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Filming for The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust

Written by Ben Newsome on November 1st, 2017.      0 comments

Promoting the work of the Churchill Fellows

Last night we were invited by The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust to film a series of segments with Blue Clay Creatives as part of helping to spread the message of the Churchill Fellowships to a new generation. The Churchill Trust has partnered with NBCUniversal and Focus Features to tie-in with the upcoming film, 'The Darkest Hour' a film where Gary Oldman portrays Sir Winston Churchill during the height of the Battle of Britain.

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Filming for Churchill Trust
Science on camera!
Teaching Topics: Churchill Fellowship, media , scicomm

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

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

Checking out the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Written by Ben Newsome on June 7th, 2014.      0 comments

Whilst in Indianapolis I was able to check out the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis , the world’s largest children’s museum not far from the city centre. 

 As you approach the building you definitely know you’re in the right place as full size dinosaurs smash out of the building as a giant Bumblebee robot from the Transformers franchise stands guard within the foyer.

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Busting out the science!

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 :)

Alaska Zoo: new distance content ready for schools

Written by Ben Newsome on May 30th, 2014.      0 comments

This leg of my Churchill Fellowship dropped me into Anchorage in Alaska to see the Alaska Zoo education team and view what they have been doing to setup their distance education school sessions. 

Accompanied by Pamela Lloyd from GCI SchoolAccess and my sister, we met Stephanie at the front entrance...

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Northern exposure...

Distance learning with dinosaurs; a visit to the Royal Tyrrell Museum

Written by Ben Newsome on May 28th, 2014.      0 comments

Buried in the Alberta badlands is the old coal mining town of Drumheller; a place I could not miss on this Churchill Fellowship as it is home to the Royal Tyrrell Museum, a world class dinosaur museum and a major producer of distance learning content via video conference.

After flying from Los Angeles to Calgary I jumped in a hire car and headed off to dinosaur country...

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T-Rex in Alberta

Aquarium of the Pacific; distance education from the deep!

Written by Ben Newsome on May 25th, 2014.      0 comments

The Churchill Fellowship has finally started! As a recap, I am very fortunate to have received the opportunity visit 16 museums and cultural institutions across North America to study best practices in science education via video conference. 

First stop was a visit to the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California. The aquarium is situated in a beautiful building housing a stunning array of marine life divided into coastal zones from the beachside to the ocean trenches. Formed in 1998, the aquarium has grown into a major institution...

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Blue whale in the foyer

Churchill Fellowship to be undertaken in 2014

Written by Ben Newsome on July 14th, 2013.      0 comments

I have recently been given the honour to represent Australia as a Churchill Fellow on a study tour to Canada and the USA to examine best practices in science education via video conference.

During this trip I will be visiting a variety of Museums, Zoos, Aquariums and Science Centers to learn how they are using video conferencing technology to bring science to students around the world. 

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Her Excellency Prof. Marie R. Bashir, AC, CVO,
Governor of NSW 

Australian Small Business Champion for Educational Servicestop 100 coolest company CILC Pinnacle AwardAustralian Science Teachers Association PwC 21CM-Initiative

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