This post is for my EDIM 514 Internet Tools for Teaching grad class.
This week we had to attend a live webinar and document our experience.
I’ve attended a number of webinars and even host monthly webinars as part of my job with Discovery Education so this is an area I am very comfortable with.
For this assignment I attended Discovery Education’s “Exploring Design- The Gateway to the Future”. This webinar provided a virtual field trip opportunity for students from around the nation to learn more about how The Autodesk Gallery (based in San Francisco) depends on STEAM subjects to create new, innovative designs.
Discovery uses Livestream as their platform for these field trips. I find Livestream very easy to use. If you are watching this with a group of students, Livestream allows you to pause the video and discuss what you are seeing, and then play the video again when you are ready. There is also a chat window that allows the students to ask questions or make comments. There was also a Twitter hashtag that students and/or teachers could follow during the webinar. I do find it hard to follow a Twitter hashtag when I’m trying to watch a Livestream unless I have a dual monitor situation. If I was watching this with students in a class, I could have them monitor the Twitter feed on an iPad.
There are many ways this type of broadcast could be incorporated into the classroom. This easily allows for students to virtually travel to new places, providing real-world learning experiences. Teachers could watch a webinar of an author talking about a book they are reading, or a scientist talking about a new species they discovered.
Students could also broadcast themselves in a webinar format to share information with their peers and even the community. For example, if students are learning about global warming, they could host a webinar that educates their community about how to conserve energy and reduce waste. It’s a great platform to leverage that gives students a real audience beyond their classroom. When you give students an authentic audience, they are more engaged and motivated to ensure their work is good.