Schools wishing to perform a video conference between schools and colleges outside the HPSN-SWAN network (Hampshire), must use the JANET Videoconferencing Service (JVCS). AETHRA uses the JVCS-IP (broadband) connectivity option.
Schools need to register on JVCS before they can use the VC service. Registering will be undertaken as part of the installation process by the Hampshire IT installation team. Once registered, schools will receive an email and instructions on how to use the service and book conferences.
SouthEast Grid for Learning is a consortium with a key aim to connect every school in the region they encompass, to sustainable broadband services, and in turn to facilitate digital communications in all areas of the curriculum and every aspect of school life.
SEGfL has facilitated a regional videoconferencing service that in turn connects to the national JVCS service. This lets schools videoconference with other schools, higher and further educational institutions, content providers and guest sites using the secure National Education Network.
For information on regional projects, case studies and special videoconferencing events, please visit the SEGfL website
Global-Leap is a not for profit organisation, and is funded by subscription from UK schools to provide help, support and develop and extend content for videoconferencing in the classroom and provide support for content providers and identify contacts and support for the international programme.
If you currently have video conferencing equipment linked to HPSN/SWAN, please let us know and we will add you to our list of possible 'video conferencing - pen pals'.
The room should be in a location that is quiet, if possible sited away from busy thoroughfares and noisy equipment. There will need to be available power sockets and data ports for the video conferencing equipment.
The best lighting for video conferencing is diffuse fluorescent. Do not use low energy fluorescent light bulbs that operate between 30 and 50kHz. Ideally, the room should not have any exterior windows. If it does, they need to be covered with heavy curtains/blinds.
The best décor is plain and simple. Keep the area within the camera’s view uncluttered. Extraneous objects such as mirrors, artwork, plants and fans cause reduced video quality. The best wall colour is a neutral non-white colour, such as light grey, light blue or beige matt finish and avoid wall treatments with patterns. Loosely gathered curtains across walls work well and curtains can also be sited to hide storage and/or reception areas.
Audio quality, as opposed to video quality, is one of the most important contributing factors to a favourable video conferencing experience, therefore good acoustics are paramount. If possible avoid square rooms, oblong or irregular shapes are best for good acoustics. The aim is for a balance between echo (reverberation) and sound absorbency (deadness). This can usually be achieved by using adequate soft furnishings, carpet and curtains. It is also important to isolate the room from external noise such as fans and duct work from heating and cooling systems, water pipes, office machines, telephones and street noise.
Microphone placement is also an important factor influencing audio quality. The microphone needs to be installed so that it is at least 6ft from the system speakers. A microphone should not be farther than 7ft from a speaking participant to ensure maximum audio quality
Speakers should be positioned so that they do not create interference with microphones, and should not be positioned behind the people speaking. If mounting speakers on a wall they should be at a maximum height of approximately 7ft.
If using a conference table it should be U or V shaped and should not be wider than 12ft or longer than 24ft. Avoid tables that have a shiny or glass surface that can reflect light and sound. If only using seating, the chairs should be stationary and comfortable and laid out in an arch shape to ensure equal access to the camera so that all participants can be seen in the camera’s room view. There cannot be more than 25ft from the lens of the camera to the farthest participant to ensure visibility and correct functioning of audio-tracking systems. The rear wall of the room cannot be more than 40ft from the lens of the camera.
The camera will need to be positioned either on top of a TV or near the whiteboard with a 15 degree angle above the line of sight of the audience to ensure good eye contact. It should be positioned to get a good view of the video conferencing participants and not be more than 7ft high.
For urgent issues, call the IT Service Desk on 01962 847007. For anything else, see our contact page.