As we have gone hurtling headfirst into the digital age over the last few decades, we have developed a completely new style of learning. We no longer traipse into the library searching for hours for the exact information, but now at the click of a button can find exactly what we are looking for and even have our specific questions answered. Questions varying vastly in their complexity and answered by many different people with many different opinions, views and experiences.
One may fear that this new way of collecting pinpointed information may hinder the learning process, giving only a hollow shell of a subject matter, rather than the broad internal workings of it. Something that reading a book from cover to cover would encourage the reader to do in a logical and ordered process. This lack of the full picture may be an issue with such tools as search engines and expert sites - but something was emerging at the time that these were being developed to tackle this potential issue. Webinars began to emerge in the late 90’s just as Google had appeared. These online lectures allow a subject to be explored fully and broadly, and discussions to take place between large groups of people across the world. No wonder they’ve become so popular in today’s online training resources.
Webinars are a fantastic source of learning. There are great benefits for both the host and the attendees. They are easy to set up, offer loads of tools to cater to different teaching styles and are cheap to run for large groups of attendees. The audience benefits from the elimination of travel costs, ability to record and replay the lecture and the option to attend a webinar from another country. There are obvious restrictions when it comes to practical subjects, you’d be a little concerned if a surgeon had become qualified solely on a series of webinars, but it does greatly expand the access of knowledge to the online community.
Individuals can gain a lot from online webinars, whether it be for their personal interest, expanding their knowledge on their practice or as part of their studies, they can go online and learn at their own pace, discussing opinions and ideas with others. Businesses can use webinars as a source of training, reducing travel costs and time taken to attend an event or workshop. Their employee can just spend an hour in the office and attend online, meaning a likelihood of more opportunities for training, benefitting both the employee and employer.
Of course, there are some small technical blips that can occur when setting up a webinar, but with enough planning and the correct tools, there should be very few issues and many webinar companies will be happy to offer extremely attentive technical support should you need it.