DoctoralNet helps doctoral candidates finish their dissertations.  In the last two years, DoctoralNet has been able to help hundreds of doctoral candidates through the use of BigMarker’s webinar platform. From the UK, Dr. E. Alana James, Ed.D is able to connect with anyone in the world: from the USA and Canada, to Australia and New Zealand. Dr. James graduate of Teachers College, Columbia University with a degree in educational leadership, Alana keeps the visions rolling out as she works with the doctoral students, the graduates advisory council, and the growing team of international professors, all of whom are working together to push back on what may be the greatest travesty in higher education: a 50% Doctoral rate of graduation.  She has advised or been a reader on over 30 doctoral students who are now graduates. To read more about her and her own personal dissertation experience, go HERE.

As the community states: “No ABD’s Here! “All but dissertation” is not an option for this dedicated group of professors and doctoral candidates, sharing their ideas, knowledge and feedback to help everyone finish faster. Our mission is graduation for all at” “Closely tied to the website at, this community is run by professors who have learned through years of helping doctoral candidates graduate that there are certain topics which need to be discussed. Our conferences are a great time to get all your questions answered.”

You can see the DoctoralNet community on BigMarker here.


Here are some DoctoralNet’s recordings:


 How to Cite Sources Using APA Style



How to cite sources using APA style. Learn and apply the basic rules of this referencing style. Discover the “mysteries” of the most used referencing style.


How to Acknowledge Sources in Your Thesis/Dissertation



What you should know about citing sources in your study. How you can avoid plagiarism. Examples in different referencing styles.


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Global Math Department



Global Math Department is one of the original BigMarker Communities. For the last two years, they’ve connected over 1,200 math teachers from all across the globe. The purpose of the community is to bring together math teachers under one roof and then to share knowledge with their fellow instructors. According to their About page: “We are math teachers who share what we’ve learned, cause we don’t want our classes to suck the energy from students. Professional development among friends, not just colleagues. Fun! Immediately useful! Interesting!”

Originally, GMD started as a thread on Twitter. Megan Hayes-Golding. physics teacher in Atlanta, recovering math teacher, and founder of the Global Math Department, moved the Twitter chat to BigMarker. On BigMarker, the group is able to meet face-to-face in any of their weekly presentations.

Global Math Department is a perfect example how groups can come together on BigMarker to do something big. All it takes is a community, and then you can start meeting face-to-face. It’s the perfect way for impromptu meetings or full-scale webinars.

You can see the Global Math Department Community on BigMarker.


Here are some of Global Math Department’s past webinars:


Using Pear Deck in the Classroom



Pear Deck makes it easy to plan and build interactive lessons directly from your Google Drive that promote active learning in the classroom. As students interact with the lesson, real-time data provides instructors the feedback they need to adapt teaching on-the-fly. Join Riley Eynon-Lynch as he shares about his Pear Deck project and how to utilize it in the classroom.


Aug 6: Tossing Coins & Rolling Dice: Using Simulations to Estimate Probabilities



Presented by S. Leigh Nataro (@mathteacher24)

According to the CCSS, 7th grade students should be able to design a simulation to answer the following question: If 40% of donors have type A blood, what is the probability that it will take at least 4 donors to find one with type A blood? Don’t rush ahead to use technology. Learn how to get students to use physical models first and then see how technology, like Fathom, can be used create the simulation. Three different examples will be discussed and short demonstration videos will be shared.



July 29: Twitter Math Camp Recap



Presented by those who attended Twitter Math Camp in Jenks, OK this past week. We’ll hear informal or formal presentations of up to 10 minutes each.

If you want to share something you learned (highly encouraged!) hit up @GlobalMathDept on Twitter or No prep required — this is going to be about 90% informal.


July 22: Making Social Media More than Merely Social: Implications for Teacher Professionalism



Presented by Raymond Johnson, @MathEdNet

When we think about teachers using social media, we often think
of the benefits to the individual: that lesson plan someone shared
with you, the helpful comment you got on your blog post, or the
emotional support you received after a tough day. But what might
teachers’ social media use imply for teaching as a profession? We’ll
look at some perspectives on social media, teacher professionalism,
and how the two might compliment each other.


July 15: Strategic Inquiry



Presented by David Wees (@davidwees).

Inquiry is a process through which teams of educators use data to identify a group of students who are not currently within the sphere of success for their school (or their classrooms), and to identify a change in instructional practice which will benefit those students, and then confirm that this change made a difference for these students, and then follow this up with system-level changes to support these students. This process repeats over time, and over time, educators get better at serving the needs of all students in their schools.

In this workshop we will experience one of the fundamental protocols for inquiry, which is looking at specific students’ work to identify changes in instructional practices in order to benefit these students.


July 8: Standards Based Grading, Where to Start and How to go Deeper



Presented by Jessica Bogie (@algebrainiac1) & Matt Owen (@_mattowen_)

Standards Based Grading is mentioned quite often as we delve deeper into CCSS. We will talk how we started with SBG, how we keep it organized, share a few favorite sites & pointers and turn to the audience to help discuss how to make it even more beneficial for our students and their understanding.


July 1: Do The Math Like Your Life Depends On It



The pressure is higher than ever to include investigative tasks in mathematics. Come explore and experience some “life or death” investigations that help us understand what rigorous problem solving and modeling look like. Will you survive Deadly Die? Outwit Fatal Cards? Come consider your choices…and construct viable arguments.

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How can you do content marketing with webinars?

Content marketing, according to Amanda Maksymiw is ”the process of developing and sharing relevant, valuable, and engaging content to target audience with the goal of acquiring new customers or increasing business from existing customers.” In other words, it is showing the consumers what your product is and why they need it at the same time. Doing this can be extremely effective and in fact, one of the only ways to make it in today’s marketing industry. However, it can be tricky to do it with accuracy and effectiveness. One of the most under utilized, yet superbly effective tactics of content marketing is through webinars. In fact, the Content Marketing Institute rated webinars among the top 12 most frequently used tactics for content marketing. Of the twelve, they rate them among the top 5 most effective methods.Helpful tactics, in addition to webinars, for content marketing.

So how can one utilize this effective content marketing strategy? First step is knowing that one tactic of content marketing is not enough. Utilizing multiple channels and methods is the most successful campaign for a marketing strategy. Illustrated on the right is a list of many tactics that when used together can produce a successful content marketing campaign. Some methods are used more frequently than others. Some aren’t utilized as often as they should. Webinars for example, although extremely beneficial for ROI and cost efficiency, are only used by 62% of marketers. Implementing webinars for content marketing allows the consumer to interact with the product and keep them engaged for generating leads.

Webinars for content marketing

  1. Interactive. Content marketing is important because of its product delivery and interaction with the consumer. In this way, webinars were practically made for content marketing. An interactive experience while simultaneously presenting information to an audience? The definitions are almost identical, no surprise that they work so effectively together. Interaction through a webinar is convenient because, well, it’s made for that. In addition to a chat box for conversation and the capability to share audio and video screens, webinars hosted on BigMarker have the ability to poll the audience, getting feedback at live time. 
  2. Cost efficiency. Webinars are cost efficient for both marketers and consumers. Rather than attending a live event, webinars are cheaper to produce and host. In addition, they have a much larger reach because of their virtual feature. The reach continues to increase with the recorded webinar content. For further consumption after the event, webinars can be utilized to continue content marketing for as long as the recording exists.
  3. Live feed. Webinars are streaming, real time events. This increases the interaction level because of the live feed capability for the presenter(s) to discuss with the audience. In addition, as stated by Adobe, “live feed provides the benefit of delivering the planned content as well as offering further content to attendees in real-time to move them down the funnel more quickly.” For example, during the presentation perhaps the host wants to share a link to the product itself. A quick copy and paste of the URL into the chat box makes this as easy as 1-2-3! This continues the connection of the product directly to the consumers all while interacting in real time.

As displayed, webinars and content marketing go hand in hand. Unfortunately, marketers don’t utilize such a convenient, cost efficient and effective tactic because of the minimal use of webinars. In fact, the biggest challenge stated by marketers for not using webinars was because they couldn’t get people into the room. However, as more people jump on board, the wheel will start rolling and they will soon live up to their potential. So join the bandwagon, and start implementing webinars for content marketing!

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How to: improve interactivity in content marketing

Marketing may be king, however, content marketing rules the land. In an overwhelming amount of content, its hard to have yours stand out. Over the years, content marketing has been inching its way out of a static state. Engaging the consumer and increases interactivity has been on the rise for marketers. In fact, making your content marketing more interactive may be the last hope to stand out in the crowd.

Content marketing

Content marketing world cloud.According to the Content Marketing Institute, the official definition of content marketing is as states, “content marketing is the art of understanding exactly what your prospects and consumers need to know. Then delivering that content in a relevant and compelling way to grow your business.” Basically, content marketing is the shortest route to showing your consumers what they want to know about your product. However, basic static content marketing isn’t the best option for marketers anymore. Attempting to increase SEO and continually blogging are going to get lost in the clutter. Interactivity, engagement and fewer higher quality content is going to shine. 

Content marketing interactivity

Now that we are all on the same page of stepping up the content marketing game, how does one go about improving interactivity? Fortunately, technology has been increasing adjacent to the consumers buying power. Meaning, consumers want higher quality, interactive marketing. Technology has been advancing in that direction as well: higher quality, more interactivity. For marketers, this means that that utilizing the advancing technology is a must!

Content marketing interactivity via contact information.

How? Some ways to ease into a more interactive marketing strategy is to start asking consumers for feedback. Adding a poll, short quiz or survey to a product draws the consumers in one step further. Instead of simply seeing a product, they are asked for their opinion. This forces them to interact with the product, or at least take on step further to see the product itself. Which ultimately means they will be spending more time viewing the product, whether they’re responding to the feedback request or bypassing it.

Similar to consumer feedback, is a sign up widget. Adding a small box, for the consumer to add their name and email, to learn more about future updates increasing interactivity. In addition to engaging, you just gained a lead! Encouraging people to supply their contact information may be tough, but the percentage that is willing will help in the long run.

Social media increases consumer interactivity in content marketing.

Another benefit of advancing technology is shown in social media. Connecting with consumers via social media is another key component to increasing interactivity. Retweets, favorites, likes and shares not only vastly increases consumer interactivity with the product, it expands the product’s reach to a wider audience. Utilizing social media, along with investing in feedback requests (polls, quizzes, surveys) are absolute musts for increasing content marketing interactivity.

Overall, static marketing campaigns will get swept away in this day and age. Implementing interactive and engaging features for your product is a step in the right (and necessary) direction. More interactivity, means more consumers interested. In addition, more connections (via social media) will keep growing your reach and organically market your product continually. Interactivity and consumer engagement is key!

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Top 5 microphones for webinars, video conferences

Hosting a webinar or joining a video conference is a great way to share information online. However, it’s hard to effectively share information if you can’t hear each other! Choosing a microphone with proper specs can be difficult. We have put together our top 5 microphones to make your shopping a little smoother.

 1. CAD U1 USB Dynamic Recording Microphone $25Microphone CAD U1

  • On-Off switch for instant mute
  • Built in pop filter minimizes “P-popping”
  • USB connection
  • Smooth, extended frequency
  • Cardioid pick-up pattern isolates the main sound source and minimizes background noise

2. Blue Microphones Snowball USB Microphone $55Blue microphone

  • Omnidirectional or cardioid microphones
  • Frequency response: Position 1-3: 40-18kHz
  • USB digital connection
  • Sample/Word rate: 44.1kHz/16-bit
  • 8 different color options

3. Samson Q1U Dynamic USB Microphone $40Microphone 3

  • Includes desktop tripod mic stand, mic clip, USB cable and carry pouch
  • Plugs directly in with USB cord (included)
  • Super cardioid pickup pattern
  • High quality A/D converter with 16-bit, 48kHz sampling rate

4. Logitech USB Microphone $25microphone 4

  • Digital w/ high fidelity
  • 15 foot long USB cord
  • High sensitivity, rejects background noise
  • Great price!!

5. Sound Tech CM-1000 Table Top Microphone $47microphone 5

  • Omni-directional microphone
  • 3.5mm plug directly into headset outlet
  • 8 foot long cord
  • Flat, sleek finish

While there are many microphones available, narrowing it down can be tough. Keep in mind the USB/headset cord length, the type of microphone (omni-directional or cardioid) and type of plug in (USB/headset jack.) There is no reason so waste an arm and a leg on a computer microphone.

Narrow down to your requirements and then compare reviews on Amazon. While our list features microphones over $50, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to spend that much. Sometimes, your computer or laptop’s built in microphone will work just perfectly. However, if you do plan to host multiple webinars or attend many video conferences, investing in a separate microphone is advised.

Next stop, webcams! Check out our top 5 rated best web cameras!

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