A traditional seminar is a small group of students that meet regularly under, the guidance of a tutor, to exchange information, discuss theories, etc. The important word here is 'exchange'. The idea is that ALL of the group contribute so a web based seminar (or webinar) must allow both tutor AND students to communicate freely and to present their own work. The focus then is on software that provides a type of virtual classroom approach rather than on webcasting (squirting video onto the web for a largely anonymous and passive audience) or webchat/conferencing (a discussion using one or more of text, audio and video).
Today I will show the review sites and later I'll update the post with our experiences.
One really useful site provides reviews and comparisons of 35 different software packages. The top 10 (on 8 June 2012) are shown below;
Other packages listed include some names that will be familiar with most teachers; InstantPresenter (15 - 8.6), Skype (18 - 8.2), Blackboard Collaborate (29 - 7.4). The reviews are based on the following evaluation guide:
- MEETING TYPES
- Web conference
- 2. COLLABORATION TYPES
- Desktop sharing
- Virtual room
- 3. SUPPORTED COMMUNICATION CONTENT
- Web conference
- Audio conference
- Video conference
- 4. IMPLEMENTATION TYPES
- Shared hosted service (SaaS)
- Local installation
- Hybrid installation
- 5. MOBILE USE & PLATFORM INDEPENDENCE
- 6. SOLUTION TYPES
- Specialized solution (focus on web conferencing)
- Integrated solution (unified communications)
- 7. SPECIAL BUSINESS REQUIREMENTS
- Virtual classroom
- 8. VENDOR STABILITY, SUPPORT & REFERENCES
Another review site (http://www.voip-sol.com/an-analysis-of-the-best-webinar-services/) lists their top 10 which has some similarities with the above but probably not enough overlap to provide a clear winner.
- Microsoft Office Live Meeting
- Fuze Meeting
- Adobe Connect
From our reading of these review sites the group decided to try a practical comparison using GoToMeeting, WebEx, Fuze and Adobe Connect.
I'll post soon on the practical reality.
Until then - TGIF