Since last week, the Periscope app has been all over the Facebook pages, Instagram feeds, and blogs that I frequent (though it was launched in March).
Periscope is a video that you share with viewers. Viewers can interact with you by adding comments or floating hearts (so delightful!). The video is available for 24 hours. Viewers = the entire planet!!
Like any new piece of technology, teachers immediately begin wondering how they can use it to meet the needs of their students. As a middle school teacher, my radar immediately goes up with something that is a cross between Snapchat and Facetime. I know students will find ways to use this for things that I never dreamed (or wanted to dream) about! But, of course, I want to try it in the classroom.
1. So my first thought is student safety and privacy. Parents need to give permission for student photos to be used in promotional school photos, etc. Most parents give permission, but make sure you have verification of permission to photograph your students.
2. Get parents in on the action. The parent, not the student, should be your follower. Never leave parents out of the loop. Never. Not only that, but kids under 13 should not have an account according to Twitter (affiliate of Periscope). That’s in a perfect world, right?!
3. Use the Periscope feature that allows you to limit who receives your “scope.” So instead of making your video available to THE WHOLE WORLD limit it to your followers.
Limitations for Classroom Use
4. While you can save scopes, the URL is only viable for 24 hours. Keep that in mind when determining what to video. At first I thought, “Cool! Scope the homework assignments each day and post to Edmodo!” But, that’s not the highest and best use of this technology. You can save scopes to your video feed, but that would require a few additional steps.
5. It’s interactive, but…if you are the videographer (and surely you will be to protect your students), you will see the hearts and comments, but your students may not. The students can, however, watch the video later and see the comments then.
Ideas to Use Periscope in Your Classroom
1. Invite parents to attend a virtual field trip with you and your class. Even if it’s just the bus ride! (and really…isn’t that usually the most interesting part? Who knew how loud those kids could sing?!!)
2. Music practice. Kids practicing for Grandparents’ Day? Thanksgiving Program? School play? Recorder practice? Give parents a taste of what’s to come — or just a taste of what happened in class.
3. Recess. I love recess duty! Everyone running around, laughing, kids talking…four square! Share that little sliver of the day with parents.
4. Connect with another teacher you trust. Imagine your class watching a Periscope of a classroom on the other side of the world? or several classrooms? Again, the logistics of watching it as a class might be tricky. And — the disadvantage is not being able to preview what your students will see.
5. Connect with other teachers in a Professional Learning Team. Reading a wonderful professional development book? Give a book talk! Reach out to other teachers around the world to share ideas. We meet fellow teachers at workshops and conferences; share information and create a support group.
The idea of Periscope is to experience life through another person’s eyes. That alone is an amazing prompt for students. What is it like to walk in another’s shoes?
What are your thoughts? How might you implement this tool in your classroom, school, or life?