In the world of Internet information, there is a lot of confusion regarding the best ways to find, share and/or learn about any subject in which you may have an interest.
What is a Webinar?
Webinars (also known as webcasts or web seminars) are online audio/visual events where, as with actual meetings or seminars, information is presented in real time. During the webinar, people watching the presentation―no matter where they are located― can actively participate by asking questions or making comments. Most webinars occur in real time and must be purchased in order to be viewed while the subject matter is actually being presented.
However, some webinars are recorded and can be purchased and watched whenever the viewer wants. The disadvantage of viewing a recorded webinar is that the viewer will not be able to ask questions or offer comments.
How About Podcasts?
On the other hand, podcasts are never live, so the listener cannot interact with the presenter by asking questions or making comments. To further differentiate between the two formats, webinars can become podcasts, but podcasts can never become webinars.
The Pros and Cons of Each Format
As to the best choice for learning, both podcasts and webinars are great because they both present information to the viewer/listener. If you want to be able to actively participate in the learning experience, live webinars are probably your best choice. Learning any subject is often a better and more meaningful experience when the student (the webinar viewer in this case) interacts with the presenter or other students viewing the webinar.
However, if you want to be able to go over a subject more than once, and want to be able to pause, rewind or fast forward to the parts that you feel you need to review, then podcasts are your best choice. Podcasts can be played as many times as the listener wants, and almost all podcasts are free.
Webinars, even when recorded, often have to be purchased and usually there is a time limit for watching the presentations. Furthermore, when a webinar is recorded, live participation is not available; and most people learn better, and remember more of what they learn, when they can actively participate in the learning forum.
It’s over to you!
Webinars and podcasts are both excellent ways to present information. But ultimately, it’s up to the viewer or listener to decide what’s best. Which one do you prefer and why? Let us know in the comments!