Is this thing on?

During EDS assemblies, you’ll normally find me bobbing and weaving through the audience trying to capture every great photo-moment with my camera. However, this morning was different. While the school prayed, sang, and reflected at the Veterans Day assembly, I was not getting in everyone’s way, trying to get the perfect shot. I was sitting on the first bleacher, working the switchboard of the Tricaster 2000.

That’s not the actual name of it, but it sounds about right. We call it the “studio in a box.” I’m not sure where that term came from because it’s not actually a studio, and it’s not actually in a box. It’s a computer screen, a switchboard, and a square thing (maybe that’s where “box” came from) that has about eighteen hundred outlets. Then there are the eighteen hundred various cables and cords that somehow connect to those outlets. All of this equipment sits on a precarious cart that can be CAREFULLY wheeled to whatever momentous occasion is taking shape on campus at any given time.

What does all this stuff do? Well, if we are lucky enough to plug all the cables into the right holes, and remember to turn everything on, and input the correct streaming IDs into the correct fields, and remember to click the “GO LIVE” button, and hold our mouths just right, this thing will allow us to do what has been impossible since 1944.

Yes, EDS we will be able to LIVE STREAM.

Now, don’t be embarrassed if you have no idea what “live stream” means. I didn’t really have a full grasp of it until Ned told a few of my dream-team colleagues (Karen Lilly and Brenna McEowen) and me that we need to figure it out and make it happen.  To “live stream” basically means to broadcast video live on the Internet. Pretty simple, right? Well, not really.

After a training session from a few local experts, then another training session after we forgot everything, then a few failed attempts and another training session, I think we’ve got it.

So this morning we did it. We streamed the EDS Veterans Day Assembly live for all the world to see. Well, actually, for nine people to see. I was nervous to unleash this new technology on our entire parent body without performing some beta testing. So our gallant PAC members bravely took on the task of watching the stream and reporting back to us.

Here are a few things we learned.

1)   Always remember to click the “Go Live” button – otherwise your audience will be enjoying a blank screen while you think you are happily streaming away.

2)   Pianos sound really good when you can hear them – not so good if you can’t. A mic will help with this.

3)   Karen Lilly likes to zoom in and out REALLY fast. So remember your Dramamine. That’s my girl.

We also learned that this whole process won’t be so bad once we get a little practice under our belts, and that maybe Ned was right. But don’t tell him I said that.

So you can look forward to enjoying this new (to us) technology in the near future, and so can the grandparents and family friends who aren’t able to attend these treasured events our students and faculty work so hard on, learn from, and enjoy.

Stay tuned.

P.S. I know that one day, when I get overly comfortable with this thing, I really will forget to click the “GO LIVE” button – not realizing until halfway through the event that I’m not actually streaming anything. Please forgive me in advance.

Here’s a lovely shot of Karen and me trying to figure things out this morning…

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