Getting started with Live Lessons

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Encounter Live Lessons bring remote environments, live learning and world experts into your classroom. You can take part with your class, as an assembly, or as a STEM club activity. We also welcome home-schoolers and family participation. This is a comprehensive guide to helping you use live lessons in your teaching. The guide is divided into two parts.

  • Part one – How to get started
  • Part two – What are the different types of live lessons?

Part one - How to get started

Step 1: Registering and booking

To book a place on an Encounter Live Lesson, you will need to have registered on Encounter Edu. Then browse for any live lessons that are of interest to your class and click ‘Book now’. A short form will ask for further details.

Booking will mean:

  • You will receive reminders before the live broadcast.
  • You can pre-submit questions and shout-outs via the Encounter Live section of your user profile. Pre-submitted questions are answered before live questions.
Step 2: Prepare your students

Each broadcast has linked ‘Supporting Resources’ to help with preparing your class. These reference different sections of the Encounter Edu website, including the Multimedia page containing video, galleries, activities and virtual reality content, Teacher Resources with full units and lessons, and Professional Development with background information.

Step 3: Prepare your tech

No specialist technology is needed for Encounter Live. Live lessons use the YouTube Live platform. If you can view YouTube in your classroom, then you are all set. Most classes find it easier to take part if the live lesson is projected or shown on a large screen.

To take part in the live chat, you will need to have created a YouTube channel and be logged into YouTube.

Step 4: Engage

On the day of a session, get set up in your classroom, showing the Encounter Live page, this is where the live lesson will be shown. You may need to refresh the page.

Make sure you have signed into YouTube, if you want to submit questions and comments via the live chat. This can be found to the right side of the video. You can also submit questions and comments via Twitter by mentioning @encounteredu.

YouTube Live Guidance

If you do not have a YouTube channel, follow the steps below to create one.

  1. If you do not have a Google account, visit the Google support page Create a Google Account.
  2. Visit YouTube and click the sign In button at the top right of the screen, if you do not see your account icon there.
  3. Then visit the YouTube Live featured content and locate a current live stream that has a live chat. This is most likely to be in the YouTube Live - Gaming playlist.
  4. You will see the live chat to the right of the streaming video. If you try to submit a chat item, and you do not have a channel, you will be prompted to create one.
  5. Follow the on-screen steps and then return to the YouTube live stream and see if you can submit a chat item.
  6. If you have trouble creating a channel, view the Create a new channel page in YouTube help.

Things to remember

  • It takes a little time (10-15 minutes) to set up a YouTube channel from scratch, so plan to do this in advance of the live lesson.
  • You must be logged into your YouTube account, even if you are viewing the Live Lessons stream on our website.
  • Only teachers should create a YouTube channel, and use this to submit questions and comments from students.
  • If for any reason you cannot access the live chat, you can still participate by submitting questions in advance via the Encounter Live section of your profile, or via Twitter mentioning @encounteredu.

Part two – What are the different types of live lessons?

Live investigations

Putting into practice ‘working scientifically’, you can either participate actively with your class by doing the investigation at the same time as the live team, or you can join in by submitting your students’ questions.

Expert Interviews

Once you’ve registered for an interview, share the speaker’s profiles with your class. Discuss with students what they would like to know and help them formulate open-ended questions that are 'non-Googleable', such as:

• How did you decide to become a researcher?

• What is your favourite creature on the reef and why?

• What do you think this environment will look like in the future?

• What do you miss most while on expedition?

Look at How to: Generate higher order questions to develop your students thinking skills. It’s best to have questions that consider the speaker's background and knowledge, so be sure to check out the speaker profiles. Questions that have been submitted in advance by registered educators will have priority in the question queue. Additional questions that come up during the broadcasts can be submitted via the live chat.

Ask me anything

These sessions trigger great online and class discussions about marine science topics, geography, environmentalism, climate change and life as science communicators. Before the live lesson prepare for the ‘Ask me anything’ experience by talking with your students about what they would like to know and encouraging them to ask non-Googleable questions, guidance can be found in How to: Generate higher order questions.

Questions from previous years have included:

• Did you pack anything special from home?

• Have you ever swum with sharks?

• What tools do you use most while doing research?

• Can you sleep underwater?

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