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Technology Fuels Growth and Innovation at the DHS Video Production Program
Students listen to Mr. Michael D’Ambrosio lecture in Dublin High School’s Video Production Program. DPIE funded equipment for the program last year, and we interviewed Mr. D’Ambrosio to follow-up on the impact of the new technology.
Without question, one of the most successful and fastest growing programs at Dublin High School is Video Production. In just over three years, we have witnessed an expansion from two classes to five sections. It thrives because of two reasons: Highly motivated students and great vision by its teacher, Michael D’Ambrosio.
In 2016, the “Every 15 Minutes” event was held over two consecutive days. E15M spotlights the dangers of impaired driving and features Dublin High students in a live setting. When held four years earlier, the video support of the presentation was outsourced. Two years ago, the Video Production Program accepted the responsibility of chronicling the two-car vehicle accident and the subsequent medical reactions, which were then packaged and shown at a mock funeral in the Sports Complex the following morning.
Mr. D’Ambrosio and his students have successfully staged annual film festivals. More recently, the group has taken to broadcasting/streaming live athletic events. In order to help Mr. D’Ambrosio’s team reach for the “next level”, the Dublin Partners in Education (DPIE) collaborated.
The solution was to invest in technology that would ultimately expand their capabilities. DPIE supported the purchase of equipment that would complement their existing tools. So, Christmas came a little early for the DHS Video Production program last fall. We sat down with Mr. D’Ambrosio to evaluate the impact of employing next generation technology.
DPIE: Among other things, the TriCaster merges live video switching, adds graphics and web streaming. Explain to us, how the addition of this new tool has become a “game changer” for your program.
Michael D’Ambrosio: “The system we actually use is called StudioHD. Tricaster is the same type of machine, but ours allows us to be ahead of the curve and broadcast out in 4k as well, if we wanted. The live production element has made our program reach new heights. We streamed live football games both home and away. We have done live basketball games and were also hired for a basketball tournament in Chico earlier this school year. Our next step is to use our live streaming and sell ads to help make money for our program. The coolest part has been that the new hardware, has allowed us to do a morning show LIVE at 7am through our Gaels TV website, so people can watch a morning show that is all student run.”
DPIE: Many devices, including smart phones do not come with documentation. How much “paper” learning is involved or is the platform pretty intuitive?
D’Ambrosio: “To be honest the kids figured it out pretty quickly. That’s what they do these days. They just explore and see all it does. They are still learning cool things that the unit can do. It’s something to see. These students are seriously doing live production at a high level and it’s not just for 5-10 minutes. The morning show is 50 minutes and our games are about two hours. All live with play by play, graphics and the whole nine yards.”
DPIE: Explain how you want your students to be exposed to this equipment. Is it your goal to have everyone involved or do you try to ensure mastery of the tool by a segmented set of students?
D’Ambrosio: “I want the students to see all the moving parts it takes to not only put on a show, but behind the scenes and all the hard work it takes. Since getting the hardware, the students have just run with it. There are times, where I can sit at home and watch a basketball game and they are doing it all on their own and they do amazing work.”
DPIE: As the “Grady Bunch” morning has just gotten off the ground, how does the StudioHD supplement your pre-existing equipment or does it simply replace many of your other tools?
D’Ambrosio: “I think it adds to what we already do. The hardware will be even better next year when we can run the morning show from our control room and use the StudioHD when we are remote.”
DPIE: Anything else that you would like to add?
D’Ambrosio: “First and foremost our Video Production program would like to say thank you to DPIE for believing in our program. The support has been amazing and we hope that we can continue to partner with DPIE going forward. Second, I want to thank everyone who has tuned in to our events. There are events where we get to as many as 500 or more viewers. That’s amazing since we just started this whole process. We’d love for you to watch our morning show at 7:00 AM Thursday and Friday or any live events we do. You can find out all the details at gaelstv.com. Also, don’t forget about the Film Festival on May 17th. Buy your tickets early. They will go on sale at the beginning of May. Thank you!”
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