Live Lesson FAQs

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What is a broadcast live lesson?

Encounter Edu’s live lessons are a unique way for schools to learn from amazing people and places. These live broadcasts are essentially virtual field trips and virtual speaker visits. Each broadcast combines live-streamed video, interaction via Q&A and polls, supporting resources, and classroom ideas.

What is the difference between a broadcast live lesson and a virtual workshop?

Broadcast live lessons are one to many experiences. This means that numerous schools take part in a single live lesson. You and your students will be joining hundreds, if not thousands, of other young people engaging and learning about the world around them. These broadcast live lessons are delivered by YouTube Live. Virtual workshops are 1-to-1 experiences normally conducted via a video-conferencing platform such as Zoom, and are booked and handled outside of the Encounter Edu website.

How do I get started?

Teachers and home educators should register for a user account to enjoy the best experience. To receive the latest updates on new live lessons, choose the subjects and age groups relevant to your teaching when you sign up. You can also see this article for more information about getting started with live lessons.

How do live lessons support my class and students?

Encounter Edu Live Lessons enrich the curriculum and bring real-world case studies to the classroom. Speakers offer fresh and diverse perspectives as well as expert insights. The locations and experiences can create lightbulb moments, whether it is a trip to the Arctic or seeing a chick hatch.

How do live lessons fit with the curriculum?

All live lessons are designed to support curriculum learning. Some deliver curriculum content more directly. Others provide new and different contexts for standard topics, or feature a speaker who can talk about the professional aspects of subjects taught at school. Each live lesson lists the curriculum links or learning objectives, so you can see whether it suits your teaching priorities.

What impact can live lessons have for my students?

Feedback from students who have participated in live lessons shows that they enjoy access to up to date information, compared to book learning and other more traditional methods. Live lessons can also give students access to places and experiences that they would not ordinarily have in the classroom. Expert speakers can also provide answers to students’ questions that may be outside of the range of subject knowledge from their teachers.

Why should I do this?

Live Lessons are a great way to enliven topics in the classroom. These are unique experiences for students to engage with and ask questions of experts. Live lessons are designed to give students access to a wide range of people and places that can enrich their learning and develop their wider view of the world around them.

How do I run a broadcast live lesson in my classroom?

To watch a live lesson you will need a networked device (desktop or laptop) with a good internet connection. It is preferable if the device is connected to a projector and speakers so that the whole class can see and hear the broadcast. Shortly before the start time of the live lesson, navigate to the live lesson page, and the lesson will show there. As the live lessons are streamed online and viewed via a web browser, please check the YouTube troubleshooting guide to make sure that you will be able to view the lesson. You may also want to check the article on using live chat during live lessons.

What are the supporting materials?

Each lesson lists a series of supporting resources that can be used both during the live lesson and for preparing students.

Is there training available?

There is no direct training for new users, but there is a wealth of information and supporting guidance in the help centre. You can also look at past live lessons on Encounter Edu to get a sense of what is involved.

Where can I see more live events to sign up for?

Visit the Live Lesson homepage to see upcoming live lessons and events. Encounter Edu also alerts registered users to new live lessons via email, based on marketing preferences used on registration and editable via users’ profiles. Check out and follow our social channels as well on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

How far ahead do I need to book?

Ideally, book as soon as possible. This will give you time to prepare the technical side of things, as well as to conduct any preparation with your class. As soon as you book a lesson, you will be able to submit questions and shout-outs via your user profile.

How long is each live lesson?

Live lessons are typically 30 minutes long for early years and lower primary audiences (ages 3-7) and 45 minutes long for upper primary, middle and secondary school students (ages 7-16). Normally, the last 10 to 15 minutes of each live lesson is reserved for student questions. At the discretion of the speakers, some lessons may be extended to accommodate as many student questions as possible.

What can I do if I can’t access YouTube at school?

Different schools have different access policies around YouTube. The first point is that the YouTube stream only needs to be accessible via a teacher login. If YouTube access is blocked or limited, you may need to enlist the help of your school’s IT technician or support. Just let them know that you wish to show a YouTube live stream to your class. There is a separate YouTube troubleshooting guide and you should also check that you can access Slido at school to take part in live Q&A and polls.

Who should watch these broadcasts?

Encounter Edu live lessons are suited to a wide range of learners from early years to exam grade students. Each live lesson shows the age(s) that it is suited for.

Are broadcast live lessons safe and how are they moderated?

Encounter Edu live lessons do not require any student personal information to be shared, and students are not required to log into any platform. The live chat for each live lesson is run on Slido and moderated by Encounter Edu. No messages or questions are shown unless they have been approved by a moderator. Teachers are able to write a student’s first name or the class name after a question for a more personalised response, but this is optional and should be in line with each school’s safeguarding policies.

Is the live chat safe?

The live chat is always moderated by Encounter Edu. Students under 13 should not take part in the live chat without adult supervision. Students over 13 can take part in the live chat independently if they are supplied with the link by their teacher. All messages are preapproved before they appear on screen. Even so, large amounts of inappropriate or spam messaging by students can clutter the moderator view, preventing clear sight of other students’ questions and comments.

How can classes interact during live lessons?

During broadcast live lessons, classes can interact through text-based comments and questions, and polls. The Q&A and polling app will appear on the live lesson page when the lesson goes live. Teachers and students can post questions. Do check to see if the question has been asked already and you can choose to upvote an existing question, by clicking the thumbs up button next to a question. Any polls will show in the tab next to the question list, and users will be alerted to open polls.

Before the live lesson, registered teachers can add questions and shout-outs via the Live Lesson tab on their user profile.

If you cannot access the interaction app, check your settings to use Slido. If you cannot solve the connection issues, then please contact us via the support chat, using the speech bubble icon in the bottom right of each page on the Encounter Edu website.

Still having problems, drop us an email.

What happens if I miss a lesson? How can I catch up? Will the lessons be available to view afterwards?

If you miss a session, you can watch lessons on catch-up by visiting the individual live lesson page. The catch-up lesson will normally be ready in an hour or so after the end of the broadcast, but archived lessons can take until the next day to process.

What are the booking steps?

To book a live lesson, you will need to be a registered user. Then simply click the ‘FOR TEACHERS’ button on the live lesson page. This will take you to the lesson booking form. You will be able to view your booked live lessons in the Live Lesson tab of your user profile. You will also receive a confirmation and reminder email for your booking.

The ‘FOR STUDENTS’ option downloads a calendar reminder (.ics file) that students at home or other users can use to schedule the lesson for their own digital calendars.

Will my class feature?

Unlike some other forms of live streaming education, we do not feature video from audience classrooms. This is both for child protection reasons and to ensure that all classes can take part on an equal basis. Your class and students can feature by submitting a shout-out and by including the first name of students with any questions you submit in advance or via the live chat.

How do we send our questions in advance?

When you book the session, you will see it in the Live Lessons tab of your profile. When you review your booking, you should see an option to add questions. You can submit up to five questions from your students.

Why should I send my questions in advance?

By submitting a request for a shout-out and questions via your account profile, you guarantee a mention and it increases the likelihood of your students’ questions being answered.

How do I check my time zone?

As most of our audience is currently in the UK, we include the UK time on the live lesson previews and on the live lesson calendar. On each individual broadcast page, we then include the broadcast time in a selection of major time zones appropriate to the live lesson, as well as a link to check for your specific location.

Given the international audience for Encounter Live and the variations in daylight savings changes, we recommend you double-check the time of each broadcast you book.

Why are some of the lessons free to access and participate in?

For our free lessons, these are supported by a range of organisations that wish to use live lessons as part of their education outreach. These organisations are listed on the individual live lesson pages.