What is Livestreaming?

What is livestreaming?

Livestreaming is the process of transmitting live video and audio content over the internet. It’s viewed in real time by an audience, and allows them to interact directly with the content creator through comments, chat and even live polling. This interaction is what sets livestreaming apart from other media formats.

Livestreaming

Unlike pre-recorded videos (which can be edited before being shared), livestreams allow viewers to witness events as they happen. This gives a sense of authenticity.

Livestreaming has transformed the way we engage with and share content online. It’s also altered the way we connect with different types of content and people online. From gaming and entertainment to education and business, the possibilities of livestreaming seem endless! It’s a powerful tool for sharing real-time experiences, information and entertainment with a global audience.

As technology continues to evolve, livestreaming is likely to become an  integral part of our digital lives, reshaping how we share and experience content. It’s also becoming an increasingly popular way for children to interact with others online too.

A bit of history.

The concept of livestreaming has been around for decades, but it’s really gained popularity since the internet, digital technology and social media came about.

Back in the 1990s, internet radio stations began broadcasting live audio content. In the mid-2000s video streaming platforms (like YouTube) emerged, offering users the ability to broadcast live video content. Then in 2011, dedicated gaming platforms (such as Twitch) came about and revolutionised gaming content with it’s livestreaming services. Shortly afterwards Facebook and Twitter launched their livestreaming features on their platforms in 2015, closely followed by Instagram in 2016.

Today, it’s evolved into a versatile online tool with a wide range of applications for things such as:

  • Gaming – Platforms like Twitch and YouTube Gaming allows gamers to livestream their gameplay, interact with viewers and build communities around their content.
  • Entertainment – Music festivals, sports events and entertainment shows are often livestreamed for global audiences, providing access to events no matter where you are in the world!
  • Education – Livestreaming has transformed education, with online classes, webinars and tutorials becoming increasingly popular.
  • Business and marketing – Companies use livestreams for product launches, virtual trade shows and Q&A sessions to engage with their customers in real time.
  • Social connection – People livestream their daily lives, from cooking and travel vlogs to product reviews. It lets them connect with their viewers on a personal level.

What is the impact of livestreaming?

Livestreaming can be a powerful and entertaining tool, but it also comes with certain dangers (especially when it involves children). Here are some of the key risks and challenges associated with livestreaming for children:

  • Privacy concerns – Livestreaming often involves sharing personal information. This includes real names, locations, and sometimes even contact information. Children might unknowingly expose themselves to potential privacy threats such as doxing, stalking or identity theft.
  • Online predators – Unfortunately, there are people who use livestreaming platforms to groom or exploit children. These predators might pose as another child, or offer gifts and fame, all while attempting to establish a dangerous offline connection.
  • Cyberbullying – Children who livestream are at higher risk of cyberbullying and online harassment. Negative comments , hateful messages and threats from their viewers can have a severe impact on their emotional wellbeing.
  • Inappropriate content – Livestreaming platforms aren’t always moderated effectively. Children might be exposed to inappropriate, explicit or harmful content while watching or engaging with live broadcasts.
  • Peer pressure – Children may feel pressure to engage in risky behaviours, or make questionable decisions to gain more attention and followers. In some cases, they may engage in pranks or harmful activities while livestreaming, which can sometimes even lead to legal consequences.

How can livestreaming impact education?

Children may prioritise livestreaming over their schoolwork or other responsibilities, leading to decreased academic performance.

Constant livestreaming can also lead to online addiction, where children become overly dependent on their digital devices and the validation they get from their online audience. This can lead to problems with excessive screen time use. This can have negative impacts on a child’s physical health, such as eye strain, disrupted sleep patterns and ability to concentrate in school.

Their online behaviour (such as carrying out pranks or harmful activities) can impact others, and this might lead to problematic relationships with their fellow students. Some actions can have big repercussions, which can even damage their prospects in future!

Protecting children.

Schools can play a crucial role in helping children stay safe with livestreaming! Teach your students about online safety, including privacy settings, cybersecurity, and the potential consequences of sharing personal information online.

Your school should also set clear guidelines for responsible livestreaming within the school community. Take a look at KCSIE for further guidance, as this promotes a culture of respect and kindness, and discourages any form of bullying or harassment during livestreaming activities.

Want to strengthen your school’s safety initiatives even further? Then why not hold workshops or information sessions for parents and staff too! Discuss the risks associated with livestreaming, and how to mitigate them.

By incorporating digital literacy and online safety into your school’s curriculum, you can empower students with the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible online choices!

How can we help?

We’re your school’s first line of defence in online safety! We provide schools and trusts all over the UK with the very best bespoke school broadband, safeguarding and security solutions. Including school internet filtering, firewalls for schools, backup lines and VoIP systems for schools. Meaning your students stay safe while they surf the web.

With full fibre broadband connections, flexible contract lengths and download speeds of up to 10Gbps, you can smash the DfE’s standards! And all our broadband packages are customisable so you can tailor it to exactly suit your school or trust. In addition, you can add our super web filtering, monitoring, firewalls and anti-virus solutions to keep your school safe too. Plus it’s all fully compliant with KCSIE, Prevent Duty and Internet Watch Foundation standards!

Just get in touch if you’d like to find out more about how we can help you with your school or trust’s connectivity or safeguarding!

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