Another Basic Tech Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

This blog is a follow-up of my 3 Basic Tech Tools for Online Teachers post.

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 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)

Best Wishes,

Sandra Rogers

About Sandra Rogers

Sandra Rogers
Mrs. Rogers has a master's in TESOL, as well as the TESOL certificate in the Principles and Practices of Online Teaching. Currently, she's enrolled in a doctorate program for instructional design. She has a K-12 bilingual (Spanish) teaching certificate from California. Her areas of expertise are in bilingual education, culture, language acquisition and development (BCLAD), reading, quality assurance, and technology. She's active in the CALL-IS of TESOL and volunteers to provide free professional development for the Electronic Village Online (EVO). Mrs. Rogers spends her days scoring the TOEFL and TOEIC online for ETS. Additionally, Sandra founded a nonprofit charity to help job seekers find employment utilizing social media as a career tool. Find her on twitter @teacherrogers to learn about tips on integrating technology into the classroom.
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2 Responses to Another Basic Tech Tool for Online Teachers: The World Clock

  1. Thanks for your comment, Lesley! I know what you mean. I think online moderators don’t realize how much time they could save by providing this information. I created a job aid for the EVO coordinators to share with moderators next year, which is an event planning form with the data from above to provide consistency to the process, as many EVO participants take multiple sessions simultaneously. The job aid was part of a project for my doctorate coursework in instructional design. I’m proud to say that I received an A on my project from my university professor! 🙂

  2. Hi Sandra
    Many thanks for this, I hope it gets read widely. I often have to go to to find the local time for global events which only list the local time for the organisers. Too often I also have to search for the time zone abbreviation to find what time to convert from. I’ve got used to converting from GMT, and even remembering to change the calculation when daylight saving changes in my zone. So, it’s a great relief when organisers provide a link to an event planner such as the one on Quite a few times, I’ve created an event there for someone else’s event and posted the link on their blog and/or Twitter and Facebook, just to save others the time it took me to work it out.
    Cheers, Lesley

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