June15 , 2024

Exploring the Benefits of Interactive Live Streaming for Singaporean Educators

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1. Introduction to Interactive Live Streaming

This study adopted a qualitative, interpretivist research methodology. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with a purposive sample of instructors from polytechnics, universities, and career schools. The study identified eight primary benefits arising from the adoption of interactive live streaming during education processes, namely, novel acquaintance, transparency, easement, circumvention of technology inertia, stress relief, convenience, pedagogical reinvention, and cost efficiency. No negative impact was identified in the perception of the instructors. With this study, we concluded that interactive live streaming Singapore has the potential to be an integral part of the educational technology ecosystem. The recommendations arising from the study should serve as a guide for policy and decision-makers as interactive live streaming gains more traction as part of the pedagogical toolset.

Educators today are leveraging many digital media tools to actively engage millennial learners who are inherently digital, visual, and connected. Tsai, Tsai, & Lin (2017) argued that educators can tap into live streaming (not recorded video) to reduce the psychological gap existing between the educator and the learners. The advancement in technology has made streaming live videos via apps available and easy to both digital natives and digital immigrants. Such accessibility and ease present a new landscape to explore a new learning approach. The purpose of this empirical investigation is to explore the benefits of interactive live streaming as perceived by the instructors in Singapore.

1.1. Definition and Overview

This project represents the unearthing of early-stage pioneer initiatives in the usage of Tableau-de-poo and presets the need for a comprehensive in-depth drill-down of the MOE ILO review process post full implementation and integration of live streaming into global teacher training and ongoing learning. To foster sustainable benefits in an environment where many teachers in the future will probably only experience interacting with students in a virtual live streaming mature learning classroom instead of a flesh-and-blood room, a new mindset on the full potential, limitations and pedagogical value of teaching or learning in a live stream service executive learning environment had to be adapted. Based on observations yielding evidence that points to interactive with Tableau-de-poo, our research, essentially, suggests that to date, both educators and students have yet to exploit the full benefits of live streaming technology that currently lurk within plain view.

As live streaming reaches foundational status on the internet and is perceived unquestionably as being a simple, easy-to-access technology, educators around the world have pivoted to this platform to support conventional teaching in transforming lessons into explorable and interactive models that students appreciate. In the Singapore context, the Ministry of Education, Singapore officially switched on the green light for the use of live streaming as an educational resource in March 2017, explaining that “the Ministry of Education (‘MOE’), schools, supporting vendors, seek to provide the use of live streaming as part of Infocomm technology-enabled infrastructure tools to support teaching and learning in schools worldwide. Predominantly reliant on Tableau-de-poo and observer experiences governing these developments in global educational modes, the present study, specifically, monitored 97 educators participating in 56 live streaming sessions to uncover how they actually interacted versus the theoretical claims regarding the benefits of live streaming technology.

1.2. Evolution and Adoption in Education

The adoption of live streaming in teaching could be approached from the viewpoint of technology evolution. Over the past thirty decades, a variety of innovations in university teaching has evolved, illustrated mainly by technologies developed in accordance with their widespread use, accessibility, economy, usability, pedagogical flexibility, productivity, and user-friendly functions arising as a product of the dynamic growth of the Internet. The evolution process also reflects the present belief and highlights positive aspects of the new function. Moreover, large research universities, for instance, have emphasized extensive corporate training activities, public K-12 initiatives, distance partnerships, and courses that reach audiences worldwide. These observations imply a wide interest in collaborative, cost-effective learning support among educators generally, which can be exploited by experimenting with educational systems to understand learning behavior. On the other hand, in the case of Singapore, post-secondary students are, however, both academically and technologically savvy, leading to the urgency of educators to keep abreast of new technologies.

2. The Role of Live Streaming in Education

For learners, live streaming transcends the barriers of time and place, allowing them to learn from wherever the platform is accessible. Learners are also able to take advantage of the increasing number of free live streamed events and resources available. These events range from science, history, and literature to programming, computer education, and software usage instructions, to name a few, and are resources freely available to any student or educator with an internet connection. Other resources, such as video on demand (VOD), video recordings of live streamed events, can be replayed whenever needed; this feature of live streaming can be especially helpful for learners who may have missed live streamed events for various reasons or may find them to be too difficult.

The proliferation of live streaming in education has provided valuable opportunities for educators to reach learners who may not always find success through traditional methods. Live streaming allows educators to connect with learners across geographical boundaries. Through live streaming, educators can break free from the institutional and geographical limitations on teaching that have been present for centuries. The traditional, large group instruction model where a set curriculum is delivered to an entire class at a fixed location and pace can be replaced by a direct transmission model with amplifying personalized individual attention in the form of live interactivity; a dynamic, flexible, and responsive educational constructivist model. In this paper, we will consider the role of live streaming in education, outline its benefits, and illustrate its application to the Singaporean education landscape.

2.1. Enhancing Student Engagement

While research has praised interactive live streaming for facilitating student-educator interactions, concerns of disengaged students missing class have also been raised. The latter-mentioned Singaporean educator was cognizant that there are students who ‘weren’t watching, that they were doing other things, talking to each other, playing games’, but felt she was still teaching the students who were watching. She was realistic in admitting that her class may never be ‘100% just focused on the lecture’, but her main concern has always revolved around the students’ ability to understand the content. On the other hand, a 2012 study suggested that coursework delivered via emerging technology motivates students to attend virtually, suggesting that the act of attending the live stream is engaging in itself. Not all students who are physically present in a traditional classroom are engaged, with the challenge to both educators and students being designing new ways of learning and teaching in different environments, including those online.

Interactive live streaming supports synchronous student-educator interactions hitherto exclusive to the traditional classroom, potentially enhancing student engagement. Educators have described greater interactions during lessons, as they are able to clarify doubts and answer questions in real time as they arise, though they may incur more technical problems because of the live interaction. These responses in the survey findings were echoed in several global live-streaming studies, which have similarly recognized the interactive opportunities of live streaming. Case study findings involving two Singaporean educators further identified tools provided by the interactive platform as helpful in boosting student engagement, with both educators using interactive questions and polls regularly. These tools forced student responses and involvement, ensuring students were not mere passive viewers, with an educator highlighting how ‘using Tophat to create multiple-choice and open-ended questions made her lectures more engaging.’ The interactive tools also varied the lesson pace, catering to different student learning preferences.

2.2. Facilitating Remote Learning

The remote education association embraces both student learning through technology outside the campus in different regions and participating in real-time classroom discussion in their educational setting. It is this latter focal point, the live broadcast of an instructional session from the classroom that resembles a TV show and that has many loudly singing its praises. Why? Because it is claimed that no matter where the student or learner is, it is as if they are in the classroom because everything is heard or seen just as it is heard or seen within the classroom. While the distinction may seem subtle, the difference is real and the reality is that interactive live streaming is blurring the definition of remote teaching.

The use of the internet to support learning is not new. With technology, the spectrum of learning can be expanded to include off-campus locations and asynchronous and synchronous communication. It is this last attribute of the internet that allows educators or instructors and learners to cooperate and collaborate in real time. The internet has been used for distance education where students are located in off-campus sites. Students are connected to their instructors using instructional systems, technology tools, and communication systems. In contrast, remote education uses the internet to transport real-time teaching and learning activity to and from locations of the same educational setting.

3. Interactive Features and Tools for Educators

Empowering educators to produce interactive LSPs as an alternative to passive video hosting is an effective use of ILS. As in Mixer, ILS should have interactive features that are easily set up and do not require programming. Enabling interactivity with low entry barriers means teachers or students themselves can easily produce LSPs to boost learning, and it is flexible and customizable to their teaching needs. Gadgets like Demo plug-ins are also used in ILS, where it is common for time-limited trial providers to use such a plug-in to turn on only during the limited dedicated trial period. Teachers or students who wish to use them may have to contact the sales team of these product developers to request for their gadget to be activated for active use beyond the trial period. This therefore acts as advertisements for their product, providing educators and students a taste of the capabilities of that plugin, such as on-the-fly user question polling, chat boxes, other video links, and file or screen sharing.

3.1. Polls and Quizzes

There is one drawback to having quizzes. This is that the ILS platform designer will have to slot lesson content around quizzes. Some degree of coordination between the lesson content designer and the quiz coder will be necessary, since heavy amounts of lesson time will be lost if the quiz had to be answered by everyone. Where the ILS broadcast involves a lecture on the various mathematics problem-solving strategies, the broadcaster can first teach students how to solve problems later to be discussed using a specific strategy, before setting the quiz. Naturally, the quiz would only be meaningful if the ILS broadcaster is confident of his students’ basic ability to use the strategy for daily problem solving. Shifting student knowledge absorption to a level above the first knowledge application is rarely possible in actual classroom scenarios. However, the interaction function built into the new media has presented educators with a unique knowledge transfer enhancement tool.

Polls and quizzes are features that have been built into several ILS applications. Such functions allow ILS broadcasters to engage their audience while at the same time gaining immediate feedback on audience opinions regarding certain matters discussed in the lecture or to assess the level of understanding of a topic. In the case of quizzes, such information can be used by the ILS broadcaster to adjust the pace of the lecture to ensure that knowledge absorption by the audience is optimal. At the same time, it can be used to provide breaks from non-stop content consumption and create a sense of competitiveness to prevent students from getting bored with the lessons. Such activities help to spike students’ interest and attention, thus facilitating better knowledge absorption. Polls and quizzes can also create opportunities for educators to have a quick temperature check on their students’ understanding of the lecture, and allow the ILS broadcasters to identify the topics which the students are confident or weak in.

3.2. Interactive Whiteboards

In addition, teachers can easily create, develop, and present learning materials in interactive formats. Padilla-Zea et al. studied different software applications designed for interactive whiteboards to teach Spanish to deaf children and adolescents and found that Mica, while not the only tool, was a tool that can be used to adapt learning software to better meet the educational needs of deaf children. Especially, Mandal et al. reported other usages included interdisciplinary teaching, multimodal aspects, collaboration, degree of abstractness, and digital mediation.

Interactive whiteboards are an interactive technology that displays images projected from a computer via a digital projector onto the board’s surface. Users then interact with the screen by using a finger as a mouse, similar to touching the screen of a smartphone or tablet. Digital pens and electronic or free-drawn lines, shapes, and colors are also used to render the screen interactive. A major advantage of using an interactive whiteboard is its flexibility in accessing a wide variety of computer resources. The whiteboard will help make lessons more engaging by improving interactivity and digital literacy. Specifically, interactive whiteboard tools can be interactive teaching tools for teaching and learning, which provide a flexible learning environment and stimulate students’ learning. However, some challenges also exist in classroom management and learners’ motivational engagement in the use of interactive whiteboards.

4. Case Studies and Success Stories

Educators can also form part of a global teaching community by participating or setting up a small collaborative teaching project to allow for cross-cultural sharing of knowledge and experience. As educators, we must start to capitalize on the affordances of live streaming as another channel to provide customized and authentic context for our students so as to enable them to benefit from international exposure that will make them into smarter and internationally savvy workers in the 21st century.

Interactive live streaming can open up a whole new world of opportunities for educators and provide experiences that would otherwise require significant cost or resources to organize. This chapter draws some potential scenarios in which live streaming can be used by educators to curate rich and meaningful experiences for their students. These include arranging for guest talks by leading experts in their respective fields, lecture or seminar experiences at overseas institutions, or attending and participating in international festivals and performances.

4.1. Singaporean Schools Implementing Live Streaming

The students are vocal in appreciating the benefits of the streaming system; they feel like they are part of the event. It’s different than watching recorded videos. The interactive aspect of live streaming conditions the students as participants in the event instead of just the on-looking audience. It is a novel experience that strays from the common sit-down-and-watch enhancer needed, and increases the effectiveness of the live event. The students do not just interact with their peers within the classroom, but also with students from other schools. The provision of red packets and cue cards to follow the event programme is a reminder to students in their virtual classroom to participate actively in the live event by supporting emcees and performers. The active participation of the students creates a learning environment in a networked classroom. As such, the system becomes a key tool for teaching and learning strategy.

In recent years, the implementation of live streaming has gained popularity in some schools. Live streaming allows schools to stream selected school events like timetabling exercises and award ceremonies to the students. It enables students who are unable to come physically to the school to be part of special events like Total Defence Day and National Day Parade. The online streamed event enabled the students to perform class activity in their classrooms while watching it. This system is instrumental in ensuring that the students remain engaged as it allows for active learning; they can take part in the activity in real time.

5. Conclusion and Future Directions

In view that education is implemented at a large scale and complexity of performance, there are still more research efforts that can be carried out on adapting gaming technologies or other sources of innovative designs that enable greater educational efficacies, within the parameters of “stand-and-deliver” courses or larger group sizes, the lecture theatre settings, or even improving budget constraints without further training the application. To avoid educators continuing to engage the students at a very superficial level, researchers are urged to explore more attributes of ILS holidaying leading to discussions and to the co-creation of knowledge.

This exploratory case study is based on the evidence of the educational efficacy from two individual educators who voluntarily agreed on the benefits of ILS from their adoption. However, the profile of these participants is more homogeneous: both are well-qualified in terms of education level and experience; both are highly motivated and enthusiastic about technology, e-sports, or digital playgrounds. Their students seem either to possess an appreciation of technology, game culture, or a certain level of digital literacy; although case 2 described a few students who, although disinterested, improved their performance just to complete the progress bar faster. Thus, it is challenging to make generalizations of the ILS benefits to educators or their students. One last important assertion is that attracting, capturing, and maintaining attention are paramount attributes to making the ILS more effective for educators, given that it does not overly restrain the structure of content or gameplay the agile learning.