If you have a few minutes to an hour or two, you can learn from the comfort of your home, on your computer through Internet. Help is available on genealogy webinars. The word webinar is short for web and seminar. It is a transmission of a presentation, lecture, workshop or seminar over the web. Normally webinars allow participants to interact.
In the case of webinars, there is a host or organizer. This can be an individual, society or company. They produce the webinar and pay for the service. This fee may or may not be passed on to the attendees who are individuals on their computers viewing the webinar on their monitor. The attendees can also be a group of people, such as society members. There can be one or more presenters or virtual speakers. They will speak, have presentation screens and answer questions. Some webinars are panel discussions. You need no special software to attend a webinar. Unless the webinar is archived, you will need to sign up in advance to attend it.
Webinars are very popular with genealogists. The number of webinars is increasing. You can begin exploring the webinar presentations by checking out some of these web sites. If the webinars are archived, you may wish to listen to those also.
Legacy Family Tree http://www.legacyfamilytree.com/webinars.asp hosts webinars. They are archived for a limited period of time. Their webinars are normally over an hour in length and at scheduled times. Be sure to register for a webinar that interests you.
Free webinars are available at Ancestry.com http://learn.ancestry.com/LearnMore/Webinars.aspx and provide interesting topics, especially about using Ancestry.com. They have archived webinars.
Another host of webinars is the Southern California Genealogical Society. Their webinars are known as the Jamboree Extension Series http://www.scgsgenealogy.com/JamboreeExtensionSeries2011.htm. Their series of webinars is new and promises to be extremely popular with genealogists.
Relative Roots hosts genealogy webinars. They are about 1 1/2 hours in length. Some are free and others are available for a nominal fee payable with PayPal. Bookmark their web page http://relativeroots.net/webinars/ so you don't miss out on their webinars. They do not appear to be archiving their presentations.
Ohana Software http://www.ohanasoftware.com/?sec=webinars hosts and archives webinars. You can subscribe for monthly updates pertaining to their webinars.
If you use Roots Magic, be sure to watch their webinars. They can be watched or downloaded at their web page http://www.rootsmagic.com/Webinars/.
Interactive webinars are offered at Family Tree Magazine, http://www.familytreemagazine/com/interactive/Webinars. They are not free, with the normal fee being $49.99. Once you have paid for the webinar, you can view it more than once. They also offer pdf files of the presentation slides.
Speakers are now opting to do webinars or virtual presentations to societies and conferences. Their time and expense and that of the host is valuable. In the future we will see more of this type of presentation. It doesn't mean that we are lazy, we are just saving time for actual research of our ancestors, after we have learned techniques on a webinar.
It is easy to keep track of webinars and their schedules. Genawebinars Blog http://blog.geneawebinars.com has a calendar (scroll to the bottom) which contains webinar information for the month.
Long-distance, stay at home learning is popular. The required equipment is a computer with speakers. You can also use a USB headset if preferred. This will allow you to post questions in voice. Most hosts have questions in typed text during the event. Check out the webinars for genealogists ... they are a great thing!