Live stream kicks off tonight at SP game
GREENCASTLE -- On any given day, there is a lot going on inside the walls of Putnam County's schools.
To help capture some of it, the Banner Graphic has teamed up with Putnam County's four school districts to give the world a glimpse into the schools with live streaming video.
"All we really do is provide the equipment to the schools," said Daryl Taylor, Banner Graphic general manager. "What the schools do with it from there is really up to them."
The first event to be live streamed from the Banner Graphic website (www.bannergraphic.com) will be the Putnam County Girl's County Basketball Tournament. The tourney is set to begin tonight. Streaming will begin at 6 p.m., and the tournament is scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start. Simply click the "South Putnam Video" link on the left side of the page.
Taylor said he is excited about the partnership, and considers it a way give local schools a venue to share the positive things they do with the world outside of Putnam County. Steve Ricketts, director of technology at South Putnam, agreed.
"I just hope it's going to be another way to showcase our school and our kids," he said. "It will be a way for grandparents who don't live close by to see their grandson or granddaughter's games."
South Putnam athletic director Matt Griswold said he looks forward to being "able to share what we do with our community."
"I think we all need to start thinking of our community and how they get information in more non-traditional ways," he said. "This definitely fits in with that. Our community is not traditional anymore."
Griswold said he was constantly surprised by the advances in technology and what they mean in a school setting.
"It's really amazing what we can do now," he said. "It's a testament to (Ricketts), to (Bruce) Bernhardt (South Putnam's superintendent) and our school board that we are able to be a part of this."
On South Putnam's end, the live streaming will be spearheaded by student Garth McMains, who is currently doing an internship with DePauw University radio station WGRE.
"He's a great young man, and for him this is a career direction," Griswold said. "It's a great opportunity for him."
Taylor said the plan is for every boys' basketball game in Putnam County to be live streamed this winter, along with several girls' games. Although South Putnam is the only school with the video equipment in place right now, talks are underway with Greencastle, Cloverdale and North Putnam.
Talk of a live streaming partnership between the Banner Graphic and the schools began several months ago. While it was hoped it would begin last fall in time for football season, technical issues pushed the launch back.
Ricketts said he hopes the program will grow and improve over time.
"We're just starting out now, but hopefully at some point we'll have more kids involved and be able to do different things," he said. "I'd like to see something where we kind of do an actual sportscast ... where one kid is running the camera and another is sitting at a laptop with the game going on behind him, giving a play-by-play."
Ricketts said being involved in live streaming school events is good for the students in two ways.
"First off, it's educational for them," he said. "It's a benefit for the kids to learn how to utilize the wireless connection the school has and to see what we can do with it.
"Secondly, this is a way they can give back to the community," he said.
Ricketts said eventually he would like to see South Putnam live stream other events besides sports.
"Dependent on copyright laws, we've talked about doing plays and musicals," he said. "We may even do choir concerts."
Ricketts said the videos would be archived so that "people who weren't able to see the game or play as it was going on can pull it up later."
The live streaming would not be possible without the support of sponsors. Current project sponsors include York Chevrolet, Dixie Chopper, Endeavor Communications, Putnam Inn, Plessinger's, Arrow Financial, American Rental, Wal-Mart, Putnamville Collision, Taylor Made Graphics, First National Bank and Cinergy Metro Net.