May 13, 2016

Task Card Tales Plot Twist!

Who knew that planning a webinar could turn out to be such an adventure? Here's the backstory about why Rachel Lynette and I had to cancel our task cards webinar. You can also find the dates and times of our next TWO task card webinars!
Who knew that planning a webinar could turn out to be an adventure! Maybe that's stretching it a bit, but I sure felt like I was in the middle of a crazy adventure last night when a severe storm blew up at my house hours before Rachel Lynette and I were supposed to go live with Power Up Learning with Task Cards!

One of my favorite quotes is "When something goes wrong in your life, just yell 'Plot Twist!' and move on!" That saying describes what happened perfectly! Rachel and I experienced a plot twist in our webinar plans, and we've just moved on!

Task Card Tales and a Plot Twist
Before I tell you the story, I have to admit that we went a little overboard in packing the webinar with loads of activities and strategies for teaching with task cards. We just couldn't help ourselves! The more we talked, brainstormed, and  planned, the more tips, strategies, and resources would come to mind that we HAD to include!

So even though the presentation should have been finished long before yesterday, we were still working on it hours before the live webinar. Our plan was to combine them into one PowerPoint before the presentation, which seemed reasonable at the time. In retrospect, it wasn't the brightest plan in the world!

Just to be clear, the problem wasn't procrastination. We've been working on this for weeks. The problem was that we didn't know when to cut our losses and quit! Actually, in all fairness, it wasn't Rachel. It was me. Yesterday I finally admitted that I had to stop adding more to the slides so we could wrap up the project.

The funny thing is that I remember saying to Rachel that I wish we had just one more day because with a little extra time we could make the webinar really fabulous! Have you ever heard, "Be careful what you wish for?" Yep, I know that saying well!

My computer is in our bonus room, right under a skylight, so it's obvious when there's a change in the weather. Yesterday afternoon I noticed that the sky seemed to be getting darker and darker. Suddenly, thunder cracked and lightning flashed! Next, torrential rain began pouring down, pounding on the glass right over me! However, I kept working and tried to ignore it. I had too much to do to worry about the weather. I figured it would end soon, hopefully before the webinar.

Then I heard clink, clink, clink, and I realized that it was hailing, too! No time for that either... I kept right on working,! Only now I was praying that the hailstones wouldn't break the skylight!

If that wasn't enough, I heard a POW and everything went dark, including my computer monitor! The power was out! Fortunately, I have a laptop computer, so I opened it up and kept right on working. The lights came back on a few minutes later so I figured that all was well.

It was when I went to grab Rachel's slides from Dropbox that I realized we MIGHT actually have a problem! When I clicked on our shared "Task Cards Webinar" folder, I got that dreaded message, "No Internet Connection." I realized that the power must have knocked out the Internet, but I figured it would be back up soon. I texted Rachel to let her know what was going on, and then I kept right on working.

My husband said he'd look into it, so I kept working and tried not to worry. He restarted the router, but that didn't work. Then he called Time Warner Cable and found out that it wasn't just us. The storm had caused an outage in our area, and they had no idea when the Internet would be back up.

At this point, I was starting to get a little nervous. Okay, I was beginning to panic! It was two hours before the webinar and Rachel and I had not been able to finish the presentation! I realized that even if the Internet came back up, there was no guarantee that it would continue working.

So Rachel and I did the only thing we could do at that point, which was to call off the webinar and reschedule it. I was able to use my phone's hotspot to reschedule the webinar and send out a notice to everyone who had registered. We both felt terrible about inconveniencing everyone, but this situation was out of our hands. (Just forget about me wishing I had one more day to work on the presentation, okay?)

The Next Plot Twist - TWO Live Webinars!
As much as I hate to admit it, having to reschedule the webinar was a blessing in disguise.

First of all, we can keep working on that presentation to make it PERFECT! We've already been discussing some changes and improvements we want to make.

Also, moving the webinar gave us a chance to offer an another live session for those who were not able to sign up for the first one. Even before we rescheduled last night's session, it was already completely full. The registration maxes out at 1,250, and that number was reached  yesterday. Everyone who registered for that session was automatically signed up for the May 19th webinar, and no one else could sign up.

So Rachel and I decided to do another LIVE webinar on May 18th at 6:30 pm EDT.  If you're interested in attending and didn't sign up for the other one, register now before it fills up

To learn more about Power Up Learning with Task Cards, click over to my Free Webinars page on Teaching Resources. We hope you'll be able to join us on one of the two days!

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