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Webinars for Education: The Why and The How

By Ziad Amir
Webinars for Education: the Why and the How

Virtual classes were already gaining some traction in many institutions before the pandemic hit. But the pandemic has pushed schools and universities to go online in full effect. Even institutions that were playing around with virtual classes are forced to nosedive into the world of e-learning. With this current climate, it would do educational organizations good to plan out a strategy in every aspect of their institution – from virtual classes to campus tours. They could do one better and plan educational webinars for students, parents, alumni, and other stakeholders.

When forced to go online full-time, many schools tried tiding over with Zoom, but they quickly realized that they would need much more than just Zoom to replicate the physical classroom learning experience online. What they need is a comprehensive video streaming solution to deliver live streamed classrooms to their students.

But live streaming classrooms is only one problem for schools to deal with. Educational streaming can help them with virtual campus tours, parent-teacher conferences and several extracurricular activities, such as talent shows. Educational webinars have a lot in store for institutions from kindergarten to universities. Here are some ways institutions can use webinars.

Webinar Uses in Education

Virtual Classes

Teacher conducting a virtual class

The most obvious use of webinars in education is live streaming classroom. In the era of distant learning, live streaming classroom makes sense. On-demand lessons are convenient for both instructors and students, but they are not as interactive and engaging as live classes. They are not as effective at replacing physical classroom lessons. That’s where live streaming classrooms come in. They are live, real-time interactions between the teachers and the students. They keep the students tuned in and involved.

Of course, live streaming classroom is not always feasible, and not every lesson needs to be live streamed. That’s why we are not suggesting that institutions completely replace their on-demand lessons with live lessons. Live streaming classrooms work best when complemented with on-demand lessons to make a comprehensive virtual classroom learning experience.

Furthermore, in university classes, there are often more students trying to get enrolled than a physical classroom can accommodate. That’s not a problem with webinars. Plus, virtual classes enable students to enroll in a class out of town or even out of the country.

Virtual Campus Tours and Open Houses

 virtual-campus-tour

Live streaming classrooms is only one way to use webinars in education. Schools are not just a classroom for students. It’s an entire community with many stakeholders. Campus tours are a very public event that a big crowd can get involved in, sticking close together to make sure they can hear the guide. In other words, they pose a major risk of transmission during the pandemic. Therefore, broadcasting live campus tours is a great way to engage the community involved with schools.

Furthermore, by throwing some professor/teacher interviews into the mix, institutions can deliver a complete virtual open house event. Again, this way they can reach many more students across the world than they would with physical open houses, widening their prospective web. 

Student Recruitment

shutterstock_1796850067

Student recruitment is a broad and comprehensive process with several stages involved. The process starts when students and/or their parents show interest in an institution by exploring it online. That’s a great opportunity to employ educational webinars right of the bat. During this stage of their journey, students and their parents will be going through websites, viewbooks and prospectuses. Among this passive, unidirectional communication, webinars will be a great way to spread awareness about the offerings of the institutions in an engaging and appealing manner.

Similarly, webinars will prove effective further down the recruitment funnel. Institutions should consider doing webinars for information on different programs, simulations for courses, and workshops, just to name a few use cases.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive. Webinars have plenty more uses, such as school board meetings, parent teacher conferences, messages from the principal, concerts and talent shows, and so much more.

 

Benefits of Webinars in Education

Student engaged in a webinar for education

They may sound like a lot of work and challenging the status quo is never easy. But there are several benefits of webinars in education, for students and educators alike.

  • Webinars can accommodate nearly infinite students, which is a win-win: universities don’t have to pass up any prospective students and students don’t have to move on to the next best thing. In the same vein, institutions can accommodate geographically diverse students. They don’t have to be in the same city as the school to be a part of it anymore.
  • Webinars keep the students engaged, especially if they are equipped with a live chat and a Q&A section. Students can spark discussions with each other as well as the presenter. The distance and anonymity associated with webinars empowers even the most shy and reserved students to actively participate in discussions.
  • Webinars have no expiration date. The US Department of Education has found that live streaming classrooms have helped students perform better on average than physical classes. A physical class is over when a student steps out of the classroom, but virtual classes can be replayed, rewatched and relearned from.
  • Webinars are a cost-effective way to reach a large audience at the same time. There’s not much that goes into it. Equipment and a platform are one-time investments that will keep paying off every time an institution holds a webinar. And they don’t have to deal with the recurring infrastructure costs. Plus, students don’t have to spend on transportation or, if they’re not in the same town, accommodation, which is again a win-win.

Webinars With VIDIZMO

Webinar for education with VIDIZMO

Educational streaming is only as good as the platform it is run on. VIDIZMO offers a comprehensive live streaming solution that is perfect for all kinds of webinars for education. It offers scalable low-latency live streaming capabilities for real-time interactions with a seemingly infinite audience. With VIDIZMO, live streaming classrooms and other educational webinars can be augmented with interactivity elements. This means, that presenters can add survey forms, quizzes and related documents at any timestamp in their live stream. They can also choose if viewers have to take the quiz or survey or view the document to move on or if they can skip it to proceed.

Furthermore, VIDIZMO offers live streaming with live chat and Q&A sections to engage the viewers in discussion among themselves and with the presenters. Plus, the live chat and Q&A can be moderated to filter out distracting, irrelevant or offensive conversations. Viewers can pose questions and get answers in real-time, opening doors for any follow-up questions.

 

One obvious limitation with webinars is that there can be only one presenter, especially in the era of social distancing. But VIDIZMO has a way out of that as well. By integrating VIDIZMO with video conferencing solutions like Zoom, educators can push live streams with multiple cameras, which is perfect for events that have multiple presenters and a large audience of inactive viewers such as graduations, talent shows and assemblies, to name a few.

Finally, to quickly run down a couple of other notable functions that VIDIZMO can perform, educators can schedule a webinar in advance with a countdown timer on the video player. They can also embed the video player on their website, for instance. Educators can also view detailed analytics of how many people viewed the live stream and for how long, which also makes taking attendance that much easier. VIDIZMO allows educators to publish the live webinar for on-demand viewing after it has ended, indefinitely or for a limited period of time. Anybody who missed the session or wants to go back to it for a refresher can do so. They can also edit and clip the video before publishing it to remove the parts where the instructors went off on tangents or any unnecessary pauses.

To learn more about VIDIZMO's live streaming capabilities and offerings

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Tags: Live Streaming, Webcasting, Webinars, education

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