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Camberwell Girls Grammar School

Interactive learning allows students to access experiences beyond the classroom

Video length: 3:55 minutes.

Australia | Education | Digital Workplace

Educating tomorrow’s women

Camberwell Girls Grammar School aspires to teach the twenty-first century skills of creativity, collaboration and innovation using technology and wider resources.

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Challenge

Provide a dynamic learning environment to assist in teaching 21st-century skills and enable the school to maintain their position as a school of choice.

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Solution

Deploy the Cisco Collaboration platform, integrated with Microsoft applications as well as third party applications which deliver learning activities.

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Result

Access to a wide range of resources, people and experiences through interactive, connected learning, resulting in more engaged students and an improved capacity to learn.

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Challenge

A 21st century education

Camberwell Girls Grammar School (CGGS) is an independent girls’ school located in the eastern suburbs in Melbourne. With approximately 800 students and over 100 staff located on two campuses, it is one of Victoria’s leading independent girls’ schools, noted for achieving exceptional academic results.

The school wanted to provide teachers and students with a more dynamic and productive learning environment by implementing technology common in higher education and business.

This investment was seen by the school as a critical step to maintaining its position as a school of choice, through the delivery of leading edge learning programs to staff and students.

‘We’re all about educating tomorrow’s woman here at Camberwell Girls. We know that we are going through a time of quite rapid change in the world, where if we want our students to thrive, we’ve got to teach them the 21st century skills of creativity, collaboration and how they can be innovative in their approach to learning,' said Debbie Dunwoody, Principal, CGGS.

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Solution

Kicking off the year with collaboration

Camberwell Girls Grammar School, in partnership with Dimension Data, embarked on a full-scale deployment of the Cisco Collaboration platform. The solution utilised Cisco technologies for voice, video and compute, integrated with Microsoft Active Directory and Exchange, as well as third party applications that record and deliver learning activity as a service catalogue.

‘Deployed here in the school is a full range of Cisco technologies – from the infrastructure layers of networking, wi-fi, switching and routing to the full collaboration stack, which includes videoconferencing, WebEx and Show and Share technologies,’ said Michael Slip, General Manager – Communications, Dimension Data

With a requirement to have the solution up and running by late January, before commencement of the school year, the team had to work towards a very tight deadline. In addition, the IT team at CGGS was small, which required effective planning so that Dimension Data could deploy the solution and then hand this to CGGS for the wider rollout, end user support and business-as-usual operation.

Dimension Data delivered the project on time and on budget to the satisfaction of CGGS.

‘Dimension Data has been a wonderful partner in this whole program,’ said Debbie Dunwoody.

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Result

Collaboration crosses learning boundaries

According to Michael Slip, the school has fully embraced collaboration:

“[CGGS is] a shining light. They’re an example of an organisation that has really adopted the technology and are extracting the value.”

The collaboration solution is also generating positive feedback from the staff at CGGS. Kim Perkins, Head of Digital Learning at CGGS said:

“This is probably the most exciting period of my teaching career. The possibilities that this collaboration communications technology has opened up, the excitement that it generates among the students and the uptake by the staff has been one of the most impressive changes of implementations of technology.”

The collaboration solution is having an impact on the way that teachers and students are working at CGGS, with interactive classroom learning allowing the students to have access to people and experiences beyond the boundaries of the classroom and in locations across Australia and internationally.

“In Year 6 we did a science activity with an organisation called ‘Fizzics’ and they did chemical experiments that we couldn’t do here at school and the girls loved that. They saw amazing reactions and things that are a bit dangerous to do in the classroom virtually. Given the ability to bring experts into the classroom, there are really no boundaries to where an incursion could take us,” said Meagan Wilson, Year 5 and 6 Team Leader, CGGS.

The school is also making productivity gains by recording classroom learning for re-use and future reference, and the collaboration solution is empowering students and teachers in ways that were not possible with more traditional teaching methods.

Ben Jenkinson, Director of Teaching and Learning Innovation, says the school is “flying” with the Show and Share technology.

The students are also finding that Show and Share is improving their capacity to learn:

“If you learn from someone your age, it’s a lot easier to understand and I can also compare my results. You can see whether you got something similar or that we probably didn’t do [something] properly, or that we got an error in our experiments,” said Year 9 students, Emma and Yasmine.

Productivity via collaboration

The benefits of collaboration are not limited to learning and are being felt in other areas of the school as well, including the human resources department, who are using it to assist with their recruitment processes.

‘From a recruitment perspective we’re using WebEx. We are able to safely connect with the [interviewee] anywhere, anytime and with such ease of use. The other side of WebEx is that we can actually record the interview,’ said Erin Colwell, Director of Human Resources, CGGS.

IT Operations Manager, Nathan Campbell, used WebEx during the interview phase of his recruitment:

‘I applied from WA so we did a WebEx initially. It was a one-click, one-touch process with Cisco WebEx [and] the whole personal, in-the-room feeling was there.’

An education for the future

According to Michael Slip:

‘The kids themselves are now becoming digital natives and [are] getting ready for the corporate environments they are probably going to be employed in.’

Principal Debbie Dunwoody acknowledges the benefits and value of the collaboration solution:

‘It’s been an incredibly exciting time. We’ve been all throughout Australia and to many places around the world already, in such a short space of time.’

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