Knoxville Catholic High School’s media production training center is equipped with AJA gear

Knoxville Catholic High School has created a media program for educating its students teaching them the tools and techniques of the trade. The Digital Media Director Guy Shelton has been the responsible for this guidance. His methodology includes exposure to industry-standard gear, as well as honing important life skills like interpersonal communication, teamwork, and responsibility.

The course that the high school offers is an introductory media production formation. It provides which provides a basic understanding of the craft. Students exit the course knowing how to white balance a camera, adjust the iris, execute tripod controls, troubleshoot wiring issues, and more. For those looking to further hone their skills, two honors tracks are then available, which include digital media and newscasting, and mobile production. Up to 100 students participate in the program a year, 10 percent of whom continue to study broadcast, graphic design, video production, or photography post-graduation.

The school’s kit, which includes a host of equipment from conversion technology to routers and switchers, lives in an on-campus control room that doubles as an office. The school theatre and gym are connected to the control room via fiber, while its next-door newscast studio is linked via baseband coaxial BNC. Integral to the control room, AJA FiDO converters convert 3G-SDI camera feeds from the gym and theatre to fiber and back to 3G-SDI into the control room. The signals are then fed through an AJA KUMO 6464 router and switcher before being live streamed or archived.

Beyond operating gear to gain field experience, Shelton helps students learn how to articulate and chase their goals, and advocate for themselves. He finds one of the most rewarding aspects of his job watching a concept finally click for a student. “Seeing them fit the pieces together makes my job worth all the work,” shared Shelton. “Intuitive technology is often a key part of that journey, which is why I continue to use AJA gear. FiDO for instance, has indicator lights that cue us into any connection issues, so if a student hasn’t plugged it in right, we know right away, and can tell whether it’s a fiber or BNC connector issue, right on the unit.”

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