- is user friendly
- enables real time interaction
- allows chat in a moderated environment. Producers have full rights to moderate or block if necessary any comments received.
- allows polls to be set up quickly for quick feedback and variety
- will allow insertion of mp3 files, images and videos
- has a text toolbar
- is free and can be embedded into a blog, wiki or ning
- Stays alive for 3 days or so if need be
- can be saved and edited once the blog is finished.
- can be integrated with twitter
One very valuable teaching colleague of mine, Mr Paul Bogush, from collaborationnation, introduced me to live blogging using coveritlive. This was a new tool to me, but it was quickly mastered, especially as Paul set up the first live blogs for us. Paul’s students were in their homes in Connecticut at night, while I had mine in the computer lab in a morning session. Despite the complexity of the situation, Paul kept perfect control by using CAPS letters when he needed to keep us all on task. Students were all chatting and typing at once so that we lost the ‘sense’ and order of topics. Using an audio tool, Paul was able to talk his students through it all, while I had mine face to face. Students from each country would take it in turns to ask a question and all responded. Polls were also used. It was extremely successful as a collaborative and interactive tool and really popular amongst the students.
Other uses I have made for live blogging:-
- survey students (ensures that all respond, quick to set up)
- revision with my senior classes. Questions are asked, students reply, comments are then moderated so they can compare and I can test understanding and knowledge.
- blogging an online conference. Allows permanent notes and participation by other global citizens who may not have registered or missed out on a place.
Another rewarding experience so far with live blogging, was recently with another colleague of mine, Lorraine Leo from Boston. She wanted to be part of that start of the Vendee Globe nonstop, around the world yacht race and asked me to help her set up a live blog. Lorraine invited some of her global friends along and at 7:30pm on the Sunday night in November we accessed the blog. An educationalist, Venny, from Taiwan, Lorraine and I were first on to the blog. We introduced ourselves and discussed the atmosphere. Even though it was in French, they were able to view the live online TV coverage. Due to our poor bandwidth, I was unable to, but soon they were typing in, what they could see. Next on the scene was Vincent, an active global teacher, from France and Hors Les Murs or Beyond the Walls ning producer. He was able to interpret for us the content of the TV coverage. Soon Lorraine was dropping screen grabs as images into the live blog and teachers from Azores, Spain and Italy joined us in the conversation. This is exactly what live blogging is and can be all about. See the live blog below, after my tips, by clicking on the play button.
Tips for using Coveritlive
- ensure the live blog is set up well in advance
- decide who and how many should be producers (with full moderation rights) on the blog
- send out invitations to any special friends or guests
- embed the code in a blog or wiki for students and others to access easily
- if it is used between two or more classes, it is useful to have several producers or panelists
- set up the rules before you start eg one question at a time, ensure all have responded, then move on to the next question
- practice inserting images, music and video files and polls. Our huge blooper when we live blogged with Richmond Primary School, the Premier, Minister for Education and the head of Telstra was that we had difficulty uploading an image and then ended up putting a default image which was one of the Simpsons!!!
- keep identities and user names secure
- ensure that students keep their same user name throughout and do now switch identities.
- close the live blog when completed and edit if needbe.
More tips from a live blogger
View the live blogcoveritlive