A School-wide Live Streaming Network for Real-World Project-Based Learning

Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 22

Participate and share

[Participate and share : Poster]

Wednesday, June 28, 11:00 am–1:00 pm
Location: Room Tower View Lobby, Table 22

Judah Mantell   Tzvi Pittinsky  
The greatest challenge in project-based learning is designing a meaningful project with an authentic product that students are passionate about. This session focuses on using a student-designed and run broadcast network that motivates students to utilize a variety of digital tools for communicating with a real-world audience.

Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices useful
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Android, iOS, Windows
Laptop: PC, Chromebook, Mac
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: We will be showcasing our website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter platforms. Any personal device should be adequate to view this.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Project, problem and challenge based learning
Grade level: 6-12
ISTE Standards: Students : Creative communicator
Students : Digital citizen
Students : Global collaborator
Additional detail: Student presentation

Digital tote resources

Description: Presentation describing the educational benefits of a live streaming network.
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Description: Attendee Resource URL
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Description: Student created website hosting the Cougar Nation Live Streaming Network.
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Description: Cougar Nation Live Streaming Network Instagram page
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Description: Cougar Nation Live Streaming Network Twitter profile
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Description: Cougar Nation Live Streaming Network Facebook page
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Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Project Based Learning (PBL), as defined by the Buck Institute for Education, is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an engaging and complex question or problem. Key elements of PBL include challenging problems, extended inquiry, student voice, reflection, critique and revision, and, most importantly, an authentic finished product presented to a real-world audience. The authentic product presented to a real-world audience is what distinguishes project-based learning from other teaching strategies and is often the most challenging aspect of PBL to implement.

Creating an authentic product for a real-world audience is unique because the student is not producing something to please his or her teacher but to impress his or her peers. It creates not only an external motivator—the need to produce for an audience—but is also internally motivating, because students want to put their best foot forward and are driven to succeed on something they know is important to others.

Another challenge is that project-based learning assignments are difficult to administer consistently in the classroom. Some subject areas can feature a special night for students to show off their PBL work, but consistently implementing this across every subject area multiple times can become artificial.

Students at my school formed a School-wide Streaming Network in which a student-driven livestreaming crew has exemplified real-world project-based learning at its best. The excitement connected to their live-streaming launch has been infectious and complemented by students gaining various 21st-century skills without even realizing it.

Students created signs with QR codes connected to online forms, which they plastered by the hundreds throughout the school. They utilized various digital tools to share and explore ideas. This all happened organically, led by students trying to solve the need to communicate and collaborate. It was not assigned by me; I functioned merely as a facilitator and guide. I am in awe of my students’ enthusiasm, creativity and hard work. They created live broadcasts of inter-school sports activities, special events and celebrations, and musical and artistic performances. They were inclusive of both girls and boys varsity and junior varsity sports and other interests.

Their online forums have ignited many learning opportunities, such as discussing various issues of equity connected to this process—students have been pondering how to fairly divvy up the work, deciding who broadcasts which games and events and who assigns the various roles of camera person, computer tech and announcer. Students quickly realized the platform not only allowed for live broadcasting but for predesigned video and graphic segments to be mixed into the production as well. This has led students to start devoting their free periods to creating intros and highlight videos for the various games. They even scripted promos for future games and a commercial for “Clem’s famous pizza” from the school cafeteria.

After watching and reflecting on their productions, many students recognized the need to further improve their announcing skills and used Twitter to message broadcasters for their expert guidance. As a result of these fruitful interactions, our students were able to invite and learn from an experienced producer who has worked for ESPN and FOX Sports and were able to visit CBS Sports, a real broadcasting studio in New York City.

The appearance by the sports producer and the visit to a broadcasting studio helped the crew realize what they needed to work on to produce a more professional broadcast. Students took and shared copious notes and immediately went to work defining clear roles for the broadcast, typing scripts of different stats and anecdotes about the players for announcers to share during the game, and adding orange tape to the camera viewfinder to delineate where the scoreboard would be in the broadcast. They even raised funds to purchase wireless headsets so the statisticians and producers could provide real-time feedback and information for the announcers and camera people just like the professional broadcasters use in their studio.

Students created new social media platforms to post highlights from games on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. They created a YouTube channel to broadcast to a worldwide audience. One student even designed a beta version of a livestreaming app and website.

One might presume that the key ingredients which made this such a powerful project-based learning experience were the authentic product, the excitement of sports and other broadcasts, which are highly inclusive of other students, and the immediate availability [and ability to view re-runs] to a real public audience including peers, parents and others in the community. The students know that what they create will be transmitted to an audience of hundreds, and perhaps even thousands, of devoted viewers. They want their productions to be the highest quality possible and are motivated to do their best work, and then reflect and revise to enhance their product.


The Poster Session will share products from this successful PBL activity presented as a demonstration project that could be generalized and implemented in other school environments. Products include cameras, video and audio mixers, Wirecast software, and computers used by the livestreaming crew. Participants will see the process of how high definition video is created and streamed on YouTube and other online video platforms. They will experience a detailed how-to guide for starting similar clubs in their schools and using them as an educational vehicle for project-based learning in which students create authentic products for a public audience. They will speak to the faculty advisor and hear from various students as they describe how the club has taught them to work collaboratively as a team, communicate creatively using a variety of digital tools, and interact ethically and effectively on popular social media platforms. Educational researchers attending our poster session might wish to discuss ideas for future research on the key mechanistic factors that drive successful, technology-intensive PBL projects.

Supporting research

Buck Institute’s Gold Standard PBL: http://www.bie.org/blog/gold_standard_pbl_essential_project_design_elements

Edutopia: Small Screen, Big Success: Creating a Student-Produced Television Program http://www.edutopia.org/studenttelevision

Edutopia: Student Broadcasters: Feature Stories Reflect Local and Global Awareness http://www.edutopia.org/feature-stories

Cougar Nation Livestreaming Crew: Real-World Project Based Learning http://techrav.blogspot.com/2016/02/cougar-nation-livestreaming-crew-real.html



Judah Mantell, MidnightCoffee, Inc.

Tzvi Pittinsky, The Frisch School

Rabbi Tzvi Pittinsky is the Director of Educational Technology at The Frisch School in Paramus, NJ. He is also a professor for MOFET's International Online Academy. He is an active blogger on topics related to the intersection of technology and education and an avid user of social media. You can read his blog at http://techrav.blogspot.com and follow him on Twitter @techrav.

learning starts here

San Antonio

June 25-28, 2017

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