The Internet and the World Wide Web serve to connect people from all over the world. Social networks are used as a meeting point to communicate privately or publicly with friends and family, but also with strangers. Anyone can have free access to a large proportion of information on different subject areas spread over countless different projects. Online stores and sales platforms such as Amazon or eBay allow you to buy without leaving the sofa and there is a large amount of multimedia content: you can listen to music on the way home with your mobile, share your favorite songs and images with other users and witness the experiences of our relatives thanks to live broadcasts ..
One of the formats that also takes advantage of the advantages offered by the Internet and the Web is the webinar, also known as a webinar, which many companies use to carry out presentations, seminars, courses or online workshops.
The term webminar is the result of the combination of the words "web", from the World Wide Web, and "seminar", an English word for seminar, and describes the online transmission of seminars, presentations and content of this type by video . Unlike a webcast, in which information is presented on request and transmitted in a single direction, the webinar is designed from an interactive point of view and, consequently, allows two-way communication between the speaker and the rest of the participants. ..
A webinar or webminar, terms resulting from the union of the Anglo-Saxon words? Web? (from the World Wide Web) and? seminar ?, is an online conference, an online seminar, an online workshop, a live webcast or an online interview that is broadcast live thanks to video technology. In order to allow the interaction between the speaker and the participants, a webcam and a microphone (VoiP) is used.
In most cases, webminars take place live, although occasionally they can also be recordings. However, in both cases a schedule is previously set with the exact start and end time. The speaker can use different types of materials (multimedia content, slides, projections, etc.) to make the presentation and use VoIP (Voice over IP) to communicate with the participants. As the connection is established through the Internet, it is not necessary for the participants and the speakers to be physically in the same place , but simply to be connected to the network and have the necessary access data. If the organizer grants a participant the right to intervene, they may do so directly during the presentation. Other options for interaction in webinars are chats, polls, and methods for sharing and downloading files ..
Before an online seminar takes place, the presenter must set a date and communicate it to potential participants. As a general rule, participation is limited, so those interested must register first. The provider then sends the selected users a confirmation via email accompanied by a series of additional instructions, as well as the data and access link . Sometimes a reminder message is also used shortly before the webinar begins. Although a traditional browser is usually enough to establish the connection to? The conference room ?, there are cases in which a specific client application is required .
In most cases, there is only a limited period of time to establish a connection to a webinar, so it is possible that after five or ten minutes from the start, access will be blocked. In other words, anyone who has registered for a conference but tries to access once the stipulated period has expired will have a very difficult time entering. As in life itself, you also have to arrive on time for web conferences.
Once the connection has been established, it is time to pay attention to the live broadcast. Usually several windows can be interleaved that present different contents with different functions. As a rule, the main image shows slides or other support material used by the speaker, which appears live in a smaller window. Other windows serve to present a list with the participants present, include a chat or provide access to information made available to users.
The average duration of a webinar ranges between 45 and 60 minutes . Once the presentation is over, it is customary for participants to ask questions to the speakers either with a microphone or through a chat, depending on the webinar format. Some online seminars also allow direct communication between speakers and users. To disconnect, just close the client or the corresponding browser window .
In principle, it is possible to participate in a webinar using any device with an Internet connection and, in addition, it is advisable to have a high bandwidth so that the transmission of a large amount of audiovisual content can be carried out effectively. In some cases, certain mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets cannot correctly process the transmission of information, so it is necessary to use desktop computers. The connection is established, as already mentioned, with a web browser or with a client software provided by the organizer, which with the help of the necessary applications is also in charge of managing the data transmission and the webinar.
The reason why a browser-based webinar cannot be accessed through a particular browser may be that the installed version is not up-to-date, so this must be done first. In addition, it is possible that this browser is not supported, so if you want to attend the online conference, you will have to choose an alternative.
In order to attend the webinar, participants need a speaker or headphones . Whoever also intends to establish direct communication with the speakers and the rest of the participants, must have a microphone and a webcam . In some cases it is also possible to connect via telephone and listen to the conference in this way.
If you want to create your own webinar, you can find specific webinar software on the Internet. In many cases you will be able to access a free trial.
These are the characteristics that make online conferences a very interesting element for speakers and participants:
Although the content presented may be exactly the same, there are differences between face-to-face seminars and those that are reproduced on the Internet, which, although they present advantages, also have some points against them. Without a doubt, the most remarkable thing about webminars is that they allow access from anywhere , which in turn saves time and costs for both speakers and participants. In addition, depending on the framework in which the seminar takes place, in many cases it is also possible to participate anonymously, since it only requires the entry of an email address.
However, for the reproduction of a webinar one is subject to no alternative to the proper functioning of the technology. If this fails or it is not possible to connect to the Internet, the interested parties will not be able to participate. If technical problems occur on the organizer's side, the webinar will most likely have to be canceled and postponed for another time.
The advantages and disadvantages of webinars are presented below:
Both face-to-face seminars and webinars have one feature in common, which is that they both provide a good framework for transmitting educational content to a large number of people in a short period of time. There is no doubt then that this type of seminar plays a unique role in online teaching. Universities, higher education centers and language schools offer webminars on different topics, facilitating the work of both students and teachers, although they are undoubtedly very useful in distance learning. There are also other fields in which the application of this communication format is also very useful, such as: