Music Education Expo, Barbican Centre, London


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, International Education, Leadership for Learning, Learning & Teaching, New Learning, video conferencing | Posted on April 4, 2013

Over 3000 delegates signed up for the UK’s largest ever music education conference. Sponsored by Rhinegold publishing, and with the endorsement of Boris Johnson (Mayor of London) the event took place in the Barbican Centre, London on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st March. I was pleased to be invited by the editor of Music Teacher magazine, Chris Walters to present at the Music Technology session on our video conference teaching programmes. Polycom UK gave great support to my presentation, enabling me with ease to have a live link with John Wallace (Principal at the Royal Scottish Conservatoire) in Glasgow; with Grant Golding (brass tutor) demonstrating a live lesson to a pupil in a Dumfries & Galloway school; and with Christianne Orto (Dean of Distance Learning) in the Manhattan School of Music, New York. Many thanks to all participants who assisted in demonstrating the amazing potential of video conferencing for learning and teaching.

Video Conferencing in Education


Posted by upbeat | Posted in ICT, International Education, Learning & Teaching, video conferencing | Posted on November 28, 2011

In Dumfries & Galloway Council, South West Scotland, we’ve been using video conferencing in primary and secondary schools to provide a range of educational opportunities for students and teachers. Since 2005, when we installed video conference kit in 5 schools, we’ve developed the use of the technology to support schools in outlying rural areas. The manufacturer of this equipment, Polycom, asked me in August 2011 to share our experience of using video conferencing in schools. Don’t watch alone.

Electronic Drumkit Lessons via Video Conference


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, Creativity, Curriculum for Excellence, Health & Well Being, ICT, International Education, Learning & Teaching, New Learning, video conferencing | Posted on June 27, 2011

Richard James delivering a lesson on electronic drumkit to a student in St Columba's Primary School, Annan, Dumfries & Galloway

Instrumental Music Lessons in Dumfries & Galloway, south-west Scotland have in part been delivered for the past 6 years by tutors over the distance learning medium of video conferencing. Brass, woodwind, guitar and cello lessons have all been delivered from Lochside Education Centre in Dumfries to pupils in 16 primary schools and many secondary schools, spanning a distance across the Dumfries & Galloway region of over 100 miles. Recently in May 2011, Richard James (Senior Tutor, Percussion) started to teach young people in Dumfries & Galloway schools on electronic drumkit. Dumfries & Galloway is Scotland’s third largest geographic council with many small, rural schools. High quality Polycom video conferencing systems over broadband are tools we use to great effect in addressing equal opportunity issues in education for pupils in a sustainable way. Savings in travel time and costs for tutors can be achieved alongside the additional benefits of reducing the council’s collective carbon footprint. An independent evaluation on the teaching programme over video-link was conducted by Warwick University. They found our work in this area to be ground-breaking and ‘inspirational’.

Visit to Polycom Office in Beijing


Posted by upbeat | Posted in Collaboration, International Education, Learning & Teaching | Posted on August 30, 2010

Polycom Office, Beijing, China

On Monday 2nd August I was delighted to pay a visit to the Polycom Office in Beijing where Hattie Tong very kindly gave me a full tour of the facilities. Teachers and students in Dumfries & Galloway schools in Scotland have found our Polycom video conference systems easy to use and very effective for learning and teaching.

I had a great chat with Hattie over a cup of coffee. And thanks Hattie, for taking these pictures!

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