The PCW Winter Forum is open to PCW Reps and PA Presidents. It was held at The Holton Arms School.
The Parents Council of Washington introduced its new Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/ParentsCouncilofWashington. This Facebook page will allow us to announce our events and bring attention to the many resources on our PCW website, including speakers, webinars and the various activities at our member schools. The PCW Facebook page will also enable our Representatives and member school parents to interface with other PCW parents and to share information on upcoming events and helpful resources.
The highlight of the Winter Representatives Forum was a workshop on how to lead a Webinar program at your school. Kristen Waksberg and Mary Cohen, PCW Board members and Event Co-Chairs, presented the following detailed information on how to register and view Webinars:
- You must be registered at Dragonfly Learning at dragonflylearning.org to access the PCW Webinars.
- Once you are a Registered User of Dragonfly Learning, you can register for each PCW Webinar.
- The PCW offers a customized group of webinars from Dragonfly Learning called “Community Connect.” This series of webinars provides insight on current youth wellness issues and garners effective approaches for assisting students at all grade levels. Leading experts present cutting-edge research in this comprehensive series.
Parents are encouraged to register ahead of time for each PCW Webinar. There is a Dragonfly Learning hotline available for assistance in the registration process. The Webinar programs are one hour in length and include a Facilitation Guide, a Resource Guide and a slide show. Webinars may be viewed “live” as the actual discussion occurs, or they may be viewed at a later date by accessing the webinar archives. If a Webinar is viewed “live,” you may send in questions for the presenters to answer. In addition, the Webinar moderator will conduct polls of the audience that can be interactive.
Since the PCW Webinars are presented “live” in the evenings, PCW Representatives can invite a group to a parent’s home to view the Webinar or organize an evening activity at the school to bring fellow parents together who are interested in viewing the Webinar in a group setting. Smart Boards are ideal for viewing Webinars as they provide excellent sound and visuals. Webinars can be shown on most home televisions and entertainment centers. Some schools have considered creating a “Webinar Club” similar in format to a Book Club. Following the presentation of the Webinar, whether in a small group at a private home or in a larger group at the school, parents can discuss the information presented. The online Facilitation Guide is a helpful tool that can assist in managing the discussion. The facilitator may want to set some recommended ground rules for the discussion, such as not sharing confidential information, being respectful of other’s opinions, etc.
In a similar manner, a Webinar discussion group can be scheduled for any date and time at the school to view one of the PCW Webinars from the archives. Webinars are generally available within 24 hours and remain in the archives for one school year. If there is a topic of particular interest to a specific grade, it could be featured at a grade-level coffee. If the topic covers multiple age groups, a wider group of parents could be invited to attend. Parents can view the Webinar as a group and then discuss the information presented. Some parents have also found it helpful to view the Webinar and to use the pause feature to best focus on the topics of interest to the parents. Again, the online Facilitation Guide can be very helpful as a discussion tool.
Another option for presenting the PCW Webinars can be to encourage parents to view a specific current or archived Webinar at a place and time that is convenient for them. PCW members have access to all of the archived Community Connect webinars listed in our e-Classroom. Then, at a later date, organize a forum either at school or outside of school for parents to discuss the subject matter presented by the Webinar panel. For some Webinar topics, it may be appropriate to invite your school counselor, a faculty member or an administrator who is knowledgeable about the topic to participate in the post-webinar discussion and to answer questions as they relate to your school community.
Ms. Waksberg and Ms. Cohen concluded the Workshop by answering questions regarding the presentation of PCW Webinars. The Parents Council of Washington thanked all of the Representatives for attending this important program and hope that the PCW Webinars will become a valuable resource for the school communities.