Two years ago I began streaming my high school classroom live on the internet. There were two goals behind the change. The first was to invite parents to watch and see what their teenagers do in class. The second was to allow student to have access to classroom learning if they were stuck at home sick.
As time has lapsed we have discovered a few other benefits.
- Because broadcast are also recorded, I can watch my teaching later and see what I need to fix or improve.
- Students can also watch the archive to see what they may have missed.
- Students who have OSS (out of school suspension) may also keep current on classroom activities.
- Raise teacher accountability. You never know who might be watching.
- Broadcast classroom presentations or activities to a broader audience.
- Student presentations
- Guest speakers – Share with other classrooms or schools
- My friend Drew Ising (@Mr_Ising) invited my class to stream and hangout with Carl Zimmer (@carlzimmer) here is the recorded broadcast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pUfcJS4JsK8 via Google Hangouts and youtube.
- Class demonstrations – (snake dissecions, my class) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKR_qPYmJEk (warning, high school students sometimes curse)
- Playback recorded broadcast to confirm or refute student behavior.
- Check in on my students while I am at a conference or home with sick my offspring.
- We also used it for student snowday instruction and teacher snowday PD.
Some school are also using streaming to broadcast athletic events, poetry readings, band performances, school meetings, drama performances, graduation, and many others. A high percentage of the students at our school have family in other parts of the world. Although we have promoted it, I do not believe we have had any international views as of yet.
Student privacy? Parents sign a district digital, photo, video permission form. If parents do not sign the form the students are positioned off camera. The camera is not top of the line and thus images of students are not very clear. The camera is in plain view and students know they are live.
All are invited to click into my class anytime. I am always open to criticism and ideas. www.bit.ly/taylortv
If we want administration, government, and parents to be open, then we should be open too.
Tools for streaming –
- Google Hangouts – youtube
- There are more, just Google it.