Different social media networks have been the go-to tools of educational technology advocates over the past few years. We use Twitter and LinkedIn to share info, communicate, and engage in community chats. We use Facebook and FB Pages to keep each other updated, We use Pinterest to keep up with the latest trends.
There is a new player in town - Periscope. Periscope is Twitter's newest acquisition and is a live video-streaming service that allows your Twitter followers to see through your mobile's cam.
Periscope is an app that allows your Twitter followers to view video through your mobile's camera. It allows you to do a live broadcast anywhere you are as long as an internet connection is available. Moreover, Periscope allows your viewers to interact with you through an interactive chat screen. Your video will also be available for viewing as a replay for 24 hours - for those who have missed your broadcast. It's number one feature though is it's FREE!
Periscope has been available for download since late-March 2015 for the iOS and will also soon be available for Android (UPDATE! It is now available in Google Play!). During the first few days of availability, more than a million people have logged in and used the Periscope service.
How do I use Periscope?
I've been a Periscope user for less than a week; and I have attended a few sessions. From office birthday surprises at a social media app company that I use, to virtual tours around the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace, to broadcasts by an inspirational author/speaker - I've interacted with thousands of different people during a broadcast. It was right exactly after watching these broadcasts that I realized what Periscope can do for us edtech advocates; which then inspired me to write this blog post.
1. Mass Webcasts
It allows instructors to do easier webcasts. With just a click of a button, an instructor can send a push notification to his/her followers regarding the live broadcast. Once a learner receives a notification, all they need to do is to press it - and they instantly get to join the conversation. Unlike other webcast apps wherein it takes a lot of user actions to create or join, Periscope makes broadcasting easier. What's more is that, there are no limits as to the number of viewers (as far as I know).
Most webcast / web meeting services charge for a certain number of allowable users in a broadcast - Periscope doesn't charge, and doesn't have a limit on the number of viewers.
2. Class Webcasts
Just like #1, instructors can broadcast to followers, but this time only to a select few. Just think of what it can do to your classes when presentations are done through Periscope. Lectures, presentations, discussions - anytime, anywhere (with internet connection, of course).
I think I've mentioned that I've been through virtual field trips in the Eiffel Tower and Buckingham Palace care of some generous Periscope users (I also got to watch Andrea Bocelli, Katy Perry, and The Script concerts). So, imagine yourself bringing along your learners with you on a virtual field trip while you act as a guide. Just awesome!
4. Virtual Conferences!!!!
This, for me, can be the best use of Periscope yet! Here in the Philippines, there isn't much happening in the edtech community - or if there's a community at all (Believe me I'd be a member of one - IF THERE IS ONE). So, every time I see all these community and industry events on Twitter and LinkedIn, I can only drool. What's more is that I'm missing the most important parts - the talks from our industry's experts . (Update: I've attended some ATD2015 sessions through the generosity of fellow edtech advocates/periscope users).
So, what are the advantages of holding virtual conferences through Periscope?
First, conference rates will be lower (or even free) because overhead for the event will be at a minimum. Secondly, it will be more convenient for everyone - imagine industry speakers giving their talks and attendees getting to watch and interact at the comfort of their own homes/offices. Lastly, and most importantly, anyone, anywhere - INCLUDING THE PHILIPPINES, will be able to attend. Of course, I do understand the need to gather for a convention (the social aspect of learning) - but I hope, sometime soon, we get a conference streamed through Periscope. So that areas without active edtech communities/groups (like here in the PH also get a chance to attend an industry get-together (calling all admins *cough *cough).
That's about it. If you know any other uses for Periscope in the edutech field please let us know through the comments field below. Cheers!