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Good Practice - Case Study
School No: 046
ChickCam – Using Video Conferencing technology to observe chicks hatching in an incubator.
This little project at Whitehill Junior School (046) in Hitchin is a superb example of using technology in an imaginative way. Whitehill’s ICT Technician, Sharon Cooper, used video conferencing technology to broadcast live video of young chicks, recently hatched in an incubator, to different screens around the school, and beyond.
To do this she used Flashmeeting. This is an online video-conferencing program that is free for use in Hertfordshire schools. It requires no software on your computer other than a Flash(7) enabled web-browser. Communicating with a webcam it is normally used for 2 or more end-points to hold video conferences. It also supports text-chat, basic voting and more.
To help with the teaching of Life-Cycles in Science for years 3 and 4, Sharon used a webcam and Flashmeeting to set up a one-way broadcast of the chicks. She placed a webcam, connected to a computer, in the chicks’ incubator. She then booked a day long Flashmeeting. To broadcast the video Sharon logged into the Flashmeeting from the webcam connected computer, and selected to ‘broadcast’ the camera.
To watch the video from other computers the children logged into the Flashmeeting where they could see the video of the chicks being broadcast.
To make this activity even more exciting Sharon broadcast the live video to a plasma screen mounted in the school’s reception. This could be seen by visitors to the school, and also from the lunch area where the children have lunch.
Next Ms Dickinson, Science co-ordinator and Year 3/4 teacher is planning to incubate some duck eggs and Sharon will use the same system to broadcast video of the ducklings hatching.
This activity demonstrates how, with little or no cost to the school, ICT can be adapted for your purposes. Flashmeeting works with any webcam or a Digital Blue Movie Creator, and is very easy to use. For more details on using Flashmeeting, go to: