Sunday, August 17, 2008

IStream, UStream! We ALLScream for UStream!

One of my favorite memories from my childhood in L.A. was escaping with friends to my bedroom transformed into a studio to produce a radio show. We broadcast news of the day, gave weather reports, sang, conducted interviews and taped it on our tape recorder. While it was fantastically fun to produce our broadcasts to nowhere I can’t help but wish I was a kid today with technologies that provide them with instant ability to broadcast themselves to an audience far beyond their bedroom recording studios and connect with others around the world. One such technology I’m excited about is UStream which in just minutes allows users to broadcast and interact with a global audience of thousands with just a camera and an internet connection.

Today innovative educators can use UStream to develop live broadcasts or help students find their own voice, passion, and learning to develop and broadcast shows to an audience they connect with about a subject of true personal interest. There are already some innovative educators experimenting with these technologies. Drape’s Takes blog has a Ustream Post about a teacher who’s doing some great things with his students broadcasting book reviews and inviting parents to watch the broadcast. Remote Access blog has a Ustreaming PD post telling of

The Learning Technologies group at Manitoba Education Citizenship and Youth which is Ustreaming a professional development session on using epearl an online portfolio/reflection system that allows you to upload work samples, audio samples, etc.
Ustream proclaims they are Changing The Face Of Education in collaboration with the History Channel by broadcasting a Pulitzer Prize Winning Author to speak about George Washington in an interactive broadcast with a live chat room where students around the world could converse and ask questions about the broadcast. Will Richardson shared at a recent conference that a teenager invited him to join his broadcast where he was watching the presidential debates and providing teenage commentary to other kids around the globe in an interactive forum and doing a more interesting job then most of the networks and providing his audience with a meaningful opportunity to have a conversation about what they were seeing.

Ustream explains that its interactive broadcast functionality allows viewers to personally interact directly with whoever is broadcasting -- including personalities like their favorite author, musician, expert, or politician. Ustream opens up a new world of possibilities and experiences to broadcasters and viewers alike, which the pre-recorded static video that's predominated the Internet to date just can't provide. Today, people are Ustreaming everything including:

  • Major political events such as debates, speeches, rallies
  • Talk shows
  • Entertainment events such as premieres and 'red carpet events'
  • Showcase your original music, your band's performances, jam sessions with other musicians, and more (when you have the music rights to broadcast the music)
  • Conference sessions
  • School and business events and training
  • Sporting events at college and high school level
  • Personal milestones such as holiday gatherings, weddings, grade school events, parties, even births
  • Interactive games for viewers to watch or join

I encourage Innovative Educators to visit http://www.ustream.tv/ and start broadcasting now. I’m excited to see all the new ways innovative educators tap into this resource to bring teaching and learning to life in new ways in their classrooms. Please comment here to contribute how you have used or plan to use this resource to enhance teaching and learning. To learn about other great tools to enhance teaching and learning visit The Innovative Educator.

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