With the ability to stream to FaceBook Live comes the opportunity to reach a much bigger audience.
I am a bit obsessed with getting really good quality streams for education so I’ve been experimenting over the last few weeks with streaming live to FaceBook.
I have an expensive copy of WireCast but I am really waiting for the new MacBook Pros to come out so I can use it in a more portable environment.
This setup enables me to have the ability to stream out a very high quality camera and audio for interviews and coverage of events. I can switch in videos and multi-camera effects – it will also enable me to broadcast a “show” on the go from events – it’s pretty powerful.
Here’s an example of one of my tests – I’ll be testing and incrementing the outcomes from the results of those tests as I go along. I’ll be sharing that on this blog.
In 1994, 22 years ago, my son was born; that year also coincided with the stirrings of the World Wide Web.
In those dark days of the mid 90’s – I had only 1 day off for my son’s birth – the day of the birth.
It was a home delivery. I remember it well; I spent the morning duck taping plastic sheeting to the floor; it was needed as was the bucket for the placenta. I helped deliver him and cut the cord. The school had Ofsted that day and I had a wry smile knowing what I’d be missing.
In a couple of weeks my partner was back teaching, job sharing with another teacher who also had a newborn. She often used to rush back from school in the lunchtimes, use a pump to express, put it in the fridge and then quickly back to school in the afternoons. I had it easy in comparison.
Before my son was born I had been to all the ante-natal classes and I was well aware of the amount of time needed to care for a newborn – I worked out that the WWW was one way of being able to get out and socialise without having to physically travel anywhere. Online video would become a big part of this and a lifeline to the outside world.
I had been on the Internet for a few years and when the first Internet cafe, Cyberia, launched by the entrepreneur Eva Pascoe in Fitzrovia London, I became the first customer of Easynet – the Internet service provider operating from Fitzrovia.
Cyberia 1995 London’s pioneering cyber cafe Cyberia, photographed in summer 1995 CC BY-SA 4.0 Roger Green
I ran one of the first online poetry magazines in the UK and remember arranging to meet Chris Meade, the then director of the Poetry Society in the cafe. I got him to listen to sound files of Seamus Heaney online for the very first time. You cannot imagine how innovative that was back then.
1995 was the year I brought the Internet into my classroom. I remember writing a load of resources for the British and Science Museums and we won the Science Museum’s first STEM award for online educational resources for a virtual tour, although back then hardly anyone could see them in the UK but we had hits of 250,000 upwards on the West Coast of the States!
I’ll always be grateful to the late Lisa Jardine for stumping up the money for a modem (her son was in my class) to get us all online. Not only did the class go online but I also got hold of a very early videocam. In the evenings I used to cradle my son in my arm and log onto CuCme video conferencing client via the then Global Schoolhouse to “chat” to students at Cornell University and other teachers across the world via the Global Schoolhouse network. It was text only in those days or giant cartoon balloons and felt tips – no colour but it was video and video connection across the world adjusting for timezones!
Now roll back to 1979 when I started teaching. There were numerous teaching centres in the ILEA which held CPD activities every week in the evenings. It was useful to go along and see what other people were doing and how they shared resources. After the abolition of ILEA in 1986, these gradually started to disappear. Most of them were gone by the turn of the century. I realised that the culture of sharing and organising at grass roots level was no longer there. So I bought a (what I thought then) ‘good’ video camera and started filming and subsequently streaming events live so people could come together online and also attend remote events trying to curb the growing diaspora.
Fast forward to the present and we are now able to stream audio and video in real time from our phones anywhere and soon, we will have the capability to do that in 360 degrees and/or in Virtual Reality.
I was struck by a comment from the @maternityCPD on Twitter about how valuable it was to see and hear the Research Ed conference via a live stream link;
being able to watch and hear the stream and not have to worry about all the hassle of taking very young children there. This is precisely why I do what I do!
I have been live streaming events for over 16 years and not being able to physically get to events was one of the main reasons I started to stream video.
It can seem a daunting prospect to live stream video and audio. It needn’t be. There are just a few simple rules you have to follow to get a perfect live stream every time. You will always be at the mercy of your phone’s connection but if you invest in a phone holder, a tripod and a good microphone + light and battery then it is a fairly simple process to get up and running.
The people over at Filmic Pro have re-released the Filmic Remote app.
This allows you to control filming on one device from another across bluetooth or a network.
Here’s a quick test where I control my iPad Pro camera using the app on my iPhone. As you can see (despite all the ear hairs!) I can zoom in and turn on the light on the iPad and focus and change White Balance remotely.
I’ll be using this as one of the ways to get up and running with regular videos in the future.
And here’s a higher quality 4K test with digital broadcast sound quality.
Here is Ross McGill livestreamed from the CPD #TMLondonBoat.
I filmed half the sessions with a GoPro and professional stream box and half with Periscope and my phone. The Periscope sessions were much clearer.
Here is Ross summing up the session tonight:
Here’s some feedback from the evening – one person even came from Birmingham:
I managed to capture a flavour of the evening – excuse the lighting – this was livestreaming on a moving boat! This discussion was about the dearth of Heads and how long someone should be in Deputy Headship / Assistant Headship and the nature of how schools are run. Pedagogy and admin basically. Fascinating. There were conversations all around the boat just like this.
The evening followed the edcamp model. Everyone asked a question and everyone went to hubs on the choices of themes around the question. Some were 1:1 conversations – others were big group jamborees.
To end this blog – here is one of those – something the DFE might like to use in adverts – these are real teachers talking about their jobs – all the harsh realities in there – the convo was:
“What job satisfaction do you get from your role? Enjoy the responses:
I did capture a number of other conversations in the earlier part of the evening but my sound equipment wasn’t playing ball. You can make out what people are saying but it is very, very clipped. I suspect it was a dodgy connection between the wireless mics and the GoPro. If you are still interested they can be viewed here: