brightstream tv

Every educator knows engaging your audience is vital for learning and retention, yet we continue to be challenged coming up with new delivery methods. While the digital age has been monumental in making content more engaging, I have something even more exciting to share with you.

I’d like to invite you to experience a new interactive eLearning platform for educators, BrightStream TV, which integrates a live broadcast with social media. This allows bi-directional communication between students and an instructor over live streaming TV.

To understand why this this type of interaction is different – let’s take a quick look back.

TV and Education: A Brief History

The use of television to broadcast educational content is not a new idea. The first evidence dates back to 1933 when The University of Iowa received an experimental FCC license. This  delivery was very crude with the audio portion of the program broadcast separately as a simulcast. Even though the student experience was lacking, the race was on to leverage this new technology for knowledge transfer.

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An illustration from 1935 depicting a televised college course.

The expansion of television continued through the 1940’s, but the platform exploded in the early 1950’s. In 1951 Watch Mr. Wizard with Don Herbert was launched. This was one of the most successful live educational shows running from 1951 through 1965. Not all of the Mr. Wizard’s experiments worked, but he was a master of creating a learning moment even when things didn’t go as planned.

Educational TV programming continued into the 1960’s with Julia Child’s Emmy award winning show The French Chef. Followed by Sesame Street in the 1970’s and Reading Rainbow in the 1980’s.  All of these shows inspired generations, were instructionally sound, but were lacking in one common area: the ability for the viewer to interact live with the host or on air talent.   

The Social Shift of TV

That gap in student interaction with TV has changed dramatically.

In the last two years there has been a surge of video based content creation. This includes live mobile broadcasts via applications like Periscope and Meerkat. Both applications have empowered a new segment of the population to broadcast content to the world via social channels while receiving immediate feedback from followers. The era of bidirectional communication through social media during live TV is now here.

“It’s a dialogue, not a monologue, and some people don’t understand that. Social media is more like a telephone than a television.”
-Amy Jo Martin, Founder and CEO of Digital Royalty

The Future: BrightStream TV and You

BrightStream TV was created for two reasons:

  1. To empower educators to use technology, and
  2. Advance the application of live, social television for knowledge transfer

The delivery of BrightStream TV begins to shift the focus from the instructor to the students by allowing social media channels to create a communal viewing experience.  

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Currently, the BrightStream TV platform utilizes Twitter for student/instructor engagement. This allows you to use your mobile phone to ask question while viewing the live show on a tablet, or desktop.  While this solution may seem simplistic – it is only the beginning, and BrightStream TV will continue to push for higher levels of engagement via new social media integration.

Join the Fun

All of our live broadcasts are free, and includes student files. If you feel like using our student files for your own projects – no problem. Everything is licensed under Creative Commons. So have at it! If you miss a live presentation, we’ll have recordings available for purchase in our library.   

Hopefully, I’ll see your questions come up on the BrightStream TV live feed soon.

By Josh Cavalier, Founder and CEO BrightStream Media, LLC

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