Imagine studying your Year 12 biology by:

  • attending your regular school classes with three other students and your biology teacher,
  • attending weekly online classes (with 60 other rural students) with the support of  a “”wizz bang” biology mentor who has won numerous teaching awards across the world,
  • participating in an online discussion with around 80 fellow VCE Biology students,
  • having access to podcasts on specific study units,
  • and the support of nine biology teachers online.

All sound pretty awesome.  WELL, that is how I am studying my VCE Biology at Heywood and District Secondary College.

video platform video management video solutions video player Hi, my name is Ebony, and every Tuesday night at 7.30pm myself and four other students (and our Biology teacher) from Heywood and District Secondary College participate in the ebiology VCE 3/4 class with Andrew Douch. We are joined by students from six other rural schools including East Loddon, Swifts Creek, Wycheproof, Hawkesdale, Camperdown, Corryong and Wanganui Park. In addition, the program has the advantage of a very extensive website that is accessible at all times for the students involved providing fantastic podcasts and discussion forums. We can ask, or answer, any questions (and remain anonymous if we want to, which helps if you think that it is a silly question that you don’t want to ask in front of people) . It also has recordings of the online sessions that we are involved in each Tuesday evening – we can listen to them as often as we want to – great revision.

While we are involved in all these fantastic activities we still have our Biology classes in our own school but it allows us to have a longer time talking to our teacher about areas that we need extra support with.

Our teacher joins in the online classes  so that they can learn about digital learning approaches and hopefully they will then run tutorials and revision sessions for us in the near future – help prepare for those dreaded exams.

This program is a great learning experience for us all and I feel extremely privileged to be able to take part. It has the advantage of letting us learn from someone else and get different perspectives and understandings of the concepts that we will be assessed on. Personally I learn a lot from Douchys teaching style which is different to my classroom teacher.

The program is extremely useful as we are covering more work than usual in the same space of time, and therefore will be able to allocate more time at the end of the year for exam study and preparation.

The program is an initiative by the Country Education Project and we thank the DEECD for allocating money to release Douchy from his school to work with us and our teachers on this fantastic program.

All in all, I believe that this is a wonderful program and I would recommend it to anyone. It has helped me develop a greater knowledge of biological concepts and is a wonderful part of my biology studies.