I would like to think that one factor giving our writing some credibility is that we prepare teachers, but are also directly involved with classroom activities. I have written before about Cindy’s unique employment with both the university and the Grand Forks Schools.
The school in which Cindy does most of her work is located on an air force base. This situation presents some unique challenges. One and sometimes both parents may be deployed and as a consequence miss their son or daughter’s school activities. This reality became part of the school’s interest in streaming today’s end of year band and orchestra concert (actually the full concerts are this evening, but performances during the day allow the students to perform for peers).
The project was accomplished using UStream, a wireless connected laptop, and the type of camcorder you probably own. This is what the video looks like. I selected a frame with the intent of not revealing too much. The content was not recorded (although an option) because of copyright issues. I listened from my office. I have a pretty nice AV setup (Klipsch speakers, large monitors) and the sound quality was great (reminded me of the concerts I used to attend when my kids were the same age). The concert drew 33 online viewers.
There were a few glitches. Cindy had to operate the camcorder in record mode so that a signal could be sent to the computer. At one point, the tape had to be rewound so the camera would continue to function. The camera was plugged in, but the connection was bad so the battery ran down.
Cindy and I are chatting during the concert. I was attempting to let her know the first time I lost the signal. Mysterious things always seem to happen when technology is involved. Cindy seems to find the unexpected problems an interesting challenge. She decided she would go back this evening just in case.
The UStreamTv technology is very easy to implement. My previous experience was in viewing the distribution of conference presentations, but there would seem to be many school applications. The equipment requirements are minimal and getting started requires little preparation or background. Information is available online if you want to explore.