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Two high-tech video conferencing centres opening in schools

A £120,000 technology centre has opened in Wales this week, which will allow pupils to interact with children across the world thanks to new video conferencing facilities.

As reported by South Wales Argus, the five-room zone at County Hall will allow groups of pupils will be able to visit the centre to share lessons with pupils in India, China, Africa, Canada and the USA through video conferencing.

The teacher development zone also includes a three-metre wide screen to broadcast 3D educational films, a recording studio and editing suite and state-of-the-art computers.

Pupils can even create their own news programmes or take cameras into the community to record films before editing them in the studio.

Primary school teacher Sian Penticost tried out the technology with her year six class. She said the interactive tools will help the children to remember what they’ve been taught whilst boosting their skills at the same time. “The technology is amazing and the potential is so huge,” she said.

It was funded by two local councils, and is expected to draw around 1,500 teachers from across Wales who can be trained in the latest advances in educational technology.

At the other end of the country, but in the same week, a similar room which cost £3.5 million to develop will be unveiled in Essex.

According to The Echo, the Collaborative Learning Centre will open at a school in Essex which boasts hi-tech music, art and IT facilities. In the evenings it will be open to locals.

The facility is home to video conferencing facilities, music and film software, plasma screens and projection facilities, amongst other features.

“This is a fantastic centre for local schools and the whole community,” said Derrick Louis, county councillor responsible for major projects. “It will offer school children experiences beyond the classroom.”