Wednesday, 26 October 2016

The Birth of TT TV

Over the holidays I was lucky enough to attend uLearn, an educational conference being held in Rotorua.  One of the sessions I went to was run by Colin, a teacher from Marina View School.  It was about how the Year 7 & 8 students run their school's TV studio.  Twice a week they go to air live across their school for their 15-20 minute show.  They present items that other students or teachers have filmed, and sometimes have younger students in to present particular segments.

Colin brought down from Auckland a number of his TV crew and they demonstrated how a show goes to air.  It would have required some time and effort to coordinate bringing all the students and equipment down so I am very grateful to Colin that I had such a fantastic opportunity to watch the show in action. 

Over the years MVTV has got more and more sophisticated, to the point where they now have a sound board, Tricaster (Colin described it as a TV in a box), wireless microphones and a green screen.  You can see some of MVTV's shows here.

One of my responsibilities at my school has been working with two teachers and twelve students to put together the Te Totara Times, a weekly school-wide blog.  I wrote about it here.  One of the problems with the blog was a lack of readers.  Good Keen Librarian consistently got more views than the Times, even though we have over 800 students in the school and we had the homepage of the school website link to the blog.  The only time we got a big boost in numbers was if our blog post included video footage, and this was the reason I chose to attend Colin's session at uLearn.

Differences in student ages, resourcing and equipment meant we were never going to replicate MVTV.  However, it provided the inspiration and motivation to switch from the blog to a TV format and our poor Te Totara Times teachers got an email on the Sunday before the first day of term suggesting some radical changes!  Fortunately they were really keen, and so were our students.  By Wednesday evening, less than a week after my uLearn breakout, the first episode of TT TV1 was uploaded.  Casey, the teacher in charge of TT TV, even came up with a school watermark for the show - how flash!

The video format has proved popular with our community and it also makes the information more accessible to our junior school.

The first episode took a lot of time.  Things like finding copyright-free music took time to source (this site is good).  We also had to create the first segments ourselves, although I quickly signed up some willing students to film items for episode two.

Our new introduction, also created by Casey, premiered in episode two.  We still have lots of things we need to do:

  • work out how to run the teleprompter app closer to the camera so it's not so noticeable
  • start using a microphone
  • buy our own green screen material and work out how to use that
  • work out a better division of labour between the students

So we will be on a steep learning curve for a while yet.  But I love seeing the students come up with ideas, like "can we click our fingers, you pause the camera and then we dress up?"  And I love showing them how to edit all the footage together.  If we do this next year then I'm sure that the students will take more and more ownership over the whole process.  It's exciting!

1The name TT TV, by the way, was suggested by one of our students when we asked for name ideas, and I hadn't even told them about MVTV.

No comments:

Post a Comment