About Webcasts

A webcast is a video broadcast that you watch on your computer. Reading Rockets webcasts are archived — they are not offered live. This means you can come to the Reading Rockets web site to watch a webcast any time, day or night. Most computers already have everything you need to watch our webcasts.

Reading Rockets webcasts feature top experts in the field of reading. Our aim is for you to have a similar learning experience to what you would have if you were to attend a session at a reading conference. The difference is that from the webcast window, you can stop the presentation, rewind, or skip forward.

Anyone is welcome to watch Reading Rockets webcasts. There is no charge. Your organization may also use them as the centerpiece of in-service and staff development workshops.

Some Reading Rockets' webcasts are simply videostreamed versions of our teleconference programs. These include "Differentiated Reading Instruction: Teaching Every Child" and "Building Pre-Reading Skills: From Babbling to Books." For these webcasts, the video presentation is 60-minutes long and there are no PowerPoint slides.

Other webcasts include a video presentation that is synced to the presenter's PowerPoint slides. An index in the bottom left corner allows you to easily skip ahead or back. For these webcasts, the video presentation is 45-minutes long.

In addition to the video presentation, all webcasts offer the following:

  • transcript
  • presenter biographies
  • recommended resources
  • sample discussion questions

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Technical questions

We recommend that you test your computer ahead of time to make sure your computer has everything you need to watch a webcast.

Reading Rockets' webcasts are encoded at different bit rates so both dial-up and broadband Internet users can watch without the video breaking up on the screen. The webcasts are also closed-captioned.

What do I need to view the webcast?

The following configuration is required to view Reading Rockets' webcasts:

  • Microsoft Windows
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher
  • Windows Media Player
  • Internet connection

Most computers already have Windows Media Player installed, or you can download it now. If you are using an old (version 6.4) player or a computer running Windows NT or Windows 98, you may experience a delay before you see and hear the webcast as the Media Player downloads and installs the latest codecs required to view this webcast.

Note to users with Windows XP, Service Pack 2: When you first play a presentation that contains animations, you will need the Microsoft Animation Runtime component. If it is not present on your system, a security warning will appear that asks if you want to install it. Select "install" and download the installer. Reboot if necessary.

Watching webcasts with IE7

You may notice a delay while watching one of our webcasts. We believe this may be due to a new browser filter used to prevent Phishing.

If you would like to turn the Phishing filter off, follow these instructions:

  1. Go to Tools > Internet Options
  2. Select the Advanced Tab
  3. In the Settings box, scroll all the way to the bottom until you see the Phishing Filter Option
  4. Choose Disable Phishing Filter
  5. Click OK

I use a Macintosh computer. How can I view the webcast?

If you are a Macintosh user and you do not already have Windows Media Player for Mac installed, you can download it now. Once you've done so, click below to watch the video portion of the webcast:

The webcast is playing, but suddenly I can't see or hear the video.

During the webcast, if you stop seeing or hearing the video, try clicking the "stop" button, then click the "play" button. This will attempt to reconnect to the video stream. If this does not work, please close your Media Player and click the link on the web page again. If you continue to experience trouble, please contact us and we will do our best to assist you.

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Be a part of our studio audience in Arlington, VA

If you're going to be in the Washington, D.C. area and would like to be a part of our studio audience, please contact us for information on future webcasts. In your message, include:

  • your first and last name
  • a telephone number and e-mail address where you can be reached
  • any questions you may have

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"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift." — Kate DiCamillo