How to Use YouTube Live Streaming for Free Lecture Capture

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[This guest post by Timothy A Lepczyk also also appeared on his own blog, Eduhacker, today. --@JBJ]
When I first heard that Google was discontinuing Hangouts on Air, I panicked. However, that was unwarranted. Hangouts on Air is moving to Youtube Live and you can still use it as a free lecture-capture solution, while saving your institution $20K+ at the same time.


If you’ve used Hangouts on Air before, then you already have a Youtube Channel. If not, then you’ll need to create a channel. Once you are logged into Youtube, click on My Channel.

The Video Manager link is right above your banner and profile images

Then, click on Video Manager in the middle of the page, right above your banner image.


Next, you’ll click on Live Streaming in the Creator Studio panel. It’s annoying that there are all these extra steps getting to the right screen. You can go directly to the webpage through this URL:

Click Events.

Counter-intuitively, click on Events in the lefthand menu. Do not click on Stream now. That will take you down the rabbit-hole of needing an encoder and downloading additional software. I did that the first time and it made me doubt Youtube Live as a feasible alternative.


Click New live event in the top right. Don’t click on Go live now, if there is a blue banner right above the New live event button.

This next screen will look extremely similar to the set-up of Hangouts on Air. Give your lecture a title. I often use the course code and date. You don’t need to add a description or tags. You can set the link for public, unlisted, or private. I always use unlisted as I then embed the video into our learning management system (Moodle). Make sure the radio button for Quick (using Google Hangouts On Air) is checked. If you accidentally select Custom, it will take you through the whole encoding set-up, which is a pain to use. Click Go live now once you’ve entered your title and set the permissions. Before using this, I suggest you familiarize yourself with the Advanced settings.

Make sure the radio button for Quick (using Google Hangouts on Air) is checked.

You will now be brought to the Hangouts screen. Click Screenshare and select Entire Screen to capture all of the content on your screen. If you select a specific program it might mess up recording. For instance, if you select Power Point, the presentation does not show up, but instead it will just be the first slide in edit mode. Click Start Broadcast to begin recording. There will be a three second countdown and then recording / broadcasting begins. Make sure to click Stop Broadcast at the bottom of the Hangouts screen when you are finished.

Click Screenshare and select Entire Screen to capture all of the content on your screen. Click Start Broadcast to begin recording.

By the time you walk back to your office, the recorded lecture will processed and accessible under the Video Manager link. Have you used Hangouts on Air or YouTube Live for lecture capture? Let us know in comments!

Photo “Quiet Zone, Lecture Going On” by Flickr user (and friend-of-ProfHacker!) Derek Bruff / Creative Commons licensed BY-NC-2.0

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