DART Connections. Bringing faces and places together. NSW Government. Department of Education and Communities. DART Connections Virtual Excursions.

Welcome to our site

Connections is a project of the New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (NSW DEC) unit - Distance And Rural Technologies (DART).  Connections provides and co-ordinates video conferencing excursions for DEC schools, TAFEs and non NSW DEC schools. Connections video conferencing excursions bring students and teachers face to face with experts across the globe. Our excursions are designed to enrich and supplement curriculum across all stages and key learning areas.


Upcoming Excursions

2014 Mungo Youth Project. Presented by Dean Kelly to Mildura Primary School. Treescape workshop “Traditional Weapons and Cultural Activities”

Presented by Dean Kelly to Mildura Primary School. Treescape workshop “Traditional Weapons and Cultural Activities”

See traditional spear making from the dunes of Mungo while Dean Kelly tells the important cultural stories that are told while weapons and cultural items are made. Dean’s stories not only focus on the spears but the direction we should take in life and the choices we make.

27 March 2014
2014 Mungo Youth Project. Presented by Irymple Secondary College “Fossil Footprints. What was life like in ancient Mungo?”

Presented by Irymple Secondary College “Fossil Footprints. What was life like in ancient Mungo?”

The session comes to you live from Mungo. Students will present their project to you. Photographs will be presented of the famous claypan footprints left by a family during the Ice Age 20,000 years ago.
Early life at Mingo was shared by curious mega fauna now long extinct.

27 March 2014
2014 Mungo Youth Project. Welcome to country ceremony for the Mungo Youth Project.

Welcome to country ceremony for the Mungo Youth Project.
The desert landscape of Lake Mungo is a meeting place for 3 Traditional Tribal Groups.” Mungo” is also an archaeological site of world importance. The dunes and dry lake beds of the Mungo area have offered up evidence of human ceremonial burials dating back 42,000 years, skeletal remains of mega fauna such as Diprotodon (giant wombat), Sthenurs (giant kangaroo) and Genyornis (giant flightless bird) are common finds. Shell fragments from the Genyornis eggs litter the dunes.

The video conference will open with didgeridoo music played by Uncle Roy Kennedy on the ancient dune. We then join the Welcome to Country Ceremony including the smoking ritual. Elders from the 3 traditional Tribes will each welcome us to this sacred place.

Elders from the Paakinji, Ngyiampaa and MhuttiMhutti tribal groups will then each speak to the video conference audience about Mungo, its importance to them and how important it is for young Indigenous people to know their history and relationship to the land.

26 March 2014
Art Around the Library Session 2 - Pyrmont Bridge - Painting

Explore the extraordinary Pictures Collection of the State Library of NSW in this exciting new series of video conferences held on Tuesdays (and one Wednesday) during Term 2. Highlighting five different artworks from the collection, this series will reveal their fascinating back stories before leading students in a step by step art making workshop. Join Andrea Sturgeon, a specialist art educator, as she guides your students through the Pictures Collection and into a workshop to create original artwork inspired by what they have seen. The second workshop in the series examines Margaret Ackland's work 'Pyrmont Bridge 1984'. Investigate the power of lines and shapes in this dynamic abstract artwork, and use these ideas to create an artwork inspired by images from the State Library photographic collections. Please note students will complete their artwork post video conference.

21 May 2013
Art Around the Library Session 2 - Pyrmont Expressway 1984 - Painting

Explore the extraordinary Pictures Collection of the State Library of NSW in this exciting new series of video conferences held on Tuesdays during Term 2. Highlighting five different artworks from the collection, this series will reveal their fascinating back stories before leading students in a step by step art making workshop. Join Andrea Sturgeon, a specialist art educator, as she guides your students through the Pictures Collection and into a workshop to create original artwork inspired by what they have seen. The second workshop in the series examines Margaret Ackland's work 'Pyrmont Expressway 1984'. Investigate the power of lines and shapes in this dynamic abstract artwork, and use these ideas to create an artwork inspired by images from the State Library photographic collections. Please note students will complete their artwork post video conference.

27 May 2014
Artist Talk: Sleepers Awake

For ten days and nine nights in May, Bungarribee, a new park in Western Sydney Parklands, will be lit from dusk to dawn by the spectacular floating artwork, 'Sleepers Awake', by UK-based artists Ivan and Heather Morison. In this artist talk, meet the Morisons as they discuss their artistic practice and the challenges of working outdoors.

20 May 2014
Australian Giants from the Past

Giant animals from dinosaurs to megafauna have roamed the Australian continent at different times. Find out about some of these Australian giants. Look at fossils and learn what they tell us about these extraordinary animals. Life sized reproductions and models will help us visualise life in the past.

Meet some of Australia’s ancient animals including our biggest and our most vicious predator. Discover how Palaeontologists study fossils and compare them with some living relatives.

The Video conference will look at ancient animals and how palaeontologists learn more about them. There will also be information on the different theories of extinction.


11 March 2013
BOOKS @ TARONGA - BATS & NOCTURNAL ANIMALS

Taronga Zoo and Literature Live! have joined forces to present exciting, educational workshops that combine two great Australian loves: animals and books.

These unique sessions are designed to excite and inspire children about the wide range of Aussie animals we have, about the environment and protection of species, and about reading books and learning.

All sessions will be held at Taronga Zoo (Sydney) and will feature Aleesah Darlison, children’s author, and a Zoo Educator, PLUS some very special live animal guests!

Aleesah Darlison talks about the inspiration behind her picture book, Warambi, whose main character is a Little Bent-wing bat who loses her home and her family and sets up a roost in an unusual place. Aleesah also shows incredible photos and video footage of bats and reads Warambi.

The Zoo Educator will teach students all about bats, what they eat, where they live and how we can protect them. They introduce some of the animals from Aleesah’s book as well as other nocturnal creatures by bringing real live animals into the VC for children to view up close.

Questions will be allowed throughout this interactive presentation. Prior to the excursion, BAT PACKS will be sent to schools including Teacher’s Resources and Book Order Forms. A fun, educational and curriculum-focused National Year of Reading session for Kinder to Year 4 – not to be missed! View the Warambi book trailer at: http://bit.ly/eRyGwC.

6 March 2013
BOOKS @ TARONGA - ECHIDNAS & AUSSIE ANIMALS - 11am

Taronga Zoo and Literature Live! have joined forces to present exciting, educational workshops that combine two great Australian loves: animals and books.

These unique sessions are designed to excite and inspire children about the wide range of Aussie animals we have, about the environment and protection of species, and about reading books and learning.

All sessions will be held at Taronga Zoo (Sydney) and will feature Aleesah Darlison, children’s author, and a Zoo Educator, PLUS some very special live animal guests!

Aleesah will talk about her childhood growing up in the country where she learned to love animals. She will also reveal the inspiration behind her book, Puggle’s Problem, a story about a baby echidna. Aleesah will show amazing puggle video footage and read Puggle’s Problem.

The Zoo Education Officer will introduce some amazing live Australian animals. Students will have time to interact and ask questions throughout. These workshops foster education and a love of animals and books and are perfectly suited to the Curriculum.

Prior to the excursion, PUGGLE PACKS will be sent to schools which include worksheets and book order forms.

27 May 2013
BOOKS @ TARONGA - ECHIDNAS & AUSSIE ANIMALS

Taronga Zoo and Literature Live! have joined forces to present exciting, educational workshops that combine two great Australian loves: animals and books.

These unique sessions are designed to excite and inspire children about the wide range of Aussie animals we have, about the environment and protection of species, and about reading books and learning.

All sessions will be held at Taronga Zoo (Sydney) and will feature Aleesah Darlison, children’s author, and a Zoo Educator, PLUS some very special live animal guests!

Aleesah will talk about her childhood growing up in the country where she learned to love animals. She will also reveal the inspiration behind her book, Puggle’s Problem, a story about a baby echidna. Aleesah will show amazing puggle video footage and read Puggle’s Problem.

The Zoo Education Officer will introduce some amazing live Australian animals. Students will have time to interact and ask questions throughout. These workshops foster education and a love of animals and books and are perfectly suited to the Curriculum.

Prior to the excursion, PUGGLE PACKS will be sent to schools which include worksheets and book order forms.

6 March 2013
Brain Awareness Week - Head injuries in sport, at work and on the road

Using case studies and museum specimens, Prof Lynne Bilston will describe what happens to the brain during a head injury, especially in vehicle accidents. She explains how different safety mechanisms, such as hard hats, safety helmets and head gear can protect the brain from injury in an accident.

15 March 2013
Brain Awareness Week - Headstrong: Mental health, mood disorders and depression

In a collaboration with the Museum of Human Disease, The Black Dog Institute presents it's Headstrong program via video conference. Using a series of engaging and humorous images, topics covered in this presentation include: challenges young people face, mood disorder facts and statistics, types of mood disorders, personality styles associated with non-melancholic depression, dispelling help-seeking fears, finding the right help – who / what / how including the benefits of good therapy and a good support network, and resilience and how it can be built.

15 March 2013
Creating Memorable Characters

Creating Memorable Characters

Some characters stand out in a story more than others. They can lead the action or be in the background yet both have the ability to change the direction of the story or influence other characters. Memorable characters have attitude, secrets, hopes and problems: they might like to daydream, open their Christmas presents in secret or eat ice cream out of the container.

In this excursion, students deconstruct characters by identifying their strengths, weaknesses, individual traits, language and actions. They then use this information to create their own character and place them into a story.

During this workshop students think creatively, develop ideas and ‘listen to, read, view, speak, write, create and reflect on increasingly complex and sophisticated spoken, written and multimodal texts.’ (1)

They examine literature, learning ‘how to compare and appraise the ways authors use language and literary techniques and devices to influence readers. (1)

(1) Australian Curriculum – English

HOSTED BY THE AUSTRALIAN MUSEUM

25 November 2013
CYBERSMART - Let's create a better internet together.

Topics will include:
- How the internet is changing.
- Exciting new technology devices now and in the future.

The live virtual classroom presentations will, with the local help of classroom teachers, feature interactive questions and answers focusing on cyberbullying, scams, passwords and strangers online.
This 40 minute presentation is directed at primary school students in years 5, 6 and 7.
Cybersmart is designed to support and encourage participation in the digital economy by providing information and education which empowers children to be safe online. Cybersmart is a national program managed by the Australian Communications and Media Authority, as part of the Australian Government's commitment to cybersafety.
The program is specifically designed to meet the needs of its target audiences of children, young people, parents, teachers and library staff.
See more at: www.cybersmart.gov.au

10 April 2014
Digital Habitats 1.30 - 2.30pm

In this lesson students will learn about a variety of Australian Environments and the plants and animals that live there. They will also explore the ingredients required to create habitats and increase biodiversity in their school grounds.

Students will use the interactive whiteboard to construct a virtual habitat for native animals using flowering plants, grasses, ground covers, rocks, logs, etc.

To conclude students will plant native grass seeds in pots. These can be used as the basis for a re-vegetation project at school.

This lesson can be incorporated into any study of biodiversity and habitats. It can also be used as a planning session to guide construction of native gardens in school grounds.

10 May 2013
Dinosaur Slam - narrative writing with Paul Stafford (1 of 2 sessions)

Fast, ferocious and fun narrative writing workshop with the Scattered Bones team. Join author and literacy consultant Paul Stafford in a two session workshop aimed at helping Stage 2 and 3 students build the skills to plan and write short, fun narratives quickly. This session will cover the essential elements of writing a narrative, modelled by an author, using the weird and wonderful dinosaurs as a creative springboard for generating ideas. Paul will lead the students through the process of brainstorming, planning and writing narratives in a limited timeframe. Please book into both sessions 11 and 18 March 2014.

11 March 2014
EARTH HOUR: BOOKS @ TARONGA - ECHIDNAS & AUSSIE ANIMALS - 10am

Celebrate Earth Hour and the importance of saving our beautiful planet and unique Australian wildlife with our EARTH HOUR: Books @ Taronga Zoo Echidnas & Aussie Animals session.

Featuring popular Australian children's author, Aleesah Darlison, and Senior Taronga Zoo Education Officers, this session focuses on the importance of Earth Hour, how and why we should preserve our native species and is also a celebration of books and learning.

All sessions will be held at Taronga Zoo (Sydney) and will include very special live animal guests! Students will have time to interact and ask questions throughout.

31 March 2014
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Events not to be Missed

Marine Day - The World Of Commercial Fishing

Learn all about commercial fishing and the NSW seafood industry from those who know it best. Join Sydney fisherman Paul Bagnato and OceanWatch's Brad Warren to get an up-close and personal v..

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