2 Minutes of Pro Talk with Tom White, Digital Media Instructor

It’s obvious that the way we educate and communicate with students today is much different than even a decade ago. Schools have adapted to new technologies and channels to engage their student audience—reaching them through social media, video and blogs/vlogs.

Not only have teachers leveraged video for classroom lectures and distance learning, but livestreamed events have become an expected part of the school experience. Students can consume the latest news from a daily broadcast, watch their best friend’s baseball game while doing homework, or virtually attend a school orientation.

One of the reasons that livestreaming has become more popular at schools in recent years is that the video production equipment needed is now more accessible and easier to use. SlingStudio has taken that up a notch by providing a setup that is intuitive, cost effective and can all fit in one bag.

Just ask Tom White, Digital Media Instructor at Morgan County High School in Madison, Georgia. An expert videographer, Tom has livestreamed over 2,500 events during his career and believes “SlingStudio could make you a superhero!”

He admits he was skeptical at first but realized after trying the device out in the real world that it’s meant to complement his existing setup and not replace it (although it could). Tom recently shared more of his thoughts on SlingStudio with us.

SlingStudio: What did you think of SlingStudio once you tried it out firsthand?

Tom: In all honesty, I had doubted it was so simple to set up and easy to learn until I got my hands on one. When I set up SlingStudio for the first time after charging everything, it hit me that this was truly a wireless system and I think that’s the most impressive part of it. In addition to the benefit of not having wires, I love that everything can fit into one backpack.

SlingStudio: Which type of school events have you used SlingStudio for?

Tom:  I’ve been mostly using SlingStudio this year to livestream softball and baseball games as well as volleyball matches on the NFHS Network. Having a wireless setup is a big deal for livestreaming sports. As an example, I can use three cameras during a shoot and place one right at center field during a baseball game simply by using the SlingStudio hub and its wireless capabilities.

View of SlingStudio Console App during a multi-camera live recording with camera switching
View of Tom white’s Console App during a multi-camera live recording with camera switching

I also recently presented and used the system at an annual professional development event called Camp T&I where it was very well received. The attendees that I demonstrated SlingStudio to were so intrigued by the setup and how it worked that I ran out of time responding to all their questions.

SlingStudio: What questions did you get from fellow instructors?

Tom:  The biggest question I have received about SlingStudio is about the wireless capabilities! How far will it work? I have tested it for distance several times with varying results and have pushed the limits on range. I recently tested it in one venue to see if there would be any interference with all the wireless signals and surprisingly, there was no interference throughout the building.

The only issue we had during the test was when we tried to see how many walls and doors it would shoot through (The answer is about 100 yards through 4 walls and 3 doors – the 4th door was steel and led outside of the building!)

We also tested it at Camp T&I by placing the SlingStudio hub on the ground and walking across the parking lot. We made it about 80 yards before the signal started to break up and again that was in a parking lot full of cars across from the airport (more interference). So, my answer to the question about how well the wireless works is “better than you will ever need it to.”

SlingStudio: Any advice for schools that may be considering SlingStudio?

Tom: SlingStudio is so much more than a streaming device and is the most cost-effective, easiest way to add wireless cameras to your school production. Also, the system is not meant to replace any other products you may be using, but instead can augment the way you are doing things.

Adding SlingStudio to your “tool box” gives you the opportunity to create some smaller footprint productions while adding a ton of possibilities – think wired cameras as well as a variety of wireless options.

My last piece of advice is for any teacher that may have reservations about trying out SlingStudio because it’s something new and different—just go out and use it! Once you have a chance to experiment with the system you will overcome that hurdle and feel like a superhero too.

Worth a look: Check the video below to see how Apple Distinguished Educator, Peter Fujiwara, uses SlingStudio with students:

slingstudioblog

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