The Northern Districts Education Centre (Sydney) Churchill Fellowship to investigate best practice in science education via video conferencing

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Major Lessons

  • Professional development in collaborative technologies needs to be ongoing in the school system and should be embedded into pre-service teaching courses at Universities. Video conferencing should be incorporated into all mainstream teaching & learning sequences to enrich the K – 12 curriculum. This is critical as significant investment has already been made to install H.323 systems in over 3000 schools. 
  • Funding for establishment of mobile H.323 systems into all schools, libraries, hospitals, retirement homes & juvenile justice sites needs to occur and should be ongoing. Additionally funding should be allocated yearly for these public sites to engage in STEM video conference experiences. Internet bandwidth must be increased in schools & libraries to allow high definition video conferencing to take place as soon as possible with a minimum external speed of 1152 kbps per site allocated specifically for H.323 conferencing systems. 
  • The various booking systems in Australia should be unified into one federal platform for any site to find video conference educational experiences. It should be funded, publicly accessible, offer an MCU bridge, embrace cloud based web conferencing solutions that link to H.323 systems, convert to local time zones, include public evaluations & offer events both through a calendar as well as by request to cater for timetables. Connections should be directly between content provider & site unless bridging for multiple sites is needed. 
  • Funding for Australian content providers running video conference classes be allocated for those surpassing a consistent audience-reviewed performance evaluation benchmark agreed to by all Australian providers. 
  • Collaboration across content providers should occur between all sites to increase best teaching practices. 
  • STEM video conferencing lessons must be interactive and hands-on to be relevant to a learner of any age. 
  • Museums & cultural institutions consider installing roving video conference robots to bring remote learners access to their galleries & learning spaces.

Fellow

Benjamin Newsome

Benjamin Newsome

NSW
2013

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