I used Facebook Live on my phone, mainly because I’ve used it before, and I was pressed for time. The app is so easy to jump in and use. The drawback was that it doesn’t show how long you’ve been talking; hence the length of my video. I decided to limit this video to how to use the wire jig.
The immediacy and informality of Facebook Live make it an exciting learning tool. It’s not appropriate for every kind of instruction, and, as you could tell from my video, the ability to show with clarity and detail isn’t great. But it would be especially helpful for live and ongoing events, for informal interviews, maybe even for outdoor events. Next weekend is the Russian/Slovak food festival at Brookwood, Alabama, held every year by St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church. Facebook Live would be a perfect way to “report” on the event, by showing the food and the traditional dress of the servers, as well as interviewing people about the event.
Clearly on-screen processes wouldn’t be easy to convey on live streaming, but I do think it has its place. I’ve mentioned above some of the ways it could be used. At Samford, many major events are now live-streamed, such as Step Sing and Commencement, but that uses professional equipment. Live streaming with phone apps or webcams give an intimacy that, in my opinion, draws the learner into a relationship with the teacher in a way that encourages learning.
I have used live streaming in the past to explain the uses of essential oils. I find live streaming a great way to engage an audience. The response to my video Facebook has been surprising and gratifying. These apps are another set of tools for the educational toolkit, and I plan to find ways to use it.