Interactive Technology in Education Conference Day 1

The Interactive Technology in Education Conference (ITEC 2014) at the Sydney Opera House featured video conferencing and other interactive technologies currently being used to deliver engaging content in Australian classrooms and the cultural and scientific institutions and organisations which are connecting with school students using these technologies.

The highlight for me was the opportunity to finally use an Oculus Rift brought in by Nick Cross from AARNet. I got to explore a virtual Egyptian temple and see the planets of our solar system using software developed by Dr Jeff Jacobson who was the first Keynote speaker.

I’ve put together a brief list of take-homes and memorable moments from the conference. You can also search for #itecAU on Twitter.

Kids don’t have short attention spans – they can happily play a video or computer game for 2, 4, even 12 hours straight. Thanks to Dr Jeff Jacobson for busting this common myth.

Ann Doyle from Internet2 introduced us to LOLA – a LOw LAtency audio visual streaming system which “provides the tool for synchronous, real time performance at geographically dispersed locations.”

Ben Newsome from Fizzics Education got us thinking about  BYOD in VC and introduced us to Poll Everywhere, Voki and Superlame. Use iPads as vc cameras, use apps and technology – check app store first, essentially choose the devices or solutions which work best for you and have 2 backups.

Our strategic thinking is based on a world that no longer exists, and We need sustained enquiry, excellence doesn’t happen overnight – Isabelle Kingsley and Peter Mahony from The Mars Lab.

Scientific research which translates well in the press is great for vc content – engaging, and Presenting science online like a mini exhibition process – Scott Ogilvie and Ruth Hendry from Science Live @ Te Papa.

Technology gives students agency and know things that teachers don’t – this is ok! and Don’t fear technology, leverage its pervasiveness with Transmedia storytellingJess McCulloch and Daniel Donahoo

Process over product was strongly emphasised by Natalie Sullivan from Questacon, and the End presentation is the story of their innovation, not just the end result. Natalie also included Success Kid in her slides, it’s always nice to see a bit of internet culture seeping through.

Lynnette Rosenberg is doing fantastic things in the Northern Territory. She gave a live lesson by video conference to some students and busted some myths such as You need expensive equipment and You can’t video conference without a terrestrial connection

Digital needs to be at the heart of organisational process “moving digital to centre of attention” and Build digital organisational capacity, focus on producer and exhibitorKim Montgomery from ACMI

Annabel Astbury from ABC Splash discussed non linear participation and emphasised that students are already creating content online by themselves and are comfortable doing so.

We were treated to a beautiful view of the harbour in the Utzon room as Day 1 concluded.


Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House


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