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Using Periscope to Improve Student Learning

Watching colleagues teach and students learn is an invaluable way to show new and veteran teachers alternative ways of approaching a classroom environment.

Unfortunately, it is not always so easy to get into another teacher's classroom.

Whether our schedules don't align or classes can't be covered, there is an easier way to share classrooms that don't involve the heavy lifting and planning.

Using live streaming is an easy way to help with professional learning for teachers from the comfort of their own classrooms or even at home. 

Since most live streaming apps can teachers from all over the world into each other's classrooms and then be saved for later viewing, the options for seeing other teachers teach is much more convenient.

In the past, when focusing on the possible uses for Periscope, I didn't really consider how it can be a tremendous asset for students as well. What if we can open our classrooms up to all learners and students never have to miss another lesson again.

Consider the following uses for live streaming to directly impact student progress: 

  • Homeschooled students can participate in classroom lessons where parents can sometimes not have the expertise or use the videos to enrich the learning that is happening at home with tutors. This can also be an interesting window into the world that the students don't participate in on a regular basis.

  • In the same way, students who are home sick or away on family vacations can either watch live or review saved class lessons for later. They can participate live as well, by asking questions while they watch. If students are also using Twitter or another social media tool, there can be a three-dimensional learning experience from home ensuring no break in learning.

  • Student conferences can be live-streamed to help with writing or other learning skills and students who similar challenges can benefit.

  • Small group discussions can be streamed and then later shared with the full class or absent members. This will also help when it comes to working on group projects outside of school.

  • Student presentations can be shared with parents live as well as other classrooms. Watchers can send in questions and comments that can add to the learning and presenting experience.

  • Field trips can be live-streamed too. For every educational experience that happens outside of school, students can make the learning available to folks outside of the experience. This would go for conventions and conferences as well. Imagine being able to share individual workshops and then be able to archive that learning and store it in a place to share with other students who weren't able to attend.

As we move farther into the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly more clear that learning is all around us. We are no longer hindered by time or space or location. Why not harness the tools we have to increase learning opportunities for all students?

How would you use this technology to increase learning? Please share

This post originally ran on my Education Week Teacher blog in September 2015.


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