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Posts tagged ‘video conference’

VC Events at Sydney Opera House Amazing!

VCCapture-SOH3 (4)

I am just watching the Sydney Opera House and schools in Victoria  – Winters Flat PS and Lake Boga PS. The Opera House presenter started their ‘significant Australian places’ session outside in the forecourt and showed the Harbour Bridge, and the outside of the Opera House and talked about the tiles, etc. Live from outside and fully interactive with students in the classroom. Amazing stuff!

(Nathan Beveridge Education Consultant QLD)


As the end of  the 2015 school year approaches we have looked back at our video conferencing events to see how many schools have participated and how this is changing across Australia. This year more than 6500 students from over 330 schools across Australia participated in our events.

Victorian schools increased their participation rates this year to almost equal NSW schools. Many Victorian primary schools  for example saw the benefits of their students attending events such as the Sydney Opera House’s “significant Australian places session”.


This year we also saw an increase in the number of Catholic schools who joined our events. Whilst many schools  now have  video conferencing equipment they need to be supported to understand the use of video conferencing for student learning.

ELECTROBOARD Education provides training for teachers and content providers in how to use the technology and how to design events that support the Australian Curriculum.


Hospital schools also joined our events this year as well as an increasing number of  private schools. Whilst Victorian and NSW public schools  have  significantly embraced video conferencing we did see an increase in the number of schools from QLD and Western Australia.


We also saw the number of content providers grow  and many  now have their own equipment to deliver events from their sites.


This year ELECTROBOARD video conference events were provided by:

  • Allen and Unwin
  • EdTV
  • Fizzics Education
  • Harper Collins
  • Kimberlan Education
  • National Maritime Museum
  • National Museum of Australia
  • National Portrait Gallery
  • Manly Environment Centre
  • National Rugby League
  • Royal Botanic Gardens
  • Sydney Living Museums
  • Sydney Opera House
  • State Library NSW


This rich array of programs were all designed to support the Australian Curriculum. Our students are very fortunate that these organisations reach out to schools to share their outstanding content and expertise. For more information go to: https://www.education.electroboard.com.au/events/VideoConferenceEventsfind

Find out more about all the opportunities for VC with your school and register for Virtual Education Australia’s ReVEAl Conference.






ANZAC diaries meet Mini iPads!


Recently The Coalition of Knowledge Building schools conducted a student consultation with the NSW State Library and included students from Ravenswood School for Girls, Kambala School, Monte S’ Angelo Mercy College, Granville Boys High, Santa Sabina College, Ashfield Boys High. The students were asked to respond to the Library’s latest exhibition “Life Interrupted: Personal Diaries from World War 1”, in order for the Library to understand what they found fascinating, interesting and significant in the exhibition and what they would like to learn more about. To undertake this consultation they used mini iPads to make notes and take photos of the parts of the exhibition they found interesting and to produce a key note to present their findings to the whole group.

This outstanding exhibition http://ww1.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/life-interrupted-personal-diaries-world-war-i is a display of hundreds of diaries from World War 1. The diaries are beautifully displayed and demonstrate the diversity of their authors. The exhibition focusses on this concept and builds the story of the experiences of these soldier authors.

The Education Team at the State Library use cutting edge technology to engage students with the rich resources of the Library. They use video conferencing to reach a greater number of students and innovative interactive technologies to work with students who visit their Global Learning Space.

School excursions provided by the Team no longer use “booklets ’ or handouts but rather students are provided with mini iPads with key questions or tasks to lead students through the exhibitions, enabling them to create a response and share the products of their learning with their classmates during and after the event.

 The “Kids consult” process led by Professor Susan Groundwater-Smith is a way for the State Library and other cultural institutions who are members of the Coalition of Knowledge Building Schools to understand how students engage and learn through their exhibitions.

Sharing their reflections of “Life Interrupted” the students commented that reading the personal writing of the soldiers’ diaries demonstrated their diversity as people yet their commonality and shared response to their horrific circumstances. Students were deeply moved by the drawings they found within the diaries and the young age of the soldiers who were in some cases the same age as themselves.

Australian students are privileged to have cultural institutions with such highly experienced and innovative Education Teams who use the latest technologies to engage them in the rich content and expertise housed within their institutions. Many of them provide video conference events, face to face excursions and outstanding digital content through their websites.

To find out more about virtual excursions go to https://www.seeshareshape.com.au/share/VC/virtualexcursions.aspx

 and http://www.virtualexcursionsaustralia.com.au/





The Makers Empire Australian Learning Program held a video conference event with teachers from 4 Australian schools.The event was designed to increase the knowledge of teachers about the use of 3D printing and creating 3D objects. The Makers Empire Australian Learning Program http://makersempire.com/ was launched in July.

Internationally schools are interested in using 3D printers. Recently South Korea announced that it will provide 3D printers to its 5800 schools. Many schools in Australia have already purchased 3D printers but sometimes students do not have the skills to utilise CAD systems and to design for 3D. Makers Empire has solved this problem for schools by creating an App that even very young students can use to design in 3D and produce the results of their creativity and innovation using a 3D printer. Makers Empire has worked in schools such North Adelaide Primary school and Westminster Preparatory school where the students were able to learn about the design process from concept to production.

The team has built an entire learning program for schools which includes:
• Makers Empire 3D design software
• Lessons plans aligned to the Australian Curriculum for years F-7.
• A teachers’ portal for teachers to see students work and download models
• On-line resources,
• Instruction manuals and FAQs.

Lapman Leung and Jon Soong from the Makers Empire Team presented to schools via video conference from ELECTROBOARD’s St Leonards Office. Teachers from Victoria and NSW schools were fascinated to understand all aspects of 3D printing and to see how students could undertake this design program in their classrooms.
Supported by ELECTROBOARD’s Education Consultant Lizzie Cooper, Makers Empire used a range of technologies including a document camera to focus on the models students have created using the App and a 3D printer.

Using video conferencing technology in this way the Makers Empire Team were able to reach more teachers across Australia and spread the knowledge of this outstanding resource. The Makers Empire Team is based in South Australia and will be able to use the ELECTROBOARD office in Adelaide to deliver future video conferences.

Look for more exciting opportunities like this on our Video Conference Events Calendar https://www.seeshareshape.com.au/share/VC/virtualexcursions.aspx

An ANZAC in the Family


Libby Hathorn led 6 schools from Victoria and NSW through the creative writing process of her new historical novel “Eventual Poppy Day”. The journey involved many elements including: the inspiration (an unknown uncle who fought in Gallipoli and died at the Somme) his war records, her research and readings, her visits (farmland north NSW, Canberra War Memorial and the Somme in France) and her imagining of the time and place whilst checking and re-checking the facts of the battles fought.

Libby through her presentation showed her journey explaining this arduous but completely satisfying process. She recounted tor example  her experience of being the first member of her family to visit his grave in France. Through video- conferencing  and sharing her presentation using SMART Bridgit software  she was able to show students original sources such as his War Record, photos of the ship on which he travelled to Gallipoli and the landscape of the Somme in France then and now.

Students from Moonambel Primary, Tallygaroopna Primary, Wunghnu Primary, Bronte Primary, Berowra Primary and Beresfield Primary schools discovered through her writing the story of ANZAC.

Libby also read to the students examples of poetry and asked them to write words that represented ANZAC and later in the event contrasting with words that represented peace. Three students from each school read their words to Libby for feedback and the students watched and learned together across a distance of more than a thousand kilometres.

Finally she challenged them to construct a poem themselves about war and peace and to send their poems to her for feedback and potential publication.

Recently “Effective Virtual Excursions” was the topic of a question in the Australian Teacher Magazine.


We regularly conduct video conference events with hundreds of schools, who are able to access quality learning experiences such as Libby’s session. To find out more go to:https://www.seeshareshape.com.au/share/VC/virtualexcursions.aspx



Early Start off to a Great Start!


The Early Start Program is a “multi- disciplinary approach to examining the earliest year of life. It involves three key elements: A state of the art facility currently under construction at the University of Wollongong’s campus; a Discovery Space housed within the main building and providing public access to children and families; and a ‘connected’ network of 38 Early Childhood Education and Care services across NSW. Through the inter-connectedness of these facilities, which are scheduled to be fully operational in 2015 Early Start aims to drive positive social change by enhancing the learning and development experiences of children, families and communities.”

Professor Paul Chandler (University of Wollongong), the Executive Director of Early Start welcomed representatives of the 38 Early Start Engagement Centres to the Early Start Forum. Early Years educators travelled from as far as Broken Hill, Lightning Ridge and Wilcannia to participate in the forum where they learned from expert practitioners, academics and technology specialists.

The Engagement Centres will also be linked by video conferencing to enable professional development and sharing of knowledge. Each centre will also receive a SMART E70 Interactive display, a SMART Interactive Table, Apple iPads and an Apple TV.

Last year Bellambi Pre-school was provided with these technologies as a trial. In an article published in the Illawarra Mercury, Chief executive of the Big Fat Smile-owned centre in Bellambi, Bill Feld said that ” since the technology was introduced, children’s literacy and collaborative skills had excelled.

The first group of children to experience the program and then move on to kindergarten were deemed the most school-ready preschool cohort with the best attendance rate at Bellambi Public School last year.

But the best part of the Early Start program and its technologically interactive focus was witnessing families bond over learning.

I remember one case of a dad coming into the centre with his child and a web address, and they worked together using the technology from the program.

We hadn’t seen such co-operative learning between this child and the child’s family before.”


The program is an outstanding example of a collaborative community creating new knowledge to improve the learning outcomes of students.

ITEC Conference Celebrates Collaboration


Last week the Sydney Opera House hosted the ITEC Conference for 2013.


The international presenters included Dr Aaron Walsh “Inside Immersive Education”, Graham Smith “McLuhan, Telepresence and Education” and Debrah Howes “Teaching online at The Museum of Modern Art” New York. However the majority of the conference was devoted to the creative digital educational strategies of Australia’s universities,galleries, libraries, museums and  schools.

We heard about the importance of the NBN to the Australian economy going forward from Dr Kate Cornick and  Australian academics such as Dr Anita Kocsis( Swinbourne University Technology), Dr Rachel Perry (University Technology Sydney), Dr Anthony Collins and Professor Farzad Safaei (Sydney University) shared their innovations.

We learned about all the digital education projects delivered by  the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, ABC “Splash”, the National Museum of Australia, Sydney Living Museums Historic Houses Trust , the Murray- Darling Basin  Authority, Questacon, The Song Room, Ricoshae Pty Ltd, Power House , The NSWDEC Field of Mars Environment Centre, Abbotsleigh and the Sydney Opera House.

We also  learned about  how exciting digital projects are being delivered through collaborations for instance between the Victorian History Teachers Association, Culture Victoria with Heritage Council Victoria and the National Trust South Australia with SA DEDC and Harper Collins, PEETA with ELECTROBOARD Solutions.


Many of these projects are being listed under the umbrella organisation Virtual Excursions Australia which was launched at ITEC  by Senator Kate Lundy who also participated in the recent Gunghalin College Federal Youth Forum.


Students and teachers in Australia are so fortunate that our government, education systems and cultural institutions are developing such quality learning experiences incorporating authentic tasks, inquiry based projects aligned to the Australian Curriculum.


Collaborative Learning for Sustainability


Milo an 11 year old schoolboy from Vermont in the United States started a project to reduce the use and waste of disposable plastic straws. As well as encouraging children to say no to straws, through Milo’s project, restaurants and food outlets are now asking their customers if they need a straw, rather than automatically putting one with each drink. ‘Do you need a straw?
Milo’s project has attracted a lot of attention in the press and the US National Restaurant Association publicly recognized the project just 2 months after he launched it. He has been a guest speaker at big events like the Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability (LOHAS) conference in Boulder in June 2012 and is a recipient of the “Turtles of Change” award.

Today he collaborated via video conference with students in Australia to encourage them to become a ‘Turtle of Change’.http://www.ecocycle.org/bestrawfree


Also this week studentteams across the country have created news stories about local sustainability issues.

After an intense six-week program, junior reporters came up with great story ideas, interviewed and filmed local community members and edited their news reports. ABC reporters and producers from Behind the News, triple J Hack and ABC Open have inspired kids along the way.

Nathan Bazley hosted the final four-way via video conference from ACMI in Melbourne where schools presented their news stories. Watch the highlights and all the news stories in the gallery.



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