Building a Video Production Lab - High School - Part Two

Wednesday, November 11, 2009
How you answered question two will set your course in setting up a Video production lab for a school. Different teaching goals in teaching television production require different levels of equipment. And properly matching the two can increase the success of the program. I have broken down the types of programs that most school implement into three tpes: Elective,Technical Applications, and vocational.
Elective or Club program. A program in which the goal is to provide enrichment to a student has a lower requirement than many other educational goals. students form a Elective program are not intended to obtain jobs where video production is a main component. for this type of program simple consumer cameras and off the shelf computer systems will suffice since the proper operation and mastery of equipment is not the goal. Interaction between students and other goals are the focus of such programs. Complicated equipment that is difficult to master could hinder the learning experience what ever it may be.
Technical Applications, A program aimed at teaching proficiency in technical applications such as Photoshop, web authoring and multimedia production. This type of program is geared to teach students to cope and deal with the new world of high tech skills that the market place requires but does not focus on video production exclusively. The skills they learn are meant to be broader in scope. A student who learns to use technology properly will probably be able apply those skills to other areas of technology later in life. The equipment for this program should require more effort to learn how to use and require thought and reasoning in its use but the quality does not need to professional quality nor replicate real world technology in great detail.
Career Path / Vocational, A program whose desired goal is to prepare a student for a career in television, video or film production and implies the student can walk out of the class room and in to an entry level position with no additional training. The equipment chosen for this program must approximate the equipment and workflows they will see in the work place. A program for teaching students to work in the hospitality industry would not use cake mixes and easy bake ovens and expect students to claim to have even the rudimentary understanding of the tools and workflow required in the industry. Conversely a drivers Ed student does not need to learn to drive in a Ferrari. A balance must be achieved between the proper tools and affordable tools. The driving decision process for selecting equipment for this learning objective is to replicate workflows and operation that would be common in the workplace and balance cost and quality in face of the limited resources available to the school.

Below is a comparative chart of camera cost per camera for the different levels of education:
Camera Choices Studio camera Field Camera
Vocational 10,000 – 20,000 7,500 – 12,000
Tech Apps 2,500 - 10,000 2,500 – 7,500
Elective 500 – 1,500 300 – 750


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