The new Meerkat app has taken the tech world by storm. Especially in the cubicles of Silicon Valley and the newsrooms of political sites, early adopters of Meerkat are trying to figure out how this real-time streaming video app will transform both social media and news reporting.
In the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign, major news personalities have been signing up for Meerkat like their jobs depend on it — and maybe they do. Now, no political candidate is safe from a phone’s camera lens. More than ever before, any citizen solider can become a news maker. Just like the Internet heralded the slow demise of the daily print newspaper, Meerkat may spell the end of corporate news conglomerates.
Essentially, Meerkat merges the best of real-time video sources into one app. It is a combination of FaceTime, Skype, Vine, Instagram, and Google Hangouts. It makes any person with an iPhone capable of broadcasting live TV.
Once you authorize Meerkat, all of your Twitter followers will see your video, live, immediately in their stream. The video is saved on your device, but for your followers, à la SnapChat, the video disappears after airing. Because it piggybacks onto your already existing Twitter network, Meerkat has no barriers to entry. Your current followers will see whatever you are broadcasting. Compared to prior technologies, it elevates a time-delayed recording or a static photograph into an instantaneous, interpersonal communication.
The possibilities for using Meerkat in education are only beginning to emerge. Here are 10 possible uses for the Meerkat app in the classroom or in working with students in general:
- Real-time streaming of class lessons to kids who are absent or at home
- Genuine remote learning for children in rural or inaccessible environments
- Super-chats of study groups before tests and quizzes
- Global connections across continents for widespread cohorts of schools and learners
- In-the-moment broadcasts of school plays, sporting events, and assemblies for families
- Authentic connections for working parents to classroom events like speeches and projects
- Sincere professional development for teachers to join educational conferences remotely
- Democratization of TED talks and other "experts" to reach all audiences without webinars
- Immediate access to major news stories and current events on mobile devices
- Tracking of political candidates for 2016 in history and Social Studies classes