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Live Streaming Solutions for Singapore’s Educational Institutions

1. I. Introduction to Live Streaming in Education

With the COVID-19 pandemic causing educational institutions to temporarily close physical classrooms and shift towards e-learning, live stream service over the internet has suddenly become a powerful tool for educators. While the benefits of live streaming Singapore have been proven across various industry sectors, including education, the pitfalls are more pronounced within the school environment. As schoolteachers demonstrate online lessons from within a school environment that is designed, first and foremost, for physical lessons, they are often forced to utilize sub-optimal technology responsively while dealing with inadequate school infrastructure, limited IT support, and unknowledgeable support staff. In the post-COVID-19 era, when schools will be more experienced in implementing e-learning solutions, lessons are anticipated to play a leading role for the health of individuals and the community. It is therefore indispensable to ensure the quality and sustainability of the online methodology, including the use of live streaming as a staple tool in the teacher’s toolkit for teaching.

1.1. A. Definition and Importance of Live Streaming Services

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, educational institutions across the world have had to shut their campuses to minimize contact among students and to encourage them to isolate themselves. This has hastened the development of e-learning, and live streaming has become an essential tool for remote learning. Reduced costs and improved lifestyles are added benefits of e-learning. Educational institutions can save money through the increased use of live streaming by saving on travel and communication costs. In addition, e-learning has been enhanced through the use of live streaming, which can increase student satisfaction and academic achievement, and has expanded the service range of educational institutions. Therefore, this study proposes a live streaming solution for remote learning to increase the competitiveness of educational institutions.

The development of live streaming services has united mobile cloud services with live broadcasting and brought about many different kinds of applications, such as mobile live news broadcasts, mobile live sports broadcasts, live concerts, private live streams, and private family live streams. Live streaming services can also be used to build different kinds of applications in many different areas: education, tourism, trade, and security, to name a few. The value of live video streaming has shown consistent growth, and market revenues surpassed 1.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2019.

1.2. B. Benefits of Live Streaming for Educational Institutions

Singapore is well known for its highly advanced internet infrastructure and technology. Most educational institutions in Singapore are keen to leverage this technology to provide more flexible and innovative learning experiences for students. However, most educational institutions have limited resources and expertise in deploying live streaming solutions. Traditionally, they might acquire content delivery solutions and the related services from a commercial external vendor. However, this practice has several limitations when it comes to content protection, service level support, and cost containment. These are primary issues encountered by many educational institutions.

In recent years, the internet has played an increasingly important role in various aspects of everyday life. The educational sector, too, has adopted the internet as an integral tool of the educational process. In the past, online education relied solely on the use of electronic content and virtual learning processes. However, recent technological advances in areas such as live streaming provide new and effective ways of designing and executing educational experiences.

2. II. Live Streaming Platforms and Technologies

2.3 Live Streaming Platforms and Technologies Without doubt, live streaming is the biggest disrupter in today’s interconnected world. While a number of technology platforms exist, some of the best used in the world include Facebook Live, Zoom, Twitch, Periscope, YouTube Live, Instagram Live, LinkedIn Live, etc. Technology platforms provided by Google, Duo, Cisco, and Intel Real Sense 3D are also providing online video meeting solutions with more integration features. By utilizing Multi-camera rig or ultra4000, sharing animated lessons, document camera support, real-time data analytics, and other features can enhance teaching. API, AI-powered, Video conferencing accelerator, and video telemedicine kit by Nash NuGen provide a high-quality Real-Time Video Conferencing solution. However, a simple system that integrates well with most teaching styles is sufficient. It is better to equip teachers with commonplace systems for live streaming because ROI on having the best-in-class real-time video streaming tools is low.

2.2 Benefits of Live Streaming Despite this worry, teachers are necessary even in an age where information is freely available – to inspire and set people on the road to learning. However, the ideas of schooling and learning change considerably as institutions leverage live streaming. The change is not just from face-to-face to virtual/online teaching but rather physical classroom teaching – to students’ homes using technology. The school no longer merely contains students for seven hours daily but instead, students have to attend DIY, exterior school and home-based lessons – the classroom is anywhere on the planet where valuable teaching occurs – with the only limiting factor being access to a smartphone or other devices.

2.1 Introduction We are now more than a quarter of the way through the twenty-first century. The way people think and process information has changed – kids and teenagers process information so much faster than their parents. Visual teaching is the way forward in today’s secondary education in Singapore. With instant access to nearly all the world’s information, one might wonder if the physical classroom will become a thing of the past.

2.1. A. Types of Live Streaming Platforms

2.1.4. Education Technology Platforms Ex: Learning Management System (e.g. Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle) These platforms are available only within the cost of the learning management system. They are useful when dealing with educational institutions that operate on a very strict budget. The integration with other education platforms might allow for additional features that are unique to an educational platform that are currently not available but being explored by other platforms due to the vast number of interactions (Facebook, WhatsApp for business, WeChat).

2.1.3. Niche Targeted Features i.e. Twitch The Twitch platform was designed with a niche group in mind, the gamers and e-sports community. Even though its competitors also offer varying sets of features, the community did not utilize those abundant set of services. In the case of Twitch, they had a unique broadcast chat and other gamified features. They have even implemented a bet system utilizing “channel coins” on popular Hearthstone channel jokes.

2.1.2. Diverse Target Platforms Ex: Ustream, Livestream, YouTube Live, Periscope For institutions requiring live streaming to the public and want more features on the live stream such as planning, scheduling, archiving, the use of higher quality video with the option of using the social media platforms to expand the live streaming community, the platforms provide those features. However, these platforms do not usually require authentication. The public and unlisted setting is only available to restrict access.

2.1.1. Simple Platforms Ex: YouTube Live, Twitch Creative These are platforms that provide a quick and easy solution to live streaming. They allow a user to set up a live stream with only a few clicks. These streams are viewable by millions of users around the world. However, they do not provide workspace authentication. Only the public and unlisted setting is available to restrict access. For Twitch Creative, the tags “Art” and “Dev” allow a group of users to broadcast their creations and coding.

Live streaming platforms are diverse and usually targeted at different use cases. A simpler platform would allow a small group to set up an event within minutes. A platform with a more niche target would allow a user not only to stream to millions of users but also with the functionality of a standard broadcast production system. A platform used by popular streamers such as Twitch would need to allow its users to receive donations and do charity live streams while keeping track of the amount to be donated. For educational institutions in Singapore, the most important factors to consider would be whether their preferred live-streaming platform would have features such as authentication and the ability to limit access to their students.

2.2. B. Key Features and Considerations

4) Data Collection / Results Analysis. In sporting smart lecture capturing, it is important to gather and analyze particular types of data during the lecture, identify patterns in the teaching process, and ensure that the lecturer does not violate certain protocols, such as safety rules.

3) Real-time Lecture Broadcasting. The effective use of live streaming is an important aspect of enabling students to view lectures without being physically present. This is an important feature for modern distance learning systems, which aim to support mobile students and the increasing demand for web-based and mobile learning.

2) Camera Control and Rotation. Manual control and automatic rotation of the camera should also be a feature of the lecture capturing system. These features should allow for administrators at the centralized server to control the autofocus and, through pan tilt control, reposition the Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) or smart tracking camera during the lecture to ensure that the lecturer is always within camera view.

B.1 Categories of Features 1) Platform and Camcorder Interoperability. The lecture capture solution should allow for different camera inputs that are chosen by the administrators to be used across different lecture theaters. The captured data should be stored in a centralized location for faster and easier access to the administrators and students.

Key features and considerations When selecting a live streaming solution, there are key features, functions, and factors that users can consider to ensure that the chosen solution meets institutional needs, student learning outcomes, and criteria for scalable deployment. These are factors governing the design of our proposed solution.

3. III. Case Studies of Live Streaming in Singaporean Educational Institutions

One-North Junior College’s practice is to record all the lectures conducted within a certain classroom, if necessary, with the help of their Audio Visual (A/V) department. The recording will then be uploaded into the server, and the necessary arrangement during the lecture would then lead to a successful “live streaming” session. The official and more detailed solution that adopts the use of a commercial software known as Video. The videos are then streamed to the various lecture venue projection screens. However, to utilize IVLE Network to perform the live webcast, a more creative solution is proposed. They aim to use MIME types. Innovatively uploading the video file as an “Internet Streaming Video” file will thus allow the webcast to be presented synchronously with minimum interruption.

3.1 One-North Junior College – The E-Lecture and Web Design Work Team

The first category of case studies features educational institutions that have either performed live streaming in an ad hoc manner or have developed an application focused on specific functions. It is interesting to note that schools and junior colleges were amongst the first and earliest users of the technology within the educational sector.

Case studies of live streaming in Singaporean educational institutions

4. IV. Best Practices for Implementing Live Streaming in Education

  1. On-demand options: Incorporate supplementary on-demand videos into course content that students can access when they are unable to attend a class or require material access.
  2. Intellectual property and copyright: Without violating any intellectual property rules and copyright laws, create guidelines to prepare students and instructors on correctly using copyrighted and open-access teaching materials and student content in the course context.
  3. Accessibility and inclusiveness: Take steps to ensure that the resources, learning content, and experiences are accessible and inclusive to all students, regardless of their backgrounds.
  4. Suitably trained staff: Ensure that the staff candidates assigned to conduct live streaming successfully undergo sufficient training to use the equipment and software and have the skills needed to manage student learning during class.
  5. Interactive and engaging: Opt to have live streaming solutions that offer interactive and engaging features for lecturers and students, so that the experience of real-time two-way communication can be effectively facilitated.
  6. Quality of implementation: Invest in high-quality technical equipment and infrastructure for the live streaming implementation to ensure it meets the required standards of assessment and teaching quality.
  7. User-centric design: Identify what the preferences of the target audience are and design the live streaming process to meet those preferences.
  8. Suitable use-case scenario: Select and plan for use-case scenarios that make the best sense for the institution and can optimize the strengths of live streaming as a technology.

In summary, here are some best practices for implementing live streaming in educational contexts based on the insights collected from the survey responses.

Best practices for implementing live streaming in education:

4.1. A. Planning and Preparation

  1. Planning and Preparation A1. Market Research We recommend institutions to carry out a “market” study to understand the teaching requirements of users. The study should include workshops with various segments of users, to gain a realistic understanding of the short-to-midterm teaching and learning requirements. As user behavior changes and matures with technology changes, continuous studies to gain feedback for longer-term development are recommended. Additionally, institutions are advised to be aware of the institution’s coincidence with corporate training needs. It is common to find such requirements in business schools and social science faculties, and in countries with a regional focus or a mother-tongue education objective.

Phase one of the live streaming implementation process largely involves familiarizing oneself with the relevant technology, as well as understanding the current and future teaching requirements of the users. We will discuss the need for planning and some of the preliminary preparations that can be made to provide a good foundation for “user-centric” live streaming implementations.

4.2. B. Engaging Students and Faculty

Current students grew up in a time where they have easy access to instant messaging, video sharing, podcasts, and newsreaders. They are mobile and able to seek information when they want it. Podlasov et al. found that less than half of the time that students listen to the lecturer, they are engaged and that only 1 in 5 participants are fully attentive. This is where live streaming can help by allowing students to view a lecture before it is held, during its actual commencement, and even after the lecture has ended. Students are then free to replay portions of the lecture that they didn’t catch on their first viewing at their convenience, fast-forwarding and pausing the video, all features that users of video sharing sites enjoy.

Currently, live streaming solutions in use cater mostly to the broadcast of lectures, seminars, and workshops. However, as Web 2.0 technology is integrated into the communicative behaviors of students and faculty, it is important to recognize and consider the impact of live streaming on student learning. This includes the incorporation of additional Web 2.0 technology to create a more interactive environment for students. To address difficulties faced by students with access to broadband via slow internet connections, mobile live streaming apps can be made available to students for use in coffee shops, parks, and even within campus.

5. V. Future Trends and Innovations in Live Streaming for Education

Future trends in live streaming products and equipment for online education will flourish when they can: enhance students’ access beyond physical and geographical constraints to treat distance learners similarly to those receiving educational services in physical proximity. Deliver friendly content that meets students’ objectives anytime and from any place; that is, anytime, anywhere education. Present cost savings in brick buildings, community rents, overhead costs, and Virtualized Communication Networks. Allow a green environment to work depending on current global savings of energy and conservation of natural resources. Provide flexible customization, adaptivity, and ubiquity that adheres to accurate, effective, and efficient information communication and learning (ICL) principles for relevant benefits allowing ubiquitous, flexible, personalized, and interactive learning evidenced and constructed through delivery providers and learning ecosystem.

Evolving student needs, new andragogical and pedagogical discoveries are some of the aspects that harmonically converge. In today’s education landscape, learning happens at any time and place without the constraints of physical boundaries. To stay relevant, institutions have started offering distance education to students who want a flexible, self-paced education. This ‘online education’ for both initial and supplementary learning has motivated institutions to extend their reach to a larger online audience. To serve an audience asking for relevant and current content information to be fed to them in a compact, easy and fast format, big data and advanced analytics capabilities are required to pave new processes. Codecs adaptation requires to be critically balanced, negotiating appropriate quality and file size for varied levels of broadband connections, to present an effective and efficient flipped environment to relinquish learning to a fluid dimension of time and space.

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