Just before our fall semester began in August of 2017, my district hosted the inaugural Can•Innovate conference in conjunction with Instructure and the California Community Colleges Online Education Initiative (OEI). That project selected Canvas as its common learning management system, and almost all of the system’s colleges have decided to join the initiative by switching to Canvas. Colleges in my district previously organized an annual conference that we used for our faculty and other employees to showcase ways they use technology to creatively support our students. We jumped at the opportunity to bring back our Innovate event with a Canvas flavor.
Sharing Our Journey with Canvas Community
Scores of the colleges in our system were in the process of switching to Canvas and we wanted colleagues from across the state to participate. We also wanted to open up the conference to Canvas users from around the world. So, we decided to livestream some of our sessions through CanvasLIVE so other users from the Canvas Community could watch. (Read my full interview about our efforts to stream event.)
Broadcasting Using YouTube LIVE!
We decided to use YouTube Live because:
- Anyone can access YouTube regardless of device
- No cost to use to use YouTube
- Works well with multiple input sources (i.e. video cameras) [semi-pro way]
- Works well with Google Hangouts [DIY way]
None of the rooms at our host college were set up for streaming online, so we brought in audio/video equipment to capture the sessions (with the help of my excellent colleague Mike Bittner, video expert at my college).
Anyone Can Livestream, But Consider This...
Whether you use YouTube LIVE or any other webinar hosting platform (BbCollab, AdobeConnect, Zoom, etc.), keep in these tips:
- Number of Speakers
Three of the four sessions we streamed had multiple speakers, which can be a bit challenging in terms of audio and video. Consider having a good microphones, regardless of the type of event. Panels are a great way to present (very engaging) content, so invest the time to work out the logistics!
- Have good lighting.
For onsite streaming, there is a tricky balance between making sure the people in the room can see the presentation and the speaker, while at the same time making sure that any online audience members get a quality experience. (If you’re streaming from home or office using a webcam, try a selfie light to help illuminate your face.)
- Have a plan for moderating the comments.
It’s always a good idea for the presenter to restate any questions or comments that come from attendees, online or within the room. Moderators can help filter questions and comments, especially when you have a synchronous, online live chat. Have a system in place to surface the good questions and comments to the presenters and panelists. For most of the sessions I was able to keep an eye on the chat comments.
Sharing select sessions from Can•Innovate with the Canvas Community was fun, and I am thankful for the opportunity to do so and reflect on that experience. The only change I would make is to make sure that each streamed session has a single presenter. It was tough to fit an entire panel into the video and working with multiple speakers presented audio challenges. But whatever the challenges, I learned a lot. And hopefully, so will you. All of the sessions have been recorded and available for view here.
Comments and questions are welcome.