Thursday, 25 October 2012



A common cell phone is all that is needed for streaming live video over the Internet which can be observed on any other computer (or regular TV channels, but that would require intermediaries, and cumbersome agreements …).

It requires of course a smartphone with a complete mobile operating system, and using the phone's webcam mode, it's WIFI and a mobile network, as well as a web account service which provides interactive live video broadcasting service, such as e.g. BAMBUSER.COM

The broadcast goes to a Internet server and within some seconds delay, the video shows up on the BAMBUSER website and perhaps embedded into a social media such as Facebook or another, if the user has that setting or selects that option during the transmission.


The benefits of live broadcasts from a mobile phone are many. It allows communication in everyday school life to become an exotic adventure, both for those who are geographically close, but especially for those who are distant, in a completely different place in the world: in a well developed e/Twinning network* live streaming feeds from a smartphone can be a relativly easy way to maintain a friendship.

* “A twinning is the coming together of two communities seeking, in this way, to take action with a European perspective and with the aim of facing their problems and developing between themselves closer and closer ties of friendship”

* “eTwinning is the community for schools in Europe // to collaborate using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) by providing the necessary infrastructure.”

If the teacher is assigned a smartphone, which he always wears in his pocket, and at any time is able to pick it up, and hand over to a student, an interesting spontaneous event may, in seconds, be broadcasted live. In this way teachers and students always are carrying, no matter where they are, not just the learning tool, but also the very idea of a developing and caring relationship. Why don't use the "eTwinning Modules"-kit to kick off a project or developing an already established one.

Apart from the actual webcam function, it is possible for the e/Twin school, from their computers, to add comments on what they see and hear on the screen; when the message is sent, it just pops up in the mobile phone's camera display. The reporter can read out the chat and use it in the story; answer it; or just let it speak for itself, or use it retrospectively for upcoming events.

Teachers and students may wish to share a local school event or something as simple as children playing in a schoolyard, or just a video stroll along their neighbourhood blocks:

You can easily broadcast an occurrence and the e/Twins, as well as parents and others can follow the adventure on their computers or smartphones, and add written comments or questions. By clicking the speech bubble button in the video screen above, you reach the messaging option; a complete stranger can add a comment to the broadcast - if the owner of the video has that settings at his web account - even years after it was shot. Give it a try! The owner will get a message that you've done so and can of course himself give a response in the same chat room. 

As Youtube, but live, with an intErTWINed instant messaging option. When the transmission is completed the video is stored in a file at the web account, and can be viewed at any time (see below).

It is also possible to make the clips private or public, in ex ante or in ex post or altering over time, or just shared with the ones you want on a social medium. On Facebook teachers and students may also have announced or agreed with the e/Twin school upon a targeted broadcast live. They may have ordered a video reportage about something culturally specific that their e-friends have accepted carry out, either exclusively live or/and on demand viewing. Viewers are using the chat, which both operate in real time (it could just be a simple hint to focus the camera at a detail in the panorama that's being viewed) or replay (the chat then turns into a sort of feedback of the recording, or an interactive polemical chat room where everyone's ideas evolve in a serious matter, and could imply that you decide to provide additional broadcasts which deepens the question at issue, not just the facts but also the cooperation.

”It is important to have an international perspective, to be able to understand one’s own reality in a glo-bal context and to create international solidarity, as well as prepare for a society with close contacts across cultural and national borders. Having an international perspective also involves developing an understanding of cultural diversity within the country.” Curriculum for the compulsory school system // Skolverket (2011:12).


The base service from Bambuser is free to consumers and non profit organizations; at the website the adventure starts with an advertising slogan:

“Share live moments from your mobile or webcam. Broadcast what's happening around you and chat with your viewers live.”And on the right there is a button that announces GET STARTED. The mini-mum age is 13 years.

You can sign up for free or subscribe. With the free version the account is visible to the public, but you can still transmit videos private, just doing the correct settings prior to transmission or after the broadcasting. If you want a hidden account the minimum services cost at least 100 dollars a month.

That unplugged web broadcasting services have explosive power shows the "Arab Spring" (2010 -), whose demonstrators and activists are sending videos from manifestations or other similar events, which means that the outside world rapidly can take part of what happens.

To get started with live coverages from a smartphone, you need first to download and install THE APPLICATION to the phone, which takes less than a minute. The web account you need can be agreed through the app or in advance from Bambusers website.

Then, of course, you immediately want to start broadcasting:

Just launch the Bambuser app, and the recording mode, with camera images and dashboard with three buttons, UPPLOAD; BROADCAST & SETTINGS, appears on the mobile phone's camera display

In this mode, you can start a live broadcast directly by tapping the red button BROADCAST, and during the transmission adjust some settings through an additional menu; such as focus and zoom; using the button SHARING (the icon pops up on the screen as soon as you start the recording) you can share your broadcast to external sites, on a private transmission there's only the Facebook option; public transmissions provide more opportunities. On the application's share menu it is even possible to add custom or predefined tags.

The transmission starts at the presets you have done prior to the SETTINGS. There you can set the title of the broadcast (a hash tag # before the title makes it searchable from the proper website), appropriate video and audio qualities; chose to broadcast in private or public. The UPPLOAD button covers a feature that can be used afterwards, i.e. uploading videos; if you don't have an Internet connection or lose it while recording or you simply want to record offline.

At your web account you can preset the possibility for viewers to chat unrestrictedly (or choose the private chat option or disable comments entirely), during the live broadcast messages appear at the bottom of your smartphone's camera screen

”The school is responsible for ensuring that each pupil on completing compulsory school: can use modern technology as a tool in the search for knowledge, communication, creativity and learning” Curriculum for the compulsory school system // Skolverket (2011:16).


From Bambuser viewers can follow transmissions (or in the social media where it's shared) in real time or retrospectively. Visitors can communicate through the chat feature, and even set their own tags. Next to the video screen a geo tagged map is displayed that points out where it's broadcasted or was broadcasted (the owner of the consignment has in the settings ticked the box which communicates the geographical context of his broadcasts).

On Bambusers homepage you will also find an overview list of all other ongoing public live broadcasts and latest uploaded videos, which you immediately can enjoy by clicking them.

At your private web account you find all your own videos where you can read the statistics about the number of your total broadcasts, times they've being viewed, and for each specific clip, the running time and the number of written messages, whether the video is private or public (which here can be adjusted) and the date of the recording. You can also edit other details such as title and tags, as well as up-date with which social media you want to share it.

Another tab lists the broadcasts you follow yourself; there is also a list where you take part of who follows your own broadcasts. There is also a calendar that shows upcoming general video event which you or other members have uploaded.

You can also use the webcam, DV camera or a standalone desktop app directly from the computer for live broadcasting. Using your PC or Mac allows more opportunities to make detailed settings at the web account.

Along with an applied sociocultural approach to learning, multilingualism and multimodality opens the door to a progression of knowledge in an increasingly globalized and technological world. What happens on the other side of the earth, we nowadays are not just having direct contact through computers, we can even influence the event, in real time making our voices and desires to be heard. A video reporter can fulfil the call and allow the viewer to participate interactively. It is a perfect eTwinning contact of God's grace. BAMBUSER.COM is a small step towards the Web 3.0!

”Focusing on the computer elements, Conrad Wolfram has argued that Web 3.0 is where 'the computer is generating new information', rather than humans.”

“In 2010, Finnish broadcasting channel YLE adopted Bambuser as an alternative platform for their online and news broadcasts. This allowed YLE to get more live coverage on their webpage, and allowed the viewers to interact with the reporters on the scene. (


Bambuser Ab, Sweden (2012), viewed 23 October 2012, <>

Curriculum for the compulsory school system, the pre-school class and the leisure-time centre 2011. (2011). Stockholm: Swedish National Agency for Education (Skolverket)

Estling Vannestål, Maria (2009). Lära engelska på Internet. 1. uppl. Lund: Studentlitteratur, an Information Today, Inc. (ITI) company, USA (2012), viewed 23 October 2012, <>

Talentum Media AB, Sweden (2012, viewed 23 October, <>

The Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., USA (2012),viewed 23 October 2012, <>


  1. Dear Leif,

    very interesting to share your experience. I have also used Bambuser where I used to work we had a 1-1 solution and MacBooks and we were allowed to install whatever we liked. A requirement to use Bambuser is iTunes and not all schools are too hapy about having iTunes installed I am afraid. I am looking forward to our 1-1 introduction next year.

    I made a minor trail and error mistake when I registered. I used my professional email and when one changes employer your email is gone. I haven't been able to recover my account and therefore I strongly recommend you to make sure you keep track of all services you register for, in order to change email in time.

    Of course, you could only use the mobile phones like you suggest. To tell you the truth I have not connected my mobile phone to the projector at school. I do not know if they are compatible, I would think you first of all need an adapter for the iPhone at least if your school's standard is not Mac. Have you tried this? What about the audio, would that work do you think?

    Get back if you have some hints, please.I am indeed looking forward to using Bambuser again. I have only used it within a class, I never got further than that, and like you write there are unlimited possibilites.

  2. I've used an HDMI-interface for transferring audio/video data from the phone to a smartboard and projector. It worked splendid! I don't know if Iphones are familiar with that system but with a Mac I've used a Mini DisplayPort, even that worked without difficulties.

  3. Dear Leif,

    I have with interest read your text about Bambuser and broadcasting live videos. Since I am participating in several eTwinning-projects which to a larger extent mean exchanging texts, Power Point-presentations and communicating through a common blog or Skype, this idea about using live video creates the possibility to meet live. Of course through Skype we can chat and meet in a more limited area, but with Bambuser and a common cell phone we can show each other our surroundings and by that feel that we come closer to each other.

    You give many examples of how to use these live videos, especially in projects like eTwinning. Have you tried them all yourself? It seems so easy to use, but were there any problems, anything that you had to deal with? Furthermore, have you used the idea in class or in a project where students at the same school were involved? I would really like to know, and also projects in which the ICT is not the purpose itself (or course you have not presented your idea about in that way, but sometimes ICT is used because it is fun since students are quite fond of making movies) but the possibility for students to show their skills in various ways.
    You write about broadcasting a school event or perhaps an outing and then parents or others can follow what we are doing. Of course we will have to check that every student or pupil participating in these videos have their parents’ permission, but is this easy to organize? Is there enough information on about what is required to do this or could you be so kind to tell me how the technology works, or where to find information about it? Where do we broadcast? On our school’s website? I would really like to know more. Furthermore, are there any regulations when it comes to broadcasting according to The Swedish Data Inspection Board? I will have to learn more about that.

    I am looking forward to using Bambuser and by that let the world outside our school come in to our classroom, or the other way round, make it possible for others to see what we do in school.

    Kind regards,