1. Streaming live video
Probably the most talked about new apps of the year so far are Meerkat and Periscope. These stream live video from iOS and Android devices as well as displaying comments from followers. Both are very new apps and are changing their functionality on a regular basis – for example Periscope now allows Android users to save video as well as broadcasting it. Periscope is now owned by Twitter and has close links to that social media network.
Schools will surely find interesting uses for these apps – for example broadcasting guest speakers or prize day presentations live for those who cannot be present. We've set up a Periscope account for our Good News from Schools service (@goodnews_schls) and are looking forward to seeing some innovative uses over the next few months and passing them on through Twitter!
2. Sharing more video through existing social media networks
Sharing video is much older than streaming video but is also seeing massive improvements in 2015. Existing social networks (in particular Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) all now allow video to be shared. The different lengths reflect the different ways the social media are used – Facebook allows videos of up to 45 minutes, while Twitter only allows 30 seconds and Instagram 15 seconds.
Instantly shared videos tend to be of low quality (for Twitter and Instagram it has to be shot from a smartphone and there's no time for serious editing) so this does mean that it can’t be relied upon as the only record of an event. In fact, as this Twitter video clip from St Bede’s College, Manchester shows, to get the full record of a major event it’s probably worth having at least three people record it – a traditional photographer (or two in this case), a traditional videographer (in this case dressed as a Jedi (!)) and a social media specialist (in this case filming for Twitter).
Of course many schools will already use the social media that were always about video – notably YouTube (which is closely integrated with Google+) and Vimeo. Both have developed recently and contain increasingly sophisticated editing tools - I recently used YouTube to straighten a wonky video for example! The difference is perhaps that YouTube allows unlimited downloads for free but keeps its logo on display, whereas you can pay for a VimeoPro account that allows you total control over the video’s branding.
If you're looking for inspiration in this area, Whitefield Primary School's Vimeo site is a great place to start!
As well as recording and sharing videos, you can also take other media (photography, slides, pictures, music) and turn them into videos. One example is the use Solihull School has made of the Animoto app to produce YouTube videos like the one below. You can also check out the school's YouTube channel here.