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Visitors wowed by Telecom

Newport News Public Schools hosted a site visit by the National School Boards Association Technology Leadership Network April 27-29, and the Telecommunications Center was a popular stop on a tour that showcases educational technology. The purpose of the site visit is for educational and political leaders from around the country to exchange ideas, share best practices and learn about successes in other school districts.

Making the DVD
   Making the DVD that visitors received.

The visitors, many of them school board members, toured the TV station, viewing the studios and control rooms and talking with students and instructors. The highlight was a tour of the remote video production truck, and Station Engineer Bryan Catlin was on hand to explain the various technologies that enable live broadcasts of football games and other events.

Also of particular interest was how the staff and students remotely record and broadcast monthly school board meetings live. The production team works from Control Room B at Telecom, while the meeting takes place in the Administrative Building across the street. It is broadcast live on NNPS-TV Cox 47/FiOS 17 and captured for re-play.

The visitors were impressed with the uniqueness of the Telecom program, the abilities of the students, and the high-tech nature of the equipment and production procedures. Three groups of about 20-30 "tourists" came to the station, and many didn't want to leave at the end of the session.

Instructor Marcus Hickman showed them the two TV studios and he and Instructional Supervisor Ray Price answered many questions from the groups. Telecom students also answered questions about their studies and aspirations, and assisted with the tour. They also video-recorded some of the visit.

Each tour participant received a DVD showcasing the professional and student-made videos produced at the Telecommunications Center.

NNPS was one of three school districts chosen for site visits this year. The other sites selected were Pascack Valley Regional High School District in Montvale, N.J., and Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Ky.