High school dance – Billabong

Billabong High School is a comprehensive high school in rural NSW located in the town of Culcairn. This year they held their “Lockdown Getdown” Billabong High School Online Disco to help students and teachers stay connected.

Many of Billabong High School's students have to travel long distances to get to school and are geographically isolated from their friends and teachers. Maintaining social connections and providing opportunities to socialise and celebrate together when physical connections are not possible is especially important.

This online disco provided all students involved with the opportunity to celebrate, connect and have a whole load of fun even if they could not get connected in person.

Billabong High School Online Disco - "Lockdown Getdown" (3:20) on YouTube.

Billabong High School has used virtual technologies for teaching and learning and school assemblies, as well as other curriculum focused tasks such as subject selection nights. With a focus on student welfare and a caring environment as well as commitment to quality teaching and learning, they have tackled the tumultuous start to 2020 with compassion and innovation.

Equipment used

The team at Billabong used the Zoom platform to connect with each other for the Lockdown Getdown Online Disco.

Students and teachers could join the disco with a laptop, tablet or phone.

Individual students and teachers were given the spotlight by the meeting owner to ensure everyone got their time on stage.

For their other productions including subject selection nights and assemblies, the team also use a basic green screen made from a curtain and simple video editing software.

A screenshot from Billabong High Schools YouTube video with a teletubby, elvis and singing presenter at the front

Process

With all of their online initiatives the team at Billabong have used technologies available within the department. They have frequently used Zoom for online experiences and information sessions as well as the online disco.

When planning the disco, they needed to ensure student safety and privacy and also make sure they were meeting the needs of their community. They chose Zoom for the online disco because it allowed them to:

  • invite guests via their school email address
  • limit connections only to registered Department of Education users to ensure student safety.

It is also easy for anyone to access on any device including phones, tablets and computers.

The team distributed a getting started guide to ensure everyone had the best experience and there were minimal connection issues. They even suggested ideas to help students project the disco to their televisions to make the experience almost as good as being there. All of this information was communicated to their community using a variety of channels, including the school’s Facebook page.

The best thing about all of Billabong’s online experiences is that they were simple and inexpensive, with the team using what they had and leveraging the power of the humble computer and webcam!

Billabong High Schools school disco poster, including some notifications for best dressed, breakout rooms and DJ set times

Checks

Just as with other school events, the team at Billabong did their due diligence to ensure student safety and well being and that the experience was positive for all involved. They communicated a strict code of conduct from the beginning and outlined the consequences clearly and simply.

A checklist of conditions of entry for Billabong High Schools online disco

Further information

For more information on Billabong’s experience, take a peek at their Facebook page and be inspired by their ingenuity and innovation.

In addition to this awesome experience, the team at Billabong have also taken their wellbeing program ‘Thrive’ online, with teachers and students continuing to connect over something they are passionate about, like yoga, paddock to plate, Art Space, mindfulness and more. Take a peek at one of their aptly named ‘Thrive Bites’ sessions run by their Principal Kurt Wawszkowicz focusing on fitness.

For more information on how to use Zoom to keep your community connected take a look at the department’s Zoom guide in the Virtual Celebration Toolkit.

Thanks to the whole team at Billabong High School for sharing their amazing approach to keeping their community positive, safe and connected.

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