URL: string(10) "promethean"

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How edtech can help teachers

Edtech can support teachers with key challenges and pressures they face on a day-to-day basis, including assessment, marking and the capacity to meet different students’ needs. Teachers’ time is precious and it’s something they rarely have enough of. The pandemic has stretched teachers, tested their confidence and increased levels of anxiety and stress. Edtech has helped teachers to navigate home learning during the lockdowns. Promethean’s ActivPanel Elements Series is a user-friendly interactive flat panel display that places all of the most commonly used digital tools right at teachers’ fingertips. Multi-device mirroring lets teachers move freely and teach from anywhere in the classroom, increasing student collaboration and participation as students can communicate and work together from a distance. Interactive lesson delivery software, ActivInspire, is supplied as standard with the ActivPanel and provides a vast suite of tools to create and deliver collaborative lessons and increase student engagement. Using ActivInspire, teachers are also able to import existing resources, such as PowerPoint slides and PDFs, to enhance content and save time. To ensure schools are getting the most out of edtech, it’s crucial to provide appropriate training to put minds at rest and ensure the solution being used is fully optimised. Promethean’s new State of Technology in Education Report showed that teachers believe they are not receiving adequate training and support they need to utilise edtech effectively with 55% saying classroom tech training is lacking and 9% claiming that they have received no training at all. To help address the shortage of edtech training and make development opportunities more accessible to teachers throughout the UK and Ireland, Promethean created the online CPD platform, Learn Promethean, which provides free and easily accessible training. The platform provides a wide range of opportunities for developing edtech skills with over 20 online courses, more than 200 training videos, and over 130 articles and resources. All training options are tiered in varying degrees of ability and take a range of times to complete, so educators can select the training best suited to their learning objectives and availability. If edtech can save teachers precious time, this can ultimately help to improve their wellbeing.

How edtech can support students

Students need consistency, structure and meaningful interactions from their learning environment. When appropriate technology is used it has the potential to stimulate and inspire students. It can also be adapted to different learning needs and styles. Edtech can support more seamless communication, offer quicker feedback and encourage more engagement between students and between students and teachers. Using tools such as polls and quizzes for assessment can increase interactivity and enhance energy in the classroom. The Promethean ActivPanel encourages collaboration that supports wellbeing in class and can help reduce any feelings of separation or isolation among students. As teachers can interact and work with students at a distance, screen-sharing encourages engagement and drives lesson collaboration even if the students aren’t in the classroom. Preloaded on the ActivPanel, the Screen Share App can be used in class or to connect students learning at home. Sharing and celebrating individuals’ work in a whole class environment can help to elevate self-esteem. Students also have the opportunity to receive constructive and positive feedback from their peers.

Innovation is the way forward…

Great edtech should help teachers and students make the most out of every moment in the classroom, whether the ‘classroom’ is in school or at home. As we head into the winter months and a period of uncertainty, both teachers and students can feel more at ease knowing an infrastructure is in place that will ensure their learning continues in all eventualities. EdTech can enable schools to pre-empt challenges and situations where more flexibility is needed. Technology is an inevitable part of children’s futures and by embracing its full potential we may also help to safeguard the future of wellbeing in schools. To learn more about the trends identified in the Promethean State of Technology in Education UKI Report 2021/2022, please visit stateofed.tech. [post_title] => How edtech can support wellbeing in schools [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-edtech-can-support-wellbeing-in-schools [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-17 15:06:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-17 15:06:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=47666 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 47558 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-11-09 11:56:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-11-09 11:56:01 [post_content] => There’s no denying that edtech has come a long way since the beginning of last year. There’s been an irrefutable shift in culture and the use of technology in schools has rapidly increased during what has been a challenging, complex and unpredictable time for educators and students. The increased use of edtech has given schools more perspective and a chance to review more traditional teaching and learning practices, and subsequently develop a more inclusive approach. The facilities and strategies put in place during the pandemic have laid strong foundations for learning in the future, and the importance of future-proofing has become more apparent than ever. Schools have invested extensive time and effort into upgrading their use of EdTech and embedding it within their schools, and it’s therefore vital to ensure these efforts have not been in vain. Having well-established home-learning practices is now a no-brainer. Post-pandemic it’s essential that we understand what really works for schools, and how technology can support and enhance teaching and learning outcomes. Promethean’s sixth State of Technology in Education Report asked educators from across the country to share their experiences and comment on their schools’ priorities. The results showed that attitudes towards tech use in the classroom remain consistently positive, with 77 percent believing that edtech is a great way to engage students, and 76 percent saying it enables them to do their job better. Following the last eighteen months, 95 percent believe they are better equipped for distance learning when needed. When asked about the biggest trends in the future of edtech, 61 percent said that online content and resources will see the biggest growth in the future.

The silver lining…

The silver lining of the pandemic has been an accelerated use of technology as well as more ‘out of the box’ thinking; schools have had no choice but to get on board. It’s clear that teachers need to work smarter and not necessarily harder. Educators are as always increasingly time pressured with workloads on the rise and budgets being increasingly stretched. At the heart of education during the pandemic, teachers have been fundamentally instrumental in maintaining children’s motivation and boosting their morale. Another silver lining has come in the form of increased parental engagement. While it can take some adjusting, edtech can be incredibly effective in giving parents more confidence to support their children with learning.  We’ve also seen increased parent communication with teachers and more collaboration among teaching colleagues. Promethean is committed to investing in its development to ensure schools can access the very best experience in line with their needs and priorities. Using over 20 years of experience working with the education sector, Promethean designed the award-winning ActivPanel Elements Series to deliver innovation and ease-of-use that matters to teachers and students. The ActivPanel is purpose-built to make teaching more efficient and enjoyable while enriching student learning experiences. The intuitive Unified Menu makes access to the most commonly used tools quick and easy, allowing teachers to smoothly navigate and support learning in the moment. Teachers also benefit from the Promethean Locker, the single ‘go to’ place for their favourite apps. The ActivPanel can be used in collaboration with a range of inclusive classroom devices such as tablets and laptops for functionality such as device mirroring or activities such as quizzes that require class participation and provide instant assessment. Multi-device mirroring allows teachers to move more freely and teach from anywhere in the classroom and observe different students and understand their needs better. The ActivPanel Series comes with a choice of software supplied free as standard, including ActivInspire and ClassFlow. Designed by teachers, for teachers, award-winning ActivInspire software can be used to create and deliver lessons that are interactive, engaging and geared for breakthrough moments. Teachers can seamlessly leverage and enhance existing content and resources and respond to student insights in real time. The ActivInspire Screen Recorder enables teachers to record lessons being delivered on the ActivPanel in class and share with students away from school. If a teacher is away from the ActivPanel because they are working at home, they can use ActivInspire on their laptop to share lessons, saving them time and duplication of effort. They can record their voice and actions on the screen and talk to their students through the key learning points as if they were in the classroom with them. ClassFlow is a cloud-based teaching software that delivers real-time interaction for remote and hybrid learning with advanced collaboration tools for student engagement.  These software solutions help provide more inclusive opportunities for less confident students and give students positive recognition. Seeing questions visually can also be hugely beneficial to some students.

Allowing teachers to plan for the future…

It’s time to solidify edtech practices and embrace them as an enabler for teacher support, student engagement and personalised learning. The pandemic has taught us that preparation is key and having an infrastructure in place that allows for remote or hybrid learning when needed, is a crucial cog in any educational strategy. Ultimately, EdTech is about what it can do to support teachers in their vital and irreplaceable role. We should not forget the lessons learned during the pandemic and instead we should use these as leverage to create real change. Moving forwards we need to find a way of continuing to use EdTech to complement in-class learning in order to enhance teaching and learning, and in turn create the best outcomes for students. We now have a teaching workforce that are fast becoming experts in EdTech with more knowledge, skills and understanding than they have ever had previously. Educators have embraced change and evolved during a challenging time, and this evolution has laid a promising foundation for a stronger and more robust education system. To learn more about the trends identified in the Promethean State of Technology in Education UKI Report 2021/2022, please visit stateofed.tech. [post_title] => Creating edtech solutions that will help teachers today and tomorrow [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => creating-edtech-solutions-that-will-help-teachers-today-and-tomorrow [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-09 11:56:01 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-09 11:56:01 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=47558 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 41954 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-05-07 12:10:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-05-07 11:10:47 [post_content] => Celebrating all that's great about education across the UK and Ireland, Promethean® is inviting schools to take part in its Classroom Stories competition for a chance to win an ActivPanel® package worth over £3,000. Promethean is searching for the most passionate, innovative and imaginative schools to share a video entry of their inspiring education stories, with 20 lucky classrooms receiving an ActivPanel Elements Series package. Over the past four years, Promethean has awarded more than £100,000 in edtech prizes to schools around the UKI region. Jim Wallis, head of UKI Markets at Promethean, has been a regular on the judging panel since 2017. Commenting on why he is so excited about viewing this year’s entries, he said: “We want to help schools recognise the wonderful work they do, not just over the last year, but in shaping and inspiring generations of students. I’m thoroughly looking forward to seeing the video entries this year and learning more about the impact and importance of positivity within education.” This year Jim will be joined by two guest judges – Teacher of the Year and previous Promethean #ClassroomStory winner, Alex Bramley; and Andrew Murden, board member at education technology association Naace. “As a teacher, positivity and passion run true in everything I do, and I believe that this attitude to teaching and learning can encourage students to engage in and enjoy their studies. I was fortunate enough to win an ActivPanel package back in 2019 in Promethean’s #ClassroomStory competition, and it has revolutionised my classroom activities. When Promethean invited me to be a guest judge for this year’s competition, I was thrilled, and I am really looking forward to seeing the wonderful work of my educational peers across the country and being inspired by their stories,” commented Alex Bramley. This year’s Classroom Stories competition is open for entries now! All you need to know is:
  • Entries must be submitted in video format
  • Entries will be judged on passion, innovation and imagination
  • Video entries must be no longer than two minutes
  • Entries must be from educators from the UKI region
  • Entries are open now and will be accepted until 25 June 2021.
Click here for more details. [post_title] => Promethean’s classroom stories competition now open for entries [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => prometheans-classroom-stories-competition-now-open-entries [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-05-07 09:26:29 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-05-07 08:26:29 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=41954 [menu_order] => 303 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 41471 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2021-04-30 08:10:59 [post_date_gmt] => 2021-04-30 07:10:59 [post_content] => Promethean's sixth annual State of Technology in Education survey is now open for participation, inviting school educators and administrators to share their teaching insights and experiences from the last 12 months. With the pandemic thrusting the world into turmoil since March 2020, education institutions all over the world have been reliant on technology to minimise disruption for students and enable learning to continue. Teachers were forced to adapt at rapid pace, as schools had no choice but to adopt either a fully remote or hybrid (part online, part in-person) education experience. Many are now wondering whether this accelerated digital transformation is here to stay long-term, and if so, how will this shape the future of the sector? To find out this and more, Promethean is seeking survey responses from those who have experienced it first-hand. Last year's State of Technology in Education reports revealed edtech's most pressing challenges and successes, including:
  • Teacher wellbeing remaining a top issue, with the rapid switch to remote or hybrid models exacerbating pressures upon teachers.
  • Increased investment in edtech training and continuing professional development (CPD) was widely viewed as a win for the sector.
  • Most teachers and administrators said technology would generally be combined with traditional resources and teaching methods.
  • Participants claimed they were "constantly striving to innovate by using technology as a tool for education".
  • Remote learning would see the biggest growth in education over the next three years.
Following one long year of pandemic teaching, Promethean hopes this year's survey and subsequent report will unveil what lies ahead in this brand new education chapter. UK educators and administrators – click here to take part in the survey. US educators and administrators – click here to take part in the survey
In other news: Department for Education loses almost 200 devices in two years
  [post_title] => State of Technology in Education 2021 survey opens to UK and US educators [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => state-of-technology-in-education-2021-survey-opens-uk-us-educators [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-04-29 10:54:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-29 09:54:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=41471 [menu_order] => 321 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 35003 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2020-11-03 12:46:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-11-03 12:46:01 [post_content] => As students return to school after months of home learning, re-engaging them to participate in and interact with classroom activities is a challenge. More so, as local government responses run the risk of students being temporarily shifted to a home learning situation at short notice, adopting a ‘digital-first’ approach to lesson preparation could be a practical solution to maintaining educational continuity in the long term. A ‘digital-first’ approach will enable teachers to create lesson resources that are designed for classroom delivery but can also adapt to support students learning at home if necessary. Using existing resources will enable educators to be flexible, without increasing workload or impacting curriculum delivery. Promethean’s hardware and software solutions work coherently to achieve this – here’s how:
  • Digitally minded – the front of class display unit, like a Promethean ActivPanel is the classroom’s hub of interactivity. Using accompanying lesson delivery software, ActivInspire, teachers can create powerful collaborative content to re-engage students when adjusting back to the classroom environment.
  • Responsive – if the need came for some students or an entire class to revert to a temporary remote learning solution, the lesson preparation completed using ActivInspire can be used to support students at home. Using tools like ActivInspire Screen Recorder and Screen Share, teachers can use existing content to keep learning moving.
  • Support teacher workload – by adopting a digital first approach, teachers can re-use existing content on a familiar platform, avoiding duplication of effort and helping to alleviate any additional pressures that come with a temporary shift in the learning environment.
  • Physical and digital – recognising that technology isn’t always available at home, ActivInspire lessons can be converted to PDF format and printed as worksheets.
As humans are social creatures, students naturally learn better within group environments. When evaluating where technology upgrades are required, school best practice is to prioritise supporting students within the classroom, but have a strategy in place to implement a move to learning at home if necessary. To find out more about how the Promethean ActivPanel can support a flexible learning environment, book a demo here.
You might also like: Blended learning: the normality post-pandemic
  [post_title] => Investing in future-proofed technology [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => investing-in-future-proofed-technology [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-11-03 12:55:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-11-03 12:55:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=35003 [menu_order] => 720 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 34589 [post_author] => 86 [post_date] => 2020-10-27 08:20:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-27 08:20:35 [post_content] => Promethean has released the next two sections of this year's State of Technology in Education Report, delving into all things teacher training, CPD and edtech budgets in UK schools. Following on from the strategy and usage sections published earlier this month, the two new portions in Promethean's fifth annual report collate the insights and opinions of more than 2,000 educators, delving deeper into one of the most transformative years the edtech sector has seen so far.

Teacher training and CPD

The disruption that has defined 2020 has forced schools to reconsider how they use technology for simple tasks such as setting homework, classroom teaching and communication. While schools are now back open, the majority of educators are keen to see the seamless integration of tech alongside traditional teaching methods – but the report worryingly highlights that rates of teacher training are at an all time low. According to the study, only 1% of schools are treating tech training as a pressing need, dropping 23% in priority over the last five years; while 41% of respondents claim staff have had to commit to training in their own time out of school. Of all the school objectives specified for the upcoming year, teacher training lands third from the bottom, prioritised above soft skills development and technology updates only.
You might also like: Promethean launches fifth annual State of Technology in Education report
On top of this, 59% of educators admit that, while tech is openly available in their school, staff are not granted adequate support when it comes to use. Thirty-six percent of SLT respondents believe their provision of tech training is sufficient, compared to just 19% of teaching staff. Only 6% of educators feel they have been offered comprehensive edtech training. Fifty-five percent of senior leaders and managers list staff training as a funding priority, but it seems the proof may not be in the pudding, with only 30% of IT teachers and managers agreeing with that same statement. In terms of what schools consider to be the most important types of teacher training, 29% of respondents listed pupil safety as the highest priority, with training in governmental policy changes coming in second at 23%. While just over 1% of schools identify tech training as a priority, 41% of teachers claim to disagree with their institution's training preferences. It's clear that staff demand for training is on the up, but teachers feel restricted by a significant lack of time and money. Forty-nine percent of educators cite budget as the main inhibitor of training in their school, followed by time restrictions at almost 33%. Thoughts about tech training are on a downward trend, with opinions becoming increasingly negative over recent years. The number of teachers receiving suitable training has declined by 11% in five years, while the number of teachers expected to train themselves has surged by 14% in the same time. But why is this shift taking place? According to Promethean, the data suggests that issues such as online security and safeguarding have become increasingly pressing with the widespread use of digital tools, as teachers simultaneously become more confident with classroom tech and the number of educators who don't know their school's training priorities is steadily on the rise. "Technologies and tools are constantly evolving," notes the report. "The more confident teachers become, the more they want to learn. Ongoing tech training is required to unite the tricks learnt during lockdown with long-term classroom learning goals."

School budgets

In April 2020, the government announced a funding scheme to support schools with the costs associated with their response to COVID-19. Promethean's survey suggests that, despite this, the majority of educators were already concerned about the impact of budget on strategy prior to the pandemic. The report states that this ongoing financial strain has forced schools to invest more carefully in edtech that genuinely supports their goals. It's a positive that the number of educators who believe their institution is investing money into the right technology has grown 13% in the last five years, and 54% of senior leaders consider budget a key factor when devising their school strategy, with a further 38% agreeing that it's a consideration. Worryingly, however, IT managers have lost the most confidence in their schools' tech budgets. While in 2016, 46% said they were happy with their institution's level of tech investment, just 19% would say the same today. On top of this, 45% of teachers say they have no visibility on their school's edtech budget.
"The use of technology in school at the minute is a frustrating affair. Much of the equipment, both pupil and teacher, is out of date or budget so performance is hampered. Where there is up-to-date equipment it is restricted by knowledge or held back by outdated equipment, e.g. IWBs connected t0 outdated or under-specced laptops that can't keep up with them" – Teacher/Senior Teacher, Academy Primary, North East
Despite the promise of government funding, budgets remain an overwhelming concern for school staff. Forty-five percent of SLT respondents, for example, expect budgets to make 2021's strategic goals much more tricky to achieve. Most staff members seem to feel the same, with a similar number of teachers and IT staff citing the same strategic concerns. Many expect salaries to be schools' largest budgetary expenditure next year, with 60% of respondents naming it as such, and a further third of admitting that it's still not clear exactly where their school's money is spent. Of all survey responses, the greatest proportion of educators (37%) agree that too little is being invested in edtech, and IT staff are the most critical of all – with 44% saying budgets are too tight, compared to a third of teachers. These figures make sense when you consider that most teachers have no visibility on where or how the tech budget is being spent. This trend has been evident for at least the last five years, peaking in 2019, when 46% of educators agreed that too little of their school's budget is given to tech. While in 2015, 29% of educators believed their school's tech budget was adequate, just 13% would say the same today. On a more positive note, the overall perception is that schools are generally making smarter tech investments, with the number of respondents saying that their school is incorrectly investing money declining by 13% in five years. "Budgets continue to be a disagreeable subject for educators," the report explains. "Almost all staff agree that financial constraints are holding back their school's potential and their pupils' access to the best educational tools. This hasn't changed in half a decade. "While the weight of concern around budgets hasn't lightened, it's forced schools to think strategically when it comes to technology. There might not be enough funding, but more schools are making smarter investments. They are getting better at repurposing existing tech or choosing upgradable tools with lower total cost of ownership." [post_title] => Promethean's State of Technology report explores school budgets and CPD [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => prometheans-state-of-technology-report-explores-school-budgets-and-cpd [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-10-26 11:19:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-10-26 11:19:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=34589 [menu_order] => 739 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 34040 [post_author] => 86 [post_date] => 2020-10-13 08:20:43 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-10-13 07:20:43 [post_content] => Promethean has launched its fifth annual State of Technology in Education report, collating the insights and opinions of more than 2,000 educators in what has been one of the most transformative years the sector has seen so far. As the last 12 months have been dominated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Promethean sought to uncover the various strategies and solutions that have steered the sector through this period of disruption, hoping to identify the ways in which the crisis will impact the future of education. Here are some of the report's most impactful findings:

Edtech strategy

The focus on boosting student engagement with technology has soared by 29% in the last five years, now standing as a priority for 39% of schools. Sixty percent of respondents also listed results and attainment as their institution's top priorities; while 57% of IT staff believe their school should prioritise software and hardware updates, and 28% of teachers feel more investments should be made in staff training. In terms of digital objectives, 48% of schools place most focus on internet safety. Forty-three percent of SLT staff, however, believe tech should be prioritised as a tool for collaboration above everything else. When it comes to mapping out strategy, 76% of educators claim that headteachers play the lead role. Surprisingly, however, less than 40% of respondents said they had an input in setting edtech strategy, with 44% of teachers saying they are unsure whether their school even has a strategic vision, compared to just 12% of institutional leaders, highlighting a lack of communication surrounding edtech planning.

Classroom use of tech

Of this year's respondents, 86% firmly believed that tech should form a fundamental part of learning. However, a third admitted they avoid using edtech because their institution's hardware is often unreliable. On top of this, eight in 10 educators (79%) claim that classroom tech elevates their teaching performance. According to the report, IT managers use interactive whiteboards – the most frequently used classroom device – the most out of all school staff. While 57% of teachers say they use interactive whiteboards 'all the time', they generally continue to favour more traditional hardware – such as printers and photocopiers. Seventy-three percent of schools' senior managers choose to invest in front-of-class technology over tools like laptops and desktop computers. When it comes to tech use breakdown, IT managers are the most regular users of apps (65%), as well as cloud-based homework tools (51%) and cloud-based lesson delivery software (41%). The report confirms that confidence in edtech use is rising, with reports of teacher struggles falling by 5%. This is no surprise given the widespread implementation of technology which allowed learning to continue throughout the disruption caused by the national lockdown, enforced in March this year. Promethean's insights into staff training, school budgets and the future of the sector are yet to be released. In the report's foreword, Vin Riera, CEO of Promethean, commented: "It's been an incredible year for education. COVID, unsurprisingly, has changed the perception of what's most important. Not only are issues like safeguarding and security naturally higher priorities, but the approach to technology has shifted. Almost all educators say tech is a positive means to improving engagement. Yet keeping pupils motivated, despite huge reliance on tech, was a top challenge during lockdown. As such, educators have recognised where technology can genuinely enhance communication and collaboration, and where it falls short for education – outside of the classroom setting. "So, there's likely to be a refreshed, more pragmatic IT roadmap for the coming year. There's a positive outlook that strategic investments are being made in upgradeable tools that support pedagogy and learning goals."
In other news: 73% of Brits more inclined to believe STEM education is crucial post-COVID
  [post_title] => Promethean launches fifth annual State of Technology in Education report [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => promethean-launches-fifth-annual-state-of-technology-in-education-report [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-10-12 11:56:56 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-10-12 10:56:56 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=34040 [menu_order] => 767 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 32034 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2020-08-14 16:13:12 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-08-14 15:13:12 [post_content] => In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional education has changed, as teachers and students rely on technology more than ever to maintain their learning levels. Although technology has been used to encourage engagement and class participation, it's now allowing both teachers and students to work together in a safe classroom environment, also enabling interactivity and collaboration. In these uncertain times, edtech hardware is helping to transform the learning environment, allowing educators to meet a whole new series of challenges. If you have ever wondered what edtech hardware is available for use in the classroom and the ways they can benefit schools, colleges and universities, the guide below will help explain this type of edtech in more depth. Read on to find out the details that you’re looking for.

What brands manufacture edtech hardware?

There are several key brands within the edtech hardware marketplace; some of the most notable include Promethean, ELMO, Casio, SMART and Carillion.

What difference can edtech hardware make?

Edtech hardware can have several benefits for both teachers and students alike. Some common benefits of edtech hardware include:
  • Deliver a learning experience that Gen Z can fully engage with: Gen Z expects to use technology as part of their learning experience. Edtech helps to deliver a dynamic, flexible and more immersive environment, and allows educators to engage students with the technology they are familiar with.
  • Enable more collaboration: the collaborative nature of edtech hardware allows schools to reach more students and engage with them in a more effective way, for example through the use of virtual breakout groups. Through the use of video, online learning is just as effective as face-to-face time in the classroom, and feedback sessions can be delivered in this way too.
  • Greater flexibility: not only will teaching staff have more time to support students, but they can also reach learners regardless of their location or device. Study courses can also be tailored to meet the needs of different individuals, and students can use online tools to access content in completely new ways.
  • Bringing subjects to life: through the use of apps, interactive screens allow teachers to create dynamic and engaging lessons that bring their subjects to life. For example, teachers can record their screen and talk students through the key learning points via a video file, as well as create time challenges, polls and quizzes that encourage participation from students and further enhance their learning.

What types of edtech hardware are available?

When it comes to choosing edtech hardware, there are several different options available:
  • All-in-one solutions: Carillion’s an all-in-one Surface Hub 2 product can be used as a digital whiteboard, meetings platform, presentation device and collaborative computing solution. Powered by Windows 10, it features a 50.5” super slim, interactive 4K touchscreen, mobile stand, a 4K moveable camera and an interactive pen.
  • Interactive whiteboards: designed by Promethean to enhance the educational space, the ActivPanel front of class display device supports learning in the moment, also encouraging peer-to-peer collaboration. Completely interactive, it features pre-loaded apps, an Instant Whiteboarding App, and allows group discussion to take place in a more effective way. Additionally, the SMART board series provides a fully interactive solution for every educational need, helping to bridge the gap between physical and digital learning through sensors that can optimise the classroom environment and industry-leading touch and ink technology.
  • Calculator emulator: looking for a way to make maths easier for students to understand? With a Casio calculator emulator, you can enrich your maths lessons by sharing your screen directly with students, either in the classroom or on a remote basis. The calculator emulator not only looks and operates like the calculator you’re used to, but running on your computer it can help to enhance students’ learning in a number of ways.
  • Visualisers: using software for Windows/MacOS, the ELMO Interactive Toolbox (EIT) allows educators to make their teaching more interactive and engaging by zooming, rotating, highlighting, masking and freezing images, as well as annotating them. The Image Mate + Cloud (IM+C) also provides a web-based solution that's fully accessible via your chrome browser.

What else do educators needs to consider when it comes to edtech hardware?

To get maximum value from your edtech hardware, there are a few things to keep in mind when considering an investment. It’s important to ensure that the chosen solution is fit for purpose in terms of hardware and network infrastructure, as well as the user’s perspective. In addition, it’s important to ensure that the hardware is suitable for use in the institution’s classrooms, and that it easily allows teachers to enhance the learning space for students. Finally, you should make sure that wrap-around support is available from the manufacturer before, during and after purchase, which is something that a reputable and trusted provider will be able to assist with on a long-term basis. What’s clear is that edtech hardcare can benefit today’s learning environments in a number of ways. From delivering collaboration, without the need for physical engagement, to enabling blended learning, it's set to help educators navigate an uncertain few months ahead and adapt to a new way of teaching. To find out more about edtech hardware, read our buyer’s guides:
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  [post_title] => Edtech hardware: helping educators stay connected [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => edtech-hardware-helping-educators-stay-connected [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-16 14:07:45 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-16 14:07:45 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=32034 [menu_order] => 883 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30545 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2020-07-10 06:00:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-07-10 05:00:29 [post_content] => Over the last few months, the traditional education setting has changed exponentially, with teachers and students alike relying on technology more than ever before to keep education moving. Technology has long been used within education to bolster student engagement and encourage class participation. But more so now, technology can support both teachers and learners to navigate the challenges of creating a safe classroom environment, while still facilitating interactivity and collaboration. With education at its core, Promethean’s interactive flat panel displays can enhance pedagogical best practice in a safe and engaging way.

Collaboration is key

The return to the classroom has undoubtably been a challenge, with schools finding it difficult to create the space needed to practice social distancing and with many students remaining at home to continue their learning. Students are naturally social learners; they thrive in situations where they work together. Utilising front of class display devices, like the ActivPanel, can help to facilitate these social situations and promote peer-to-peer assessment – supporting student development and improving outcomes. For classrooms, the front of class display device is the hub of interactivity. Now, more than ever, teachers need to interact and engage with the class to support learning. The Promethean ActivPanel has been designed to enhance the educational space, supporting learning in the moment and encouraging peer-to-peer collaboration. With a range of pre-loaded apps, teachers can instantaneously transform a lesson into a collaborative space by using the Instant Whiteboarding App, discussing ideas as a group, or taking screen grabs of lesson content and using this as a basis for conversation. Moreover, the ActivPanel allows for teachers to utilise spinners and timers to create time challenges and encourage participation in an engaging and exciting way.
Now, more than ever, teachers need to interact and engage with the class to support learning

Interacting with change

Interactive flat panel displays allow teachers and students to fully immerse themselves in the subject area by embracing a range of apps, lesson delivery software and educational tools to encourage engagement. The Promethean ActivPanel can connect to students’ handheld devices in the classroom, or if they are using a device at home, using Screen Share. Teachers can mirror content from devices to the ActivPanel, allowing them to offer instant feedback and create class-wide discussions. Teachers can also set up polls and quizzes using Promethean software to measure understanding and promote engagement.

More than hardware

Appropriate hardware for the learning environment is paramount, but also beyond the hardware, it’s essential that the investment adds value to the classroom experience and encourages student engagement. Hardware coupled with effective software that supports teachers to easily implement new learning methods and encourage best practice use of the front of class device is invaluable within the classroom. The Promethean ActivPanel is supplied as standard with lesson delivery software ActivInspire, enabling teachers to create dynamic and engaging lessons using technology. ActivInspire also has the ability to support learners yet to return to the classroom using Screen Recorder functionality – allowing teachers to record the screen and talk students through key learning points, which they can then convert to a video file and upload to the school’s preferred platform. This functionality could also be used to help students further than the initial return to school; teachers could highlight the important aspects of different lessons and students can refer to this at a later date, if needed, to support their personal development. Technology has been used within education to enhance lesson delivery and engage students; therefore, it’s important to recognise its role in supporting teachers and learners as they return. Embracing front of class technology that promotes engagement and encourages collaboration, even without physically working together, can help to bring the social aspect back into education.
To find out more about Promethean and the ActivPanel Elements Series, please visit: PrometheanWorld.com/gb

Edtech essentials

Pete Millar, pre-sales technical consultant at Promethean When preparing to upgrade front of class displays, remember the investment extends way beyond the hardware. It’s important to pay attention to the wider factors that will ensure you achieve maximum value. First and foremost, the edtech solution has to be fit for purpose, from both a hardware and network infrastructure (as well as a user’s) perspective across its lifespan. When considering an interactive flat panel display, as well as ensuring the product will be a natural fit with the school’s estate, evaluating its suitability for the classroom is important. Teachers require easy-to-use tools that help them enhance the learning space effectively and make teaching with technology easy – pre-loaded apps and intuitive design can achieve this. The wider wrap-around support available to schools before, during and after purchase is an opportunity to safeguard the investment. Working with reputable and trusted resellers and manufacturers will help to put the mechanisms in place for a long-standing relationship, with access to on-going advice and support if necessary. Putting customer needs at the core of its philosophy, Promethean continuously looks for ways to support schools in making the most out of their investment. Beyond an extensive warranty, Promethean adds additional value through training and support, ensuring that a positive impact is made on the learning environment. Promethean is constantly investing in both its product and support infrastructure, to ensure it remains accessible and transparent for schools to make the best purchasing decisions for them. [post_title] => Edtech buyer's guide: classroom interaction and collaboration [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => edtech-buyers-guide-classroom-interaction-and-collaboration [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-06 15:20:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-06 14:20:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=30545 [menu_order] => 953 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 30797 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2020-07-09 15:53:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-07-09 14:53:48 [post_content] => Over the last few months, teachers and students alike have relied on technology more than ever before. As lesson delivery transformed overnight, IT managers had to work at speed to implement effective solutions that supported teachers to keep education moving. As teachers and students return to classrooms, IT managers are tasked with the challenge of practically meeting the needs of the learning environment and helping teachers to deliver effective lessons that promote engagement. The ActivPanel has not only been designed to support teachers to enhance the learning environment and encourage classroom collaboration but also, to help IT managers retain more overall control and flexibility. The ActivPanel gives IT managers complete visibility of the devices in their schools while adding increased measures to strengthen management.

Panel Management

For IT managers, having seamless and efficient control of front of class display devices can help to alleviate classroom disruption. As the ActivPanel is the technological hub of the classroom, its operation and connectivity are paramount to learning activities. Panel Management is software that gives IT managers increased control over security, updates and applications, allowing IT managers to centrally manage each ActivPanel within their estate. Security of panel usage and user data is fundamental and Panel Management can streamline this by allowing IT managers to enable and disable certain functionalities within the ActivPanel. Additionally, IT managers can remotely install over-the-air updates removing the need to visit individual classrooms, ensuring the ActivPanel is optimised for performance in an efficient manner.

Cloud access

Taking the pressure off schools and IT managers in regard to data protection is the ActivPanel’s ability to offer immediate access to cloud platforms Google Drive and OneDrive. Not only making access to workable documents easier and more efficient than before, cloud connectivity also enhances the security provisions for IT. With cloud infrastructure in place in many schools, accessing Google Drive and OneDrive from the ActivPanel can ensure a safer, more secure front of class display solution that blends effectively with schools’ existing systems. As upgrades, data protection and security are part and parcel with schools’ cloud solutions, IT managers can be reassured that teacher and student data is protected while simultaneously ensuring teaching activities and tools are more accessible. As schools return, technology has a big role to play in re-engaging students in learning and adjusting back to the classroom. For IT managers, keeping the technology running as smoothly and safely as possible will be imperative. The ActivPanel, with its advanced connectivity and constant innovation, has been designed to streamline operations and help IT managers to manage IT infrastructure effectively.
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  [post_title] => Enhancing operations for IT managers with the ActivPanel [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => enhancing-operations-for-it-managers-with-the-activpanel [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-09 15:53:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-09 14:53:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=30797 [menu_order] => 955 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [10] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 29208 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2020-06-23 08:50:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-06-23 07:50:41 [post_content] => The original ambition that primary school pupils would have at least four weeks in school before the end of term is now looking unlikely. The reality is that schools are finding it difficult to create the space needed to practise social distancing when teaching, resulting in some teachers and parents feeling uncomfortable with increased student numbers. As many teachers will agree, students are naturally more engaged in a classroom environment with a teacher, than at home with a parent. Some teaching is beginning to take place in schools, and even if they are unable to teach the whole curriculum those students who are able to attend classes are receiving valuable face-to-face teaching across key areas. However, as a number of students are still at home, this risks widening the attainment gap between those who are in school and those who are yet to return.
Providing a mixture of online tuition and face-to-face instruction coupled with the right technology can, in the short term, give students a balanced experience
With this in mind, it seems that a blended learning model could be a practical solution to support all students, whether at home or in school. Providing a mixture of online tuition and face-to-face instruction coupled with the right technology can, in the short term, give students a balanced experience, offering structure to their learning and time with their teacher. By using existing classroom technology to facilitate lesson delivery, teachers can integrate a blended approach into curriculum delivery with Promethean.

The ActivPanel

For students learning in the classroom, the ActivPanel acts as a hub for teacher modelling, interaction and demonstration. At the moment, as students can’t physically work together, a teacher can safely address the group from the panel using a selection of applications and lesson delivery software to enhance and transform the learning environment. With advanced interactivity and access to a range of pre-loaded apps that support ‘in-the-moment’ learning, students can communicate and work together from a distance. The Promethean Screen Share App can also encourage interactivity within the classroom by connecting all students using handheld devices. As an opportunity to support student-driven conversation and peer assessment and measure class understanding, Screen Share is a chance for individuals to collaborate without the need for physical engagement. Also providing students learning at home have access to the internet, Screen Sharing allows them to work with their peers in the classroom by enabling teachers to connect to student devices wherever they are. As teachers can interact and work with students at a distance, Screen Share encourages engagement and drives lesson collaboration even if the students aren’t in the classroom. Similarly, the ActivPanel could also be used to connect those students who are learning from home using video conferencing software. If both the teacher and student has access to a webcam, the panel’s ability to access these apps enables home learning students to view and contribute to classroom lessons using these tools.

ActivInspire

The ActivPanel is supplied as standard with ActivInspire, interactive software which supports teachers to prepare and deliver dynamic and engaging lessons in the classroom. To ensure educational continuity, ActivInspire’s built-in screen recorder functionality has given teachers an opportunity to create bitesize videos of lessons, talking students through the key learning points whilst learning remotely. When adopting a blended approach, ActivInspire can be used in this way to support those in the classroom and those still at home. Additionally, students can use ActivInspire at home with Windows, Mac and Linux devices. Teachers can create interactive flipcharts and share with students to work on independently, providing a consistent learning experience for all students – wherever they are learning. Flipcharts can also be exported into PDF format for those students working on a range of different devices. For schools facing the need to teach those students in the smaller classes and those who are still at home, adopting a blended approach to learning may be the best solution to adapt and maintain curriculum delivery. This can help to ensure that all students achieve a level of face-to-face interaction with the teacher and can ensure all members of the class have access to a level of continuity whether at home or in the classroom. https://www.prometheanworld.com/gb/ [post_title] => Adopting a Blended Learning Approach with Promethean [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => adopting-a-blended-learning-approach-with-promethean [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-07-21 14:21:15 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-07-21 13:21:15 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=29208 [menu_order] => 990 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [11] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26156 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2020-05-14 14:00:02 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-14 13:00:02 [post_content] => It’s fair to say that 2020 has been challenging for education. While most students are learning from home and teachers are remotely supporting them, classroom technology may not be at the forefront of educators’ minds… That being said, at Promethean, we believe that it's incredibly important to continue to plot trends and track sentiments, possibly now more than ever before. That's why we're encouraging educators to participate in our fifth annual State of Technology in Education Report, to provide valuable insights into the things that matter most in education. The State of Technology in Education Report has been tracking trends and opinions on the key educational topics since 2016. The report encourages participants to share insightful opinions on personal experiences, allowing for dialogues to be opened on the key issues that impact schools every day.

What have we learnt so far?

In five years, we have seen the Promethean State of Technology Report go from strength to strength and it has been an opportunity to get a rounded view of the educational landscape, helping to shape future developments within the sector. ● It has identified positive change, such as 38% of teachers believing that schools are doing more to address the workload crisis in comparison to just 20% the year before. ● A shift in what is deemed important within education – such as 89% of educators believing that technology is integral to everyday life so should be present in education; a significant rise from 52% in 2018/19. ● The burdens schools face year on year, with 54% of school leaders saying budgets will make it difficult for schools to meet strategic objectives.
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Why participate?

The Promethean State of Technology in Education Report is an opportunity to open up dialogues with leaders and decision makers to enact change. With over 2,000 responses from educators in the UKI region in the last 12 months, the report creates reliable datasets that can encourage decisions – guiding the development of effective classroom solutions that aim to confront these challenges head on. Now more than ever, it's imperative that we understand what works and what doesn’t for schools, and how technology can support and enhance teaching and learning outcomes. This year, we are opening up the State of Technology in Education Report to a wider range of educators than ever before, ensuring that everyone's voice is heard. If you’d like to get involved, the survey is open now. To share your views, please click here. [post_title] => Have your say on edtech trends [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => have-your-say-on-edtech-trends [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-14 12:12:52 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-14 11:12:52 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=26156 [menu_order] => 1066 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [12] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 26153 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2020-05-14 11:45:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-05-14 10:45:55 [post_content] => Supporting students’ education from home has fast become a priority for schools, with many mobilising remote learning, implementing new distance learning technologies and navigating the practical challenges of not being in the classroom. But for teachers who normally use ActivInspire in school, there are several ways to use existing flipcharts and resources to facilitate learning from home without having to spend time creating new teaching materials or learning how to use a new system…

Record your lessons

Use the ActivInspire Screen Recorder to deliver and record your lesson at home. Record your voice and actions on the screen to talk your students through the key learning points as if you were in the classroom with them. Then, simply save the recorded flipchart as a video file to share with your students. The typical file size of a five minute video created using ActivInspire Screen Recorder is 15MB – making it quick and easy to distribute across Google Classroom, OneNote, your school’s LMS…or post the video to any of your school’s preferred platforms. And the screen recording functionality is not limited to flipcharts – ActivInspire Screen Recorder will work with any desktop or computer application, so if your existing lessons are in PowerPoint or you want to discuss text in Word or calculations in Excel, you can still create these video lessons with ActivInspire.

Create supporting materials

Nothing can replace the teacher at the front of the classroom, but you can easily create supporting materials for your recorded lessons by converting flipchart content into PDFs, making it perfect for creating worksheets or sharing explanations and instructions. And if your students don’t have access to a computer, the PDF converter makes it simple to produce a printable flipchart format that can be distributed as a paper-based copy.

Access ready-made resources

Through the online Promethean Resource Library, ActivInspire users can easily search, preview and download thousands of ready-made flipcharts. Choose from over 30,000 teacher created flipcharts for your own use with students – which can all be used to create video lessons with ActivInspire Screen Recorder, or shared as PDF lessons and worksheets. While teachers are doing their best to support students learning from home, one thing we can do to minimise the impact on workload is use resources that are already available, and technologies that both teachers and students are familiar with. If you use ActivInspire at your school, you can learn more about using it to support learning from home here.
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  [post_title] => How to support students learning at home with ActivInspire [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-support-students-learning-at-home-with-activinspire [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-14 11:53:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-14 10:53:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=26153 [menu_order] => 1067 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [13] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 24035 [post_author] => 83 [post_date] => 2020-04-08 10:25:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-04-08 09:25:19 [post_content] => There are three common responses for the human: fight, flight or freeze. In teachers, there are four: fight, flight, freeze and SORT IT MODE. Teachers are used to receiving vague information and making the best of it; this is where we thrive – we get our heads down and SORT IT. But, like any new ‘threat’, we are usually working under the influence of adrenaline (and coffee) and are sometimes guilty of making early mistakes. To help get teachers and leaders past this sometimes manic response of SORT IT MODE, here are five thoughts to consider: 1. Don’t be too self-critical We’ve all been thrust into this world not knowing how to navigate it – just because you teach children every day doesn’t mean you know what to set them when they’re home learning. Don’t be too hard on yourself, feelings and confidence will change within this period. Own your inexperience in this situation. 2.  Avoid overload Drip feed resources so people don’t feel overwhelmed – yourself included. We don’t know how long this will last. Have the structures and forethought to split up the work coming from you to your students. 3. Keep it brief Too much information can lead to snow blindness. There are some messages you want to get through and some that are less important.
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Less is more, brevity and accuracy are key. Try to fit everything into just a few sentences.  4. Parents aren’t teachers It’s important to remember that most parents aren’t teachers. They will be worried, scared, unsure. So, measure your expectations. Consider the work you want back and be wary of ‘one-piece-a-day’ expectations. We don’t know who has to use the family laptop when all family members are working from home. They deserve the flexibility to make ‘learning from home’ work for them, so don’t inhibit that with your own expectations. 5. Wellbeing first Wellbeing is everything at the moment. Making sure that your staff, at every level, feel supported and valued is key. Staff are feeling vulnerable and they need to know that they can choose when to engage with schoolwork and when to be with their family/enjoy free time. Make sure they know that switching off is OK. And this includes their activity in staff WhatsApp groups and social media. Like any phase, SORT IT MODE will soon pass. In the coming weeks as the adrenaline fades and our rational thought resumes, we will enter our normal cycles of well thought-out, considered problem solving. To read more on Stephen Holden’s advice for SORT IT MODE and how best to handle it, read the full article on the Promethean blog here. [post_title] => How to get your school through ‘SORT IT’ mode [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-to-get-your-school-through-sort-it-mode [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-05-19 10:48:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-05-19 09:48:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=24035 [menu_order] => 1188 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [14] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22818 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2020-02-26 17:23:29 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-02-26 17:23:29 [post_content] => Promethean’s most recent State of Technology in Education Report revealed that 71% of teachers believe their workload is harmful to classroom progression. Striving to reduce this workload burden while making teaching with tech easier than ever before, Promethean is forging a series of content partnerships that will make rich resources readily available for use with its award-winning ActivPanel. The first of these collaborations is with The Learning Partnership and aims to address the STEAM challenge – combining traditional teaching techniques with technology to create engaging lessons. As Promethean’s exclusive UKI STEAM partner, The Learning Partnership develops practical challenges which stimulate student excitement and participation in STEAM lessons. The Learning Partnership Focusing on supporting global engagement in STEAM subjects, The Learning Partnership builds and delivers programmes and challenges that help to increase student participation and enjoyment in STEAM by linking classroom experiences to real life. As Promethean’s exclusive UKI STEAM partner, The Learning Partnership is enhancing its STEAM provisions by showcasing apps and activities that can be designed and engineered on the ActivPanel and replicated in real life to increase engagement within the learning environment. Students are also encouraged to work collaboratively with the potential of competing in challenges on a national scale to showcase their STEAM skills. Engineering a love of STEAM One school that has benefited first-hand from The Learning Partnership and Promethean’s collaboration is Four Oaks Primary School in Birmingham. Having recently participated in the ‘Build to the Line’ and ‘Race to the Line’ programmes, Year 5 students at Four Oaks have been putting their engineering and technological skills to the test in the classroom, and even at one of the biggest edtech events in the world – the Bett Show. Using practical resources and immersive edtech, teachers and pupils at Four Oaks Primary School were able to model and explore physical processes and theories on the Promethean ActivPanel, whilst designing and engineering bridges and rocket powered cars. The Learning Partnership Liz Greening, Year 5 Teacher at Four Oaks Primary School, commented: “The pupils thoroughly enjoyed completing the bridge building challenge in class but to then be asked to go to London and take part in the rocket car ‘Race to the Line’ challenge in front of thousands of visitors…well, beyond excitement doesn’t even come close! “They approached the STEAM challenge at Bett using all the skills they had learned in class and put excellent teamwork into practice. We are all incredibly proud of them and can’t wait to get started on new STEAM challenges back at school.” By bringing together technology and traditional resources, the Year 5 students thoroughly enjoyed their classroom STEAM activities and showcasing what they learnt on-stand at Bett. One student in particular explained how technology and traditional resources helped to create engaging learning content. “Using the Algodoo app on the ActivPanel we were able to use the sensitive touchscreen to design our car to measure how it would perform in a race on stand. After designing it on the ActivPanel we then built and raced it against the adults on stand and our car won! It was very interesting to see the Bett Show and a lot of fun being on stand with Promethean creating and racing our rocket cars,” commented Daniel, a Year 5 student at Four Oaks Primary School. Passionate about delivering edtech solutions that support teachers and engage learners in the classroom, Promethean recognises the importance of enhancing classroom technology with content that really makes a difference. To find out more about Promethean, please visit www.PrometheanWorld.com/gb/, and to learn more about The Learning Partnership and how it supports the wider STEAM integration in schools, please visit www.thelearningpartnership.com. [post_title] => The power of immersive content [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-power-of-immersive-content [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-24 11:45:12 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-24 11:45:12 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?p=22818 [menu_order] => 1280 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [15] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 21107 [post_author] => 86 [post_date] => 2020-01-21 09:19:54 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-21 09:19:54 [post_content] => Focused on the themes of Innovation, Wellbeing, Empowering Teaching & Learning, Future Tech & Trends, Skills & Inclusion (Social Mobility & SEND), Bett Show 2020 kicks off tomorrow and the industry's abuzz. Designed to inspire thought-provoking discussion around the six key themes, the event brings together 800 leading companies, 103 exciting new edtech startups and over 34,000 attendees. Here, we provide a snapshot of some of the speakers, awards and exhibitors ahead of doors opening at 10am tomorrow. The speaker programme Bett promises something for everyone this year, with more than 380 speakers taking the stage in the four-day event – a significant year-on-year increase in education speakers. Taking the helm in the Arena is the UK's favourite experimental physicist, Professor Brian Cox OBE, who will deliver his keynote speech on Exploring the Universe at 4.30pm on 22 January. Big brands will also take to the Arena stage, with keynotes on Hybrid Intelligences: Amplifying Human Potential from Microsoft (1.25pm Wednesday 22 January), and the Importance of Creativity from Apple (2.50pm Wednesday 22 January). Click here to review the full speaker programme for Bett 2020. Exhibitor showcase With over 40,000 square feet of floor space, there's so much to explore at the Bett Show this year. Worldwide Partner Microsoft will host a range of activities and highlight their joint venture with jp.ik – their community learning centre. On top of this, Lego Education will celebrate their 40th anniversary in education with their very own on-stand museum.
You might also like: New Bett body looks to shape education worldwide
Bett's Aspiration Partner, KidZania, will provide an engaging and interactive experience for attendees to enjoy. Committed to 'learning by doing', KidZania will broaden horizons with an aspiration trail, designed to introduce immersive and experiential learning to educators. Dr Ger Graus OBE, global director of education for KidZania, will take to the stage to discuss the need to connect teaching with 'learning by doing' at 12.30pm on 23 January. On top of this, Bett is set to showcase the best of Google, SMART, Promethean, Spotify, HP, BBC Learning, Sparx and Amazon Web Services (AWS), while startup village Bett Futures will spotlight some of the sector's most innovative startups. Supporting wellbeing It's not all about observing and learning for teachers visiting Bett; they will also take part in EduFootyAid – a charity football tournament developed in partnership with Mind UK, kicking off at 11am on 25 January. In light of growing teacher workloads and increasing social pressure on students, Bett hopes to promote the invaluable work Mind conducts in this field – hence the event's key theme of wellbeing. Achievements in edtech The four-day exhibition will also see two sets of awards that recognise the best of the edtech sector. The Bett Awards, in association with Besa, celebrate creativity and innovation. An integral part of the event, winners will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 22 January. Presenting 20 awards that recognise everything from innovation, to collaborations with schools, and edtech devices, the shortlist features a range of established players and breakthrough brands. The Global Edtech Startup Awards (GESAwards) will identify, showcase and recognise this year's most promising edtech startups. After filtering through 3,000 entries, a panel of judges will sit through pitches from 15 finalists at Bett at 5.15pm on Thursday.
These are just a few of the highlights of Bett 2020, the world’s biggest gathering of education professionals and businesses.  For full details of the show visit www.bettshow.com [post_title] => Bett Show 2020 highlights revealed [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => bett-show-2020-highlights [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-21 09:23:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-21 09:23:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=21107 [menu_order] => 1383 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [16] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20597 [post_author] => 86 [post_date] => 2020-01-19 07:00:51 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-19 07:00:51 [post_content] => Q. What should schools, colleges and universities be focusing on for 2020? Thorough training in education technologies is a growing concern for educators. The annual Promethean State of Technology in Education Report, which surveys over 2,000 educators around the UK and Ireland, has shown that only 17% of teachers believe that they received adequate edtech training and support during 2018/19 – down from 55% in 2016/17. Where budgets are stretched and time is limited, it is imperative that schools look at the wider support available when investing in education technologies in 2020. It’s not just about investing in effective hardware, but considering the software and support that will ease training pressures. Q. If you could pinpoint one area of improvement for the education sector during 2020, what would it be? Stories about teacher workload have dominated headlines in recent years, and are showing no signs of easing. Some 81% of teachers in our 2019/20 State of Technology in Education report said that workload was contributing to high levels of stress in their schools, up 19% from last year. 80% of educators agree that, if workload does not improve, they may lose valuable teaching staff.
You may also like: 2020 vision: edtech in education with Alexander Shea
It is widely acknowledged that the effective use of technology has a valuable role to play in easing workload pressures, but educators also seem to be more optimistic than ever about the wider impacts of technology on teaching and learning. 90% of educators surveyed by the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report 2019/20 agreed that technology is a great way to engage students in the classroom, while 41% of teachers believe that technology has a positive influence on behaviour. Q. Is there a particular area within edtech that you think should be the main focus for 2020? Technologies are constantly evolving, and there will always be new and exciting things entering the market. However, the primary focus in education should always be to invest in edtech that fulfils a purpose, enhancing teaching and learning. [post_title] => 2020 vision: edtech in 2020 with Rachel Ashmore [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 2020-vision-edtech-in-2020-with-rachel-ashmore [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-20 14:46:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-20 14:46:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=20597 [menu_order] => 1388 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [17] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20990 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2020-01-17 14:36:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-01-17 14:36:50 [post_content] => Bett 2020 is just around the corner and Promethean is bringing a jam-packed schedule of best practice ideas and innovations to the much loved edtech show. To give you a taster of what you can experience, here are three reasons why you need to head straight to stand SN41! The result of over 20 years’ experience in delivering edtech solutions, the ActivPanel Elements Series has been designed to make teaching with technology easier than ever before, and it’s on-stand at Bett for the first time. Come and learn about:
  • Supporting learning in the moment with a range of pre-loaded apps at your fingertips
  • A natural and precise writing experience with VellumTM writing technology
  • An intuitive user experience, which ergonomically maps the interface to the teachers’ natural eyelines
  • The technologically intelligent display unit that greatly simplifies IT management
Promethean Experience…content partnerships Leading content partners will be joining Promethean on-stand to share best practice advice on delivering curriculum content with edtech.
  • BBC will demonstrate how to integrate learning with play and create engaging classroom resources
  • Using powerful initiatives, BecomingX will be emphasising the importance of teamwork and resilience in education
  • Students from London Design and Engineering UTC will be hosting a Touch Screen 3D Modelling challenge using the ActivPanel and virtual reality
  • The National Literacy Trust will be taking a digital look at how to raise literacy levels in the classroom through the use of technology
  • Building and racing rocket powered cars, The Learning Partnership will show how technology and practical activities can be used to model and explore physical processes
Promethean Experience…Promethean at Bett Whether you’re a headteacher, ICT professional or teacher, we’re here to help. We’ve got a team of teachers, techies and senior leaders on-stand who can guide you through everything you need (and want) to know about using our edtech solutions in your own school environment. And if you’d like to get more hands-on with the new ActivPanel, head to our dedicated Demonstration Zone and speak directly to our team of product experts about your specific needs. Lock 22nd January – 25th January 2020 in your diary and plan your visit to Stand SN41 in advance to make the most of your Bett visit. If you can’t make the show, visit www.PrometheanWorld.com/gb to learn more about Promethean’s content partners and the all-new ActivPanel Elements Series. [post_title] => 3 reasons not to miss Promethean at Bett 2020 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 3-reasons-not-to-miss-promethean-at-bett-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-01-17 14:36:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-01-17 14:36:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=20990 [menu_order] => 1392 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [18] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 20204 [post_author] => 86 [post_date] => 2019-12-14 10:27:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-12-14 10:27:21 [post_content] =>

Edtech Buyer's Guide: next-gen hardware

With its roots firmly embedded in education and a renowned heritage that stems from over 20 years of delivering hardware and software that support creative classrooms, global education technology provider Promethean has played a leading role in transforming learning spaces into collaborative and connected environments. Committed to developing solutions that enhance the educational space, Promethean’s pedigree has seen the award-winning ActivPanel revolutionise classrooms into immersive environments that enhance teaching and learning and ultimately help to improve student outcomes.


More from Promethean: The story so far: Promethean’s #ClassroomStory


The ActivPanel Elements Series

To make teaching with technology even easier, Promethean has drawn on its expertise of developing technologies that enhance the learning environment with the launch of the new ActivPanel Elements Series.

Supplied as standard with ActivInspire software, the Elements Series has been designed by teachers, and developed by Promethean, specifically for education. Focusing on the little things that make a big difference in the classroom, the Elements Series delivers a writing experience that is as natural as putting pen to paper through to advanced ICT connectivity.

Supporting learning in the moment, the Elements Series provides access to intuitive pre-loaded apps which can be safely stored and accessed alongside other educational apps in the Promethean Locker.

More than edtech

Promethean’s commitment to delivering robust solutions in the educational sphere goes way beyond hardware.

As an education company, Promethean understands the pressures on educators to utilise effective edtech solutions within the learning environment and works to deliver solutions that make teaching with technology easier than ever before.

Promethean understands the pressures on educators to utilise effective edtech solutions within the learning environment and works to deliver solutions that make teaching with technology easier than ever before.

Recognising the essential role technology has in the classroom but understanding that confidence is key to its delivery, Promethean continues to invest in its support to ensure teachers have access to guidance, best practice advice and the customer care team whenever it is needed.

Through the Promethean Academy schools benefit from free training resources and content which are readily available alongside insightful demonstrations and orientation training sessions. 

Expanding the edtech landscape

Beyond market-leading and award-winning edtech solutions, Promethean has pioneered a range of initiatives that celebrate education and help to shape the future of technology in education.

For example, now in its fourth year, the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report has been providing unparalleled insights into technology in education as well as delving deeper into wider education issues. Surveying over 2,000 educators, this report helps school leaders, teachers and ICT professionals to benchmark edtech and use insights to inform strategy. 


From the archive: Why you need to tailor your edtech investment


In response to the workload challenges and negative headlines facing schools, Promethean runs a termly education competition – #ClassroomStory – to celebrate all that is positive about teaching. By sharing touching tales and heartwarming classroom experiences, teachers have the opportunity to win an ActivPanel each term.

To find out more about Promethean and the ActivPanel Elements Series, please visit  www.prometheanworld.com/gb

[post_title] => The elements of success: next-gen hardware with Promethean [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-elements-of-success-next-gen-hardware-with-promethean [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-13 16:29:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-13 16:29:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=20204 [menu_order] => 1458 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [19] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18630 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-10-08 12:14:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-10-08 11:14:19 [post_content] => Promethean has released the first two sections of its State of Technology in Education report 2019/20, revealing an increasing number of teachers turning to tech.

Related news: Eight top education trends revealed by Google


The fourth edition of the report shows that almost 40% of senior school leaders want to use technology to enhance collaboration in the classroom – nearly twice as many as 2017/18. Almost half (49.7%) also want to use tech to boost engagement, an increase of around 35% from last year. An overall focus on ‘delivering educational benefits through technology’ has also more than doubled, from 9.1% in 2017/18 to 22.1% this year. However, there also appears to be less confidence in schools’ strategic visions, with only 51.7% of respondents saying they believe their school has a clear strategic vision, a decrease of 17% since last year.
Leadership has no one strategically responsible for technology and most are technophobes. – Primary school teacher, London
The lack of strategy is often blamed on a failure of leadership (40.9%), with teachers and IT staff being most critical of school leaders. However, only 7.4% of teachers say they take a key role in their school’s strategy. One primary school teacher from London is quoted in the report as saying: “Leadership has no one strategically responsible for technology and most are technophobes.”

You might also like: Competency-based learning vs. traditional models Can a competencies-based approach to learning fulfil the dual purpose of better preparing students for the world of work while inspiring them to enjoy learning? Jo Ruddock finds out here.


Teacher workload is also covered in the report’s early release, with 70.7% of teachers saying that workload is harming learning. 32% of SMT members reported using tech to boost teacher productivity as a priority. The first two sections of the State of Technology in Education 2019/20 report are available here. [post_title] => State of Technology in Education: Increasing numbers of teachers and school leaders turning to tech [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => state-of-technology-in-education-increasing-numbers-of-teachers-and-school-leaders-turning-to-tech [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-10-08 12:14:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-10-08 11:14:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=18630 [menu_order] => 1595 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [20] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 18494 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-09-30 15:35:03 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-09-30 14:35:03 [post_content] => Technology is constantly evolving, and more jobs and careers are heading towards the likes of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), engaging pupils from a young age to take an interest in these essential sectors and subject areas are becoming an increased focus within education. It is more essential for students to have a deeper understanding of scientific and technological subjects now than ever before. STEM subjects have always had an importance within culture, but traditionally the drive has come from STEM clubs and the dropout rate of girls, in particular, has been high. In recent years focus has shifted dramatically to make these subjects more attractive and engaging for all students. Despite the negative headlines regarding the educational funding crisis, teacher workload and teacher retention rates, there are members of the education community who are more passionate than ever to deliver an enriching curriculum with the help of edtech, that aims to better prepare students for a future within the STEM sectors and try to engage students at all levels.
STEM subjects have always had an importance within culture, but traditionally the drive has come from STEM clubs and the dropout rate of girls, in particular, has been high.

Willowtown Primary School

In an effort to improve the delivery of a STEM curriculum, Willowtown Primary School in the urban valleys of South Wales understood the importance of using edtech in assisting to engage pupils in lessons and encouraging and developing a STEM culture within the school. After successfully managing to secure funding from the Welsh government to go towards the implementation of new technology within the school, they were able to purchase the latest Promethean ActivPanel. The ActivPanel opened up a world of opportunity for Willowtown Primary and helped to turn its visions and aspirations into a reality. With the ability to transform the classroom into an immersive and collaborative environment at its finger tips, Willowtown began utilising the technology available to deliver excellence in STEM, and here’s how: interactive-panels

Apps

The Promethean ActivPanel, with access to the Andriod App Store, enables teachers and students to utilise an incredible amount of resources with the touch of a finger. For example, when learning about the anatomy, apps available on the panel can bring up a 3D skeleton of the human body, allowing students to select different body parts or bones and find out further information.

Mirroring

Many schools in recent years have made an investment into tablet devices within the classroom to help engage students, encourage collaboration and help to familiarise students with technology. The ability to cast from the hand-held tablet devices to the ActivPanel helps to engage the entire class, as well as offering the opportunity to peer-assess work.
The ability to cast from the hand-held tablet devices to the ActivPanel helps to engage the entire class, as well as offering the opportunity to peer-assess work.

Connectivity

The ActivPanel has dramatically helped Willowtown Primary School to inspire creativity within STEM lessons. The ActivPanel’s ability to connect to other devices in the classroom is just one way students are learning to better understand modern technology. By connecting the ActivPanel to the 3D printers within the school, students are able to design and create cubed structures to learn more about engineering. Edtech has the potential to enrich the curriculum and engage students in subjects that have historically been defined as difficult or boring. Having access to appropriate training to ensure you are getting the most out of your technological investment, and being passionate about sharing best practice techniques is just one way to help inspire students and other educational leaders to engage with edtech and STEM in lessons.
For more information, visit www.prometheanworld.com
[post_title] => Using edtech to deliver a rich STEM curriculum [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => using-edtech-to-deliver-a-rich-stem-curriculum [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-09-30 15:35:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-09-30 14:35:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=18494 [menu_order] => 1610 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [21] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17234 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-08-15 08:28:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-08-15 07:28:35 [post_content] => Technology has become an instrumental part of teaching and learning, used daily to provide access to resources, foster engagement, and carry out assessments. The 2018/19 State of Technology in Education Report, conducted by global technology provider Promethean, identified that 94% of educators surveyed believe that edtech improves engagement levels and 60% of school leaders recognise technology as an important part of their school strategy. Rachel Ashmore, head of Promethean Academy, shares some top tips to make sure your edtech is ready for the new term.

Check your apps

Whether you work with an interactive front-of-class display, tablets or laptops, it’s easy to get carried away installing apps throughout the year. One of the best ways to streamline your lessons is to think about which ones you use daily, weekly, or more rarely. There may be apps that you downloaded and never got around to using, or did not fit your requirements.
Taking the time to think over the apps you’ve found most useful over the last academic year can be a helpful thought exercise to try before you return to the classroom.
Taking the time to think over the apps you’ve found most useful over the last academic year can be a helpful thought exercise to try before you return to the classroom. In this way, you can focus on the ones that add value to your lessons and identify areas you feel could do with some extra innovation. Conducting some research into apps which provide engaging content or activities in topics where you don’t have many quality resources will stand you in good stead come the start of the new term. Once you’re back in the classroom, you can remove those you don’t often use. This will help you keep everything tidy so that your favourites are never more than a few taps away, and free up storage space for more effective software. For more advice on free educational apps that can help boost learning, take a look at this blog post from Promethean.

Keep it clean

It might be mid-summer, but it’s spring cleaning time for teachers. It’s not just apps that add up – you’ll likely have photos and documents from activities throughout the year that you may not need again. By cleaning up your digital workspace, you’ll be taking steps towards working more efficiently and saving yourself time over the course of the year. Look through the materials you’ve got on file and decide whether they are worth keeping. It’s a good opportunity to reorganise your documents and delete what you don’t need. [caption id="attachment_17250" align="alignnone" width="790"]Promethean-teaching-learning-classroomstory Encourage your pupils to think about which technology and apps they enjoy using most, and have a conversation about what they find most engaging[/caption]

Stay up to date

The start of the academic year is a great time to open a dialogue with the IT leaders in your school. Ask if they’ve updated any software you use in the classroom over the summer, and if so, whether they can spare a few minutes to take you through any changes. If you were experiencing any performance issues in the past term that you didn’t get around to raising, a quick query could help you get this fixed before lessons begin. Once you’re back, it’s also worth checking for any updates to your apps with the help of your IT team. Using the latest version of apps will ensure that they run as effectively as possible, and may lend new functionality, performance, or security benefits. By keeping all your resources up to date, you will ensure you’re getting the best mileage out of your edtech.

Involve your students

Once you’ve got all your tech ready for the new term, it’s worth keeping on top of it. You can plan this out with your students as a monthly or termly technology audit. Encourage them to think about which technology and apps they enjoy using most, and have a conversation about what they find most engaging.
It is worth taking the time to ensure that you are making the most of your technology and that you’re ready to hit the ground running in the new term.
Getting your students involved in this activity will encourage them to think about educational technology, and how they prefer to use it. Another way to approach this is by appointing one or two pupils to be digital leaders in the classroom. These individuals can play a role in researching new educational apps, and ensuring that current resources are effective and enjoyed by their peers as the year goes on. Technology has the potential to empower students and teachers alike, enriching teaching and learning experiences in the classroom. It is worth taking the time to ensure that you are making the most of your technology and that you’re ready to hit the ground running in the new term. If your class loves technology and you are interested in winning an education technology package for your school, Promethean’s #ClassroomStory competition is returning for the new academic year. Visit www.classroomstory.co.uk for more information. [post_title] => Edtech tips for new term [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => edtech-tips-for-new-term [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-08-15 08:28:35 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-08-15 07:28:35 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=17234 [menu_order] => 1714 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [22] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 16163 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2019-07-12 08:56:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-12 07:56:31 [post_content] => More so than ever, in recent years the focus on attainment and ‘teaching to the test’ has resulted in creative subjects being pushed to the peripheries of the education curriculum. A recent proposal by Ofsted, however, which looks at broadening the curriculum and inspecting the way lessons are delivered, has the potential to introduce these subjects back into the classroom and encourage pupils to embrace their creative flair. One teacher who has long been an advocate for creativity within lessons, especially with music, is Glenn Carter. Year 5 teacher and history lead at Ingleby Mill Primary School, Glenn shares his experience and expertise on how best to engage students within music lessons by using education technology. Here he shares his personal, tried and tested insights:

Memorable learning experiences

Despite the educational funding crisis and workload pressures that you read about in the headlines, us teachers want to help inspire and educate the future generation. The first thing about engaging students, particularly primary school students, is creating memorable and enjoyable lessons. Teaching music can be a difficult task, and it’s important to find new and exciting ways to inspire the children to think about music on a wider scale and incorporate creativity and imagination into the core subjects. Using a Promethean ActivPanel as a focal point within the classroom, I regularly create songs and melodies with the help of my class to aid the children in remembering important information or difficult topics.
The first thing about engaging students, particularly primary school students, is creating memorable and enjoyable lessons.

Using YouTube for educational purposes

Most children these days are used to using an iPad or tablet device, and almost every child in the technological age has used YouTube and considers it a luxury. Taking this mentality and using it as a lesson tool is an extremely beneficial way to find new ways of teaching and engaging students, without it feeling like a lesson to them. Within lessons, I regularly use YouTube to play music videos and songs to the students in an effort to encourage them to take an interest in music and hopefully spark a passion for performing.

Expand the school’s instrumental provision

Understandably, schools do not necessarily have the budget to purchase a vast array of musical instruments. Fortunately, an investment in education technology can help to bypass this issue. In lessons, we use a synthesizer app on our ActivPanel which allows pupils to layer the sounds of a range of instruments. MusicStudio and MusicStudioLite are great ways to allow the children to manipulate music without being gifted with instruments. This can help to help to introduce students an array of different instruments that would be otherwise unavailable in the school, as well as encourage students to create, layer and ultimately produce a piece of music. [caption id="attachment_16166" align="alignnone" width="790"]music-lesson-glenn-carter-activpanel-promethean The ActivPanel allows children to engage with different instruments without having to purchase them individually[/caption]

Collaborating Composition

As the common saying goes, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’, and that is very much the stance I take when engaging music students. Children enjoy working together and a music lesson is the perfect opportunity to encourage classroom collaboration, the sharing of ideas and peer-assessment. Using ActivCast, which comes as standard on the ActivPanel, students can create music on their tablet devices or laptops and cast to the ActivPanel to encourage a class discussion. Alternatively, apps such as the keyboard are readily available and when used on the ActivPanel, its simultaneous touch points enable several children to play the instrument at once.

Inspire

There are a range of free apps and software available that can allow students to create music using professional studio-standard software. Even students who are not musically gifted in the traditional sense can be involved in music lessons as producers and gain an in-depth understanding of music creation and production. It is important to inspire students to engage with music and to use it as an opportunity to be as creative as they wish.
Children enjoy working together and a music lesson is the perfect opportunity to encourage classroom collaboration.
Education technology has the potential to transform the classroom environment and can help to inspire students to take an interest in subjects that are usually pushed to the edges of the curriculum. By embracing edtech, it can help to make instruments that would be otherwise inaccessible, accessible, as well as helping to engage students to take an interest in music and inspire the next generation of students in the creative arts. In celebration of teaching and learning, this term, Promethean has launched a competition for teachers to share their stories to encapsulate memorable teaching moments, and be in with the chance of winning one of five ActivPanels. #ClassroomStory will return in the new academic year. For more information on how to enter the competition next term, please visit www.classroomstory.co.uk [post_title] => Top tips to engage primary pupils in music lessons [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => top-tips-to-engage-primary-pupils-in-music-lessons [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-12 08:56:31 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-12 07:56:31 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=16163 [menu_order] => 1802 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [23] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15796 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2019-06-24 08:06:17 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-06-24 07:06:17 [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.
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.
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 with 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] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-story-so-far-prometheans-classroomstory [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-06-24 12:24:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-06-24 11:24:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=15796 [menu_order] => 1838 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [24] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 15014 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2019-05-09 11:18:07 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-05-09 10:18:07 [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-classroom Dan’s #ClassroomStory Dan Rolles, network manager at Shieling 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 www.classroomstory.co.uk or email ClassroomStory@PrometheanWorld.com [post_title] => Promethean launches #ClassroomStory competition [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => promethean-launches-classroomstory-competition [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-09 11:18:07 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-09 10:18:07 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=15014 [menu_order] => 1939 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [25] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13786 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-03-08 00:00:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-03-08 00:00:38 [post_content] => Could Moscow be leading the way in education innovation? Education and pedagogy are at the forefront of the minds of not only teachers and parents, but also governments around the world. Education makes up the building blocks of a country by creating the workforces of tomorrow and governments are naturally looking for ways to raise standards and improve learning provisions. Technology has become an integral part of modern learning practices as a way of enhancing engagement and facilitating the best student outcomes and career prospects. In Russia, in a first of its kind, a recent project by the department of education set out to transform the edtech offering of Moscow schools. An overhaul of classroom technology on a large scale The Moscow Online School project is the single largest project of the digitalisation of education in the world, with 980,000 students and 65,000 teachers participating. The initiative aims to use all the advantages of modern digital technologies to convert classrooms into high-tech spaces, media centres, workshops and scientific laboratories with super-fast internet speeds, modern devices and a single point of data storage. In support of Moscow’s Smart City initiative, global education technology provider Promethean has developed a bespoke Irbis panel to meet the exact needs of Moscow’s teachers. Promethean’s wealth of experience in the design and manufacturing of edtech solutions put the company in the perfect position to develop a panel with specially customised features and a tailored user experience.
In order to strive for improvements in education, there is potential to learn from other countries worldwide, where new strategies, technologies and innovations are being developed
The Irbis panel offers a tablet-like interface with a customisable home screen so teachers and students alike can use a set up that suits them most. Convenient for administrators and managers, the solution will be integrated with the infrastructure of the Moscow Online School, providing on-hand management and online monitoring.  By the end of the project, the Promethean Irbis interactive display will have been installed in approximately 21,600 classrooms. Recognising the value in traditional teaching practices While the department for education in Moscow is pioneering large-scale improvements to edtech provisions across schools, it has also given a nod to traditional teaching practices. Research has suggested that there is positive correlation between the skills learned in chess and attainment across wider subjects, leading Moscow to introduce weekly chess lessons as a compulsory part of the primary school curriculum. To coincide with the addition of chess to the curriculum, Promethean partnered with Russian Chess Grandmaster Sergey Karjakin, to run the Promethean Grandmaster Challenge in Russia. Having learned to play chess at the age of five, Sergey Karjakin holds the record for the world’s youngest-ever chess grandmaster, having qualified for the title at the age of 12. The competition set out to encourage teachers to find innovative ways of teaching chess using technology to deliver inspiring lessons. The winning teacher won a trip to education technology show Bett in London, with chess grandmaster Sergey Karjakin and Promethean, to deliver a series of presentations on the benefits of chess in education. At the show the subject of the pedagogical benefits of chess captured the interest of visitors and delegations alike, posing the question whether chess should have a more prominent place in British education. Promethean is committed to sharing best practice in education and opening thought-provoking dialogues with pedagogy at the core. In order to strive for improvements in education, there is potential to learn from other countries worldwide, where new strategies, technologies and innovations are being developed. In Russia, though the Moscow Online School project places an emphasis on tech, the introduction of chess into the curriculum makes the initiative exemplary of how traditional education best practices can be blended with the capabilities of modern learning technologies. [post_title] => Chess meets tech in Russian schools [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => chess-meets-tech-in-russian-schools [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-03-07 14:41:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-03-07 14:41:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=13786 [menu_order] => 2086 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [26] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 13200 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2019-02-20 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-02-20 00:00:00 [post_content] => Rachel Ashmore, teaching and learning consultant, Promethean joins the discussion Q. Is there a new genre of technology (e.g. the recent focus on VR and AI) that is currently taking over, or is likely to soon? Rachel Ashmore: AR and VR are hot topics in regard to technology at the moment but are unlikely to become mainstream in education anytime soon. VR, in particular, is quite specialised and there are limitations in how it can be used across the curriculum, in addition to funding challenges. Instead, we are seeing a positive growth in the number of schools updating their interactive whiteboards to panels. New front-of-class displays have far more intelligence and connectivity than their predecessors, with access to endless education resources and apps. We are also likely to see significant growth in online assessments in the next few years as they continue to develop, reducing the pressures of workload and placing the emphasis back on teaching. Q. How is edtech affecting pedagogy, and vice-versa? Rachel Ashmore: Pedagogy should always come first and edtech should fulfil a purpose in enhancing education practice. It is exciting to see how innovations in edtech are improving engagement in classrooms and helping to reduce the workload of teachers, though funding remains a significant challenge across the education sector. Q. Is there anything happening behind the scenes in edtech now, that will change how we view education in the next five years? Rachel Ashmore: There is a prominent caution around data protection and safeguarding of children with the continued growth of social media. We are seeing a surge of ‘digitally native’ children passing through schools where digital devices are second nature to them. Throughout the sector there is a nervousness around mobile phones and how much time should be spent using digital devices, but when we look at future employment prospects, children need to be increasingly digitally competent. The digital curriculum has seen some major advances, but I think we can expect to see some even larger strides in the next few years. Q. How can teachers keep up with the fast pace of tech? It’s notoriously lightning speed, whereas education lags in adopting change. Can we consolidate these two approaches? How? Rachel Ashmore: Educators need more time and training on new technologies, but in a sector where time is scarce and budgets are dwindling, this is no easy change. Despite lack of training it must be noted that educators are doing an excellent job in aiding their own development with new technologies and striving to utilise them to their utmost potential. For education technology providers there must be a commitment to providing basic training where possible and responsibly supporting schools with the implementation of edtech. The pace of change in which we are witnessing new innovations in edtech is not going to slow down. It is crucial that manufacturers carefully consider usability of products to allow edtech to make a valuable contribution to education. Technology must be intuitive for both teachers and pupils alike to use with ease. Easy adoption is pivotal to getting the most out of edtech and maximising its impact. Q. Technology can be a fantastic tool for schools and universities, but can also cause a lot of resistance in decision-makers if they don’t see the benefit. How can advocates get higher management and those that control the purse strings on board? Rachel Ashmore: Investment in technology should never just be for the sake of getting new tech. When looking for new technologies, advocates must have an agenda which identifies what they are looking to gain from the investment. Edtech must fulfil a purpose in areas such as improving engagement, raising standards or saving valuable time. By showing how edtech will support teachers and improve teaching and learning, you are far more likely to gain the support of senior leaders and fellow teachers. Q. Edtech suppliers often raise the issue that they don’t know how to break into the education market, and that the disparate nature of the sector means they don’t know where to start. What advice do you have for both providers and educators who would like to make connections? Rachel Ashmore: The prime focus should always be on knowing what challenge you have a solution for. Edtech suppliers need to make procurement and support as easy as possible in the education market where time to explore solutions can be limited. Q. Is there a time in history when technology has had such a huge impact on education? Do you think it will continue to do so, or can we expect a plateau at some point? Rachel Ashmore: In the UK, the period of government funding for interactive whiteboards was a huge stride in making classrooms digital. Interactive whiteboards made a big difference to planning. For the first time, teachers could prepare lessons on a desktop or laptop and easily project them onto boards at the front of the classroom. Internet connections in classrooms were also an important milestone in education, opening up the enormous and instrumental resource which is the world wide web. Internet connections were initially beneficial for research exercises and have quickly grown to support video assessment for a multitude of educational apps. Edtech will continue to enhance teaching and learning best practice but mostly through blended learning. We are likely to continue to see edtech used in conjunction with traditional learning resources rather than completely replacing them. [post_title] => Keeping up with edtech: Rachel Ashmore [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => roundtable-rachel-ashmore [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-02-13 14:54:27 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-02-13 14:54:27 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=13200 [menu_order] => 2131 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [27] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7026 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2018-12-18 00:00:21 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-18 00:00:21 [post_content] => To ensure you get the most out of the performance of your Interactive Flat Panel Display (IFPD), make sure you put the proper measures in place for regular maintenance. Promethean Technical Consultant and former Network Manager, Pete Millar, has provided his top-tips on how to protect your investment and keep your lessons running as smoothly as possible.
  1. Schedule regular software updates
Being in a busy school environment, it’s not always possible to run software updates when first prompted. In order to get the most out of apps and other resources, try to run updates every half term or at a minimum every term. This will ensure efficient running of the IFPD and that you have the most up-to-date software.
  1. Manage your data
We have all received the dreaded ‘storage full’ message on our computers and phones and have spent hours trawling through trying to delete files and uninstall apps that aren’t needed anymore. Top end IFPDs include the capacity to manage and store data, however like any digital storage device, failing to clean up data at regular intervals will negatively affect performance. You may want to initiate an ‘end of term clean-up’, where teachers or pupil digital leaders uninstall unused apps and remove files that are no longer required.
  1. Ensure anti-virus software is up-to-date
It’s crucial that school anti-virus software updates are completed to improve your security and smooth running of the IFPD, protecting systems and allowing you to benefit from the very best features available. Updates to software and apps contain all the latest features and security functions, make sure you have the vital security protection in place to safeguard against viruses which can affect the running of your panel.
  1. Hide the wires
In addition to providing a neater look around your panel, hiding away the cables and fitting them snugly out of reach will prevent them from becoming loose or being accidentally removed. Simple measures like this can leave you confident that the cables and points are secure.
  1. Keep it clean
One of the biggest mistakes people make is cleaning IFPDs with spray products. It is important that you look after the appearance of your panel, to ensure dust is removed and it is kept clean, but only by using a dry cloth. No spray products are to be used on the panel as it can hinder its performance and affect visuals on the screen. Hopefully with these tips in mind, you’ll be able to keep your IFPD performing at its very best and reduce the likelihood of running into any technical difficulties. W: prometheanworld.com/gb/ [post_title] => 5 tips on maintaining IFPDs – Promethean [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 5-tips-on-maintaining-ifpds-promethean [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-14 11:03:37 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-14 11:03:37 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=blog&p=7026 [menu_order] => 2247 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [28] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7394 [post_author] => 57 [post_date] => 2018-12-15 00:00:52 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-15 00:00:52 [post_content] => Recent surveys conducted by Promethean and Teacher Tapp suggest teachers are confident they know more about classroom technology than their students. Now in its third year, The State of Technology in Education Report 18/19, pioneered by Promethean, is beginning to plot real trends in the education sector. The report has surveyed over 1,800 educators and school leaders across the UK to provide an insight into challenges and opportunities in UK schools. Figures from The State of Technology in Education Report 18/19 showed 54% of respondents believed they know more or a lot more about edtech than their students. Following these findings, Teacher Tapp posed the same question to its audience asking teachers “When it comes to using technology in your classroom, do you know more or less than your students?” Teacher Tapp is an app that has been developed to send daily questions to thousands of teachers around the UK at 3:30pm each day. The data provides valuable teacher perspectives on an array of topics. Over 1,900 teachers responded to the survey question, echoing the results of the State of Technology in Education Report 18/19. 67% of respondents believe they know more or a lot more than their students about edtech.
It’s refreshing to see that despite facing many challenges, educators are continuing to adopt a positive attitude to their development and approach. – Prof Becky Allen, Teacher Tapp
Professor Becky Allen from Teacher Tapp, commented: “Insights like the State of Technology in Education Report and Teacher Tapp polls are incredibly important to quantify the opinions of educators in a sector that is known to have many challenges. We would naturally expect the results of Teacher Tapp to be slightly elevated because of the nature of the audience, but it’s refreshing to see that despite facing many challenges, educators are continuing to adopt a positive attitude to their development and approach.” When considering budgetary pressures in education, the impact on edtech provision and the knock-on effect on the level of staff training on new technologies, the figures can be quite surprising. The newly issued State of Technology in Education Report 18/19 has reinforced concerns over budgetary pressures and a lack of adequate training received by educators on school technologies. Only 5% of respondents believed they receive full training and support on new technologies and a staggering 54% of respondents confirmed budgetary constraints will make it difficult to realise strategic objectives in the year ahead. Rachel Ashmore, Promethean Teaching & Learning Consultant, said: “Despite the challenges of budgets and training, on a daily basis we see how teachers are invested in technology and enthusiastic about using it to enhance teaching and learning. At Promethean we understand the challenges facing educators today and pride ourselves on the support and resources we provide to teachers to help them get the most out of edtech. “It’s brilliant to see the results of the State of Technology in Education Report aligned with the results of the Teacher Tapp survey, reinforcing the teacher confidence trend we are seeing.” Other findings from the State of Technology in Education Report 18/19 included:
  • 54% of respondents now use technology to innovate in their teaching.
  • Teachers are increasingly digitally minded with 83% of respondents stating they feel like they know the same or more about edtech than their students.
  • 79% of respondents believe edtech will most likely be blended with traditional teaching resources over the next decade rather than replacing it.
A full copy of the Promethean State of Technology in Education Report 18/19 can be downloaded here. [post_title] => Do teachers know more about edtech than their students? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => do-teachers-know-more-about-edtech-than-their-students [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-13 13:02:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-13 13:02:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=7394 [menu_order] => 2254 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [29] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6390 [post_author] => 74 [post_date] => 2018-11-06 00:00:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-11-06 00:00:19 [post_content] => In the face of budget cuts, increased focus on core subjects and the absence of resources available to upgrade failing edtech, teachers are faced with the conundrum of how to deliver creative learning opportunities. All of these elements combined have pushed creativity to the peripheries of education. Motivated to help schools with the latest educational technology, whilst putting emphasis on the importance of embracing children’s imagination and innovation, the Promethean Grant was born. Running for the second time, this year Promethean encouraged children and teachers alike to relight their creative spark and create video entries to demonstrate why they deserved a state of the art ActivPanel. Promethean’s Teaching and Learning Consultant, Janice Prandstatter said: “Promethean understand how important it is to allow children to embrace their creative spark. We feel that edtech fosters creativity and allows children to learn vital skills in the digital world as well as encouraging them to use their imagination. It was an absolute pleasure to be on the Promethean Grant Judging Panel again this year as I saw first-hand the passion and innovation in each entry.” From a remake of The Greatest Showman, a sketch based on The Avengers, and a newsroom report, the participants of 2018’s Promethean Grant certainly did not disappoint. The task embraced classroom interactivity and creativity, with teachers and children involved in creating their video entries in an attempt to win an ActivPanel. Speaking on behalf of a winning school, Maria Williams, Teaching Assistant at Cwmlai Primary School, said: “The Promethean Grant gave us an opportunity to come together and work to try and get better equipment to aid the learning of our pupils. Every member of our class got involved in creating our entry and it was amazing to see how each and every one of them grew with confidence in the process. They thoroughly enjoyed creating their video entry and enjoy using the ActivPanel even more!” Promethean pride themselves on being able to provide these opportunities for schools, allowing students to embrace creativity all whilst enhancing digital skills which are anticipated to be vital in the future jobs market. All winning entries can be seen here. [post_title] => Edtech competition bucks school budget crisis with creativity [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => edtech-competition-bucks-school-budget-crisis-with-creativity [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-11-06 11:37:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-11-06 11:37:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=6390 [menu_order] => 2367 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [30] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 247 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2018-09-24 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-09-23 22:00:00 [post_content] => Today, whiteboards are more complex than ever, impacting the education landscape with potent cost and training implications. Hence, it’s essential to appreciate the positives and the challenging elements of whiteboards. This summer The Telegraph carried an apology from Education Secretary Damian Hinds, accepting ministers’ attempts to harness digital innovation have in the past been ill-conceived. He said: “Over a decade ago expensive interactive whiteboards were rolled out to schools, without the support of teachers, and we saw no subsequent rise in pupils’ attainment directly linked to that technology.” He argues schools must decide which products suit them best, and not get duped by novelty items with little learning value. “With around a thousand tech companies selling to schools, it’s by no means easy to separate the genuinely useful products from the fads and the gimmicks,” he told The Telegraph. But how can teachers and lecturers sift the wheat from the chaff? Joined-up hub vs periphery Interactive whiteboards did change the classroom years ago, but change was happening on the periphery. Today’s solutions offer far more connected experiences, bringing added efficiency and joined-up advantages when implemented correctly. “Along with advances in interactive display hardware, the evolution of cloud-based educational software and the use of hand-held devices has shaped the way lessons can be delivered,” Rachel Ashmore, Head of International Training Alliances, Promethean, explains. “As a connected hub, interactive panels enable teachers to seamlessly move between the use of technologies and support ‘learning in the moment’ opportunities.” Hinds writes he has seen such state-of-the-art technology allowing pupils to explore Amazonian rainforests, steer ships and program robots, delivering genuine engagement and connected learning opportunities. So, when selecting functionality, seeking joined-up, cross-platform connected solutions is a must. Choosing the panel itself Ashmore advises that schools consider their existing technology, and how new panels integrate. When upgrading from legacy interactive whiteboards, evaluate as many brands as possible, rather than upgrading from the same manufacturer. This sounds obvious, but in the time and finance-pressurised teaching environment, it’s easy to procure upwards from the same source as a way of quickly ticking boxes. A more detailed approach is advocated. “Consider the longevity of the investment,” says Ashmore. “Some interactive panels are supplied with an external Android device which can be upgraded to keep pace with computer processing over time, avoiding expensive hardware replacements.” She urges that when procuring a new panel, teachers have the opportunity to trial it, or see a demonstration prior to purchase. Inspiring young, bright eyes Beyond the need to connect cross-device/platform, educators should ask: how does the screen actually perform as a screen? Some teachers told us historic projectors weren’t only slow and clunky, with a distracting constant humming sound. Age meant screens faded, making it difficult for students to see, and virtually impossible for any student suffering from any degenerate eye condition to see at all. Today’s new interactive screens should offer a kinder, sharper visual experience to users; both teachers and students. “Beyond the software, new flat panels offer a sleek, updated alternative. Brightness and resolution have all been improved, with size often being the only compromise,” Nancy Knowlton, Nureva’s CEO, explains. Carl Sheen, Head of Training and Product Development at Genee World, agrees. “Much potential was left untapped due to the perceived complexity and pitfalls of the technology. Weaknesses were addressed with the advent of interactive flat panel displays; brightness, clarity, product lifespan, usability were all addressed,” he said. The key to it all; teaching with screens Once a well-connected, high-spec, visual-quality screen has been found, the next challenge stems from embedding this within the school’s day-to-day teaching and activities. One school said they use interactive screens throughout the school to promote their ‘five-a-day’ videos; designed to get the children up, moving and energised. In the classroom, screens’ success depends on degrees of confidence with tech throughout teaching teams. All should share the same vision; embracing technology and making sure children are digitally competitive. “Like any new piece of technology, learning how to integrate an interactive whiteboard into everyday teaching and learning is the challenge and opportunity,” comments Knowlton. She argues since the first screens over 27 years ago, teacher practice has dramatically improved, shifting from teacher-centred approaches to student-centred. Sheen believes today’s displays positively support the education landscape, rather than shaping it. The tech provides tools for differentiation, assessment, communication and presentation, which with device-sharing all make life easier. “With the lifespan and efficiency of modern touchscreens, institutions should find costs are lower than projectors and whiteboards over a relatively short period of time,” he said. “The impact on teaching and learning can be immense; from simple benefits such as all students being able to clearly see content, through to instantaneous feedback, tracked two ways between pupil and teacher.” Jeroen Spierings, Regional Head of Education EMEA, Sales & Marketing at Ricoh Europe PLC, says that technology is increasingly used by schools and universities to change up learning practice. “In the past, interactive whiteboards were used to replace ‘chalk and talk’ with a digital variant. Now schools and universities are using interactive touch technologies to completely transform the way they work.” He arges this is changing instructor-led teaching to more collaborative and project-based practices; universities want to use technology to support blended, interactive, flexible and collaborative learning. But it comes with a caveat. Training, argues Spierings, is vital; worth investment to enable staff to extract the maximum benefit from tech. Best practice involves teaching staff in the procurement process for technology, so it makes absolute sense to set out, understand and plan training early too. Institutional advice For universities, Sheen suggests a focus on needs and uses within the organisation. Is a no-frills screen really the right option? “This will be cheaper, but will lack the variety of tools and features the institution may find essential,” he said. He also noted that larger institutions may find benefits with a supplier offering a remote device management suite: “You will rarely find an institution that installs interactive touchscreens and then goes back to an older technology. This tech offers almost universal positives.” Key challenges include identifying a reliable partner with quick, efficient UK-based service, and simple software that meets the needs of teachers and students. The final word Picture an interactive screen without a teacher; it is useless. “Technology can enhance and enrich learning, but you need the DNA and attitude as a teacher to go beyond your comfort zone and traditional way of teaching too,” commented Spierings. This encapsulates what today’s Education Secretary seeks: “By forging a strong partnership between government, technology innovators and the sector, we can transform how education is delivered for the learners of today and tomorrow,” Hinds told The Telegraph. Beautiful, connected hi-res tech, then, delivered with fine training and the deep understanding that it’s teachers who make it work best, is the path to success.  
A teacher's insight
Ty Golding, Headteacher, Llantwit Learning Community Ysgol Y Ddraig
“We didn’t want edtech to dominate learning or the learning spaces. We looked at the various pedagogical approaches we would be using, building the learning spaces and technology around these. It’s about learning first, not technology.
“The technical specification of an interactive panel doesn’t vary hugely between brands. Our main priority was working with a company that is truly invested in improving education through the use of technology.
“We opted for 65" panels in the classrooms as this was large enough to support learning; but discrete enough not to dominate.”
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We’ve always said that education technologies should be used to enhance learning and teaching, and not to replace or detract from the work of the teacher. This is why investing in the right technology that meets the needs of the school, its teachers and students, is so important. With a wide range of technologies available it can be easy to be captivated by all the very latest gadgets, but the magic happens when there is strategic planning to ensure you get the most out of your edtech investment. Here we discuss five key considerations you should make ahead of investing in new classroom technology:

 1.    Tech Must Be an Enabler

When choosing to invest in technology, it’s important that you are doing it for the right reasons. At Promethean, we believe that technology isn’t there to replace the role of the teacher, but to make their lives a little easier and help them to deliver innovative and engaging lessons – proven to improve learning. Think about what teachers and learners will be looking to get out of new technology and explore options that best suit these needs. 

2.    Ensure All the Equipment Works In-Sync

With so many edtech options on the market, the choice can become overwhelming. This is where you need to do your research, speak with other schools to find out what set-up is working best for them, attend edtech shows, invite companies in to give you demonstrations, and even speak with other teachers on social media. At the forefront of your mind should be whether the technology you would like to invest in will work with your current provisions. For example, our ActivPanel is device agnostic and compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Linux and Chrome OS. To help, do an audit of what you currently have, and keep that in mind when making purchasing decisions. 

3.    Investing in Tech = Investing in Training

Investing in the right level of training so that teachers are able to get the best out of the technology is vital. Our recent State of Technology in Education report highlighted that only 5% of teachers feel like they’re receiving full training and support for edtech in their schools. We recognise that investing in training is asking schools to spend more money when budgets are already stretched. Therefore, we’ve established our own team of Promethean Advocates, real teachers, using Promethean technology in the classroom, who offer free advice and inspiration. There are also Facebook groups and YouTube videos that provide support and ideas on how to get the most out of your equipment. 

4.    Ask the Teachers

This is really important. As the primary user of the edtech, teachers need to have a feel for the technology before a buying decision is made. Staff should be given the opportunity to decide whether the functionality and usability meets their needs and those of the students. In turn, by involving teachers in the decision-making process, they are more likely to become advocates of the tech you are investing in. 

5.    Future Proof your Investment

The speed at which we have seen technology evolve over the last five years has been incredible, and we’re truly witnessing an exciting time with new, immersive technologies coming to market. For instance, we’re seeing AR and VR being integrated into lesson plans and we expect this trend to grow and become an integrated function of the learning experience. Our ActivPanel features an external Android-based PC, a unique design which enables schools to upgrade the device’s performance over time to keep up pace with rapid advances in computing technology. We understand that it’s important that the purchasing decisions you make today, will still be relevant tomorrow (and many years beyond!). 

It’s not just about the bright lights and excitement of new technology, it’s about taking the time to evaluate what edtech solutions will make the biggest contribution to your school. With strategic planning and consideration, you can be confident in making sure you’re making the best decision on your edtech investment. Promethean has developed a unified communications guide that can help.

By Peter Millar, Pre-Sales Technical Consultant, Promethean

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One of the biggest challenges with teaching SEN pupils is finding ways to support them without making them feel ‘different’ or somewhat marginalised. Pulling SEN pupils to the peripheries of the classroom for additional support can be counterproductive by decreasing pupils’ self-esteem and planting a seed for a disconnection with their desire to learn.

As teachers, we’re constantly looking for ways to tailor teaching to support SEN pupils and allow them to flourish as more confident and engaged individuals. For me, edtech has been a crucial development in allowing me to really make a difference with SEN pupils, and this is why we do the job we do.

In class, I have several SEN pupils, some who are dyslexic and some that display autistic tendencies. Both dyslexia and autism are highly varied and can present themselves in a multitude of ways, but I’ve been able to adapt my lessons to meet the pupils’ needs using edtech.

At the front of the classroom we have an ActivPanel, an Interactive Flat Panel Display (IFPD) which proves beneficial in engaging SEN pupils in lessons, and here are five elements which support this:

1.    Backgrounds

For dyslexic pupils, background colours can make the world of difference, many dyslexic pupils often struggle with interpreting black text on a white background, which by default tends to be the standard colour format for most materials and resources. Some dyslexic pupils often say it seems like the letters are moving. There are apps out there that allow you to change background colours so that the dyslexic pupils can see the text more clearly, each child has a preference but yellow seems to be the most popular choice in my class, even for non-dyslexic pupils. We use ActivInspire software on the ActivPanel where we can change the background and font colours in a multitude of resources to whatever we want them to be, or even use overlay tools. 

2.    Templates

Another challenge for lots of dyslexic pupils is distinguishing and writing the letters p, b, g and d. ActivInspire software or apps in the app store, allow me to pull up handwriting templates. Pupils can use a stylus to follow a marker and develop muscle memory of letter formation. Pupils can even manipulate the letters afterwards, physically with their fingers or stylus to correct them. These transferable skills make letter formation much easier when we are working on paper-based activities. 

3.    Games

Phonic game apps are fantastic for helping pupils to learn sounds. We use the Phonics Play app on our panel where pupils have to shoot particular sounds out of the sky and each time they hit one it makes the sound of the letters. Being able to make a connection between the letters visually and the sounds through a fun activity is engaging and helps the pupils to better remember phonics. 

4.    Connectivity

Laptops, iPads and other tablets have become a key tool in teaching digital literacy. Being able to connect all of these devices to the ActivPanel using cloud-based ClassFlow software has allowed for a whole new level of interactivity and feedback in my lessons. I can send out tasks to all of the pupils, they are then able to write or create visual answers and send them back to display at the front of the class. Each child is able to use whatever tools they feel most comfortable with, whether they be templates, backgrounds or other apps to create something to answer the task question. This means every pupil has an equal opportunity and choice of tools to use, having the upmost confidence in the answer they are preparing. 

5.    Timetables

Organisation and structure in lessons is important for every pupil, but especially for those with autistic tendencies or who have challenges with memory. It can be difficult for these pupils to stay engaged and on task.  As a class we use an app called Visual Timetable on the ActivPanel, it’s particularly beneficial for SEN pupils to plan out the class agenda. They take ownership and pride in doing so, and this helps to reinforce what tasks we are working on and when, further engaging the pupils in class. There is a constant visual reinforcement on the panel at the front of the class which we all use to plan our day. 

Technology is an enabler in the classroom for all pupils to access an array of tools and resources and transforms teaching and learning. The tech gives me the opportunity to integrate the above elements into my lesson planning, to support and engage all pupils without having to single any child out. We support numerous ways of learning in class and recognise that every child learns differently and has a preference as to how they learn best. By recognising these differences and being able to tailor lessons to support everyone, we can ensure that every pupil has the opportunity to meet their full potential and an increased confidence.

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The use of technology in the classroom is inadvertently having a profound effect on helping introverted students become more confident. With front of class interactive displays giving students the opportunity to play more of an active role in their learning, presenting in front of classmates is increasingly becoming more of a norm than an exception….

Technology is also encouraging children to work more collaboratively in the classroom, resulting in peers cooperating with each other in small groups to work on assignments and set tasks. Being actively involved in their learning while also able to work at their own pace when necessary, even the least confident of students are participating more during class activities.

Outside of the classroom technology still has a place in growing student confidence, for example, class online discussion forums are helping pupils to communicate more. It’s a great virtual space for shy students to post questions to teachers that they might be too timid to ask in front of their peers in the classroom environment. In doing so, we’d expect this to help confidence grow and that those students would soon be putting their hands up and participating more during lessons.

Through the 2017 Promethean Grant competition we were lucky enough to meet Mr Hunt and Jamie Berry, from Tottington Primary School in Bury, Greater Manchester. Mr Hunt entered the Promethean Grant on behalf of the school as his class was fed-up with the old, noisy, temperamental Interactive Whiteboard. As a class they enjoy exploring technology and often use games and apps to support their learning. Following an inspiring entry into the competition that saw Jamie take on the role of a news reader, Tottington was awarded a Promethean ActivPanel.

Through building our relationship with Mr Hunt – who is a true advocate of technology in the classroom – we learnt how his love of teaching with technology helped to nurture Jamie to become more confident in the classroom. Initially a shy student, the duo’s joint love of all things tech has seen them form a strong bond, and as a consequence, Jamie’s confidence has gone from strength-to-strength, appearing in YouTube videos which have gone on to make him an Internet sensation. Jamie’s confidence continues to soar and he even presented at this year’s Bett alongside Mr Hunt – pausing for autographs afterwards.

We’ve also learnt how Tottington, which is an inclusive school and a resourced provision for physically disabled pupils, has been able to help its less mobile students become more involved in lessons through the use of tech. Mr Hunt has been using ActivCast to deliver lessons directly to students who can’t come up to the screen themselves. Through mirroring screens directly to handheld devices it means those students are still fully included in lesson. Involving all students in this way, not only increases confidences but encourages more peer-to-peer collaboration, and ultimately proving that with technology there really is no barrier to learning.

As announced by Jamie here, applications for the Promethean Grant 2018 are now open… could creating a video submission help to bring out confidence in some of your more shy pupils? Find out more about the Promethean Grant here.

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Following the decision by French Schools to ban mobile phones from classrooms beyond September 2018, we thought we’d put the question to UK teachers to find out if they think we should follow suit. The results have shown that 55% of teachers agree with the French decision to ban the use of smartphones in the classroom. However, with only 10% in the difference of opinion, it shows that UK teachers are divided on the use of mobile phones in classrooms. So, what factors could be driving the divided opinion? 

1.     Travelling

The reason most children tend to have mobile phones is because parents want to have a point of contact for when they aren’t together. This is something that the French government will seriously need to consider before the ban comes into force. Parents being able to be in contact with their children is precisely the reason why New York Mayor, Bill de Blasio, lifted a decade-long ban in 2015, he believed that parents should be able to call or text their children when necessary. One teacher we spoke to suggested a way around this, particularly concerning primary schoolchildren:

“In my previous school, Year 6 pupils did often use to travel home alone and, as a consequence many brought phones to school. However, our strict rule was that they were to be signed into the office in the morning, not accessed at all throughout the school day and then collected at home time.” 

2.     Wellbeing

Access to screen time remains a big concern among parents, it’s natural that because of this, some schools are wary of introducing another piece of technology. However, using personal mobile devices only needs to form a small part of the day, or even feature one day a week. What’s most important is that personal devices are being used to enhance learning and are relevant, rather than being used for the sake of having additional tech in the classroom. 

3.     Budgets

School budgets are increasingly strained and because of this headteachers are having to make difficult decisions about where best to allocate funds. The ‘State of Technology in Education Report’ which surveys 1,600 educators, found that 72% of participants believed budgetary pressures would impact student education most in 2018 and beyond. With this in mind, it makes more financial sense for some schools to have a BYOD strategy in place rather than purchasing a full set of mobile devices for each class. 

4.     Cyber security

This remains a newsworthy topic and can put schools off encouraging children to bring in their own technology. However, as long as a policy is in place that ensures students use their devices on the school network only, schools should feel confident that they are reducing risk. By using personal devices in schools it actually provides teachers with the perfect opportunity to further educate children on the importance of online safety and encourages collaborative discussions on how they can stay safe. In fact, one school commented: “Children should be educated to use them in the right ways instead of banning them.” While another added: “For older pupils in this day and age they need to be aware of the dangers of social media and phones and I think it is important that we make this part of our curriculum.” 

5.     Primary vs. Secondary

Whether primary schoolchildren should be encouraged to use personal devices vs. secondary schoolchildren is also highly debated. Deciding if it’s ethical that primary schoolchildren should have smartphones is a discussion that often crops up, but in the modern world, the reality is some primary-aged children do have mobiles. In this instance, I think it’s important that children (both primary and secondary) are educated on using tech on a personal level, outside of the classroom and what it’s expected to be used for inside the classroom e.g. as an extension of a set task or as an opportunity to work collaboratively in a more interactive way with their peers. When asked, a school commented: “From a certain age upwards it should be very much a part of what we do.”  Another added: “I can see no point in permitting primary aged children to have access to mobile phone technology during the school day at all.” Proving that it’s a topic that continues to create discussion, with professionals even having a difference of opinion. 

The debate for and against mobile phone use in the classroom is likely to be ongoing, however, with a clear strategy in place regarding the use of personal technology, schools and parents can be confident on the intended use and expectations when using mobiles in the classroom. We’re continuing to see education technology evolve at an extraordinary pace, so to have a blanket ban on the use of one piece of kit at this stage could be self-limiting further down the line.

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With a new Centre for Excellence for Literacy Teaching in the pipeline, the UK government has made it clear that improving literacy among primary school aged children is high on its agenda. Literacy in primary schools lays the foundations for a child’s lifelong ability (and sometimes fondness) to read and write. The great news is that technology in today’s classrooms can play a huge role in helping to engage and support students when learning to read and write, here’s how: 

  • Gamification

Primary school children love games, and there are plenty of apps and interactive software available that can be used to improve literacy skills by helping them to practice their grammar, spelling and sounding out phonics. With children being exposed to technology at an increasingly young age, it makes sense to embrace a tool that engages their interest and gets them excited about learning. 

  • Camouflage Learning

You can bring gamification into the mix here too, but essentially camouflage learning is when the students learn through play and aren’t aware that they are actually being taught something from the curriculum. Our Promethean Advocate, Mr Hunt, has some great ideas on using technology to support camouflage learning in the classroom. In a nutshell, it’s making use of everyday technology and not necessarily educational software, to engage students in lesson delivery. For example, using Angry Birds to create and solve maths problems, or asking Siri questions to solve quiz questions. 

  • Improve Fine Motor Skills

Learning how to write starts long before a child enters the classroom. When developing their fine motor skills as a toddler it’s actually fine tuning the skills needed to hold a pencil correctly. With our ActivPanel, pupils can improve their fine motor skills either by using their finger to write on the panel seamlessly, or by making use of the ActivPanel Pen, where they can also practice their grip. They can also share their work from the ActivPanel direct to their laptop, tablet or smartphone device thanks to screen mirroring, meaning they can continue practicing from their desks or in another area of the classroom. 

  • Blogging

What better way to encourage students to be enthusiastic about reading and writing than providing them with an opportunity to write about something they love? A class blog could be kept internally within the school or shared with parents, but it provides students with an opportunity to really think about what they are writing and become enthusiastic about sharing their work (and progress) with peers and family.  

  • Collaborative Learning

Collaborative learning provides students with a great opportunity to improve on their literacy skills by working together on projects, for example ‘verbs or nouns’ where students have to identify which is which. Group work could involve coming up to the ActivPanel at the front of class to take part in an activity and work as a team, or students can work in teams on handheld devices, and then share their results with the rest of the class through screen mirroring. By working collaboratively, it’s also teaching students valuable life skills that they will need as they progress through school to the world of work.

 Supporting literacy development is just one way in which technology can be used in the classroom to enhance teaching and learning. To learn more about using edtech solutions in other areas of the curriculum and for best practice advice from other teachers, visit https://resourced.prometheanworld.com

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Enhanced lessons, improved learning, streamlined data collection and analysis, as well as increased parental engagement. This is the ultimate educational technology sought by all schools, colleges and universities. 

Most teachers are very enthusiastic about using technology, recognising the advantages in pedagogy, student tracking and teacher workload. The 2017/18 report ‘State of Technology in Education’ by Promethean shows that of the 1,600 educators surveyed, 55% of teachers also believe that effective use of edtech improves engagement and behaviour. 

Managing Director of Calibre Secured Network Solutions, Karen Nelson, says that “edtech is evolving at a phenomenal rate,” and that schools and academies “must prioritise their budgets,” to avoid falling behind. Nelson goes on to say that a properly designed system can offer significant savings and can be delivered cost-effectively. 

Nelson also recognises that there is “reticence to invest in IT” in the face of decreasing technology budgets. This is confirmed by the Promethean survey, which shows that 64% of educators believe that budgetary constraints limit their plans for implementing and maintaining an efficient technology network. This includes effective ongoing professional development for teachers and support staff in using new technology, without which much of the investment is lost.

The Jisc Student Digital Experience Tracker survey of 74 UK institutions in 2017 collected over 22,500 responses. While 67% of all respondents to the survey agreed that edtech is ‘a great way to engage students,’ almost 20% of teachers claim that they don’t feel they have sufficient skills or training to implement the IT system to its best advantage. This is particularly the case for interactive touchscreens and associated software. In addition, only 50% of students responding to the survey felt prepared for the digital workplace. 

Sarah Davies of Jisc says: “Most of the factors determining the success of learning technology implementations are down to people; culture, change management, communication and staff skills.”

Staff training is, therefore, essential in realising the best return on investment. The report comments that “teacher training must become a priority if we are to maximise the performance of technology and how it affects teaching and learning”. 

Even primary schools are aiming to future-proof the youngest children by “teaching skills for jobs which don’t yet exist,” says Gary Hall, a teacher at Wawne Primary School in East Riding. Wawne Primary School has recently bought into the Digital Schoolhouse model, which has designed software to teach computer science to primary school children through play-based learning.

Teachers are enthusiastic. Hall says: “We see massive benefits already; the children’s confidence has really risen,” while Nicole Anand, a teacher at Gearies Primary School in Ilford, says: “You can see [the pupils] getting excited.” Children from Coleridge Primary School in Haringey also commented on using game-based learning at school, saying: “It’s great because we’re in charge of the game. It’s really fun and [we’re] learning at the same time.”

Secondary schools have also chosen Digital Schoolhouse because of its flexibility. Teacher Nazeen Chadee, of Woodford County High School in Essex, says: “It’s fun, it’s creative, [and] it’s not just lines of text,” and IT Director of Highgate Wood School, David Talbert, describes Digital Schoolhouse as “easy to adapt”. It seems clear that technologies which integrate with current systems and which can grow and adapt easily to new developments will yield the best return, both financially and educationally. 

A step further

The Jisc survey also shows that the most requested technology by HE students was for lecture capture, which enables students to make up contact time or to revisit lectures. Ranking effective learning tools, HE students favoured Duo and Scholar, while FE students preferred Kahoot and showbie. YouTube, Facebook and Messenger were all also used extensively by both HE and FE students as ways of sharing and collaborating on projects.

The HEPI Report 93 shows that 70% of higher education students felt their learning improved when tutors were very knowledgeable and confident in using digital technology in the classroom. Universities have taken this on board and have installed a range of technologies to suit different courses, many of which are designed to broaden and enrich learning and understanding, with input from a number of sources. 

For example, science students at the Universities of Strathclyde and Bristol prepare for practical lessons by watching a video and completing a learning activity online, followed by an automatically marked assessment. Students enter the lab with a high level of knowledge, therefore creating more time for effective practical experiments. Following the practicals, different groups discuss and work together online to analyse the shared results. 

Nottingham Trent University has also implemented a similar flipped learning approach with a variety of written texts, podcasts and videos, so that student contact time is spent working on ideas in small groups as well as with the tutor.

On-campus tech is not the only way to ensure a return on investment. The Promethean survey on technology in education shows that 48% of teachers work remotely with systems like Classflow, a totally integrated and collaborative system linking tutors and students, which is accessible at all times from any location. A similar concept has been implemented at Coventry University where photography students share their work across the world. This ‘borderless classroom’ generates discussion and analysis, far extending their classroom learning.

But the tech itself is not the only issue. A vast amount of money is invested in edtech in schools and universities across the UK but, according to the Promethean study, fewer than half of educators believe that staff training for new technology will be a priority in 2018. And yet the key components to the best return on investment are a fully integrated system, which is flexible and simple to customise and develop, delivered by teachers who are confident, well-informed, and completely up to date with the technology in their institutions. 

It seems then, that training for staff and development of their digital literacy will be the next big challenge for edtech, moving away from a focus on the tools themselves, and turning more to how they are most effectively used. After all, as tech master Bill Gates said, “technology is just a tool […] the teacher is the most important.”  

The ‘State of Technology in Education’ survey by Promethean shows:

100% of heads state that their school has a clear strategic vision for the year ahead 

67% of all respondents believe that technology is ‘a great way to engage students’

63% of teachers use technology to track formal assessment 

61.6% of teachers believe that ‘technology is best used when appropriately adapted’

55% of teachers believe the use of technology improves behaviour and engagement 

54% of teachers believe technology is ‘a necessary life skill which should be reflected in lessons’

35% of teachers use technology to track informal assessment

To learn more about Promethean, please click here.

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Online safety and security needs to be high on the agenda for schools who are increasingly reliant on a variety of technologies. For instance, schools rely heavily on software that is predominantly accessed via Wi-Fi connections, this always brings a small amount of risk, so it’s important that the connection is secure. Additionally, the software schools are using stores a great deal of confidential data too, so implementing an online safety policy can reassure schools, as well as staff, students’ and students’ parents that everyone is being kept safe while online. 

Here is an idea of some points the policy should cover: 

  1. Roles and responsibilities

Ideally a team would be formed who ensures that online safety is being adhered to throughout the school. The ideal scenario is to create a group of stakeholders from across the school e.g. Governors, Headteachers, Teachers and IT staff. Each team member would have a defined role, for instance the IT Manager could be responsible for the day-to-day management of online safety; and the Headteacher could be responsible for ensuring all staff receive suitable training for online safety etc. With the fast pace of technology it would be recommended that the group meets regularly to discuss any issues or next step implementation that needs to take place. 

  1. Logging on and off devices

A logging on and off procedure for when devices aren’t in use should be made clear to everyone who has access to edtech throughout the school - particularly in Secondary Schools when single devices could have multiple users in anyone day. All staff and students need to be aware of the potential access issues faced if they leave a machine logged on and leave the room e.g. access to sensitive information. 

  1. Passwords

Ensure that strong passwords are in place as standard. Passwords are recommended to contain characters from three of the following five categories:

●      Uppercase characters of European languages (A through Z)

●      Lowercase characters of European languages (A through Z)

●      Base 10 digits (0 through 9)

●      Non-alphanumeric characters: ~!@#$%^&*_-+=’

●      Recommended length between 8 and 16 characters

●      Recommended to force password change every 30 days 

  1. Email content

Filters and anti-virus software are a good starting point, but schools are also advised to educate students on clicking on emails when they don’t know the sender, and also clicking through links in emails when they’re not 100% certain on the content. Controlled email systems are available that allow schools to monitor emails and also limit the addresses that children can communicate with. 

  1.  Parental support

Try to encourage parents to get involved with online safety, especially if students are accessing software and school emails at home. However, be mindful that it can be overwhelming for parents to keep up-to-date with latest fast changing technology and potential threats. Provide a helping hand by keeping them updated on what the school is doing to encourage online safety, and signpost them to other sources of information for example, BBC Stay Safe and the Google Family Centre

For more information, please read through Promethean’s ‘Quick Guide to Simplifying School Technology Management’.

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An investment in edtech is a big decision, at Promethean we understand that as schools continue to feel the pinch of budgets, they need to ensure any expenditure has a positive impact on teaching and learning outcomes. For the last two years weve conducted an annual survey among 1,600 Educators across the UK looking at The State of Technology in Education, to gauge how  schools are investing in technology and identify any emerging trends regarding the use of edtech.

The 2017 results  have shown that most schools now have access to some form of technology, e.g. an Interactive Flat Panel Display (80%), or tablets or iPads (58%), however, there's some concern around the lack of training. Only 5% of the teachers who responded believe that they have received full training and support for edtech down from 25% in 2016. Also, less than half of teachers (41%) believe that the level of training they received was adequate, down by 14% on last years.

Our survey also highlighted that while 100% of headteachers feel that they have a clear edtech strategy in place, 48% of teachers believe that schools are either not allocating enough budget to technology, or are investing in the wrong things. This shows that communications channels between headteachers and staff needs to be improved to ensure the right investment is made.

What does this mean for schools? While it is encouraging that more are engaging in edtech, it shows that there needs to be more support and development available for schools investing in new technologies, either from a central CPD fund or from the tech providers themselves. At Promethean we provide orientation training, completely free of charge to any school with more than four ActivPanels. We also have a group of tech champions we call our Promethean Advocates; these are teaching staff on the ground that use Promethean products every day. The Advocates are available to help guide schools and show them first-hand how to get the most out of their investments, for free.

Nicole Cogbill, from Ysgol Y Ddraig, has been a Promethean Advocate for the last year, and says:

I attended my first Promethean Advocate Group this year and can honestly say it’s exactly the kind of network I’ve been looking for. Having completed my NQT year where I had the opportunity to put tech through its paces, being able to share ideas with more experienced teachers who also love tech is really valuable. It’s also been timely for me as I’m taking more of a lead on technology in the school, so knowing I have access to an equally enthusiastic community as well as the Promethean team is excellent.”

A full copy of the State of Technology in Education report is now available for download from www.stateofed.tech.

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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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Global education technology provider, Promethean, has released the findings from its annual ‘The State of Technology in Education’ report. Promethean surveyed over 1,600 Educators across the UK to identify current attitudes and trends with regards to technology in the classroom, and the results show that the lack of training and budgets are holding schools back.

Of the schools surveyed, most have access to technology such as Interactive flat panel displays (80%) and tablets or iPads (58%), it’s the lack of training that is hampering adopting technologies. Only 5% of teachers who responded to the survey believe that they have received full training and support for education technologies, down from 25% in 2016’s results. In addition, less than half (41%) of teachers believe that the level of training they received was ‘adequate’ which is down by 14% on last year.

The survey highlighted there is a huge margin for improvement, 100% of headteachers feel that they have a clear edtech strategy in place, whereas 48% of teachers believe that schools are either not allocating enough budget to technology, or are investing in the wrong things. This shows that communication channels between headteachers and staff needs to be improved to ensure the right investment is made.

Alistair Hayward, Promethean’s Head of UKI and ANZ markets, said: “While it’s encouraging to see that teachers are increasingly wanting to use edtech as a daily tool for education, it’s disheartening that the correct training isn’t being prioritised due to tightening budgets. 

While it’s encouraging to see that teachers are increasingly wanting to use edtech as a daily tool for education, it’s disheartening that the correct training isn’t being prioritised due to tightening budgets. – Alistair Hayward, Head of UKI/ANZ Markets, Promethean

“At Promethean, while we encourage the use of education technologies, we also understand the importance of schools receiving enough training and support to enable them to use the equipment efficiently. In fact, investing in training is crucial to understand how to use the equipment effectively to improve learning outcomes. This is why we run a successful advocate programme of tech champions who can support teachers, with free advice on how to get the most out of their edtech.” 

Nicole Cogbill, from Ysgol Y Ddraig, is a Promethean Advocate and added: “I attended my first Promethean Advocate Group this year and can honestly say it’s exactly the kind of network I’ve been looking for. Having completed my NQT year where I had the opportunity to put tech through its paces, being able to share ideas with more experienced teachers who also love tech is really valuable. It’s also been timely for me as I’m taking more of a lead on technology in the school, so knowing I have access to an equally enthusiastic community as well as the Promethean team is excellent.”

The survey results aren’t all bad however, they do show that when technology is being used correctly, 55% of teachers believe that the use of technology for education improves behaviour and engagement levels. Technology is also supporting teachers in reducing the assessment burden, as 63% use technology to track formative assessment and 35% of teachers use technology to track informal assessment. “This just goes to show how important getting the right training and development for our teachers is,” concluded Alistair.

A full copy of the State of Technology in Education report is now available for download here with limited edition hard copies due to be released at Bett 2018 (24th – 27th January) on Stand B98.  

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There is a wealth of technology available to schools – apps, software for lesson planning, software for communicating with parents, hardware: iPads, smartphones, Interactive Flat Panel Displays, laptops, PCs – with so many options available, it can be an overwhelming task when faced with streamlining IT infrastructures. 

There are many reasons for a school to consider reorganising its IT infrastructure, from having a full system refurb, upgrading some existing devices, or introducing new tech into the mix, e.g. tablets. For whichever reason, simplifying IT systems ensures that the technology is more likely to be used to its full potential, with both teachers and students benefiting from a reorganisation.

Here are some tips on how schools can create a more efficient IT infrastructure, with existing or new systems in place: 

  • Software

Using cloud-based software where everything is stored online is a simple way to connect everyone. It provides teachers with easy access to lesson plans, the ability to deliver lessons, notes etc., and in turn, students have their own personal logins to access content from school or home, enabling them to continue their learning outside of the traditional classroom space. It also reduces the need for having to store information on CDs or USBs, which can be easily lost, potentially compromising security. In fact, information stored on cloud-based software requires authentication; it’s not easily accessible by just anyone and is therefore a safer option.

  • Security

Cybersecurity is paramount in schools, especially when they now rely on Wi-Fi connections, online data storage, accessing emails, and entrusting students to use handheld devices in the classroom. Schools need to have in place an online security policy and ownership of that this needs to be from a senior level – including Governors – and fed down the line so that students understand the limitations and why they are in place. Ensuring that the security systems in place are device agnostic is paramount, which leads us on nicely to…

  • Hardware – keep it compatible!

With many technology options available today, schools may feel overwhelmed by the choice. While it could be tempting to buy the very latest in education technology, it’s important to first remember that the technology must enable more efficient lesson delivery and better outcomes, not replace the role of the teacher. When making purchasing decisions, schools should be offered advice on which hardware (and software) is compatible with existing technologies and that with any new edtech, educators are able to switch from one device to another seamlessly, with minimal disruption.

  • Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL)

These is a set of practices for IT service management which meets the needs of the end user, and should mean that there is a central point of contact for IT-users in the school should any problems arise. When developing an ITIL it’s important that schools consider which problems they are trying to solve and how an ITIL will support this. For example, it might be that a school is having a complete IT system refurb, so an ITIL would be helpful in considering options and making sure they align with the needs and demands of the school and its students.

  • Maintenance and future-proofing

As students’ needs change throughout the academic years, schools need to ensure the technology in their classroom is interoperable, so it evolves with the students and continues to meet their demands. As schools don’t have the budget to be purchasing new systems every few years, when investing in technology, educators should be advised about what technology will continue to meet the demands of the school and evolve so it will still be compatible with student’s personal devices as they change and develop too.

For more information on the subject, read this handy article on resourced.classflow.co.uk

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Assessment has been high on the agenda since the removal of levels, and formative assessment is proving to be a supportive approach in ensuring that students make steady progress. As with anything, time is a crucial factor for teachers and can sometimes be a barrier to undertaking formative assessment as frequently as might be preferred.

Education technology can play a positive role with formative assessment in several ways:

Engaging for students

Using edtech can be much more engaging for students, for example, Promethean’s ActivPanel provides a great interactive hub for the front of the classroom. Teachers can combine the ActivPanel with ClassFlow Desktop software to set quizzes or mini-polls which are much for fun for students to complete than traditional testing methods. Together, ClassFlow Desktop and the ActivPanel allow teachers to access a powerful assessment tool that delivers teaching benefits with no extra cost. In addition, using technology in the classroom means that lessons become much more interactive for students.

Time saving for teachers

Instead of traditional forms of marking, which has proven to take a lot of time, teachers can make use of software that allows for quick polling. By collating data as a by-product of teaching, they can see in an instant how well a class has understood a topic, right down to individual students. With more time on their hands, teachers are therefore able to engage with their students more on an individual or whole-class level. 

Tracking over time

Educators can use the data collected over a period of time to see how students are performing overall – ideal for end-of-term reporting. This also paints a bigger picture for how well a student is progressing and will highlight if access arrangements need to be made. Overall, the use of edtech for formative assessment means that student learning outcomes will be improved in the long-run.

Personalised learning

With every student being different and learning in their own way, education technology provides teachers with the opportunity to set level-appropriate tasks for each student. Teachers can even encourage a more collaborative learning environment by pairing students of a similar ability together. They can work on their handheld devices, sharing ideas and having the opportunity to take more control over their own learning.

Formative assessment remains a core approach in supporting student development, but as teacher time comes under increasing pressure, education technology has a role to play in reducing the administrative burden of undertaking formative assessment. As a result, it makes it much easier for educators to analyse and provide feedback to students in the modern classroom setting, and improves students’ results.

Read more about how ClassFlow can help with your school’s assessment needs.

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There is no one-size-fits-all approach for technology and without a standardised requirement for edtech in schools, the age and variety of equipment varies. The array of technology available is vast, however it doesn’t matter what edtech a school has in place, it’s how it is being used to improve teaching and learning that is important.

So how can the schools of 2017/18 be using technology to help improve teaching and learning?

Virtual Reality (VR)

Combining VR in education with traditional classroom methods of teaching is a great way for schools to introduce new technology to enhance the learning experience for students. For example, if a teacher is giving a lesson on the Great Wall of China, what better way than bringing it to life for students than with a VR headset? While the technology is so new that exact learning outcomes are yet to be proven, it would be hard to believe that such a memorable experience wouldn’t resonate with students in the long-term.

Blogging

Literacy and SPaG are often talked about, mainly voiced with concern that students aren’t performing in these areas as well as they should be. One thought is that schools could support students in improving English Language by encouraging them to get involved with a class blog. What could be better for them than writing about something they are passionate about? By writing for the school it should motivate them to truly put what they have been taught, into practice.

Practicing What You Preach

While there is a lot of emphasis on students adopting technology in the classroom, schools should be encouraging teaching staff to be involved where they can too. For example, using lesson planning software as standard, means that teachers are leading the class with the use of technology. Multi-functioning software such as Promethean’s ClassFlow, means that teachers can plan and deliver their lessons at the touch of a button. Students can then use the software as part of the lesson for individual or collaborative team working, and even continue their learning outside of the classroom; simply by logging-in.

Personalising Learning

All students learn differently, we know this, fortunately educators can now use technology to personalise learning right down to individual students. Schools understand there are a good variety of different software options available, which enable them to do this. At Promethean we take pride in how our ClassFlow software enables teachers to monitor, in real-time, how well individual students in a class are understanding a topic, concept or learning outcome. This helps to personalise learning by giving teachers the knowledge needed to provide additional support to individual students, whether in the form of reviewing, revisiting or even extending learning. The software allows teachers to quickly create mini quizzes and activities which can be delivered ad hoc, to monitor how well students are grasping an area of learning at any point in the lesson. The upshot is that schools have better results and students are less likely to become disengaged simply because they don’t understand.

Making Learning Fun!

Sometimes we can get weighed down in the ins and outs of education technology and its plus and minus points, this can lead us to forget the simplicity of - if lessons are fun, students are going to be more motivated to learn. For the most part, technology can make lessons really fun! Software can transport students to other worlds, and enable them to look up any topic at the swipe of a finger. It encourages and enhances collaborative working, building the foundations for the world of work and beyond. Educators can use technology to bring life just about any topic and make it more engaging for students, which ultimately should improve results.

Read our handy guide for more information on using EdTech in the classroom, Using ClassFlow to improve results in school.

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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

[post_title] => Minimising the risk of school cyber attacks [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => minimising-the-risk-of-school-cyber-attacks [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2017-07-13 17:22:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 3697 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [45] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 6423 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2016-07-01 15:04:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-07-01 14:04:47 [post_content] => The classroom of today looks and operates significantly differently to the classrooms of five, ten and even 20 year’s ago. Gone are the days of a solitary desktop computer in the corner, the 21st Century classroom houses various technologies from Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFPDs), to tablets, laptops and smartphones, all seamlessly connected by Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and supported by a range of software from cloud-based to apps. Used to handling the latest technology in their personal lives, the current generation of digital-native students have become more independent in the classroom and technology is an expected requirement rather than an added advantage. So just how has technology changed the face of the classroom? 1.     Simplifying lesson preparation It goes without saying that the introduction of new technologies in schools have had an impact on teaching. While technology must always be an extension of teaching, and something that enhances but does not replace, there are some benefits for schools wanting to simplify teacher’s busy schedules. Lesson preparation is an area which technology can provide a substantial level of support. Software, such as Promethean’s ClassFlow allows teachers to plan interactive, multimedia-rich lessons and create assessments and assignments that can be delivered across a range of technologies for use in and out of the classroom. 2.     Aiding assessment Using technology for assessment can take on many forms, but overall technology can enhance assessment by providing schools with the means to design flexible assessment criteria that supports a wide range of student’s skills and competences. In this instance ClassFlow provides teacher’s with the means to use real-time feedback, which allows them to determine how well a class is understanding a lesson and even drill down to individual student’s comprehension, meaning certain topics can be covered and explained again if required. For the school this should mean an overall improvement in reporting and potentially grades. 3.     Breaking down boundaries The most notable use of technology is that it no longer limits lesson time to the traditional four walls of the classroom, creating a true learning continuum between home and school. Schools are empowering teachers and students to take more control over their learning and harness the potential of new learning experiences, encouraging learning to take place in other venues such as libraries and museums. Students can use technology to meet, collaborate and create content virtually. Technology helps students to research subjects, share ideas and learn specific skills. 4.     Encouraging collaboration Technology allows for such flexibility in learning that it is enabling our students to work in a more collaborative manner. Technology is a key building block in facilitating collaborative learning. IFPDs allows allow students to contribute to lesson content from the front of the class, engage with their peers in problem solving activities and create a more collective approach to lesson time.  Whereas laptops and mobile devices are key for remote collaboration and online learning outside of the classroom. Supported by technology, students are generating new approaches to problem solving and learning how to work alongside their peers, a great attribute for their future careers. 5.     Introducing interactivity While text books still have a place in the classroom, the reality is that students are much more likely to be found using a laptop or tablet or even a smartphone to support their studies by researching on the Internet. Powered by software and apps and presented on the latest touchscreen displays, lessons are delivered in a much more engaging manner. Homework and assignments are also readily available as downloadable material, meaning that the whole education experience from classwork through to homework is much more interactive than the classroom of ten years ago. To support schools in developing technology strategies, Promethean has produced a free ‘Modern Classroom’ ebook which guides school leaders, school business managers and practitioners through the steps to consider when designing and implementing a Modern Classroom environment, available here. UK teachers and students can register for a free ClassFlow account by visiting resourced.classflow.co.uk/learn-more [post_title] => Five ways technology has changed teaching and learning [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => five-ways-technology-has-changed-teaching-and-learning [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2022-02-07 11:00:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2022-02-07 11:00:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/dashboard2/?post_type=articles&p=6423 [menu_order] => 4011 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [46] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8087 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2016-06-04 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-06-03 22:00:00 [post_content] =>

For schools with a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy in place, there are a multitude of ways in which the student devices can be used to enhance teaching and learning opportunities. The simplest of these is to support one-to-one learning sessions, whether that is web-based research, the completion of individual assignments or another student-led activity. However, the continued advancements in education technology have opened up a new world of opportunity when it comes to maximising the potential of BYOD – the most notable of these being the ability to combine front-of-class display systems with personal devices.

Starting with the basics; where BYOD is already established, an excellent way to harness the power of the technology is to create a collaborative learning environment. Going beyond the one-to-one, a ‘connected classroom’ will enable you to facilitate lessons which support personalised learning whilst simultaneously encouraging group collaboration. But what do we mean by ‘connected classroom’?

A connected classroom is one where the traditional front-of-class delivery can be combined with the activities which take place on individual student devices. Importantly, this can be achieved very simply. And here’s how…

Connecting the classroom

Supplied with an external and fully upgradeable Android device, the latest Promethean ActivPanel is designed to enhance learning opportunities by connecting with student devices. 

By mirroring the content from tablet devices and/or smartphones to the large screen, teachers can easily gather evidence of learning whilst simultaneously facilitating student-led learning and collaborative assignments.

Moreover, the ‘Instant Whiteboarding’ feature of the ActivPanel makes it easier than ever to respond to learning ‘in the moment’. With no need to connect to a computer, teachers can quickly engage in an interactive session at the ActivPanel, and then ‘mirror’ this content direct to student devices for further discussion. 

Where educational apps are being used, the ActivPanel not only facilitates the sharing of this content with the students via the mirroring functionality – teachers also can download their favourites directly through the Android device and instantly use these to engage the class from the front of the room. 

From a financial perspective; with advances in computing power changing at a rapid pace, the ability to swap out the Android device in the future protects the investment made in panel technology, now.

Cloud-based collaboration 

It is not only the ActivPanel which can facilitate BYOD strategies. With teacher and student accounts available completely free of charge, the cloud-based learning platform – Classflow.co.uk – can be used to prepare, deliver and assess lessons. Moreover, it also allows student assignments to be set by teachers for students to then complete using their own devices at home. 

Even existing lessons can be easily enhanced using ClassFlow. Where content is traditionally discussed front-of-class on an interactive whiteboard (IWB), teachers can use ClassFlow to send content from the IWB direct to the student devices for further exploration or progression. Equally, students can then be invited to submit their own work back to the teacher, which can be further shared with the class as appropriate. The creation of a two-way dialogue between teacher and students using any type of content is the key to creating a truly collaborative learning environment and ultimately takes BYOD way beyond one-to-one. 

Technology has advanced at an unprecedented rate in recent years, particularly where hand-held devices are concerned. In this modern era of edtech, there really are no boundaries to how and when students can learn – the key is to understand what approach best works for specific opportunities and build the teaching environment in line with this. 

Promethean’s Modern Classroom eBook offers an excellent guide for creating collaborative learning environments and designing the classroom to best address the space, and pedagogical and technological needs. 

W: resourced.classflow.co.uk/learn-more

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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. 

Teachers need to adapt their teaching style to meet the needs of the learners in the classroom and not the other way round

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.

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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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.” 

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True collaboration is achieved when students are working in groups or teams towards common goals. 

The learning environment plays a key role in encouraging students to work collaboratively, this includes the physical set-up of a classroom as well as the learning aids available to students and teachers e.g. access to technology. Technology facilitates collaborative learning; students can use education technology such as interactive displays to solve problems together. 

In order for a classroom to be functioning collaboratively, schools need to evaluate the learning environment in which the teachers and students work. The space, technology and pedagogy need to be working in-sync to achieve true collaboration… at Promethean we call this creating the ‘modern classroom’. This is a new approach to education technology that empowers teachers and students to transform how knowledge is created and shared, and extends learning beyond traditional classroom boundaries.

Alongside learning space and pedagogy, Promethean believes that technology is a critical key factor in creating the modern classroom. When used effectively to support teaching styles, it delivers a fast, easy route to learning which gives students a hands-on approach and means they aren’t limited by face-to-face and in-school lessons. Promethean also recognises the importance of developing technologies which both future proof schools’ investments, and support the evolution of the modern classroom.  

For instance, our award-winning learning platform ClassFlow, gives teachers a central point for lesson preparation, delivery, assessment and evaluation. Available free of charge ClassFlow is a cloud-based solution which enables learning to extend beyond the physical boundaries of the traditional classroom, supporting personalised learning through the integrated use of devices such as laptops, tablets and Chromebooks.

During traditional ‘lesson time’ ClassFlow can also be used to power front-of-class interactive displays, such as our latest range of ActivPanels. Designed to enhance the classroom viewing experience and interaction amongst students, the ActivPanel is available in a choice of full HD and 4K Ultra HD displays. The latest generation has focused on creating a display solution which specifically addresses the demand for Android functionality devices in classrooms. By incorporating an external and fully upgradeable Android device, the ActivPanel will keep pace as the demand for computer processing power increases – giving schools the ultimate in future-proofing and flexibility. 

Supplied with an ActivInspire Professional Edition software license as standard – which includes a wide range of advanced interactive tools – the ActivPanel provides access to a powerful teaching technology which supports the creation of a truly modern classroom environment.

Case study: The “Sala De Aula Do Futuro”, Dom Manuel Martins School, Setúbal, Portugal

This modern classroom began with a vision to build a classroom in Portugal that resembles the European Schoolnet (EUN) Future Classroom Lab (FCL) located in Brussels. Over two years, Carlos Cunha, Microsoft Innovative Expert and FCL classroom lead, supported by his networks investment realised his dream.

The ultimate aim is to improve the educational attainment in all three years of middle school, using inquiry-based learning methodologies in order to increase the motivation of students.

“We were facing a problem with the results of our students because regular teaching wasn’t giving the right answers,” Cunha explains.

“We really needed a space that is different from the regular classroom with rows of tables and chairs facing the blackboard. The future classroom is an open space divided into five different zones, where the students face different problems, different equipment and different technologies in order to answer a question posed by the teacher. It’s like project-based learning, but shorter. It’s enquiry-based learning.”

As well as reporting more engaged and excited students, the school has witnessed teachers more willing to collaborate with each other. The space supports cross curricula professional development, for example, mathematics and science teachers come together to explore the connection between a theoretical model and a practical application. Using data loggers and sensors allows teachers to reflect on their own pedagogical approaches and to plan their lesson content to enable the development of a truly integrated and interdisciplinary experience. 

To support schools in designing a modern classroom environment, Promethean has produced a free e-book which guides you through the process. Register for your copy by visiting https://bit.ly/etmodclassebook.

 

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During Bett 2016 Promethean looked at the concept of the ‘Modern Classroom’ and we explored how the function of the classroom is changing. No longer used for purely instructional lessons from a teacher to students, modern classrooms are becoming collaborative learning spaces, with learning extending beyond the traditional four walls. 

For this change to take place, technology has played a major role in facilitating more interactive learning environments. On the whole we’ve seen classroom technology change over the past 20 years, it’s moved on from a single desktop computer in the corner of a classroom, to a selection of high-tech teaching aids. For a truly modern classroom it’s not just about having access to technology but how it’s being used that is core to its effectiveness. So why is technology so important in the modern classroom?

First of all students expect it. The current and future generation of digital natives are growing up with smartphones and tablet computers being a normal part of their day-to-day lives, and this extends to the classroom. What’s more, various studies have taken place which show that technology in the classroom is a key motivator for students learning, so it’s actually a powerful tool for improving student engagement and in the long-term, student grades. 

Secondly, technology delivers a fast, easy route to learning. That is not to say it replaces the role of the teacher, but it enhances lessons through interactivity, students having instant access to the Internet and teachers having an instant snapshot of how well the class is grasping a topic through real-time assessment. 

Schools will need to commit to a recruitment and development policy, which emphasises digital pedagogy skills among teachers

Finally, using technology in the classroom is preparing students for the world of work. Students will be in contact with technology throughout their lives, from further and higher education through to employment. So it’s important that they are learning core ICT skills at school. 

While having access to a range of education technology can be important, ultimately it is how it is being used which validates its effectiveness. In order for edtech to enrich the modern classroom it must fit with the school’s pedagogy and suit the teaching styles of the teachers. For example, if a school operates a more collaborative teaching style then front-of-class technology such as Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFPDs) combined with tablet devices work well to encourage collaborative learning in a whole-class, group or individual setting. This needn’t mean a large initial investment in technology is needed; many schools operate an effective BYOD system for tablets, which then encourages learning both in the classroom and beyond.

Something that shouldn’t be overlooked when implementing technology is the need for any supporting training - digital literacy applies to both teachers and students. Schools will need to commit to a recruitment and development policy, which emphasises digital pedagogy skills among teachers. Essentially if a school would like to benefit from technology in the classroom, teachers need to be trained on how to use ICT in their classroom. In terms of students, as aforementioned, the current generation are familiar with a range of technologies, however it’s still important that they are able to learn how to use technology in a way, which enables learning, and delivers skills for employment and further study. 

Today’s classroom technology installations cannot be effective if schools do not fully understand how they intend to use equipment for pedagogical gain. If schools begin to look at reimagining the learning space and understanding the teaching style most likely to be used in that space, and how students will be benefiting from the technology, everyone will better understand the true role of classroom technology and the benefits it can bring.

W: www.prometheanworld.com/en-gb/

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The education space is constantly evolving, as new - and even existing - technologies come to the fore. Across the UK schools are looking at how best to manage the transition and integrate new and existing technologies in a streamlined way. 

Implementing change of course doesn’t come without its own challenges. There are many considerations such as where to invest to receive the greatest rewards; how to avoid short-term ‘fads’; how to manage the change with minimal disruption, these are all top of the agenda for educators. 

Taking a step back and thinking methodically about how best to apply these changes with a step-by-step guide to best suit the needs of your school can be a good starting point. Research suggests that there are three key aspects of the modern classroom (informed by iTEC, FCL, current research and Promethean’s own direct experience). These are the learning space, technology and pedagogy; each of these three elements has an important contribution to make and needs significant attention. 

Simple but impactful changes can come from studying the layout of the room and looking at how the space has been divided

If educators are interested in creating truly modern classrooms the learning space is key in setting the scene. Firstly schools must consider each element of the learning space and how it can be transformed to feel more progressive. Simple but impactful changes can come from studying the layout of the room and looking at how the space has been divided. Consider if the equipment is in the best place for everyone. Even think about how flexible the layout is, and if it can be easily changed during lesson time to enhance the student experience, giving students the option of moving freely around. Even basic environmental aspects such as air and light quality and temperature should also be observed. All of these together help students to be more engaged and it makes it easier for lessons to be personalised and for effective collaboration to take place. 

Without doubt, technology underpins the entire concept of the ‘modern classroom’. The transition we have seen in technology use in schools over the past 20 years has been phenomenal. We have seen edtech evolve from a single desktop computer in the corner of classrooms to high-tech teaching aids and handheld devices for students. Technology in schools has now become essential, and what’s more, students expect it. Far from taking over the role of the teacher, technology must be used to support the teaching styles and meet the needs of the students. It’s important that when making an investment, schools are systematic when implementing new technology and changing the learning environment. It’s not solely the technology that makes the impact; it’s the effectiveness of its use. 

While technology has its role to play, with the current student population of ‘neo-millennials’ already using technology frequently in other aspects of their lives, it is pedagogy that should be the driving force behind the ‘modern classroom’. Paired with implementing technology; schools should use the student’s engagement and enjoyment of technology to shape new pedagogies.

Gill Leahy, Senior International Education Consultant at Promethean will be hosting a session on “The Modern Classroom” at the UK School Leaders Summit (invite only) at this year’s Bett. Gill and the Promethean team will also be available on stand B99 to discuss the Modern Classroom in more detail, with students from Saltash School.

You can also pre-register for the new free Modern Classroom e-book here.

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As Bett 2016 fast approaches it’s a good time for educators to take stock of what they have achieved over the past year, look at how they want their school to move forward and importantly what they need to enable that progression.

The technology available to schools certainly isn’t more evident anywhere than at Bett, and it’s fair to say the evolution of technology in schools has at times provided challenges for school leaders trying to keep pace with the latest solutions, all the while continually under pressure to raise standards and implement curriculum changes. While it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed, in taking a step back to evaluate your school’s current position, it will allow you to time to breathe and look at how best you can move forward. 

The sheer volume of technology solutions available in education today means that it can be harder to make decisions which will best meet needs, both according to pedagogy and budget. However there are some simple steps to follow which can help guide the process, for example, study how your teachers are teaching, think about the modalities they are using to deliver their lessons everyday. Then consider what needs to take place in the learning space in order for progression to happen, will you be implementing a flipped learning strategy for example? Take into account the learning approach that will be used and then it will be easier to decide how you can equip teachers and students to best complete their tasks.

The sheer volume of technology solutions available in education today means that it can be harder to make decisions which will best meet needs, both according to pedagogy and budget

Try not to be swept into a one-size-fits-all approach; as with anything in education, what might work for one school won’t necessarily work for another. As we know, within our schools how one teacher chooses to deliver lessons can differ greatly from another in that same school. Even the type of technology used can change during one lesson. It is because of this that we’re seeing evidence of the traditional learning environment being redefined, and how technology is playing a key role in shaping how or even where our students are learning.

The bricks and mortar of the four walls that once made up our teaching spaces are coming down, and the integration of front-of-class technology solutions, mobile devices such as tablets and laptops, all supported by cloud-based software, have meant that learning can take place anywhere. This shift in learning space makes it more important than ever that schools are supported in making targeted investment in technology that will provide you with the right solution for the long-term.

While Bett is the perfect place to browse the very latest solutions, meet with edtech manufacturers and consult with the experts, to truly get the most out of your experience at Bett, try to spend some time preparing beforehand. It might sound obvious, but consider the current needs of your school, and think about how they can be met for the longer term. Be sure to only invest in devices that will specifically address these and not create further challenges for you down the line.

To learn how Promethean solutions can help you reimagine the learning workspace, you can find us on Stand B99 with the latest generation ActivPanel and connected classroom solution, ClassFlow. We will also be hosting a series of ‘Learn Live’ sessions during the four-day event exploring the ‘Modern Classroom’, holding a seminar at the School Leaders Summit and delivering a strategic presentation within the Bett Arena schedule.

To learn more about collaboration in the classroom, Promethean at Bett 2016 or to register your interest in the Modern Classroom, please visit www.prometheanworld.com.

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Collaboration is a key skill employers are looking for and the benefits of collaboration for student learning are well evidenced.

When looking to introduce collaborative learning in the classroom, the development of a model and framework are useful building blocks. but, putting these in place is only part of the journey to achieving success. The potential barriers must also be considered so that leadership teams are equipped to overcome them and also ensure that the teaching teams are prepared for areas of change. Here we take a brief look at some of the most common resistances to collaboration.

 1.  I don't think I have enough knowledge...

Genuinely collaborative learning ultimately requires a shift in attitude and an adaptation of role for teachers and pupils. It is demanding for both teachers and students, requiring teachers to be less controlling and students to be more autonomous and take greater responsibility for their own learning.

As such, effective collaborative learning requires teachers to view students as active owners of their learning and to be able to enable or 'activate' peer learning and other student centred strategies. Research shows these methods of teaching are more effective than limited approaches e.g. overly planned learning activities. 

2.  How can I assess effectively?

There is a five-step framework we recommend, used to structure collaboration in the classroom; it specifically addresses 'identify appropriate assessments' as part of the process. Best practice using this approach is to seek out examples of good collaborative assessments and adapt these to suit your specific needs. For example, use teacher specific assessments and tools such as observation rubrics, sampling and snapshots, group interviews and debriefs, chat analysis and activity reports. From a student perspective, self-marking, peer-marking, activity evaluation and personal learning stories are all proven methods of assessing collaboration. 

3.   There just isn't enough time

Allocating a realistic amount of time for teachers to learn and develop new techniques is critical. Failing to make sufficient time available will be a physical barrier to the adoption of new styles and skills. As part of the introduction of a collaborative approach, allocate time within the timetable specifically for 'collaboration', whether that is planning, adaption of existing materials or training sessions.

4.   I just don't know where to start

Using structured approaches and well-defined tasks where students and teachers can talk, interact and reflect on the processes is an excellent starting point. It is also important to allow teachers to experience what it is like to work in a collaborative community themselves - not just within the classroom environment with students. 

Existing lessons, curricula and courses do not become redundant when adopting a more collaborative teaching and learning strategy. Instead, use these as a basis within a collaborative framework and simply restructure them accordingly.

While resistance will occur which can potentially compromise the embedding of genuine collaboration within the school environment, it can easily be overcome by identifying the most prevalent concerns in your school and preparing a proactive strategy which addresses them right from the start of your journey. If you're interested in learning more, our forthcoming e-book in this series has a lot of good advice on how to design and implement a school-wide collaboration strategy. 

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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When delivered using a structured approach, flipped learning provides students with a strong skillset standing them in good stead for the future. Similar to collaborative learning, flipped learning teaches students the art of working together to achieve a common goal while developing skills that are relevant both socially and in the workplace.

The success of a flipped learning strategy rides on implementing a realistic and achievable strategy, using the most suitable model for your school. Elizabeth Murphy’s model, ‘recognising collaboration in an online asynchronous environment’, although attributed to collaboration, is also applicable to flipped learning. It focuses on a three-stage approach for students, teaching staff and the task set.

'Similar to collaborative learning, flipped learning teaches students the art of working together to achieve a common goal while developing skills that are relevant both socially and in the workplace'

Stage one – ‘experiencing’ – applies to students understanding the importance of respect and trust. For teachers it refers to the act of creating teams and choosing discussion topics. The task must therefore examine the ‘output focus’, denoting both group and individual accountability for the task set.

Stage two – ‘exploring’ – involves students developing negotiation skills and clarifying ideas within a group setting. For teachers, it applies to reflecting on feedback with students and for the task the emphasis is on ‘process focus’. The task should provide opportunities for students to develop key learning processes.

The final stage – ‘owning’ – meaning students can recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and can plan teamwork effectively. Teachers then allow students to take more control over their own learning, meaning students decide on their own tasks to best achieve their aims.

The success of flipped learning relies on using a practical approach allowing teachers and students to benefit from the experience. What better way of teaching students than providing them with skills that will serve them for life?

W: www.prometheanworld.com

[post_title] => Flipped learning: a model approach [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => flipped-learning-a-model-approach [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2015-10-14 15:16:43 [post_modified_gmt] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => [menu_order] => 4714 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [56] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8746 [post_author] => 14 [post_date] => 2015-10-23 00:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-22 22:00:00 [post_content] =>
Victoria Park Primary School in Belfast is the first school in Northern Ireland to be using interactive flat panel technology throughout the whole school. Following its recent move to a new state-of-the-art school building, Victoria Park upgraded its interactive whiteboards to the ActivPanel.

Introduced as a full-time collaborative learning tool in all 14 classrooms, the ActivPanels are in use all day. Principal Andrea Gourley said: “From when the teachers arrive first thing in the morning and until home time, the screens are fully operational in each class. Our infant classes are very hands-on with the screens and use them for activity-based learning throughout the week. Our senior classes have their homework displayed on them first thing in the morning.”

The clarity of the display was a real selling point for the school. With unique ActivGlide™ technology, the ActivPanel glass surface eliminates the risk of finger burn and enables content to be viewed with great clarity – even at wide viewing angles.

'Combining the ActivPanel with ActivInspire software gives schools a powerful teaching tool designed to make the classroom experience more two-way between staff and students, which is known to increase motivation'

“The quality is so clear that it means students can see the screen from whichever angle they are sat in the classroom, and without having to move to see the screen,” confirmed Andrea.

The 65-inch ActivPanels at Victoria Park benefit from having Promethean ActivSoundBars installed, improving the overall sound quality for the students.

Being the first school in Northern Ireland to benefit from this technology has put Victoria Park on the map. Andrea continued: “We get weekly visitors, either from colleagues in other schools, the Local Assessment Board and even the Education Board has paid a visit. All of them are keen to see the benefits and the positive changes the screens are bringing to students and staff.”

Ian Curtis, Promethean’s Head of Western Europe, Africa & ANZ, concluded: “Creating a positive learning environment is something we firmly believe in at Promethean. We find that the best approach for this is when schools initiate a more collaborative approach to lessons. Combining the ActivPanel with ActivInspire software gives schools a powerful teaching tool designed to make the classroom experience more two-way between staff and students, which is known to increase motivation.”

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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Specifically optimised for education settings, Promethean’s ActivPanel™ enables up to ten unique touches for whole-class, individual, one-to-one, and small-team learning simultaneously. Fast, precise interaction supports the flow of a lesson without interruption, and with functionality similar to today’s mobile tablets, operation is simple and intuitive for both students and teachers. The ActivPanel also includes built-in stereo speakers to meet the growing use of multimedia content in the classroom and enhance the delivery of lessons and group activities that include video and audio.

Included with the ActivPanel is Promethean’s award-winning software ActivInspire – the foundation for any 21st century learning experience. Fitted as standard, it’s optimised for use on the ActivPanel interface, providing teachers with the tools they need to create interactive lessons. With a choice of age appropriate interfaces, ActivInspire gives teachers the ability to access a wealth of teaching activities, tools, images, sounds and templates, with a world of additional resources available on Promethean Planet.

With unique ActivGlide technology, the ActivPanel glass surface eliminates the risk of finger burn and enables content to be viewed with great clarity – even at wide viewing angles.The ActivPanel is available in four sizes to suit the needs of each classroom, including 55-inch, 65-inch and 70-inch high-definition displays as well as an ultra-high-definition 84-inch model. The ActivPanel supports Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, Linux and Chromebook OS for plug-and-play operation in almost any school’s technology environment.

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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Collaboration is becoming increasingly important – not just as teambuilding exercises in the classroom, but as a scholarly practice in preparing students for the world of work. In fact, according to the Development Economics Group (DEG), collaboration falls into one of the top three skills that employers are looking for. It also forms part of the ‘soft skills’ that are estimated to be worth £88bn to the UK economy – with the DEG predicting that it will grow strongly over the next five years. 

One of the major responsibilities of schools therefore, is to ensure that students leave education with the right skills and experience for the world of work. This means that schools need to be providing a structured and collaborative setting in order for students to develop these essential skills. 

A strategic approach to embedding collaborative learning starts with drawing up a model and framework, which can be used by both school leaders and teaching staff. A solid starting point is to consider what stage of collaboration, if any, the teachers and students are at. Identify if teachers, students and tasks are experiencing, exploring or owning collaboration right now. A good starting initial point is to refer to Elizabeth Murphy’s ‘Recognising Collaboration in an Online Asynchronous Environment (2004)’, which is extended by our own ideas into a snapshot of the staged idea and includes task, teacher and student perspectives (please see matrix image). 

'A strategic approach to embedding collaborative learning starts with drawing up a model and framework, which can be used by both school leaders and teaching staff'

Once you have agreed a model that will meet the current and future needs of your school it’s time to build a framework. Frameworks are valuable tools that provide teachers with the time, professional development, tools, technologies and content required to help them implement collaborative learning in practice. A typical collaboration framework will use a five-stage process, such as: Provide a Collaboration Environment, Integrate Feedback for Collaboration, Identify Appropriate Assessments. Enable Physical and Virtual Spaces and Design Learning Collaboratively. Each stage is designed to simplify implementing collaboration by walking school leaders and teaching staff through what the starting objectives are through to the final learning outcomes. 

In order for collaboration in practice to be wholly successful, a complete change in approach is required. The whole school needs to shift to a collaborative learning setting, meaning as students progress through their school years they are continually benefitting from development in this type of learning. 

It’s important to recognise that collaboration also has an impact on teaching styles. Collaborative teaching styles see teachers more as ‘Activators’, whereas traditional teaching tends to see the teacher as a ‘Facilitator’. Additionally it’s important to allow students to first understand what is being asked of them, and then be able to progress with the task autonomously.

Without a doubt the move to a truly collaborative strategy in school will be a huge undertaking and will require a fundamental shift for both teachers and students. However, the adoption of this approach will ultimately help to improve student progression in the short term and support the creation of a stronger UK economy in the longer term.

W: www.prometheanworld.com

Read another blog from Promethean here.

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Specifically optimised for education settings, Promethean’s ActivPanel™ enables up to 10 unique touches for whole-class, individual, one-to-one, and small-team learning simultaneously.

Fast, precise interaction supports the flow of a lesson without interruption, and with functionality similar to today’s mobile tablets, operation is simple and intuitive for both students and teachers. The ActivPanel also includes built-in stereo speakers to meet the growing use of multimedia content in the classroom and enhance the delivery of lessons and group activities that include video and audio.

Included with the ActivPanel is Promethean’s award-winning software ActivInspire – the foundation for any 21st century learning experience. Fitted as standard, it’s optimised for use on the ActivPanel interface, providing teachers with the tools they need to create interactive lessons. With a choice of age appropriate interfaces, ActivInspire gives teachers the ability to access a wealth of teaching activities, tools, images, sounds and templates, with a world of additional resources available on Promethean Planet.

With unique ActivGlide technology, the ActivPanel glass surface eliminates the risk of finger burn and enables content to be viewed with great clarity – even at wide viewing angles.

The ActivPanel is available in four sizes to suit the needs of each classroom, including 55-inch, 65-inch and 70-inch high-definition displays as well as an ultra-high-definition 84-inch model. The ActivPanel supports Windows 7, Windows 8, Mac OS X, Linux and Chromebook OS for plug-and-play operation in almost any school’s technology environment.

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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When it comes to technology use in schools, a misconception exists that infusing classrooms with new technology will miraculously change teaching and learning. This just isn’t true. Technology won’t magically transform how we teach – transformation will only be achieved if teachers are given the right guidance and direction, as well as a model for effective edtech use. Here we look at three key success factors… 

1. Focus on teaching and learning, not just the technology, this will then help develop your strategy

While it’s important to have the technology in place, it’s unfair to expect teachers to implement it without guidance or direction. As classroom technology becomes more of a tool for daily use – either part or entire day – it’s important to determine what the learning objectives and outcomes are and then find the edtech that will enhance the experience. Don’t just use it because it is there. In order to help set expectations, consider setting a common language among teachers and school leaders. Begin by asking questions “how do we want our lesson delivery to look?” and “what kind of learning do we want to see?” From this determine what attributes you would like to see come into play in the classroom, such as more personalised learning, students developing higher-order thinking skills or project-based learning. Finally, make sure teachers know how to use the technology to best support their teaching approach. Once this is established, you can begin building a strategy that will be clearly defined and understood by all.

'Technology won’t magically transform how we teach – transformation will only be achieved if teachers are given the right guidance and direction, as well as a model for effective edtech use'

2. How to build the right model for your school

In order to integrate technology seamlessly, consider building a model to use as a guideline. The benefit of doing this is that it will make your teachers really think about how they are using technology with students. When building your own model, you can choose a preferred method of evaluation and it will set a benchmark for teachers – as well as school governors and parents who are also likely to show an interest. As a starting point, you need to consider how students will access technology beyond front-of-classroom tech; will they have access to laptops? Will the school provide tablets or will a BYOD strategy be implemented? How will the school use technology to encourage collaborative and 1:1 learning? This is also why on-going continuous CPD is vital for edtech success in schools; this could involve courses, both internal and external, modelling, shadowing, team teaching, review, evaluate and revise. A successful edtech model should be affordable and fully optimised to support the development of staff and students. 

3.  Making teachers your tech advocates 

Everyone in your school should be working towards the same goal of ensuring education technology investments effectively transform teaching and learning. But it is the teachers who will ultimately be hands on with the technology and responsible for the effective delivery, so it’s important to get them onboard and make them realise you understand their value. Reluctant adopters are more likely to make the effort if they have been involved in the decision making process from the beginning. The best way of gaining teacher buy-in when integrating technology (either new or upgrading existing) is to make sure they are involved in the process, so talk to them. Ask for their views, invite them to share the best examples they have seen of technology use in schools - including their own. Have teachers observe each other; peer-to-peer learning is a profound form of professional development.  However, it’s not just teacher involvement in decision making about what is purchased and how it is used. Students’ viewpoints should be considered and solicited as well. If everyone is involved in the decision-making then all will be emotionally invested in making it work. 

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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The popularity of Interactive Flat Panel Displays (IFPDs) has grown exponentially in the UK market over the past couple of years, with many schools choosing to upgrade legacy IWBs to the latest and greatest IFPDs. This notable increase in demand has not surprisingly brought with it the launch of a number of new players into the market, many of whom have either very little trading history and minimal experience of the education market.

Moreover, with purchasing decisions broadly currently driven by technical specification and system performance, important factors such as software licensing, product warranty and after sales care are tending to fall by the wayside – a somewhat dangerous position when considering the adoption of IFPD technology is a long term investment.

Essentially, the growth of the IFPD market has changed the classroom technology landscape and brought a number of issues to the fore. In terms of product differentiation, general functionality and overall capability are often very similar across all the IFPDs available, with the number of HDMI inputs or HD quality providing a pretty reliable benchmark. Instead, the true markers of quality and making a sound investment are now determined more by the ‘peripheral’ factors such as whether a supplier will be in business long enough to honour standard warranties or even their ability to fulfil an order (given IFPDs require a solid financial base to fund the importing of these products into the UK).

Even when these basics have been verified, which can easily be done by consulting independent financial reports from credible sources such as Dun & Bradstreet, there are further commercial avenues to explore when evaluating the IFPD proposition beyond technical specification.

At present, extended warranties are a major point of differentiation for IFPDs. As a minimum, schools should be looking for a five-year warranty and should not be afraid to ask the reseller to interrogate the financial stability or longevity of the IFPD provider. During these unprecedented times there is a real risk of IFPDs becoming a ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ marketplace, which will only leave schools exposed and left ‘holding the baby’, so to speak.

In short, IFPDs are something of a game changer for classroom technology procurement. The investment decision goes much further than the technology specification and into wider commercial considerations. This means that ‘like for like’ has to evaluate the substance that sits behind and actually supports the technology; because when you scratch beneath the surface you need to make sure that you are not comparing apples and pears…

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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When relying on technology – whether it’s your personal smartphone, or a school’s technology system – the fact is at some point you will need to either upgrade or replace it. Nobody likes change, especially when it comes to technology – it brings with it a need to spend time reviewing what’s available, what’s right and what fits the budget. These five simple steps will help guide you through the process: 

1. Assemble a team of decisions makers

Choosing to upgrade the current tech at your school is more straightforward than you think. The best starting point is to assemble a team of decision makers, as this ensures the responsibility doesn’t lie with one individual. It’s essential that the senior team are involved but it’s also important that teaching staff and IT/ICT managers are included. It is the teachers who will be using the equipment day-in and day-out, by involving them they are far more likely to be engaged with any changes. Additionally, the IT/ICT Manager is a valuable asset in assessing compatibility with the IT infrastructure.

2. Consider your options

Do your research. The internet is a great place to start, but this is no means the only place; you should attend events and will find that there are many held locally that will give you useful insights. Industry bodies such as BECTA can also be a good source of information.  Talk to your local IT/AV supplier – they will be able to offer you guidance and advice. Also speak with your peers in other schools, even pay them a visit to see what IT strategy they have in place and talk to them about the pedagogical value it has brought to the school.

3. How to replace when budgets are squeezed

When working with a small pot of money it’s often hard to see the wood from the trees when it comes to prioritising spending. However, there are also growing expectations on schools to consistently provide students with the very best learning environment to equip them for the outside world. So how can your school do this while getting the best ‘bang for your buck’? The simple answer is that it’s all in the planning. Firstly, don’t feel like you have to replace every system at once – consider your IT spend as an investment in the longer term. Draw up some short-term objectives – is any tech broken beyond repair? Work with your IT/ICT Manager to develop a policy on what absolutely needs to be replaced as a priority. Then look at what you would like to achieve in the long-term. By gaining an understanding of your long and short-term goals, you can ensure you’re aligning your IT strategy with the needs of the school, resulting in the right IT investment decisions.

4. The Power of Pilot

A great example of this is the relationship Promethean has with Aquinas College in Stockport, via our channel partner CDEC. When moving to a brand new purpose built facility in 2009, Aquinas College implemented over 90 Promethean ActivBoard 500 systems to give students access to the very latest interactive whiteboard technology. The college is now at a point when it needs to think about upgrading the technology, except this time it’s not starting with a blank canvas and a dedicated capital expenditure budget. Instead, Aquinas College is faced with the challenge of a phased implementation, i.e. the logistics of swapping out existing systems and finding the budget to actually upgrade the technology. 

Striving to be proactive, and avoid having to make knee jerk decisions in the event of systems failing, they are undertaking a methodical evaluation exercise to assess which teaching technologies to invest in next, while preparing a strategy for the roll out of these. With this in mind the college is currently piloting the ActivPanel while it prepares to put in place a long-term upgrade programme. Schools should always look to their local IT, AV supplier for support and advice on pilots such as these.

5. Choose the right partner

You’re not alone in making decisions, and it can be a challenge to find the time, so speak with your IT/AV supplier who is a bank of knowledge on what is currently available and what is suitable. They will be able to guide you through your options and together you can agree on a package that will meet your needs – and budget. What’s more, by working in partnership you will be building a support network, you’ll also receive accredited installation for hardware and software as well as an aftersales service that will help with any queries you or your teaching staff might have.

W: www.prometheanworld.com

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Whether it’s BYOD or school investment to support 1:1 learning, the use of tablets in classrooms is no longer a new concept. The technical challenges regarding compatibility of devices, ensuring teacher control and the reliability of an internet connection seem to have been ironed out to a certain extent, yet a question mark appears to still loom over the role tablet technology has to play in improving learning productivity, increasing student motivation and measuring individual progress.

In simple terms, we have the technology tools in place… but do we know what we should actually be doing with them?

Think about your own school. How many classrooms have interactive displays? How many students have access to tablets?

Now think about how these technologies are being used to support lesson delivery and assessment…in most schools the interactive display (whether that’s an interactive whiteboard or interactive panel) will be supporting a Knowledge Transfer modality of learning – with the teacher instructing students from the front of the class. In the same way, where tablets are available they will typically be used to support 1:1 learning opportunities.

But why should teaching and learning be constrained in this way when the technology can actually support the moving between modalities to create more stimulating and effective learning environments?

In reality, education actually happens in various contexts – whole class, small groups and independently. Which is why, when it comes to tablet technology, we need to think beyond 1:1 and more about the pedagogy potential that sits behind it…

-       1:1 – “highly personalised and working at own pace”
-       One to Many - “leaders or students able to direct resource or their contributions quickly and easily to in class or out of school groups”
-       Many to One - “listening to the whole class – not just one voice/channel”
-       Many to Many – “collaboration and learning to learn together” 

Once we reach this point, we then need to be able to effectively and accurately track student progress and ensure they are achieving their individual potential – however they are learning.

And therein lays the new challenge for schools. It’s one thing to get the technical aspect of tablet implementation right – but it can be a major pedagogical leap to start integrating the technology to support a range of learning contexts (especially within a single lesson) and measure progress in each scenario.

One way of making this transition a little easier is to use third party software solutions, such as ClassFlow for Schools, which essentially ‘connects the classroom’ for you. By connecting the tablet devices with the front of class solution it makes it much easier to move between instructional sessions, 1:1 learning and group collaboration. The nature of the technology also makes it much easier to gather evidence of learning whilst at the same time facilitating student-led learning and collaborative assignments.

However, as with any education technology – software is not the complete solution. It is an enabler. It gives teachers the tools to bring everything together and deliver lessons in a more holistic way – drawing on a range of learning contexts. But as a valuable by-product you then also have access to accurate data on student progression, departmental results and whole-school performance – ultimately making it quicker and easier to generate reports using accurate insights on student outcomes.

So as a school; whether you have a BYOD strategy in place, have invested in your own tablet technology or are still undecided as to which route to take… a guiding principle which has served our customers well over the years has always been ‘pedagogy before technology’… by following this you can be confident that whatever technology you choose, it will serve you well.

Ian Curtis is Head of Western Europe, Africa and ANZ, at Promethean.

www.prometheanworld.com

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The UK Assessment Reforms have already made a big impact on schools, and more specifically, the teachers responsible for implementing the changes.

Assessment has traditionally put greater emphasis on a summative approach, which generally benchmarks students’ progress against ‘levels’. However, with renewed emphasis on formative assessment, the Assessment Reforms have put the power back with the schools, and teachers, to decide how best to measure progress. In time, teachers will no longer be judged on how many students achieve benchmarked levels. Instead, evaluation will be made on the actual progress students make.

But with class sizes only getting bigger and administration burdens increasing, how can teachers possibly continually assess students to effectively monitor progress and adjust learning programmes accordingly?

The reality is that technology has a fundamental role to play in the roll out of the Assessment Reforms. Not at policy level, of course, but in the classroom – where it matters most. The difference between having technologies which facilitate assessment in the classroom, and not, is the difference between having complete visibility of every student or having a partial picture of their baseline, potential and progress.

You might have heard the phrase ‘big data’ banded around in the media, but in the context of Assessment Reforms, it’s actually ‘little’ data that will be the saviour. As opposed to the concept of ‘big data’, the compilation of system-wide information that provides a rear-view mirror’s perspective of behaviours and trends, ‘little’ data for educators refers to the real-time, in-the-moment insights that can improve lesson delivery and learning outcomes. It’s a fact that significant investments have been made in classroom technologies, but few have provided teachers with the data and insight they need to assess each student’s comprehension in the moment of learning.

With ClassFlow, this is about to change. Connecting 1:1 devices with front-of-class teaching solutions, ClassFlow gives teachers a powerful teaching tool for creating and orchestrating interactive multimedia lessons. Using ClassFlow, teachers can deliver interactive content in new ways, receive real-time insight into student learning and progress and customise learning activities based on individual learning styles and needs.

In simple terms, ClassFlow harnesses the potential of classroom technology and gives the teacher a tool that not only makes formative assessment much easier and more engaging to implement – it also gathers the ‘little’ data as a by-product of teaching and learning… which means no need to collect books to mark student’s work, and reporting on progress can be easily done with the click of a button.

There’s no doubt that technology has a major role to play in the success of the Assessment Reforms. By using the right technology, teachers can gather real-time data on students whilst still focusing on supporting the same students in realising their true potential. 

Ian Curtis is Head of Western Europe, Africa, Australia & New Zealand (ANZ), at Promethean.

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How edtech can help teachers

Edtech can support teachers with key challenges and pressures they face on a day-to-day basis, including assessment, marking and the capacity to meet different students’ needs. Teachers’ time is precious and it’s something they rarely have enough of. The pandemic has stretched teachers, tested their confidence and increased levels of anxiety and stress. Edtech has helped teachers to navigate home learning during the lockdowns. Promethean’s ActivPanel Elements Series is a user-friendly interactive flat panel display that places all of the most commonly used digital tools right at teachers’ fingertips. Multi-device mirroring lets teachers move freely and teach from anywhere in the classroom, increasing student collaboration and participation as students can communicate and work together from a distance. Interactive lesson delivery software, ActivInspire, is supplied as standard with the ActivPanel and provides a vast suite of tools to create and deliver collaborative lessons and increase student engagement. Using ActivInspire, teachers are also able to import existing resources, such as PowerPoint slides and PDFs, to enhance content and save time. To ensure schools are getting the most out of edtech, it’s crucial to provide appropriate training to put minds at rest and ensure the solution being used is fully optimised. Promethean’s new State of Technology in Education Report showed that teachers believe they are not receiving adequate training and support they need to utilise edtech effectively with 55% saying classroom tech training is lacking and 9% claiming that they have received no training at all. To help address the shortage of edtech training and make development opportunities more accessible to teachers throughout the UK and Ireland, Promethean created the online CPD platform, Learn Promethean, which provides free and easily accessible training. The platform provides a wide range of opportunities for developing edtech skills with over 20 online courses, more than 200 training videos, and over 130 articles and resources. All training options are tiered in varying degrees of ability and take a range of times to complete, so educators can select the training best suited to their learning objectives and availability. If edtech can save teachers precious time, this can ultimately help to improve their wellbeing.

How edtech can support students

Students need consistency, structure and meaningful interactions from their learning environment. When appropriate technology is used it has the potential to stimulate and inspire students. It can also be adapted to different learning needs and styles. Edtech can support more seamless communication, offer quicker feedback and encourage more engagement between students and between students and teachers. Using tools such as polls and quizzes for assessment can increase interactivity and enhance energy in the classroom. The Promethean ActivPanel encourages collaboration that supports wellbeing in class and can help reduce any feelings of separation or isolation among students. As teachers can interact and work with students at a distance, screen-sharing encourages engagement and drives lesson collaboration even if the students aren’t in the classroom. Preloaded on the ActivPanel, the Screen Share App can be used in class or to connect students learning at home. Sharing and celebrating individuals’ work in a whole class environment can help to elevate self-esteem. Students also have the opportunity to receive constructive and positive feedback from their peers.

Innovation is the way forward…

Great edtech should help teachers and students make the most out of every moment in the classroom, whether the ‘classroom’ is in school or at home. As we head into the winter months and a period of uncertainty, both teachers and students can feel more at ease knowing an infrastructure is in place that will ensure their learning continues in all eventualities. EdTech can enable schools to pre-empt challenges and situations where more flexibility is needed. Technology is an inevitable part of children’s futures and by embracing its full potential we may also help to safeguard the future of wellbeing in schools. To learn more about the trends identified in the Promethean State of Technology in Education UKI Report 2021/2022, please visit stateofed.tech. [post_title] => How edtech can support wellbeing in schools [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => how-edtech-can-support-wellbeing-in-schools [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2021-11-17 15:06:59 [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-11-17 15:06:59 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://edtechnology.co.uk/?p=47666 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 65 [max_num_pages] => 0 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => 1 [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_privacy_policy] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_favicon] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => 88036b2ef8ac5eed0d486a654622518a [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [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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