21 June 2010: A whistle stop virtual tour of the world in just 3 hours enthralled pupils who visited places as far flung as the wailing wall in Jerusalem, the Statue of Liberty in New York and Sydney Harbour Bridge while exploring the changes from night to day, travelling through different time zones.
The Night and Day videoconferencing programme was delivered through the JANET Videoconferencing Service by JANET(UK) and embc (formerly the East Midlands Broadband Consortium). In addition, students from key stages 1-3 were invited to step outside their classrooms and experience fun, interactive activities provided by the National History Museum and the National Space Centre. Through the use of props and puppets students help Circadian Sam at the National History Museum work out whether it’s night and day. Looking at animals in their natural habits, they explore answers to questions such as ‘how does the bat find its way in the dark? Why can an owl fly so silently? and how do bees tell each other where to find the best nectar?
Moving from the earth into the solar system, students take part in an animated, interactive show with the National Space Centre. This show includes a Tour of the Night Sky looking at some of the star patterns for the time of year and some of the mythological stories associated with them. Finally, the Australian Observatory takes the world of astronomy straight into the classroom, with a journey through space and time! Wide-eyed students are given the opportunity to look at the amazing sky at night, in Australia, through the Bathhurst telescope at Charles Sturt University.
“The Night and Day by videoconference event has generated much more interest than we anticipated,’ says Tim Boundy, National Education Network Services Group Content Coordinator at JANET(UK). “Twice as many schools registered as we had initially planned for and I’m glad we were able to accommodate all of those that took part. “ States Tim ”It is really exciting to be able to use videoconferencing and JVCS to link up so many schools at the same time and to be able to study some fascinating subjects together. I am really pleased that JVCS can enable this to happen and bring together schools using four different types of video technology.” “This is the first time embc have partnered in a videoconferencing event and we were delighted that schools in the East Midlands region were able to join with schools across the UK to share the benefits this technology brings to teaching and learning, says Jane Barker - Company Development Manager, embc. ‘It’s excellent having people with such expertise teach the class without physically being here,’ says Cassim Bana from Aldersbrook Primary School in Wandsworth, London. And what did year 5 think of the videoconference? ‘‘The videoconference was fun and exciting because there were lots of schools and a man from Australia talking to us,’ replied one.
To find out more about this and other videoconferencing opportunities, please visit the JANET(UK) website here
To receive regular updates on videoconferencing opportunities, please sign up to the videoconferencing mailing list: VCSP@JISCMAIL.AC.UK
Take a look at the photos and feedback from those who took part in the event here