Youtube Live Channel
Streaming with an Encoder

Not for the faint of heart, this one demands a little technical know-how and patience. It’s not hard to create a live streaming channel, there’s just a lot of steps involved. The benefit of doing it is that your students can watch your lessons on their TV through their home streaming device like X-Box, Roku, Amazon Fire, etc. That way they can see what you’re trying to show them instead of looking at a wee little phone screen. It also allows teachers to use multiple devices to share more than one screen with their students.

Live stream on YouTube is probably the easiest way to get your live streaming class up and running for your students. You’re going to want to go to their support page for step-by-step directions and clarifications.

In order to livestream, you need an encoder on your computer or as a separate device. To learn more about those go to Create Live Stream with an encoder. Basically, an encoder digitizes your desktop as a live video and sends that over to Youtube where your students are logged in and watching. So, whatever you do on your desktop, your students will see. So, if you are taking video of yourself on camera talking, then your students see that too. If you are playing a game on your desktop, then your students see that as you are playing. Everything you do on your desktop is live and streaming to your YouTube Channel.

  • Download and setup an encoder.
  • Ensure that you’ve enabled your channel for Live streaming.
  • Click the upload icon (camera with a plus in it) in the upper right hand corner.
  • Click Go live.
    • Clicking this will take you to the Live control room, where you can set up your streams and go live.
  • At the top, select Stream.
  • Enter a title and description, and select a privacy setting. You can also add a custom thumbnail that represents your event, schedule your live stream for a later date, or enable monetization (if eligible).
  • Start your encoder. Go back to the live dashboard and wait for the preview to begin.
  • Click Go live on the right hand side.
  • To end the stream, click End Stream and stop sending content from your encoder. All streams under 12 hours will be automatically archived. You can access previous, current, and upcoming streams in the Live Tab on your YouTube Studio dashboard. Learn more

I have a Mac, so I chose AirServer as my encoder. Here’s a list of encoders and I urge you to check out reviews about them so you’re sure to get one that’s easy to use and works well. Before you can start streaming on YouTube, you need to download encoding software. This video teaches you about AirServer, but it also gives you insight into how to use this resource for distance learning.

What is an encoder?

An encoder is a device or application that takes your content and converts it into a digital format to stream on YouTube. In other words, encoders digitize videos and send it to YouTube to be live streamed to your viewers. Some encoders are stand-alone devices that take audio and video signal from a Camera or a PC. Other encoders are software applications running on a PC that capture video from a webcam or the computer.

Encoding (vs. webcam streaming) is best for live streams that include:

  • Sharing your screen or broadcasting your gameplay.
  • Using external audio/video hardware.
  • Managing an advanced production (like using multiple cameras and audio inputs).

Looking for an easier way to stream? If you don’t want to use an encoder, you can live stream via webcam and mobile.

Here’s a free online whiteboard that works well with your live streaming educational environment.

I hope this is helpful! I’ll be adding more resources soon, so check back. Follow me on Twitter to stay updated @bobbiegrennier. And here’s my own YouTube Channel soon to go live streaming.

Stay healthy!