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In celebration of World Earth Day (22nd April, 2013), Polycom APAC Special Events teamed up with Taking IT Global and the Centre of Global Education (both via Canada) for a special global event called DeforestACTION.


Over 500 students (six schools via video conference in Australia and a further eleven schools from across Asia Pacific via live stream) participated in the 45 min program called DeforestACTION 2013.


Holly Carroll (conservationist, Youth Ambassador for the Jane Goodall Institute of Australia and presenter for the movie The Last of the Great Apes) talked about her ape research, the movie and how orangutans are being impacted by deforestaction in Sumatra and Indonesia. 





Sara Hassan, from Taking IT Global, invited three schools from Australia to present to the audience to provide their perspective on what they were doing to bring awareness of deforestaction within their community. Two Victorian primary schools, who participated in the DeforestACTION by watching a live stream for the past two years, were delighted to be selected as one of the presenting schools.


Dallas Brooks Community Primary School was hosted by their neighboring school who had Polycom installed and Silverton Primary School who downloaded Polycom’s 30-day free software, were able to collaborate with the group of schools and present on how their school was bringing awareness of deforestaction within: their school; their community; and how they made their local politicians aware.  It was wonderful to hear.





Cleveland District State High School year nine students then presented and launched a global collaborative fundraising effort between DeforestACTION and the Jane Goodall Institute by recycling old unused mobile phones.  These students shared how coltan, a metallic ore found in phones, is a link to deforestaction and habitat loss for endangered animals in East Africa.


If you would like to read more about Cleveland District State High School’s involvement; please visit the DeForestACTION website.





Deforestation is not just happening in Sumatra and Indonesia, the link below describes how a 12 year-old Canadian girl saved an entire forest and answers the title of this blog – ‘If a tree is cut down in a forest, does anyone care?’ Well, this gorgeous girl, did!





If you are looking for quantitative research which documents the impact of videoconferencing on children’s learning, I recommend you purchase and download a wonderful paper by Dianna Newman.  Within the paper, she describes:


“Students who participate in video conferencing have higher scores on cognitive indicators and are more motivated to learn not just the material being presented, but also to find out more about the related topics.”1





Teachers from Cleveland District State High School, Orbost Secondary College and Hawkesdale P12 College have been regular supporters of Polycom APAC Special Events for almost three years.  They see the value of collaborating with other schools. Below are some of their comments about Monday’s event, and about the events Polycom (APAC) has organized over the past three years:


“As regular attendees of Polycom APAC Special Events, I find these events to be highly engaging to students as they provide that critical connection to the real world.  These events have allowed our students to be transported to the jungles of Borneo to hear and see firsthand the effects of deforestation and how they as schools are making positive impacts. I have never seen students more engaged and active in school curriculum like this before.  In fact, my students were so inspired by the schools that shared during the webinar that they called a meeting straight after the call and have planned numerous related DeforestACTION projects for the coming year! Thanks for providing such inspiring moments for my students - can’t wait for the next one!”

Chris Gauthier | Science Teacher
Cleveland District State High School


“As regular attendees of Polycom APAC Special Events, we find the events to be the best way for our students to interact, communicate and learn as true global citizens; these events are highlights for my students (and our teachers) and we always consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to participate”                                                                                             

Sal Gordon | Performance and Evaluation Leader |Science Coordinator

Orbost Secondary College


"The number of students who volunteered to attend this special event surprised and inspired me. I will continue to seek out the opportunity to connect with young people across the globe; especially committed and energetic people like Holly, who are making a real difference with their conservation work." 

Britt Gow | Science and Maths teacher

Hawkesdale P12 College


EarthEd, a state-of-the-art specialty science and mathematics education centre that delivers engaging and innovative curriculum, participated in their very first video conference this past Monday inviting students from Mount Clear College.


“This was our first opportunity to use our equipment and collaborate with other schools.  The students were a little apprehensive at first, however it was great to see their confidence grow as the session progressed, to the point that they were prepared to ask questions to the guest speaker, Holly Carroll.  The students were thoroughly engaged throughout the event and felt strongly about the issues that were presented.  This is a great way of learning and connecting students with global issues.”

Grant Henderson | Acting Leading Teacher

Earth Ed – Earth Sciences Centre





Over the past three years, Polycom APAC Special Events has run over 103 educational events reaching over 13,000 students from across the Asia Pacific region. Sadly, this will be my final submission to the educational blog. I have made a decision to leave Australia at the end of May (and my Education APAC role at Polycom) and return back to Canada due to family health reasons. After a month with my family, I will be settling in Ottawa as of 1 July.


I would like to thank all teachers, content providers, presenters and students for being such an inspiration to me. My job was to help you, and through your participating in my events, I was able to observe your collaborations, watch your students laugh, learn and meet schools from other region. You made my job so rewarding. I hope you know how much I have enjoyed running the events these past three years.


My replacement will be announced soon, so don’t fret, the events will continue.  But if you are looking for immediate recommendations, here are some programs that you can check out NOW!





  • Polycom Asia Pacific’s Education Twitter Account will now be @Education_Plcm.
  • My NEW Twitter account is  @Lynnette_Canada if you want to follow what I am up to ‘up top’. 


So on this note, I wish you all the best in your education endeavors!




1 ‘The Impact of Multimedia Videoconferencing on Children’s Learning” Newman, 2008

Newman, Dianna L. "The Impact of Multi-Media Videoconferencing on Children's Learning: Positive Outcomes of Use." Videoconferencing Technology in K-12 Instruction: Best Practices and Trends. IGI Global, 2008. 227-239. Web. 14 Dec. 2012. doi:10.4018/978-1-59904-331-9.ch017



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