...Videoconference link represents giant leap for UK schools IT drive...
Two leading UK Grammar Schools successfully participated in a three-way
videoconference with NASA this week as part of a drive to nurture an
information technology culture amongst their pupils. Slough Grammar in
Berkshire and Salt Grammar in Yorkshire were invited to participate in
NASA's Learning Outpost programme, a long-distance learning programme
based around videoconferencing technology. Global VideoCom, who provided
the necessary equipment and technical support, made the link-up possible
The link-up with NASA provided pupils with the opportunity to quiz NASA
staff about the international space station and gain a valuable insight
into the overall programme. The students that participated in the
videoconference are studying science and IT courses.
"The videoconference proved to be a very stimulating experience for the
pupils," said Mr Clark-Maxwell, a physics teacher at Slough Grammar."It is
rare to have two NASA scientists spend over an hour discussing the
intricacies of an international space project as well as answer a variety
of questions and yet this is precisely what the videoconference was able
to achieve. For the students, this was the next best thing to
actually visiting NASA, without the jet lag".
"It was interesting to see how the students became immersed in the
teleconference as they realised the scope of information that was
available to them and the way that they could explore a range of related
subjects. NASA is very well set up for videoconferencing and have
utilised the interactive aspect that videoconferencing offers. They were
able to respond to questions using film clips, models and other aids that
would be impossible in a traditional question and answer session. It is
clear that videoconferencing will revolutionise the way that pupils learn
in the future and I'm pleased that my pupils have had the exposure to this
very unique experience," added Clark-Maxwell.
Both schools are strong proponents of the widespread use of information
technology and video-conferencing is regarded as a key educational tool.
Slough Grammar recently submitted a bid for the Department of Education's
'classroom of the future' scheme and videoconferencing formed a central
part of the bid. The advantage that videoconferencing has over other
medium is the ability to personalise the interaction between individuals.
In an educational context, this can often prove to be the key to enhancing
the learning experience.
"Global VideoCom is delighted to be supporting the efforts of these
schools to enhance the learning experience of their pupils. The link-up
with NASA highlights that videoconferencing provides a unique platform
that can genuinely bridge distances. The enthusiasm with which the pupils
participated is a graphic reminder of the positive impact technology can
make", said Phil Sewell, Managing Director, Global VideoCom
About the NASA Learning Outpost Programme - The International Space
The ISS virtual tour is a live interactive video teleconference that
showcases the International Space Station. Before the videoconference
begins, students are provided with information about the origins of NASA,
its mandate to explore space, the mission of the Johnson Space Center and
a brief review of human space flight to prepare them for their visit.
During the videoconference, students are introduced to the International
Space Station's full-size training mock up. While inside one of the
science research modules, they'll take part in an interactive discussion
about the Space Station's purpose: the unique research environment it
provides scientists. The ISS Virtual Tour also includes a visit to the
Neutral Buoyancy Laboratory, a huge swimming pool where astronauts train
to walk in space. Students also see inside the Russian-built Service
Module where the International Space Station's residents live. Finally,
the tour investigates the types of food astronauts eat in space and then
closes with a question and answer session.
About Global VideoCom
Since its inception in 1996, Global VideoCom has focused on providing
communications products and services that offer best-performance solutions
to a diverse range of users. To deliver on this strategy, it has
continuously utilised the most innovative technology and provided a wide
range of support services, thus offering tailored solutions that meet the
individual needs of its clients. In April 2000, Global VideoCom launched
a new division, Globalevideo, in order to service the demand for
video-on-the.net, its new ASP-based videoconferencing solution. With a
new Headquarters and Network Communications Centre having opened in Slough
in November 2000, Global VideoCom has 3 UK sites, through which it
provides for the rapid deployment of engineering staff to support its
global clients. Its increasing international focus will extend to include
offices in the US, Amsterdam, Geneva, Tokyo and Sydney by early 2001.
Global VideoCom has 3 wholly-owned subsidiaries - Global VideoConferencing
(Scotland) Ltd., Global Knowledge Ltd. and Global VideoConferencing Ltd.
In addition, in 1997 it acquired the assets of Planet Videoconferencing
Ltd., a subsidiary of Planet Communications Group Ltd.
For more information visit http://www.globalvc.co.uk
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
Jonathan Batty /Tracey Farrant
Tel: +44 (0)1753 790700
Fax: +44 (0)1753 790701
Heidi Berry / Clare Hemmings
Global VideoCom Group Ltd
Tel: +44 (0)1753 442350
Fax: +44 (0)1753 442360
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