Today we did a test “broadcast” from the class that will host the In Our Words event next Tuesday using Periscope. We wanted to iron out logistical problems before the actual event. I haven’t really used Periscope since last November, and discovered to my chagrin that I have forgotten some of the pragmatic aspects of it.
I alerted some Periscope-knowledgeable colleagues ahead of time that I intended to conduct the test, and they patiently waited for me to get on (I spent the first part of class on other business). The test itself was interesting, though, because several students got on the Periscope app and watched and interacted.
Let me be clear about this: although they were physically present right in the room, they fired up the app on their mobile devices and took part in the broadcast the same way that Darlene Smith from Walters State took part from wherever she was.
I’m not certain, but I think that five students out of the 19 present hopped onto the scope, and people around each of them leaned over and watched and guided comments. At one point, I commented to Darlene (who is the Periscope guru) that all of my students were smiling.
Afterwards, we talked about the experience, and the students commented on how using Periscope in class, even just testing it out, engaged them actively in what we were doing in class.
I realize some people may think it strange that they interacted more via the app than just in the old-fashioned, person-to-person way that anyone in any class for hundreds of years could have. I am one of those people. But I also recognize that it is, in fact, true that this happened. I am going to do some thinking about what it means, and how to harness it.