Megaconference to link universities across the globe

World's biggest videoconference to last 12 hours

Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet) today announced several local universities and schools will be using the high-speed AARNet3 backbone to participate in the world's largest videoconference.

Dubbed Megaconference 2007, it begins at 11.30pm tonight and continues for 12 hours.

It is an annual global event designed to connect people everywhere on Earth, to further the use of videoconferencing in education and research and promote advances in videoconferencing technology.

Australian schools and universities participating in the Megaconference will connect via one of two AARNet Multipoint Control Units (MCUs).

These hubs will provide participants with access to two-way, standard and high-definition which will allow users to connect to the Megaconference from anywhere, over the Internet. The videoconference access will be provided through AARNet's Codian Management Platform.

AARNet is one of 12 organisations around the world supplying access to Megaconference participants.

AARNet CEO, Chris Hancock, said the Codian platform will allow AARNet to provide 60 end point connections for schools and universities that want to be involved.

"As part of our ubiquitous video strategy this means users will be able to access the Megaconference via anything from a desktop PC, right up to broadcasting it throughout a lecture theatre in high definition," he said.

Locally, several educational and research institutions will be participating in the videoconference, including the Australian Catholic University, Griffith University, Newcastle University, University of Western Sydney, Scots College, University of Melbourne, TAFE Queensland and the Australian Institute of Sport.

Evan Harris, co-ordinator of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Education for the Australian Catholic University, will be presenting to the global participants on Australian Indigenous Education Programs.

Harris said the Australian Catholic University has won multiple awards for outstanding contributions to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander student learning in recent years.

"Our programs have focused on teaching indigenous students education subjects. This year's Megaconference will allow us to showcase to the rest of the world the success of these programs and the benefits indigenous communities gain from them," he said.

Harris's presentation will begin at 11:45am AEDT on November 9, 2007.

For details visit: www.megaconference.org.

AARNet Pty Ltd (APL) operates Australia's Academic and Research Network (AARNet). It is a not-for-profit company and the shareholders are 37 Australian universities and the CSIRO.

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