There was a time not long ago when lectures were strictly personal affairs; if you didn’t attend the lecture in person, there was no way of ever seeing it again.
That is no longer the case.
With technology, not only do you not have to be present to view a lecture, but you don’t even have to watch the lecture on the day of the presentation.
With webinars, YouTube, Google Hangouts on Air, Skype, various social media platforms, and other services, it’s now easier than ever to present, record, publish, and disseminate a lecture. With that being said, here are four ways to use technology to enhance your lectures.
Broadcast in Real Time
If you want to enhance your lectures, one of the first things that you can do is make them available to a worldwide audience, via the Internet. Thankfully, if you would like to broadcast your lecture in real time, there are no shortage of options to choose from. Skype, Zoom, Webex, Google Hangouts, and Facebook Live are just a few of the platforms available to modern lecturers. Whether you are hosting a webinar for your business, or teaching a college class to students, these platforms provide a reliable means of reaching a wider audience through online channels.
Many of these streaming and broadcasting services can be accessed across devices as well. With 5G wireless technology set to debut in the coming years, it’s entirely possible that a student who is unable to attend your class in person could Skype in from the train to view your lecture on his or her smartphone. And with the chat features that many of these platforms provide, it may even be possible for him or her to answer questions and contribute to the conversation. It all starts with online broadcasting – which fortunately becomes easier with each and every passing day.
Record for Later Viewing
Broadcasting in real time is one thing, but what if you want to record your lecture for posterity? You can do that with many of the tools listed above. Google offers Google Hangouts On Air and YouTube Live, for example, both of which allow you to record and publish your lectures directly to YouTube (making them incredibly popular options).
For Skype users, there are a wide range of third-party applications that can be used to record a Skype video call (though unfortunately, Skype does not natively support this feature). And Facebook Live videos can be downloaded and saved, though it could be argued that Facebook doesn’t make the process terribly intuitive.
Hosting your videos on social platforms and streaming services like YouTube and Vimeo allows people to watch your lectures at a later date. Students can reference your lectures in order to take notes and brush up on a particular topic or concept, while business lectures and webinars can easily be used for marketing collateral later down the road. After all, a webinar that is viewed once has limited potential, whereas a webinar that is available to anyone, at any time, can reap lasting benefits for your business for many years.
Publish Lectures as Interactive Files
A downloadable and interactive resource of your lecture – of one that complements it – can help you hone in on your message and provide your audience with a more robust and substantive experience. PowerPoint presentations, infographics, and PDF documents containing helpful links and resources can put in words what you are trying to express in speech, and may prove tremendously helpful for your lecture audience. To enhance your lecture, consider providing audience members with supplementary content in the form of an interactive file.
In these documents, you can include links to helpful resources, graphics and visual assets, charts and graphs highlighting empirical data, citations and sources, and even recommendations for further reading or viewing. What’s great about digital files is that these various elements can be embedded into the document itself; thus, a person can actually click on a reference link to go to a site, rather than have to navigate to the site him or herself. Think of it as Wikipedia in document form.
Use All the Internet Has to Offer
Finally, consider bringing the Internet directly into your lecture. Why settle for a whiteboard when you have the World Wide Web at your disposal? For example, to illustrate a topic, you can reference a video on YouTube. Or perhaps you would like to demonstrate a concept or topic with images? Google Image Search makes it easy to find exactly the images you are seeking.
Students no longer have to imagine what a historical location may look like – you can show it to them in a matter of seconds. By doing so, you enhance their experience and improve their knowledge retention. The Internet puts the world at your fingertips, so consider ditching the whiteboard for the web browser. You might just find that your lectures are transformed.