Discover how a small Christian school located in the rural community of Bourke, Australia, opened a new chapter in education for both the students and the teachers with the introduction of the AVer HVC330 video conferencing system.
Like so many small rural schools, Koinonia Christian Academy (KCA) has limited access to resources, training and interactions with other entities. The school needed to find a way to gain this exposure, while minimizing the cost and effect it had on the resources of the school.
Attending interschool conferences throughout the year is vital for a school’s development and progression, however, for Principal Patricia Amos, the cost to attend was prohibitive. With Bourke located in such a rural region, attending a 1 day conference in Sydney effectively resulted in 3 days away from the school, once travel time was taken into consideration. With only two teachers, the school was left short-staffed and under extra pressure while Mrs. Amos was away. The remote location also meant that KCA found it challenging to organize experts to visit the school and share their knowledge with the students.
The school needed a solution that would enable both the teachers and the students to be connected with entities outside Bourke in a cost-effective way, not just for professional development, but to enhance the student’s learning experiences too.
After a thorough evaluation of the available distance learning options, including Skype™ (which was dismissed due to the lack of security), KCA found H.323 video conferencing technology to offer the best solution to their needs, as it is ideal for class-to-class collaborations (or conference-to-conference), and virtual field trips. Other important advantages in the video conferencing field include the interoperability, in which most brands can freely communicate with other brands without the need of additional equipment, and the ability to allow for AV equipment integration.
The AVer HVC330 video conferencing system was selected due to its excellent features and cost value. KCA was especially impressed with its ability to operate effectively on a low bandwidth without losing quality, the security aspect, the user-friendliness and ease of setup, given that the school doesn’t have an IT department.
“We really appreciate having the opportunity to connect with others through video conferencing because, due to our remote location, the time factor involved in traveling to conferences, and the cost involved, is very substantial. We find that, because the AVer VC unit operates on a low bandwidth it is more effective in our situation, as in Bourke our bandwidth is limited.”
– Mrs. Patricia Amos, Principal, Koinonia Christian Academy
KCA sees both immediate and long-term benefits of using the AVer HVC330 VC system. Since implementing the HVC330, the opportunities for Principal Amos to attend conferences have expanded. Both teachers can now be involved in professional training and development for the benefit of the school, and they have received positive feedback from the conference hosts, who have been very accommodating, and have also been impressed with the quality of the system.
The cost benefits have been huge, as 2 trips to Sydney and back covers the cost of an AVer HVC330 VC system, resulting in the school having received a cost benefit within the first year. In the near future, the teachers are aiming to implement class-to-class interactions and virtual field trips with other entities around Australia, including museums, Olympic athletes, and perhaps even some of the other 70 schools that are a part of the Accelerated Christian Education system.
Koinonia Christian Academy (KCA) is a rural, K-12 school located in the outback of New South Wales, Australia, on the outskirts of Bourke – a small town with a population of less than 2,500. The name “Koinonia”, means communication by intimate participation, and is a fitting name for the small school, which places such a strong emphasis on both Christian growth and academic excellence. The private school is comprised of 30 students, 2 teachers and several support staff, and is a part of the Accelerated Christian Education system.
AVer would like to thank Koinonia Christian Academy and DH Technology for their pivotal roles in creating this case study.