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Studio equipment donated to Gainesville High students

POSTED: September 11, 2013 11:10 p.m.

Gainesville High School teacher Steve Lawhorne’s broadcast classes have received some new equipment, thanks to a donation from Kroger through U.S. Education TV.

The students plan to use this studio equipment, which includes new cameras and monitors, to offer live streaming of athletic events, college scholarship signings and other school activities.

“A big problem was signing, whenever the students would sign for the University of Georgia or whosoever,” Lawhorne said, explaining that in the past family members, friends and fellow students would crowd into the school’s media center to witness the scholarship signing. Now, his students will video the moment.

“They’ll be pumping it out live to grandma in Indiana, who couldn’t make it,” Lawhorne said. “This way, the teachers can turn it on for five minutes on their computer with the projector or whatever, and everybody can watch the signing.”

Gainesville High junior Noemi Garcia will be one of the students going out to capture video of softball and football games. She said the donated equipment will be put to good use.

“I wish I was a freshman just so that I can have four years to experience (the new equipment),” she said. “I love editing and broadcasting and all that. Just knowing that we have new equipment that we can go off and air (an event), and be more public and people can see my videos and I can be more recognized everywhere, it’s awesome.”

Lawhorne does not have a specific date set for when athletic events will be streamed live online, but he hopes to have the equipment in place within the next couple of weeks.

The link for the games and other videos will be on Gainesville High’s website.

“(The studio equipment) is really nice,” said sophomore Lee Hughs. “It’s definitely something that’s going to be very helpful and useful for us, and it’s going to be a big help.”

The donated equipment includes monitors and monitor panels, a remote camera, two mini-DV cameras and two teleprompter monitors, along with a few other pieces. The donation is valued at around $7,000.

Kroger donated the equipment through U.S. Education TV, a Georgia-based company which had connections with Lawhorne through his previous work in the White County school system.

“What we do is, we give students a voice,” said Todd Bateman, chief operating officer with the company. “We bring them in to the production process. Why not enable our most productive students in those areas to be productive for the school? That builds ownership to the school ... and it’s a major contribution.”

The videos the students create will be played via the U.S. Education TV website, at useducationtv.com, and will be linked to through the high school’s website.

Bateman pointed out broadcast video production is one of the state pathway programs available to high school students as they navigate career options.

“When you combine that (pathway) in a studio like this, you also can bring in journalism,” Bateman said. “You bring in marketing, of course. You bring in business. You bring in graphics programs.”

The students in Lawhorne’s classes will create a variety of public service announcements, commercials for local businesses and other pieces of work. They’re also working to develop a live news broadcast, and are looking into other ways to use their equipment.

“The students are going to make the program,” Lawhorne said. “I just give them the tools. They make the program.”


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