Sunday, March 29, 2015

Periscope For Education?

Periscope screenshot of a tour of La Jolla, California
I am writing this post because I need some help.  I know, not the first time those words have come out of my mouth.  I stumbled upon this new app called Periscope and was blown away.  The first thought that entered my mind was "How can I use this as a learning tool?"

If you are unfamiliar with Periscope, it allows you to watch live video of people from all over the world.  This morning, I watched someone give a tour of the Red Sea, a neighborhood stroll in Los Angeles and the Upper East Side, a walk through the rainy streets of Hamburg, Germany, and a lot of refrigerators (it's a Periscope joke that I still do not get).

The interaction a viewer can have with the person broadcasting is what makes this such a powerful and such a scary tool.  I could ask the person a question via a written comment.  The ability to interact increased the learning possibilities.  At the same time, I witnessed many people commenting inappropriately simply because they could.  Comments that would certainly not be appropriate if they were projected on a screen in front of a classroom full of kids.

So what is the workaround?  While my initial thought would be to show a video from someone I know and trust, that would not prevent others from commenting inappropriately.  If I want to make it private, why not just use Skype or Google Hangouts?  Again, I do not have the answer, that's why I'm asking.  This seems too powerful to just toss aside.


  1. Ryan, I agree with your thoughts - this is like Skype or Hangouts but mobile and with hundreds of simultaneous viewers. It would be great if you had the ability to only allow comments from people that you approved (or maybe people that you follow on Twitter), but I wouldn't want that to make the app unnecessarily clunky to use. I love the interface and the simplicity of it.

    1. I too love the interface and simplicity of it. Maybe the only true safe, foolproof way to use this in the classroom with students is if a spinoff version for education is developed. Still believe adult learning can benefit, if you can get over some inappropriate comments that may pop up. Thanks for posting.