We are always thinking of new ways to share what we’ve learned at Listenwise about the power of listening.
Last spring we decided to launch a series of webinars, though we had never done webinars before. We know teachers are pressed for time but eager to learn and hone their craft. We thought giving teachers and administrators the option of a free webinar might interest them and be convenient to listen live, or view the recording in their own time.
What we found blew us away.
In our spring series of webinars we had 1,060 teachers and administrators sign up for our 4 webinars. 122 people went to multiple webinars.
The webinars were all 30 minutes long and included topics like, how to teach your students about fake news, how to teach and assess listening, and how to build empathy skills using podcasts and public radio..
Many of the webinars were led by teachers using Listenwise. It’s their experiences in the classroom that speak the loudest.
Our most popular webinar was on a topic that is not part of our Listenwise product, but is very topical. It was a webinar on how to spot fake news.
I drew on my experience as a public radio reporter to create an engaging session on practical ways to teach students how to be savvy media consumers. As a company, we believe in the power of listening, but also believe the power of fact-based news reporting to educate responsible citizens. Teachers were looking for help with how to talk about fake news.
In our spring webinars we also offered teachers a free trial of our premium platform for attending. And if they signed up but couldn’t make the live broadcast, they were emailed a link to the recorded webinar.
From our spring success, we have launched two new webinar series this fall and have had a good level of engagement. We’ve learned that if we offer something, it helps to build sign-ups prior to the webinar. By offering professional development certificates to the attendees at our live recordings, they have more incentive to join us live.
We have also experimented with different topics: This fall we focused more on our amazing teacher users, to share their best practices and innovative teaching strategies. One of our most recent popular webinars was around how teachers can get their students started on creating their own podcasts in class.
Again, this draws on my expertise as a field reporter for NPR for many years and doesn’t directly relate to Listenwise Premium. But as project-based learning grows in popularity, many teachers using Listenwise want to take the next logical steps and help their students create great audio stories. We walk them through how to do it in the podcast webinar.
We’ve learned a lot in this process and are still trying to figure out the topics that our listeners want to learn about. As we are learning, this amazing webinar engagement had also confirmed our belief that teachers always want to learn more as well, and if given the right topic and a flexible opportunity, such as a webinar, they are eager to sign up.