Try your hand at videoconferencing

ClickFest is a video conferencing festival that highlights the diversity and scope of video conferences available to schools across Australia. Sessions are delivered free or at reduced cost to schools, providing a great opportunity for teachers to give videoconferencing a go.

We asked videoconferencing advocate Karen Player from Australian Museum a few questions about the festival and how to get involved.

How popular is videoconferencing in the classroom?
Video conferencing is becoming increasing popular as a way of engaging students with content and expertise from organisations across the country. Thousands of student are benefiting from these interaction each term.

Why aren’t all schools making the most of this opportunity?
All NSW state schools have the Connected Classrooms technologies that enable video conferencing. Many private and interstate schools are also getting video conferencing equipment so they can connect with the diversity of content available.

As physical excursions become more prohibitive video conferencing creates new opportunities for teachers to create interactive learning experiences and connect with organisations across Australia and the world. Over the next few years we will see the continued growth of virtual excursions.

How did ClickFest start?
The ClickFest video conferencing festival started in 2011 as a way for content providers to highlight the amazing diversity of programs available for schools.

In 2011 the festival was supported by NSW National Science Week and Virtual Excursions Australia. ClickFest provided a great opportunities for teachers to access free and reduced cost video conferences reaching thousands of students each year.

Tell us about Virtual Excursions Australia?
Virtual Excursions Australia began in 2010 and over 40 organisations are involved in the working group. Of these, almost 20 organisations are on the Virtual Excursions Australia website portal. Many more people also engage with Virtual Excursions Australia’s Facebook and twitter pages.

How can teachers get involved?
Teachers can find information about ClickFest on the Virtual Excursions Australia website.

Updates will also be posted through Virtual Excursions Australia’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

If you would like to host a virtual excursion and help promote the growing videoconferencing network, please contact Karen Player at Australian Museum