Increasingly today’s high schools and universities are recognizing the value of technical literacy and the importance of teaching students how to access and manage information and media in the digital age. Avid is an active partner in this endeavor. Teaming with educational institutions at both the high school and collegiate level, we’re helping make our tools/solutions available to students around the country.
Avid’s shared storage domain offers the ideal way for students to learn valuable media management skills in a real-world environment. Schools nationwide have been using ISIS storage systems that enable up to 40 students to connect, collaborate and simultaneously access the same high-res media in real time.
Now a growing number of schools are acquiring Avid NEXIS, the world’s first software-defined storage platform that enables true storage virtualization for any media application. The system builds on the power and performance of ISIS, offering even more capacity, unrivalled performance, scalability, and reliability. And now it provides greater bandwidth to accelerate 4K/UHD and finishing workflows, plus new support for Pro Tools collaboration.
The power of one
One group of schools in Southern California was the fortunate recipient of Avid NEXIS systems, due in no small part to the passion and unrelenting dedication of teacher Matt Stroup. Matt spends most of his days teaching video production and technology literacy at Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta, California, where a total of 540 students rotate through his classes each year. He also advises on all matters media and technology throughout the Glendale Unified School District. But that’s only part of the story. To understand what Matt and Avid bring to the students, it helps to understand how schools came to have Avid NEXIS solutions in their media labs.
A vision realized
Matt has roots as a working professional in the industry. So he’s experienced with a range of media production tools and knew that he wanted to expose students to a network-based shared storage workflow. “When I step back and look at the world – professional work is being done over some type of digital network,” he says. Part of his goal was to demystify how cloud-based platforms function. ”The cloud is not a magical unicorn floating out in space somewhere,” he says. “It’s hardware networked together – a great big Wiki world.”
From his work in the entertainment industry and with competitive products, he also knew he wanted Avid for his school. At the time, in 2009/2010, there was no funding to make this goal a reality. But Matt lobbied the media department at Clark Magnet High School while he also looked outside the school for like-minded supporters and potential partners. He found them in another six schools and colleges in the Glendale area. With a bond from his school plus a six-million-dollar grant from the state of California spread across the consortium of schools, he got his wish with new computers and multiple Avid NEXIS systems up and running.
Giving projects life
Matt’s students put Avid NEXIS through its paces to varying degrees – moving from simple for his technical literacy classes to extremely complex in his advanced production classes, where the software functions just as it might for a professional studio or film production. The platform is used to help create everything from PSAs for the city to short one-camera narratives to complex, multi-camera films.
He describes his advanced video production capstone class project with excitement, explaining that this year’s film, which may be shot on location at Fort Tejon, explores relevant themes like racism through the story of a civil war fort. Their film experience involves finding locations and actors, raising money, developing the script, shooting, production and post – the same as any feature. Students have developed their own specialties and all have defined roles.
Beyond the classroom
Matt’s goal is to prepare students to be successful out in the world, whether or not they pursue careers in media and entertainment. “Students can transfer these skills out in the world. It gives them more power – the ability to get more done in the environment we live in today. Knowing how to work over a network, collaborate as a team, and know how things are stored and how to access them are all extremely valuable skills.”
Clark Magnet High School is also part of the Avid Learning Partner Program so students receive training and certification. Those serious about film and video production have a huge advantage right out of the gate and secure internships directly out of school. Some students move straight into the workforce as competent filmmakers where, as Matt says, “clouds are the limit.” Others contribute in computer support roles. Their technical proficiency has them well prepared for the work world and is highly attractive to employers.
Avid NEXIS scores in-stadium
Avid NEXIS is also impacting educational life outside the classroom – literally. Earlier this year, Colorado State University Athletics debuted its new on-campus football stadium, which includes a massive 4,200-square foot video board and 1,290 feet of ribbon board around the stadium. These boards bring action on the field to life in a new way, displaying rich content like in-game stats, sponsor ads and league scores. The new control room housed in nearby Moby Arena is connected to the stadium via fiber optic cabling, bringing video graphics to volleyball, basketball and football games. To facilitate collaboration between the two sites, RamVision, Colorado State’s video production department, selected three Avid NEXIS | PRO software-defined storage systems.
Designed for small video and audio production teams, Avid NEXIS | PRO offers Avid NEXIS performance and reliability in a smaller and more affordable package. As with in-class use, Avid the shared storage platform helps students flex their creative muscles in new ways and enhance educational experiences. “We’re ecstatic about the new capabilities Avid NEXIS will bring to the table for us,” says Benjamin Brune, Director of RamVision at Colorado State University. “Avid NEXIS will allow us to work collaboratively and securely across different locations, while focusing our time on being creative. At the same, we’ll be able to train our students on professional solutions they’ll work with beyond graduation.”
At a time when some schools struggle to provide even the most basic educational tools and programs, it’s inspiring to see the passion of educators result in technology and programs that not only enhance classroom experiences but also impact students for the rest of their lives. Avid is proud to be part of this commitment.
Learn how Avid for Education helps bring advanced production tools to schools and impacts students’ lives.