Categories: Live Video Streaming
Availability: iOS, Android
Uses: Collaborative/social learning, Reinforce learning, Facilitate discussion

What is it?
Periscope is a free live video streaming app that allows users to record video while others watch and add comments in real-time. The app, developed by Twitter, has gained popularity as an education technology tool for its quick setup enabling users to communicate with audiences worldwide by live streaming video straight from their mobile device.

How can I use it?
Periscope integrates directly with your Twitter account. So you will need a Twitter account to get started. There are two ways to interact with Periscope, either by watching other people’s streams, or by broadcasting your own.

To get started:

  • Download the app for your android (Samsung, HTC, etc.) or iOS (iPhone) based smartphone or tablet via Google Play or the IOS store.
  • Sign in to Periscope using your Twitter account or with your phone number
  • When you sign in to Periscope for the first time you will be prompted to follow other users (optional)
  • To set up a live broadcast: When you start recording, Periscope can automatically send out a tweet (you have to turn this feature on) with the #periscope hashtag embedded in the tweet.
Anyone following you on Twitter can then click on the link in the tweet (yes, Periscope automatically inserts the link) and can
watch the stream.

The second way for people to watch Periscope streams is via the replay feature. People can click on the link in your tweet and view the stream once it has finished. HOWEVER, the replay is only available for 24 hours, so be aware.

A few tips while we are here:

Make sure you use hashtags when type in the message for your stream.  This way, you can reach a larger audience based on the subject you are broadcasting on

When broadcasting, the viewing audience can be defined by simply switching the settings to “private.” Here, you can define the people you would like to view the stream. Note however, that like Twitter, these users need to be “Mutuals”. Meaning, you follow them, and they follow you back.

For optimum quality, try and stabilise your device. Use a tripod or some other type of mount to hold your device while streaming. Also, make sure that there isn’t a lot of background noise and that the microphone on your device is as close to the source as possible.

Why should I use it?
Periscope requires no additional equipment in a basic set up. The application essentially gives you a window to view live broadcasts from all over the world and the capability to broadcast from your own device.
The educational benefits are numerous. The app can be used to expand student communication skills, but also to allow for meaningful connection and exchange of ideas with diverse populations and audiences; not to mind helping develop critical thinking and digital literacy skills. The following are just a few examples of how the app can be used in an educational context:

  • Virtual Field Trips- Getting students into inaccessible places at inaccessible times
  • Expert Speakers - Getting subject matter experts to broadcast to your classroom remotely, and to field questions from your students
  • Remote Demonstrations - For example, online scientific lab experiments
  • Promoting Research - If you are engaged in ongoing research for example, send out weekly updates to the research community on your findings or to field questions.
  • Peer review - Different streams can be reviewed by your audience using the comments feature or by liking content - in a sort of virtual Q & A. Streams can also live outside of Periscope and be uploaded to your VLE for further viewing and discussion (more on that below)
  • Student/Staff Discussion - Sort of on the last point but the application can also promote or enhance staff/student engagement outside of class hours for example
  • Stream relevant live news events with your students - If there are any live events online, you can broadcast these into your classroom
  • Broadcast conference sessions - More applicable to academic and research staff, this feature can become quite useful when promoting conference sessions or workshops
As a relatively new application, no doubt more teaching and learning applications of this technology will arise as educators experiment

Top Tips
Once you have finished a video stream, you can save your video for later viewing to your phone. We highly recommend you use this feature to archive your videos and that once you have it saved, that you upload it to a cloud storage service such as Dropbox, Google Drive or OneDrive

Take a look at this article by JISC here

Where can I find it?

Unless otherwise stated, all reviews and recommendations are solely those of the Department of Technology Enhanced Learning team and do not reflect the views or opinions of any organisation, including Cork Institute of Technology. The Department is not responsible for any inappropriate, offensive or illegal content viewed or accessed through the tools and products reviewed.