Thursday, September 22, 2016

The Power of Periscope

If you haven't heard of Periscope, it just might be time!

Periscope is a live broadcasting app (think Facebook live) that is connected to Twitter.  It allows users to broadcast live from wherever they are with their device, or to watch live broadcasts streamed by users from around the world.  Frequently, there are live broadcasts of historic events as they unfold, and what enhances the authenticity is that these broadcasts come from the average citizen, not filtered through the lens of a media conglomerate.

Periscope broadcasts used to disappear after 24 hours, but fairly recently they added the option to archive broadcasts - which means you can preview broadcasts before showing them to your students for added safety.

One of the great features of Periscope is the fact that it maps where live broadcasts are occurring. on an iOS device, click on the globe, and a world map appears with the number of broadcasts in progress shown in each region. In just a couple of clicks, authentic, up-to-the minute video resources are available.   As I am typing this, there are 30 live broadcasts from South America listed, 7 from Mexico, and 11 from the Caribbean.  38 live broadcasts from Africa, and 57 from France.

It goes without saying that not all broadcasts will be school appropriate.  It pays to take the time to get to know regular scopers from regions of interest. Start following scopers who do quality broadcasts, whose language tends to be clear, and whose content is school-appropriate.

Broadcasting the amazing things you do in your classroom is another way to make global connections. I have done this twice so far with my Spanish classes and once with my French class.   One of my Spanish classes participated in the Global Collaboration Day sponsored by GEC. They were able to share a global service project they have been working on, and try to get other schools involved.

That Spanish class and my French class participated in the International Day of Peace edition of #passthescopeedu (check out my other blog for more information about that event). My Spanish class again shared their project, which is on Water Scarcity, so we scoped from the perspective that much violence has erupted in the battle for potable water. Some of my French students as well as some of my colleague's students performed the Gr├ęgoire song Toi Plus Moi. (I have to say, when I found out that song was part of the curriculum in my new school, I instantly knew that would be our scope - what a perfect fit!)

As part of the event, I was able to share scopes that came from Catherine Mongis in Martinique via Stacy Lovdahl with my classes, and I am looking forward to connecting our classes (something that would never have happened without #passthescopeedu)

Two "safety controls" that I highly recommend if broadcasting with students are:

  • keep your location turned off
  • only allow comments from people you follow
Both of those things have eliminated the issue of "trolls" making inappropriate comments during your live broadcast. A great feature of Periscope that I discovered when I forgot to follow those tips (things got ugly fast!) is that when trolls are blocked - even after the fact on replay - their comments do not show in future replays. 

This app is definitely worth a look. The applications for WL teachers are exciting!

If you try it, let me know how it goes!

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