Grady Klein was busy editing a video that students made on a recent morning in Earl Shaw’s computer classroom at Oconee County High School, but his video experience this school year is taking a more adventurous leap.
The school now has the technology to broadcast events live on its website.
“Being able to live stream is completely different,” said Klein, a senior who plans to major in video production when he goes to college next year.
Shaw’s class recently received the new video equipment through a program sponsored by BankSouth, which has a branch in Watkinsville, through U.S. Education TV.
The equipment allows students to broadcast live stream HD video to computers and mobile devices. The system even has an advertisement server that will allow the students to sell ads to local businesses.
However, their first venture into live broadcast resulted in a few problems.
“We ran into some technical difficulties at first, but that’s to be expected,” Klein said. “We’ve got a good idea on how to get it working now.”
In fact, the students successfully broadcast live the Nov. 2 football game between Oconee and North Oconee high schools.
“It’s a great system,” said sophomore Ryan Eaton. “It will help in my understanding of computers.”
U.S. Education TV plans to place similar video networks in 500 schools across the nation.
“Education TV students will be participating in activities that have real business applications, preparing them for the next level of education and work world,” BankSouth CEO Harold Reynolds said in a prepared statement.
While the school is currently broadcasting sporting events, Shaw said the team has plans to do live broadcasts of other events like fine arts programs and the school’s annual Miss Legend pageant.
“I’d like to do two or three events for each sport,” he added.
These videos and others can be archived on the system as well, Shaw said.
The recent football game was filmed from atop the press box by Eaton, Klein and fellow students Nick Allen and Devin Scoggins. While they didn’t have anyone doing a play-by-play call for the video, the stadium announcer could be plainly heard over the broadcast, Shaw said.
“We heard from parents, grandparents, and aunts and uncles that couldn’t be at the game and they were really grateful,” Shaw said.
There is a free application that can be downloaded on a phone or computer, Shaw said.
Students like Eaton enjoyed working the camera.
“In the Oconee game, if there was a flag thrown, we’d zoom in on the referee and see what the call was,” he said. “Whenever someone would score, we’d zoom in on the scoreboard.”
But on a live feed one must be aware that voices around the camera are being caught.
“I had someone tell me they watched the game the other night and he could hear (the students) talking,” Shaw said.
But these computer-savvy students working with the equipment are impressed with the new system’s speed.
“Whoever put it together was a brilliant person,” Klein said. “That one is extremely powerful.”
Ryan Eaton works on the new video system given to Oconee County High School through BankSouth and U.S. Education TV.
(NOTE: AJ has shots from students working in the field. This was shot Thursday at high school.