Live Streaming as an Instructional Goal

The estimated reading time for this post is 4 minutes

I heard Jessica say this week during a stand-up circle that she was making connections and does not always initially see the larger picture that she credits me with seeing. While that’s a vulnerable statement on her part and, I admit, sort of flattering on my end (someone thinks I see a big picture!??!), it also reveals a need to make some bigger picture statements and to unpack some of the thinking behind our 21st Century Learning projects and initiatives.

Why are we doing a weekly live show?

I had a department chair  (Dotsie Bell, at Rialto High School) who once gave me some needed insight and some great advice, “Wes, if you don’t toot your own horn sometimes and tell other people what you are doing, people won’t know.” That was probably 20 years ago, and I’m still challenged by the often isolated or fragmented nature of how we work in classrooms (think of the 4 walls that prevent people from seeing it) and how we work in districts (think of the time and distance barriers between great pockets of innovation, collegiality, and instruction).

If you are tracking trends in communication and technology, you’ll notice that important players in the field have embrace the power and psychology of “now’ media. Facebook has Facebook Live, YouTube has Live Events, and Snapchat is destroying the competition in the younger demographic range, with it’s instant photo and video messages that are (or were) “not saved” but meant to replicate some of the synchronous feel of human communication.

Yes, but the weekly live show?

There are many ways to develop our capacity as an instructional organization –

  • an archive of professional learning materials, such as instructional videos that are teacher-directed.  Think of these as “tutorials” for instructors
  • an archive of situated learning experiences, such as classroom videos that are teacher-directed. Think of these as virtual field trips for instructors.
  • an archive of instructional delivery, such as great lectures, discussions, etc. Think of these as student-directed learning materials (though they can fit in the other two categories, these would be framed tighter to draw learners in, as if they are experiencing the instruction first hand)

Interesting, Wes, but…

We don’t currently have a district media library of great instructional content, tagged by topic and standard, and accessible through a quick online search for download, streaming in classroom, or embedding in Canvas, Google Classroom or another learning management system.

So, why the weekly live show?

It’s about math.  It’s about the technology we have – and students have – at our fingertips. It’s about our students’ insatiable desire to learn. It’s about the upcoming teacher shortage. 

The math is that if we tackle the much-needed archives of our collective instructional wisdom, consider this: professionals often quote this estimate – “one minute of video = one hour of editing.” If we want to capture and archive ten minute of video of fabulous, we need to consider the ten hours of editing.  You can quickly see that documenting even 1% of the instruction that happens in our schools on a daily basis is impossible with video editing. 2,000 classrooms x 6 hours of instruction per day is 120,000 hours of instruction. Multiply that by 1% and you have 1,200 hours of instruction per day as an archive goal. Which, in video production time (x10) = 120,000 hours of production time. You can see the problem?

We have live streaming. It’s here.

Set up a smartphone and with a Twitter account, you can stream using Periscope. Wait, not just you. Any learner with an smartphone.

Our learners are curious.

Collage_Fotor_Fotor.jpgThey are using Facebook Live to share their talents.  I recently discovered two talented musicians from Santa Ana High School, who are broadcasting hour long “concerts” and monologues on their Facebook pages simply because they want to share and they want people to engage with what they know.  Behind that drive, is not merely desire for attention.  It’s a desire for excellence. To be noticed, yes. But also to be great.  These learners are in the rare and curious 10,000 hours time frame of mobile-device livestreaming.

And we are too, if we embrace the opportunity.

That is, we can be curious. And, we can look for “how might we” instructional wins in the dawn of mobile-device livestreaming.

To be completely clear…

My instructional goal is to master live-streaming technology to the point where teachers who elect to join Team21C and work with our Open Campus hybrid courses, can be supported by a team of our learners who document, produce and publish our content with us. The editing time of livestreaming is zero. Livestream good content & the livestreaming service archives it for you. How do you enable multiple pockets of excellent instructional delivery to be captured, streamed and saved? You have teams of learners who are working with you. What are some other benefits? The learners we engage in this work become introduced into teaching and learning in the 21st Century, and I hope, fall in love with teaching.

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Coordinating 21st Century Learning in Santa Ana & beyond. I practice art through photography. I raise funds for clean water with Team World Vision.

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Coordinating 21st Century Learning in Santa Ana & beyond. I practice art through photography. I raise funds for clean water with Team World Vision.

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