MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Schools

April 27, 2010

Three schools get HD video gear

Teacher: Students wowed by equipment

Blank TV screens are all but gone from Muskogee Public School’s cable access channel now that schools can create more professional programs.

And even better high definition programming could hit MPS cable channel 15 as early as June, video teachers say. Channel 15 is available on Suddenlink cable, but not through satellite or regular broadcast.

Studios at Muskogee High School, the 7th & 8th Grade Center and Pershing Elementary School are getting high definition production equipment through 2007 bond issue funds. First Team Video Display of Tulsa is setting up the studios and training teachers to use it. A central programming system also has been set up at the Board of Education Service and Technology Center.

“It’s a neat thing to see that ‘wow’ attitude with the students now,” said 7th & 8th Grade Center video production teacher Joe Owens. “They see the new cameras and they get excited.”

Owens said most of the new technology is in place at his studio, located on the second floor of the school.

He said the school has two new large cameras on moveable tripods and three more portable cameras. Other new items include a large screen monitor that can show live feed from each camera, a sound board and an editing board. A lighting grid is being installed under the ceiling.

“It’s a smaller set-up than what you find at Fox23,” said Shane Stewart, 7th & 8th Grade Center computer teacher, who will teach video at MHS next school year.

Stewart said the new studio technology will enable students to produce segments for each school’s in-house channels as well as for channel 15.

“We’re trying to get away from the PowerPoint displays like you see on channel 14,” Stewart said, referring to the city of Muskogee’s cable channel. “So at 7 p.m., you might get a football game and at 6 p.m. you could see an interview from the 7th & 8th Grade Center.”

When Roughers play home football games, video teams from the 7th & 8th Grade Center and the high school will work the game, Stewart said.

“We will have four cameras at the football game. Joe’s kids will shadow the high school kids.”

Stewart said the new technology also cuts the time it takes to transfer the video into the system — going from two hours to only a few minutes for a two-hour video.

Terry Phipps, president of First Team Video Display, said that when Muskogee recently passed a bond issue, he was able to get a reaction interview with School Superintendent Mike Garde on channel 15 the night of the election.

Productions made at each school can be transferred to the new 360 program computer at the BEST Center and put on channel 15, he said.

Starting next year, the channel could show improved broadcasts of the school board meeting, Phipps said. When Suddenlink, Muskogee’s cable provider, goes all digital in June the channel’s picture should get even better, he said.

“When it’s all done, Muskogee Public Schools will have the best school video productions in the state,” he said.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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