43: Periscope & Uncharted Educational Waters

I’ve never been interested in Snapchat. Someone takes a picture, posts a comment, only to have it fade **yawn**. Perhaps it’s a generational thing. Tonight, out of boredom, my aged posterior decided to try an app called Periscope. It’s similar to Snapchat’s fade option with text. Periscope is a direct live-stream video that allows the viewer to either broadcast, or respond via text messaging, something visual to complete strangers and their respective interests. Sorry non-Twitter users, if you don’t have a Twitter account, you are unable to sign up.

As a teacher, I began to reflect on how to use this in education. It’s similar to the “global classroom”. But let’s face it…when it comes to formal vs. informal learning, informal always wins due to ease of access. A few, quick thoughts follow.

Pros: People are able to watch an event anywhere in the world. Tonight, I watched a fellow bored with his night shift at a shipping yard in Pennsylvania. I discovered that a shipping container weighs about 60,000 lbs.

Cons: Every immature doorknob and their dog usually comments with a quick, inappropriate, comment. For example, the inebriated British girls travelling in a cab were asked to show their “bewbs”. Luckily, I consider myself a mature doorknob, and my dog has no opposable thumbs.

Suggestions: Periscope needs to offer a version of this app as an educational model, replete with appropriate texting procedures and secure access. In addition, school divisions need to acknowledge the reality of emerging social media and work towards reducing restrictions while continuing to educate teachers about responsibility, accountability, and the due diligence necessary to investigate an app before use. A such, for me, for now, the cons of Periscope outweigh the pros when it comes to teacher responsibility.

I’ll keep thinking about it, and revisiting how teachers may use this. Maybe someone out there already is, and I’ve yet to witness it.

Final thought: I was once told that “The internet is no longer the Wild West’. My response to that? “The internet is also not controlled by North Korea”. If educators aren’t showing moral, ethical responsibilities to students, the students will just develop their own rules.

Then someone drops a boulder on Pinkie.