Grampians Virtual School
Grampians Virtual School (GVS) (Wimmera Virtual School (WVS), Victoria Australia) is a consortium of schools in Victoria, Australia which provides virtual education in specific strands such as Physics, Psychology, Mathematical Methods, Chemistry and Physical Education, to remote students who can follow a face-to-face class in a school through video conferencing.
A consortium of government schools in Wimmera and the Highlands has launched a new era of online curriculum provision delivering Physics, Psychology, Mathematical Methods, Chemistry and Physical Education via newly installed video conferencing infrastructure.
The Grampians Virtual School has been providing virtual classes for approximately 200 students in 26 schools in the Grampians region in north‐west Victoria. The increase in virtual teaching as evidenced by the growth of the GVS – 35 teachers have now taught via video conferencing and use of online tools with 17 new teachers in 2011 running virtual classes.
The Grampians Virtual School as well as delivering 25 VCE subjects to 200 students in regional schools in other parts of the state,
The Grampians Virtual School wikispace is at http://grampiansvirtualschool.wikispaces.com
Be that as it may, the project is incredibly well-documented in the public domain.
WVS was one component of a pilot about rural curriculum provision across Loddon Campaspe and Grampians regions.
GVS offers a model from which other administrators, educators and communities can learn how to assist students in the achievement of their chosen pathway in addition to traditional modes of schooling. Teachers have ‘local’ students in front of them and ‘remote’ students via video‐conferencing. Remote students can collaborate with the school-based students through videoconferencing, controlling the class-based school webcam. In 2011, not just point‐to‐point but multi‐point classes were running where up to four schools are connected at the same time.
This innovative blended curriculum provision model includes face-to-face instruction, digitised (recorded) audio and video instructional material, video conference lessons, special purpose podcasts and vodcasts, personal conferencing technologies and the virtual learning environment Moodle, which will be replaced by Ultranet, the State of Victoria's vle. As the extent of virtual teaching ranges from dial‐in by a remote student supported by fax material to student‐teacher communication via Skype® at scheduled times and recording lecture‐style lessons for loading on the GVS Moodle™, teachers are finding new ways (e.g. document camera) to both communicate with and teach their students.
A key feature of the success so far of WVS is its collaborative protocol, and focus on building the capacity of students and teachers to embrace the new technology.
- Balmoral Community College
- Beaufort Secondary College
- Birchip P-12 School
- Dimboola Memorial Secondary College
- Edenhope College
- Goroke P-12 College
- Hopetoun Secondary College
- Horsham College
- Kaniva College
- Lake Bolac C
- Mount Clear SC
- Murtoa College
- Rainbow Sec College
In 2011 GVS' Virtual Learning Systems Project Officer, Gary Schultz, received the 2010 Baillieu Myer Rural Education Leadership Scholarship.
The Video Conferencing Initiative in Victoria builds on the Grampians Virtual School programme, see the Media release New Victorian Government video conference initiative creates virtual classrooms, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, 24 June 2011, http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/1237-new-victorian-government-video-conference-initiative-creates-virtual-classrooms.html and http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/images/stories/documents/mediareleases/2011/110624_Dixon-Hall_launch_schools_videoconferencing_initiative002.pdf, May 2012.
- Wimmera Virtual School Network2 (a YouTube video about the school), 19 jul 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAidj71Fz10
- Grampians Virtual School - Virtual, Blended Provision - What has it achieved?, Gary Schultz, March 2011, http://media.cep.org.au/uploads/2011/04/GVS_Blended-Learning2.pdf
- Grampians (Wimmera) Virtual School Moodle, http://22.214.171.124/moodle/index.php?lang=de_utf8
- Victoria Department of Education and Early Childhood Development 2009 Innovation Showcase Online Events: Wimmera Virtual School - Blended Curriculum Provision, http://www.education.vic.gov.au/researchinnovation/events/ci2009showcase.htm
- Virtually a reality, Australian Teacher Magazine, http://ozteacher.com.au/html/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=958:virtually-a-reality&catid=17:technology&Itemid=382
- Real cash for virtual school program, Wimmera Mail-Times, 29 Mar 2010, http://www.mailtimes.com.au/news/local/news/general/real-cash-for-virtual-school-program/1788738.aspx
- Networked schools – Two great Stories from Classrooms Using New Technologies to Connect & Collaborate Connecting Innovators: Gary Schultz, https://sas.elluminate.com/p.jnlp?psid=2009-08-19.2212.M.52FE9D922903A8C8ECD599065FF947.vcr
- Wimmera ICT Projects & Ultranet Readiness 2008 & 2009, implementation 2010 & 2011, http://wimmeraict.wikispaces.com/
- Ulearn 09, Christchurch New Zealand October 2009 - Wimmera Virtual School, http://wimmeravirtualschool.wikispaces.com/file/view/WVS_ULearn09.pdf
- (and many more)
- Grampians Virtual Schools Report, Ajax McKerral, Country Education Project, 31 March 2011, http://cep.org.au/2011/03/31/grampians-virtual-school-report, May 2012.
- Media release New Victorian Government video conference initiative creates virtual classrooms, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Higher Education and Skills, 24 June 2011, http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/media-centre/media-releases/1237-new-victorian-government-video-conference-initiative-creates-virtual-classrooms.html and http://www.premier.vic.gov.au/images/stories/documents/mediareleases/2011/110624_Dixon-Hall_launch_schools_videoconferencing_initiative002.pdf, May 2012.