Tales of a Cold Late Winter Night in Central Pennsylvania

CSIUpic7As a result of losing a reading challenge with the students at White Deer Elementary School, Principal Brian Parise slept on the school roof on Tuesday night, February 28. 

Students in Grades K-5 at White Deer Elementary School, a small rural school in Central Pennsylvania were challenged to read over 100,000 minutes, at which time Parise agreed to sleep on the roof.  While he was hoping that it would have taken them a little longer, he held up to his end of the bargain on a cold clear winter evening.  While this story would be intriguing on it’s own, Mr. Parise came up with the idea of wanting to read bedtime stories from the roof to students and have it streamed via the Internet to their homes and contacted the CSIU for assistance.
 
This certainly represented a challenge for the CSIU and something that to the best of our knowledge has ever been attempted by an educational organization.  Was there enough bandwidth at the school to do theCSIUpic6 streaming, how would we get Internet Access, power and lighting on the roof and of course would the equipment work in the cold weather conditions.  How many families will be accessing the live feed, and what browser, plug-ins, etc. would they need.
 
We have done streaming before via internal streaming servers – but there was no time to rehearse, test and duplicate these conditions.  It had to work perfectly the first time.  The students worked so hard to read 100,000 minutes, the principal was up for the challenge and the energy was building for this event – we couldn’t disappoint these students.
 
My first thought when presented with this challenge was our NAMTC partner JDL and EduVision.  At last year’s conference JDL video streamed our speakers live and I knew they had the technology and experience.  But would it work on a cold winter night, on a rooftop, with staff who have never done a live broadcast before?
 
The night of the event – some students and families came to the school to cheer their principal on, even bringing cookies for his long night on the roof.  As they assembled in the cafeteria around a laptop and a projector – the excitement was building.  I am happy to report that the event was a huge success and through JDL and EduVision it worked flawlessly and was easy to use and setup.
 
Using a simple wired Internet connection, a laptop, camera and lights we streamed Mr. Parise to over 300 families through the Internet on a clear cold night as he read bedtime stories to the students in the comfort of their homes.

The students met their challenge, Mr Parise met his challenge, and the CSIU with the help of JDL met its challenge as well.

For more information about JDL Horizons or Eduvision, click here.