Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Learning to Live-Stream: Review Sessions from my Couch

This year has been a hot mess of delays, snow days, and general schedule interruptions that have gotten me a little jumpy about my AP pacing. Yes, I know the exam is a week later this year. Yes, I know I had 5-6 weeks of review the last 2 years. Yes, I know we started behind since our Pre-Calc courses didn't get to cover the final unit as thoroughly as in years past. But like most teachers, I have my "checkpoints" of where I think I should be at certain points in the year and midterm week has gotten me feeling a little spooked. 

My kids wanted a bit more review that I just didn't have the time to give them for our last test, so we came to a compromise....I would figure out how to do a live stream review if they would watch it. We'd try for an hour the day before the test and see how that went. 

Anyone who has been around my blog for a while knows I'm a huge devotee of Notability and knew I wanted a way to live stream my iPad so  I could write by hand. After doing some research, I came across AirServer,  which took my normal airplay capabilites and allowed me to tie in live streaming directly to YouTube. Students saw my screen and a small image of me in the corner....good for the Italian in me who needs to talk with my hands constantly. 

I knew I should have majored in interpretive dance of ladders falling down a wall at a constant rate. I truly seemed to have missed my calling. 

My favorite feature of doing this was that students could interact with me live, so it wasn't just another video they were watching....they could actually chat. I gave them option of either using the chat on the live stream or if they didn't want everyone to see their questions they could send them on Remind. Questions looked mostly like this:

But occasionally like this:

A nice part of having the questions come in Remind meant that I had the power to answer whichever I chose....ignoring the horse sized duck I was about to take down until a more appropriate time in the conversation. 

The kids seemed to enjoy it and I saw big payoffs on their test. I am going to be trying it again this week for my midterm review with younger students...we will see if it's as beneficial for non-AP students. Though more than 2/3 of my class watched and interacted on the live stream, only 6 filled out my feedback form (THANKS, GUYS). Here's what they had to say:

And my final favorite feature?

YouTube archives the live stream so it can be accessed immediately by students who weren't able to watch live or who didn't want to watch live. They can speed it up or slow it down or just skip to the parts they need. 

I will definitely be tweaking for next time, but overall I thought it was a positive first attempt and reached students in a really accessible way for them on a day when they otherwise would have been unable to have the chance to review with the help of a teacher. 

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