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Podcast: California Academy of Sciences Virtual Field Trips

Written by Ben Newsome on April 29th, 2018.      0 comments

Episode 51 of the FizzicsEd podcast

Virtual science field trips can transport students to any point around the globe in real time. Today we speak with Jacque Benitez, a distance learning science specialist for the California Academy of Sciences. From running programs on astronomy through to penguins, Jacque knows how to engage remote audiences with real-time experiences about their world.

Listen to FizzicsEd on Apple Podcasts  FizzicsEd podcast available on Stitcher  soundcloud-logo 

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Jacque Benitez from California Academy of Sciences

Connecting learners globally

Podcast: Less screen time & more STEM at the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum, Michigan

Written by Ben Newsome on August 6th, 2017.      0 comments

Episode 13 of the FizzicsEd podcast

Learning by doing is by far the best way for kids to learn skills for life. At the Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum, the Corrina Strecker and the team have created an immersive STEM environment that captures kid’s imaginations and teaches families valuable lessons in creativity, exploration and collaboration. From interactive water play through to Halloween slime sessions, Corrina and the team at Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum know how to grab a kid’s attention. Let’s get a little messy!

Listen to FizzicsEd on Apple Podcasts  FizzicsEd podcast available on Stitcher  soundcloud-logo

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Corrina Strecker from Ann Arbor Hands-on Museum
Putting the A in STEM!

Fizzics wins CILC Pinnacle Award three years running!

Written by Ben Newsome on August 2nd, 2017.      0 comments

Wow..three years in a row!

The team at Fizzics Education are proud again to announce that we've now been fortunate enough to pick up the coveted CILC Pinnacle Award for the third year running! This education award is given annually by the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration for virtual excursion content providers who have excelled in running distance education classes via video conferences to schools, libraries, retirement homes and more across the globe. We're very happy to be included amongst these awesome virtual excursion providers!

So, who is the CILC? Think thousands of schools, libraries, retirement homes and more connecting with subject matter experts from museums, zoos, aquariums, galleries and more in live interactive virtual excursions across the globe. There is SO much for your students to discover at CILC...

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CILC Pinnacle Award for Fizzics Education


Podcast: How virtual excursions enrich classroom teaching

Written by Ben Newsome on July 23rd, 2017.      0 comments

Episode 11 of the FizzicsEd podcast

No matter what topic your class is studying, you can connect your students with experts from around the globe in museums, science centers, zoos, aquariums and more using conferencing technology. Jan Zanetis, ISTE Board Director and the Executive Director for the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration discusses how schools are using this experiences to enrich their lessons as well the how the use of video has transformed the teaching landscape via flipped learning.

Listen to FizzicsEd on Apple Podcasts  FizzicsEd podcast available on Stitcher  soundcloud-logo

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Jan Zanetis, Managing Director for CILC and ISTE Board Member
Global learning made accessible!

Fizzics wins NBN major grant to build education studio

Written by Ben Newsome on March 29th, 2017.      0 comments

New science education about to be built!

Woohoo! Fizzics Education was announced as a major grant recipient of $25K from the ‘Grow with nbnTM' program. The new funding will now allow Fizzics to create a purpose-built distance education space, complete with a chroma-key green screen, sound proofing and the ability to run concurrent video conference sessions.

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Fizzics boiling water demo in video conference
We're looking forward to build!


Top tips for teaching via video conference

Written by Ben Newsome on February 5th, 2016.      2 comments

Often as a teacher you get your training on how to use the newly installed VC system and then you're left to your own devices to work out the intricacies on how to use it. 

Here are some quick ways that will you to get them most out of your video conferencing and make it awesome for all involved!

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Video conferencing made simple


An overview of Virtual Excursions Australia in an interview with CILC

Written by Ben Newsome on July 9th, 2015.      0 comments

After visiting Philadelphia earlier this year for ISTE 2015, Jan Zanetis from the Centre for Interactive Learning & Collaboration in the USA interviewed me on the presentation made to CILC video conference content providers about the work being done by Virtual Excursions Australia in reaching remote learners across Australia.

Here's the interview in full!

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Video conference camera
Virtual excursions bridge distance & experts!

Get roving video conference robots at your school or museum!

Written by Ben Newsome on February 9th, 2015.      0 comments

There has been much talk around National Museum’s video conferencing robot.

Developed in collaboration with the CSIRO and the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, the telepresence robot roving the NMA’s floors has allowed multiple remote schools and libraries to simultaneously connect to an onsite educator to ask questions as well as explore the exhibits themselves using the panoramic cameras that create a 360 degree view with zooming capability. The only issue is that whilst the technology is very exciting the associated price tag makes it difficult for other sites to attain easily. There are other options...

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Double Robotics iPad robot seen in Atlanta at ISTE 2014

Radio profile: science video conference to Unalaska!

Written by Ben Newsome on August 4th, 2014.      0 comments

Last month I got the opportunity to again connect with Unalaska library to run a video conference on the science of sound. As usual I had a blast working with the kids, but I got a great surprise to find that it got recorded by local community radio station kucb 89.7fm! 

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Slinky shake
Science of sound to Unalaska

USS Intrepid: Combining science & history for virtual excursions

Written by Ben Newsome on June 27th, 2014.      0 comments

After a fantastic visit to New York Hall of Science my Churchill fellowship continued on toward Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum Complex in Manhattan.

Approaching the World War II aircraft carrier from the heart of Hells Kitchen t I couldn’t help but be excited to learn the history of the vessel and see the variety of aircraft on the flight deck. USS Intrepid was launched in 1943 and saw active service in World War II and Vietnam as well used for recovery operations for the NASA Gemini program. During World War II the carrier was survived by 5 kamikaze attacks and 1 torpedo strike as it participated in operations across the Pacific.

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USS Intrepid

CNYRIC: Championing the use of VC for New York Schools

Written by Ben Newsome on June 24th, 2014.      0 comments

With a short flight out of New York I dropped into Syracuse to visit the Central New York Regional Information Center (CYNRIC), an entity that serves as educational support for 50 school districts and four Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) across eight counties in the central region of New York State. 

Everything from technology integration, flipped learning consultancy to digital media loans is covered plus in addition to this they help schools get connected with video conferencing equipment and help teachers learn how to use VC in a variety of situations.

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With Amy & little 'RIC'

nySci: Bringing science to remote students

Written by Ben Newsome on June 24th, 2014.      0 comments

After zipping across to CYNRIC in Syracuse I dropped into the New York Hall of Science in Queens, NY.

Also known as NYSCI, the museum was established as part of the 1964-1965 World’s Fair near the banks of the East River. Finding the museum is easy, just keep an eye out for the Mercury Atlas-D and Gemini Titan II Rockets poking above the surrounding Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

On entry to the museum you are greeted with a new tinkering area where kids can build, create and manipulate all sorts of objects to solve engineering problems or simply to have fun!

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Maker space at New York Hall of Science

International Spy Museum; covert distance learning!

Written by Ben Newsome on June 20th, 2014.      0 comments

Ever wanted to be a secret agent? Got a hankering to live a double life? Well this leg of my Churchill Fellowship found me at the International Spy Museum in Washington DC to find out all about the life of spies and how classrooms across the world have experienced this content presented via video conference.

I must admit, this visit intrigued me as the educational content presented is completely unique; where else can you see a real spy gadgets or talk with an ex-CIA case officer about life as an agent? 

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Spy concealment deveices

Behind the scenes at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, Washington DC

Written by Ben Newsome on June 19th, 2014.      0 comments

Following a very busy week in Cleveland I made my way over to Washington DC, home of a stunning array of museums and galleries. 

During the visit I met with Mark Kornmann, Chief of Educational Outreach at the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum. It was interesting to discuss how the museum was working to reach students across the USA. The museum broadcasts distance learning programs via a movable video conferencing trolley as well as from center stage within the Moving Beyond Earth gallery. 

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Museums, Smithsonian style

STEM at the Challenger Learning Center and BUBL; Rochester, New York

Written by Ben Newsome on June 14th, 2014.      0 comments

On leaving Cleveland Museum of Art I continued my Churchill Fellowship, taking a later flight out of Ohio and landing at midnight in Rochester, New York to visit the Rochester Challenger Learning Centre and Bathysphere Underwater Biological Laboratory over a 2 day visit. 

The skills of the team are diverse and so I was looking forward to checking out how they run classes that simulate being in a spaceship, a NASA command center or an underwater laboratory for a variety of student groups.  They didn’t disappoint!

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What a learning environment!

Science and Art video conferences by the Cleveland Museum of Art

Written by Ben Newsome on June 12th, 2014.      0 comments

After an inspiring time at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History I headed over to the Cleveland Museum of Art to visit Dale Hilton and her distance education team.

One of the reasons I wanted to visit was to find out how the museum mixes art and science in a video conference setting. In teacher professional development sessions I’ve often argued that science doesn’t have to be run by itself and that mixing it up produces richer meaning for students

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Chroma-key brilliance!

Distance learning at Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Written by Ben Newsome on June 11th, 2014.      0 comments

On leaving Indianapolis I dropped into Cleveland to visit a hive of activity in the science education via video conferencing world.

My first stop was with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, situated within the University Circle district not far from downtown Cleveland. On entering the building I was greeted by Lee Gambol, an exuberant and knowledgeable science presenter who spearheads over 30 video conference science programs 

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Vinnie cam!

Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab

Written by Ben Newsome on June 8th, 2014.      0 comments

Following my visit to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum I dropped by the Nina Mason Pulliam Ecolab. Situated in Marian University, the NMP Ecolab is designed as a living laboratory for local students to study the ecology of the Indiana prairie’s, woodlands and freshwater streams. 

The strength of the video conferencing lies in the interactivity; classes are sent materials to interact with which means the distance lesson is not a ‘talking head’...

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Biology teaching in Indiana

CILC; the heart of North American distance learning

Written by Ben Newsome on June 6th, 2014.      0 comments

After two flights from Alaska I continued my Winston Churchill Fellowship travels toward Indianapolis to visit the heart of North American video conferencing at the Center for Interactive Learning & Collaboration (CILC).

Bringing together over 230 content providers, 10,000’s of teachers and over 90 countries the CILC has truly become a center of video conferencing over the past 20 years of operation...

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Coordinating 1000's of schools

Alaska Sealife Centre: marine wildlife video conferences

Written by Ben Newsome on June 2nd, 2014.      0 comments

After a visiting the Alaska Zoo the Churchill Fellowship continued down to Seward to visit the Alaska Sealife Centre. Set on the edge of town on the shores of Resurrection Bay, the Alaska Sealife Center specialises in cold water marine animals and is Alaska’s only permanent marine mammal rehabilitation facility.

On entering the Center I immediately headed upstairs to meet Darin Trobaugh, a distance education specialist getting ready to run a video conference on Marine Mammals and their Adaptations to some year 4 students on Long Island...

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Alaska-Sealife-Center-video conference
Presenting on the floor :)

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