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The Latest Student Technology Trend - Trouble Just Below the Surface

Student misuse of mobile devices is a constant struggle for teachers. While there is great power and instructional potential when teachers harness this technology, unfortunately, it can be equally dangerous and destructive in a classroom when used inappropriately by students. The latest trend that every teacher should know about is a live video streaming app called Periscope.

Launched in May of 2015, Periscope allows users to stream live video showing where they are and what they are doing. All videos are public, meaning that it can be viewed by anyone. Periscope is a companion app to Twitter, therefore making it easy for students to receive notifications of live Periscope videos and to comment using their Twitter username.

In some regards, the dangers of Periscope are no different from those associated with students posting videos of school fights or unsolicited videos during class to sites like YouTube, Vine, or Instagram. The difference, however, is that these sites generally don't support live streaming and can be quickly removed by the student if brought to the attention of the teacher or school administrator. Because Periscope is live and can be viewed by everyone - including strangers outside of the student's social media network - there is no chance to quell potential fallout from the video. As soon as the student begins broadcasting, the damage is already done.

As a substitute teacher, it is vital that you keep aware of trends such as the use of Periscope. If you notice a student broadcasting on Periscope during class, do not over-react. Your actions are likely being viewed live by someone. Remain calm and ask the student to turn off his or her phone. Then, inform the building administrator immediately!

For more ways to best prepare yourself to be a great substitute teacher, be sure to follow our blog! If you have experienced a student using Periscope or another similar app in your class, we'd love to hear about it. Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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