I have recently discovered the ease and value of early childhood focused online training and webinars but after doing a little research I have discovered that many people are still hesitant to embrace this relatively new technology or don't understand how it works and are too embarrassed to raise their hand and ask for more information.
I have been doing a lot of investigating in the past year and exploring various modes of webinar delivery and topics of interest. I have attended quite a few…and left a few too unfortunately , but overall I have found them to be a valuable asset to my work as an early childhood educator and business owner.
In the last few years I have rarely attended any face to face workshops or training for the following reasons:
- I live in a regional area of Australia and for some reason we are rarely offered quality or useful training sessions
- If I want to attend conferences or workshops with interesting topics and excellent presenters I need to travel to a capital city
- I don't have the money for flights, accommodation and associated travel expenses
- I can't afford to close my business for a few days which is what has to happen because they always seem to be offered during the weekly business hours
- I don't like leaving my children to head off to travel for training, my family time on weekends is precious.
- They are usually too expensive for what I receive in return
- I'm a busy woman
Don't get me wrong, I love attending a fantastic training and networking with colleagues and others passionate in my field, it's a valuable experience when you are able to attend quality training sessions or conferences but the reality is many people are time poor nowadays and just don't have the bank balance or time to set aside for these events. A shame but it's the reality.
So I have been really excited to begin attending webinars. There aren't as many interesting and ‘outside of the box' topics as yet for our professional sector (long day care and family day care) but I'm hoping that will change over time as more people begin to embrace the possibilities.
I'm not saying it's a perfect option, you will still encounter boring presentations and training content that doesn't live up to its description and promise but overall I am finding them a valuable tool for my professional development.
I wanted to explore this exciting area a little more so I decided to begin offering my own online training and workshop sessions. It's been a learning curve for me too, I am used to presenting face to face and working with groups so it will be a challenge but I really think it is such a great option for so many people currently unable to access useful training that I wanted to try!
But I understand what it's like to have to get your head around something new, especially if you aren't a computer person…Who's got the time?
Well that's why I'm here to help!
What is a Webinar?
- A live online event hosted by a sole organiser or company
- It is broadcast via the hosts computer in live time to those registered for the training event and watching via their own computer browser or video conferencing software.
- A webinar or online training allows a presenter to share PowerPoint presentations, videos, web pages or other multimedia content with audiences that can be located anywhere.
- You will see whatever is being shown on the presenters screen via your own computer browser – for example if they are showing powerpoint slides on their screen you will be able to follow along. The presenter may also choose to display their webcam and chat to you at times throughout the presentation.
- You will hear the presenter through your computer's speakers or via phone if you have called the provided number (this option can incur charges though)
- You will be able to chat with the presenter and other attendees via a typing chat box (unless the presenter disables it for a particular presentation)
- You will be able press a button on the conferencing toolbar that will show the presenter you have raised your hand to ask a verbal question. You will use your computer mic or phone to do this.
- You will have access to training materials and resources a presenter has made available for you to download. Most webinars will offer a certificate of attendance after completion of the webinar.
- Webinar sessions are usually recorded so those that cannot make the live date can still purchase the webinar recording to watch at a more convenient time to them.
- So basically you are attending a live training session and are able to view and interact in a presentation as you would normally but this time from the comfort of your own home .
Sounds easy but how do I actually do it?
6 Easy steps to attending an online training event
1. When you find a webinar or session of interest to you click on the link provided which will usually take you to a registration and payment page the same as any training you normally register and pay for).
2. Make sure to confirm the time and date suit you before registering and parting with your money!
3. You will more than likely receive a few automatic email reminders from the organiser before the event so you don't forget to attend.
4. After registering you will normally receive a link and entry code via email. When it is time for the training session to begin just click on the link and you will enter the virtual training room with other attendees…and no they won't see you so don't worry about dressing up 😉
5. Depending on the webinar software tool your presenter is using you will see a dashboard with a few basics like audio, raise hand button, chat screen, attendees in the room and whatever content the presenter has up on their screen for you to view.
6. All you need to do is watch your computer screen – you will need to ensure you have audio speakers or you can listen in on your phone if this isn't an option for you. If you want to be more interactive you will be able to type into the chat box or if you have a microphone/headset you can also hit the ‘raise your hand' button to ask a question everyone can hear.
So there you have it….easy! I'm so excited to be bringing my own series of webinars your way…I have been developing them on topics of interest that educators have been sharing on my facebook page, blog and via email messages so you know they will be relevant. I will be keeping costs low so everyone has a chance to attend and I think they are going to be a fabulous networking opportunity as well!
6 Reasons why I think you will love my online training…
1. There is no need to travel
2. There is usually no need to take time off work as my webinars are offered outside of normal work hours for educators on a Friday or Saturday night (because let's face it you were only going to be programming not partying anyway 😉 )
3. You can train while enjoying a glass …or two of wine 😉
4. It's cheaper , yet I aim to deliver content that is interesting and most of all RELEVANT to your work in an easy to understand style (I don't like wasting my own time let alone yours!)
5. You can still be interactive, ask questions and connect with me and other attendees during a presentation
6. You will have access to a interactive workbook for all sessions and receive a certificate of attendance via email after completion of the session.
The wonder of sensory play…1.5 hours
The topic I'm exploring in my first online training session is the absolute wonder of sensory play. We'll explore the important role sensory play offers to children's learning and development and why it is crucial you provide regular sensory experiences opportunities for the children in your care.
You'll find out how to offer sensory play in your home or service everyday…easily and cost effectively. You'll see and discuss the demonstrations, provocations and real play experiences I use in my own family day care service and share regularly on this blog and Facebook page . Hear ideas and suggestions from other participants.
Learn simple strategies and easy tips to help you embrace ‘messy play' rather than dread or avoid it.
We'll also be discussing the basics of Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) and how educators can support those children affected in the crucial early years before formal schooling begins.
There will be time for you to ask questions and share your own experiences as we network and build upon your current skills.
All you have to do is click on the photo below which will take you to a registration page. Complete a few simple details then continue on to paypal to complete your registration and confirm your place in the workshop. You don't need a paypal account, you can also pay via credit card.
The wonder of sensory play is just $38 and you will receive a workbook in both Word and PDF formats. If you have Word you can open the workbook and make notes as we work through the presentation. You will of course receive a Certificate of Attendance as well. All participants will also receive a link to download the recorded webinar.
I can't wait to share this and future online training opportunities with you. Have a suggestion for a topic you would love to attend a workshop on? Leave your ideas and suggestions in the comments section below, I would love to hear them!
The next workshop scheduled is “Sustainability made easy” on the 29th May 2015, 8pm – 9.30pm AEST.…interested?
You can find out more and secure your place by clicking the photo below.
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