Thursday, July 9, 2015

Opening the digital door: Live Streaming and what it could do for you

Recently I have been pondering the new burst in live streaming apps that have been introduced to the app market, and in particular, how these tools could be useful to our students, families, and community members.

First let me introduce you to some of these top live streaming tools

An independent company with a gritty, simple and fun to use interface. Login with an email, Facebook or Twitter. Users can interact via text based chat with the broadcasters live. New feature, broadcasters can invite a viewer to take over the feed with their camera for 60 seconds.

iOS (download)
Android (download)


Twitter owned with a sleek and simple to use interface. Login using your twitter account to view or broadcast. Viewers can comment live while broadcasting via a text based chat function.

iOS (download)
Android (download)

On Air Hangouts
A function of Google+. This tools is designed to use on a computer with a web camera vs the previous two which use a phone or tablet to stream. To simplify matters, setup your Google+ account first, then setup your YouTube account using your Google+ account (instead of setting up a separate YouTube account)

Learn more here

So, you've been introduced, now what?

Some ideas:


  • Create a live streaming daily/weekly show
  • Live stream school concerts
  • Live stream sporting events and give your commentary as the game progresses


  • Weekly broadcast into your class during a set hour.  
    • Ask your students "If we could broadcast live to the internet once a week, what would you want to share and why?"
  • Teacher chats designed for regular parent conversation. Set topics each week for the conversation, or encourage parents to create the topics

Learning Commons

  • Weekly book chats
  • Encouraged Shoutouts to friends and family members during the day/hours of broadcasting
  • Live stream new or highlighted books available for checkout weekly/monthly


  • Weekly/Monthly direct connect to parents, students, and community members, in the format of a simple Q and A session.
  • Weekly walkthrough of the events that took place in your building/district

While each of the services offers something similar, you may find yourself gravitating to one or the other.  The key to your success with this tool is to stick with it and share it.

Set a schedule and broadcast every week or month at that time no matter how many viewers you have. Consistency is key for people to get involved and interested.
Your audience may not have ever heard of these services, so it is important to share with them how to find and use the tool. A letter or email that goes home at the beginning of the year with a description of the tools, links to the apps, the schedule you will be using these tools and why they may want to check it out is crucial.

I hope this post sparks an idea or two for you to play with this year. If you have other ideas or suggestions for using the apps please share them in the comments!

Stay tuned, and stay connected.

1 comment:

  1. I've used Ustream off and on for years. In fact, when internet access allows, I stream my classroom. There is no real added value in this except when someone 'drops' by and interacts.

    Recording specific things does tend to add a lot of value, they person being recorded can view it (along with those outside the classroom who otherwise would not.)

    Also, don't forget to remind others of privacy issues. Some students can't be streamed or recorded, others may just choose not to be. Make sure whatever policies your schools have cover what you are doing.