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The Promethean State of Technology in Education Report asked questions to gain a broader understanding of the challenges and successes educators are experiencing.

The survey of over 2,000 educators across the UK and Ireland, including independent schools, pointed towards growing pressures around school budgets and the impacts they may have on teaching and learning.

Seventy-two percent of school leaders said budgets will have the biggest impact on student education in the year ahead.

Compared to last year, almost five times as many school leaders said operations and maintenance will be the top spending priority after salaries (11% in 2018/19 up to 49% this year).

Technology spend rises to fourth place in budget priorities – 16% of school leaders said they will spend most of their budget on technology in the coming year (compared to 4% in 2018/19). Forty six percent of respondents believe too little is spent on technology – the highest level in the four-year period.

There are more signs that budgets are creating barriers to teaching and learning through limited budgets being soaked up on vital operational costs such as salaries and maintenance or learning support

Additional learning support will see a significant increase in priority, rising from 5% in 2018/19 up to 30% in 2019/20.

Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, said: “The issue of budgetary constraints in schools is not a new concept and unfortunately is something that has made headlines regularly in recent years. What is interesting from the results of the State of Technology in Education Report 2018/19, is that we are seeing an increase in the concern voiced by educators over the four years the report has been running.

“There are more signs that budgets are creating barriers to teaching and learning through limited budgets being soaked up on vital operational costs such as salaries and maintenance or learning support.”


To find out more, visit: resourced.prometheanworld.com [post_title] => Over half of leaders say budgets will make it hard to achieve objectives [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => over-half-of-leaders-say-budgets-will-make-it-hard-to-achieve-objectives [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-10 16:23:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-10 16:23:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=22160 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18744 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2019-06-20 14:12:42 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-20 13:12:42 [post_content] => In an effort to celebrate all things good about teaching, Promethean recently launched the #ClassroomStory competition, giving educators the chance to win a state-of-the-art ActivPanel by sharing inspiring teacher memories with the education community. Following the negative headlines about extensive teacher workloads and what’s being called the ‘crisis in education’, Promethean wanted to help teachers recognise the wonderful work that they do, the impact they have on the lives of students and to relive cherished educator memories. As #ClassroomStory is getting into full swing, and entries are coming in thick and fast, Promethean shares the story so far. Once upon a time – Dan’s story #ClassroomStory was piloted at Bett 2019, and teachers were encouraged to come forward and share warm teacher memories with the incentive of winning an ActivPanel that could not only help integrate technology into the classroom but assist with collaborative teaching and learning methods. Dan Rolles, network manager at Shielding Special Education Trust, told Promethean about a young boy named Brandon. Brandon, was passionate about technology and as a result of one-on-one sessions and inspiration from his teacher, has now completed an ICT degree and is working for the ICT department of a large bank. Following the encouragement, he received from his teacher in his teen years, Brandon thanked Dan for the support in his university acceptance speech, stating that without the additional help and guidance he feels that he would never have pursued a career in ICT, something which Dan was incredibly pleased to share. Turning teacher memories into edtech Technology has the ability to transform the teaching environment, creating a versatile and engaging sphere to help students and teachers to learn and develop in adaptive classrooms and help to familiarise students with technology from a young age. Technology also has the ability to help teachers create and experiment with new and exciting ways to teach, therefore encouraging students to engage within lessons and spark creative energy. Despite the potential technology has for our future learners, budgets can be restrictive and many schools are unable to break down the barriers to access this technology. Promethean, with the help of the #ClassroomStory competition, has made the potential of benefiting from this technology possible. The award-winning ActivPanel has become a popular tool in classrooms around the world and it could be yours just by sharing magical teaching moments that transformed the way you feel about teaching. Enter the #ClassroomStory competition today by sharing a video entry on social media, to be in with the chance of winning an ActivPanel package valued at approximately £3,000, all for the love of learning. To find out more about #ClassroomStory and how to enter, please visit www.classroomstory.co.uk [post_title] => The story so far: Promethean’s #ClassroomStory [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-story-so-far-prometheans-classroomstory [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-20 14:12:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-20 13:12:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=18744 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18073 [post_author] => 29 [post_date] => 2019-05-15 10:57:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-15 09:57:18 [post_content] => Stories about workload, wellbeing and record numbers of teachers leaving the profession are dominating the headlines in the UK, in what some are calling a ‘crisis in education’. Whilst the challenges educators are facing urgently need addressing, it is also important to recognise some of the amazing work teachers are doing and the impact they are making to the lives of their students. For the love of learning, this term, Promethean has launched the #ClassroomStory competition to share treasured teaching memories and give educators the chance to win a state-of-the-art technology package. Over the past two years, the Promethean Grant has celebrated schools around the UK, with pupils taking the limelight in the creative video competition which saw over 60 ActivPanels awarded to winning schools. This time around, in 2019, Promethean wants to hear from you, the teachers, in the all new #ClassroomStory competition. Do you remember a time when a pupil came to you after class for extra help? When a pupil excelled because of your support? The best piece of advice a colleague has given you? If you have a story to tell, Promethean would love to hear from you and share your story with the teaching community. The #ClassroomStory competition was previewed at leading education technology show Bett, in London in January. Promethean created a video booth where for the duration of the show, educators came and told their stories to be in with the chance of winning an ActivPanel, an advanced interactive front of class display. Some really inspirational and heart-warming stories were captured – but one story in particular stood out to judges.
Promethean wants to know all about those magical teaching moments that really give you a sense of fulfilment
Dan’s #ClassroomStory Dan Rolles, network manager at Sheiling Special Education Trust, shared his story that encompassed the ethos that every member of staff in a school has a valuable role to play, and that teaching and learning has a long lasting impact on pupils and their career prospects. Dan told Promethean about a child named Brandon who would frequently come to his office to ask ICT related questions and had a real passion for technology. At the time, technology was still an emerging trend in schools and was seen as a fairly ‘nerdy’ subject, but this did not phase Brandon, and Dan encouraged him to learn more about ICT. Recently, Dan bumped into Brandon and discovered that he is now working for the ICT department of a large bank. Brandon thanked Dan for the support he had given him in school and said he had inspired him on to pursue a career in ICT. Sharing your #ClassroomStory If you, or a colleague have a special teaching memory, then why not share it as a video and celebrate what is positive in education? Promethean wants to know all about those magical teaching moments that really give you a sense of fulfilment. Share your video on social media using the hashtag #ClassroomStory, the most inspirational stories will be shortlisted, and educators will be in with a chance of winning one of five ActivPanel packages valued at approximately £3,000 – the shortlisted stories will then go to a public vote in June. For more information on how to enter the #ClassroomStory competition, visit classroomstory.co.uk or email ClassroomStory@PrometheanWorld.com [post_title] => Turning educator memories into education technology [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => turning-educator-memories-into-education-technology-2 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-15 12:02:22 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-15 11:02:22 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://ie-today.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=18073 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 765 [post_author] => 13 [post_date] => 2018-01-25 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-01-24 23:00:00 [post_content] =>

Whether it’s your first time attending, or you’re a seasoned visitor like Promethean, there’s something for everyone on Stand B98!

1.     Share Best Practice, with Real Teachers

We’re proud to have a team of real teachers, with a passion for edtech in the classroom on the Stand with us at Bett 2018. Throughout the show, you can learn how to feed an astronaut, check out our camouflaged learning session, or find out how to make quadratics exciting. We have a full programme of workshops and presentations that cover the latest trends and how you can use technology to help deliver them. 

2.     Learn About the Latest EdTech

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a headteacher, teacher or IT Manager, we’ll have someone on Stand who understands what you need to know about edtech and can give you expert advice on the latest ActivPanel advancements most relevant to you. So whether you’re interested in edtech to support assessment, getting hands-on to see what the writing experience is like or want to talk technicalities and networking… we can help.

3.     Showcase Immersive Learning Technologies

At Promethean we’re so much more than edtech, come to our Stand (B98) and ask about our immersive learning experience in the Platinum Suite. Here, you will be able to see the exciting developments that are being worked on and what could appear in classrooms in the future….

4.     Inspire the Next Generation

Don’t just take our word for it! Come along and see Mr Hunt and global internet sensation Jamie Berry (aged 8). The duo from Tottington Primary School shot to fame following their Promethean Grant win. The teacher/pupil duo will be sharing their story and unveiling some exciting new lesson ideas which push the boundaries of edtech in the classroom.

5.     Listen to Your Needs

All schools are different, and with that needs vary. At Promethean we fully understand the need to take the time to listen to what schools are looking for individually, to find out what their current provisions are and work with them alongside one of our partners to ensure that any new technology complements existing technology. One of our technical experts on the Stand will be able to speak with you, whether you’re a teacher or an ICT Manager, the full stand team is equipped to provide guidance.

For more information on Promethean, visit www.prometheanworld.com

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While education technology has many benefits, as our classrooms become more high-tech, schools need to ensure they have measures in place to reduce the risk of cyber attacks or ‘pedagogical phishing’.

 With Wi-Fi being a staple piece tech in modern classrooms linking technology via the cloud and connecting front-of-class displays, tablets etc. it does mean that our schools run the risk of being targeted. Through hacking, thieves can infect devices with viruses and malware or even go so far as to try to get their hands on student data and school financial records; so ensuring that you have some secure measures in place should be a priority when using technology.

  So, how can you minimise the risk of cyber attacks?

  1.    Put a cyber security leadership team in place who is responsible for security practices at your school. Ensure that they have security policies in place which everyone an adhere to, discuss these regularly with other stakeholders such as governors and parents, so that everybody knows there are measures in place, and what to do in the event of something serious happening.

  2.    At a very bottom level, invest in antivirus software, but make sure that it will protect all of your operating systems. Importantly, keep the software updated with the latest version. While it can seem like an arduous task at times, having the latest software irons out any bugs or niggles that can leave a network vulnerable. Set up automatic updates to help you stay on top of it.

  3.    Back it up! Make sure you have procedures in place to back up all of your data and files. Work with your School IT or Network Manager to ensure that the back-up storage is sufficient and has enough room for growth.

  4.    Don’t just rely on technology to keep you safe, have a system in place that allows teachers and students to flag any suspicious emails or activity on their online accounts. Teach students, teachers and professional staff about the risks of opening emails (and attachments) from unknown sources across the school network, and what to do if they find anything untoward.

  5.    Use password protection – for everything, as standard, this will strengthen the network. Encourage staff and students to be creative with their passwords, and to avoid the obvious (Password123). Using symbols, characters or capital letters can reduce the chance of it being guessed. It’s also beneficial to change passwords on a regular basis, we would recommend every 30 days as standard.

While the chance of stopping cyber-attacks altogether is unlikely, through careful planning and risk management you can minimise the chances of it happening or becoming a major incident for your school. 

Blog written by Janice Prandstatter Teaching and Learning Consultant at Promethean

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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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When it comes to getting the most out of lessons and lectures, joined-up technology is as important as joined-up thinking. Advancement in display and audio equipment means pupils and students can be taught engagingly amid stunning imagery and sound, provided the technology supports the lesson plan and lecture notes. 

Integration is essential, according to Andy Ostler, head of business unit – OmniJoin at ICT services provider, Brother UK. “The ability to integrate different technologies simply and easily is key to ensuring efficiency and cost savings in the education sector, which is why we’ve put a major focus on this in recent years. A good example is our Direct Scan Desktop Solution for Capita SIMS software users. This enables schools’ administrative staff to scan paper documents, such as consent forms, and instantly save them as digital copies within SIMS. By collaborating with a software provider from the outset we’re able to give schools a ready-made bespoke service.”  

Technology is bringing people closer together, even when they’re far apart. 

“As the world becomes more connected, so must schools and universities. Video conferencing is opening up new opportunities for students to engage and work collaboratively with others outside of their institution, whether that’s a partner school in another country or a careers specialist working for another business. This presents another challenge – ensuring technology is easily synced within the one establishment and also others across the globe. We’ve designed OmniJoin, our web-conferencing platform with this in mind. Not only is it Firewall-friendly but it is also intuitive, so it reads your connectivity levels and adapts the visual and sound quality to ensure connection is never lost. It also allows users to access and work collaboratively together on the same document.”

 

Janice Prandstatter, Promethean’s teaching and learning consultant, comments on the need to be connected. “Promethean has developed both hardware and software solutions supporting the syncing of technology in the classroom. While Cloud-based learning platform ClassFlow can be used across any device to create a truly ‘connected’ classroom, the ActivPanel interactive flat panel incorporates an external Android device supporting connectivity using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technology.”  

This technology is leading to new teaching methods. “There are a number of ways in which new technologies are being shaped, the most notable being ‘learning in the moment’ and ‘digital snacking’ by harnessing the power of The Internet of Things (IoT) – connected third-party devices and applications. Using the ActivPanel, teachers can facilitate learning in the moment with ‘instant whiteboarding’. This allows teachers to easily encourage classroom interaction and collaboration without the need to connect to a computer. Essentially, they can respond to learning in the moment and capture discussion as it happens. With the capabilities of the IoT, the ActivPanel can support the increasing trend for digital snacking. This helps teachers to provide learning in smaller chunks and ultimately creates bite-sized learning opportunities.”

The ability to integrate different technologies simply and easily is key to ensuring efficiency and cost-savings in the education sector 

Following an evaluation process, Promethean became the preferred partner for interactive classroom technology of Milton Keynes Education Trust (MKET), with the ActivPanel being rolled out at all existing and new sites. For MKET, technology provision was just one part of the decision-making process, as technical services manager Mornè van Niekerk said. “We were very much focused on the wider considerations and how the whole package fitted together. For example, Promethean’s ActivInspire software is licensed to the ActivPanel, meaning we would not incur annual licensing fees. This ticked two boxes for us, in that the software has excellent educational value but is also a commercially sound investment.”

“Today’s university students are true digital natives,” says Casio UK’s head of projection, Phil Clark. “They have grown up in an environment where there has always been a technology solution to meet their every need. This is making an interesting impact on the university environment, as these students are demanding that same always-on connectivity they’re familiar with in their personal lives. This is one of the reasons why the conversation in education technology has shifted so firmly to collaboration in the past few months. It’s imperative universities are future-proofing their technology solutions to be able to take advantage of the drive toward tech-enabled collaboration.”

Thinking ahead ensures establishments can collaborate most effectively. “There are simple methods to create a more collaborative classroom that universities can take advantage of. When selecting new technology or evaluating your current asset, check out the connectivity ports. 

For example, we designed our Advanced Series lamp-free projectors to be equipped with the most-used ports, from multiple HDMI inputs to powered USB so users could plug-and-play their collaboration system of choice. Streaming and casting via an Apple TV or creating a collaborative display via Google Chromebox is easily possible, and today’s digitally native students can quickly tap into these familiar interfaces.”

Phil believes universities must move with the times. “Incorporating Internet of Things-ready, Wi-Fi-enabled devices can create a better networked space too, though university IT managers need to ensure their bandwidth is up to the task. A collaborative classroom isn’t an optional asset for universities; it’s the new way students are working.” 

Manchester University created a collaborative experience for their students using Casio’s UST projectors in multi-purpose learning and meeting spaces, connected into the in-room computer network. Because they were able to fit into constrained spaces with a very short throw distance of 27cm for an 80” display. it can work throughout the room, and its connectivity allows for easy use and a seamless experience.

Adapting virtual reality for educational use can bring challenges, and it is essential the teacher remains in full control, according to Veative Labs director Colin Bethell. “Effective synchronisation is vital for viewing 3D content on VR devices. Teachers can’t see what a pupil is doing when wearing the headset, so to ensure the VR component is fully integrated the teacher must be able to cast their screen to all pupil VR devices and vice versa. 

It’s also essential the teacher’s VR device can be projected onto a big screen to allow teacher and pupils to experience the module together. The way to provide an integrated and customised ecosystem is through integrated student and teacher apps on a shared Wi-Fi – online or LAN.”   

Optoma strives to ensure all its projectors are compatible with existing mainstream technology. Large screens and visualisers enable new pedagogies and collaborative learning, such as pupils staying in their seats during science lessons when viewing experiments done by the teacher. Larger screens make for better lesson flow, with less time lost with pupils moving to and from their seats. Many Optoma projectors feature HDBaseT to help schools future-proof their investment and simplify installation. At St Joseph’s School, Rochfortbridge, Ireland, maths and accounting teacher Stephen Eustace co-ordinates and executes all ICT improvements. He said, “I try to configure all my projectors for a fine balance between size of screen and brightness by adjusting the throw distance. Pupil engagement and content understanding is improved with a larger screen size – the larger the screen, the greater the immersion in a lesson. A good audio setup is also key; to ensure great audio quality enhances the pupil experience I fit a sound bar underneath the projection area.” 

A collaborative classroom isn't an optional asset for universities; it's the new way students are working 

Establishments have much to consider when procuring technology, according to Peter Claxton, senior manager education solutions at SMART Technologies. 

“In modern education, the pedagogical value driving excellence lies in software and hardware. For IT decision-makers, finding the right combination is challenging and often leads to investment in technologies lacking the depth required to improve learning outcomes. For educators, the stumbling block is typically device isolation: students using devices, such as iPads, individually rather than collaboratively. Combining these two problems has led to lower levels of teaching standards and has put IT budgets under increasing strain.”

SMART Amp, part of the SMART Learning Suite, is SMART’s cloud-based software. It lets students use their mobile devices to create and discover digital content, answer questions for formative feedback, collaborate and exchange ideas in a shared, interactive workspace. 

The software is used in partnership with the SMART Kapp iQ IFP display. Teachers upload lesson plans to the panel which students connect their devices to via Wi-Fi. It enables them to deliver two-way collaborative lessons, assess student performance along the way and guide the collaborative effort without widespread interruption. 

Pupils and students learn best when the technology in their learning environment is in maximum synchronicity. Irrespective of what might be taught in maths, when creating collaborative classrooms in which teaching, teamwork and tech come together terrifically, the whole really is greater than the sum of the parts. Together, everyone achieves more. 

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Last year Milton Keynes Education Trust (MKET) came back from Bett brimming with interactive flat panel inspiration which led Technical Services Manager, Mornè van Niekerk, to establish an engagement programme with teaching staff… 

“We recognised that the mixed ICT estate across all of our sites required a complete upgrade. While my team had the technical and commercial considerations of procurement front-of-mind, we fully appreciated the importance of engaging teaching staff regarding their needs too – after all, they are the ones who use the technology to enhance the classroom experience.”

Having listened to the teachers; two brands of an interactive flat panel were introduced for piloting in a classroom environment. These were objectively assessed against criteria such as value for money, training and support, warranty provision, software quality and installation service – with the Promethean ActivPanel emerging as the preferred solution. 

Vice Principal, Anthony Smith, played a key role in the procurement and implementation process and now uses the ActivPanel during his GCSE Chemistry and Physics lessons: “I’ve always been more of an advocate of using the Bunsen burner and practical experiments than display technology in the classroom; but since getting to grips with the ActivPanel I can really see where the potential is to add teaching value. 

“From a general SLT perspective, the ActivPanel has been a great solution for overcoming the daylight versus screen projection dilemma in classrooms. As a North/South facing school, we no longer have to use black-out blinds for content on the screens to be legible – lots of natural daylight shines through which can only be a positive thing for student motivation.” 

With Bett 2017 on the horizon, now is an excellent time to start planning what you want to bring back from the event (25th – 28th January). On Stand B98, Promethean will be showcasing its latest ActivPanel range alongside cloud based learning platform, ClassFlow. You can also speak to a team of practising teachers who are on hand to share ideas on how to use these technologies to open-up a world of learning potential.

Please visit www.prometheanworld.com to learn more

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Since the launch of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) almost 20 years ago, the technology has been used to enhance teaching and learning environments from the front of the classroom, by facilitating interaction using a large format display connected to a computer.

Fast forward to 2016 and the slimmer profile, more aesthetically pleasing and lower maintenance interactive flat panel is rapidly becoming the preferred display solution in UK schools.

However, an advanced interactive flat panel solution, more specifically Promethean’s ActivPanel – is actually capable of much more – and here’s why: 

  • Learning in the moment – with ‘instant whiteboarding’, teachers can easily encourage classroom interaction and collaboration without the need to connect to a computer. Respond to learning ‘in the moment’ and capture discussion as it happens.
  • Facilitating collaboration and BYOD – promoting peer assessment and collaboration has never been easier. The ActivPanel allows teachers to wirelessly mirror content from the ActivPanel to student devices and vice-versa.

  • Access powerful education content with a click – with access to thousands of Apps direct from the ActivPanel, teachers can access their preferred educational applications and download the content easily and wirelessly.
  • Wi-Fi when you need it – with the ever increasing importance of internet within schools, the ActivPanel can provide a valuable Wi-Fi hotspot. Supporting up to 5 devices, as well as simplifying connectivity, in some cases this can also reduce the overall cost of Wi-Fi infrastructure.
  • Technology exactly how you want it – whether the ActivPanel is used for specific subjects, years or teachers, the system can be completely customised to suit the required specification.
  • Create bitesize learning opportunities – with the capabilities of being able to connect third party devices and applications, the ActivPanel can support the increasing trend for “digital snacking”, helping teachers to deliver learning in smaller chunks.

So whether you are looking to upgrade existing IWB technology or tasked with the complete overhaul of an ICT estate, when considering interactive flat panels the new technology must be evaluated as more than a display device. Instead, specifications need to designed in the wider school infrastructure and the modern ways in which teaching harnesses the use of technology.

To learn more about using interactive flat panels as more than a display device, please visit www.ActivPanel.co.uk

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Over the past 20 years, schools in the UK have gone through a transition from the single desktop computer in the corner of the classroom to an abundance of high-tech teaching aids for students to use in lesson times. According to the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA), UK schools spend around £900m every year on technology. The figures show schools have bought over 1,3m desktop computers, 840,000 laptops, and around 721,000 tablets.

While a flurry of classroom technology can be nice to have, it’s important that school’s investment is being put to use and students are truly engaging with the technologies available. We’ve pulled together some handy tips on how to get the most out of driving student engagement with technology:

1.     Students expect technology to be in place in the classroom. This current generation of Digital Natives has grown-up with technology being second nature. While their predecessors and teachers are learning how to use new technologies, post-Millennials or Generation Z, are being shaped by technology. Schools should harvest this interest in all things tech to encourage student participation in lessons and continuing their learning beyond the classroom. 

2.     The importance of space. Schools need to assess classroom technology that is currently in place and think about how it fits the space the students work in. While most classrooms are equipped to handle new technology, it’s not the same as using the space available to enable the technology to be used to its best effect. This is detrimental to the return on investment. Therefore by reimagining the physical space, it ensures that it and the technology in place support different learning styles and the fluidity of lessons that engage technology use.

3.     Does the technology suit the pedagogy? Teaching style plays a key role in making tech relevant in the classroom. You can have a room full of the latest shiny gadgets, but if they aren’t contributing to enriching the learning experience, they’re not a worthwhile investment. Learning styles must also be considered. Teachers need to adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of the learners in the classroom and not the other way round. This means that the education technology in place needs to be relevant to what the learners require and within their preferred styles, in order to properly support and enhance lessons – learners must be at the forefront.

4.     Vary your technology. As impactful as an Interactive Flat Panel Display (IFPD) can be, classroom technology needn’t start and end with front-of-class displays. Schools should research other technologies available and how they can be used alongside existing equipment to maximise learning outcomes. Different technology can provide different benefits and instigate different lesson paths. For example, handheld devices tend to inspire creativity and offer more hands-on learning; this means they can be useful for one-to-one tasks. IFPDs are great for collaborative and whole class learning, while also being useful for reflecting on group or one-to-one work. Crucially schools need to be synchronising their classroom technology so they aren’t operating as separate components, this will provide a more engaging lesson setting.

5.            Don’t forget about software.  Hardware is often front-of-mind when we think about classroom technology, but we mustn’t forget about the role that software plays in education. Capable of providing teachers with the tools needed to plan and deliver lessons, and then provide the students with an outlet to complete tasks, education software is often the driver that enhances the educational process for students and teachers alike. Software, such as ClassFlow, Promethean’s free learning platform, can also be used for providing teachers with real-time assessment, drilling down to individual students, which allows them to gauge how well the class has understood the lesson. This kind of software not only makes life a little easier for teachers; importantly it empowers both teachers and students to engage in truly collaborative learning opportunities.

For more information visit: https://www.prometheanworld.com/en-gb/

 

 

 

 

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With global spending on IT in schools estimated at £17.5bn every year, around 70% of schools in the UK using tablet computers in lessons and a recent Ofsted report claiming that 30% of UK schools operate with a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, technology underpins the entire concept of the modern classroom. Young people are more tech-savvy than ever before – but how can schools harness this knowledge, and keep up with the evolution of technology, in order to shape new ways of teaching? 

A higher level of interactive technology in the classroom not only enhances the learning process, but makes practical sense, since today’s student is already accustomed to using smart devices outside the educational sphere; interactive smart whiteboards are simply a natural extension to the social use of tablets in the home. 

Philip Woods, Director at KRCS Group, a premium reseller of Apple products and accessories, believes that although technology is more present than ever before, our focus needs to shift away from the technology itself. Instead, he suggests: “Technology’s use should be transparent, allowing staff and pupils to concentrate on enhancing (and even transforming) the way staff teach and the way pupils learn.” As we go to press, the iOS 9.3 update is due for release to iOS 9 users, and promises further integration between the hardware and software paradigms. “Apple’s new Classroom app will create a kind of symbiosis between a teacher’s iPad and their pupils’ devices,” says Philip. “A teacher will soon be able to peer into their students’ screens and see exactly what they see, point the device to whatever app or website is needed for the class ahead and even cast their students’ device on Apple TV.”

Educating beta

With phones already in pockets and students accustomed to using tablets and computers in their everyday lives, it makes perfect sense to not only use the same devices in the classroom, but to allow students to learn through creating for the digital spaces they are already involved with. After all, says Adriana Rose, Business Development at Wolfram Research, “it’s what they’re interested in, and it’s what they care about.” Software like Wolfram Programming Lab teaches the user how to programme, using example code to experiment with – it’s a learn-while-you-play model that’s engaging at all levels of education, and one that we’re exposed to from a young age, in one form or another. “In kindergarten through second grade, most students are accustomed to drawing, cutting, pasting, and creating things to showcase their understanding, explains Adriana. “Programming in the Wolfram language gives students an opportunity to create a whole host of useful things digitally.” 

And with gaming now recognised as having genuine educative value, it’s finding its way into classrooms, too. Kuato Studios, an edtech company building video games that teach kids to code, works with schools across the country, helping to drive coding initiatives into classrooms. The games look and feel like action adventure games, but focus on teaching code. Jessica Trybus, is Director of Edutainment for Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center, based in Pennsylvania, USA. She explains why this game-based learning is so effective: “When an interactive environment is offered that provides risk-free experimentation and consequences, we learn and apply that knowledge to real-world situations… Harness the power of well-designed games to achieve specific learning goals, and the result is a workforce of highly motivated learners who avidly engage with and practice applying problem-solving skills.”

Tried and tested tech

Despite mammoth advances in technology, tried and tested educative tools and methods aren’t being discarded, rather tweaked for the digital generation. Note taking will always be an essential part of being a student, but the process is evolving – many universities have registered themselves with online virtual world Second Life, which enables students to socialise online and share ideas, with teachers providing moderation. 

And although pen and paper is still a popular method of recording information, laptops and tablets are widely used on campus, too – can the two methods be combined, in the form of flexible OLED-based displays, so thin they can be rolled and folded like paper? 

For now, Educreations have created a unique screencasting tool that turns your tablet into a recordable whiteboard, with interactive text, audio and video giving the user the tools to make personal video lessons that can be shared online. 

The app expands on the traditional learning space, and allows teachers to view and use public lessons created by other teachers on various subjects, from science to art.

The best solutions will be those that will boost the current technological capabilities in the classroom while future-proofing the learning environment for years to come

Next gen products

Proving they are ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping up with tech, Promethean are helping to future-proof schools’ investment in edtech with the launch of the enhanced ActivPanel range. 

The range now offers a choice of full HD and 4K Ultra HD displays which are designed to enhance the classroom viewing experience and interaction amongst students. Building on the core capabilities of the ActivPanel, this next generation release has focused on creating a display solution which can keep pace with the rate of development in the computing world by specifically addressing the demand for Android functionality devices in classroom displays.

Ian Curtis, Head of Europe, Africa and Australasia, explains: “Many schools looking to invest in flat panels with internal computing devices have the expectation that the technology will not need to be refreshed for five to 10 years; however, the rate of innovation around computing processing power on average doubles every two years. This means there is a high likelihood that the processing power may be generations behind after a short period of time, leaving schools with dated technology and without options.” 

In direct response to this challenge, Promethean has developed a new external, upgradeable Android device that offers an innovative experience and intelligent design. Supporting up to 10 simultaneous touch points, a further enhancement to the ActivPanel user experience is the new Promethean digital pen. This enables teachers and students to write, annotate and hover in addition to performing typical touchscreen commands. The latest generation of ActivPanel will be available for purchase from May 2016. 

A critical role

Working with the knowledge and products that we have, continuously rethinking methods so that new and existing tech works in synergy – this is the route to creating functioning, adaptable classrooms. “Technology will continue to play a critical role in the learning environment,” says Martin Large, CEO of Steljes, adding: “The best solutions will be those that will boost the current technological capabilities in the classroom while future-proofing the learning environment for years to come.”

Teaching teachers 

Matt Goolding, Head of Digital Marketing at Ribbonfish, a London-based company that creates cloud enterprise apps, explains that technology need to be “one tool in the educator’s toolkit,” and that it must “empower and strengthen the role of the teacher.” In order for this to happen, he explains, not only must the devices and software offer new ways for teachers to “work the minds of their students,” but the educators themselves need to be confident and comfortable with the technology – a study by Steljes, the leading distributor of interactive technology, showed that there is a growing generation gap when it comes to technical know-how, with 75% of teachers admitting to feeling less tech-savvy than their students. 

The study also showed that, although schools are investing in inert active technology, less than a third of those included in the study said that their interactive technology suite was regularly updated and refreshed, and that despite the majority of teachers being offered training when the equipment was installed, 47% rated it as satisfactory, poor or very poor.

 

Clearly, it isn’t enough to fill a classroom with shiny new examples of today’s technology – training and support for teaching staff is essential. There are solutions, though – the new VTF series from VIVIDtouch by Steljes features next-generation interactive panels and a fully functioning Windows 10 device built into the front of class display, and are designed with ease of use in mind. 

And as the panels do not require a separate PC in order to function, cost is reduced, too. 

Co-creation and collaboration are essential in the world of work, and far from encouraging isolation, new technology is putting interaction at the centre of education. Group work is a must, says Warren Barkley, CTO of SMART, the developer of the Smart Board interactive whiteboard: “We need to encourage group work. When students are engaged, they will use technology as a tool, and they will manage these tools effectively. Group learning may seem chaotic, but chaos is sometimes necessary for students to succeed.” 

“We’ve come a long way since the days when one dusty old computer would occupy a corner of a classroom, wheeled out every once in a while to prove that a school was moving with the times – but we’re still a long way from rows of screens and teaching through machines.” 

[post_title] => Collaborate and listen [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => collaborate-and-listen [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2016-04-06 12:41:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 11 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22160 [post_author] => 43 [post_date] => 2019-12-11 00:00:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-11 00:00:21 [post_content] => A report has revealed that 54% of school leaders have reported that budgets will make it difficult for their school to realise its strategic objectives in the year ahead.

The Promethean State of Technology in Education Report asked questions to gain a broader understanding of the challenges and successes educators are experiencing.

The survey of over 2,000 educators across the UK and Ireland, including independent schools, pointed towards growing pressures around school budgets and the impacts they may have on teaching and learning.

Seventy-two percent of school leaders said budgets will have the biggest impact on student education in the year ahead.

Compared to last year, almost five times as many school leaders said operations and maintenance will be the top spending priority after salaries (11% in 2018/19 up to 49% this year).

Technology spend rises to fourth place in budget priorities – 16% of school leaders said they will spend most of their budget on technology in the coming year (compared to 4% in 2018/19). Forty six percent of respondents believe too little is spent on technology – the highest level in the four-year period.

There are more signs that budgets are creating barriers to teaching and learning through limited budgets being soaked up on vital operational costs such as salaries and maintenance or learning support

Additional learning support will see a significant increase in priority, rising from 5% in 2018/19 up to 30% in 2019/20.

Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, said: “The issue of budgetary constraints in schools is not a new concept and unfortunately is something that has made headlines regularly in recent years. What is interesting from the results of the State of Technology in Education Report 2018/19, is that we are seeing an increase in the concern voiced by educators over the four years the report has been running.

“There are more signs that budgets are creating barriers to teaching and learning through limited budgets being soaked up on vital operational costs such as salaries and maintenance or learning support.”


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Suppliers

Promethean

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What we do

With more than 20 years of experience in K-12 classrooms, Promethean is a global leader in education technology. Promethean’s combined hardware and software solutions are designed to transform learning spaces into collaborative and connective environments, promote student participation and engagement throughout the learning process, and provide access to limitless interactive teaching and learning resources that bring lessons to life. Promethean is a member of the NetDragon Websoft Holdings Limited group of companies and its corporate headquarters office is located in Seattle, USA, with additional offices in Blackburn, UK and Atlanta, USA.

Promethean’s Global reach:

  • 1 million classrooms with Promethean Interactive displays
  • 4 million+ teachers, parents and students registered on ClassFlow® worldwide
  • 50,000+ schools and institutions in 154 countries using Promethean solutions

THE WORLD OF IMMERSIVE LEARNING

For more than 20 years, learning has fuelled the technology innovation behind Promethean. At Promethean, our goal is to reimagine and reinvent educational technology solutions to create the dynamic environments, communities, and tools that:

  • Transform all learning spaces into collaborative and connected environments, enveloping the student in the latest technology
  • Promote student participation, immersion, and engagement throughout the learning process
  • Provide access to limitless interactive teaching and learning resources that bring lessons to life and energise students

ACTIVPANEL®

The ActivPanel is the premium solution that delivers an easy to use tablet-like experience and puts the digital world at the fingertips of teachers and students.

Powered with innovative InGlass™ technology, the ActivPanel continues to offer the industry’s most natural writing experience using, enabling both teachers and students to collaborate in front of the class with ease. The interactive panel automatically detects differences between pen, touch, and palm erase – allowing teachers to teach efficiently without switching between software tools. The new instant whiteboard brings the InGlass technology to life through free-form writing with practically no script-lag, pinch-zoom navigation, and pre-loaded teaching tools to enhance productivity.

The ActivPanel provides teacher-controlled wireless screen sharing, connection to Bluetooth® devices for hands-on learning, and access to free educational apps directly from the home screen.

Compatible with third-party device management software, including Google® G-Suite, VMWare Airwatch®, and Radix Viso, the ActivPanel enables IT administrators the capability, with support Mobile Device Management suites, to manage the ActivPanel centrally and provide over-the-air software updates.

The ActivPanel is available in 65″ 4K, 70″ HD, 75″ 4K, and 86″ 4K.

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