Each year, Poem In Your Pocket Day morphs into something just a little bit new. It’s always a day to come to the library and share poems into our open microphone, but we like to mix things up a bit each year. This year, I put out soft seating instead of tables. It allowed students to be a bit closer to the speaker and hopefully felt a bit more cozy.
In the past, I’ve used Adobe Connect to broadcast our day. While it is a great tool, it has some drawbacks. I love that it is one room that our online guests can stay in all day long and I can communicate with them via chat. However, I don’t love the way the archive is created. I have to setup and name each recording right as I’m starting the recording. It doesn’t take long, but it’s one more step I have to do. Also, once all of the archives are done, I have to go in, change them to public, and copy the link to share in order for people to view them.
This year, I decided to try Google Hangouts on Air. We use this every day for our morning broadcast, so I’m very familiar with using it. Ahead of our event, I setup a Google Hangout on Air for each session on our schedule. Then, I opened each hangout and copied the Youtube link where the video would stream live. I embedded these videos on one big Google site so that they were easily accessible in one spot.
As each group came in, I opened the hangout, tested the sound, and pressed start. Our guests could watch online, but as soon as I pressed stop the video was instantly archived on that same Google site. It saved me the hassle of having to go back and find all of the videos in order to share them. While it’s not huge, any amount of time I can save is valuable to me.
This year, to make up for the chat feature being taken away, we decided to use Twitter to talk about our poems. We encourage our online guests and future viewers of our content to tweet using the hashtag #barrowpoems I used Tweet Beam to display the tweet on our projection board for students to see. It was fun to see how this populated throughout the day and how much students smiled when they saw a tweet mentioning their poem. Teachers even pulled out their phones and helped document the day through pictures, videos, and comments on Twitter.
Also, here’s a little look at what it’s like to be in the room.
This event always amazes me because pretty much every student in the school gets up in front of an audience and speaks. It’s a small amount of speaking, but I love seeing students get used to speaking to an audience and seeing what that feels like. This is a very positive and supportive atmosphere, so most students leave the reading feeling validated for their work.
I encourage you to listen to some of our archives and continue to tweet about #barrowpoems