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SMART CLASSROOMS: Bedtime reading a Braveheart performance

July 2009

Beam me up Scotty … Ormiston State School's Sharon Hendy-Moman reads to students in Scotland thanks to the Department of Education and Training's new web-conferencing program.

Beam me up Scotty ... Ormiston State School's Sharon Hendy-Moman reads to students in Scotland thanks to the Department of Education and Training's new web-conferencing program.

For many Queenslanders the thought of getting up at 5.30am is enough to make them cringe, roll over and go back to sleep.

But Brisbane's Ormiston State School teacher-librarian Sharon Hendy-Moman didn't give the early start a second thought when asked to read a bedtime story to children on the other side of the world.

In a collaborative project between Ormiston State School and its namesake, Ormiston School in Scotland, Mrs Hendy-Moman used the Department of Education and Training's new web-conferencing program to help the Scottish students celebrate Library Week.

'It was an absolutely amazing experience and one I will never forget,' she said.

'The web-conferencing program enabled me to take part in the Scottish celebration by reading Australian book Koala Lou to the children, while I sat in front of my computer in Brisbane.'

An initiative of Mrs Hendy-Moman and her counterpart in Scotland, Jenny Ross, the project focused on finding a way to bring together the two schools.

With the assistance of staff from the Learning Place, it was decided the schools' readers' clubs should interact using web conferencing and a data screen.

'I may have been sitting in my pyjamas but I felt like I was at a rock concert and I was the rock star,' Mrs Hendy-Moman said.

'The Scottish children were so excited and cheered when my image popped up on their data screen.

'It really was a bit of a novelty for them because they had not experienced anything like it before and I had not anticipated their excitement level would be so high.'

Mrs Hendy-Moman is working with Ormiston School to have a teacher there return the favour and read a Scottish story to her students.

The department's new web conferencing program is now available to all schools.

Find out more on the Learning Place website.