News

GMIT rolls out new hi-tech video conferencing service to schools

GMIT is one of the first ITs to offer this service to secondary schools

Author: 

Press Office

Date Article Written: 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

GMIT has launched a new online talks service between GMIT campuses and secondary schools across the country, using the latest hi-definition, video-conferencing systems and an online learning software tool. GMIT is one of the first Institutes of Technology to roll out this new service.

This new service enables GMIT to communicate directly and more frequently in real time with secondary schools students and their teachers, exchanging information about GMIT programmes, CAO options, student life, innovation on campus, career paths and a range of discipline talks and school projects.

The online technology systems use Adobe Connect, Vidyo and BigBlueButton for video conferencing meetings between the schools and GMIT. Vidyo is similar to Skype but is in hi-definition and more reliable. It allows users to record and re-play as well as zoom in and out. Documents and presentations can also be viewed on screen during the course of the VC talks.

GMIT School’s Liaison Officer Dr Carina Ginty says “The secondary schools are very excited about this new service, in particular Guidance Counsellors and principals. This is a whole new classroom experience for secondary school pupils. The service enables GMIT to collaborate live online with schools across Ireland or internationally.  We provide talks on all the learning pathways available in GMIT’s five campuses and exchange ideas on business, science, technology, engineering and tourism.”

“Going live into the classroom enables GMIT to reach a much wider audience and allows us put a panel of experts together onsite that may include lecturers from different disciplines and students and industry partners.”

GMIT IT Project co-ordinator Pat Heffernan, Computing Services Department, says organisations as diverse as CERN (Europe’s leading research organisation) and Concern have been using Vidyo to communicate to their stakeholders and staff.

“It’s an excellent cutting edge IT resource that saves on time, travel and expense, and enhances internal and external communications. Secondary schools not only benefit from the new service, as it is also being used by management and staff in GMIT for group and one to one meetings between the Institute’s five campuses in Galway and Mayo.”

GMIT’s Computing Services Department and the Schools Liaison Office sponsored Vidyo licenses and equipment such as high definition webcams and Jabra speaker-phones (and software) to some 12 feeder schools in locations in counties Galway, Mayo, Roscommon and Donegal.

The schools issued with licences to use the HD technology are: Calasanctius College, Oranmore; St Enda’s School, Threedneedle Road, Galway city; Glenamaddy Community School, Co Galway; Gairmscoil Mhuire, Athenry; Dunmore Community School, Dunmore; CBS, Roscommon; Ballyhaunis Community School, Co Mayo; St Catherine’s Donegal;  St Joseph’s Secondary School, Foxford, Co Mayo;  Avondale Community College, Co Wicklow;  HRC, Mountbellew, Co Galway; Carrick Vocational School, Co Donegal; Abbey Vocational School, Co Donegal; and Errigal College, Co Donegal.

David O'Sullivan, Guidance Counsellor, Colaiste Enda, Galway, says: “The opportunity to interact with engineers online when completing a recent GMIT CANSAT schools project gave our students an insight into advanced communications used in the world of business and engineering.”

“Initially reticent, we slowly observed the students becoming more confident with the technology, enabling them to ask real time questions, share ideas and get feedback from GMIT staff and students live online. All of this enhanced their problem solving abilities."

Geraldine O’ Brien, Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, says: “The schools talk online provided a valuable opportunity to interact with GMIT personnel. The interactive element of the presentation helped engage participants and stimulated their interest on the courses on offer.”

The ICT systems (software and hardware) have been funded by the GMIT Computing Services & IT Department and the Schools Liaison Office through HEA Strategic Innovation Funding to promote access to Higher Education.

To register for GMIT Online Schools Talk Service contact the GMIT Schools Liaison Office at slo@gmit.ie

Pupils in Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, taking part in a GMIT video conference

Pupils in Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, taking part in a GMIT video conference

Pupils in Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, taking part in a GMIT video conferencePupils in Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, taking part in a GMIT video conferencePupils in Loreto Community School, Milford, Co Donegal, taking part in a GMIT video conference