Up or Down Periscope.

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So Periscoping is the new craze on iOS.

If you don’t have a clue what I am on about then check out the app details here: https://www.periscopeapp.co

In brief, Periscope is an iOS app that allows anyone with the app to broadcast video from their iOS camera to everyone else with the app. During this broadcast (of sound & video) other users can heart/like the broadcast and also post comments.

It remains to be seen whether this is likely to be a “fad” (there’s only so many videos of people stuck in traffic jams I can take) or whether it has staying power, but being owned by Twitter seems to me to suggest it’s here to stay.

Best not to judge something until you’ve tried it, so I did just that.

One Sunday morning I joined Tony Blackburn (of BBC Radio DJ fame) as he made his journey to the BBC radio station to do a show. Not particularly very interesting in itself, but what I think was quite interesting to observe was that a lot of his 150+ viewers turned it more into a Q&A session whereby he read the questions in the comments and responded.

Tony Blackburn

It made me think about the way we might use this technology to deliver short Q&A sessions with staff & students. The “teacher” could use the app to broadcast from a live event or from a location which is relevant to the subject. An example might be an archaeological dig where it would not be feasible to get all the students to visit the site, but one student or staff member could visit the site & broadcast it live to the students who could interact by asking/answering questions or even directing the person broadcasting.

Another example is where the tutor might hold an assignment “drop in” session, broadcasting it on Periscope with students asking questions via the comments system.

The real strength of this app is it’s simplicity. Just a simple process to be get yourself broadcasting. It also saves the broadcast videos to your camera roll so you could upload them to youtube later if you wish to.

It’s really trying to capture the “here and now” moments of our lives and allow others to get an insight into those lives. Of course there are a LOT of mundane broadcasts but there are also some really interesting ones beginning to emerge such as behind the scenes of tv/radio stations etc.

I also tried out a quick broadcast during an event being held by our Students’ Union. It was a painless experience, select broadcast and away I went broadcasting! I no longer need a webcam, a pc or laptop to broadcast to the world.

  

Thanks to the 10 people who watched my short (less than 4 minutes) broadcasts!

It will be interesting to see how the app develops, I would perhaps like to see the ability to broadcast privately and not just publicly in order to allow for teachers to share a specific broadcast with only their class, also the ability to catgegorise broadcasts would be very useful.

Once the app becomes cross platform and more mainstream I think there will be lots of potential for it in learning & teaching. In amongst all of the “stuck in traffic” videos I am sure we will see the emergence of some really insightful, educating and entertaining broadcasts – there’s just not many I’ve found yet!

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