WMHS begins Webcasting some events

Zeke Cartland, right, a senior with Watertown-Mayer’s Behind The Scenes Club, uses an iPad to Webcast last week’s boys’ basketball game against Jordan. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

Zeke Cartland, right, a senior with Watertown-Mayer’s Behind The Scenes Club, uses an iPad to Webcast last week’s boys’ basketball game against Jordan. (Staff photo by Matt Bunke)

There’s no substitute for seeing an event live and in person, but for those who just can’t make it to Watertown-Mayer High School on a regular basis, watching online is the next best thing.

Thanks to the school’s new partnership with highschoolcube.com, people will now be able to do just that. The school is easing into its new Webcasting initiative with select high school sports events, but hopes to expand the program and the number of offerings very quickly. The Webcasts hopefully will provide a means for out-of-area relatives or friends to view the school events.

Sixteen Watertown-Mayer High School students who are part of the school’s new Behind The Scenes club have already signed up as videographers for the Webcasts. Joyce Peterson, the supervisor for the BTS club, said she hopes to develop an even larger pool of videographers so that certain students can be assigned to specific teams.

“Right now we’re sticking to home games to get it up and running, but eventually, we’d like to get these kids on the bus (with the teams),” Peterson said. “That way we could have kids assigned to each team. They would do all the games and travel with that team.”

Peterson said the school has done some webcasting in the past with another company, but ran into problems along the way. She said webcasting on the new site is quite simple. The school does not pay anything to broadcast the events on the site.

“It’s so easy and accessible, it’s ridiculous,” Peterson said. “And, because it’s iPad friendly, we don’t have to have any equipment. The kids can webcast the game with their iPad.”

While the live broadcasts lend themselves best to sports, Peterson hopes the broadcasts can grow to include things like choir concerts, band concerts, and even plays and musicals. She said she was told the company has licensing rights that would allow them to post video of music and plays.

“If that’s the case, we can basically webcast our plays and withhold the viewing time until after our show closes,” she said. “That way, people can’t just stay home and watch it, but now, Grandma in Illinois can log on and watch it after it’s over. It wouldn’t be live, but as of right now, we’re not even allowed to videotape our shows (because of licensing regulations).”

There are a few concerns when it comes to broadcasting sports online, with the biggest being that teams could use the video for advancing scouting of the Royals’ teams. That’s why the sports events are being broadcast live and then being immediately removed from the Internet.

“Sports are taken off right away, but things like a choir concert would stay on there for five years,” Peterson said.

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