Weba what? Do I need to be tech savvy or have special software? Do they cost money? How long does it last? Where do I go? What if I miss it?
If you have never watched or participated in a webinar, one or all of the questions above may have given you reason to pause, but they are a FANTASTIC way to get information and there are alot out there for FREE. Free is the best right? Especially when genealogical reasources can be pricey!
A webinar is a live online educational presentation during which participating viewers can submit questions and comments. These virtual sessions (yes! virtual=you sitting cozy on your couch) are great for learning new genealogy tips/resources/technologies from knowledgable professionals.
The presenter will display a power point presentation on your screen and they will talk you through the slides. Don't worry about writing everything down, you will be able to download the power point after the session. Webinars can range from 30mins to hours, but most often they run 1-2 hours with the last 30 minutes or so of Q&A. If the webinar is scheduled during a time you're not available or you miss it, you can usually still download the presentation! Check out Ancestry.com and Legacy Family Tree for their archived presentations. Legacy Family Tree's presentations are only available for 30 days post webinar, lucky for us they just had a bunch so check them out. Family Tree University has educational resources, live webinars, and many webinars on demand but you have to pay.
Examples of genealogy webinar topics:
- New Family History Technology
- Mapping Software for Genealogists
- Google for Genealogists
- Sharing Genealogy Electronically
Now what might be the biggest question- what technology do I need? Well I have good news, if you're reading this blog you have 2 out of 3 major requirements, a computer with internet access. The organization hosting the webinar will send you a link, usually via email. When it's a few minutes before the scheduled time click on the link and enter the meeting, it's just like entering a chat room! You will see the main slide or images from the presenter's computer on your screen and then you just wait for the learning to begin. The 3rd need is sound, there are 2 ways to do this- speakers on the computer? perfection! If you don't have computer speakers, sometimes they will provide a dial in conference number with number codes to punch in and viola, sound!
*please keep in mind there are many webinar programs out there so the exact methodologies and computer requirements may vary* It's important to check the system requirements provided by the host and to test your computer by logging into the meeting early to make sure!
Check my events calendar for scheduled webinars! If you know of a webinar covering genealogy, researching, history, or any topic you think fits I would love to hear about it. Same goes for your thoughts or comments from a Webinar experience!