This was a Serendipity session where we didn’t vote on a topic! As has been the case often recently we were a very small group. The session was recorded and discussion centred around three areas:
- How can we encourage more people to attend/should we continue the webinars at all?
- Possible topics and speakers for future webinars
- Help/ideas for getting the balance of words and slides right in Pecha Kucha
Our attendance has always been very variable, but from late 2008 when the webinars began until mid 2011 attendance was almost always well into double figures. However during the last year this has reduced. I think this may be due to a number of factors:
- There are now so many free webinars each week that people cannot attend all they would like to.
- A tendency for people to “catch the recording” instead of joining in. The highly interactive nature of our webinars means that fewer participants leads to a reduced range of ideas and opinions. Also if no-one joins then eventually there will be no webinar to record!
- The many other e-PD opportunities such as #tag chats on Twitter of which there are now hundreds.
- Not enough publicity, forward planning of FineFocus sessions, variety of topics and variety of presenters. My fault! Work pressure has been intense for the last year. I am hopeless at asking people to present for us – I just feel totally that I am imposing on them and also worry that attendance will be low and they will feel it isn’t worth doing.
- Timing of webinars – our early participants were mainly from the USA/Canada where it is afternoon/evening and this is often a good time for people to join. However with the huge increase in available e-PD including webinars that originate in the USA our overseas participation has reduced. We now have more Australians attending, however the early/mid-morning time is not good for many.
We discussed the above issues and also @jofrei shared her blogpost on promoting the webinars with a great mindmap of ideas. This was an outcome from a previous similar discussion last year.
We also talked a little about possible topics and presenters. Topics are usually relatively easy as it is always possible to have a discussion session about a currently “hot” e-topic or to mutually explore tools for a specific purpose. However for me finding possible presenters is a real issue. As I said earlier I am just no good at asking people – I always feel so much that I am imposing on them. Also I lack the time to find and ask possible presenters – not helped by the fact that because of work pressures I have been less active in my PLN over the past year and so I have a lower profile than previously.
If you have thoughts or ideas about:
- whether we continue the webinars
- how to publicise better
- topic suggestions
- presenter suggestions (yourself or someone you know)
- whether we change the format (from the alternate Serendipty/FineFocus) to something else
- whether we reduce the frequency to one per fortnight or one per month
Please comment on this post or tweet me (@JoHart)
Pecha Kucha – getting the timing right!
In this part of the session we took a look at the Pecha Kucha that @jofrei is developing about “The Tweet Family” her story of the gifted Tweetlets.
One of the main challenges is being that of timing. and so we discussed the issue of timing. For me the rigidity of the 20 seconds per slide is also likely to be my main problem with developing a Pecha Kucha. We talked about some possible strategies to overcome the difficulty of some slides needing only a few seconds of talk and others needing much more than 20 seconds.
There will be more on Pecha Kucha in our next session – “Sharing Pecha Kucha” as we will share our attempts at Pecha Kucha and discuss the challenges we found as well as the content of our presentations.
An interesting session! The issue of continuing the webinars or not has been on my mind for a while. Also the related concerns about the need to find topics and presenters and publicise them better. So it was good to discuss this with others. Since Pecha Kucha came up as a topic in a recent Serendipity it has interested and intrigued me and others. I am unsure that it will ever be my strategy of choice but feel it is good to try it out and our next session gives us that opportunity to “play”
Our Next Session
Our next Webinar is an Edublogs “Fine Focus” session where we will be “Sharing Pecha Kucha”. In this session some of us who took part in a Serendipity where Pecha Kucha was a topic will share our “homework” and talk about the challenges. If you have a Pecha Kucha you would like to share let me know – a comment on this post or Twitter: @JoHart and bring it along. Join us on Thursday June 28th at 23:00 GMT/UTC the time for you will vary depending on your timezone (check yours here) Thursday afternoon/evening in the USA, late night Thursday in Europe, and Friday morning June 29th in Australia – in the usual Blackboard Collaborate virtual room.
I love the atmosphere of your webinars and would like to participate in all of them, but I live in GMT+4 zone, so it is not easy. I hope to attend some webinars while on holiday, though. My summer holidays have just started. 🙂
Hi Tatyana sorry for taking so long to respond I missed the notification & only saw your comment when I went into comments to do something else. Thank you! I am so glad you like the atmosphere. I really wish you could join us. Unfortunately it is impossible to find a time that works for the entire globe. I have sometimes thought of trying different times occasionally but the current one is really the only one that we can manage consistently. I so hope you manage to join us at some point 🙂