Students provide video streaming coverage of WHS sporting and other events

Post date: Feb 27, 2018 7:36:7 PM

For over a year, several students in the Introduction to Broadcast Media class taught by Becca Redman at Wells High School have volunteered to "stream" many of their school's sporting and non-sporting events over the Internet. This provides those at home or living away from the area an opportunity to view these events in real time. It also provides students on this "media team" a real-world, hands-on experience producing live, unrehearsed television.

On February 8th, several team members streamed the last at-home basketball game between the Wells Warriors and the York Wildcats. The complete game and play-by-play commentary provided by the show's hosts, Brendan Dean and Zach Beisswanger, was captured by a video camera, two mics, and a sound mixer connected to the Wells-Ogunquit CSD's computer network where it was encoded with live streaming software and uploaded to YouTube. Camera and sound operators included Redman and freshman Kai Rosenberg.

Other programs produced by the media team and their classmates include the 2017 WHS graduation, Warrior football games, school wrestling matches, athletic awards, sports promos, new teacher interviews, and even a flu prevention video. Several of their productions can still be viewed on their YouTube space, the WHS Media Team Channel.

"It's real-world experience. It feels like working a job that I love instead of more like a class," said team member Nolan Potter who creates video sports promos, graphics, and posters. Last October, Redman led a session about what is involved in creating a high school level media team at the ACTEM (Assoc. of Computer Technology Educators of Maine) Technology Conference. Potter also participated in the conference session by providing a student's perspective on a large screen via Facetime.

"I look at this as an opportunity to get experience for what I want to do in college," said senior and sports commentator Brendan Dean, who said candidly that his first game commentary was "pretty bad." However, he indicated that he was determined to improve his on-air performance and so began researching and practicing to get much better at it. "He knows everything (about teams that play Wells and sports in general) and that's what's been so much fun about doing the broadcast with him," said Dean's co-host Zach Beisswanger, a staff member at WHS. "He's a kid that can talk about girls' hockey, cheering, wrestling, the whole gamut."

"The sky's the limit as far as the program as a whole goes," said Beisswanger who added that the media team has been a good experience for Redman's students. "It's been great that Becca has been able to work with those kids and give them skills that are really applicable outside of working here at the school."

When asked about the audience size for the live and archived programming Redman responded, "Our audience is small for live events, but the videos that we have published to YouTube or posts that have been shared on Facebook have had tremendous reach in the community. I hope our livestream audience will grow in the same way our Facebook following has." Redman adds that she hopes to promote the media team as "another amazing vehicle" or platform to share the story not only of Wells High School but, as she puts it, "our amazing community."

Televising the last home boys varsity basketball game at Wells High School on February 8th are (left to right) Brendan Dean and Zach Beisswanger providing the color commentary and play-by-play. Freshman Kai Rosenberg is on camera. Also present was teacher Becca Redman overseeing the production and operating camera and sound.