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Gainesville High to join pilot program with Comcast, GPB
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“Gainesville’s TV station” could be the result of a pilot project that will involve audio and video technology students from Gainesville High School. That is the hope of Steve Lawhorne, who teaches the students.

Gainesville High is one of 20 high schools in the state chosen for the pilot project, which will include Georgia Public Broadcasting and Comcast.

Lawhorne said Monday the students will be trained in equipment and software that will allow for livestreaming events on GPB.

Ten students will be selected for the program.

“They want us to be cable-ready by the first of next year,” Lawhorne said. That would be August when school starts again.

Lawhorne said much of the detail of the program remains unknown. He said he hopes GHS will be one of the nine locations around the state selected for training students.

He explained GHS received a $25,000 grant for the pilot project. That will cover equipment — some of which already is in the classroom at GHS, training of the students and software and bandwidth for the program.

Lawhorne, who is completing his fifth year at GHS, and his students produce “Red Elephant TV,” which livestreams sports events and graduation and produces public service announcements. That service is in its third year.

He noted that students have designed a new website for the service. It is not “live” yet.

Lawhorne said “the limiting factor” for the service is access to the Internet.

“I’m hoping that it’s (the pilot project) going to be some way of getting it to cable without being Internet-dependent,” he said.

He also said livestreaming is “very dependent” on bandwidth. He said hopes Comcast can resolve that.

Lawhorne said another possibility for the project is to livestream classroom instruction.

“We’re supposed to be producing, and they don’t want just athletics. They want everything we do here,” he said.

“It’s really stirred up some interest in the kids,” Lawhorne said. “Anytime you can get students excited, you can teach them something.”

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