How do the webinars work?
Webinars are more simple than you'd think. You don't need any special software or skills. Once you register, you'll receive a URL to click on at the scheduled day and time. The Citrix software to run the webcast will download for the session. You'll be taken to a virtual waiting room. When i open the webcast, you start seeing images from my computer desktop on yours and hear my live commentary.
You can enter text questions and comments via your control pad, or speak directly in the webinar (more on audio below). The webinars run about 90 minutes.
How to register:
Click on the URL shown below the session you'd like to attend. This takes you to a registration page. Once you've paid and entered your email information, you'll get a confirmation email with another URL for the webinar itself on that day and time. Each URL is time-and-subject-specific, so make sure to pick the one that corresponds to your chosen date(s).
Don't wait til the last minute to register! I won't be able to monitor email, answer questions or register new people once i'm setting up the webcast! It's safest to register by the day before, at the latest, and recommended to log on a few minutes before start-time. Once you've reached the virtual waiting room, you can do other stuff while waiting for it to go live.
What it looks like, and your control panel
As the webcast begins, you'll see the first image, surrounded by the rest of my desktop, and a vertical black box (that's my control panel, which you won't see). Somewhere on your desktop your own control panel will appear, with controls allowing you to raise your hand, enter questions, and so on. (It may appear in minimized form, as a small vertical box with an orange arrow icon; click on this arrow to size it back up.)
Important: Don't forget to have your computer speakers on, or if you are using the phone for audio, to write down the audio access code they'll ask you to enter at some point. If you want to talk, you can use your own mic, or alternatively use the phone interface. The way the webcast audio works is that everyone is automatically muted to avoid feedback noise. If you want to talk, click the hand icon on your control panel to raise your (virtual) hand. Once we see it, you'll be unmuted so you can talk. Or you can just type in your questions and comments .
IMPORTANT: System Requirements for GoToWebinar:
For PC: Windows® 8, 7, Vista, XP or 2003 Server
For Mac: X 10.6 or newer
For Mobile: iPhone, iPad, Android phone or Android tablet
DSL for best results
If you're on dialup or have a slow computer, it will take longer for images to load. If you don't have the minimum system requirements (above), you might be able to see the webcast at a friend's place, library (bring headphones), or computer parlor.
Almost everyone can hear through their computer's built-in mic, and type in questions. If you want to use a phone for audio and are outside the US, GoToWebinar offers some international in-country numbers, primarily in Europe and Australia. Otherwise, you could cut expenses by buying an international phone card. But that is not necessary, unless your computer has no speakers, or if you prefer to speak instead of typing your comments.
Not in North America? Convert US Pacific timezone (where the webcast originates) to your local timezone here. All webcasts are live and in real time, but the hour varies according to where you are in the world.
So far we are not set up to record or stream sessions, but are working on this. For now all webinars are only in real time.
More on audio
GoToWebinar uses VoIP for audio. It works best with a fast Internet connection. If you want to use a microphone to speak, they recommend a USB headset. VoIP is Voice Internet Protocol which carries your speech across the net so you can be heard in the session. If you don't have a microphone or headset you can still participate by typing in your questions/comments. To hear the webcast audio, you must have some kind of speakers (built-in or external add-ons) OR you must use a phone to deliver the audio.
The alternative to VoIP is to use your phone to speak and hear. This works great if you have free long distance, or have free international calls if you are located outside North America. Gotowebinar has in-country phone numbers for some places, especially in Europe, as well.