A favorite tool of news outlets and professional sporting leagues seeking to expand audience reach, so-called “event tech” has become more accessible and affordable. Web 2.0 services are now readily available for anyone (including educators) hoping to promote group participation in events—even when participants are in different locations.
Teachers who use event-tech services are sure to improve student engagement while supporting some truly unique lessons. One popular event tech platform, CoverItLive, stands out as an industry leader. Users can select a bare-bones, free version or a reasonably priced basic version for $9.99. To support newbie educators hoping to dip a toe into the event-tech waters, EducationWorld offers the following four CoverItLive-inspired classroom activity ideas.
Given that this technology was developed for the purpose of broadcasting an event, have students do just that. First, choose a school event to broadcast. Sporting events are a good choice, as participants can be as loud as needed. (It can be trickier to pull off this type of exercise at a school play.)
The teacher can assign roles, or have students select them at random. One or more students may play the role of “anchor,” providing real-time commentary about the event. Photos and short video clips, taken by the anchors or designated photographers, can be added to the live feed to enhance the home audience’s experience. Similarly, those watching at home can participate by asking questions and making comments to which the anchors can respond.
Virtual Panel Discussions
Traditionally, teachers have been limited by geography in terms of who they can invite to sit on an educational panel. With CoverItLive, it is possible to have a dozen panelists from a dozen different countries interacting with students in real time.
The platform combines the best features of chat rooms and videoconferencing tools, combining these technologies into a single interface. Students can see and interact with the panelists, and even better, there is a textual record of the entire event when it’s done.
Why pull out a boring how-to document when CoverItLive allows teachers to bring an expert into the classroom to (virtually) share knowledge? Again, geography is no longer a factor when anyone in the world can deliver a virtual tutorial. Can’t access a big-name expert? An enterprising teacher can recruit someone to attend the expert’s training event or presentation. The attendee can then act as the “anchor” by providing a live report on the goings-on.
Next-Level Open Houses
Getting parents to attend open houses can be a challenge, but with CoverItLive, parents who can’t be there in person can still participate. The best part is that parents don’t have to be at home or even at work—they can use any smartphone to access the event from any location. While it may not be ideal, it’s far better for a parent to watch a teacher’s remarks and ask a question or two virtually than to miss the open house entirely.