A BaW First: Webcasting 101 at WorldBridges

The 2006 edition of Becoming a Webhead included, for the very first time, a live webcast presentation at WorldBridges. Dafne, Teresa, Hala and Leanne welcomed over 50 participants from BaW and other EVO sessions to hear firsthand from Jeff LeBow and Dave Cormier, the site’s founders.


The Q&A format brought several participants into the Skype conference, to comment on the topic, ask questions, relay their experience or, as Teresa says, “put in their two euro cents”. Meanwhile, the very-active chatroom took on a life of its own – with participants asking questions and getting them answered by other participants. Eventually, an overview of what a webcast entails and how it might be used in ESL teaching was covered. But, as is often the case, answers often led to more questions…leaving participants with some food for thought.

In true WebHead spirit, some participants were also multitasking in YM, getting in more practice with their webcams. Ibrahim Rustamov captured Cris Costa, Randa Effat, Moira Hunter and Amanda Fava-Verde with this screenshot.



For those of you who missed the presentation, by definition, a webcast becomes a podcast when it is recorded for later listening…so you can enjoy it at your leisure at


and be sure to add your comments below.

A big WebHead thank you to Jeff and Dave for providing this taste of webcasting, and for recording the proceedings for posterity. Congratulations to BaWers who braved the unknown to “skype in” to the conference, sometimes after several attempts. Thank you also to Teresa d’Eca and Ibrahim Rustamov for their screenshots.

We welcome your comments on this presentation and the venues, Worldbridges and Skype, as well as your suggestions for how webcasts or podcasts could work into your teaching context.



31 thoughts on “A BaW First: Webcasting 101 at WorldBridges

  1. Another awesome presention!! I enjoyed it so much that I didn’t want it to end – ever! I could only imagine the impact this tool will have in our teaching practice, it’s so full of endless possibilities!!! Thanks again WiA for bringing us newbies this whole new world of opportunities! Now I realize how much bigger and exciting our professional lives can be – or should I say SHOULD be?!
    Just a tip I found really useful: the day before this big event I had checked out worldbridges so as to get acquainted with this new tool, and I must admit I’m really glad I did, otherwise I’d have been lost in cyberspace for quite a while and I’d have missed half the presentation. So it really helps to toy around with these webtools in advance because you’ll feel much more in control when the D-day comes and you’ll make the most of it. At least it really worked for me!!

  2. It was fun and I’ve learned about some interesting ideas how to use webcasts in EFL. I had already enjoyed the recordings at worldbridges before and knew Jeff and Dave are cool, but this was the first time I attended a live webcast. I was suprised because it felt so different – it’s wonderful to be there – so much more involving if you are able to participate in the ongoing discussion and share the chatroom atmosphere.

  3. Another big moment was about to happen. Worldbridges bridging the world. The representatives from all over were there, or, at least, trying to get there. I felt at ease, checked and registered beforehand. Cecilia, you’re right, toying around made a difference. The discussion starts, all of a sudden, Erika just tunes in to the masters of the webcast, Jeff and Dave. She didn’t know there was a crowd listening to her, but the masters were gentlemen and experts on improvisation. I skype Erika, we clarify things, she connects to Dafne to get some help, I concentrate on the talk and the chat going on at the same time with their own tone. Erika reaches us. I’m not alone. I feel part of a community and Erika, my partner, friend, confident, my shoulder is there to share all the awe with me. I’m certainly among friends! I’ve never felt the world so close. No gaps.

    Thanks to all of you for another special moment!


  4. I also enjoyed the experience. I really agree that it’s important to explore the site beforehand, to get the lay of the land, so to speak. For a while I was frustrated because there did not seem to be a clear focus, unlike Michael Coghlin’s presentation, but I eventually realized that the event itself was the focus. By asking questions via text chat, I was able to steer it a little bit in the direction I wanted it to go. It was good practice for me because I am so unaccustomed to listening, reading and typing all at once!
    Participating in a chat with people from so many different countries is truly awesome.

  5. Cecilia, I’m so glad you took the time to familiarize yourself with this venue. You can see how a little self-exploration paid off, and let you focus on the topic at hand.

    Sasa, I agree it’s more interesting to interact with the live program. You should try being the moderator for one!

    Carla, you provide an entertaining yet provocative perspective on the experience you and Erika had. We WebHeads reach out to help each other, whether it’s across town or around the world.

    You make an excellent point, Nina, that the “event itself was the focus”; as a co-moderator, I wanted to ensure that everyone’s needs were met, and I have to say, Jeff and Dave’s approach was different from what I expected, but a success nonetheless.

    Thank you all for your comments.

  6. Thanks to everyone for their participation during the webcast and for their comments here. Because we’ve been doing this kind of webcasting for a while, it’s easy to forget what the experience is like for a first timer. We know many of the common technical challenges that come up, but it’s really helpful to hear your ‘holistic’ perspectives on participating in this kind of webcast for the first time.

    Apologies for not having a specially prepared agenda. Having spent so much time ‘hanging out’ with webheads during webcasts this past year, developing a comfort level with the spontaneous ‘organized chaos’ of Webhead culture, I figured the conversation would go wherever people wanted it to go. In retrospect, perhaps we should have prepared more of an introduction to the medium. Fortunately, the conversation always continues around here, and we will no doubt have more chances in the future.

    These EVO shows have been some of the most exciting webcasts we’ve done. It’s such a thrill to see a chat room full of people from around the world and then be able to speak with many of the participants. I’m looking forward to the EVO ‘halftime show’ and ELTpodcasting webcast coming up this weekend (Feb. 5) Not sure yet if the fun begins at noon GMT or 1pmGMT. I also very much look forward to continuing this beyond the EVO sessions and hopefully creating regular shows that tap into this wonderful global synergy that Webheads create.

    Thanks again and as always, we look forward to continuing the conversation next time.

  7. Leanne and Hala,
    Great job organizing this. Thanks to Jeff and Dave for being so patient with people who are taking a risk and jumping in both feet without understanding all the technology implications like leaving the webcast on to the last second and then having a slow computer that takes time turning the webcast off! I like listening live, but I also listen to the shows over and over during the week and off times.

  8. Wow! I had so much fun last Sunday and I am still laughing about it. I had read the Worldbridges guide beforehand, registered, checked the page, but I was still very lost when the webcast actually started. I knew that we had to skype Worldbridges if we wanted to “join” the conference. And that is exactly what I did, I skyped Worldbridges and Jeff welcomed me. I had no idea that more than 50 people were listening to me. Suddenly, Carla skypes me and say – “Erika, turn it off! Your sound is interfering; it is too loud!” – and only 10 minutes later I found the chat room (thanks to Dafne who helped me out in YM). Finally, I found everybody and listened to the webcast perfectly. What a relief! I just loved to see people from all over the world in that chat room! Thanks to everyone!

  9. Right you are Cheryl. A bungy jump at Worldbridges. Click, chat. Wow! It did run fast! Listen, click. Real Player wouldn’t let me listen, Windows Media Player either. And now? Cecila, what shall I do? Default, Winamp and I was there! Making my debut at Worldbridges!

    Gorgeous webcast, Jeff and Dave, and thanks for your infinite patience and dazzling presentation. Unbelievable, each tool offers so many options. Where have I been all this time? Not to worry, I’ve gone up the bridge now and will remain with the world, in awe as Cecilia, Carla, Nina have said. True, Sasa ”it’s wonderful to be there.”

    A huge Thank YOU to Leanne and Hala for holding the rope tight and for not letting me hit the ground!


  10. Hi there,

    Congratulations on this new presentation!!. It was my second time at Worlbridges, so I knew that I had to click on WM or RealPlayer in order to have the sound but I didn’t remember what channel to choose. I chose chan. two and it went very well, the sound was perfect as well as the text chat. Just one thing, maybe it would be a good idea to highlight the questions in some way so the presenters don’t loose track of some of them when the participation is so active or numerous.



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