Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Live streaming 1st grade egg hatchings! 2016 Edition

Every year the 1st Graders get eggs and learn about the process of chickens hatching.

We are live streaming the eggs and the hatching process!

For the technically inclined here is how I set it up:
(last year's specs were slightly different)
  • MacBookPro "mid 2012"
    • 2.5 GHz Intel i5
    • 8 GB 1600 MHZ DDR3
    • OSX 10.9.5
    • these are old, stripped down, refurbished systems
      • former teacher machines
      • battered and bruised
      • essentially solely running the encoder
  • Used my lab's YouTube channel to set up a Live Event
  • I did not use Google Hangouts because they have an 8 hour stream limit and we were looking for a 7-10 day continuous, 24/7 stream
  • Installed Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder
  • required for YouTube Live Events not using Hangouts - allows for 24/7 feeds
  • Set up my stream specifics
  • YouTube walks you through it
  • Preview the feed
  • Started streaming
  • Emailed links to teachers to share with parents & posted feeds on lab blog
A couple a quirks:

  • the encoder allows you to un-check "Audio" so you stream video only, however YouTube doesn't seem to like that and the no-audio streams always failed to stream to YouTube
  • solution: 
    • checked "Audio" on the encoder but went in to the Mac's System Preferences and under Sounds we dropped the Input volume to zero. The encoder is "streaming" audio so YouTube likes it, but there is no actual audio being input
    • also recomended: drop the "Audio in" level directly in the Encoder (you can also choose a different audio input here too)
    • alternatively, if you have a system with a "line in" audio option you could choose that as your audio source and just not plug in a mic

Why go through this process and not use UStream or Livestream?
It's costs nothing, is advertisement free, and ingrained within our Google Apps for Education domain.

There are free live-streaming platforms out there, but after experimenting I decided the extra steps of setting up the Adobe Flash Media Live Encoder was worth the effort to stream without advertisements and have it under the same heading as other videos and resources we post under the school's domain.

Point of reference, some seem to have hatched a few days early, which is why some of these live feeds have more chicks then eggs, and others more eggs then chicks.

Enjoy watching the process...

Class 1L

Class 1R

Class 1W

Fun times in 1st grade!

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