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Student-Led Live-Streaming

Last week Harare International School in Zimbabwe, where I happen to work, hosted the 2018 International Schools of Southern and Eastern Africa  (ISSEA) Basketball tournament.  There were teams from over six different countries here for three days of basketball, socialising and fun.  One of the agreements among the ISSEA schools is that, if possible, events such as this should have some sort of media presence so that folks back home can keep up with the action.

Initially we contacted a media company as well as a local ISP who were going to stream the main court and even provide commentary for the games.  This would have been a first for ISSEA as any live-streaming prior to this had not had any audio.  Long, very long, story short they backed out less than 24 hours before the games were to begin.  Enter our tech team.  Through some fantastic team collaboration and division of labor we ended up with a solution using a Canon DSLR, two pieces of software and a hope and a prayer for success.  We also rounded up the most key component, a group of dedicated students to take photos, which were uploaded to a Facebook page, and videos which were live-streamed to the school YouTube page (indoor games) or uploaded later (outdoor games).

Here is the best part, and why I love my job.  We barely had time to get the equipment and software in place before the games started, but as the first game kicked off we were up and running with a live picture and audio.  As the game was going the students running the computer asked if they could explore what it could do in hopes of making it look a little nicer.  As we are an IB school, student-led initiatives are a big part of what we are about.  So off they went in search of tutorials, videos, blogs, really anything they could find about the software we were using to stream.  By the second day we had live score updates on a scoreboard panel, school logos, ISSEA logos and more all imbedded in the live video.   The whole process from beginning to end was an amazing example how students can do so much if we just give them the tools and the support.  I could not be prouder of them.

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