Sunday, August 2, 2015

How I Set up Periscope for Professional Development Talks

Recently I did a Periscope session during EdCamp Global about "Classroom Management in a Technology Rich Environment." I've never been so nervous to do a PD event in my life! I was stepping outside my comfort zone to try this but could see it being beneficial to learn. Since it's a live event- trial by fire! But it worked.

I had two main things that concerned me about trying this:

  • Creepers. The night before some of my PLN had used Google Hangouts to do some sessions for EdCamp Global and some really weird people showed up, it had to be a closed session in the middle of it. I worried that might happen for me- I guess because I presented at 9am most of the creepers were still sleeping!
  • My default settings for any Periscope I do normally is set for ONLY USERS I FOLLOW CAN CHAT- I knew that I would have to open that to the whole world in order to let everyone take part from EdCamp Global SO I TURNED THIS OPTION OFF. Previous uses that way had provided some very inappropriate comments- fortunately this time, there were none! 
So here are the key things that made my session successful:
  • My set up. I opened Periscope on my iPad, tested my angles and distance before I started. The stability of the tripod helped tremendously when using my hands to share visuals during the session. One thing I would think a bit more about next time is the lighting in the room (get away from the window) and raising the computer when sharing something on the screen (it was in the area that comments showed up in).
  • Plan your start and stop. I didn't have anyone to hit "start broadcasting" for me so I started with the computer screen facing the iPad so everyone could see the name of the session. This is important because when it is posted to the Periscope website or the link is placed on Twitter when you go live that will be the screenshot that everyone sees (it's the hook so to speak)- so you want to make sure something that brings in watchers is in the screen to begin with. Also, I obviously had to get up at the end and stop the broadcast, once again I turned my computer screen for the sake of a better video.
  • Let Twitter tell the world you are broadcasting. Click the Twitter bird before you start- that way your Twitter PLN knows when you are Periscoping because Periscope automatically posts a tweet using your account when you hit "Start Broadcast." I would also suggest here to spend some time thinking about the title for your broadcast- make it helpful enough for your viewers to know what the broadcast is about but catchy enough to hook them in to watch.
  • Communicating with viewers. This is the hardest part- I wanted to be able to see what was being said but the iPad was turned away from me. As soon as I hit broadcast and sat at my computer, I opened the Periscope link of my live event using a different Twitter account on my phone (make sure you turn down your sound as well). I loved being able to interact with the viewers because I met their needs as I talked and could adjust the session on the fly as needed. It was sometimes hard to follow all the comments (I had over 100 viewers for the event but almost 40 more viewers watched it later in the 24 hour public period on Periscope) but I feel like I did a fairly good job of multitasking between the plan and the questioning. 
  • Save to your camera roll. An oops moment for me! At the end of the broadcast you should
    plan on saving PD sessions to your camera role for future watching because they only remain available to the public for 24 hours. It's a simple click of a square but I totally didn't do it. Lesson learned for next time. I've also been told there is an option called #Katch- I'm still not sure exactly how it works but definitely worth looking into (@KatchHQ) because it saves all your streams on its website.
  • Upload your saved video so others can access it. This is me telling myself here since I didn't do it during my session! But here is what I would have done! Our school gmail accounts have associated access to youtube. I often use the app " YouTube Capture" because it quickly uploads large size videos to Youtube without a lot of fuss. It even lets you edit the video if you would like. I'm a fan of the ease of this.
In April I wrote this blog post about Periscope sharing some of my concerns of seeing students use it. That hasn't really happened at our school yet, but I am sure it will. I also have concerns about the true usefulness of it in the classroom setting (privacy issues being my biggest concern) BUT I see great usage in making "events" live. So here I will share with you ways you could help with the privacy issues:
  • Making a closed event broadcast. I would do two things, I would let people know what was going to happen and ask them to follow me so that I can follow them back (this could become a pain but I think it is a smart move to keep inappropriate comments out)- I would then set my broadcast where only people I follow could comment on the video. The other options is to make a "PRIVATE BROADCAST" where only people you select could view the event (a little time consuming if there is a potential for lots of viewers). 

I hope this helps you as you as you consider navigating Periscoping PD in the future!