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Why budget cuts don't need to spell the end of edtech

By Janice Prandstatter, Teaching and Learning Consultant, Promethean

Posted by Rebecca Paddick | March 14, 2017 | Technology

The new National Funding Formula (NFF) will see a staggering 9,128 schools face budget cuts, with some schools losing up to 3% over two years after the NFF is introduced.

Not surprisingly, this has sparked panic and uncertainty throughout England where schools are already under immense pressure to balance the books while delivering the highest quality learning opportunities to students.

One school who has already navigated financial challenges is Norden High School and Sports College. Located in Rishton, Lancashire, just a stone’s throw away from Promethean’s headquarters in Blackburn, Norden worked hard to create an inspiring and welcoming learning environment but still struggled to compete with neighbouring schools who had budget to upgrade legacy technology to the latest edtech. Thinking creatively, the school approached Promethean to see whether we could do anything to help… as we had just refreshed our marketing demonstration stock we had an old unit that we didn’t have a use for so were able to gift an ActivPanel to the school.

We didn’t have the budget to upgrade and had to go back to more traditional ways of teaching instead of collaboration and interactivity – which was starting to have a negative effect

The ActivPanel was installed in PE and Maths teacher Damian Juriansz’s classroom, who has enthusiastically explored the potential for the technology to bring a fresh approach to teaching and learning: “Our technology was seriously aging, to the point you could hardly see the content on the IWB as the projection light was so dim. We didn’t have the budget to upgrade and had to go back to more traditional ways of teaching instead of collaboration and interactivity – which was starting to have a negative effect. Fast forward to getting the ActivPanel and it’s been a game changer for us. It’s opened up so many opportunities – my favourite being able to mirror content from student devices to the screen, and then annotate over the content as part of a discussion.”

The feedback from Norden got us thinking. If one ActivPanel could make such a positive contribution to a school environment… what if we gave other schools the same opportunity? And so, the Promethean Grant was born…   

What’s the Promethean Grant?

We’ve pledged 30 of our ActivPanels to the Promethean Grant and schools are invited to submit a creative nomination as to why they deserve to be awarded one of them. We’re looking for schools like Norden, who will embrace the technology and really make use of its full potential. In the spirit of edtech, nominations need to be digital – whether that’s video, audio or a funky slideshow – it’s your chance to show us what you might be capable of if only you had an ActivPanel.

For further details on how to apply, please visit www.PrometheanGrant.com – but be quick, deadline for nomination is 7th April 2017.

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