Teaching and Reaching Beyond Walls with Online Broadcasting
There are many applications for the medium of webcasting. In today’s world, sharing information is of critical importance, to both our professional and private lives. The online stream is one way to do this, allowing a greater audience than ever before possible to receive relevant information with convenience and ease. The webcast unites individuals and groups across distances and makes both business and education more conducive to the globalized world we live in.
What is Webcasting?
According to the Ohio State University’s Health Sciences Library, a webcasting is essentially an internet broadcast. This varies from other types of online streaming sessions in the following ways:
- Unlike traditional video conferencing and web conferencing, these broadcasts are not two-way, interactive events. While they do offer audio and typically video elements, they are not always conducted live or in real time, and are aimed at larger groups. Like online conferences, virtual broadcasts do operate via internet enabled devices, but do not typically feature any additional interface to allow for interaction by participants and consumers.
- Also different is the webinar, which is also typically a live presentation. Webinars are used when a speaker cannot attend an event but still needs to relay information, and often include audience polling or other tools to measure the understanding of the listeners and the effectiveness of the presentation itself. Webinars are common in settings where a scheduled time for meeting is both conducive to the work environment and necessary to ensure participation.
Video webcasting – such as the services offered by companies like BlueJeans – is unique in that it offers flexibility that these other virtual education platforms cannot. While attendance in the literal sense of the word is not necessary for web-based learning and collaboration, both conferencing and online seminar formats do require a student, employee or other participant to join a scheduled session, and to listen or interact during the length of it to acquire the information being provided. With webcasting, the individual or group making the presentation can compile whatever materials are needed, assemble visual aids, record audio and video aspects of their offering and then make these resources available for users via online outlets or mobile applications, without actually having to require virtual attendance of a live event. This way, work and school schedules do not have to be interrupted.
A Variety of Applications
Though traditional education and office-style businesses are the first clientele that come to mind, there are a wide array of persons who can benefit from internet broadcasts. Some of these might surprise the average person, who may doubt such audiovisual tools could be of service to them or their business. These include:
- Entertainment groups or fan sites, making connections between media content and the people who enjoy it by using sound and video available online.
- Medical professionals and those that they collaborate with or who work under their guidance, and can benefit from experience-based education in their particular field of practice.
- STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – education, which according to LiveScienceis a field in desperate need of more interdisciplinary teaching resources as our digital world continues to grow. By using internet-based broadcast, educators can introduce items, settings and concepts that might not be available to their students in the typical classroom.
- Freelance and self-employed individuals, who can utilize the platform to introduce potential clients to their skill set and qualifications, as well as brand and promote themselves. Webcasting is also a useful tool in connecting with others within the field, and helping those who are new to the world of freelance work understand the workings of it.
There are myriad other ways to apply the tool of digital audiovisual broadcasting, all of which share a common goal: relaying important content to the people who want and need it most, and making that content available in a way that works for nearly everyone.
Making it Work for You
The flexibility of on-demand listening and learning is incredibly well-suited to today’s consumer. Streaming media services in the fields of television and radio entertainment are some of the most popular, profitable and widely-used in the world because of the convenience they provide, and there is no reason why this same principle cannot be applied to business and education. So-called ‘podcasts’ have taken the place of traditional and digital comics by providing fans with serial, on-demand content, be it informational or purely for fun. Never has there been a time when webcasting was more perfectly primed for providing useful tools and resources for work, school and everything in between.
More than anything, the use of digital audiovisual aids modernizes information and makes it relevant to today’s audience. When compiling material to be shared – whether it is statistic data or anecdotal observations – no presenter wants to worry about the platform they’re using being out of date. In using webcasting software, any person with something to say can be sure to have every resource necessary to make it both interesting and accessible – everything today’s audience is looking for.