Teaching Shakespeare!

A Folger Education Blog

What plays for a webinar?

Our recent webinar on Macbeth drew an overwhelming response from teachers across the country and around the world.  Within two and-a-half hours of posting the notice for it, all 150 available seats had been filled.  Another 245 teachers tried to register for the session.  Unfortunately, on the night of the webinar, only 73 of the 150 who signed up actually tuned in.  We’re not exactly sure why. Perhaps because it was free, people thought it was okay to sign up, just in case.  At any rate, we felt badly because many more teachers could have attended.  Maybe we should charge a small, non-refundable fee, to secure a place.  That way, only those who are really going to attend will register.  What do you think?

If you missed the webinar, we do have a version of it available.  We’re going to provide a better edited version soon, but if you can’t wait, here’s the information we sent out just the other day:

Dear Educators,

 Thank you to everyone who registered for our Macbeth Set Free Webinar on December 7th!  Below is a link for the archived webinar. Please note that the informational portion of the webinar begins at timestamp 23:30 – everything before that is mic-check, and video and audio troubleshooting by our webinar hosts. Once the recording begins, please click the pause button at the bottom of the screen, drag the time stamp to 23:30, wait for it to cue up, then press play. It may take a minute or two to fast-forward.

 Please click the link below, or copy and paste it into your browser; then login as a Guest using your email address and your full name. Java is required to view this recording. At the end of the presentations there is a link to displayed to a Survey for participants. Please do fill this survey out! This will tell us what you want to see from us, and how we can better support you as an educator!


 This will also be available through our BardNotes newsletter in January. If you’re not already registered for BardNotes, please visit www.folger.edu/enews.

We plan to offer more webinars on the plays.  Which ones would you like to see offered?


  • My guess would be that because it was free, people didn’t feel obligated to participate once they’d signed up and just didn’t think about the fact that folks who wanted to participate couldn’t.

    I think we need to help teachers out with Julius Caesar. Even if we don’t have to teach “the big four,” it is commonly taught in schools and some of our colleagues are required to teach it. I think there’s a bit of a shortage of good lessons on that play.

  • Two ideas–

    For the next Webinar– What about one of the history plays? I used Richard III a couple of years ago, and the students (the boys in particular) REALLY got into it.

    For the attendance issue- Why not charge a nominal fee, but tie it to an end-of-webinar drawing of some sort? Charge 2 bucks to reserve a spot and, at the end of the webinar, give away a Toolkit, a copy of SSF and/or the Macbeth DVD. $2 x 75 people would more than cover the costs of the “prizes” and shipping, and you could stipulate that only people who actually participate would be eligible to win.

  • Scott,
    A history play is a great idea. What about I HENRY IV? I like the idea of RIII, too, but thought about HENRY, too. And thanks for the suggestion about fees.

  • I am one of those who registered but did not log on for the simple reason that the tech requirements for participation were beyond my computer’s abilities. It is quite likely that this was the case for many others.
    It may be a good idea in future webinars to send out the tech requirements in advance, so that teachers can ensure that they are able to particpate.
    That being said, I thoroughly enjoyed the webinar once I was able to see it and came away with many useful new ideas to enrich my teaching of Macbeth and other works.

  • Dear Orah, thanks for your message. We heard from a few people that it would have been helpful to have the tech information ahead of the webinar. We will make sure to provide it in advance of future sessions. Glad you enjoyed the webinar once you were able to view it.

    We are planning an eight-week online course on MACBETH beginning in mid-February, and you’ll be able to find out more information in our January issue of BardNotes.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)