Live streaming your own EdWeek20 event
Everything you need to know to decide if live streaming is for you and prepare you to conduct a live event.
Live streaming video could be a great way to share your school’s Education Week events with your parents and community this year.
Here’s everything you need to know to decide if live streaming is for you, and help you prepare to conduct a live event.
Live streaming pros and cons
Live streaming involves simultaneously recording and broadcasting video to your audience over the internet at a pre-scheduled time.
The main benefit of a live stream is the sense of excitement and exclusivity it creates – because your audience has to be there with you at the time of the broadcast.
The biggest risk is the inability to edit content before broadcasting. Your audience will see your presentation warts and all. But rest assured, you do not need to be a world-class film director to pull off a great live streamed event. With a little forethought and preparation, it can be done well.
What you could live stream
It is likely that non-essential visitors will still not be permitted on school grounds during Education Week 2020. Sharing video is a great way to help your parents and community members feel involved in the achievements and celebrations of your school.
You may choose to capture a special address by the principal, interviews with noteworthy alumni or community members, a digital school assembly, messages from staff or the SRC, or student performances.
To live stream … or pre-record
The first question to answer is, ‘does it need to be live?’ There are many ways to share video of your school’s Education Week 2020 events. You may choose to simply record key events, edit that footage and then post it to your school’s SWS site or social media channels.
Alternatively, live streaming allows your audience to view the video as it is being recorded – much like visiting the school to attend an assembly.
It is also possible to ‘live stream’ pre-recorded video. This allows you to maintain the sense of exclusivity of a scheduled event, while still being able to edit the video before it is delivered to your audience.
A further option is to stream a combination of live video and pre-recorded content (more on this below).
Note: After live streaming your event, you can choose to make the recording of the event available as ‘video on demand’. This will allow your audience to view the video after the live event at a time of their choosing.
What you need to get started
Mastering the software, hardware and processes of live streaming can take a little time. Consider training at least one other staff member in conducting a live stream. Create a private event on your chosen streaming service (such as Brightcove, Facebook or YouTube – more on this below) and run a rehearsal that includes all of the technical and creative elements of the real event. Running the rehearsal several days before will allow you to identify and address any issues that arise.
- A streaming service
A streaming service is used to deliver your live video to your audience. All schools have access to Brightcove Video Cloud as part of Schools Video, which includes a free live streaming module – however you must opt in if want access to the live streaming module (more on this below). Brightcove Video Cloud is also a great tool for embedding live or ‘on-demand’ content on your SWS website.)
Live streaming is also supported by Facebook and YouTube, and these may be suitable options if you already have an established audience on these channels. Detailed instructions for streaming using Brightcove, Facebook and YouTube are available on the department’s Live streaming guide page.
Note: If you are interested enabling your school with Brightcove Video Cloud Live, let us know via email. There are limited spaces available and training is required for this service. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org now and tell us how you plan to use it.
- Camera(s) and microphone(s)
In many cases the built-in camera and microphone in your notebook computer is adequate for live streaming. However, investing in a better quality webcam is a good investment if you can find approximately $300 in your budget. A plug and play (‘PnP’), USB webcam (such as a Zoom Q2n) is helpful as it allows the camera/microphone to be placed near the presenter while another staff member can focus on the computer.
- Encoding software
The audio and video of your presentation has to be converted into a format suitable for live streaming by an encoder. Encoders can be either hardware or software, but a software encoder is adequate for most situations. Free, open-source software such as OBS Studio will allow you to create a number of different ‘scenes’ for your live stream, add titles and superscripts and play pre-recorded video, as well as encode the outgoing audio and video for live streaming.
Different ‘scenes’ might include (for example): the principal at their desk; another with an ensemble playing in another room; and a slideshow on screen with a speaker’s microphone on. The software allows you to configure what’s being displayed, pre-set your ‘scenes’ and switch between them as needed.
- A holding slide
Create a holding slide that includes the name, description, time and date of the broadcast. This can then be streamed, on loop, before the event as part of your promotion of the live stream. A generic Education Week 2020 holding slide has been included in our EdWeek20 logos page for you.
Remember to promote your event to your audience. Include the time, date and the URL that they will need to access the event. (The URL will be automatically generated by your live streaming service). You can also embed the URL in an SWS page and share that address instead.
- Any other media you want to include
As well as a holding slide, you should prepare any other media that you will be incorporating into your live stream. This may include ‘supers’ (superscripts – text on the screen) or ‘lower thirds’ (titles that sit in the bottom third of the screen) for presenters; transition slides; pre-recorded video messages or performances; or audio tracks. Have these assets preloaded onto the same computer as the encoding software.
Download the Department of Education branded supers (staff only), edit your text and save this as a PNG file.
- Optional equipment (for advanced users)
If you plan to use a hand-held video camera you will need a media converter (such as a Magwell USB Capture HDMI). As an advantage, and depending on your video camera, you may be able to run an external microphone to the video camera. If you plan on using multiple cameras, you might consider using a production switcher (such as a Blackmagic Design ATEM Mini), removing the need for media converters.
Step by step instructions
You will find step-by-step instructions on live streaming with Brightcove, Facebook and YouTube on the department’s Live streaming guide page. These three providers also offer excellent guides on using their service.
Answers and advice
If you have additional questions or need advice, please contact email@example.com.