My colleague and I have been broadening our uses of our video conferencing to include more varied purposes in recent months. We have been using HD video conferencing for many years and have a range of popular video conferences that are enhancing students learning experiences in school but we have been expanding our uses of video conferences using web based video conferencing to provide staff with PD in out of hour’s times from home.

We have been running a 3 week “PD in your PJs” course for staff, something we have done as a one off before, but this term it is running as an ongoing series. We have been running sessions via Microsoft Lync, on Office Mix, new software allowing students to add videos, audio and screen recordings to make their PowerPoints into interactive tutorials; Weebly – to make your own websites; and also great Apps from the Windows 8 store that teachers can use for the students to create, for teachers to create resources or Apps for reference.

Staff have found that the out of school hours’ time works as it does not need to be squeezed into their busy days at school. The Lync software has been easy to use and can work on any device, from anywhere, so long as you have an internet connection. It also has features that work for teachers such as the ability to share your screen and do a live demo while you talk and also to share a whiteboard that you can annotate with your stylus pen.

We have also been using web based video conferencing for Department meetings, to allow for easier communication between staff and saving staff on the other campus from having to walk between the two sites.

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