, I participated in the webinar.

Matt Pierce and Ryan Eash created an engaging presentation with beautiful illustrations and very little text. They conveyed their information with voice and engaged us with a variety of interactive features found in the webinar service, Blackboard Collaborate. There were many options for interacting including an interactive white board feature where comments could be added by the attendees. They did a good job helping the attendees find and use the tools like “thumbs up/thumbs down” and the text and draw, but some of it was still difficult to use effectively. The chat box was lively. The time only allowed for only some questions to be chosen for response.  With a large audience real conversation was unrealistic, but there were opportunities for feedback and assessing knowledge. One of the surprising benefits of the webinar format was when the presenters were covering information I already know, the history and basics of flipped learning, I could do other things and really listen when they were talking about how to use it with adult learners. I was not distracting others during that portion of the webinar by being visibly off task. I was able to access knowledge of experts by attending the webinar.

This access to experts could be helpful in the classroom. Often there are times when it would be more meaningful for students to see how the topic they are studying is used in the real world. When choosing my webinar I saw there is a great variety of webinars available and many are appropriate for involvement in the classroom. Review sessions via webinars would serve students who could not physically attend the session due to scheduling. The ability to record the webinar insures students throughout the day will get to see the same presentation, even if they cannot interact. I can also envision a group of students using a webinar as a way to reach an authentic audience to share results of a project or experiment. Like many technology tools, once you find one use and give it a try, others start to appear. 

Eash, R., & Pierce, M. (2014, October 9). Extend the Shelf Life of Your Training: Lessons You Can Implement from the Flipped Classroom. Retrieved October 9, 2014, from

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