School Jeopardy Tournament via Video Conference

21 03 2009

The Sydney Region of the New South Wales Department of Education and Training in Australia has been running a fantastic Jeopardy Tournament comprising 32 schools across the entire state via Video Conference! A recent State Government initiative to install a “Connected Classroom” into every school by the end of 2010 is making possible exciting opportunities that would otherwise simply not be imaginable.

jeopardyvc

The “Connected Classroom” consists of an Interactive Whiteboard, Ultra Short-Throw Projector, a PC, Tandberg Video Conferencing unit with front and rear cameras and overhead microphones and a large flat-panel LCD TV. With this equipment already installed in 600 schools, an opportunity was presented to try something highly innovative – a game show competition between schools.

The proposed tournament was advertised via one email sent to around to 300 schools that had their Connected Classroom installed and finalised. Within two days, all 32 available slots had been snapped up and many other schools that missed out added their name to a standby list.  The tournament started two weeks later with two heats played each week.  Each heat comprised four schools pitted against each other. The presenter was at a fifth site and all were connected simultaneously via the video conference network. Stu’s Double Jeopardy was loaded onto the presenter’s PC and IWB and that image was shared using SMART’s Bridgit conferencing software, which is also part of the Connected Classrooms setup.  This allowed each of the remote four school sites to see the presenter’s screen on their own IWB.

Five stage 3 students (years 5 and 6) represented each school in the tournament. As questions were displayed, each school was able to buzz-in using my new jBuzzer add-on for Stu’s Double Jeopardy.  This lockout buzzer proved to be extremeley effective and provided all schools with a fair mechanism for alerting the presenter to which school got in first.

Every heat played was very exciting and the feedback for each school has been overwhelmingly positive. We are now at the stage where 32 schools have been whittled down to 16, who will now play in a finals playoff in early April.  The Grand Final on April 3 will see the top four schools compete for the right to be crowned Jeopardy State Champions!

You can keep up with all the happenings of this incredible tournament at the Jeopardy Tournament website, including photos and match reports from each event.

Just another example showing how Stu’s Double Jeopardy is making a difference.

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