IHS WEBCAST: Spilling Information at IHS

By MEGHAN RUMMEL

Every morning at IHS, teachers are expected to play the daily webcast for all students. The daily morning webcast is the main source of information for all IHS activities and announcements first thing each morning after the flag salute. The webcast is recorded by students from IHS who provide the information throughout the video and then the recorded video is later edited by Mr. Puskar, IHS Digital Media Productions teacher and coordinator. 

The IHS Webcast was launched in the Fall of 2018 as a collaborative effort by IHS Class of 2020 graduate, Conner McQuaide, and Mr. Puskar to bring back video announcements at IHS. The webcast is entirely a volunteer effort by IHS students who are willing to appear in the video and to work the technical “crew positions”. 

Announcements within the webcast are gathered from staff members and any administrators that have announcements regarding events, organizations, and sports here at IHS.

Senior Lily Cunningham, who is also a volunteer “director” of the IHS Webcast and current Digital Media Productions II student states, “I became involved with IHS Webcast through Leadership Seminar. A group of girls and myself decided that a great way to get everyone involved with the school after having Covid ruin many years was to start the morning announcements back up. We approached Mr. Puskar and asked if we could do it and then I found myself being the director of it!”

Another volunteer “director”, senior Melina Hilliard commented, “I became involved with the webcast in the beginning of my Senior year. My friend Lily and I worked with Mr. P to bring back the webcast as a way to try and bring the school environment back to normal after all the changes due to Covid. The webcast was a huge thing my freshman year, so we wanted to make sure to bring it back.”

It’s always exciting to watch the webcast and to see which student will be providing the information for that day. Junior Andrew Anderson finds the IHS Webcast to be helpful, he stated, “I think that the webcast is helpful for students because it provides us with weekly information so we never miss anything.”

A lot of effort goes into these 4 to 6-minute videos. Cunningham expressed, “For the webcast, I do a solid amount. I prepare the students to be featured in it by teaching them what to do, say, and act. I also run the behind the screen things such as the audio, video, and recording part of it. Mr. Puskar gets the webcast studio ready ahead of time and edits the video once I have captured it.” Hilliard added, “We make sure that the mics work as well as record the people talking. There are different cameras, lights, and controls that we constantly switch back and forth between.”

IHS Webcast Studio ready for "capture" - Photo by Meghan Rummel

Finding students to be in the webcast is actually easier than you would expect. Cunningham walks us through the process, “At some point during the day, I find two people that are okay with being featured for the upcoming days. Then we go to the film room which is always prepared for us by Mr. P, and then we begin recording. If there is a mess up or stutter, that is very common, and we just start from the top of the page and try again! The main goal of bringing people in who have never done this before is for them to be completely comfortable and not nervous or pressured, which is normally achieved!

After the video is captured, Mr. Puskar then takes some time each day afterschool to edit the video into a final webcast before he “schedules” the next day’s webcast onto the IHS Webcast Google Classroom. That next day, Mr. Bertig uses the traditional school PA to “lead” the entire school reciting of  the Pledge of Allegiance plus gives a “weather forecast” and  any “last minute” announcements before he reminds Homeroom teachers to “play back today’s Webcast” off the IHS Webcast Google Classroom.

Overall, the IHS Webcast continues to be a “visual” way to give the students of IHS daily information to keep them up to date and to help them stay informed.

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