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                    [post_date] => 2019-09-16 14:56:25
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                    [post_content] => Are you looking to use VR at your school but you don't want to invest thousands in your own headsets? PrimeVR offers virtual reality experience days from as little as £1.99* per pupil. Choose from over 20 different topics, ranging from Ancient Egypt to Outer Space and Inside the Body. Each workshop comes with a follow up literacy lesson plan that teachers can use to inspire creative writing.

Since starting in 2017, PrimeVR has worked with over 500 schools across the UK. Check out their 5* reviews on Google, Trustpilot and Facebook.

No expensive investment. No risk of technology becoming outdated. Completely hassle-free.

Looking for something new for your next topic? Get in touch at www.primevr.co.uk.

*Based on eight classes of 30 pupils taking part throughout the day.
                    [post_title] => The UK's leading VR workshop provider
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                    [post_date] => 2019-09-13 08:49:42
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-13 07:49:42
                    [post_content] => The Data Literacy Project has released results of a survey* this week highlighting the preference for practical skills over academic qualifications in data.

The survey was commissioned by data and analytics firm Qlik, a key partner in the Data Literacy Project, and covers attitudes from global business decision makers.


Related news: £8m Digital Futures at Work Research Centre to open in January


Almost two-thirds (59%) of global enterprises surveyed identified prior job experience or case study interview – where a candidate is presented with a business problem they must solve – as the top indicator of the candidate’s data literacy. Only 18% viewed a bachelor’s or even master’s or doctorate as a primary consideration when hiring.
What we look for are people who are curious and inquisitive, have a passion for doing the right thing, and are open to using data to find insights that support better business outcomes. – Lee Raybould, Nationwide Building Society
Recruitment site Glassdoor identified a similar trend in 2018, finding that an increasing amount of tech companies were giving more weight to practical data skills over official qualifications. Lee Raybould, chief data officer at Nationwide Building Society, said: “What we look for are people who are curious and inquisitive, have a passion for doing the right thing, and are open to using data to find insights that support better business outcomes.

Related news: Open Knowledge Foundation challenges government on data skills


“The volume and variety of data is constantly growing, and the insight it can unlock to allow firms to be more successful is incredible, but you need people who are prepared to engage with data, and to gain an understanding of how to use and interpret it to support decision making no matter what their job role.” *The responses came from 604 business decision makers from global publicly traded companies with at least 500 employees, and which represented a wide range of industries including banking and financial services, manufacturing, retail, transportation, healthcare, energy, construction, utilities, and communications. There were 200 respondents in the US, 200 in Europe, and 204 in Asia. [post_title] => Employers want practical data skills over data science degrees [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => employers-want-practical-data-skills-over-data-science-degrees [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-13 08:49:42 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-13 07:49:42 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=articles&p=17864 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => articles [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17347 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-08-21 00:00:28 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-20 23:00:28 [post_content] =>

What is a T-level?

A T-level is the new format that the government has developed for technical education. They have been the subject of discussion for many years but will officially be launched in England in September 2020. T-levels are an equivalent to A-levels, and include a three-month placement. They can be taken in the following subject areas:
  • Accountancy
  • Agriculture, land management and production
  • Animal care and management
  • Building services engineering
  • Catering
  • Craft and design
  • Cultural heritage and visitor attractions
  • Design, development and control
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Digital business services
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Digital support and services
  • Education
  • Financial
  • Hair, beauty and aesthetics
  • Health
  • Healthcare science
  • Human resources
  • Legal
  • Maintenance, installation and repair
  • Management and administration
  • Manufacturing and process
  • Media, broadcast and production
  • Onsite construction
  • Science
The first three T-levels will be available in England from September 2020, in:
  • Digital production, design and development
  • Design, surveying and planning
  • Education
View this video for info on T-levels from the DfE

What does a T-level Certificate include?

A T-level certificate will include:
  • An overall grade for the T-level, shown as pass, merit, distinction or distinction*;
  • A separate grade for the core component, using A* to E;
  • A separate grade for each occupational specialism studied, shown as pass, merit or distinction;
  • Confirmation that the minimum requirements for maths and English qualifications have been met;
  • Confirmation that the industry placement has been successfully completed;
  • Confirmation that any additional mandatory requirements have been met.
Students who pass all elements of their T-level will receive an overall grade of pass, merit, distinction or distinction*. This overall grade will be worked out from the grades they achieved on the core component, and on the occupational specialism(s). If students study more than one occupational specialism, an aggregate grade across these will be used. A T-level distinction* is only awarded to students who achieve an A* in their core component, as well as a distinction in their occupational specialism. All other T-level requirements must also be met. Those who don’t pass all elements of their T-level will receive a T-level Statement of Achievement as opposed to a T-level Certificate. This will show what elements have been studied, but will not include an overall grade.

Can I get into university with T levels?

Yes. Although they are primarily designed to provide a direct route into skilled employment, T-level students also have the option to progress to higher education, an apprenticeship, or higher technical training. The DfE’s policy update states that “the size and rigour of a T-level programme is comparable to a three-A-level programme. Therefore, T-levels will attract Ucas points in line with those allocated to three A-levels.”

How many Ucas points is a T-level worth?

Ucas tariff points T-level overall grade A-level equivalent
168 Distinction* A*A*A*
144 Distinction AAA
120 Merit BBB
96 Pass (C or above on core) CCC
72 Pass (D or E on core) DDD
  However, although the T-level programme is approximately the same size as a three-A-level programme, the qualifications have different purposes. T-levels are intended to help students develop skills and knowledge required for skilled employment, therefore measuring different abilities than A-levels, and using different grading scales. The standards of attainment for the technical qualification component within each T Level programme will be approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (the Institute) and regulated by Ofqual. The DfE's policy update paper can be viewed in full here. [post_title] => T-level update: Ucas points revealed [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => t-level-update-ucas-points-revealed [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-21 08:14:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-21 07:14:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=articles&p=17347 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => articles [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17256 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-08-15 10:36:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-15 09:36:05 [post_content] =>

Colin Bannister, EMEA VP and head of presales, VMware

Technical qualifications are no longer the only the avenue to a career in technology.
“We’ve seen years of campaigning to encourage students to study STEM related subjects, which is commendable – to a point. These are valuable qualifications, but incentivisation efforts must be carried out with the understanding that technical qualifications are no longer the only the avenue to a career in technology. “In fact, the tech sector in the UK is as vibrant because of the diversity of expertise and backgrounds of its employees. Today you can find countless successful individuals in the biggest tech companies across the country – including myself – who didn’t study STEM subjects beyond A-level, and bring a variety of different skills to the table. “Why? The industry is developing with such speed that many of the tech skills learnt from studying STEM subjects are likely to become outdated in the space of a few years. It’s soft skills, therefore, that are vital. That’s why when we recruit, tech skills are just one of the dozen or so criteria we look at. We look for an ability to collaborate and function in teams, build relationships and empathise with the people around you in order to succeed. Technology businesses like ours need this variety of skillsets across the organisation to remain competitive. “So whatever their results, this year’s students should be encouraged. The door to a career in the tech sector remains firmly open for those determined to enter.”

Carol Holden, VP of human resources, Software AG

There are plenty of opportunities for our graduates to go on and thrive – we just need to ensure they have the right skills to work with data.
“A-level results day may mark the end of an era – but it’s the start of a new journey too. “The uptake in STEM grades signals that as students complete their education for the last time, they are becoming more aware of the potential that these kinds of skills have to aid them in a successful future career. “However, more needs to be done. While STEM skills are important in being able to extract and analyse the data, we want to future proof our workforce by ensuring employees are able to become more creative in their interpretation of the data and that new innovations stem out of our abilities to discover new ideas. By putting data into the hands of the many, employees will have the ability and freedom to derive meaningful information from complex analytical data and reduce an organisation’s reliance on armies of data scientists. “With Gartner reports shedding light on the need for data and analytics leaders to encourage a data-literate organisational culture that values information as an asset – we must remember that this training begins in schools. “There are plenty of opportunities for our graduates to go on and thrive – we just need to ensure they have the right skills to work with data.”

Shahid Younis, CEO, Datawhizz Academy

Irrespective of the subjects that students choose to focus on in their GCSEs or A-Levels, being data literate will be key to understanding how people and machines intersect now and in the future.
“Young students nowadays face lot of uncertainty when it comes to preparing for future world of employment. Having to decide at an early age as to which subjects to study in order to prepare for jobs that may not even exist when they finish school or graduate, can be an impossible task. In addition, there is a lot of conflicting advice out there. “Should we encourage students to hone their softer skills to remain employable over robots that lack the necessary empathetic traits of humans? Or should we try to plug the current skills shortage of machine learning and data science experts given the rapid developments taking place in automation, artificial intelligence and robotics? “This question is especially imperative for future generations if you consider that young people are already almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults, and the education system as it stands is unable to adequately prepare them for this new generation of work. Qlik’s recent Global Data Literacy Report found that of those 16–24-year-olds already in work, 52% are overwhelmed by the data they must read and analyse as part of their job. “Irrespective of the subjects that students choose to focus on in their GCSEs or A-levels, being data literate will be key to understanding how people and machines intersect now and in the future. I firmly believe that learning is a continuous process and am encouraged by companies like Qlik, which established Data Literacy Project as well as running partnerships with universities and schools globally to empower students in harnessing the power of data and analytics in their own learning environments.”

James Eiloart, senior vice president of EMEA, Tableau Software

Each year, the UK is short of 40,000 science, technology, engineering and math’s (STEM) graduates.

“While the government places digital skills at the core of its Industrial Strategy, a widening disconnect is emerging between the current educational system and the demands of the modern workplace.

“Much is still being made of the need to increase the number of students pursuing STEM subjects such as maths and computer science. Each year, the UK is short of 40,000 science, technology, engineering and math’s (STEM) graduates, but the challenge of equipping young people to thrive in tomorrow’s digital economy goes far deeper than simply offering more courses in these subjects.  We should be broadening our definition of what “technical skills” means by looking at what is actually needed in the workforce and inserting those skills into the broader curriculum.

“For example, skills like analytical reasoning, data science and business analysis are currently amongst the top 25 most in-demand skills for today’s workforce – these skills will be crucial for young people as they enter tomorrow’s workplace, whatever career path they choose. The ability to analyse and communicate back insights from data is emerging as a core competency every worker should possess. Rather than hiving these skills off into a handful of subjects, we should look holistically at how skills like data literacy can be embedded into teaching in the same way reading and writing are integral across all subjects today.

“The Royal Society’s Curriculum Review, published last year, makes a compelling case for incorporating data science into primary and secondary education across a broad range of data rich subjects such as history and geography.”

Sean Farrington, SVP EMEIA, Pluralsight

If we want to keep pace with the world’s elite on emerging technologies such as AI and 5G, we must encourage more young people, and in particular girls, to consider technology careers.
“Over the last year, the UK government has ramped up its efforts to encourage STEM development and learning in our schools. It has invested millions in teacher training through subject bursaries, urged technology companies to partner with schools as part of a £10m edtech fund and this spring committed to an extra £200m to support developments in the STEM industry. “With this year's results showing that STEM subject uptake is at 41%, with computing growing by 8%, and those achieving A* to C grades in computing reaching 63%, it’s great to see a return on investment and positive engagement in these subjects which will help keep the UK at the forefront of innovation for years to come. “That being said, there’s still so much more to be done. Deloitte found this year that just 18% of business leaders believe that those leaving school have the right digital skills and experience for the workforce. If we want to keep pace with the world’s elite on emerging technologies such as AI and 5G, we must encourage more young people, and in particular girls, to consider technology careers. Just 13% of those taking computing A-level this year were female. A diverse and dynamic workforce is proven essential for greater innovation and creativity, hiring and retaining the best talent and better company performance. “Of course, an increase in young people studying STEM A-levels is not indicative of them following into an IT career, but it does demonstrate that attitudes towards these industries are changing and individuals are finally realising the potential they can offer, which can only be a good thing for our country. But once graduates enter the workforce the hard work isn’t over. Employers need to continually invest in technology skill development of their workforce to keep them and the country moving forward.” [post_title] => What they said: A-level results day edition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => what-they-said-a-level-results-day-edition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-19 12:54:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-19 11:54:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=blog&p=17256 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => blog [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17045 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-08-13 00:00:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-12 23:00:53 [post_content] => It’s no secret that video is everywhere in today’s world, with the average eight–18-year-old consuming 6–9 hours of digital media each day and 71% of three–18-year-olds accessing and using the internet at home*. But did you know that according to research (Kaltura 2018), 70% of educators use video in the classroom multiple times per week?  With 92% of students and 83% of teachers reporting that videos have a positive impact on their classroom experiences, there’s no denying that videos are being used for teaching more than ever in today’s classrooms. If you would like to utilise the benefits that video can bring to the classroom and are considering using the platform within lessons, video-assisted learning is for you. But what exactly is video-assisted learning, and what impact can it have on the teaching experience and the educational outcomes for students? Why is video-assisted learning important? Video-assisted learning is the process of acquiring defined knowledge, competence and skills with the intelligent use of audio-visual aids as instructional resources, and it has a number of benefits for teaching and learning: ● It produces better cognitive and effective learning outcomes.  ● It enables educators to experiment with digital learning tools.  ● It saves time and raises students’ interest given their proficiency with technology and appetite for online video consumption. ● It increases the retention of knowledge and stimulates understanding and aptitude.  ● It accommodates different learning styles as well as the need to foster creative and critical problem-solving skills.  ● It provides a standardised way of conveying information that can be viewed several times at any moment and from any place where video-enabled devices and internet access are available. [caption id="attachment_17047" align="alignnone" width="790"] myViewBoard Clips allows educators to access more than 2 million licensed educational videos to enhance video-assisted learning[/caption] ViewSonic’s total solutions to education – ViewBoard + myViewBoard ViewSonic is an education solution provider which integrates the interactive flat panel ViewBoard with software solutions myViewBoard and myViewBoard Classroom for educators.  The pioneering system operates on an open-source philosophy and supports Google Classroom and Microsoft Education integration. It also includes a complementary file conversion function, allowing legacy files of major interactive flat-panel brands to be shared across different solution platforms. This determination to empower educators has created a new ‘open’ edtech ecosystem founded on the principles of ‘prepare, present, participate’, and has solidified ViewSonic as leaders in the next generation of edtech resources. ViewSonic’s current education solution already supports video learning through: ● Easily importable multimedia Dragging your cloud-stored videos and YouTube videos onto the board is possible, and hosts are able to capture and record screen images and annotations in the middle of a discussion. Even the most out-of-the-box ideas can be expressed in full with a variety of writing, drawing and multimedia tools. Easily recording and saving of video files to integrated cloud space The embedded cloud integration panels include Google Drive, One Drive and Dropbox. Challenges to video-assisted learning Although video use appears to be an ideal addition to the classroom, there are challenges and concerns around how teachers obtain video content. ● Concerns about time Teachers, who are notoriously time-poor and over-burdened with demands, spend considerable time finding videos to suit their students’ needs, both for use in the classroom and as homework assignments. ● Concerns about trustworthy content Teachers tend to prefer content obtained from sources based on peer assessments and recommendations. Although colleague recommendations can be hugely valuable to the individual teacher, such recommendations may not always reach a large proportion of the teacher community. ● Concerns about safety As online safety becomes a greater concern in education, many educational institutions are restricting access to publicly accessible video platforms, thereby limiting the resources teachers have available to them. Technology could provide a solution to these issues.  myViewBoard Clips – access to over two million educationally relevant videos To solve the current video-assisted learning challenges, ViewSonic has recently partnered with educational video content company Boclips. ViewSonic created a new video-streaming tool, myViewBoard Clips, that allows teachers access to over two million educationally relevant videos to support their learning objectives and easily incorporate them into their lectures and other activities, free from commercial distractions and firewall restrictions. The new learning tool contains supplementary content from Boclips’ library of over 150 trusted and renowned media partners, including TED, PBS Newshour and Bloomberg, as well as teacher favourites like Crash Course, Minute Earth and LearnZillion. With educational videos available in different formats and suitable for all age levels, myViewBoard Clips content is suitable for curriculums across the world. Access to these materials will give educators the freedom to create interactive and engaging lessons directly on the myViewBoard canvas.  Recognising the demand from teachers for a rich and relevant in-classroom video repository that is free from commercial distractions and firewall restrictions, this partnership helps to greatly reduce teachers’ workload and also enhance student engagement. Through the new educational video-streaming feature myViewBoard Clips, teachers will be able to find video content to support their learning objectives and easily incorporate it into their lectures and other activities, free from commercial distractions and firewall restrictions. ViewSonic solution - the video-assisted learning platform ViewSonic’s solution, equipped with whiteboard environment in hardware and software, is an ideal platform for video-assisted learning, providing rich annotation tools and a sleek writing experience for learning. On ViewSonic’s digital whiteboard platform, educators can access a plethora of safe and relevant video content on top of the already well-established tools. For example, after accessing the videos, educators can explain and elaborate more clearly through adding texts, graphs, photos, diagrams, tables, illustrations, documents, browsers, apps and more beside videos on one canvas.
To learn more about ViewSonic and its products and solutions, visit: www.viewsonic.com/education [post_title] => Make learning more effective and engaging with video-assisted classrooms [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => make-learning-more-effective-and-engaging-with-video-assisted-classrooms [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-08 10:53:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-08 09:53:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=blog&p=17045 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => blog [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17110 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-08-12 00:00:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-11 23:00:01 [post_content] => The first in our series, Steve Wright speaks to Osi Ejiofor, Educator and EdTech 50 judge/founder of Osi’s Tech Tips website. Q. As schools, colleges and universities across the country ready themselves for the new academic year, what are their main edtech focuses? Institutions are in different places when it comes to technology implementation. Some schools, colleges or universities are beginning to embed technology in their offering, whereas others have an established approach towards the usage.  The focus for those schools beginning this journey would be on implementing an approach based on the success of other, more established institutions – yet tailored to their own particular setting and student needs, especially with younger pupils.  Studies from the US analysing data from the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the 2017 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) show “little evidence of a positive relationship between student performance on PISA and their self-reported use of technology, and some evidence of a negative impact”. [Link on page 36*.]  This doesn’t show that technology has no positive impact on performance: instead, it’s more a reflection of how technology is used in classrooms. We need to focus on tech that redefines learning and affects outcomes – rather than tech for the sake of it.  Q. What are educators most concerned about in terms of back of house/administrative/non-teaching tasks? Time is a commodity much sought after by education professionals. One of the biggest concerns for teachers is the amount of time they spend on administrative tasks that do not directly improve classroom outcomes, or which could be made more efficient through the use of technology. Assessment tasks such as marking, data entry, data analysis, report writing, test marking, risk assessment and performance monitoring; administrative tasks such as lesson planning, registering students, parent communication, staff briefing, staff training: these can all take too much time, or could be streamlined using technology. However, most institutions stick to what is most comfortable, rather than most effective. It is difficult for practitioners to transition from knowing much (although inefficient) to knowing little: even if the latter saves time and improves productivity, people would rather stay in their comfort zone. Providing the right training and development for staff is essential to ensure a smooth transition to a new system. However, in most cases teachers are trapped in a time vortex in which the systems are dated and inefficient. Some blame lack of funding, others blame the pressure to produce results: but the end result is that teachers are spending too much time on administrative tasks. Q. What edtech skills are teachers keen to focus on for 2019–20? There is a steady, swelling movement away from an ‘instructionist’ towards a ‘constructionist’ approach in teaching. Resources such as Lego Mindstorm, Scratch, Minecraft, Raspberry Pi, and Makey Makey have been leading the way in creating a hands-on approach towards learning through technology.  This approach is beginning to spread across the curriculum, and resources such as Google’s Applied Digital Skills are making it more accessible for practitioners. This resource is helping teachers to become lesson facilitators, and encouraging students to take a more self-paced, hands-on, collaborative approach to learning.  The UK platform has a growing bank of resources and lessons for teachers to draw from, with more being added as we speak. The US has double the amount of these lessons, and its bank is also growing. Q. Which edtech products and services are garnering most excitement? A number of products are generating excitement. Alongside Google’s Applied Digital Skills resource, Microsoft OneNote and other Office applications have really changed the way teachers plan and conduct lessons. The new features of OneNote enable students not only to make jottings as they would on paper, but also to have calculations explained to them when their answer is incorrect: they are given the correct answer with an explanation and given the chance to try another one. This saves teachers time when dealing with misconceptions.  Products that save teachers time will always be most attractive. Socrative, Google Forms, NearPod and others cut down on some of the administrative and assessment tasks that teachers have to carry out. What could be more exciting than that? Q. What edtech topics are at the top of the agenda right now? Assessment is definitely a hot topic. The success of education is shown in the progress and development of the student. Senior leaders want to know what services can ensure that they are assessing in the most efficient, accurate way possible.  This has led to many schools adopting tools such as Google Forms and other self-marking online questionnaires/quizzes to reduce teacher marking time, allowing teachers to focus on analysing progress and targeting areas for development. Tools such as Texthelp enable students to identify errors in their writing, and also to have the text read out to them –  excellent for students with English as an additional language or others who require additional reading support. Another hot topic is the effective use of support staff in classrooms, and the potential that AI could replace certain teaching assistant roles. It is never easy discussing the possibility of people losing their jobs to technology, but for teaching assistants this is something that is coming closer to home as school budgets in the UK continue to be cut. Q. Should we be looking to any other countries/systems for inspiration as we seek to get the best from the edtech out there? There are many examples of how technology is used throughout the world in ways that are both innovative and inspiring. The fluid learning approach from Orestad Gymnasium in Denmark aims to constantly test new ways of teaching (including virtual teaching) exemplified in the architecture as well as the curriculum. However, we need to be careful when looking elsewhere for effective tech-led teaching practices, as our use of technology is closely related to culture.  The needs of each culture drive the creation of technology. We now find that technology is able to influence cultural changes. With this in mind, we have to be careful not to assume that an approach that works in Silicon Valley will have the same effect in Brixton. It should also be mentioned that there is a wealth of good practice across the nation, as highlighted by the Education Foundation’s publication of its EdTech 50 Schools earlier this year.
Further reading Quizlet: www.quizlet.com Forbes magazine: Does Education Technology Help Students Learn? www.forbes.com/sites/helenleebouygues/2019/06/14/does-educational-technology-help-students-learn Jisc’s Janet Network: www.jisc.ac.uk/janet Imperial College Edtech Lab: www.imperial.ac.uk/business-school/programmes/global-mba/learning-experience/edtech-lab European EdTech Network: www.eetn.eu [post_title] => Roundtable - 19/20 edtech vision with Osi’s Tech Tips [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => roundtable-19-20-edtech-vision-with-osis-tech-tips [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-08 15:47:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-08 14:47:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=articles&p=17110 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => articles [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16535 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2019-07-26 00:00:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-25 23:00:33 [post_content] => Outsourced, managed ICT Outsourcing managed IT seems like a nice, clean option and can include any number of services, including student records, email systems, business applications, and Management Information Systems (MIS). Most outsourced, managed IT covers traditional infrastructure management and can also include storage, desktop and communications, mobility, helpdesk and technical support. Budget, of course, can affect how successful, and secure, a network is. Dave Kenworthy, director of digital services, CoSector, University of London, says: “Spend in HE has, in recent years, come under heavy scrutiny. But today, universities across the UK are seeing significant ROI in digital, thanks to their partnerships with industry vendors.” In fact, says Kenworthy, “Some technologies have become so ingrained into the education sector, that it would almost be impossible to complete even a simple task without one.” For universities, one of these ingrained tools is the virtual learning environment (VLE). VLEs are established within the infrastructure of every university building and used by every student. For many, outsourcing responsibility for key IT functions, such as hosting and managing its VLE, comes with concrete benefits, including, crucially, great flexibility and efficiency elsewhere. Kenworthy says: “When IT responsibilities are outsourced, in-house staff can focus on the more pressing day-to-day concerns of business.” [caption id="attachment_16537" align="alignnone" width="790"] "New technologies are constantly emerging and thus changing the learning landscape"[/caption] There are a variety of options when it comes to network management, depending on an institution’s specific needs. A small institution might be able to function perfectly well on some of the free network management systems available on the market, or, says Julian Lee, CoSector’s senior network administrator, “could even rely on a home-brew system built and managed internally.” Alternatively, he adds, “they could deploy a ‘Rolls-Royce system’ such as Solarwinds, which has many modules and is highly configurable, so it offers flexibility and elasticity.” Technological innovations are a great boon in the education sector, but this brings rising costs, whether constantly upgrading software and hardware, or employing specialist staff, and this often leaves schools and universities unable to progress their digital transformation plans. Outsourcing the underlying infrastructure and the human resources required to use it, can reduce costs. Moreover, if you have a vendor on your side, you virtually eliminate the possibility of downtime or cyber-attacks. “For any network manager, auditing the existing network before any edtech investment is made helps to ensure that the current network set up will meet the school’s needs,” says Dave Smith, from the school improvement team at Havering Education Service (HES). “There has been much debate about whether we still need networks in schools or if we should instead be more cloud-based,” Smith says, “but this debate ignores a couple of key points. The first point is that schools will still need the underlying infrastructure in place to make sure there is no lag when accessing cloud-based files. Secondly, a local area network (LAN) can still be important for establishments, particularly those with a media focus, as file transfer is often faster for larger-sized files on a LAN than in the cloud.”
Smarter and more agile networks are needed to respond to the demands of today’s digital learning environment. Todd Kiehn, GTT
Smith also points out that bringing in external providers can enable growth at your institution’s required rate, and, in many cases, allow access to insight from multiple professionals to get a more rounded point of view. He adds: “However, one drawback is if the external provider changes your point of contact. There is real value in having support from a person who knows your school, its challenges and its infrastructure well, and if this person needs to change then it can leave schools in a difficult position.” Back to basics Security has been top of the agenda for the last couple of years. Many schools completed their GDPR compliance in 2018, reporting to the School Leadership Team (SLT) and Full Governing Body (FGB) on progress. However, says Des Ward, information governance director at Innopsis, the trade association for suppliers of digital infrastructure and services to the UK public sector: “There has been a great deal of confusion from consulting organisations in the education space about what has to be done, and this has led to significant disruption to both the teaching processes and the use of technology.” In 2019, the DfE Data Protection toolkit requires that schools and academies understand their current maturity against the Cyber Guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Ward adds: “While this guidance has been presented as five areas for education, it merely condenses the 18 areas identified within the 10 Steps to Cyber from the NCSC. The Network Principles from the government show that understanding the needs of the network is crucial, especially given the increased drive towards cloud and hosted applications and services.”
Related feature: How to cost-effectively improve your school’s IT infrastructure
It’s important, says Ward, “that schools therefore ensure that they not only review their current needs for cybersecurity as part of their annual review, but also consult with their teaching staff to determine what their needs are for application security, and the reliability of the network connections.” Best usage For university management, security is always the primary concern, closely followed by speed and reliability for students. Ensuring best usage really comes down to knowing and understanding what your customer base wants. “With students, however, that can be a challenge because they don’t always tell us what they need, or want,” laughs Lee. He adds: “As a network manager, it is not often possible to interact with or talk to our customers, other than when a ticket comes into the helpdesk, or when we are onsite fixing something we already know about.” John-Paul Williams, sales director at Ortial Technologies, a UK manufacturer of memory, storage and networking upgrades, says: “With bandwith requirement constantly evolving, there is regular need for upgrades and replacements, so the cost-saving opportunities are significant. “Such savings can be made by using non-branded versions of SFPs [small form-factor pluggable network interface module]; essentially the same, but without the out-the-door prices; typically 80–90% lower than list prices from major manufacturers.”
Some technologies have become so ingrained into the education sector, that it would almost be impossible to complete even a simple task without one. Dave Kenworthy, CoSector
Installing more memory and SSDs (solid state drives) can be an efficient way of improving student and teacher performance without exhausting your IT budget. “In the first instance these upgrades instantly increase system speed,” says Williams. “For example, if the operating system is placed on the SSD it enables laptops to boot in a fraction of the time meaning no more waiting for laptops to boot at the beginning of the school day. Increased memory allows you to seamlessly open multiple programs and browser windows and switch between them without any slowdown, especially for the more media-intensive applications teachers may use.” The influence of BYOD (bring your own device) While BYOD doesn’t affect network usage, it does affect the security of your network and the possibility to connect a multitude of different devices. Allowing people to do what they want but still do it securely is no mean feat, so how can universities ensure a robust network infrastructure to support a smart campus? System Technology’s head of innovation, Simon Thomas, says: “Public internet made available with traffic shaping, security gateway and monitoring is an option, which public internet should separate from administrative systems.” Kenworthy adds: “Student needs and requirements are changing all the time, and new technologies are constantly emerging and thus changing the learning landscape.” [caption id="attachment_16539" align="alignnone" width="790"] For university management, security is always the primary concern, closely followed by speed and reliability[/caption] Todd Kiehn, VP product management at GTT, says: “Smarter and more agile networks are needed to respond to the demands of today’s digital learning environment. As a result, we are seeing a displacement of legacy WAN [wide area network] architectures with SD-WAN across schools and universities.” SD-WAN [software-defined wide area network], says Kiehn, “allows network managers to harness the power of the internet with software-based control to ensure applications performance is maximised, network reliability and stability is improved, and security and privacy is assured. Through this approach the network can flex to meet the demands being placed on it.” Collaborate to innovate Solid partnerships are key, says Thomas: “Engaging with a good ITMS (IT Management Service) that specialises in education support should provide access to a wider technology skill set and experience.
When IT responsibilities are outsourced, in-house staff can focus on the more pressing day-to-day concerns of business. Dave Kenworthy, director of digital services, CoSector
“Partner with an ICT that fits your organisational culture, your direction, and vision,” says Thomas. “If not, the relationship could be painful and counterproductive.” Contract management is key: “Without these skills, it can be hard to make an ITMS a sustainable success.” And if you don’t have CapEX [capital expenditure] or a refresh budget for IT, then let your ITMS know upfront: “Some ITMS providers may shy away from education organisations with little or no CapEX or refresh budget for IT.” 5G could be a game changer for a smart campus, Thomas believes: “Why invest in costly network infrastructure when there could be a ubiquitous 5G network available soon with connectivity speeds that will more than support a smart campus setting? There is a lot to consider if this is actually a viable approach, but the next technology revolution in connectivity does appear to be coming from the introduction of 5G.” The current pressures on schools and colleges are plentiful. Having a robust and reliable infrastructure in place can make a huge difference. * This article was amended on 01/08/2019 to correct the definition of ITMS from Integrated Task Management System to IT Management Service [post_title] => Robust and reliable: why networks matter [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => robust-and-reliable-why-networks-matter [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-01 12:24:40 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-01 11:24:40 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=articles&p=16535 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => articles [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16392 [post_author] => 73 [post_date] => 2019-07-17 16:15:20 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-17 15:15:20 [post_content] => Educational institutions are currently the number one target for malware authors. And the question for every institution should be: Is your environment ready? You can get a jumpstart on cyber resilience by learning more about what you’re up against. Malwarebytes have made a report which you can download and learn why traditional AV is failing and how implementing the right endpoint protection solution is critical to fighting the latest threats and attacks. Key Takeaways • Current state of educational cybersecurity • Impact of the increase in Trojan detections including Emotet • How to manage threats with limited resources • And how to deliver ROI with a simple, intelligent, automated solution Malwarebytes in Education Malwarebytes work closely with the education sector to prevent and remove threats, including ransomware, and in doing so, are mindful of tight budget constraints. Download your free guide summing up advice from the industries most experienced cyber security professionals to learn more about the current state of educational cyber security and how to achieve educational resilience for your institution. “I simply don’t have time to chase malware. I know that with Malwarebytes in place, I can rest knowing that I have a backup of a brilliant piece of software with easy reports and email results. We are in control, not the Malware. “ – Andrew Robinson, IT Manager, Middleton Technology School, Manchester  

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By downloading this report you are agree join the Education Technology email newsletter. You can unsubscribe to at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link on the bottom of the email. We will also share your details with Malwarebytes. Please see our privacy policy for full terms. [post_title] => 5 Steps to protecting your system with Malwarebytes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => take-your-first-step-to-endpoint-resilience [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-09 16:07:14 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-09 15:07:14 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=blog&p=16392 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => blog [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14925 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-05-28 00:00:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-27 23:00:14 [post_content] => What are 21st-century skills? Technology, more than almost any other factor, has changed the world. No sector or industry has escaped its effects, and the pace of change is only accelerating. So what does the modern worker need to navigate the workplace? And is education providing it? While the importance of new skill sets in the modern age are obvious, the actual definition of what those skills are can be somewhat nebulous. While some aspects of the modern workplace clearly require new competencies altogether, others seem comparatively unchanged by the growing omnipresence of technology. The obvious answer is, of course, digital competency. “Digital skills are very important,” says David Lakin, head of education at the IET. “The rapid development of technology over the last few years is obviously leaning more towards the digital space.”  In their 2019 DQ global standards report, the DQ Institute discusses the importance of the Digital Intelligence Quotient (or DQ, as opposed to IQ). Those with the right skills “can fully capitalise on new technologies, and thrive in this fast-changing digital age,” the report says. 

23% of the adult population in the UK lacks basic digital skills, which costs the national economy an estimated £63bn per year in lost GDP.*


But it’s not just IT capabilities that need to be considered. In 2017, Nesta released The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 report. It states: “There are good reasons to believe that interpersonal skills will continue to grow in importance – not only as organisations seek to reduce the costs of coordination but also as they negotiate the cultural context in which globalisation and the spread of digital technology are taking place. Our findings also confirm the importance of higher-order cognitive skills such as originality, fluency of ideas and active learning.”  Joysy John, director of education at Nesta, says that what has changed is the amount of information available. She comments: “With the rapid rise in big data and social media, young people need to understand how to interpret data, how to understand what information is accurate, and what information is just fake news. The key new skills would be critical thinking and being able to manage the information overload.” “With the fourth industrial revolution, we know that young people need to adapt,” adds John. “They need to make sure they are well prepared for changing roles and changing jobs.”  Twenty-first-century skills, therefore, can be seen as the meeting place between technological and interpersonal competencies. Above all, they revolve around the ability to adapt and learn quickly in the face of rapidly changing job markets, industries and societies. [caption id="attachment_14926" align="alignnone" width="1164"] Figure 1[/caption] Is education meeting the challenge? As research continues to reveal this remarkably specific skill set, a new question arises: is education providing the opportunity to develop it? According to John, no. “There is excessive emphasis on league tables and on reading and maths, and not enough emphasis placed on problem-solving, enquiry-based approaches or even authentic learning, which is learning by doing rather than by rote learning. Not enough is happening within the classroom within the curriculum due to the challenges and pressures that teachers and schools face.” This focus is only made worse when one considers the problem of adaptability. Technology, as already established, develops incredibly quickly. Education, on the other hand (especially state-mandated education such as the school system), takes a lot longer.  Dr Yuhyun Park of the DQ Institute explains: “[Education has to] understand the trend, go through the research, and go through education curriculum development and teacher development, which takes a minimum of three to four years.” He adds: “If it takes three to four years it’s very fast. But in three to four years, digital technology’s moving at the speed of light, so there’s unfair competition between government, especially the education sectors, and technology.  “So by the nature of how it’s been formulated, it’s difficult for the government to take the lead in the shift in the education footwork.”  The problem only gets worse when dealing with specific technologies. For example, students can be educated in coding languages and technical systems that will be obsolete by the time they graduate. What’s happening now? Despite these difficulties, education in the UK is beginning to improve. According to Lakin, there have been “a lot more initiatives both that can be used in the classroom as part of the national curriculum, and enhancement activities and projects that involve coding, and other activites that young people can relate to.” An example of this can be found in one of the IET’s own projects – the First Lego League. It was created in collaboration with Lego Education and FIRST, an international charity dedicated to promoting STEM education around the world. First Lego League is now the largest STEM competition in the UK.  [caption id="attachment_14927" align="alignnone" width="740"] Figure 2[/caption] “The students that take part in that programme are developing not only a knowledge-based engineering skill set in terms of coding and building, but also core skills,” says Lakin. First Lego League’s success is shown in its popularity. Over the 2018/19 academic year, over 8,000 students competed as part of 820 teams. This summer, a projected 5,000 students between the ages of six and nine will take part in the first Lego League Junior, and the IET are piloting a new scheme for FIRST and Lego education targeting four to six-year-olds, called Discovery. It’s far from the only such programme currently in use. Nesta has published a toolkit based on its research into future workplace trends. Unlike First Lego League, the toolkit is aimed at teachers, providing them with a briefing, lesson plans and a video to help them expose their students to the changing modern workplace. “The more we can give young people an understanding of the changing world of work and how different skills and knowledge are likely to see an increasing or decreasing demand in the future, the more that they will be prepared for that future,” says John. These programmes, and many others like them, are steps in the right direction, but large-scale reform is needed, one way or another. According to Lakin, “the future of education needs to keep up with modern technology. With that comes challenges. Again, we’re trying to teach them skills for things that may be out of date by the time they graduate. Obviously the fundamentals and foundation of skills, particularly STEM subjects, will always be relevant.”

Around one-tenth of the workforce are in occupations that are likely to grow as a percentage of the workforce and around one-fifth are in occupations that will likely shrink.**


Park agrees. “There’s a lot of movement to ensure that in future education will meet the needs of 21st-century skills,” she says.  What next? Beyond a heavy focus on up-to-date STEM education, there’s room for more radical changes. “Rather than focusing on narrow subjects, we need to start thinking about how we can make sure that kids are looking at subjects across the sciences and humanities,” argues John. “The second thing is getting industry more involved in what’s happening in classrooms so that students are working on projects that are based on real-life problems. The third thing is collaboration. Rather than assessing individual students, we should start assessing students on teamwork.” In either case, one thing is certain; in the face of a changing world, the worker of tomorrow will require a changing skill set. It is the responsibility of today’s educators, in both the public and private sector, to ensure they have it. 

You might also like: Three skills for tomorrow’s classroom


Sources: *House of Commons, Science and Technology Committee, Digital Skills Crisis **Nesta, The Future of Skills: Employment in 2030 [post_title] => The 21st-century skillset [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-21st-century-skillset [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-07 15:19:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-07 14:19:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=articles&p=14925 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => articles [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15036 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2019-05-12 00:00:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-11 23:00:21 [post_content] => Forget Wonder Woman, Spiderman or Captain Marvel, it’s teachers who are the real superheroes. From long days to overcrowded classrooms and a low net income, teachers and educators need all the support they can get. A common challenge is teaching students the importance of original thinking and how to reference and cite sources correctly. With over 17,000 cases of plagiarism reported in 2016 in the UK alone**, it is as important as ever to address plagiarism and teach students how to avoid it. That is where Urkund fits in. As market leader in northern Europe with 20 years of experience, Urkund is at the forefront of detecting and preventing plagiarism. It can be integrated into all major learning management systems such as Canvas, Blackboard, Moodle, Brightspace, and Sakai. All while being non-intrusive to the workflow. Connecting to Urkund is painless, quick and requires only a couple of steps. Many former teachers work at Urkund, which means that we understand the challenges of the modern-day classroom. Especially the importance of feedback. At Urkund, we want to guide students rather than simply sending back a marked report.

Feedback, marking and grading in Urkund

Urkund is easily integrated into learning management systems to enable teachers to review student assignments. Thanks to our non-intrusive integrations into LMS systems, Urkund also allows you to grade your students’ tasks and give them valuable feedback directly in your LMS. Through strategic partnerships, Urkund can also provide feedback and marking functionality even if you are not using an LMS. Using our sophisticated matching technology, we check for potential plagiarism in submitted assignments. Results of our analysis are reported back to the teacher allowing them to take the matter into their own hands. In this way, Urkund is a valuable pedagogical tool that has a strong preventive effect, promoting originality and fairness in academic work. It gives students the right methodology and toolkit right from the start, enabling them to excel in the next steps of their education. laptop-classroom-tablet-student-stock

Original thinking – better education

Urkund does not only encourage a discussion around plagiarism, it also allows you to emphasise the importance of original thinking and creativity, which will ultimately elevate the quality of education. Urkund is used by thousands of universities, colleges and schools worldwide, including: Glasgow University, Murdoch University, Forth Valley College, Dublin Institute of Technology, Gloucestershire College, Copenhagen Business School, Karolinska Institutet and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), to name a few. As Grant Goodwin, quality assurance manager at the Dublin Business School, highlights: “Urkund has certainly assisted in reviewing cases of suspected academic impropriety.”

How do I get started?

Urkund is intuitive and effortless to use. Once an assignment is uploaded, it is analysed by our sophisticated software using machine learning algorithms to detect matches whilst minimising false positives. The findings are sent to the educator within seconds in an easy-to-read report that highlights text blocks that are potential cases of plagiarism and the sources from which they were taken. At this stage, the educator is in a position to determine whether these cases are plagiarism, based on solid evidence. We understand that plagiarism is a serious problem in classrooms today. Prevention is always better than cure and it is important to teach students how to research, cite and reference correctly. Urkund is a tool to help you evaluate if there is a problem, but the ultimate solution to plagiarism is education. Feel free to contact us at Urkund for a free trial and take the first step towards eliminating plagiarism at your learning institution. Visit us here for more information or contact us at +44 203 608 19 67 or sales@urkund.com. **QAA Plagiarism in Higher Education Report 2016 [post_title] => Teachers are the real heroes [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => teachers-are-the-real-heroes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 12:28:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 11:28:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=blog&p=15036 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => blog [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17952 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-09-16 14:56:25 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-16 13:56:25 [post_content] => Are you looking to use VR at your school but you don't want to invest thousands in your own headsets? PrimeVR offers virtual reality experience days from as little as £1.99* per pupil. Choose from over 20 different topics, ranging from Ancient Egypt to Outer Space and Inside the Body. Each workshop comes with a follow up literacy lesson plan that teachers can use to inspire creative writing. Since starting in 2017, PrimeVR has worked with over 500 schools across the UK. Check out their 5* reviews on Google, Trustpilot and Facebook. No expensive investment. No risk of technology becoming outdated. Completely hassle-free. Looking for something new for your next topic? Get in touch at www.primevr.co.uk. *Based on eight classes of 30 pupils taking part throughout the day. [post_title] => The UK's leading VR workshop provider [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-uks-leading-vr-workshop-provider [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-16 14:56:25 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-16 13:56:25 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?post_type=blog&p=17952 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => blog [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 621 [max_num_pages] => 63 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => 1 [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => c03e3409b94e144f85c0e7f7c8234691 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => about [1] => an [2] => are [3] => as [4] => at [5] => be [6] => by [7] => com [8] => for [9] => from [10] => how [11] => in [12] => is [13] => it [14] => of [15] => on [16] => or [17] => that [18] => the [19] => this [20] => to [21] => was [22] => what [23] => when [24] => where [25] => who [26] => will [27] => with [28] => www ) [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) )

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