An Interview with a real teacher who’s done this!
Following on from the many positive responses from my previous article on video streaming, this month I thought I’d do something a little different.
It’s one thing to hear from me just how cool and easy video streaming is, but what about hearing from an educator who has done this for themselves.
A real-world example of what someone can expect when they begin video streaming for the first time.
Bill Whicker is the Technology Coordinator at Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District in Ketchikan, Alaska, and I first met him when I visited there in 2013.
Video streaming and Eduvision have literally transformed the lives of the students and the community too. Together, they have united people over enormous distances, and in doing so, they have created a fantastic environment for learning and achieving at all levels.
I sent Bill a list of questions, typical of those asked by teachers who are considering deploying video streaming and Eduvision for the first time, and over the next couple of months we’ll cover Bill’s answers.
I’d like to take this opportunity to extend a huge ‘thank you’ to Bill who has kindly taken the time to share his own experiences with other educators across the nation! You can take a look at what they’ve accomplished in their Eduvision portal here.
I’ll end here, and begin the first part of the interview with Bill.
Q: How easy is it for students to use tablets/iPads for video production?
A: “I don't have a lot of experience with this, but we do have a class where the students are using these devices for video production. I think, more than anything, it is the access that students have to their own devices that make it easy for them to create using tablets or phones.”
Q: What are the benefits for the student and the teacher?
A: “Access to devices and portability are probably benefits.”
Q: Tell me why you think video streaming has been particularly beneficial for your students?
A: Video streaming provides a number of benefits to our students, school and community including:
• Real-world work experience utilizing skills that can be used in the industry.
• An opportunity to teach the soft-skills needed to be successful
• It provides an arena where students are producing for the public, but are still allowed to make some mistakes in relatively "low-stakes" situations.
• It provides our community with access to our district's events.
• This is great PR.
Q: Tell me how students have responded to, and embraced, live stream video productions.
A: “I have a small group of students who have responded well, but it has taken some time for them to appreciate the opportunities that the technologies have offered them.”
Q: How has video streaming benefited your school?
• “We are able to share our successes to a wider audience.
• The successes we have had in our video streaming productions have become an expectation of our basketball program. We need to expand this to include other events, which will hopefully provide the recognition that will generate more financial support for our program.
• Our local TV station picks up our stream and broadcasts live games on a local channel.”
Q: How has video streaming benefitted your community?
• “It has allowed our elders to view events from their homes on computer and local TV.
• It has allowed parents to download recorded streams of our events.
• It has allowed relatives from around the world to view the events that kids in their family are participating in.”
Q: What tips would you give them?
A: “Gather as much information as possible.
There is no "free puppy". If it says it’s free, there is always a catch.”
Once again, I’d like to thank Bill for taking the time out of his busy schedule to very kindly answer these questions.
To emphasize what Bill ends with, there really is no ‘free puppy’ as he puts it. Supposedly free video portals such as YouTube may seem harmless enough on face value, however, there’s ALWAYS a catch.
Furthermore, the sting in the tail is usually very serious. You never usually see it coming, and it’s one which will usually ‘bite an educator hard’ once the mistakes have been made.
Don’t risk the safety of your students, and your career reputation, just for the sake of getting something supposedly for free!
Brian Sterling-Vete spent over a decade with BBC TV news, he’s a British author, Guinness World Record Holder, and film maker. He has worked extensively on both sides of camera, and even worked as a stunt performer for several years.
In addition, Brian also uses the skills he learned while he was with BBC TV News, to coach leadership and celebrities how to stay safe if they’re faced with a crisis, and a subsequent media attack.