Technology Tuesday: Trying out Periscope

periscope app

I usually hear about new technology tools from my co-host, Chris Haskell, during our Cool Teacher Show.

Periscope is one of those tools, and I decided I better check it out.

Periscope is a mobile app available for both iOS and Android and hasn’t even reached its first birthday–it was officially launched on March 26, 2015. It was developed by a couple of young men and sold to Twitter in January 2015 before it officially launched. You can read more about the history of Periscope and how it started on Wikipedia:

It’s an interesting story–but the part that fascinated me was the developers’ metaphor of teleportation. In other words, Periscope allows us to experience the world through other people’s eyes, in real time, and with real-time comments and feedback. Periscope allows to user to record live video anywhere, anytime on a mobile device, share that video through their Twitter feed (or not), and read live feedback from viewers.

Like most apps, it’s pretty simple to use, but its applications and potential misuse are what became instantly apparent to me.

I began by installing the app on my Google Nexus 6P. Next, I started viewing some of the live videos. You can select any area of the world and then see who is sharing their videos in real-time. Titles like “Who Loves Women?” and “Five Car Accident” were live, but I decided to choose “Irvine dog walk” (It sounded safer.) I could see someone walking his dog, then the dog had to sniff and pee, then the dog was sniffing again. I could hear the owner talking to the dog (I think its name was Lucky) and also the cars driving by. No one was commenting on this video. I had enough of that, so next I decided to view the “IHOP” video, watching a Spanish speaking person sitting in a restaurant looking at the camera. His name was Jorge. People starting commenting on this exciting, fast-paced video, writing “ye ye” and “yea.” I wasn’t sure if Jorge ever got something to eat–but people were also sending him hearts. Maybe that was all he wanted.

How Periscope Works

Periscope users have the option to tweet out a link to their Live Stream. They can also choose whether or not to make their video public or viewable to only certain users. Periscope broadcasters are called “Scopers,” and their videos are called “Scopes.” Scopes can be LBB (Limited by Broadcaster) which disallows comments.

Periscope allows viewers to send “hearts” to the broadcaster by tapping on the mobile screen as a form of appreciation. Up to 500 hearts can be given per session and users can log out and log back in to give more hearts.The maximum number of users that can be followed is 8,000.

Both the Scoper and viewers of the Scope are able to block viewers. When blocked by the Scoper, users are added to a blocked list, and booted from the scope. If enough Scopers block a user, they are blocked from the Scope.

Although Scopes disappear from after 24 hours, users can capture their scopes, and other live streaming apps, using a program called Or, they can save videos to their camera roll.

Next Up–How Teachers and Students can Use Periscope

My next step is to research how teachers and students are using Periscope. Next post will be devoted to that topic, so stay tuned.



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