Webinars – what are they about?

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Dr. Michael Hallissy

Overview of this session

• What is a webinar?

• How to do online webinar meetings

• How they can be participatory?

• How they can build capacity of community groups at local level?

• A recent case study I conducted with City of Dublin ETB

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• Working in a range of contexts to support teachers to use digital technologies in teaching, learning and assessment practices

• Teacher professional development a key focus

• Doctoral thesis

– " Building teacher professionalism in teaching-learning interactions between online tutors and learners during synchronous tutorials – a case study from

Hibernia College ”

– Focus is on how we can capture and develop teacher professional practice in relation to using digital technologies

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Tendency to overhype the impact of technology

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Who has participated in a webinar previously?

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Learning at a distance

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Elements of learning online

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Tools of the Trade

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Can also link into group event?

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Webinars – what are they?

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Learning through Discussion

• Allows students to learn from each other

• “I can listen, and follow, but that does not mean I have understood it securely as an

idea I can generate myself

• (Laurillard, 2012; p. 145)

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Free Tools

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Typical Functionality you have in webinar software



Hands up

Yes No


Chat box

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Online Learning – connect with a guest lecture

• Allows you to connect live at a distance

• Allows you to interact with your audience in real-time

• Allows you to bring “ experts ” or “guest lectures ” into your learning space

• It can be archived and replayed

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Online Learning - Facilitate Discussion at a distance

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Are they engaged during these sessions?

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Or are they otherwise engaged?

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But it can be so much more …

Unplanned chats among peers over lunch

Lively in-class discussions or debates

Student-led presentations or performances

Study group, team, or committee gatherings

Impromptu exchange between a student and a lecturer after class or during office hours

Timely and personalised guidance from a reference librarian, advisor, or a lecturer

(Finkelstein, 2006; 3)

• And the list goes on …

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Hosting an engaging webinar – analogy of a dinner party

Prepare for their arrival

Welcome them warmly

Frequently assess the mood of the room

Have more food (for thought) than you need

Make everyone feel included

Facilitate Connections and conversation, but don ’t dominate ever discussion

Offer guests something to take home with them

Know when to say good night; leave everyone wanting more

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Have resources ready in advance

When they arrive you can focus on these and on collaboration

Welcome people by name

Create a warm and secure environment

Frequently check that people are alright

Don ’t wait till the end of the evening

Prepare more activities that you need

Don ’t feel you need to use them all

Give people opportunities to interact

Refer to comments made by people by name

Your role is to facilitate an environment where learners are exchanging ideas with others, and seeing their peers as resources for ongoing learning

Provide a transcript or a recording of the event

Access to slides, readings or continue the discussion on the forum

End on a high point. Don ’t try to cover everything. Monitor the energy levels and go with the group.

Webinar Case-study – City of Dublin ETB

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Thank You

Michael Hallissy mhallissy@h2.ie

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• Websites: mhallissy mhallissy http://www.slideshare.net/mhallissy/ http://ie.linkedin.com/in/michaelhallissy www.h2learning.com

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