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!

Game Plan SY 2016-2017

I used to write a lot about what I did in my classroom.  Now, at the beginning of another school year, I would like to establish a game plan to maximize my efficiency in this new role.  Yes, I have been here since November, but this is the first time the training wheels come off and I have a cluster of my very own.  I am determined to do my part in carrying out the vision of my phenomenal team.  My hope is to be able to help people in my district, as much as people in my team helped me when I was in the classroom.

Note: I rarely promote my blog posts, but please excuse me if I do promote the hell out of this one.  The goal is not to get clicks, but I would like help in refining these ideas to make them as airtight as possible before implementation.


I was speaking with a couple of coworkers a few days ago, with the conversation centering around workshops we plan to offer throughout the year.  They shared some great information with me, regarding topics that tend to work best at given times during the year.  Later that day, I met with a principal, who had an idea of some topics such as technology integration, parent communication, and others.  She suggested that I chat with the school’s Technology Liaison to create a plan of action, after surveying the staff.

Over the past months, I had filled in for coworkers on leave, after coming into the position mid-year.  My teammates have been so welcoming and so supportive, that now I am armed with an arsenal of tools to help meet the needs of schools/teachers/students in our district.

I also posed the question on how to best approach the school year to my PLN in a couple of Voxer groups this morning.  By the time I was done speaking with coworkers and virtual friends, I had a few takeaways.  I cannot take credit for these ideas…they have all been begged, borrowed, and/or stolen…but these are the best of the best:

  1. Create office hours one day a week, using Google Calendar appointment slots.  Anyone from the district can sign up for tech help with anything.  Appointments can be online or offline.
  2. Beta test (one school each) a few things that I’m curious about, such as:
    1. Classcraft for gamified professional learning (been gamifying for a while, but never tried that platform).
    2. Teacher Individual Exploration Plans (IEPs) a la Jennie Magiera.
  3. Increase teacher-leadership capacity by partnering with TLs and letting them take lead on workshops at their school level, encouraging them to connect within and outside of the district, as well as present at local/national/international conferences (if interested).
  4. Block off Fridays for Sarah 20% time/Moonshot Day (whenever possible).
  5. Use the power of extensions such as Training for Google Apps to maximize time and productivity.
  6. Continue pushing out content and opportunities via social media to interested parties in my district.
  7. Utilize Articulate (NOT FREE FYI) to create workshop materials which can be accessed asynchronously.

I am still working out the details, but these are some initial ideas.  I have my first appointment for office hours on August 29, and am enjoying planning the year and helping schools get set up.

I’m hitting publish now, even though this draft is extremely rough.  To any new readers, I try to polish my work before putting it out there to the world, but time is of the essence.  Please keep in mind, I will probably revise this multiple times before it is in its final form.  The purpose is to keep these ideas fresh in my mind, while simultaneously getting as much perspective as I possibly can before taking action.  Please leave a comment, Vox me, or Tweet me (@sarahdateechur).  Thank you for reading!