I Stream, U Stream, We All Stream!

My First Periscope Broadcast…Newbie Insights for Teachers New to Periscope

The past year has beperiscopeen explosive for the live streaming movement. UStream, Meerkat, Periscope–and now even Facebook and YouTube–are examples of live streaming platforms that allow ordinary people to broadcast live to the world. Of course, a quick glance can reveal a lot of boring, uneventful, ridiculous, and even shady streams. I had heard about Periscope in the past few months, but never checked it out until recently.

Our 7th grade students recently visited a local sea turtle hospital as part of a two-week community service project. They held a “turtle toy (supply) drive,” did a beach clean-up, and made a video for an iBook that will eventually be published on iTunes. I was so excited about this project (collaborative effort of science teacher Stacy O’Connell and media specialist Danielle Wishka as part of her ADE Project) that, even though I had no experience–and not a lot of confidence being on camera–I decided to broadcast the field trip on Periscope.  I did a couple of practice scopes (I’m so glad I did!!!) and went for it.

Here are a few things that I have learned in these first few broadcasts:

  • Check your school’s policy regarding social media and photographing students. I obtained permission in advance and took steps to protect our students’ privacy.
  • Do a test run! In mine, I actually forgot to add a title…
  • Type out your title on another app (such as Notes), then copy & paste onto the title entry bar. (It’s easy to make a mistake if you type your title on the fly.)
  • Use hashtags to attract the appropriate audience for your scope.
  • Use emojis in your title to draw attention (but overkill can be annoying). I went with:

    🐢☀️🐢 7th Grade Community Service Project at South Florida #SeaTurtle Hospital #PeriscopeEDU #PeriscopeTeachers 🐢☀️🐢

  • You may want to pre-tweet your broadcast.
  • Don’t forget to tweet out your broadcast (see below).
  • Limit the length of your broadcast. Mine was way too long-90 min; however, I knew in advance that people wouldn’t be viewing the entire broadcast.
  • Settings–there are 4 icons control the privacy of your broadcast: IMG_0914
    • Location (circled in blue in diagram, rt.): Think carefully about this one, especially if your scope involves students. When selected, your broadcast will appear as a red dot on the map and anyone on Periscope can see your location and comment as you broadcast.
    • Private broadcast (green circle): allows you to limit your broadcast to specific people. This is good for testing things out!
    • Limit chat (pink circle): If you select, only people you follow on Periscope will be allowed to chat (add comments and give you hearts).
    • Twitter icon (yellow circle): This will automatically tweet out your broadcast.
    • I chose not to broadcast my location for this scope for security purposes and because I didn’t want random people (aka trolls) to view or comment on my scope. Not broadcasting your location means your audience will be limited to those who follow you on Periscope and Twitter (and anyone with whom they share).

It was an incredible experience to broadcast our students in action making a difference for these sea turtles! The biggest thing I gained from the process is to discover how much I have to learn! The experience left me excited to explore more ways to showcase the work of our students and teachers, as well as to continue make global connections.

Kelley Briceno, Tech Coach


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