How much does taking part in webinars & workshops actually change ways of doing things in the classroom #ELTchat Summary 07/12/2011

A PLN for ELT Professionals

How much does taking part in webinars & workshops actually change ways of doing things in the classroom #ELTchat Summary 07/12/2011

This summary was contributed by Yitzha Sarwono @yitzhasarwono and is published here with her permission (and many thanks!)


A webinar, or web seminar, is a presentation, lecture , workshop or seminar that is transmitted over the web  with the internet as the ‘magic’ making it all happen. This means that no matter where you live or work, you can attend this from your PC or laptop in your own home. Of course this gives freedom as you can join any chosen Webinar that suits your needs; professional development is simply a click away.

Most participants on #eltchat have joined or participated in webinars. Many believe it gave them some perspective on how to see themselves in the classroom. But of course a lot also depends on how willing they are to try out something new they learn during a webinar.

So, what is it about webinar that appeals to them to join?

  • A good starting point for a new teacher to learn from moreexperiences colleagues.
  • The convenience of joining and following from your own home.
  • The recording facility that makes it easier for us to go back and see what we’ve missed.
  • The interactivity between fellow participants, moderators  and the presenters
  • The opportunity to meet dedicated educators to follow, engage and build a great PLN

There are many great ideas in webinars that we can use in our classroom, such as  Lesson ideas, pedagogy, materials, games, etc. It is very good to apply what we’ve learnt during a webinar to test whether and to what degree it works in the teaching situation we are currently working in.

Another great thing about it, of course, is that we have lots to choose from as we can easily find various webinars on a variety of topics. But with so many of them to choose from, how do we pick the ones that we need?


Well,  based on what we’ve discussed , Here are the top reasons :

  1. Topic : The one you can immediately relate to your teaching.
  2. Presenter : Everyone has their professional reasons on why they favor one from another.
  3. Availability : The one that can suit your time zone.


Generally most #ELTchatters  think that webinars should not be too long, but I think it’s all about the presentation. It is really important though to have ‘takeaways’ and ‘food for thought’ things you can implement right away. Real examples, interactivity, and practical tips are some of the things we are looking for in attending one. Seeing the presenters on video is nice but it can also cause some bandwidth problems, so it is appreciated to have an option when video slows things down too much. The interactivity between audiences is also one of the great things about a Webinar.


The backchannel (what participants type into the text chat box) is a great way to see if participants are following or have questions though at times it can be ‘chatty’ too, so a Q & A session at the end of the session will benefit even more. Multiple moderators can add to the dynamics of the webinar as they can help each other in setting up the nice rhythm to the Webinar .
But  can Webinars help us to actually change ways of doing things in the classroom?  

There were a few opinions on this one.

  • Webinars will affect your teaching only if you have the authority to implement what you learnt right away.
  • Games, and practical tips are some of the ones we could easily take and put in our lesson plan while others may be harder to do.
  • And Webinars  and workshops do give us more than just add things to our teaching; they can also make us better teachers simply by giving usa better insight about ourselves and what we are actually capable of doing in the classroom.

Some fabulous tweets:

@Shaunwilden : I’m guessing that most people who follow #eltchat attend webinars.
@esolcourses : in my opinion, webinars and workshops can be very useful for CPD – think you need to be selective though to avoid being overwhelmed by the info #eltchat
@hoprea : I choose my webinars the same way I choose conferension and workshops. 3 things to consider ; Presenter, topic and my availability #eltchat
@barbsaka : Best thing about webinar I think are the recordings! I have a hard time choosing and live in an inconvenient time  #eltchat
@ShellTerrell : I enjoy it whenthe  presenter shows real examples and is enthused about the topic #eltchat
@esolcourses : One of the great things about webinars that are recorded is that you can dip into them again later- big+ #eltchat
@rliberni : I think it is really important that you have’takeaways’ that you can implement straight away #eltchat
@Shaunwilden : I like real examples, some interactivity, practical tips and the audience chatting to each other #eltchat
@oyajimbo : Personally would like a webinar to give me a too/application/idea I can go away and get my head around. Short and sweet, practical #eltchat
@MrChrisWilson: I like webinars where I can offer something to the discourse (even if it is a basic point) and take away something new #eltchat
@theteacherjames: I have mixed feelings about the interactivity of the audience. Can be great , but also sometimes just feels like padding #eltchat
@JulieRaikou : Webinars are difinitely change the way I think & teach. Thanks to @ShellTerrell @Ilotimo and met many through #eltchat
@shamsensei : I use webinars as a way to engage with teachers around the world, and tweet my reactions and questions to presenters direct #eltchat
@Ilotimo : I share always materials to my students from webinars, ideas also #eltchat
@Marisa_c : I think most of us aware that webinars are a great promotional tool – but good to give people a taste if paying later, right? #eltchat
@rliberni : I do webinars for my IELTS people . It’s just another way of doing a lesson #eltchat
@hoprea : Sometimes I find that the chat gets in the way. But perhaps it’s because men can only focus on one thing at a time #eltchat
@barbsaka : the backchannel is a great way to see if the participants are following, or have questions, but at times it can just be “chatty” #eltchat
@aClilToClimb : I think presenters should show when to tune off from the backchannel. The moderators have to control that and pass on questions to presenter #eltchat
@JulieRaikou : Be brave! Webinar presenters and moderaotrs are very approachable and helpful #eltchat
@ShellTerrell : I tend to apply what i’ve learned in a webinar immediately or reflect on my teaching practice #eltchat

Some great links about webinars :

And as I believe that a key for a good webinar is having the ability to give, receive and discuss information, here is the tweet of the the day by @josepopoff  to end this summary:

“ Webinars are a great opportunity for personal development , and most of them are free! Teachers want to learn, Teachers want to teach” 
See you soon guys! – Icha