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Using Periscope to connect our community with school events

Started by Carol Kendall 28 Oct 2015 11:05am () Replies (10)

On Friday 30 October, we have our annual Pet Day. I'm considering using Periscope to broadcast some of the happenings on the day - this broadcast is yet to be confirmed. I'll be limited by access to wifi, as out on our field where much of the action is happening, the wifi won't work (and I don't want to use up all my phone data!). But things will also be happening inside and around the classrooms.

I'm thinking about how to manage this. I would notify parents through our newsletter, an email and a Tweet (@springstonsch). We currently only use our Twitter account for infrequent text alerts, and only those who have chosen to receive these will know. Anyone would be able to watch the broadcast on a computer by visiting our school Periscope profile (as yet unused) at https://www.periscope.tv/springstonsch and I have also added a widget to our school's home page.

Have any other NZ teachers or schools tried using Periscope to connect with their community? I had a brief 'play' with it once, showing some robotics training that our students were doing. Several people from around the world 'looked in', and the students thought it was really cool. Am I going to run foul of privacy issues...?


  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 29 Oct 2015 4:24pm ()

    Tested this out twice this afternoon. Very slow (to the extent of giving up a few times) initializing the video stream.... But managed a couple of recordings, so look out for more tomorrow at https://www.periscope.tv/springstonsch . Remember, recordings are only live for 24 hours.

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 05 Nov 2015 5:07pm ()

    What a great idea Carol. Sorry to hear you ended up a giving up a few times, but great you got some recordings.

    I'm wondering how it was received by parents and if you had any feedback?

    I understand (although I might be wrong) that you can save the recordings you make on Periscope but only if you do it straight away (stores on your phone).

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 06 Nov 2015 1:20pm ()

    I agree with Nathaniel. I also think it is a wonderful idea and am inspired to look into using with my students. As far as privacy issues go I guess you will have to look at your current policy and see what it says. I know for my digital class all students and whanau have signed a waver stating that their children's photos may be put on the web, but i'm not sure where live streaming goes. I know we have uploaded lots of videos to youtube without any complaints. You might get negative feedback as that can be the default setting for a lot of people when it comes to exploring innovative ways to engage students and share their learning. Good luck with it, I look forward to seeing how it goes.

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 15 Nov 2015 7:23pm ()

    An update for Justin and Nathaniel, and others who are interested in how Periscope live broadcasts might work for their school.

    I successfully (eventually) managed two recordings on Pet Day using Periscope via our School Twitter account. Be sure to broadcast using your school account, not your personal account! I can operate from either account if I wish - you just need to sign out, and then sign back in again with the account you want to use. I used email and a Twitter text to alert our school community, the day before, that I would be attempting a live broadcast.

    The first broadcast wouldn't connect on my iPad Air (got stuck on connecting to the video stream), but connected straight away when I gave up and tried with my iPhone 5S. I had turned off the data and stuck to wifi (didn't want to use up my personal data that would have been roaming on Vodafone, when I personally use 2 Degrees). The wifi worked even as I ventured out onto the field and away from the buildings, so that was good.

    I used the automatic Tweet feature to alert our community (and the world) that the broadcast was beginning. Many of our families subscribe to our school's text alerts which are sent out automatically via Twitter or Facebook. They could then follow a link to our Periscope web page with the live broadcast. We have to watch that we don't send out too many texts - usually a maximum of 1-2 per day, or usually fewer. So, I was conscious of that being a possible issue for some people.

    Because I didn't know how well or how long it would work for, I moved around quite quickly, and upon reflection I have found that I moved the camera/iPhone too quickly. To be fair, I was also trying to focus on just giving a general impression of the Pet Day, to get coverage of the range of animals, and avoid capturing too much video of students and families. We have only one family with serious concerns about being seen online, but I didn't want to push my luck. Some of the animals were difficult to see in their cages because of the darkness, so that was a shame.

    During the 40 minutes of that first broadcast, I had a total of 97 live viewers from around the world (I recognised only one name of a parent viewer, and subsequently heard of another viewer connected with the school). There were 4 replay viewers within the 24 hour replay period. I do think that the replays disappeared sooner than the 24 hours period they're meant to be available, so beware of that. We also had a grandparent who was disappointed to have missed the live broadcasts and 24 hour recordings, but who was thrilled to be able to watch the recordings I later uploaded to YouTube.

    For the second broadcast (5 minutes long), later in the morning, I had terrible problems getting a connection, on either device, but finally made it on my iPad Air and rushed outside to try and broadcast the Grand Parade.I had a total of 47 live viewers, and I recognised the name of one parent amongst the 8 replay viewers. Unfortunately, by the time I got outside for the Parade, it was all over and it took me a wee while to even realise. There was some bad lag during this recording, but I couldn't tell while I was doing it, only when reviewing the footage within the app later. I had brief online comments from a viewer in the UK, and you'll hear me mention them in my broadcast, when talking about a lamb in All Black costume (this was broadcast shortly before the Rugby World Cup Final).

    I had done both broadcasts using Periscope's new landscape mode, and saved both recordings to my Camera Roll. However, when I went to upload these recordings to our school's YouTube account, I found I needed to rotate them first. For some reason they save in Portrait mode! I emailed Periscope about this issue (they said it was normal.... and just to rotate the video somewhere else), and also enquired about the difficulties getting each broadcast started with the streaming video. They said that this would be a problem with our wifi network (quite possible as we are having issues, though no one else would have been using it during my broadcasts....) - we do have ultrafast broadband via N4L. Interestingly, the lag that occurred in my second broadcast, didn't show up in the video saved to my Camera Roll.

    Pet Day 2015 - Recording of Live Broadcast Part 1

    Pet Day 2015 - Recording of Live Broadcast Part 2

    Subsequently (and within the 24 hour period), I signed the school Twitter account up to Katch in order to capture the broadcasts automatically https://katch.me/springstonsch
    I suggest you sign up before your first broadcast, and tick the box in Katch to automatically 'Katch' or capture your Periscope broadcasts. I note that this seems to capture everything on your Periscope screen, including comments and hearts (unlike the videos on my Camera Roll). I guess you need to be careful about what comments are posted though, but there's not much you can do about it unless you do a private broadcast. That wouldn't have worked for our community because hardly any of our families use Twitter. It was good that people could watch via our Periscope webpage (https://www.periscope.tv/springstonsch ) showing the live broadcast, and the later replays within the 24 hour period.

    I'd love to solve the connection issues, and I might try again with one or two major school events coming up. We have a Market Day in December which might work well.

    I've love to hear if any other schools try this. Please follow us (@springstonsch), and notify us in this group if your school has an account and does a broadcast. I think this has the potential to be a really valuable tool for connecting with your community, even if they don't have the tools to follow directly through Periscope.


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 24 Nov 2015 2:49pm ()

    I love this idea Carol, thank you for sharing. Sometimes working parents can't get to the school trips, assemblies or just be a 'fly on the wall' during lessons. Depending on the teacher, you can access image/video files if they share in a class portal or blog.

    But live video...what a cool way to be there when you can't be there. I'd love to be able to tap into a classroom scene or special event where a device (like a tablet) is set time at a certain time and parents invited to view. That way when I would ask, "what did you do at school today?" He might not say "nothing much." Instead I could say, "I saw a whole of learning in your day today!"

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 02 Dec 2015 9:31pm ()

    I am going to attempt another live broadcast from an iPad (using the Periscope app) for the first hour of our school's Christmas Market on this Friday 4 December.
 This event will involve students selling products that they have created this term, to sell as part of their Enterprise Education inquiry.

    I will try broadcasting from around 5pm to 6pm and hope to alert our school community that broadcasting is live via our Text alert system (which also appears on Facebook). You will (hopefully) be able to view the broadcast from the following web page (keep refreshing it to see if we are 'live'): https://www.periscope.tv/springstonsch You can also find a gadget on the side of our web page at http://www.springston.school.nz - keep refreshing that page, and check if the button says 'live'. Click on it to access the broadcast. If I am successful, recordings of the broadcasts will remain available for 24 hours on the first link above. Then they'll be uploaded to SpringstonTube. Broadcasts (if they work!) are dependent on wifi access, so may not work if we lose that connection. Fingers crossed!

  • justin hickey (View all users posts) 03 Dec 2015 9:27am ()

    Fantastic. I think it is wonderful to see the variety of ways you are attempting to connect and share with your community. Well done. It is innovative and shows vision.yes

  • Carol Kendall (View all users posts) 15 Dec 2015 4:53pm ()

    An interesting link, covering several issues involved in using Periscope in education: What teachers need to know about Periscope. Contains links to other sites with information for beginners.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 15 Dec 2015 9:39pm ()

    Thank you Carol for the updates, so nice to see your innovative thinking and trials come to fruition. It really shows your community how dedicated you are to sharing their children's' learning with home. I also think the privacy issues outlined in the article are very relevant and would no doubt be a consideration for parents.

    What do you think of the potential benefits and issues with Periscope and have you had any feedback from parents/whānau so far?

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