It didn’t cost much for WPS TV to start broadcasting successfully each morning, explains James Campbell.
We hand-built our school’s TV studio three years ago in the storage area behind the hall stage (where the gym mats and spare chairs are supposed to be stored, a much more creative use of space if you ask me!). It’s made out of cheap custom board and framing battens from the local hardware supplier. Paint came from the art supplies cupboard. The surfboard was found at the dump. The couch, the lighting and camera are all borrowed.
The camera is connected to a standard Intel desktop computer, which handles the video stream using free software called VLC (or Video Lan). VLC broadcasts the stream via our school network to our multimedia server. This is then streamed live into each classroom and viewed through the class data projector. At the same time, each episode goes on our school website, allowing parents and the wider school community to keep up with what’s happening. We have found that having the TV studio has given children a huge boost of confidence and a meaningful way of displaying and presenting their work. It’s a great communication tool ensuring that everyone is up-to-date with any changes or visitors to our school.
James Campbell teaches Years 5 and 6 at Waiheke Primary School. (He also used to present TV2’s Saturday Disney.)
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Categories: Issue 14