Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I have a HUGE thank you to all of you!!!

Back toward the end of December the Libertyville and Washington Elementary students presented their Winter Program.  I announced that night that we were trying to stream our program live for friends and family that were not able to be at the program.  We tried to make improvements this year in an effort to make it work much better than before.

First I would like to thank all of you for your patience as we tried to bring this technology to fruition.  Our first attempt was successful in the fact that we did get it out there live, however the quality of our feed was affected by many different things and the feed was basically unwatchable.  This prompted some changes that our tech department helped work out, so I need to say thank you to them also.  In the end, we had a much better feed this year and the attempt was much more successful.

How successful was this year's attempt?  How big of an impact did this technology have for our community?

These were some questions I had as the concert came to a close.  This is what I found out.  That night, as soon as the concert was over, I checked the website that hosted our video feed.  There were 216 connections to our live feed during the concert.  Some of those connections were single people, but I have students who have told me that they had as many as 5 people watching on one computer.  With the numbers in attendance in the auditorium as well as those that watched online, we probably had about 1000 people watching our program.

The next question I had was...."How far away were people that logged in?"  What I found out when talking with my students, we know that people in at least 5 states other than Iowa had friends and relatives watching.  Families had friends and relations watching in Colorado, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas and Washington D.C.  There may have been other states with people watching, but these are the states that my students told me about.  I thought that was pretty cool.  Then, I had two students tell me that they had relatives watching from Brazil and Spain!!!  That means that our little Winter Program in Fairfield, IA was seen by friends and relatives INTERNATIONALLY!!!!

That makes me want to say THANK YOU to all of you for passing on the information so that more people could enjoy the work of your students.

Then to top it all off, I was told yesterday about one student who has a brother in active duty in Iraq who was able to login and watch his brother sing the concert live.  That gave me the chills to hear.  It made me feel that all of the effort that has been put into trying to make this work was worth every minute of it.  These are all people that couldn't make it to hear their loved ones perform because driving across states or flying across the ocean just isn't a real option.  :)

Lastly I would like to thank everyone for their continued patience as we continue to improve this technology.  Last year we had problems with the quality of the stream, but this year we seemed to improve that.  There was a glitch this year that I had not anticipated that allowed only the first half of the concert to be broadcast.  This will also be fixed as we move forward with this technology.

In an effort to improve the delivery, I think we will be broadcasting the High School Pops Concert in the next few months, then we will also try to broadcast the 3-4 Spring Program.  Hopefully each experience will improve.

Thank you again for all of your support and patience.  Together we will try to bring smiles to friends and family all over the world!

~Mr. G