SAPS Model and the Connected Educator

The idea for this blog post originated through a conversation we were having in EduMatch Voxer Room 2. We have free-flowing conversations in both rooms (and some side groups) about any and every topic under the sun. In there, the topic du jour was about connecting. Go figure 🙂

First, we tried to figure out how many educators were connected. This is an elusive statistic, as I have been trying to nail that down for years…an impossible task because that number grows every day. If anybody has a source, please do let me know.

What I have found was this statistic via Katrina Stevens from 2014:

Educators like to tweet! Out of the 1/2 billion tweets that post every day, 4.2 million are related to education, according to Brett Baker, an account executive at Twitter.com. To put this in perspective, while you read this past sentence, over 3,000 edu-related tweets have flown across the Twitterverse.

To put it in context, this is from 2014. A large percentage of people I know connected within the last three years, so a possible implication might be that use is even more prevalent today.

Of course, the ratio of connected educators will vary by area. I tried to guesstimate the percentage of educators in my own district, settling on 10–15%. My rationale was as follows:

  • There are over 10,000 educators my district (probably closer now to 13,000, but 10K is a nice, round number).
  • I’ve been creating a Twitter list for the past few years of everyone I could find, using our district hashtag, as well as other related hashtags. This list is approaching 700.
  • I am positive that I haven’t gotten everyone, so I’ll round up to 1,000 (probably many more).

If my math (and guestimation) are right, that would be hypothetically 10%. If you add to that the number of educators connecting on other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Voxer, and many more, this could exceed 15%. Some of my friends have estimated 20% or more in their districts.

Next on Voxer, we began to discuss what exactly “connected” means. In my initial count, my sole criterion was using the district hashtag(s), but what if they had only tweeted once and never logged in again?

 

One friend shared that she believed “connecting” to mean engaging with other educators outside of one’s building. I’m paraphrasing here, but that was the gist. I’ll use that definition, although I know we can go more granular about what connection is and isn’t, but that would be a whole other blog post.

My friend believed the number to be around 2% of all educators, which is a possibility. Another friend in the group guessed about 12% in his school. Let’s take the average and go 7% for the sake of argument.

I consider myself to be an “oldhead” when it comes to using this stuff, even though I’ve only been using social media for professional purposes since 2013. Education moves faster than dog years; add connections to the mix, and it’s even faster than that.

The point is, the more you stick around, the more you bump into the same people. In 2015, there were 3.1 million classroom teachers in the US. Seven percent of that would be 217K, plus all of the educators in other roles. Additionally, there are educators in other countries, so I’m thinking the true number is in the millions. But still, that’s barely even scratching the surface.

How do we reach the other 93*%?

Perhaps one strategy is to engage the 8ish*% who were interested enough to create accounts, but have not yet taken the leap to making connecting a regular occurrence?

I’m reminded of conversations I have had with friends and gamification gurus, Chris Aviles and Michael Matera. Gamification, according to Michael, is “applying the most motivational techniques of games to non-game settings, like classrooms” (Explore Like a Pirate, p. 9). It can be a strategy for motivation, engagement, and empowerment…

some of the same ingredients that can help our colleagues get connected, and stay connected.

The first time I heard about the SAPS model was during Google Teacher Academy (now Google Innovator Academy) in Atlanta back in 2014, just days before ISTE. During a spark session, Chris shared with us his research and work with gamifying his classroom.

In his spark, I learned about how he used rewards and an item shop. I had also gamified my class for a couple of years at that point, but the item shop idea was totally new to me; however, as Chris explained, these items go beyond the typical pizza parties and toys that many teachers gave as rewards. Instead, he taught us about a new acronym, SAPS, describing what motivates “players” in gamification. Michael also goes in depth in Explore Like a Pirate. To paraphrase, SAPS is:

  • Status: elevation, i.e. special recognition;
  • Access: being able to access something that other people cannot;
  • Power: having control over what happens to other people;
  • Stuff: pizza parties, etc.

According to my gurus, this is a hierarchy to what people typically desire, in order. Of course, there may be some variability among players, but this taught me that there are other ways to motivate learners than just buying them tangible rewards. Here are the Item Shops that I used with my middle schoolers during school year 2014–2015 and my high schoolers during Q1 2015, before moving to my current position. You will see that there is some “stuff”-y stuff there, but this is because I added suggestions from the students as to what they wanted as well.

Not only does SAPS work in the context of gamification, but it also made me think about motivation in general. Circling back to the “connected educator” discussion in EduMatch, I’m not saying that we should gamify connecting. (For the record, I’m also not not saying it.)

Seriously though, what I am saying is this: if we want to help our friends and colleagues see the “why” of being connected, the SAPS model can shed some light on different strategies worth considering. Here are a couple of quick musings for my brothers and sisters on this journey to connect the other 93*%.

For the status piece, many districts encourage educators to share their learning, and provide recognition in ways ranging from retweeting, to interviews, to Vanguard programs, to district awards.

Looking back on my own journey, my hook was access. Once I got connected, I began to realize how much I didn’t know. My FOMO (fear of missing out) was strong, and my head was spinning with all of this new access. I jumped in feet-first. TBH, I also burnt myself out a bit lol. The lesson there is, everything in moderation, but this is another post for another time.

I’m not quite sure how power could work, but I’m sure somebody else might.

As a bit of a cautionary tale, I remember using stuff as an edcamp organizer a few times, by raffling off a grand prize to anyone who posted their learning to our hashtag. I know of some people who were hooked into creating an account and using it that day, but not again.

Or, maybe the best hook is just sharing our stories of how we have connected with others across the state/country/world/etc. and wait for Mohammed to go to the mountain. Who knows? Different strokes for different folks. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Thanks, and peace!

*These are not real statistics…just fudging to prove a point.

College and Career…Ready?

In U.S. education, we tend to use the phrase “College and Career Ready” quite a bit. This can mean many different things. To some, it means providing a robust* educational experience to make our students competitive in a global market. To others, it means purposely and seamlessly integrating technology to provide our students with skills necessary for 2017 and beyond**.

(*I’m purposely avoiding the other “r” word…shudder.)

(**I’m also avoiding the phrase “21st-century.”)

To me, “College and Career Ready” means all of this and more, but I had a major aha moment this morning, as I was listening to messages in the EduMatch Voxer group (this link will take you to our newest room). There, we have a free-flowing conversation regarding topics of interest in education. Today, a friend of mine was discussing a recent conference she attended, where several presenters discussed the need for student creation, rather than passive consumption.

Ok, that wasn’t the aha moment lol…many of us have been sipping this particular flavor of Kool-Aid for years. For example, I cited the National EdTech Plan (2015)’s recommendation for exactly that in my dissertation; however, my friend made a comment soon afterward that really made me think. She listed some tools that were mentioned and added a couple of her own: podcasts and YouTube.

Soon, my brain started doing something weird. I’m sure all kinds of areas started randomly lighting up and firing…whatever stuff fires when you get an idea. Synapses and stuff.

I asked myself why…what is different from the tools that the presenters mentioned vs. her idea of podcasts and YouTube? I had used several from both lists in the past, but all of a sudden I started singing in my head, one of these things is not like the other.

Bingo.

If we truly want students to be “College and Career Ready,” then we need to have them visible to…wait for it…colleges and prospective employers. Yes, I have been preaching to students at every possible opportunity, “Build your portfolio! It’s never too early! Blog! Get your name as a domain! Use YouTube and make videos for the world to see!”***

(***H/T to Kim RobersonRafranz Davis, and Jennifer Casa-Todd)

However, I did not explicitly make the connection in my mind that these things need to be seen. Many of the edtech tools out there are great, but the drawback is that some are set up only to be used and seen in-house. This makes total sense, especially for our little ones who have not yet met the age requirements to manage their own social media. But when you turn 13****?

Game on.

(****or whatever the appropriate age and necessary maturity level is for the given tool)

I’m not taking anything away from any particular tool…as a matter of fact, some even have built-in social media integrations, where students can share the artifacts with one click.

Of course, there should be some scaffolding in place, and this idea is not one-size-fits-all (yet another finding from the dissertation). For example, some students may not want to use social media or publicly display their work, and I absolutely support their right to choose. After all, it is their work. For those who are ready and willing, though, this strategy can play to their advantage. Some students are already capitalizing, and it’s paying off big-time.

Take, for example, perhaps the most famous example of a student hitting the jackpot through YouTube: Justin Bieber. I don’t remember his story exactly, nor do I really feel like researching it (working on this honesty thing), but I do remember hearing that he recorded a video of himself singing and put it on YouTube, where some celebrity saw it, and thus began his journey.

Our students can be the new Justin Biebers and Justina Biebers, but of education! (Maybe that wasn’t the best metaphor.) Anyway, who’s to say that someone won’t listen to their podcast or watch their YouTube video demonstrating their learning, and say, “hey, we need a student at our university who is doing this kind of work. Let’s offer him/her a scholarship!” Anything is possible…it’s 2017.

The key is to put your work out there. Creating content is exactly what our students need to be doing, but, again, it needs to be out there. It’s great to collaborate. Let’s face it, though…admissions officers and CEOs probably won’t be scouring new postings on the latest edtech tool, even if it’s open and visible to the world. Again, just being honest.

For that reason, I’d encourage interested students and teachers to take it a step further. Download that video you created on said tool, and put it on YouTube. Put your podcast on iTunes and/or Stitcher, and anywhere else you can post it. Share learning on a blog. Create a site and tweet it out. Make a LinkedIn page and get recommendations.

It’s your world, squirrel. Go get that oyster…or something.

Reflections on #ISTE17 (Part 2 of ????) s/o to @techclara and @msmagiera

This one is going to be a challenging one for me to write.  However, it’s the one I’m most passionate about.  This is about the need to be vulnerable, and it’s challenging because I feel like a hypocrite.  Hopefully, this post is…me not being a hypocrite.  We shall see.

I was super-inspired watching my friends on the big stage Tuesday morning.  It was a pleasure to watch Clara Alaniz speak about growth, and ignite the audience with her passion.  I greatly enjoyed working with Clara in the Technical Working Group that refreshed the Educator Standards this year.  She is a phenomenal educator with a heart for all kids.

Photo via @CommonSenseEd

Next, Jennie Magiera gave an amazing, heartfelt keynote highlighting several stories about education and humanity in general.  I have always been inspired by Jennie’s brilliance, even before we worked together as coaches at Google Innovator Academy during #COL16.  To bring it full circle, I first learned of Jennie’s work during her ignite at #ISTE2014 when she spoke of Teacher IEPs (Individual Exploration Plans).

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Photo via @isteconnects

I loved Jennie’s entire keynote, but most of all her vulnerability.  One part specifically struck me, as she talked about how we tend to share our representatives online, and rarely provide a full picture.  This really resonated, having had similar conversations with friends.  We talked about how half-truths, illuminating only our wins, can backfire both in our personal and professional lives.  In listening to Jennie speak, I realized that I talk the talk, but don’t always walk the walk.

As I said in the last post, I am a huge fan of irony….except when it comes to my own shortcomings 🙂  It seems that the more connected I have become, the less I have shared of myself.  When I first connected in 2013, I immediately took to blogging, and it was Sarah Unfiltered.  Sometimes snarky, sometimes sarcastic, far from perfect, and she was totally cool with that.  She didn’t try to be perfect, and didn’t really care.

Perfect…how did that quote from Reshma Saujani go?  “We teach girls to be perfect, and boys to be brave.”

Well, I definitely knew how to fake perfect, given all those early years of training in being a girl.  But, I figured, why bother?  Nobody would read it anyway.  And if they did, they’d forget in five minutes.  I was just having fun learning and making new friends.

Fast forward, four years in. Nothing has changed, while everything has changed. First of all, have changed.  I’ve matured and become more empathetic, thanks to many of you.

Generally, the longer/more you connect, the more your…ahem…reputation builds. Whether or not you choose to use the term “branding,” in my experience, this happens more often than not.  So now, people are listening, and honestly, that can be somewhat scary.

Furthermore, I have changed roles, and am still in the process of figuring things out.  My blog posts have trickled down to an occasional errant drop, like a broken faucet.  While I’m screaming at the top of my lungs for everyone to “tell their story,” I somewhere became a little hoarse.

I strongly feel that us “old-timers” (ironically speaking…I’m 35 lol) have a responsibility to hold the door open for others by amplifying their voices.  However, what I failed to realize is that we all have something to say.  Again, we all have something to say.  And everyone should share their stories, both for better and for worse.

As I stated in my first post from today, when I find myself feeling particularly human, I blog, because I process through writing.  Nearly every time, I come back and pull it down a few hours later, because, as I tell myself, my brand is positivity.  I realized at ISTE that my brand needs to be Sarah-Jane Thomas.  I am human.  I am flawed.  I am me.

Things truly do come full-circle.  I wrote this post several years ago, and now I find myself at the same crossroad, but the question is not “to brand, or not to brand,” as that ship has sailed a long time ago.  What does strike me is point 2:

Acknowledging my weaknesses. We’re all human, right? I mean, last I checked…but anyway, nobody is perfect. Humans are a weird type of creature…it’s almost like the more you fail, the more other people like you. This is to an extent, of course…I mean, if you’re a total fail, you’re kind of a drag. But anyway, the more perfect you try to be, the more you’re going to get hated on. I just read this article today that says pretty much the same thing. It’s weird. The more perfect you try to be, the more people will hate. Isn’t the point to try and get them not to hate?Anyway, this is all to say not to be afraid to try, and even fail from time to time. Another benefit…according to the same article, the more you fail, the more successful you are. I guess that’s because it means you’re actually trying, instead of sitting on your derriere, trying to be Little Miss Perfect.

Interesting…thanks for the advice, Sarah from the Past.

I need to board my last flight home in a few minutes, so I’m going to wrap this up.  However, I want to thank Jennie and other friends for inspiring me this week to return to the real.  As a gesture of good faith as a non-hypocrite, I will actually go back and re-publish some of the posts that I took down.  Deep breath…

  1.  https://sarahdateechur.com/2017/05/24/some-days/
  2. http://sarahdateechur.com/2017/04/02/a-little-something-for-nationalpoetrymonth/

 

Ok let’s start with those two for now.  I still have lots left to blog.  Not sure if I’ll actually do it, but I have a lot more thoughts.  Anyway, later, gators.

Reflections on #ISTE17 (Part 1 of ???)

Hello, everyone!  Long time no talk.  Or is it?  LOL.  I don’t remember the last time I blogged and didn’t immediately take it down.  For some reason, I have been very turtle-like the past few months, sticking my neck out and immediately retreating back into my protective shell.  I have probably written about five posts about whatever was on my mind at the time, which I’ve published and then unpublished.

As a former English teacher, I am a huge fan of irony, even though there was hardly anything ironic about Alanis’s song (my 11th grade English teacher said so…thanks Mr. Morgan!).  However, it is not lost on me that I appear to be very extroverted and have a lot to say on social media, whereas face to face it is the exact opposite.  One of my friends described me as “smiling a lot, but not saying much.”  Yes, it has gotten better, as Sarahdahuman has become pretty good at Fight Clubbing my way to channeling Sarahdateechur.  But this is for a limited time only…this message will self-destruct.  Coming to the stage next…give it up for Sarahdasociallyawkward.  Sometimes this happens at the most inopportune times, but that’s another blog post for another time.

I am sitting at the airport, waiting to board my flight and go back to life, back to reality.  I’m sad it’s over, but so thankful and excited for all that happened this week.  I will definitely have to split it up into different posts.  Hopefully this time, I will actually follow through.

Anyway, this was my fourth, and greatest, ISTE experience.  This week has been one of the best of my life, and this statement is no exaggeration.  I always enjoy ISTE, as I love learning and seeing my friends F2F, as well as making new ones.  This week, there were several things that happened, beginning with moderating the keynote panel at Badge Summit, then the #EduMatch meetup (and the launch of our #Recipes4Ed), then giving an ignite on the big stage before the opening keynote (thanks to Anibal Pacheco for editing)…then being on panels about Google Innovator, diversity in gaming, staying connected after ISTE, and presenting in the Global PLN playground.  I was also very honored (and shocked) to be one of the recipients of the Making IT Happen award.  This week has been amazing, and I thank the amazing educators around me for pouring into me, as I hope to pour into you.  Also, huge shoutout to the #PasstheScopeEDU crew and other friends for documenting this.

I am going to end this post here.  I have a lot more to say, as this week was filled with all the feels.  I’ll let this stand as an intro to hopefully a series of blog entries.  I will actually turn around and start the next entry.  Here’s what I hope to cover, as long as time and stamina will allow:

  • The need for deeper connections (aka “PLF” lol)/vulnerability
  • Gratitude
  • Time management
  • Possible future developments in EduMatch
  • Sarahdasociallyawkward
  • Why I will stop being cheap when it comes to booking flights

Thanks for reading!

Looking Back

Hello, everyone!  It’s been a while, I know.  The school year just ended, and even though I’m now 12 months, it’s always a good time to look back.  Here is a late night/early morning random blog post, just taking a look back at my journey in education.  It was inspired by a Voxer group I’m in, where again, I was being random at 2 a.m.

I used to be Assistant Manager of a record store, and remember when Brittney Spears put out her Greatest Hits album super-early, after five years in the game.  Lol…this post kinda feels like that, a little…but it just hit me, I have been teaching for nearly 13 years!!! Wow!!!  However, I’m just getting started.  There’s still a lot left to see, learn, and do.

This list is by no means comprehensive, but just a few things that stood out to me over the years.  I will also add if I am still using them.  Here goes.

2004

  • Milestone: My first year in education.
  • New stuff: everything.
  • Status: N/A

2005-2007

  • Milestone: The next few years.
  • New stuff: PowerPoint, Discovery Education
  • Status:
    • I moved over to Google Slides for presentations, then recently moved to the new Google Sites.
    • I don’t use DE as much since I’m no longer in the classroom, but I hear great things about changes they’ve made.

2008-2009

  • Milestone: Moved to a technology role. With my school, participated in STEP (Sharing Technology with Educators Program) led by my current team, which introduced us to instructional technologies.
  • New stuff: Wikis, podcasts, video creation, tech conferences
  • Status:
    • Wikis: not so much. I use Google docs more and embed those.
    • Podcasts: I used them for a while, stopped, and they reappeared with a vengeance in 2015.
    • Video creation: This is my jam.
    • Tech conferences: Somewhat. It depends on the conference.  I love seeing my PLN face to face, though.  Can’t beat that.

2010-2011

  • Milestone: Was accepted to Teacher Leadership Academy led by my current team, in which I gained confidence and skills to present.  Began leading district workshops on PowerPoint, Google Docs, and Google Sites.  Presented at district, regional, and statewide conferences.  Started teaching middle school English.
  • New stuff: Presenting
  • Status: Still doing it, still loving it.

2012

  • Milestone: Started flipping my classroom when I learned about it at a conference.
  • New stuff: See above
  • Status: No longer in the classroom, but I still make instructional videos geared toward educators.  Began doing so in 2013 after I learned about Google Hangouts on Air.

2013

  • Milestone: Got connected.  As a direct result of that, began presenting outside of my area.
  • New stuff: Connecting, gamification, branding, edcamp
  • Status:
    • Connecting: Yup.
    • Gamification: Yup…looking to update because what I’m doing hasn’t evolved much since 2014.
    • Branding: It is what it is.  Overcame the challenge of sharing what I’m doing, for the most part.  Still working through it, but doing way better.
    • Edcamp: I still love it.  Have not been able to attend as many this year because of the d-word (dissertation), but I have plans to get back into the swing of things when I finish.

2014

  • Milestone: First time traveling totally by myself to present.  Google Teacher Academy (now known as Google Innovator Academy).  First ISTE.
  • New stuff: Google Glass, basic robotics, basic coding, EduMatch
  • Status:
    • Google Glass: Where is that emoji that laughs so hard that it cries?
    • Basic robotics: Need to pick it back up.
    • Basic coding: Need to pick it back up.  Need extra hours in the day.
    • EduMatch: Thriving.

2015

  • Milestone:  Taught high school for three months before moving to my current role.
  • New stuff: Livestreaming apps (Periscope, Meerkat, etc.), 360 video & Google Cardboard, BreakoutEDU, drones, 3D Printing, hoverboard
  • Status:
    • Livestreaming: I still use Periscope thanks to PasstheScopeEDU.  No more Meerkat.  Although not live streaming, Vine is dead (RIP).
    • 360/Cardboard:  Haven’t used it as much as I want to since I left the classroom.  Can’t find my Ricoh Theta.  I need to look harder.
    • BreakoutEDU: I like it, still use it.  It’s gaining momentum in my district.  Played a little with creating games.  That’s fun.
    • Drones: I can’t find Droney.  Also, I’m afraid to fly it now…long story, but I live near DC and I don’t really understand the law re: drones.  I know there is some kind of regulation.  Need to make the time to educate myself.
    • 3D printing: I no longer have access to a printer, but it was cool while it lasted.  I was in the process of trying to learn how to use it as more than a novelty.
    • Hoverboard: Again, I need that emoji…

2016

  • Milestone: First full year in current position.  Published first crowdsourced book through EduMatch.  Was fortunate to be invited to participate in educational initiatives with state, national, and global impact.  Went outside of North America for the first time with DigCitSummit UK.
  • New stuff: Crowdsourced publishing, Awesome Table, Raspberry Pi
  • Status:
    • Publishing: Indeed!  We have expanded to solo books.
    • Awesome Table: In love
    • Raspberry Pi: I need to pick it up again.  Need more hours in the day.  I want to be a coder so bad 😉

2017

  • Milestone: TBD. Cool stuff is happening, but I dunno yet what will be the highlight of the year.  Maybe graduating.
  • New stuff:  More livestreaming, more publishing, advanced YouTube, trying crazy stuff and seeing what happens
  • Status:

That’s it on this end.  Please pardon my randomness.  I’d love to hear how your journey has been.  If you take the challenge, please link your post to the comments below.  Thanks!

Some days

Some days make you and some will break you. Sometimes they are one in the same. Trying to keep my head in this crazy game but it’s not always easy. Believe me. Today is one of those days.

The world is not black and white, it’s just gray. I wish today was any day but today. I want the sun to go down but will tomorrow be worse? No idea until I get through today first.

Sometimes it takes courage to get out of the bed. Sometimes it takes courage to get out of your head. My battery is low…I kinda want the world to go away and leave me alone.

But then friends hit me up on my phone. That really does help. But I wish I could fake it and act like myself.

I pull the blanket back over my head. Close my eyes and think of places I’d rather be instead. Maybe I’m better off…

Shh, I can’t even say it. Wear my heart on my sleeve, emotion displayed. It sorta sucks to be human, so I don’t really claim it.
But I’ll try harder to fake it and try not to flake. Can’t stay in this space…that would be a mistake. Sarahdahuman is officially on break.

Co-pilot on duty, Sarahdateechur on deck.  I’ll get us through this patch of turbulence.

Don’t worry, I’ve got this.

A LiveStreaming Smash of Epic Proportions #edtech

One of my friends told me about a webinar service that would allow you to have multiple people in a session, while simultaneously streaming to YouTube and/or Facebook Live.

She, in essence, created a monster lol.

I had to do this, but to my dismay, I found that it would run me $55/month.  I inquired about an educator discount, but was told there wasn’t one.  So, I had the idea late one night to figure out how to get it for free.  Today, I got to try it out with some friends.  I couldn’t figure out the FB part for free (most services will make you pay), so next time I may try with a third computer and go directly to Facebook Live.  But the rest of this is free.

The purpose of this post is to remember exactly what I did to get it to work.  For that reason, I won’t put in a lot of detail, but most of the stuff is Google-able.

Many thanks to my #EduMatch fam who showed up to help beta test.  We do a weekly podcast, Tweet & Talk, usually every Sunday at 6 PM Eastern, but we are on Spring Break because of holidays and travel.  We will return on May 7.  Today, I decided to play, and wanted to document the journey so that I don’t forget what to do in a month.  This is probably not the best way, but this worked.  I’ll update as I find easier strategies.

Caution: What you are about to read will be extremely geeky.  Again, most of it can be Googled, which is how I learned how to do this.  But I will link tutorials and resources I found useful whenever possible.  Feel free to tweet me @sarahdateechur with any questions.

What You Need

  1. Two laptops (at least one must have a webcam)
  2. A free Zoom account
  3. OBS encoder software
  4. A free Restream.io account
  5. (Mac only) SoundFlower

Pre-Work – YouTube/Periscope/Restream

  1. Schedule a meeting in Zoom.  I think you can make it recurring, which I will do when we start using this for Tweet & Talks.  Share the meeting link with participants.
  2. Get set up with Periscope Producer.
  3. On your YouTube Live page, set up your usual info like you would do in a regular YouTube Live.Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.31.30 PM
  4. On the same page, you also need this information under Encoder Setup.  Get your server URL and stream key.Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.34.22 PM
  5. On Restream.io, when you sign up for an account, add the channels you want.  I added YouTube Stream Now and Periscope.  FB costs extra.  You may need to manually put in the Server URL and Stream Key for each one, or it may do it automatically.  I don’t remember.
  6. On the right hand side of the home screen, find the RTMP URL close to you, and get the URL and Stream Key.  Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.37.37 PM
  7. Download and install SoundFlower if you have a Mac (I don’t think it’s needed for PC).
  8. Open up the OBS app.

Pre-Work: OBS

  1. Go to Settings, then to Stream, then click the drop-down menu at the top and select Custom Streaming Server.  Enter the info you got from Restream.io in Step 6 above. Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.42.43 PM
  2. (Mac Users) Under Audio, set your Desktop Audio to Sunflower (2 Ch). Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.45.17 PM.png
  3. Click OK, which will close you out of Settings
  4. Add a new Scene and call it whatever you want.
  5. Under Sources, add Window Capture, and Audio Input Capture.
  6. Click the gear next to Audio Input Capture, and select Device: Soundflower (2 Ch).
  7. On the Mixer, bring the Mic/Aux down to 0.  You may also need to bring the Audio Input Capture down to 0 if you end up getting an echo. Adjust Desktop Audio to your liking, so that it doesn’t peak, but still registers sound.Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.48.21 PM.png
  8. You can now close OBS and everything else until you are ready to go live.

The Main Event – 20 min before showtime

  1. Start your Zoom meeting and have participants join about 10 minutes prior to showtime to check audio.  This will also buy you time to get set up on the back end.
  2. (for Mac…not sure how this works on PC) Turn off your mic in your computer system settings.  In Zoom, click the drop-down menu next to the microphone, and make sure to make the Speaker go to SoundFlower (2 Ch). Turn your camera off.Screen Shot 2017-04-16 at 6.56.57 PM.png
  3. Open OBS, and click on the Scene you set up in step 4 (above).
  4. Click on Window Capture and click the gear.  Select from the drop-down menu the Zoom window with your participants.
  5. From the other computer: Join the meeting as a participant. Adjust the width and height of your Window Capture, to your liking.  Invite other participants.
  6. When you are ready to go, click Start Streaming.
  7. Open Periscope app and go to your settings.  Then click on Periscope producer.
  8. It should check for the source.  If there are any issues, fix them in OBS, then click Preview, and then go live.

This is a lot of info, but it presumably will get easier every time.  In addition, I’m sure there are some extra things I am doing that I will find that I can eliminate.  I would love to hear your ideas to see if there’s a way to streamline this.  I will keep updating as I find better ways.  Also, I would love to know if anyone knows how to go to Facebook Live for free.  Thanks for reading!

A Little Something for #NationalPoetryMonth

My friend Shervette told us in the EduMatch voxer group that it’s #NationalPoetryMonth.  She posted some great poems, and invited us to do the same:

I’ve been writing poetry and songs for a while, but most of them don’t see the light of day, as I usually write them to process.  I’ll share a couple today…most are still not ready for the public lol, but that’s ok.

Poem 1 11/21/12

I’m trying to be a better me
Don’t know what I was thinking all these years
All of these tears shed late at night while lying in my bed
And for what? No moves being made
Seeking fame, trying to play the game best that I thought
But it got me nothing
No peace within
Nobody wins when you’re always out for self
I came from noble roots and the noble truth of the matter is other people need my help
My mama told me to keep my eyes on the prize
I got the tools in my hand but I didn’t realize
That noble truth
Shining bright in the darkest night
Gotta reach deep down and find the strength to fight
It’s going to be alright
Gotta add spark to the light
Once I get it popping I can make this right
But where do I begin? So many mouths around
Screaming out for help without even making a sound
The world is grimy, they’re all saying come and find me
All these years had tunnel vision, no side view mirrors up to guide me
The voice inside me saying “take” now screaming “give”
The voice inside me once yelling “die” now saying “live”
It’s about time I’ve had a change of heart
But now that I woke up, where am I supposed to start?

Poem 2 12/2/12

She was a girl from the suburbs
Nothing much to report
But she was one of a kind, she was brighter
Which is kind of why nobody liked her
One day in gym, she looked up and saw him
She never had seen him before
He was tall, he was fly, he was handsome
He smiled as he walked through the door
Much older than a boy of fourteen, it seemed
Just as she was learning to drive
“What the hell,” she thought, “he’s a freshman,
Wouldn’t hurt to give it a try.”
The friends grew closer over the years
He comforted her when she shed tears
But one day, the worst of her fears
She asked him to prom, he said no
And she felt so alone

He was a boy from the suburbs
Everyone said he was a teddy bear
Over six feet tall, he was cuddly
Had a smile that could make you fall in love
He didn’t see her forever it seemed
Then one day in the most unlikely place
He looked to his left and saw her face
He asked her what’s up and the old friends caught up
On life after graduation
He got her number, and they started dating
But one day it all fell apart, and she stopped picking up the phone
And he felt so alone

A few years later, the woman had a breakup
The man called her up, as he saw it on Facebook
They met up for lunch, he said she’s the marrying kind
And he was surprised she wasn’t somebody’s wife
He told her she’s beautiful, she wasn’t used to hearing
She had to bite her lip to keep from tearing
By the time lunch was over, they planned to meet again
Then a week later, she found out she’d lost him
And I felt so alone

It’s been three years, felt like yesterday
But the sound of your voice is starting to fade
Almost like you knew that day was goodbye
Sometimes at random, I still break down and cry
Your mama told me we went to daycare together
The things we forget…I’m trying to get better
As the years go by, as the tear flow dries
Leaving lines on my face in their place
My friend, you can never be replaced
But now I’m never alone