It had humble beginnings but the television programme making unit at Marina View School in Auckland’s West Harbour is likely to reach even higher levels of achievement this year.
The team’s abilities have not only been noticed around New Zealand but have made waves in other parts of the world as well.
Under the guidance of teacher, Colin Gover, the team puts out a show to the whole school every Monday, Wednesday and Friday – an audience of nearly 800 people. “It’s pretty full on,” he said.
The school’s facilities are quite sophisticated now compared to what it had available when TV production started there in 2003.
“We started off with a VHS video camera, a VHS recorder and an old TV,” said Mr Gover. “It took us two or three weeks to actually make a show. We’d edit it and take it around the school with a video trolley, asking people: ‘Do you want to watch our show?’ Then we got a grant from the local liquor trust and we were able to put TVs and a cable in every room. It gave us a proper studio.”
A major leap in quality came when the school gave Mr Gover permission to purchase a tri-caster – a type of portable studio in a box. “It’s a big computer that allows us to do so much more. While all the programme making we’d done before was really good, this took it to broadcast quality. Some of what we do now is pre-recorded but we do it live as much as we can.”
Because production began several years ago, a child in year eight then may well be at university now. “I’ve had emails from kids in Australia, who are now working in the TV industry, that say ‘it’s all because of Marina View TV’. We ask our former kids, who are now at university, to come back and talk to our year seven and eights and say: ‘This is what I did, here’s what I’m doing now, this is what I’m going to do.’ It give our kids a focus, direction and a goal to move forward.”
The MVTV crew is well known in New Zealand school educational circles. For the past three years, it has presented its abilities at the ULearn and Learning at Schools conferences, but its impact has been felt much further afield than that, particularly when Colin Gover was asked to deliver a presentation about MVTV at a conference in South Korea. “We brought a whole bunch of kids together at a Korean school, and over two days, I showed them how to use the equipment. It was real pressure but we made an MVTV show, in English, in front of nearly 800 people. It was absolutely fantastic.
“Since about 2006, we’ve put all our shows on the web and one was used in the United States as an example of what a primary elementary school could achieve. So far, it’s had more than 25,000 hits.”