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There  has been a lot of talk lately about Meerkat and Periscope, two new apps that allow live video streaming.  Meerkat came out first, but Twitter’s Periscope quickly caught up and passed Meerkat in terms of users.

Quick review:


  • live video stream
  • can upload link to twitter
  • users can comment on videos


  • live video stream
  • can be accessed directly through twitter
  • users can comment and “heart” a video (which is kind of a “like” on Facebook)
  • videos can be viewed for 24 hours after the live broadcast

How does it work?

First, there is no special equipment needed beyond a device and the app.  You may want some sort of tripod for the device if you are going to be stationary.  You launch the app and hit broadcast- that’s it. Right now, Periscope is iOS only.

What does this have to do with education?

I do not think these apps are going to revolutionize or even be a disruptive innovation.  However, there will be those crazy tech teachers that will find a way to make this a valuable part of their learning space.

Looking beyond any dangers with using these apps (privacy, unfiltered commenting, students broadcasting anything and everything happening at school), there are a ton of positive uses for a live streaming app.  First, there is no special equipment needed beyond a phone.  You may want some sort of tripod for the phone if you are going to be stationary, but that’s it.  Parents would love a live view of a field trip or an event that they may not be able to make in person.  Teacher reflections or announcements could also be broadcasted live to keep everyone up to date about what is going on.  Students will be able to live stream events and be the “reporter” of what is happening.

What I’ve watched a lot of on these two apps have been behind the scenes videos of photoshoots, tv broadcasts and even movie sets.  I’ve also watched clips from education conferences and teachers across the country teaching a lesson or having a classroom debate.  I watched a live feed from the Baltimore riots and people were able to ask the person filming live a couple of questions.

For now, Periscope is winning this battle. However,  with a fresh round of investors, I see Meerkat adding even more features.

About The Author

Todd currently serves as the Director of Instructional Design for eTechCampus. With a passion for digital learning, Todd leads the development of eTechCampus’s learning management system, Converge. Todd’s teaching background includes teaching English and computers at the high school level. His passion for the arts led him to start the first Media Arts program in the state of Kentucky and he developed the curriculum for statewide adoption. Todd is also a PhD student at the University of Kentucky’s School Technology Leadership program, which gives him a unique set of skills to work with administrators incorporating digital learning into their schools. Todd has been a frequent presenter at local, state and national edtech conferences. Todd is a Google Certified Teacher and works with schools implementing Google Apps for Education.