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LIVE Video conferencing with your school no matter where you are!

Written by Ben Newsome on May 6th, 2009.      2 comments

LIVE Video conferencing with your school no matter where you are!

Video conference camera

Beginning in 2007, NSW rolled out millions of dollars of video conferencing hardware to NSW public schools through the Interactive Classroom Project.  Now NSW public schools can access industry experts from around the world via video conference using Connections, managed by the Distance and Rural Technologies (DART) unit within the NSW Department of Education & Training. Fizzics Education is proud to be a part of this initiative, with scheduled interactive conferences your school can access that are syllabus relevant, affordable and easily accessible regardless of your school's physical location. Already we have run video conferences with up to 15 schools taking part simultaneously, during which over 550 students received access to quality science instruction at minimal cost. We have tailored our workshops so that students can still ask us questions and perform experiments in their own class during the conference, thereby preserving the interactive element that typifies any visit by one of our science educators.

Of course, not all readers have students enrolled in a NSW public school. For these schools we can run a video conference with your school directly.  All your school needs is access to a Tandberg, Polycom, Lifesize or similar Cisco based hardware.
We don't have video conferencing hardware... what about us?

No problem!  Very soon we will be launching a web conferencing solution that will allow your students’ access to our educators with minimal hardware required. All you will need is access to broadband internet and a computer - even the home laptop will work. The access to this service will be on a subscription basis, minimizing the fuss and maximising the learning potential for all students everywhere across the globe... especially useful for isolated schools and home educators.
How does video conferencing work and why is it useful anyway?

Video conferencing uses hardware designed to take advantage of developments in internet technology. Each school's hardware dials directly to a server that bridges all of these separate connections together, allowing each individual school to speak and see each other in real time. Multiple schools can therefore interact together, sharing lessons and accessing outside expertise not readily accessible due to distance or lack of funding. The possibilities are fantastic, as now schools and educators over 1000km apart can interact as if they were in the same room...dramatically reducing school excursion costs whilst retaining access to specialist education services. The only limits are the ability of the bridge to support each individual connection, time zones and your school having the hardware with a decent internet connection. So far through Connections some 'virtual excursions' have included up to 50 schools at the same time!

All the best!


Ben Newsome
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Juliet says ...
Video conferencing in education provides many benefits to schools, colleges, universities in terms of time saver, better student teacher collaboration, helping students to attend lectures, classes etc. from anywhere anytime. Hence, nowadays, most educational institutions are using video conferencing tools like webex, gomeetnow, gotomeeting, R-HUB HD video conferencing servers etc. for conducting online classes, online trainings etc.
Ben @ Fizzics says ...
Thanks for your contribution Juliet! Everything you say regarding benefits to students are very much true :)

There's so many opportunities for teachers to connect their students with the world. Polycom Realpresence, Zoom and more are all very useful in making this happen.

My full Winston Churchill Fellowship report on science education & video conferencing is worth checking out!

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