What IS Periscope?
Back in April, my techy husband showed me an app called Periscope. Periscope is a free app for the iPhone, iPad and Android that allows people to livestream (broadcast video in real time) whatever it is they are seeing at the moment. The livestreams are then saved for 24 hours, where you can catch replays if you missed the live broadcast. After 24 hours, the video disappears. When Erik showed the app to me, he thought I might be able to use it to broadcast events in my classroom for parents who could not attend because of work or appointments.
The idea was appealing, but I wasn’t in the right headspace to introduce it at that time. Fast forward to early July, when Periscope hit the teaching community. Within a matter of days, it felt like hundreds of teachers quickly joined Periscope and began to ‘scope’ their classroom, professional development meetings and thoughts on education. With the time and space of the summer, I was suddenly very interested in using this new form of communication!
One morning, I woke up to the notification whistle and watched a live PD on classroom design. That same evening I was up late working on a project and I discovered a young man in the area playing his acoustic guitar and crooning some sweet R & B-it was like a live concert in my dining room! Scattered throughout the day, I can always find teachers posting positive pep talks, tours of their classroom and great ideas to use with my kiddos.
To say this app has helped to evolve communication among teachers would be an understatement. I follow over 600 educators at the moment. It is true that many Periscopes can turn to rambling, but I always have the option to hop on out of the ‘scope’ if it’s not interesting. Sometimes in the evening, I’ll just peruse the list of the videos from the day and watch snippets-it’s like a video version of Pinterest. 😉
I have done 11 ‘scopes’ as of this morning. Some are of bulletin boards I’ve created, two have been on how to make your own whiteboard tables and several have been morning devotionals for teachers. And while they are only on Periscope for 24 hours, I have been saving them to my phone and uploading them to my Sprout YouTube channel for forever viewing!
I’m kicking around the idea of actually trying to use Periscope in my class this year, now that I’m comfortable with the use of the app. It is possible to have private ‘scopes’ and invite only certain followers to view. If I create a new account just for my parents, I could invite them to private sessions and they could view classroom plays, ceremonies, assemblies, performances, lessons, etc. Because we all need one more thing to add to our plate during the day, right? 😉
If you’re on Periscope, follow me at @SproutClassroom (no ‘s’), and leave your Periscope handle in the comments. Let’s continue this amazing trend of open communication and have a fabulous year learning from each other!