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Wirecast Rockstar: Teacher Anthony Johnson

TeacherGreen Screen in the Classroom

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to meet a Twitter friend in real life at the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia.  Anthony Johnson, who we first encountered due to his interactive classroom photos on Twitter, stopped by and gave us a bit of insight on how Wirecast is implemented in his classroom.  Take a look at what he has to say about a budget green screen setup!

Tell us about yourself and your classroom.

Anthony Johnson

In my school years, I was a terrible student and a teacher’s nightmare who stayed in trouble. During that time, I failed 4th, 7th, 8th and 9th grades before dropping out of high school at the age of 16. I received my G.E.D. and moved from job to job for nearly a decade. In 1998, I lost both my parents six months apart and spent time reflecting on my life and decided to make a change. A year later, I enrolled at Livingstone College and graduated in 4 years with a degree in Elementary Education. My goal is to teach with enthusiasm and give my students a different experience from my own in grade school.

So when I became a teacher, I created Johnsonville.  Johnsonville is a real world simulation for my students.  Each day students come to work and get paid (Johnsonville dollars) for doing their job. Everything in Johnsonville has a price.

How are you using Wirecast in your classroom?

This past school year we used Wirecast for special projects like weather forecasting, ecosystems, etc.  This upcoming school year my students will be broadcasting a live newscast to the entire school. 

The budget green screen setup

How did you get into livestreaming, and how did you start using Wirecast?

I spent six years as a technology facilitator.  Twice week we streamed a live broadcast to the entire school. After the first year of streaming the broadcast with just a mic and VHS camcorder, I was looking for an upgrade.  That is when I found Wirecast.  Immediately our broadcast was on another level from any school in our area (including higher ed).

Why did you end up choosing Wirecast?

The interface and ease of use made Wirecast my choice.  I believe I used a trial version for just a couple of days and was sold on the capabilities. I had a S.W.A.T. Team (Students Working to Assist with Technology) that picked up on the software and ran the broadcast themselves.

Can you give us some info on how you setup Wirecast in your classroom?

I am currently running Wirecast on a 11 inch MacBook Air.  We use a generic HD Webcam with a built in mic placed directly in front of a green screen sheet.  My only cost for the setup was a $12 green sheet from Walmart and one $99 HD Webcam. The school provided the MacBook Air.

The final product

Would you like to add anything else?

I use Wirecast because of the simple interface and ease of use.  It takes no time for my students to learn the software and start using it on their own.  When I was technology facilitator I used the software weekly.  Now that I have returned to the classroom, my students use the software as needed.  The pictures above show students using the software during our weather unit.  I loaded weather maps into the software and use it teach weather concepts.  My students used the software to show what they learned during unit.

Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Anthony! Good luck in the coming school year. 

Want to see more people using Wirecast? Check them out here!


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