Allwyn Macdivine is an Entrepreneur, Broadcaster, Creative Technologist and Tech Writer.
The advent of online learning solutions has made education a cross-border affair, making it more accessible to students of any age across the world. The value of online learning has become even more prominent in light of the global pandemic, which has shut schools down and moved classrooms onto the internet.
Live streaming for education has been adopted in universities, colleges, schools and niche learning institutions. This guide to education streaming solutions will help teachers, students and institutions narrow in on the best live streaming service for e-learning based on a comprehensive list of features.
Why is Online Learning in Strong Demand?
Online learning requires little more than a screen device and a stable internet connection. Online learning through live streaming, in particular, is gaining popularity because it allows for a classroom-like feel. Live streaming teaching will enable students to ask questions as and when they come up and follow along in real-time.
Most live streaming education video platforms also allow professors to record their classes and save them in a digital library for later references. This will enable students to go back to lectures and facilitates better understanding and learning when compared to one-time lectures during class that aren't recorded.
In the face of COVID-19, schools and teachers have often resorted to video call providers that aren’t equipped for digital classes. Schools have to invest in a proper online video teaching platform that is built for their purposes. A purpose-built educational streaming service is vital if teachers are to take advantage of the resources available to make lectures as close to normal as possible.
What Are The Essential Key Features of a Live Streaming Service for Education?
Some e-learning streaming service prerequisites are:
1. Recording Live Sessions
Recording directly onto the online learning streaming service negates the need for external setups, file transfers, editing and other post-processing hassles. It keeps the entire process– both of recording and receiving– on one single platform. An added benefit is that recorded lectures can be revisited in times of doubt to facilitate better understanding.
2. Learning and Teaching On The Go
The ideal live streaming service for online learning must be able to go mobile. This accounts for a variety of curriculum's. Professors must be able to access the platform from wherever they are to give them the true mobility that online learning can harness. Similarly, students must also be able to learn on the go. This means the platform must be well-suited for a variety of devices including laptops, smartphones and smart TVs.
3. High-quality Delivery via a Content Delivery Network (CDN)
An institution’s e-learning content must be optimized for speed, and a CDN does so by replicating the content to exist in many places at once. CDNs are able to scale up or down based on traffic and ideally will not crash, no matter how many students log in at once.
4. Multiple Deployment Options
Cloud-hosted systems only require that the content be added or uploaded, without the need to deal with complex technical architecture. However, this is limiting in the ability to change the e-learning environment and recurring fees. Self-hosted LMS is more customisable but still requires licences and permissions from the original architect, even if internally deployed. Hosted LMS gives you access to an entire platform on a dedicated server.
5. Automated Closed Caption Support
Closed captions deliver spoken content as written text in real-time. This compensates for lags in audio; however, teachers can’t be expected to type and teach, or upload closed captions later. Therefore, automated real-time closed captions are essential to making live video streaming for teachers more effective.
6. Performance Analytics
Hosts will want to learn how well their courses are doing, if all students are engaged and if learning can be made more active rather than passive. This is where performance analytics play an important role.
7. Security and Privacy
Video streaming services for schools must be highly secure to prevent data leaks and avoid ‘Zoombombers’. This can be implemented through strict security protocols, detailed privacy protection architecture and added security features that can be controlled by users.
This platform enables video and audio streaming across multiple platforms and devices. It uses high levels of data security and privacy and is built for continuous video delivery at scale. This allows multiple stakeholders– students, teachers and admin staff– to experience classes and lectures without sacrificing privacy. By streaming across multiple devices, educational videos and live streaming teaching is made accessible anytime, anywhere, with only a stable internet connection.
Zype is a video distribution and management hub that allows recording and publishing of live videos and managing video content in libraries for access through any device. Apart from being a live streaming service for online learning, Zype also enables professors to upload pre-recorded videos such as lecture captures, screenshots and other tutorials. Users can organise these into topic-based playlists. Additionally, users can make their classes accessible only to a select audience through class passes, pay-per-view events, subscriptions and more.
This live streaming and video-on-demand solution facilitates online tutorials and webinars through CDNs at lightning speeds. Being a live streaming service for online learning, this platform allows professors to live stream their classes at a regularly scheduled time to mimic classroom situations. It also allows guest speakers and curators to become more involved in the learning process. The video-on-demand aspect is backed by a powerful content management system that allows students to find appropriate videos relating to their subjects. The audio streaming facility makes up for weak internet connections at the user’s end, without taxing resources or stalling progress.
Panopto creates libraries of videos, enables secure live streaming and allows recording of screens and presentation on any operating system. The secure video management portal allows educators to host videos such as screen captures, lecture recordings and tutorials. It also makes live video streaming for teachers easier and more accessible, with minimal buffering and the handy ability to project slides or even stream from different computers and locations at once. The last feature is extremely handy for educators looking to bring in panelists or speakers to enrich the learning experience without logistical hassle.
Kaltura Video Cloud for Education powers video-on-demand and live experiences with virtual classrooms, lecture capture and secure webinar hosting features. This open standard live streaming service for e-learning allows both staff and students to create and host videos used for any educational purpose within the institution.
The MediaSpace video portal is much like a private YouTube for a single institution while the live broadcast feature enables seamless Town Halls and webinars.
What are Some Tips for Live Streaming Educational Videos?
Video Quality Matters
Pixelated videos and lagging footage will frustrate students and hinder their learning. High video quality is required to come close to matching real-time classroom situations.
Practice Makes Perfect
Teachers who are new to live streaming educational videos can rehearse their lessons to a loved one or in front of a mirror. Adjusting to e-learning takes time but practice makes perfect.
Record All Videos
Screen-recording videos enable an archive of classes to look back on, whether for students to rehash concepts or for teachers to evaluate their teaching methods.
Pick The Right Live Streaming Service Provider For Online Learning
Choose to use education-oriented platforms instead of regular video conference platforms to better emulate a classroom setup.
Video streaming services for schools are today a key educational tool and will continue to be leveraged even after the pandemic blows over. Institutions that make a shift towards e-learning will be better geared for untoward global situations and indeed, the future.