Thursday, 26 January 2012

What is a Video Enhanced Learning Environment ( VELE )?

Could a VELE be the next generation online learning platform?

A video enhanced learning environment allows tutors to interact using video link with students in a secure online learning environment. I have created the term "VELE" after working separately for many years with VLEs ( Virtual Learning Environments) and web conferencing software. Many of the advanced features and tools found in a VLE are not currently available in VELEs, such as e-portfolios and creation of learning paths.

JANET Visimeet is an example of a VELE. It is fully interoperable with other H323 video conferencing end points via the Janet VC booking service.
Visimeet has the capability for file sharing, saving meeting notes, chat, a white board feature, recording, streaming and has moveable and expandable pods so that the user is in full control of their desktop layout.
The rigidity of VLEs with tool bars and set templates have disappeared in Visimeet. The flexible layout is very user friendly and shows huge potential for the future of distance learning. The tutor has the ability to mute and control students access during a lesson. Web conferencing is made "e-safe", since the tutor(moderator) can only allow students into the conference with a username linked to their email account.  I predict VELEs will be the future of online learning.

For more information about Janet Visimeet click here

Sunday, 15 January 2012

London Olympia calling France, New York, Canada and Finland

On Friday 13th (15.30) GMT live from the BETT show in London Olympia the first ever international multipoint video conference during a seminar session took place.

Leaders in the use of VC from the education sector across the world talked about the ways they were using VC with their schools to save money and time.
Suzanne Ship Headteacher of Engayne Primary school in the London Borough of Havering discussed her case study and how she saved £4500 in 1 year in CPD costs.
Minna Helynen, Educational Developer and Trainer, City of Tampere, Finland talked about how 12 schools in Tampere saved 1000 Euros through professional development courses organised from her centre via VC.
Dave Smith, ICT Adviser for Havering School Improvement Services followed Finland, by talking about how one of the many schools in his borough had saved £3500 in 5 months through making virtual visits to museums.
Tim BoundyApplications Development Team Manager at JANET (UK) showed examples of various UK content opportunties available to schools and the JVCS booking system all available for free to registered UK educational establishments.
Lynda Burgess, Education Manager,Education Alberta, Canada discussed how distance learning courses via VC had made a huge impact on teaching and learning for her High schools. 
Roger Bloxham, VC Consultant London and France joined the conference using a webcam and JVCS Desktop discussed the advantages school to school partnerships have via VC giving examples from the schools and projects he has supported in France,UK and NYS.
 Mike Sylofski Managing Coordinator - E-Learning Services (NERIC) and Larry Gallery, Membership Development &K-12 Program Manager NYSERNET in New York both talked about projects they have been working on through partnering their schools with the UK and about the future impact VC will have for NYS.

Many thanks to Aver Info (UK) for the use of their HD VC hardware and technical support and also to the team at EMAP (organisers of the BETT show).

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Chris Lubbe joins C84C via Video Conference

Chris Lubbe joined Collaborate for change via JVCS desktop today during the event held at London Olympia to speak to a group of teachers about his "Inspirational " life story.
Due to unforeseen motorway traffic on the way home his virtual appearance was slightly delayed. However Chris managed to find a Costa coffee shop and find a wireless connection so he was still able to take part.
Chris is originally from Durban, South Africa where he spent most of his life involved in the struggle against 'apartheid'. His story is about the spirit of determination, courage and forgiveness in the face of blatant racial discrimination.
He had the privilege and honour of learning from great leaders such as Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and F W De Klerk. His story is a tribute to the human spirit and to the many thousands who have lost their lives in the pursuit of freedom in South Africa. 

He now looks forward to sharing his story with schools all over the UK via Video Conference.
Chris is a registerd JANET content provider and is available to offer his VC sessions to students from KS2 - KS5.

Click here to find out more about Chris.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Ardleigh Green Junior School wins National VC Award

The aims of the JANET (UK) VC User awards were to:
  • Celebrate diverse uses of videoconferencing in education.
  • Highlight the impact videoconferencing brings to teaching and learning.
  • Raise awareness of the additional benefits that videoconferencing can bring to educational settings.

The awards ceremony was held at Ravensbourne, London, on December 8th during the JANET VC user conference. Vanessa Pittard from the Technology Policy Unit at Department for Education presented the awards to the schools and content providers. 

The winner for the Infant/Primary/Junior school category was Ardleigh Green Junior School in the London Borough of Havering. Well done AGJ!  The judges thought the school showed an excellent example of using VC across the curriculum through using content and school to school partnerships which impacted the whole school.

John Morris (Head Teacher, AGJ School) and Katie Shephard ( ICT co-ordinator)
proudly hold the certificate and trophy from JANET (UK)

International VC live at BETT Show - January 13th @ (15.30)

Video Conferencing for Learning: Saving Money and Time
Schools are using video conferencing (VC) technology to connect with each other and with content providers and experts from all over the world. Seven leaders in the use of VC in education will share good practice and discuss how their schools are using VC to develop new opportunities to teach and learn and save thousands of pounds a year in time and travel costs alone.

Please come along to the club room at 15.30 on Friday 13th January, to hear leaders in the education sector from Finland, Canada, New York State and the UK talk about what their schools are doing to save money using VC.

Using VC for 1 hour only costs 2 pence

The table below shows figures from the “Power Consumption of Videoconferencing Equipment” report available at:
(The full report can be foundhere)

I have taken the total watts used in an hour by the Tandberg C20 during a busy call and the Hitachi projector to work out the cost of running a video conference session.  It only costs 2.12p per hour @  a cost of unit of electricity of 10p per 1 KWh.

The cost for a school visit, travelling with a coach full of 30 children to a museum to meet an expert is much more. The adverse impact the diesel fueled coach has on the environment has not been taken into account. Please see the Crownfield Junior School case study here about using VC to enrich the curriculum through using VC content. Isn`t this a superb example of using technology to save money?