I recently used Periscope to broadcast live from our Connect More event in Wales, which provided an opportunity for UK higher education (HE) and further education (FE) professionals to learn about the latest technology and how it can benefit the student experience. I can see a number of ways Periscope could be used to do this:
- Live tours of a university campus before open days as a way to engage with potential learners
- Getting students into inaccessible places at inaccessible times, for example streaming to students from a lambing shed in the evening
- For student feedback
- To promote research
- As a way for students to engage with staff.
There are two ways to interact with Periscope, either by watching other people’s streams, or by broadcasting your own. To get started, simply download the app to your Apple or Android device and sign in with your Twitter account. You then sign in to the app to watch broadcasts - if anyone you follow is broadcasting live it will appear on your home screen, or you can browse the global list of broadcasts.
When you want to broadcast yourself just touch the camera button, enter a catchy title and either select public (open to everyone on Periscope) or private (only open to selected followers). From there you can share your location (this is optional), set chat options and post a link on Twitter. Then it’s time to hit the ‘Start Broadcast’ button.
I found Periscope very easy to use and a great way to engage with the wider community. I liked being able to bring the event in Wales to those that couldn’t make it on the day. I was concerned that it could be very one way, but actually found it a great way to get feedback, either through the app’s chat facility, by viewers sending hearts (the equivalent of a thumbs up) or through Twitter.
I was concerned about people’s privacy so I tweeted extensively that I would be using Periscope throughout the day and asked for an announcement to be made at the beginning of the event, so everyone knew what I was doing and I could handle any issues as they arose.
I chose not to Periscope people’s individual views, comments or votes in some sessions as I felt uncomfortable doing so without express permission. I was concerned about how to deal with feedback from viewers but this turned out not to be a problem.
Dealing with negative feedback is no more of an issue with any form of social media
As with any online activity, I could see the use of Periscope raising issues with how to stay safe online. In previous broadcasts I managed to switch off my precise location but another consideration would be how you deal with negative feedback, although this is no more of an issue than with any form of social media.
On the day I used two different devices, an android phone and an Apple iPad. I didn’t notice much difference between the apps, except that when using the android app on my phone it didn’t ask to save the recording to my camera roll but it did it anyway. Also, with the Apple app you can browse by, either a list of live broadcasts or geographical area.
From a practical point of view, I thought live streaming would drain my battery fairly quickly, but both devices held up well, with my phone only giving up later in the day. A potential issue is that if you’re not on a stable Wi-Fi connection it can use up quite a lot of data allowance.
Overall I enjoyed my first Periscope experience. Here are my top tips for using the app so that hopefully you will too.
- It’s all in the name: give your broadcast a catchy and engaging title. Remember you can save it to your Periscope stream for 24 hours, or save and upload elsewhere, so it has to be a title that will work now and later. I found it easier to write my titles ahead of time, along with any Twitter handles and hash tags, and copy and paste them
- Get my people to talk to your people: make an appointment with your audience so they know when you will be Periscoping. The week leading up to, and on the day of our event, I tweeted the times that I would be Periscoping so people could build it into their day
- Share and share alike: when going live click the bird so it goes live to Twitter and all your Twitter followers can join in, as well as retweet
- Where are you: describe where you are, what you’re doing. You don’t necessarily have to be in front of the camera but it’s an idea to describe to viewers what’s happening so they can get a real flavour for what’s happening in that moment.
- Talk to me: ask for feedback, either during the broadcast through comments in the chat or by people giving your stream hearts. You could also ask for feedback after the broadcast on Twitter
- Safety first: there is a great internet saying, ‘don’t feed the trolls’, and it’s true. Don’t respond to negative comments and don’t feel afraid to block anyone if you don’t like what they are saying. We have lots of advice and guidance on staying safe online.
If you would like to get in touch with us about using Periscope in your organisation you can contact me on Twitter @S_Cook2013, or email me.