This blog is a follow-up of my 3 Basic Tech Tools for Beginning Online Teachers.
IV. How do you set the time for a worldwide event online? After all of your pedagogical considerations in planning your online session, don’t let the international settings throw you for a time warp! The tool that we use for conducting TESOL’s Electronic Village Online (EVO) is the World Clock at timeanddate.com. To be clear, don’t just slap up this link to your site and ask your participants to figure it out.
First, determine the time for the event in your local area, then convert your time according to the World Clock, which runs on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) aka Coordinated Universal Time (UTC).
Next, schedule your event according to GMT. This will be more culturally acceptable, especially if you strive for a multicultural approach. Besides, if you give the time of the event in your country, say Argentina, and ask others to convert that time according to their country’s time zone, it may lead to confusion because their country may not be listed on the converter chart. If you provide the time in GMT, then they can still convert their time at the link above by searching for neighboring countries with similar time zones. Furthermore, central Europeans use CET which is one hour later than GMT. Hence, if they set up the time to CET, participants will have to convert to GMT, and then their own country’s time zone. Then there’s daylight savings times. You can understand how things can become complicated!
Use this event planner to provide the time and date in GMT along with the name of your event. Then post this link to your session with an invitation:
Finally, don’t forget all the important details related to your online event. Here’s a list to include in your announcement that I created as part of a job aid:
Name of Event:
Main Location (Online Platform):
Backchannel: (For Technical Assistance)
Time & Date:
Mode of Delivery:(Text-based chat, audio, video, or combination)
Special Instructions for Participants: (websites to join, software to download, browser compatibility, necessary equipment, i.e., headset with mic or w/o, and how-to RSVP)
Invitation to Participants:
Recording available afterwards at this link: (TBA or N/A)