Friday, July 10, 2015

Periscope Ideas for the Secondary Classroom

You guys. I just came back from the largest educational technology conference in the U.S., and though I gained tons of inspiration and new ideas, none of them match the tool I found last night from the comfort of my nightly Instagram browsing location (a far less exciting place than Philly, but just as productive ;) ). I haven't been this pumped over a new technology tool in a very long time--hence writing this post less than 8 hours after finding it. Do it right now, don't hesitate--go download Periscope to see what all my excitement is about!

As soon as I watched a live video from some teachers at the TpT Vegas conference last night, my mind started racing as to how I plan to use this AMAZING tool in my classroom this year.

What it is: 
Periscope is video conferencing app that allows users to comment as videos are playing live. You can "give hearts" to show that you like it, or you can ask questions or make comments. The person shooting the video will get these questions and comments in real time and have the opportunity to address them.  Once the live video ends, the presentation is stored for 24 hours (comments and all) so that others can watch it at their leisure. You can sign up for it using your Twitter account which most students have anyway.

Here is a screenshot of the first Periscope I watched: 

Look up Luckylittlelearners and Schroedershenanigansin2nd to see how they are using Periscope! 

Ideas for the secondary classroom: 

1. The Fishbowl Strategy on Steroids-Most teachers use or know about the fishbowl strategy where you take a group of students and place them in the "bowl" to discuss a topic. The observers sit outside the "bowl" and make observations about the discussion either by taking notes or actively listening.  With Periscope, you can take this strategy to a whole new level. Either the teacher or a designated facilitator in the fishbowl can film the discussion while students on the outside can comment and ask questions without interrupting the natural path of the discussion. Then, when the discussion comes to a pause, the facilitator can read the comments and questions to help the discussion go deeper or take another path. As an added bonus, this video can be viewed later for a recap or for students who were absent. Not only will Periscope add a new level to a traditional strategy, but it will help the students on the outside of the bowl to be active participants!

2. Feedback on Presentations- Common core loves to stress listening and speaking skills. Periscope can be a tool for students to give meaningful feedback during presentations. First however, the teacher must set the expectation of appropriate feedback. Periscope shows user names, so students (and teachers) will know who is making the comment. This *should* cut back on any inappropriate or hurtful comments, but setting expectations and consequences before trying this is a must to ensure students learn how to be digitally responsible and kind. That said, the point of this activity is to give helpful feedback.Not all comments should be "great job! hearts!!!"--some should be "Your information is great, but I'm having trouble hearing you in the back."

3.  Review Games- I'm constantly looking for ways to make test prep fun....well, as fun as it can be. I'm going to use Periscope for a game called "Quick Draw Questions." The idea is to put students in teams and make sure each team leader has the Periscope app (or you can do individuals if EVERY person has the app like in a 1-1 school). Then, I will take my review live and put the phone under the doccam so that students can see it too. I will ask the questions and first team to send in the answer (that will show up on the live feed) gets x amount of points. The winner(s) get either bonus points or a prize from my bucket of cheap toys. (You would be surprised how much 17-year-olds still love those cheap birthday party toys you can find in packs at Wal-Mart).

4. Lesson Recap for Differentiation- Sometimes, it helps students to be able to hear the important parts of a lesson just one more time. If I can take two minutes to review the essential parts of a lesson and post it Twitter, students would be able to access that video when they are home need to hear it again before doing their homework. To take this a step further...

4. Exit Tickets- Looking a the idea above, think about how POWERFUL it would be to do my 2 minute recap at the end of class and have students post questions and comments as their exit ticket!! Then, not only could students watch my review later that day, but they could see how other's questions were answered as well! How exciting is this!!??

5. Brainstorming Session/Group Project or Discussion Facilitator- All of the ideas above have mostly been teacher centered with students actively involved. However, once students get comfortable using this app, they will want to have more control. I envision Periscope being used as a way to monitor group discussions without being directly involved. There are many activities I do where my students need to group together outside of my room. What if I could listen in on and add to their discussions without actually being there?? What if I really could be in two places at once?? What if there really was enough of me to go around?? The potential of this app has me fired up ya'll!!!

Be sure to follow me on Instagram and Twitter to see updates on how I'm implementing these ideas in real life! I'm going to be going live on Periscope today to talk about these ideas with a few teachers who want to see how the app works!

My Periscope username is BsBookLove
Instagram: Bsbooklove
Twitter: Bsbooklove


  1. Thanks for these suggestions! I have been trying to figure out a way to make this app useful for my students, and these tips are just what I was hoping to find.

    1. Yay! I'm so glad someone else is excited about this app in the classroom too!

  2. Wow! This is great! I was wondering if I should keep this app because there just don't seem to be very many secondary "periscopers". This has renewed my interest in this app for sure!

    1. Thank you!! I think secondary periscopers will pick up once school starts! I watched one yesterday on using graphic novels in the classroom which was really cool! I found you to follow too! I love your teacher planners!