In this blog post we will look at how to use YouTube to stream a live webcam feed, which can be accessed by your pupils/students and their parents/carers.
Keeping the school community together during the closures is a challenge. You have sent emails, and staff or parents/carers may use social media groups to share ideas and discussion, but you are still not speaking directly to the pupils/students or wider school community and it may all feel rather impersonal.
As you cannot bring all your students together into one room for an assembly, have you considered running one online by broadcasting live across the internet?
Before we get there, be aware that in order to create video content on YouTube you will need a YouTube account (which is a Google account) and that if you are using a school G Suite for Education Google account, it is possible that logging in to YouTube is disabled. Therefore, you would either need to use a different account to log in and upload videos, or have school access enabled for staff by whoever manages your school Google accounts. We would not normally advocate the use of a non-school account for work purposes.
And of course, YouTube being what it is, it is always recommended that younger children are supervised when using the platform, and children under 13 should not have YouTube accounts.
Viewers of your live stream will not need YouTube accounts, however, as it is accessed via a simple link, and you can broadcast from your living room by following these steps.
1. Log in to YouTube and click on the Create a Video and more button at the top/right of the screen.
2. Choose Go Live.
3. The YouTube Studio will open. At the top of the screen, click on Webcam.
4. In the window that opens, give your broadcast a title.
5. Choose the visibility. We recommend Unlisted so that the broadcast would not be found by anyone who does not have the direct link.
6. Switch on Schedule for later and choose the date/time for your broadcast.
7. Select the Yes, it’s Made for Kids option. This will disable the chat feature next to the live stream so it’s important this is selected assuming the audience is students.
8. Optional – you can also add a description and category from this window, by clicking on the More Options link.
9. Click Next and you will be required to use your webcam to take a picture which will be the thumbnail image before the broadcast actually goes live. Alternatively, you could upload an image file, perhaps of your school badge/logo.
10. Now click the SHARE button at the bottom of this window. You will see the link address (URL) of the broadcast, which you will need to share with anyone you want to invite to watch.
11. Now click DONE. The stream is now set up and ready for when the times comes.
12. When it’s time to start your live stream, return to YouTube and log in. Click on the Create a Video and more button at the top/right of the screen (as in step 1.)
13. Choose Go Live
14. Now choose Manage (at the top of the screen) and you will see your saved stream listed. Click on it to open the stream page.
15. When you’re ready, click the GO LIVE button. You are now broadcasting to everyone who used the link you shared!
16. To end your live stream, just click on the END STREAM button.
17. When the live stream is finished, a recording can be accessed using the link you originally shared.
The video below will take you through these steps:
Do remember that whilst it is unlikely that the live stream would be accessed by anyone without the link, the stream is not private and so its contents should not include personal information or identify students.
Of course, using a YouTube live stream is not limited to online assemblies, and you could use it for any purpose where you wish to speak to a large number of people, in different locations, when it is not necessary to have audience interaction.
Further blogs to read