Family and friends of the Class of 2017 who were unable to come to the Florida State Fairgrounds for graduation ceremonies took full advantage of the school district’s live webcast and TV broadcast this graduation season.
People tuned in from close to 60 countries and a total of 61,874 stream requests were logged during the two-week graduation cycle. While many viewers watched online from their desktop and laptop computers, the majority of people utilized their phone or tablet to see their loved one walk across the stage.
Hillsborough County Public Schools Superintendent Jeff Eakins said the district is honored to give students and their families the chance to share this important moment with those who were unable to attend in person.
“We have a unique opportunity here in Hillsborough County,” Eakins said. “With the help of our partners, the Tampa Bay Arts and Education Network, we can give our families the chance to share this special moment all over the world. It’s amazing.”
Eakins also said with a district as diverse and multicultural as Hillsborough County, he isn’t surprised that people tuned in from several different countries.
“Our students come from rich backgrounds and a host of cultures,” Eakins said. “It’s rewarding to know that family members living thousands of miles away can watch the exact moment that their student became a high school graduate and changed their life, forever.”
More than 72,000 streams were watched by family and friends in the United States. But people living in Puerto Rico, India, Columbia, United Kingdom, Egypt, Brazil and Australia, also logged hundreds of streams.
This was the first year, Hillsborough County Public Schools aired all traditional high school graduations live on cable and it was the second year HCPS live streamed the graduations. The district believes this is an important way to connect families and friends who cannot attend graduation because of distance, military deployment, illness, work obligations or other reasons.