Friday, December 4, 2020

2020 #VWEDU: The flipped webinar: Discovering online learning. The potential is huge, but you gotta know the territory.

The flipped webinar:  
Discovering online learning.  
The potential is huge, but you gotta know the territory.
A webinar you can usually watch in a video.  That is like a class, not a like a seminar.  To match a typical academic seminar, you have to flip it to depend heavily on inputs from the participants. 


  • The advantages of online learning
  • But that only applies when people are learning what they need to learn. 
  • And it says nothing about the role on educators.  
  • Unless we are talking about educators learning online.  
  • Educators are doing that:  Online resources for educators
  • More specifically:  Webinars for educators.
  • And Online education conferences
  • Many of these seem to be in the traditional lecture format.  
  • That's when you pay for lecturers to tell you what they think you should know.
  • Some of us oldtimers in virtual worlds have been holding flipped webinars.
  • We just called them planning meetings or workshops.  
  • But I suggest we start promoting them as flipped webinars 

Flipped webinars

  • That's when the participants propose questions and topics.
  • And other participants prepare relevant comments and answers.
  • Preferably the questions and topics are prepared in advance.
  • Crowdsourcing the agenda: an organizer picks and promotes the agenda.  
  • A complete plan would call for:
  • a bulletin board (or the like) for asynchronous communication,
  • an online meeting time/place for synchronous discussion in voice,
  • A place for publishing and archiving the results of discussions.
  • The place for publishing might be a blog and YouTube channel.


How can you have a webinar without an expert?

  • You can't.  We are all experts at what we do.  
  • When we work together we expand the expertise.  
  • We are also experts at what we want to know.  
  • When we work together, we may find someone who can answer our questions.  
  • Maybe or maybe not.   
  • But we like it better than listening to an expert answer questions we didn't ask.

Draft plan for the flipped webinar

  • Draft title: Online Discovery  (double meaning here)
  • A flipped webinar is a persistent meeting with discussions about what the participants know or want to know. 
  • The persistent location may be a place in a virtual world or a web page, or both in the case of web worlds. 
What the participants want to know
  • You get that by asking them.
  • Persistent starts with a way to collect comments.
  • That might be web sites or a collection box for notecards.
  • Comments may be statementsquestions, or suggested topics.
  • The comments are posted on a public bulletin board (BB).
  • All participants get a copy of the BB items.  
  • If possible, they develop answers or further comments for the next meeting.
  • The web sites should not serve just one webinar.  
  • Any webinar could pick up the questions and topics.
  • All webinars should seek ways to preserve the useful parts of the discussion.
The group meeting
  • Any member can respond to any comment or question.  
  • Probably the discussion takes all responses to one comment at the same time.

An organizing committee (O) may be needed

  • The O handles publicity and may designate overall topics for each meeting.
  • The O may organize comments into groups of related items.  
  • The O may handle scheduling.

Preserving the useful parts

  • That does not mean preserving a hour's worth of discussion.
  • Some meetings are already archiving the chat logs. 
  • Those are of little use to someone with a specific question or topic of interest.
  • If the agenda has a user-specified topic, the useful part is, at most, the text chat or video of that discussion.  
  • I would think that the useful part would be about 5 to 10 minutes long.    
  • If the result is a video or text chat of 10 minutes or less and is on a user-initiated topic, I would be willing to publish it on this blog.
  • A video would first be published on YouTube and linked in related channels. 

Where and when do we have them?

Catching events in your online PLN. Meetings about online learning. Like webinars except they are free with no registration. More like collaboration than a lecture.

  • We have been having them for years.  
  • The new thing would be a web page for questions and topic suggestions.  
  • And a different way of organizing the meetings.
  • Here are some examples regular meetings that could become flipped webinars:
  • Kitely developer-user meeting Sundays 1 pm California time
  • Hypergrid developer-user talk: Tuesdays, 11 am California time. 
  • Infinite Metaverse Alliance (IMA) Wednesdays, 5pm  California time
  • Virtual Worlds Education Round Table (VWER)  12 pm California time
  • Nonprofit Commons (NPC) 8:30 am California time
  • Metaverse Software developer-user meeting.  12 pm California time (every other week)
  • 3DWebWorldz developer-user meeting.  1:30 pm Saturdays California time
  • In addition, several educators have online office hours that could convert to flipped webinars.   
  • Note that the meetings for Metaverse Software and 3DWebWorldz are accessed in a browser. 
  • And here is a calendar of such events:
  • Catching events in your online PLN. Meetings about online learning. Like webinars except they are free with no registration. More like collaboration than a lecture.

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  • Selby Evans in Kitely and Hypergrid, Thinkerer Melville in Second Life.

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