New developments enhance school video use

“Unfortunately, the cost and complexity of desktop video editing software have prevented many schools … from rolling it out to teachers and students on a wide scale. An inexpensive, web-based solution that can be accessed from school or home, supports collaborative editing, and relegates file storage to the cloud is exactly what we have been looking for.”

WeVideo has introduced a free offering that will help teachers and students create and export up to 15 minutes of videos per month. It also comes with 5 GB of storage.

JDL Horizons’ EduVision platform gives schools their own IP television broadcast service and lets them stream live or prerecorded events. GrandStadium.TV, also from JDL, gives students hands-on production experience. The solution is internet-based, and students operate the cameras and switches, conduct interviews, and also broadcast the games.

GrandStadium.TV puts students and teachers in touch with local broadcasters to help support teachers and give students professional connections. It also includes a curriculum for middle and high school students, encouraging students to work in groups to plan and implement programming, manage all parts of live event production, and create commercials and public service announcements.

Panasonic’s HDTV Producer is a full turnkey video production studio for under $20,000. Panasonic sells the HDTV Producer as an out-of-the-box system that any English or journalism teacher can set up, with no professional video production experience necessary.

The system includes two cameras with tripods, a mixer, a recorder, a 42-inch LCD monitor, a microphone and boom stand, and all necessary cabling and accessories. The idea is to enable students to learn video production whatever their school’s budget might be, Panasonic said.

“Purchasing and setting up professional video equipment to produce high-quality, [high-definition] content can be challenging and time-consuming,” said product manager John Rhodes in a press release. “With HDTV Producer, we are … making it painless for organizations to deploy a full-featured video production system with a solid-state workflow.”

For schools that already have cameras and are looking for an affordable yet professional-grade live production switcher, Blackmagic Design of Milpitas, Calif., has a solution. Blackmagic’s ATEM line of switchers starts with a basic model that runs on a software interface and includes six video inputs for about $1,000. (An eight-input model sells for $2,500, and a 16-input model sells for about $5,000.)

If a software-based control panel doesn’t meet your needs, the company also sells full broadcast panels that start at $5,000.

Boston University’s College of Communication is using Blackmagic’s ATEM 1 M/E Production Switcher and ATEM 1 M/E Broadcast Panel in its Production and Journalism studios. “The ATEM products allow us greater dexterity in our production capability,” said Assistant Professor Christophor Cavalieri, faculty advisor for the school’s student-produced news channel, in a press release. “They are great tools to train the next generation of multi-camera production professionals.”

For $5,000, schools also can purchase the VR-5 portable AV mixer and recorder from Roland Systems Group—an “all-in-one” system that simplifies the production, recording, and streaming of any live event, Roland says.

The VR-5 incorporates a video switcher, audio mixer, video playback, recorder, preview monitors, and output for web streaming—all in a single unit. It includes three audio or video inputs, an SD card slot for saving or playing back video or images, and a USB port for connecting to a computer.

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