Our standpoint is that we shouldn’t just wait for the government to organize something or introduce a new law, but people in crisis situations must manage on their own. Here are a few simple solutions for schools so that they can stream lectures to students who are sitting at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are several ways and types of live video streaming that can be used for lectures, for broadcasting important events or even for personal and private needs. In the coronavirus epidemic, some countries began streaming lectures online to avoid population mixing and reduce the possibility of spreading the virus by contact. This can be a challenge for those who haven’t done this type of lecture or may not know about ways to do it.
Paid Options vs Free Options
Most live streaming services are paid, but let’s see how online lectures can be broadcast with what you already have in use without additional payment. We were guided by the questions “What can be used now so that everyone can watch lectures online, and don’t require additional costs if not necessary?“
We found two free and great solutions that everyone already has (we use them every day) and one paid solution for which can be said it has been successfully tested when it comes to online video transmission.
Note that video or audio streaming is resource-intensive. Most web hosts are simply unable to provide the resources and performance required for such a thing. So, the web hosting services you need to store your videos on and keep them safe are those offering generous data transfer and disk space allowances.
MySQL hosts are some of those that might come in handy. These packages have all the essential features in order to have smooth streaming and fast response speeds. First of all, choose those MySQL providers that use SSDs (solid-state drives). Other features that have to be included in such hosting plans are CDN (content delivery network) and scalable architecture. Excellent uptime, preferably one backed by a service level agreement (SLA), is also required. Another advantage of MySQL server in regard to this is the ability to back up single files so that they can be restored on a remote server.
YouTube Live for Live Broadcast (Free)
In addition to serving as a great platform for promoting your business, YouTube has a free live streaming tool YouTube Live, serving for everything you want people to watch in real-time. Anyone you send a link to this live stream will be able to watch it live. Since this is a YouTube product, it means that, at the same time, it has been tested, so situations in which you have any problems when using this tool are hardly likely. Also, it’s important that this is a free online video streaming service.
All you need is a YouTube account, or a Google Account that you already have if, for example, you use Gmail. With this account, you go to YouTube and click on the Go Live option (located in the upper right corner of the screen). Of course, by default, you need the Internet and a computer with a camera. When you run this option, you can add a title to the lecture and determine who can watch it: Public, Unlisted, Private…
For example, if you select the Unlisted option, then this stream can only be watched by someone to whom you have sent a link to the stream. For example, you can send a link to the live broadcast to your students who are listening to one lecture. For the second lecture, when you run it, you get a new link that you send to other students then, and so on.
Facebook Live to Enjoy Live Lectures (Free)
Everyone has Facebook today, which means that you can use it to easily stream your lectures live and allow others to follow you from home. Facebook Live is easy to use because it’s intended for everyday users. Apart from the fact that it’s great for what we’re writing about in this article, Facebook Live has numerous benefits for developing businesses.
Facebook has set up the broadcast process in three steps: Tune In, Connect, Stream. The first step can be a little more demanding if you decide to use an application from your computer to transfer videos online: OBS Studio or XSplit. If you don’t have an app, you can use a direct stream.
After installing the app, go to your profile, page, group, or event and click on the Live option. There, you’ll get the “stream key“ code which you copy to the application you have installed or choose to stream live directly from the Facebook page. When you click Stream Live, the broadcast starts.
To easily organize everything, you can create one group or page and run all the work in certain events (one event – one lecture).
Cisco Webex Meetings (Free for up to 100 Participants)
Webex Meetings in its free version allows 100 participants to watch the broadcast with screen sharing. This means that viewers can see your screen on their computer, so you can show them a specific action on the computer.
To use this service, you only need the email address with which you’ll log in. You’ll receive a six-digit code at the email address that you need to enter to start this service in the first place. You don’t need to link your payment card or have any obligations in the name of being able to temporarily use this free service.
You’ll need to enter your first and last name and then wait for everything to be set up automatically for use. Keep in mind that this setup usually takes a quick time but you may need to wait a few more minutes before getting your meeting room. We assume that this is because now everyone is looking for a solution for online meetings and lectures, so it’s probably a bit crowded because of that.
Once you get access, you’ll get an interface from where you can start an online lecture or meeting, with the possibility of scheduling. The link below the title of your room is a link you send to colleagues and students. There are two ways to work here: one is to install the application on a computer, and the easier way is to do everything via an Internet browser. Both options are in the drop-down menu of the Start a Meeting button, so to use the service from the browser you need to click on Use web app.
Remember to approve the use of the camera and microphone by your browser. When your browser requests permission, click Allow. Immediately after that, the camera will work, so you’ll see yourself on the screen and you can start streaming. For that, you need to click on the Start meeting button. Your colleagues will be able to follow the live stream by installing the app or using a browser. They can find both options on the link you send them.
Vimeo Premium ($ 75 per Month)
If YouTube Live and Facebook Live aren’t enough for you, you may want to consider the Vimeo platform with the Premium package. There, you get unlimited live streaming, 7 TB of video storage space, and an unlimited number of users who can watch your streams live.
This may be unnecessary in addition to Youtube and Facebook services that also provide it for free, but if you’re one of those who think paid solutions are safer, consider Vimeo.
Help With Organizing Live Streaming
If you have opted for any of the services we’ve mentioned, the complete process is based on recording your lecture, and the service you’ve chosen passes it all on to your viewers. Now, how will anyone know they need to watch?
For example, you can email your students a link to a lecture or use Viber for that (everyone has it today). If you use Viber, you also have the option to create Viber groups for each group of students. When you post a link to a lecture in a group, then the whole group can see it and you don’t have to let them know individually.
All lectures can be recorded so that viewers can watch them later at a time that suits them, so in that case, you no longer depend on whether someone can watch at the exact time when you stream the lectures. You can hold the lecture as you always do, but keep in mind to be close to the camera, because of the image quality but also because of the tone that needs to be recorded.