Sunday, July 17, 2016

How to Use Facebook Live for Learning: 5 Outcomes, 4 Things to Remember, 4 Mistakes to Avoid, 1 Great Video

It's no secret that livestreaming video that can be viewed later, is an incredibly powerful learning tool. In fact @MarkBarnes19 explained in this #HackLearning podcast, that livestreaming has the potential to break down the walls of school.

The problem is that despite we know this is true, it hasn't. The question is why?

The answer...

Because it's not that simple. Regardless of the platform, there are a lot of confusing little details. A Google Hangout on Air requires "7 Not So Simple Steps." There are platforms like UStream and Livestream, but still, not so simple and not so intuitive for others to find.  Some people use Skype add-ons and equipment to record, but add-ons and equipment are not that simple.

But, there's good news. That has all changed.

Facebook Live puts the simple into livestreaming. Seriously! If you can write a Facebook post, you can "Go Live!" Here's how:
It's literally that simple.  I tested out my first Go Live broadcast of a learning event this week capturing Alan November speaking to leaders in New York City. 

The first thing you should know is this.

It was AWESOME!!!!!!!!

So awesome that I think every educator who considers themselves innovative as well as those who don't should be doing this.  With just my phone, a Facebook post, and no preparation, I made a livestream that got this reaction.

The second thing you should know is this.

I learned a few things and made some mistakes and now you won't have to.  

So, here's what I learned and the mistakes to avoid that I am sharing with you so that you can begin breaking down the walls of your schools and classrooms. 

5 Super cool outcomes:  
Below I share the super cool stuff represented by each numbered arrow. 

1) View widely
A select group of leaders were able to attend an exclusive leadership session with Alan November, but many more wanted to join us. They couldn't for various reasons i.e. we didn't have the space to accommodate them, they had other commitments. Putting Alan live enabled us to extend the learning that was taking place with dozens to hundreds of educators. 461 to be exact, within a few hours of the Live broadcast.  not just from New York City, but from around the globe.

2) Amplify
I shared with the world and others did too. On the day of the live stream five others shared with their networks what I shared with mine. 

3) Hear the world
While Alan was being livestreamed viewers were commenting and I was responding. After the talk Alan was able to read what they wrote and respond as well.

4) Feel the love
While the live stream is taking place you see likes, loves, and laughs flash by on your feed. The reaction of the audiences thoughts literally becomes visible.  

5) Connect globally
People anywhere in the world were able to view the video because I posted it publicly. That meant that not only were local educators at NYC Schools were able to view the video, but we also had viewers from around the world. In fact, as we were streaming live, a viewer from Serbia asked for permission to share with colleagues. 

4 things to remember
Below I share some items I realized are helpful to remember to do. 

1) Bring a charger!
I recorded Alan for about an hour and then my battery was shot. If you're planning to live stream a session, remember one of the ABCs of tech. Always Be Charging. Never forget to bring your charger.

2) Use wireless
Make sure you connect to wireless if you don't have unlimited data.

3) Get a buddy or a tripod
It gets to be a bit of a pain to hold the phone up. Especially if you want to interact with your viewers. Make sure you have a tripod or a buddy to help with the filming.

4) Have a second device
Because I had a laptop I was more easily able to react and respond to posts of viewers.

4 Mistakes to avoid
Below I share some lessons learned represented by each numbered arrow. 

1) Ask permission before you start streaming
I know Alan well, and was pretty sure he wouldn't mind me sharing what he was saying with the world. I asked after and as I suspected he was fine with it, but I should have asked first to be sure. I also should have asked participants if they minded being in the live stream.  If I had done that, I could have filmed those who were engaging in the conversation rather than just focusing the camera on Alan.  I did film a few colleagues who I knew from experience likely wouldn't mind, but I should have asked in advance.

2) Request viewers take the role of a quote capturer
Viewers began pulling great quotes from Alan's talk, but it would have been smart of me to set that up from the start asking viewers to do that intentionally.

3) Request viewers take the role of the link collector
Alan was sharing links of incredible websites at a fast pace and viewers couldn't keep up with it all. It would have been smart to set that up from the start as well and ask viewers to share links as they were mentioned.

4) Don't turn the camera sideways
I gave Facebook Live a little more credit than it was ready for. I thought if I turned the camera sideways, it would adjust. I was wrong. Apologies for any viewers with cricks in their necks.  Maybe you can just turn your device sideways when I did that with mine.

1 Great video
Now that you know how to have a successful Facebook live streaming experience, you may be interested in watching the video from which I was able to share these insights. If you're interested, just click the image below or visit this link

So what do you think? How could you use Facebook Live to break down the walls where you work? Did I miss any outcomes, things to remember, or mistakes?  Please share in the comments. 


  1. I think this has great potential for teachers not able to attend a PD in person because of other obligations they may have over the summer but are able to catch it Live on their mobile devices from wherever they are. As for school, I'm not sure about classroom use yet but could see using it to record my Parent PD's for those who can not make in in from work. Ours are typically at 9am on a school day. I loved the live broadcast and think collecting quotes and links provides a great resource for those catching the video later on or just for review. Great job!!

    1. Good idea about broadcasting something live for parents

  2. I love the ease of Facebook live but in our school we have a firewall that blocks Facebook. I'm still looking for a live stream app with the ease of use like Facebook live but isn't firewalled out inside our school's network.

  3. Fb has made this FB Live feature easy to use. If I want to FB live my soccer players during a soccer game, how can I convince my principal to authorize it?

  4. As always Lisa, you are on the cutting edge. Thanks for the tips! I remember when I joined other educators you had invited, to talk about education, at your apt. and you live streamed it. So glad FB has created an easier way to do this. Wondering what your thoughts are on Periscope? I used it to live stream the Chancellor's keynote at last year's NYC Tech Summit.

  5. It looks great but, what happens if someone broadcast a paid event? It wouldn't be fair for people who attended in person that others could see a conference for free. I think attendees must be warned about it. As you said before, it's important to ask for permission.