How to Livestream School Board of Education Meetings

How to Livestream School Board of Education Meetings

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Barrington Webcasting Service

With the advent of live internet webcasting (also known as web streaming or livestreaming), the importance of communicating your school district’s message through online social media platforms is becoming increasingly important. In this article, we’ll talk about how to livestream your school district’s board of education meetings (or any important event you may have) and some considerations you need to think about while developing your school district’s live internet webcasting plan. We recently developed a live internet webcasting plan for Barrington School District 220. If you need help setting up your school districts livestreaming program, we can help!

Where to Webcast
Where to webcast your school district’s board of education meetings is probably one of the first questions you’ll need to ask yourself. For many school districts, where the board of education meetings take place is in the same room. In those cases, you might be set on where your webcast will originate. For other school district’s, the board of education might meet in different rooms or different locations altogether. In those cases where you have the flexibility to choose the room from where your live internet webscast will originate, be sure to pick a room that’s close to a wired internet LAN connection. In order to webcast your school district’s board of education meeting, we recommend a wired internet connection. Streaming live video requires a large amount of bandwith. Many school districts have wired WIFI internet access and that may seem like the first option to connect to the internet. Afterall, connecting to a wireless WIFI network is easy and doesn’t require any cables. The problem is that WIFI connections can be unpredictable and are susceptible to connectivity issues; especially when members of the public may also be connecting to the same wireless internet connection at the same time during your board of education meetings. So, wired is always best.

You’ll also want to be sure your internet upload speed is at least 10mbps. To test your internet speed, plug your computer’s LAN internet connection into the internet connection you’ll be using to webcast your school district’s board of education meetings. Log onto www.SpeedTest.net and run the test. It will provide and upload and download speed. If your upload speed is below 10 mbps, you might be able to stream your school events; just not at full HD. In those cases, you may be able to talk with your school district’s internet provider to increase the upload speeds at that building. It’s best to consult with a professional. Our professional live webcasting consultants can provide guidance in these cases.

Choose the Right Equipment
How to choose the right equipment for livestreaming your school district’s board of education meetings is also an important factor. There are three main components you’ll need: a camera, an encoder (or switcher), and audio equipment.

Cameras

Choosing this equipment will most likely be based on the fact of whether your live internet webcasting event will have one person or multiple people on the crew. In an ideal world, you’ll have one person operating each camera and another person operating the webcasting encoder/switcher. This allows each camera to be individually controlled with great precision. Each person can focus on their individual task. In most educational settings (with limited budgets), this may just not be possible. So, we have some ideas.
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While videotaping typical school board meetings may require one person on a camera, adding the requirements of live internet streaming also adds an additional responsibility onto that person. In some setups, one person can operate the whole system. In other setups, multiple people may be required. There are camera models out there that can be remotely controlled by one person. So, one person can typically operate anywhere from 1-5 cameras remotely. To discuss your livestreaming setup, it’s best to consult with a professional who can help you choose the latest camera model(s) that will suit your needs and budget.

Encoder/Switcher

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After the video camera captures the video signal, it needs to be processed into something the internet recognizes. That’s where the encoder comes into play. The encoder does its digital magic, converts your video signal and sends it over the internet to your CDN (content delivery network)…more about that later. If you have more than one video camera in your setup, you’ll also need a switcher. To help you choose which setup is right for you, enlisting the help of our professional web streaming experts may be recommended.

Know Your Audience

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Choosing which CDN (content delivery network) to choose for your school district’s live internet webcast is also another factor you should consider. Most public internet streaming platforms like Facebook and YouTube offer the type of service that most school districts will need. Ask yourself where your audience is. If you use Youtube as your CDN, you can embed the video player on your website somewhere. Other platforms like Vimeo Live offer added features like password protected events for a monthly fee.

We provide webcast consulting services for school districts across the world. If you’re looking to take your school district’s communications plan to the next level, contact us today to get started on your live internet webcasting project!

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