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UCL partners with Twitter to broadcast lecture on Periscope

24 October 2016

A UCL lecture will be live-streamed around the world today on the Periscope platform, in the first partnership of its kind with a UK university. 

The lecture, taking place on Monday 24 October at 1pm, will be given by Professor Daniel Miller (UCL Anthropology) as part of the MSc programme in Digital Anthropology. 

Available for iOS and Android devices, the Periscope live-streaming video app gives everyone the ability to share and watch live broadcasts from their mobile phone, enabling interactive two-way communications between broadcaster and viewer in real time. During a live stream, viewers can connect directly with the broadcaster by sending messages or sharing their support by tapping the screen to send Hearts. The app was acquired by Twitter in early 2015, shortly after it was launched. 

This will be the first academic lecture to be Periscoped in partnership with a university, allowing an enormous potential audience to view and engage with the content, which is based on findings from the ‘Why We Post’ research project – which investigated how social media is used around the world.

Why We Post

This landmark project saw nine UCL anthropologists each spend 15 months living in eight countries in communities as varied as an English village, a factory town in North China, and a community on the Turkish-Syrian border. Each team member conducted in-depth analysis into how the local populations behave and interact across social media channels and how these platforms are impacting on the way we live our lives, with the findings available via a dedicated website with more than 100 films, a free e-learning course (MOOC) on FutureLearn and 11 Open Access books published by UCL Press. The course and website are available in eight languages.

Professor Daniel Miller (UCL Anthropology), said: “This will be a really interesting experiment for us. We are keen to share our findings with wider audiences and we’ve used a number of different platforms to do this – in particular the FutureLearn MOOC that we run as part of the Why We Post project. I am looking forward to seeing how using Periscope plays out, who we reach, how viewers interact with the lecture content and the impact it has on the learning of our students in the room.”

Lewis Wiltshire, Senior Director of Media Partnerships at Twitter, added: “We’re excited to work in partnership with UCL to get Periscope users to the front row of the lecture theatre to hear the findings of the Why We Post project. Periscope transports viewers to unique locations round the world to see compelling content in real-time, which is why the app can be used as a highly-engaging and creative educational tool. We hope to continue developing a presence in the educational space, reaching new student and teacher audiences, and this partnership is a great example of how Periscope can be used.”

The MSc in Digital Anthropology is a cutting-edge taught postgraduate programme that combines professional development and methods training with a solid grounding in anthropological theory and critical analysis. Based within the Material Culture section of UCL Anthropology Department, the MSc is the first program to embed digital studies so deeply within anthropology and the ideal course to experiment with different digital platforms to deliver the academic content.

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Media contact

Chris Lane

Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 9041

Email: chris.lane [at] ucl.ac.uk