Tag Archives: webinars

When is a webinar an unwebinar?

Ben Gallagher was to present for last week’s Tech Talk Tuesday on the amazing accomplishments of his grade 1/2 class who love building with lego. They had this dream of making an animated movie. With Ben’s help it became a reality! Harvey Crumpet an Australian Academy Award winner encouraged them and the movie premiered on the big screen in a 700 seat cinema.

Unfortunately, at the last moment (ie 30 mins before the start of the webinar) other pressing commitments arose as Ben is acting Principal in his school. I often have to teach on the fly and my classrooms can often be messy, but what to do next when this was a webinar of high interest for adults. Should I cancel, quickly find something else or ???? At the very least I would stay in the room for the first 30 mins and tell any participants that the publicised presentation would not occur that day. If there were enough, we could see what questions they had re technology and hopefully answer them or explore the answers together.

A number of participants entered all from different educational backgrounds and some from different countries. We started to chat, share our learning spaces and I then asked what questions any had re technology. Ben, a graduate teacher expressed interest in learning more about connected learning and was an experienced web page designer before taking up teaching. Peggy George, one of my regular attendees from the USA and moderator of Classroom 2.0 wanted to know how to edit out some clips from an existing movie.

Ben suggested using iMovie, but Peggy wanted to see how to do it. Whilst they looked for a movie to share over application sharing allowing Ben to screen share and show exactly how to remove the unwanted material, I showed the use of padlet (an online sticky wall) with my year 7 ICT students. They had started to build a sympathy wall for those who were suffering from the loss of relatives, friends and community in the recent flight MH17 disaster.

Ben loaded a movie for us, app shared his desktop and proceeded to show how to edit and cut sections of the movie. However, Peggy had a different version of iMovie. She shared her movie and then working as a collaborative brain, participants and Ben helped Peggy edit the movie.

It was a fantastic effort by all and a really interesting session that worked completely unconference style but with so much learning gained where it was needed.


Tips for Creating Engaging and Effective Online Presentations

As the #ozelive conference approaches, following are some of the tips that I have for presenters to make their webinars engaging and effective. You are invited to add your tips as comments on this post.

  1. If it is your first time presenting  keep it simple but make it effective. 40-45 minutes is ample time to share your presentation.  Allow for questions and anwer them where possible
  2. Use text, wordles, word clouds, images where possible to remind you of what you would like to share (Remember: nervousness may make you forget) Keep text to a minimum – it can be boring! Do not read the text it is even more boring!
  3. Use lots of images but keep images to a small file size ie Do not use high quality images as they may not load in to the virtual room. If possible resize to 600width x 304height, or below 50kb in size. Irfanview is free and is a good digital editing software for windows machines. Or double click on the picture in powerpoint, goto compress pictures and choose email, apply to all.
  4. Where possible add some questions on slide and get participants to answer them in the chat to encourage interactivity.
  5. Add a poll for interactivity and get people to vote  or share their experiences
  6. Start with a slide(s) sharing who you are, what you do, where you are from and your passions. Add an image of yourself so people can see what you look like.
  7. Add your contact details, email address, links to your online sites eg blogs, wikis, websites, twitter handles for further connections, conversations and sharing.
  8. Depending on how much you will speak to each slide, 30-60 slides is a rough guide as  to how many you would need for a 30-45 min presentation.
  9. Preferably use a white background as colour uses up digital space in a virtual room.
  10. Share stories and experiences where possible.
  11. Create a google or online document that shares the links to your resources, contact details and enables questions after the webinar. Provide the link in the chat at varying intervals or create a qr code

What do you look for when attending online conferences? What makes a really effective virtual presentation? Do you have any tips to share from virtual presentations you have made or online conferences you have attended. Please share your views, ideas and resources.

What does the world’s largest classroom look like?

map across vic
What would the world’s classroom look like at any point in time? I feel that I experienced that this morning. Why? There was/were

    • 1 classroom (virtual in Blackboard Collaborate)
    • up to 17,000 students
    • 170 physical classes
    • A class of deaf students from Furlong Park School
    • 1 teacher (or presenter)

It is Safer Internet Use Day today and the Topic is “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  Our Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development organised a webinar for all interested Victorian classrooms. The presenter was Greg Gebhart from Cybersmart ACMA who spoke on “Let’s Build a Safer Internet Together”.  The session went for 45 mins and was highly interactive which is essential to student engagement in a virtual environment.

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Year 5 and 6 are engaged

Questions and polls were posed at varying intervals. Class answers were placed in the chat. The presentation included lots of graphics and images and Greg’s presentation style was also engaging. When a round of applause was called for at the end, many used the virtual clapping hand but it was also exciting to hear real applause and cheers from classes who turned on their microphones.

Isn’t technology exciting? This is  a wonderful use of technology that has engaged and embraced many students across Victoria simultaneously. To keep the conversations going, innovative Sandy Phillips has created a blog where students will actually be able to “Build a Safer Internet” and share their ideas, experiences and opinions. It is rich in resources so check out each of the pages as well as the posts and interact where possible. Below are the questions that Sandy uses to get discussions going with students and others.


What are you doing for Safer Internet Day?

Digital Images in Learning

dot  collage

When: Tuesday, June 11th 4-5pm,  Melbourne, Australia time (gmt+10) See timeanddate for your timezone

About this session: “An image is worth a 1000 words!” With this in mind, how can digital images be used for learning. What impact has technology on the use of images for learning? This will be an unconference style presentation where participants will share on some of the following topics:

  • favourite technology for capturing images and its impact for the classroom
  • different properties of digital images ie jpg, tiff, png etc and best sizes for storing images
  • tips and hints for using, uploading images online
  • favourite tools for editing images
  • sites to store images and favourite sites to share images
  • creative commons
  • suggestions of where to find copyright free images
  • and more

Please join us, learn and share with us. If you cannot join us, what responses could you provide on any of the above topics? Please add as a comment below.

Here is the link to the recording of this session.   What tips would you have for us?

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Crowdsourcing Tools for Student Engagement

When: Tuesday April 30th 4-5pm, Melbourne Australia time. See timeanddate for your timezone and day.

About this session: Last Tuesday we looked at google document as a tool for engaging students. Participants also shared the names of tools that they had experienced. This second session in this series will enable participants to share their favourite tools and step us through them. We will then use  our collective intelligence and experience to brainstorm how these can be successfully used for learning.

Come along and if possible bring along a favourite tool, share it with us and push innovation further. Where possible the tool will be stepped through and a collective document created to capture our knowledge.

Here is thelink to the recording of this session. Alternatively, you can view the recording on youtube. Thanks to Chris Smith (@shamblesguru) who has recorded the webinar in this fashion.

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Tools for Student Engagement

When: Tuesday, April 23rd 4-5pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10). Please note that we are now out of daylight saving time. Check the time and date here for your time zone. About this session:- Anne Mirtschin will lead a discussion on engaging students with technology. Discussion may centre around the following:-

  • is engagement in learning important?
  • what impact does it have on learning
  • how do we know when students are engaged – how does it look, feel and sound?
  • Sharing tools that participants have found to work
  • Looking at google apps, starting with google document and how it can be used for collaborative learning, sharing, engagement etc. This has been one of my favourite tools.

If you cannot make this session, it would be much appreciated if you could add your answers to the above questions. Hope to see you with us. Here is the link to the recording of this session.

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Using iPads to EnhanceTeaching and Learning

When: Tuesday 16th, 4-5 pm October Melbourne Australia time (gmt+11)

About this session: Joe Dale, from the Isle of Wight, UK, will be our guest presenter. Joe has been brought out to Australia several times this year to work with educationalists in the area of technology and mobility in teaching languages.  He will share, virtually, his experience and knowledge in using iPads to enhance teaching and learning. Joe is a UK Independent modern foreign languages and technology consultant and is host of the TES MFL forum and MFL portal manager for the OU’s Vital programme.

Please join us and share in the conversations. Click on  this link to listen to the recording. In this session, Joe shared the changing nature of learning, lots of resources, links, apps, thinking etc. Thanks Joe for getting up at 6am to share with us.

What questions do you have?

e-Ignite in Review

This was a trial session held in eT@lking last Wednesday evening, where five presenters were asked to bring 20 slides and speak to each slide for 20 seconds. See this post for more details on the schedule and presenters.


  1. fast paced
  2. variety of topics and presenters
  3. positive feedback from everyone – participants and presenters
  4. A google document was set up for feedback, contact details and questions further to the presentation.


  1. 20 seconds is not long! Getting used to speak to each slide concisely
  2. A couple of blank slides showed up. Despite me being able to see all slides, all other participants could not see two of them at all.
  3. the number of slides and size of files – slides with a lot of images used up bandwidth, which meant some did not display or took too long to load for some participants. Note: resize and compress images
  4. getting slides in early enough for the organiser to pre load and ensure  they have loaded into the room sufficiently as participants come in.
  5. multi-tasking:- need someone to moderate, keep the program flowing, another to just be in charge of the timer and someone to be onto the chat watching out for questions, problems etc.
  6. challenging to be both a moderator and a presenter
  7. if question time is allowed, four speakers may be the maximum
  8. technical difficulties prevented Penny Bentley from sharing her presentation. This will be held soon.

Below is Tania’s great presentation on  What’s good on facebook for educators and regular teachers

Ness’ valuable presentation on Voicethread

Thanks to all our wonderful presenters. It appears that this might be a regular event on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. Would you be prepared to present?

eT@lking: e-Ignite

Note: A big thank you to our fabulous presenters for their willingness and expert approach to presenting. There was a great range of topics and experiences were freely shared. Technical issues and time prevented Penny from presenting. But, she will share her presentation in eT@lking soon.

This week witnesses the launch “Connected Educator”  month, an initiative of the USA. The Australia Series is proud to continue to connect educators across the nation and beyond to the globe as part of their weekly webinars. This week also sees a pilot trial of e-Ignite take place with many connected educators sharing.

Ignite is a fast-paced geek event started by Brady Forrest (Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media) and Bre Pettis (of Makerbot.com, formerly of MAKE Magazine). The first Ignite took place in Seattle in 2006, and since then the event has become an international phenomenon, with gatherings in Helsinki, Paris, New York and many other locations. We’re proud to be bringing the format to the Australia Series on a virtual basis – e-Ignite.

Speakers will use 20 slides, rotated automatically with each slide shown for 20 seconds, giving each speaker 5-6 minutes of fame to share their passions and interests and ignite an interest in those who listen to their presentations. ISTE Ignite was brought to the ISTE conference in 2012. The sessions were extremely popular.

Please join us in this exciting venture and support those who are willing to be amongst the first to do so.

When: Wednesday 1st August, 8-9pm gmt+10 Melbourne, Australia time

Our e-Ignite presenters for this first session are:-

  • Carole McCulloch  – Connecting echampions/eleaders
  • Ness Crouch – Voicethread
  • Tania Sheko – What’s good on Facebook for Educators and Regular Teachers?
  • Penny Bentley – Connecting Learning
  • Shin Gog-s: Connecting with students through social networking tools – facebook and skype

Please join us and support this pilot trial! Here is the link to the recording.

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Using iPad apps for effective learning


When: Tuesday May 22nd, 4-5pm, Melbourne, Australia time (gmt+10)

About the session: Jenny Ashby will be leading a discussion about the  use of iPad apps for effective learning. She will share some of her favourite apps and discuss ways in which we can learn more about their use in the classroom. Come along with your questions and share your resources and ideas.

About our presenter: Jenny is a pioneering and leading expert in all things mac, ipad and ipod. She has presented overseas on numerous occasions and her advice is in high demand! Jenny is an ICT specialist, teacher coach, forever learning, forever teaching, early years literacy teacher and currently teaches in Bendigo, Australia.

Here is the link to the recording