Webinars for Professional Development

I will never forget the first time I heard the word webinar. I was traveling to work one morning and I was listening to The Bob and Tom show. Those of you who don’t listen, I recommend it. I am always laughing during my 30 minute commute. Anyways, the bit on the webinar was called haunted meeting and it revolved around the idea of having another pointless business meeting and including a webinar and all of these people are screaming while a guy narrates with a scary voice. At that point, I had only heard few things about webinars.

Now, I find myself planning a webinar on boys literacy in November. I have spent my Saturday going through some training and playing with Wimba, the interactive webinar space where myself and other teacher consultants at CRWP will be using for our webinars on various topics dealing with writing. I really enjoyed our writing prompt to start our training today where we shared our thoughts about webinars. As teachers we are being asked to do more and more with students and within our classroom and our classroom sizes aren’t getting any smaller these days. I think webinars are going to be very beneficial to an educator that can not find the time to attend a traditional conference. Teachers can stay at school to do it or they can be in their pajamas at home. In my true opinion, I believe teachers will be participating in webinars more and more. Time constraints will be one reason, but another big reason will be money. Teachers are being forced to pay for more professional development out of their pocket. Districts are limiting PD spending or eliminating it altogether.

So, webinars are great ways to get around a few issues that plague teachers and school districts. Plus, webinars are easy to navigate; even for the novice technology individual. I know there are a lot of people out there that are frightened by technology and may not even know what a webinar is, but I can assure anyone that webinars are going to connect people across the country in the education world. And why not, it has worked for the business world. It is going to be crucial that we look at this tool as funding gets cut every place in the educational world.


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