Will the Coronavirus ever go away? According to U.S. News & World Report, it may be with us for decades or longer. While this is unhappy news, the past year has forced us to rethink and reimagine how we approach even the most routine activities in our daily lives, in the workplace, and in the school setting. This was definitely the case during the 2020-2021 school year at Viz.
COVID even made things like attending Mass a challenge, but not one that could not be handled. Livestream broadcasts became an essential way to create a sense of normalcy and bring the community together for Masses, school concerts and shows, sports, and more. As you might imagine, at a school like Viz, the number of these events is substantial. Mr. Jonathan Hartley, Visual and Fine Arts Technical Director, put out a Viz-wide call for assistance early on in the school year, and students in the sixth grade answered.
Beginning in October, a team of sixth-grade Viz students volunteered their time to help Mr. Hartley with the livestreaming of these important events. Each of the girls took on and learned a specific role – broadcast manager, switchboard operator, and left, right, and center camera operator – and ultimately handled several of the livestream broadcasts throughout the year on their own without help. Essentially the girls were running their own mini television studio. A wireless communication system allowed them to talk to one another throughout each broadcast, ensuring a smooth run of show. In total, Mr. Hartley and his team livestreamed 34 events from October to the end of the school year.
While no one could have predicted that livestreaming would become such a necessary tool, it is likely that this platform will continue to be used at Viz in the future. The technology and skills required provided a wonderful educational opportunity that might not otherwise have been available.