In addition to the resources available on the hub, a six-part webinar series was launched and is available for viewing. Lane and her team have previous experience in webinars for professional development and saw that the format would be beneficial for teachers looking at best practices for online reading instruction.
The UFLI team hosted the first webinar on teaching reading virtually on August 4. Within the first two hours of its announcement online, the team was surprised that all 1,000 seats were reserved.
“When we were planning the webinars, we thought it would be wonderful if we could fill up all the seats in our 1,000-seat Zoom license,” Lane said. “But, once we posted the announcement on the UFLI Facebook page, it got crazy. We filled up those 1,000 slots in less than two hours.”
Within a week of the first webinar premiering it had over 70,000 views from teachers across the globe. Lane reported that UFLI’s website analytics indicate that the webinars have been viewed as far as Australia and the Philippines and has “raised the profile of the institute on the global stage.”
The content on the hub is aimed toward students at the elementary level, but older students who are struggling will be able to benefit from the techniques and resources provided on the hub to improve their reading skills, as well.
“The response we’ve received has been incredibly positive, and it has more than confirmed our hunch that this was a real need,” Lane said.