As a middle school principal I often think about improving my school, especially in the area of parent communication and involvement. Life is really busy and it can be difficult for parents to make it to all the different meetings they would like to attend. In 2016 there has to be a better way. About a month ago I began thinking about how could I get the information shared in informational meetings such as course registration meetings, athletic parent meetings, PTO meetings, etc to my families in a usable format. The idea of streaming came to mind so I began exploring.
YouTube offers live streaming in the form of an "event" which is a great option for our needs. Basically it works like a google hangout with the major difference being a link to the live stream is automatically placed on the YouTube channel which allows viewers to watch as the event is recording all the while YouTube is uploading the video so it can be replayed once the recording is complete. YouTube events allow for up to 8 hours of continuous recording so you can create really large videos very easily.
This week was the "trial run" for this technology at my school. I promoted the live streaming to my families via email, remind, and social media with the time and meeting subject of the live stream.
Our families were able to view live streams for the following:
The response from parents was overwhelmingly positive. Many parents emailed me or commented on social media to say thank you for making their lives just a little easier by providing the choice of a live stream. One parent told me she was running late to the meeting but she was able to listen in her car while she was driving to the meeting and she felt like she did not miss anything. In less than 24 hours each of the parent videos had over 130 views. Currently there are 67 views of the PTO meeting. I cannot say I have ever seen a PTO meeting with 67 people in attendance. Click here to see our school YouTube Channel.
I share this with you not to say, look at what I did, but rather to say look at what good you can do for your school families if you just simply act on an idea. Take a risk. Act on the idea. You will be amazed at the results.
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A lifelong learner that is committed to asking questions to seek greater understandings.
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