Where and who would you connect with using video? The Great Barrier Reef? A cultural exchange?

October 9, 2011 - 3 Comments

Introducing the Cisco Education Australia and New Zealand (ANZ) team!

Welcome to the first in a series of postings from the Cisco ANZ education team on what’s happening Down Under.

We’ll be providing updates on news, research and commentary across the higher education, K-12 as well as vocational education and training sectors.

Our first blog post focuses on Pymble Ladies College (PLC), an independent school in Sydney, Australia for girls from Kindergarten to year 12. It has recently partnered with Cisco to implement a range of video technologies for teachers and students to learn, collaborate and interact with experts in particular fields, anywhere in Australia or across the world.

Where or who would you connect with if you could using video?

At PLC, students communicate live with a diver on the barrier reef and embark on a cultural exchange with  South Korea – from their classrooms.

According to Paul Lester, Professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton, we’re becoming a visually mediated society. For many, understanding of the world is being accomplished, not through reading words, but by reading images.

This opinion is reflected in comments by Rathika Suresh, Director of Information Technology at PLC.  “Video is real.  It’s media rich.  It brings reality.  So no more can we just give them [students] a two dimensional piece of paper and expect that to suffice.  It’s gotta be real, it’s gotta be engaging.  And video gives all.  So we use video for connecting to experts, for virtual tours.”

Another factor influencing the design and implementation of the school’s new video technologies was the importance of and number of devices that students and staff use at school, at home and elsewhere.  A 2011 Cisco Connected Technology World Report launched in September has shown that two-thirds of students (66%) cite a mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet) as “the most important technology in their lives”.

Vicki L Waters, Principal of PLC relates to this trend. “Our young people expect to be able to connect anywhere in the world at anytime.  And they do…  For our students the days of paper and text are gone.  For us it is about that connectivity, the immediacy, it is about communicating and creating.  It is their world, we want to be a part of it.

Take a look at our video of Pymble Ladies College – where or who would you connect with using video if you could?

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  1. I am considering WebEx as part of my online courses. Much of the course will be asynchronous, but it would be useful and lively to have a weekly synchronous conversation with all students joining in with voice, video, and data all being available on the screen. I know that WebEx does this, but I’d like to hear from any colleagues who are using WebEx to teach in this way.

  2. It is great to see more about what is going on down under with video! The Great Barrier Reef is such a great VFT. Can’t wait to read more of your updates…