This post was inspired by @gcouros and Forest Green School in Alberta.
Broadcasting live feeds to the Internet, or live streaming as it’s known, and allowing other students and professionals to watch events is guaranteed to increase engagement levels in your classroom, tenfold. There are many Internet broadcasting options available completely free of charge. Here’s a short list:
I like to use Livestream because it allows broadcasts to be streamed with increased quality when using the Procaster rather than the online webcast option. Livestream like many of the above has its downfalls. Perhaps the most frustrating of these downfalls are the advertisements which pop up at the most inopportune times. If you streams are fairly short you may gat away with it but if you stream live for any length of time you have to deal with the advertisements. The free version of Livstream doesn’t allow you to transmit HD quality images even if you have a HD webcam which is somewhat disappointing, but I’ve learned to live with it. I’m sure you will too.
This term, I’ve used Livestream in the following ways:
1. Present a weekly student news broadcast once a week: CETV News
- You can follow the broadcasts live at 1pm PST on Friday’s here
- I have a small broadcast-journalism news team of 5:
- 1 technician, 2 newsreader’s, 1 script writing, and 1 researcher
- On Monday morning I allow the researcher to research 5 segments including international, national, community, school, and sports news stories
- Once the news stories have been identified, the researcher fills out a Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How table
- On Tuesday and Wednesday the script writer uses the above table and adds his/her own unique touch to the stories. It’s important to use a script writer who is comfortable using powerful language. The script writer hands the final script to both newsreader’s by Thursday at recess.
- This enables the newsreader’s to practice pronunciation and fluency in preparation for the broadcast the following day
- During the broadcast we use hand signals which encourage the newsreader’s to slow down, speed up, smile, and speak louder. The cycle repeats itself again on Monday
- Student engagement is high with this activity, and the fact that the broadcast may be viewed by anyone with the link means there is an increased level of professionalism from all involved.
2. Streamed live presentations of political candidates in the electoral riding of Chilliwack-Fraser Canyon
- To coincide with the Canadian General Election which took place on May 2nd, 2011 my teaching partner and I invited all 6 electoral candidates for our riding into school to present to our grade 5/6 classes
- The plan was to have candidates deliver a kid-friendly synopsis of their party platform to our students, and our students would then vote at the end of the week.
- After further consideration we decided to invite other schools in our district to join us in the voting process.
- Livestream enabled us to stream the presentations live to eight elementary schools in our district. The live presentations offered an additional sense of authenticity for students, and resulted in a higher voter turn out.
- Presentations can be view here: Central Election