Just sitting here on a sunny Saturday morning listening to Sinéad O’Connor on #ds106radio broadcasting live from New Zealand, things could be a lot worse. Speaking of the radio, this week Chahira Nouira and I hosted the second Karaoke session in as many weeks that was broadcast to edtech’s only freeform radio station!
— Chahira Nouira (@CosmoCat) December 15, 2021
This session was part of ALT’s Winter Online Conference, and KaraOERoke is synonymous with ALT given this tradition has been so closely tied to the OER Conference (run by ALT) as far back as 2017 in London. In fact, a couple of Reclaimers plan on returning to London this Spring for OER 2022 to try our hand at some hybrid KaraOERoke, so I guess you’ll just have to submit a proposal to find out more 🙂
— OER Open Education Conference (@OERConf) December 14, 2021
Anyway, I do think the setup for this edition of KaraOERoke was the tightest yet. The approach was similar to the setup for the OERcamp Global conference in that we used Owncast for folks to watch the stream and chat—and the chat was en fuego for this one which was super fun. I also registered the domain reclaimkaraoke.com so that I can create subdomains for the various karaoke sessions. I named this one altcwinter21.reclaimkaraoke.com -but the nice part is these Owncast instances can be spun up and spun down as needed so no need to keep them beyond the event. In fact, the subdomain URL for the event can just link to the archived video after the fact, which means it might make sense to setup a Reclaim Karaoke Peertube* instance at reclaimkaroke.com, nothing like having a good idea while writing:)
Below is an archive of the session, which Maren Deepwell was the thus far unmentioned co-host and participant. Maren is amazing, and getting the opportunity to connect with her is reason enough for KaraOERoke. In fact, the ALT team pretty much made up the audience, and I for one am super grateful to the great folks like Emma-Jane and Emma McAllister for not only cheering us all on, but joining the singing fray. They made it awesome.
Couple of things Chahira and I chatted about at the end of the session after the dust settled. Overall it is getting better …
- We demonstrated how to share your audio when screen sharing in Zoom, which would have helped for OERcamp. to avoid technical issues.
- We did not have any real audio ducking this time around, and part of that is because we used our Zoom room. I think we if use other folks’s Zoom rooms we have to adjust audio settings accordingly.
- The production value is still wonky when switching between hosts and singers. I should have brought Maren in through obs.ninja like Chahira, and all hosts need green screens so we can really tie the room together.
- I am working currently on getting a third monitor because I do think isolating Zoom windows of singers and being able to capture the chat would be a nice touch, but right now I don’t have enough screen real estate to do the share screen, manage OBS, and deal with the many windows of Zoom.
- In terms of screen real estate, Streamdeck helped a lot on this front given I could switch shots, bring up banners, and start/stop recordings and streaming with the click of a dedicated button. That said, we still need to monitor what is streaming out, so not perfect yet.
- One good thing is that Loopback is in a place that all audio is being recorded seamlessly, so that is a huge win. When I share my screen folks both in Zoom and on the stream can hear me as well as any Youtube video sounds, so audio has been pretty dialed-in. And that means the radio stream is equally tight. I just need to work on making the shows establishing shot and karaoke transitions more seamless. There is much more to be done on the video side of the house.
- It is also might be high time to talk with Bryan Mathers about some Reclaim Karaoke art, I mean it is time to turn it up to 11 🙂
I do want to do more regular Karaoke sessions for fun in 2022. Need to think of a good day and time once or twice a month for a karaoke crew to get together in order to make this stuff a bit more streamlined and regular. Practice makes perfect. I also still have plans for streaming some Italian cop films from the 1970s on bava.tv, but that is a separate project. In fact, one of the things we discussed with Maren after doing an impromptu analysis of the song “Last Christmas” by Wham in this Karaoke session was the possibility of a movie watching event in the spirit of Mystery Science Theater 3000 as part of the virtual event for OER22. Not sure if this makes sense, but once again something I would love to play around with.
*Here’s to hoping Peertube gets a live chat feature for streaming videos soon, cause that means that could be the one-stop-shop for Reclaim karaoke, but I do like the simple visuals of Owncast’s layout.