Professional Development: Webinars

Last night I stayed up very late in Nepal to catch a few webinars on SimpleK12. One was a fast-paced Web 2.0 smackdown where each presenter (me included–cool!) shared his/her screen and told about a useful tool. I chose PollsEverywhere, not because it is the best polling system out there, as others provide more analytics and assessment (InfuseLearning was highlighted as well), but because it is an easy way to turn any device into student response systems. I also learned about some other great tools such as screenr for instant screencasts, Doug Edmonds YouTube music videos that teach content, and BeeClip student digital scrapbook alternative to Glogster. I asked questions on the backchannel that were later answered and left feeling enthused and full of ideas. ]

The next webinar was on Symbaloo, which I am actually teaching this week during a professional development discussion, and I gained some new ideas on how to incorporate this tool. For starters, I’m going to set the homepage of all of the laptops to my Symbaloo webmix so that students don’t waste so much time pulling up websites and to keep them on task. I didn’t realize there were so many useful webmixes already created, such as “Surprisingly Edu Apps” and “Best Education Blogs.” I will definitely be spending some time webmixing this week.

I’ve tried a few times over the years to attend a successful webinar and have always left frustrated. It was either was boring or laden with technical problems. This webinar experience has encouraged me and I will be looking for others on topics of interest.

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