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Mt Aspiring Students Take A Trip To The Antarctic

Mon, 15 Nov 2004

Mt Aspiring Students Take A Trip To The Antarctic

Students from Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka won’t need winter gear when they visit Scott Base, Antarctica this week, thanks to the wonders of video conferencing.

More than 40 Mt Aspiring students from Year 10 will participate in the video conferencing event on Monday 15 November, interacting with Mt Aspiring Outdoor Pursuits teacher, Jo Haines, who is in Antarctica with scientists, as part of a Massey University research project on penguins.

The video conference will offer students the unique opportunity to learn about life at the South Pole while interacting in real-time with Ms Haines.

Although this is not the first visit for Ms Haines to Antarctica, it will be the first time she shares her journey with the students.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for our students to participate in what will be one of the first video conferencing events conducted between Scott Base and a school,” said Ms Haines.

To prepare for the event, students have been researching life at Antarctica, using books and websites to familiarise themselves with life at the South Pole.

“Pictures speak a thousand words, but a live video conference adds another dimension to the learning experience,” said Ms Haines.

The video conferencing exchange is made possible using Telecom’s SchoolZone video conferencing service, an award-winning IT network service launched in July 2003 and now adopted by more than 300 schools around the country, and used by more than 100,000 students nationwide.

Ms Haines said that video conferencing offers a wealth of new learning opportunities for the school.

“Using SchoolZone, we’re able to create a fun and collaborative learning environment, interacting with students all over New Zealand, other countries, and now even Scott Base,” she said.

Former principal and Telecom’s SchoolZone specialist Vivienne Hall said SchoolZone is helping take learning beyond the barriers of location, size or teaching resource.

“SchoolZone has been designed to enable schools to share resources and develop skills cost-effectively, for example, one teacher teaching pupils in several locations, enabling smaller schools to offer a much wider curriculum,” said Ms Hall.

“The overwhelming drive for schools is to give students the best education they can and we’re helping provide the tools and technology that make it easier to teach and fun for students to learn.”


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