Dear TCEA Responds:
I need help. Our elementary school wants to live stream the morning announcements. Is a private YouTube channel the best option? They do not want to use Zoom. I remember purchasing software at a TCEA conference years ago. It allowed you to create a broadcast type newscast with a green screen using your PC webcam. It had teleprompter software you could use. I want something that the kids can grow into but that starts out easy. Thanks for any help in advance.
Thanks for writing. I bet there are a lot of educators doing something similar. I hope they will take a moment to leave a comment so we can glean some insight from their efforts. In the meantime, please allow me to share my thoughts. Several solutions come to mind. Let’s go over them.
Solution #1: OBS Studio
This solution is pretty powerful and is especially great if you are combining lots of camera inputs. For example, one of them could be a camera pointing at a green screen. Another input source could be a video feed from Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Google Meet.
OBS is my go-to screencasting and recording, live streaming tool. You can watch my short video and see my resources on it online. I used it to live stream my daughter’s dissertation proposal defense. The setup was straightforward, and my resources walk you through some of it.
This solution is 100% free and open source, no cost. And it works with Windows, Mac, and GNU/Linux, but not with tablets or Chromebooks.
Solution #2: StreamYard
This solution is easy to use. I was streaming in minutes. As you might guess though, it costs money, about $240 a year. StreamYard works well on all devices. This video will walk you through its main features and is well worth the time.
Solution #3: TouchCast Studio
This solution works on iPads only. You will want to visit their website to see their K-12 set of case studies. They even have a free Education Guide. Here’s one example:
You will want to watch this tutorial for TouchCast Studio for morning announcements. It can do green screen effects, but I prefer DoInk’s GreenScreen app (iPad only) over that. Learn more about green screen solutions online. Also, be sure to read TCEA TechNotes blog entries.
In summary, use OBS Studio if you want a free solution and aren’t afraid of getting your hands dirty. Use TouchCast Studio if you only have iPads. If you have money, check out StreamYard. It works like OBS Studio, but is browser based and drop-dead simple.
Stream and Teleprompter Solutions
Susan had two other questions. The first was, is YouTube Live the way to go? I found it to be well-supported in the streaming software. You can stream to Facebook, Twitch, and other video outlets as well.
If you are looking for teleprompter tools, try one of these and be sure to watch the video shown above. Here’s a list of free website teleprompter tools:
- TelePrompt.me (this is the one mentioned in the video above)
- TelePrompt Online
A few iOS apps that meet this need include:
You can find quite a few teleprompter (a.k.a. autocue) solutions out there. These iOS apps are free, albeit with in-app purchases.
Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share these ideas with you.