www.techandlearning.uk September 2015
BETTER WAYS TO MEASURE PROGRESS
BRINGING ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS UP TO DATE SEE PAGE 16
WHAT WILL THE CLASSROOM OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? P9
SECRETS FOR ACHIEVING SUCCESSFUL AV DEPLOYMENT P12
VISUAL TECHNOLOGY THAT CAN BRING LESSONS TO LIFE P30
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Editor: Michael Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Editor: Paddy Baker email@example.com Executive Editor: Joanne Ruddock firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Design: Jat Garcha email@example.com Designer: Tom Carpenter firstname.lastname@example.org Sales Manager: Gurpreet Purewal email@example.com Account Manager: Peter McCarthy firstname.lastname@example.org US Sales - Executive Vice President: Adam Goldstein email@example.com Production Executive: Warren Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org Head of Digital: Tim Frost email@example.com Publisher: Steve Connolly Contributors: Wim Barbaix, Justin Beck, Terry Freedman, Ian McMurray, Charles Sweeney
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If at ﬁrst you don’t succeed... This has been a very enjoyable issue to work on, not least because I interviewed Margaret Cox OBE. As well as discussing technology, progress and current teaching styles, King’s College London’s Professor of Information Technology in Education for both the Department for Education & Professional Studies and the Dental Institute, talks about hapTEL – a virtual learning project that she pioneered. It has produced a new haptic instrument for training dentists to work on teeth and has been developed further for the purpose of teaching trainee dentists, doctors and vets how to administer injections. The beneﬁts of both systems are universal. Realistic and repeatable simulation replaces the ﬁnite opportunities presented by using a real (but Editor: Michael Nicholson email@example.com detached) decayed tooth, or a dummy tooth. Injecting fruit or fellow students is superseded by an accurate, measurable and less invasive practice. And recipients of these techniques – you and probably everybody you know – do so at the hands of assured deliverers, as the old adage ‘practice makes perfect’ really comes into its own. It’s something I can really relate to, albeit in a very different context. If I hadn’t taken up photography in the digital age, I probably never would have. It was secondary to what I do – writing and editing – yet it’s clearly a beneﬁcial addition to my skillset. If I had to blindly shoot rolls of ﬁlm, with no instant reassurance or correction, I probably would have crumbled at the ﬁrst hurdle. The fact that I could try certain settings, take a photograph, look at it and adjust what I was doing and repeat that until I got it right, meant I was able to grow into being a fairly good photographer. In her interview (p10), Margaret predicts that haptic machines like hapTEL will become more and more prevalent in higher education. This issue also features some really insightful opinion columns and a couple of brilliant guest writers. Ian McMurray looks into deploying AV technology and the secrets of success (p12). We also welcome former teacher Terry Freedman, who is a regular contributor to the our US sister title Tech&Learning. Terry tackles the subject of bringing assessment systems up to date (p16). Another debut for this issue is our ‘How to…’ feature, plus we take a look at a NewTek broadcast infrastructure solution at the University of Portsmouth and overview visualisers in our product focus. I hope you enjoy the issue.
CONTRIBUTORS Wim Barbaix is Barco’s business development manager education – collaborative learning. He works with universities to provide them with technology to enhance collaborative learning. This includes applications relevant to ﬂipped learning, active learning and remote training facilities.
Terry Freedman has worked in education since 1975. He has taught in schools, been head of department, worked at the UK’s Qualiﬁcations & Curriculum Authority, held a senior position in a London local education authority, and was an Ofsted inspector for ICT and business education.
Justin Beck is vice president of education at open source video technology platform Kaltura. The company provides core video asset management and video creation tools. He also spent six years at Blackboard in a variety of leadership and strategic account management roles.
Ian McMurray has over 30 years’ experience in marketing, communications and media relations with high-technology companies in the IT and audiovisual markets. His experience and knowledge now contribute towards his career as a freelance writer, working across various titles.
Charles Sweeney is CEO of Bloxx. The company specialises in email and web ﬁltering technology, and is prevalent in a number of markets. Bloxx recognises the value of the internet in education and works to ensure web content is as accessible as it can be, while protecting students from its dangers.
Justin Beck discusses the power of video for enhancing learning Charles Sweeney on why the cloud and education belong together Wim Barbaix describes the collaborative classroom of the future
22 University of Portsmouth
12 Deploying AV Technology Secrets of successfully implementing new equipment
A unique broadcasting challenge that required a reliable solution
10 Interview Margaret Cox OBE
22 12 16 Assessment Systems Reassessing the way we measure progress
26 Reviews Sennheiser AVX FrogProgress Sharp Big Pad
30 Showcase Visualisers
20 How Toâ€Ś
Improve learning outcomes in SEN environments
JUSTIN BECK Motion pictures can enhance learning and help to achieve better outcomes
o many people, printed books, newspapers and magazines may seem a tad dated. After all , 60% of the population would prefer to watch a video than read. While a small but growing number of teens might have unlocked the power of TED talks to broaden their horizons, the vast majority would prefer to catch up on Zoella’s latest style tips or the football. While this might make teachers’ hearts sink, the good news is that video is proving to be a valuable educational tool in the classroom for advancing student engagement opportunities. Key to this success is that video can be more memorable than reading, with the new adage: ‘A moving picture is worth a million words’. It’s thought that 53% of people remember what they saw in a video compared to only 22% recalling what they have read. Don’t underestimate the impact this can have on the classroom, from primary to higher education. The days when a TV and VCR were wheeled into a classroom for a dreary documentary on how to wear safety goggles are long gone. Today, savvy teachers are bringing topics to life and fulﬁlling a thirst for knowledge by incorporating video into lessons, both as a knowledge distribution source (requiring students to watch videos) and a unique creation source, as video contribution and discussion become a major feature of the virtual and live classroom.
We recently conducted a survey in which we asked more than 1,200 respondents from over 300 educational institutions around the world for their thoughts on the state of video in education. In total, 82% of respondents said that video helps students to achieve better learning outcomes, and 91% believe that video enhances the learning experience. While the BBC ﬁrst started broadcasting schools programmes as long ago as 1957, the recent surge of video in the classroom is because the latest generation of video platforms gives teachers and pupils new capabilities that extend the value of video content and personalise the experience for diﬀerent types of learners. For example, the use of video captions can help children who don’t have English as a ﬁrst language. Or, for those pupils who are impatient and need to be continually engaged in new ways, there are tools such as in-video quizzes to grab their attention and keep them moving through a lesson. A full player studio empowers bright students and keeps them engaged as they customise their entire video experience, from the look and feel of the video player to the associated editing/capturing tools.
Today’s video technologies oﬀer features to support diﬀerent teaching techniques. These include video creation/capture tools, video search engines and tools to make content easily accessible and available at any time, on any device. Plus there are services that specialise in helping teachers navigate the complex world of video rights. Video can communicate in ways that are hard to replicate in the classroom. You can watch a bee hatching in slow motion or speeded up. You can learn new languages and sports the same way, and use video to forge relationships with communities on the other side of the planet. It’s not just professionally produced and created content that is ﬁnding
its way into the classroom. Students too are creating video content at a rapid pace. Video assignments are no longer the preserve of foundation art students; instead, with smartphones so pervasive, they are a reality for all ages and the feedback from students is positive. Whether they are producing their own stop frame animations, choreographing dances or updating Shakespeare’s plays, a video platform makes it easy to publish and share content with the wider community. By giving today’s YouTube generation the tools that they are thirsty for in the classroom, you have the potential to inspire the next Einstein or Nobel Prize winner. Q www.kaltura.com
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CHARLES SWEENEY It’s time for the cloud to reign over education environments
here has been a lot of talk about ‘the cloud’ and for big enterprises or organisations the advantages are far ranging and obvious. But what’s in it for education? Following a number of high-proﬁle breaches involving the cloud – the Apple iCloud breach being the most proliﬁc – it can be easy to put two and two together, but come up with ﬁve. So it’s no wonder that a sector that has the ultimate care of duty, not to stakeholders but to the next generation, has been somewhat nervous of the cloud. After all, not only do educational establishments have to ensure the safety of student data, but they also need to ensure that individuals in their care are not exposed to inappropriate content. Neither of these are easy tasks in the face of determined and persistent cyber criminals. Education organisations have enough on their plate, so why add to it? Indeed, many IT directors are still uncomfortable with outsourcing their IT. Having it ‘on premise’ brings with it a certain comfort factor – that the IT systems they are responsible for are protected by their four walls. Unfortunately, in today’s world that is no longer the case. Far from being insecure, with the right measures applied, the cloud can actually transform education organisations on two fronts. Firstly, the right cloud model can
help schools, colleges and universities to overcome a signiﬁcant proportion of the security issues they face. Increasingly devices are becoming a core part of lessons as well as omnipresent on campus. Many schools provide netbooks, for example, so that students can access the web in order to complete their homework. The challenge here is ensuring that the device conforms to the same security settings in the home environment as it does when on premise at the school. The worst thing that can happen is that, when using a school loaned device at home, a student is able to access inappropriate content because how content is streamed, ﬁltered and managed is not consistent across diﬀerent environments. As the provider of the device, the responsibility will be seen to rest with
the education establishment – it has to ensure it is able to protect the student regardless of location. At the moment, this is a challenge that most education establishments can’t eﬀectively manage, because they lack the ability to roll out security settings from a centralised place. As a result, some devices might have the right security settings, but others not, and until an incident occurs the school would have no way of knowing. Alongside the potential exposure to concerning content is the risk that inconsistencies in device management can provide a gateway for malicious malware or spyware to enter the network. The cloud doesn’t just beneﬁt schools from a security stance, it also empowers teachers to break down
technical barriers of legacy systems and securely access apps or software that can bring their lessons to life in new, engaging and innovative ways. At a time when the sector is having to increasingly adopt a corporate mindset in order to attract and retain pupils, the cloud can also oﬀer a clear commercial advantage. While devices and technology have changed the face of education, they have bought with them many variables that have the potential to signiﬁcantly increase cyber risks. Far from exacerbating the problem, cloud solutions can actually help education organisations to mitigate these risks and reduce the associated variables as well as deliver an appealing longterm cost model and environmentally sustainable credentials. Q www.bloxx.com
THE CLASSROOM OF THE
Collaboration and active learning is enhancing the student experience
hat does the classroom of the future look like? It is a classroom that accommodates a wide variety of learning activities like lectures, collaborative learning and group activities. Research shows that student learning styles have changed and are driven by networked, interactive and social behaviour. The tolerance for lecture-style teaching has dropped and students prefer more active learning rather than passive learning. Also, students who actively engage in the classroom session are more likely to retain the knowledge for longer and be able to use the information in diﬀerent contexts. New methods of teaching and learning drive the technology used in the classroom and vice versa. The classical lecture room evolves to physical and virtual collaboration rooms. In a collaboration room, groups of students are set to work by their teacher. Each group has its own table with a screen and digital whiteboards, on which students can share their ideas and results. At the start of the lesson a teacher brings up introductory content and displays that content on all the available screens in the room. Students are assigned to a group; they work on their tasks and learn from each other. They can search for information online and share it among each other with a web-based collaboration platform. Notes can be taken next to and on top of any content, and can be saved on the students’ BYOD.
Closing remarks, results and summaries of one or more groups can be displayed on all the screens in the room. The system that allows this technology is network-based and makes use of the available wireless and wired LAN infrastructure. A network room controller (NRC) generates the on-display source composition and streams the composition to the other displays in the room. A room of six tables and a teacher’s desk is built with seven NRCs, keeping the number of units and the cost to maintain them to a strict minimum. The teacher and the students can connect easily to the room displays using a Windows PC, a Mac or any iOS or Android device. Teachers control the complete room from a simple user interface, allowing them to have full control. At any time, any content can be
displayed on any screen, and from the same user interface teachers can start quizzes or polls and receive questions from the students. The solution is based on the wired and wireless internet network, and can be easily extended to the campus and even outside the campus. Multiple classrooms or collaboration rooms can virtually form one single room. Students who are unable to join the classroom can virtually join and have the same features as if they were physically present in the room; they can join a table and share their work, participate in a group discussion, raise questions and present their work on all screens in the collaboration room. Classrooms can be merged to virtually form one room, allowing teachers to teach and support collaboration between students
present in diﬀerent campuses – locally or anywhere around the world. The solution makes better use of the infrastructure and avoids teaching space being unused because not all students can ﬁt into one room. The ultimate solution is the virtual classroom that disregards geography and allows participants worldwide to interact in real time with one another and with the teacher, as they would all be in one classroom. Students or alumni could then join sessions without using time to commute or to be present at the campus. The unique conﬁguration of the solution allows participants to view all of the other participants via an interactive web page, encouraging communication, virtual hand raising and collaboration in sub-teams. Welcome to the classroom of the future. Q www.barco.com/education
INTERVIEW: MARGARET COX OBE
FEELING THE WAY
Margaret Cox is professor of information technology in education at King’s College London. She was awarded an OBE in 2001 for outstanding contributions to IT in Education. Cox has dedicated most of her professional life to educational research. She discusses teaching, progress and haptic simulators with Michael Nicholson
Margaret Cox believes there have been some signiﬁcant improvements in how technology is used in education
For over 40 years, Margaret Cox has developed educational software, researched the impact of IT on teaching, learning and assessment in all education sectors, and trained teachers to become IT teachers in secondary schools. Over the past seven years she has been directing a large interdisciplinary project called hapTEL, to develop and evaluate the use of haptics in dental education. She is author of over 250 academic papers, book chapters and oﬃcal reports. Cox is currently working on a new book, with Mary Webb, about technology-enhanced learning.
HAS TEACHING IMPROVED AS MUCH AS IT SHOULD HAVE? I think it depends where you go in the country. Certainly it’s got more diﬃcult for teachers. The abilities of the children across a comprehensive school are wider ranging, so organising the classes – including the technology – to take into account a big range of abilities is more diﬃcult. Teachers have a more challenging job to do. Technology could help with that; it’s just whether teachers get enough time to develop their skills to be able to introduce it into a 40-minute lesson. That’s the most diﬃcult thing.
People used to think that when they ﬁrst introduced computers into a school that the only skill that the teachers needed was how to use technology, but that’s not the biggest diﬃculty – it’s what they drop in their traditional teaching to be able to say: “Well, I’m conﬁdent that this week, instead of me doing roleplaying and decision-making in history, I’ll use a roleplay and decisionmaking computer game, and that will teach them as much as my traditional approach does.” Often they’ll hang on to the traditional methods because they’re more conﬁdent that those will be successful.
WHAT WILL CLASSROOMS OF THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? There was a man called Alfred Bork, who gave a keynote speech at a big conference in England on the 1970s, saying that in ﬁve years’ time you won’t recognise schools as they are today. Then ﬁve years later, I heard him say the same thing. And ﬁve years later… until in the 1980s I was at a meeting with him, where we were asked to write a book about using technology in science and maths – he started oﬀ by saying that same statement. I said: “No Alfred, schools haven’t changed that fast.” Sadly, he died a couple of years
INTERVIEW: MARGARET COX OBE ago. The point is: change is always slower than people anticipate because of the institutional barriers and constraints that people are faced with.
IS IT FRUSTRATING WHEN PROGRESS DOESN’T HAPPEN AS QUICKLY AS YOU’D EXPECT? Yes, it is. But you come to terms with it. It was part of the discussion on a recent Guardian panel I was on and I thought everybody else would disagree when I said that in 10 years time schools won’t be dramatically diﬀerent to how they are now. But they didn’t.
WILL SIMULATORS LIKE HAPTEL BECOME MORE COMMON IN THE FUTURE? I think at higher education level, haptic simulators will become more common, because they’re such an overhead for patient safety. We can’t aﬀord to have inadequate doctors or dentists. They can’t suddenly slip and cut into your gum. What we’ve shown with the haptic devices we’ve produced is that students get much better at removing decayed tissue from a tooth after just a one-hour session of practising than they do when they’re using the traditional one. They can only have two or three goes on a plastic tooth or a decayed natural tooth, whereas with the hapTEL one, because it’s virtual – albeit, with a real drill – they can have a go. If they go into the pulp, which is what we would call the gum, they can resurrect another tooth and have another go and so on until they get it right. We’ve just been analysing how often they hit the pulp. On the ﬁrst attempt, they all go straight into the pulp – they’re leaning too hard on the drill. Even in their ﬁrst year, during their second term, they’ve managed to learn these very ﬁne motor controls of their hands so that they don’t then hit the pulp. And that’s a key skill that they have to learn. What we’ve done with hapTEL is we’ve extended it to teach students how to give injections, because that is a key skill for medical students, dental students, nursing students and veterinary students. Traditionally, the way they ﬁrst learn is by injecting fruit. And then, very often, they have to agree to be injected by each other, which is a bit tough. It’s
much nicer and more reassuring if they can have a go with this machine. With it, you can feel the resistance of the skin and then the tissue underneath. It’s amazing.
BEING ABLE TO PRACTISE AND MAKE MISTAKES IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF LEARNING… My main stream of work is educational research and there’s a lot of research that shows that practice and repetition improve your ﬁnal performance. These students, every time they go through this process on the hapTEL machine, it logs everything they do, so they can come back and look at it later and say: “Last week, oh gosh, I removed half of the healthy tooth as well as the bit I was meant to be removing.” They can compare what they did last time. Plus there’s a video of what they did, so they can replay the video and see, for example, that the reason it didn’t work out well last time was because they held the drill at the wrong angle. In the traditional one at King’s, we’ve got 77 really impressive machines, which are called Phantom Head machines. They’re a bit like what you see in the dentist, with a chair and everything, and they have these artiﬁcial jaws that they put teeth into. The tutors walk around and give feedback but they can’t be with every student when you’ve got 77 in the room – we’ve only got three tutors. So they only see the product of what they’ve done. In other words, if a student breaks up a tooth, the tutor will ask how that happened and the student may or may not know the answer. Whereas this hapTEL machine knows exactly how it happened because you can replay it and see how it happened.
WHAT IMPROVEMENTS DO WE NEED TO SEE IN HOW TECHNOLOGY IS USED IN EDUCATION? I think there are some signiﬁcant improvements, even if they’re not universal across all schools. In science there is more use of small devices to collect data, which is then stored and analysed. There’s more ﬁeldwork being done because of technology. There are also more intellectually
Cox says haptic simulators like hapTEL will become more common in HE challenging tasks when teachers become aware of the strengths and weaknesses of diﬀerent types of technology. In some schools, when they’re using the power of a particular technology, there are examples of students really being able to learn more eﬀectively – things that are diﬃcult to achieve otherwise. One very good example is in the area of assisted learning, where there is lots of speciﬁc technology that has been shown to help people with special needs. When children who can’t control their hands need to write, you can put words on a screen and they can tap them to structure sentences, so they learn the intellectual rigour of how they express themselves through the written word, even if they can’t hold a device or even hold a keyboard very well. There are technologies for children who are deaf. You can get software that shows a wave pattern on the screen. The child speaks into a small microphone and tries to make the same wave pattern of diﬀerent words. I’m not saying that teachers aren’t there to help, but rather than teacher saying: “No that’s not quite right,” and the child not being able to hear how it’s right or wrong, they can see how it’s right or wrong. They can practise and practise, and when they get the same wave pattern for that word, they know the word sounds like it should. There are some wonderful things like that. Q www.kcl.ac.uk www.haptel.kcl.ac.uk
Margaret Cox OBE Q Professor of Information Technology in Education in both the Department for Education and Professional Studies and the Dental Institute at King’s College London, University of London; Professorial Fellow at the University of Melbourne Q Made a Life-long Fellow of NAACE in 2006 for outstanding contributions to ICT in education Q Current President of the National Conference of University Professors; past President of the Association for IT Teachers in Schools (ACITT, which merged with NAACE in 2002) Q Has developed educational software, researched the impact of IT on teaching, learning and assessment in all education sectors, and trained teachers to become IT teachers in secondary schools
FEATURE: DEPLOYING AV TECHNOLOGY How diďŹ€erent technologies connect can make the diďŹ€erence between a good return on investment and an outstanding return
THE SECRETS OF SUCCESS
A successful deployment of audiovisual technology in primary and secondary schools is, it seems, a function of many factors â€“ least among which is the AV technology itself. Ian McMurray gets a masterclass from the industry
ome of you in primary/ secondary education reading this will already have an audiovisual installation that youâ€™re perfectly happy with â€“ in which case, you may want to turn the page. For others, your experience may have been less satisfactory. And for still others, itâ€™s a journey youâ€™ve yet to embark upon. You may want to read on. Installing technology to aid teaching and improve learning outcomes is proven to deliver results â€“ but getting it right is unquestionably challenging. According to a recent study by Casio, 80% of UK teachers think AV technology in classrooms is extremely important, with 82% saying it empowers more interactive learning and 50% believing that pupils leave school with better skills as a result. However, nearly two-thirds face problems with unreliable equipment, over one-third donâ€™t have the right training to use it and 42% complained that they donâ€™t get
adequate technical support. Those are just some of the problems encountered in too many cases â€“ problems that diminish the return on the often-substantial investment made in technology. So, those who have turned the page â€“ what have they done right?
STARTING POINT AV industry professionals are in absolute agreement: thereâ€™s only one place to start, and itâ€™s not with choosing AV equipment. â€œFirst and foremost, we always encourage schools to ask themselves what their exact aims and outcomes are in regards to new technology,â€? explains Toni Barnett, managing director of integrator CDEC. â€œThey can then work with a company like ourselves to ďŹ nd a technology to suit their aims, within budget. We see a lot of cases where a school has previously been sold an allsinging, all-dancing piece of technology
that is very good â€“ but just isnâ€™t needed, or doesnâ€™t do what the school actually wanted it to do and is therefore gathering dust, which is a real shame. â€œSchools tend to get far better end results when they know what they want to achieve with an AV solution,â€? she continues. â€œDeciding what is important to them for a teaching point of view, what software they like to use, how they would like to teach and work with their class and so on.â€? Quentin Stokes, business development manager for education at integrator Digital Message, echoes this view: â€œThe school needs to understand what its particular teaching and learning style is before looking at the technology. Then it needs to look at the technology that best supports/ complements this. Getting help from advisors and others that are working in the ďŹ eld is extremely important. They will be able to oďŹ€er examples of good practice and demonstrate AV
â€˜Th he sch hool nee edss to unde ersttan nd whatt itss particcula ar tea ach hin ng and lea arn ning g sttyle e iss befforre loo okin ng att th he tecchn nolo ogyâ€™ Quen ntin n Sto okes, Dig gittal Messsage
FEATURE: DEPLOYING AV TECHNOLOGY
The installation by CDEC at Gateway Primary Free School in Tilbury includes a 4x3 video wall in the â€˜heart spaceâ€™ comprising 12 Samsung 46in monitors
technology being used eďŹ€ectively.â€? Huw Williams, marketing director at LearnPad, a developer and manufacturer of classroom technology solutions, oďŹ€ers similar advice: â€œAt LearnPad, our recommendation is to start by deciding upon the outcomes that the school is looking to achieve. Raising achievement is the obvious answer, but the school needs to understand how the use of the technology is going to enhance the teaching and achieve the objectives. What areas of classroom improvement is the school trying to address? Investing in technology is important, but ensuring that it is embedded in the learning environment eďŹ€ectively is vital. How it connects to other technologies can also make the diďŹ€erence between a good return on investment and an outstanding return.â€?
MAXIMISING VALUE Having determined the outcomes that are required, the next topic to address is that of budget â€“ something that is, in primary and secondary education,
notoriously hard to come by. How does the industry suggest going about maximising what the available funding can achieve? â€œFirst, have a plan and stick to it,â€? recommends Jon Knight, business development director at Smarter Interactive. â€œMany schools who have a three to ďŹ ve-year plan know they can aďŹ€ord to install into 25% to 30% of their rooms in year one, and then another 25% to 30% in year two. Provided they have investigated the best technology for their budget, staďŹ€ and students will be willing to wait if they know new technology is coming. â€œSecond,â€? he adds, â€œbuy the best you can aďŹ€ord today. Itâ€™s better to deliver less fully integrated classroom solutions than more compromised solutions. And, if you know youâ€™re going to have to compromise, ensure you know what the implications are. Third, and perhaps most importantly: ďŹ nd a supplier you can trust. Just
supplying a screen is easy, but helping schools to decide upon their choices with impartial advice and supporting them
â€˜Just supplying a screen is easy, but helping schools to decide upon their choices with impartial advice and supporting them with training and technical support is more challengingâ€™ Jon Knight, Smarter Interactive
FEATURE: DEPLOYING AV TECHNOLOGY
According to Huw Williams of LearnPad, the most important thing is to start by deciding upon the outcomes that the school is looking to achieve
with training and technical support is more challenging. There are AV suppliers to schools who want to work in this way.â€? â€œLook at the total cost of ownership,â€? adds Stokes. â€œThe latest OLED panels oďŹ€er signiďŹ cant electrical savings over the ubiquitous projector and interactive board. They also require a lot less maintenance and will last for at least as long as two or three lamp replacements
on an equivalent projector.â€? Williams is clear: â€œThe most important investment is training,. If the school only has enough money for the technology, from experience I would recommend a smaller investment in the product and allocating a level of funding to structured and continued training and development.â€? He is also a fan of a phased roll-out, not least because it enables those involved at the outset to pass on their experience to colleagues.
GOOD DEPLOYMENT GUIDE
Tech&Learning UK asked participants to identify the secrets of a successful implementation of AV technology. Hereâ€™s a summary â€“ not in rank order â€“ of what they came up with. â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘ â€˘
Have a three to ďŹ ve-year technology plan â€“ think long term Phase implementation over two or more years â€“ one step at a time Understand desired educational outcomes Identify budget compromises/implications upfront Match technology choices to teaching styles Involve and get buy-in from all potential users Compare/contrast a broad range of solutions Take advantage of other schoolsâ€™ experiences Donâ€™t undervalue integrator expertise
INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMES There are also innovative programmes out there designed to help schools stretch their budget as far as possible. â€œRecognising that schools will want to plan ahead for regular replacement, Steljes has recently launched a new programme with SMART to allow schools to invest in a services-based programme such as SMART ClaaS to enable them to get more from their money and to upgrade more quickly and in a planned way,â€? notes Helene Podmore, head of education solutions at distributor Steljes, adding that the programme doesnâ€™t just need to include SMART products, but can include tablets, PCs, WiFi, visualisers and so on. She also advocates creating spaces that are flexible and are utilised fully by exploring the broad range of interactive solutions now available on the market; not being afraid to build upon what is already in place; and checking that warranties meet the schoolâ€™s requirement.
Another interesting programme has been devised by CDEC. â€œWe can build â€˜proof of conceptâ€™ rooms for schools who want to try before they buy, in which we will install a number of fully functional AV solutions for staďŹ€ and pupils to see which they prefer,â€? points out Barnett. â€œThis is a popular service that always results in excellent feedback and solid, conďŹ dent decisions.â€? For sure, schools should certainly avail themselves of the demonstration facilities â€“ and reference sites â€“ that any good manufacturer or integrator will have. And, ideally, a school will delve even deeper, according to Williams. â€œOnce the school fully understands its goal, the next step is to ďŹ nd other schools that have taken these steps and achieved their objectives,â€? he asserts. â€œSpeaking to them about the lessons learned, mistakes made and successes achieved can save the school time and money.â€? There are, though, many other attributes beyond demonstrations and references that a good integrator will bring to the table.
FEATURE: DEPLOYING AV TECHNOLOGY GOOD SUPPLIERS â€œGood AV suppliers who value a longterm partnership with their schools should be oďŹ€ering advice to help a school understand their choices,â€? says Knight, â€œand any potential future implications of buying something today. They should oďŹ€er a choice of solutions. And, of course, value for money.â€? Stokes warms to the theme. â€œThe AV integrator needs to be able to listen to the schoolâ€™s requirements and then help them to make informed decisions about the right solution for them,â€? he declares. â€œThe AV integrator should be able to explain the strengths and weaknesses of a range of solutions to help guide the school to a tailored solution that is appropriate for their requirements. The factors involved could be anything from ease of use, size of screens and running costs through to maintenance costs, software familiarity and so on.â€? â€œUltimately,â€? adds Knight, â€œschools need to be thinking long term regarding how they can keep up to date with technology both now and in the future. The best AV solutions are reliable and integrated and therefore the technology experience is seamless. In order for this to be achieved, schools need to consider technology they purchase today and whether this will meet their long-term technology plan objectives.â€? Here again, integrators have a role to play. â€œAV integrators like ourselves keep our ďŹ ngers on the pulse with new technologies, product launches and emerging trends in educational technology,â€? notes Barnett. Podmore agrees on the importance: â€œWe and our integrators make a point of attending educational technology events and exhibitions,â€? she says. â€œThat ensures that our knowledge is always up to date and leaves us better placed to provide the right advice â€“ on an ongoing basis â€“ to our customers.â€?
THE KEYS TO SUCCESS Itâ€™s something of an overstatement to say that it seems apparent from the industry that the success of a schoolâ€™s deployment of AV technology has very little to do with the technology itself. The keys to success are knowing what
Tech&Learning UK asked industry insiders to oďŹ€er pointers about mistakes theyâ€™ve seen and what to do â€“ or what not to do â€“ in implementing audiovisual technology. Hereâ€™s a sample of their responses, in no particular order.
â€œNott ha aving g the riight sofftwa are to ensu ure inte egration n of deviicess.â€?
Hellen ne Podmo ore e, Ste elje es
â€œNo-one knows it all, so talk to a range of companies regarding options that are available before deciding which direction to take.â€?
Jon Knight, Smarter Interactive
â€œMu ultittouch h in ntera activve surfface es: the e mo ore e toucchess the bettter?? No â€“ afte er all, exactlyy how w man ny peop ple can yo ou ha ave e ga ath hered arou und d on ne boarrd befo ore nob bod dy elsse can see e it?? At bestt, tw wo.â€?
â€œFind a supplier you can trust â€“ working with an independent, service-focused company will deliver much better long-term outcomes than one who is only trying to offer a small range of technology or just wants to sell you this monthâ€™s deal.â€?
â€œA la ackk of in nittia al in nfrasstruccturre evallua ation.. So ome e sch hoolss â€“ thankkfullyy, few â€“ faiil to consside er ke ey requ uirem men nts such h ass the eir broa adband d an nd WiFii co onne ectiivity.â€?â€?
Jon Knight, Smarter Interactive
Huw w Willia ams, Lea arn nPad d
â€œNott giiving g te eache ers the too ols and d su uppo ort need ded to get the besst fro om the tecchno olog gy.â€?
Hellen ne Podmo ore e, Ste elje es
â€œDonâ€™t hold back on booking training sessions for as many staff as you can, to ensure the technology gets used as widely as possible.â€?
â€œDonâ€™t forget to test the water with the teachers and pupils who will be using it. See what they think and listen to their views.â€?
â€œSelff in nstallatiion. Insta allerrs makke theirr jo ob loo ok simp ple, but it often isnâ€™t.â€?
â€œThe e he eadttea acher or hea ad of IC CT inve ests in the te ech hnolo ogyy with hou ut getttin ng sttaff buyy-in. If teacche ers are not in nvo olved d in n the deccisio on--makkin ng pro ocesss theyy will be e le ess liikelyy to com mmitt to the e rolll-ou ut, which in n tu urn affe ectss its succcesss.â€?
Toni Barnett, CDEC
Que entin Sttoke es, Dig gita al Messag ge
Huw w Willia ams, Lea arn nPad d
facilitating learning, not technology leading learning. â€œWith that approach, supported by regular teacher training and ongoing investment in the development of best practice in the use of interactive technologies and supported by the fantastic online resources that are available, success is signiďŹ cantly more likely.â€? Of course, choosing the right technology plays a crucial role in determining success, but the industry is clear that it should be the end point,
not the starting point, of the project. The good news is: there are companies out there with extensive experience in providing solutions to schools â€“ both manufacturers and integrators â€“ who are ideally placed to help schools navigate their way through from design to implementation. Itâ€™s imperative for any school to leverage their expertise. Q www.cdec.co.uk www.digitalmessage.co.uk www.learnpad.com www.smarterinteractive.co.uk www.steljes.com
the school wants to achieve; having a longer-term plan; matching the chosen technology to teacher styles and preferences; ensuring across-theboard buy-in; understanding how to get the most from a budget that is never enough; phasing the project in over time; and investing appropriately in ongoing training. â€œPerhaps most important of all,â€? concludes Podmore, â€œis that the school â€“ guided by the integrator â€“ understands and implements solutions based on an ethos of technology
Toni Barnett, CDEC
Quen ntin Sttoke es, Dig gita al Messa age
â€œCreate a plan. After creating a technology team, talk to the staff and seek advice create a 3-5 year technology plan. Start with a vision of what you would like the classrooms to look like in the future, and work your way back.â€?
Jon Knight, Smarter Interactive
FEATURE: ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS
ANOTHER LEVEL? A mixture of systemic changes and technological developments has raised questions about how we measure student progress. Terry Freedman discusses how a valuable opportunity for schools has now arisen in the area of computing
any teachers of computing will have known only the National Curriculumâ€™s ICT Programme of Study and its associated Levels and Level Descriptors, which came into force in 1988. However, in 2013 the DfE announced that the system of Levels was no longer fit for purpose, and so the requirement to use them would be removed. As originally conceived, Levels worked reasonably well. They were intended to be used as best-fit statements about what pupils had achieved by the end of a Key Stage. That last phrase â€“ â€˜by the end of a Key Stageâ€™ â€“ is very important. They were never originally intended to be
used as a means of grading pupils on a continual basis, and they were certainly never intended to be applied to individual pieces of work or be divided into sub-levels. In other words, the Levels started to be used for purposes and in ways that they had not been designed for. There are also a few additional problems with Levels that became clear over time. First, some people objected to the principle of best fit, because it meant, for example, that a pupil could be designated as being at Level 4 when he or she had not mastered all of the elements expected at Level 4. That was probably liveable with, as long as the Levels were not expected to represent pupilsâ€™ understanding
absolutely precisely, but rather as a qualitative description of what the pupil knew, understood and could do. In any event, one could argue that this situation was no different to that of a history GCSE in which a pupil could gain a grade B, for instance, without knowing anything about World War II. Second, assessment should be a starting point for discussion about how to improve. However, very often this discussion tended to conclude with: â€œWhat Level am I on?â€? Or, from parents: â€œHow come my daughter is only a Level 3 but her friend, who copies from her, is a Level 4?â€? Third, despite all the guidance that the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority published, teachersâ€™
â€˜We e havve a cha ancce forr assse esssme ent to o be th he serva ant off lea arn ning g, ratther th han its mastterâ€™ Pro ofe esso or Dyylan Wilia am,, co-a auttho or of Inssid de th he Bllack Boxx
interpretations of what each Level meant in practice varied widely. What this meant â€“ and why this is still relevant today â€“ is that although teachers understood the words and meaning of the Level Descriptors, there was always a challenge when it came to applying those descriptors in practice, because you can only judge by the evidence in front of you, and your interpretation of that evidence.
FEATURE: ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS
Not only did the â€˜talkâ€™ centre on Levels, but it was by no means clear that what teachers in school X meant by a Level 5, and what teachers in school Y meant by a Level 5, were in any way related. This is important even now for two reasons. Whether you use a system of Levels or not, you still have to be clear what your designation means in practical terms: if you tell me someone is a Level 2, it has to be very clear what that means. And, in a world where there are no longer nationally agreed or imposed benchmarks (in terms of Levels), the need for schools at diďŹ€erent stages to co-operate with each other is greater than ever. That is to say, primary and secondary schools need to talk to each other, so that each knows what is expected, hoped for or assumed by the other.
GREAT OPPORTUNITY All this may seem very worrying to the
teacher of computing. Not only is there no nationally agreed set of standards, but schools have been told, in eďŹ€ect, to do their own thing; to invent or decide on their own approach to assessment. This is, in fact, a great opportunity for schools in general. As Professor Dylan Wiliam, co-author of the seminal work on assessment for learning, Inside the Black Box, and a well-known advocate of formative assessment, told us: â€œSchools can now plan for the long term. Primary schools will get students when they are four or ďŹ ve, and have six years to get them to where they need to be. Secondary schools will receive students at the age of 11, and have ďŹ ve years to plan how to get them the best possible grades at GCSE, and beyond. What we have now is a chance to design assessment systems that support the curriculum, rather than shoe-horning the curriculum to ďŹ t an assessment; a chance for assessment
â€˜Dig gittal assesssm mentt mean ns makin ng whattâ€™s im mporta ant meassurrab ble e, ra ath herr tha an ma aking g wha at is meassurrab ble imp porta antâ€™â€™ Mattt Win ngďŹ e eld d, cha airrma an off th he eAsssesssmen nt Asssocia atio on
to be the servant of learning, rather than its master.â€? It is also a wonderful opportunity for teachers of computing. As Professor Wiliam suggests, you can devise a curriculum and a scheme of work that is best for your particular pupils, and devise the assessment system accordingly, rather than trying to adapt your curriculum to assessment requirements. Teachers have often complained that the assessment tail wags the curriculum dog, and now there is a chance to change that. If you have the courage, you can be quite creative, both in terms of the curriculum you oďŹ€er, and how you assess it. For example, how about a curriculum that centres on solving problems for local organisations, and which involves them in assessing pupils? Given this new-found freedom, it is rather dispiriting that many of the schemes for assessing computing are either Levels disguised by another name
FEATURE: ASSESSMENT SYSTEMS ONLINE RESOURCES Useful tools for tracking and recording pupilsâ€™ progress: Explain Everything This is a useful app for pupils: Explain Everything enables pupils to record a video and annotate it (to cite just two features). http://explaineverything.com 2Simple Build a ProďŹ le An award-winning app for gathering observations on the go. www.2simple.com CAS Progression Pathways If you are using the CAS Progression Pathways grid for your assessment, there is now an online application based on it: http://progression-pathways.co.uk or, at least, look very much like them. What is holding people back from being truly innovative?
WHAT OFSTED WANTS Now, the big elephant in the room is Ofsted. Or rather, it is the Ofsted of teachersâ€™ imaginations, because Ofsted is a lot less prescriptive than you might imagine. You are, perhaps, sceptical. Well, this is taken directly from the new Handbook for School Inspection: â€œInspectors should note that Ofsted does not expect to see any particular system of assessment in place.â€? Or look at these points, taken from the criteria for the Outstanding grade for teaching, learning and assessment: â€œTeachers provide adequate time for practice to embed the pupilsâ€™ knowledge, understanding and skills securely. They introduce subject content progressively and constantly demand more of pupils. Teachers identify and support any pupil who is falling behind, and enable almost all to catch up. Teachers check pupilsâ€™ understanding systematically and eďŹ€ectively in lessons, oďŹ€ering clearly directed and timely support. Teachers provide pupils with incisive feedback, in line with the schoolâ€™s assessment policy, about what pupils can do to improve their knowledge, understanding and skills. The pupils use this feedback eďŹ€ectively.â€? So what evidence will Ofsted be looking for? Hereâ€™s what the Handbook says: â€œAssessment draws on a range
e-Assessment Association You can ďŹ nd further information about e-assessment techniques, and guidance on their use, on the e-Assessment Association website. www.e-assessment.com MAPS A tool for tracking, managing and assessing student work digitally. www.maps-ict.com
Groupcall Xporter An automated solution for securely collecting and delivering data. www.groupcall.com of evidence of what pupils know, understand and can do across the curriculum.â€? This is directly related to the new computing programme of study itself, which sets out what pupils should know, understand and be able to do at the end of each Key Stage. That implies that when it comes to assessment, your judgements must be age appropriate. There is now a big emphasis on formative assessment, as you may have gleaned from the Ofsted extracts above. That is to say, you will need to capture evidence of learning as it happens. The kind of evidence you can use is very open, and could include such things as: videos of pupils doing things, videos made by pupils to explain what they have done and why, other kinds of presentation, self-assessment, peer assessment and your observations of pupils in terms of how they take part in group activities, how they solve problems in, say, a simulation, and how active and accurate they are in answering questions in class. This is by no means a deďŹ nitive list.
THE STORY SO FARâ€Ś To summarise the situationâ€Ś You can assess pupils how you like, as long as you can justify it and as long as it ďŹ ts in with the schoolâ€™s approach to assessment as a whole: Ofsted does not expect to see any particular methodology. You can use a range of evidence, as you think is appropriate. Your assessment system must enable you to gauge very
Socrative Hereâ€™s a good one for teachers: Remember student response systems? Socrative gives you the same sort of functionality in an app. www.socrative.com quickly where pupils are in terms of their learning, and to oďŹ€er feedback and help quickly. This implies a strong emphasis on formative assessment. Therefore, to bring your approach to assessing computing up to date, you need to: z Change from a Levels mindset â€“ easier said than done, of course, but necessary z Identify what evidence you need to determine what pupils know, understand and can do z Try to be imaginative â€“ think of ways to immerse pupils in problem-solving situations, for example z Think of how you might use technology to help Matt WingďŹ eld, chairman of the eAssessment Association says that: â€œDigital assessment technologies help both learners and teachers to embrace assessment approaches that have hitherto been too complicated or logistically challenging to deliver in schools, such as cross-cohort peer review â€“ where we empower students to be part of the assessment process and increase their understanding of what we perceive to be valuable. In so doing, we shape behaviour in response to the assessment, rather than â€˜have the assessment done to themâ€™ at the end of the year. This is not about digitising paper processes behind glass. Digital assessment means making whatâ€™s important measurable, rather than
SIMS Teacher App for organising everyday classroom tasks www.capita-sims.co.uk making what is measurable important.â€? WingďŹ eld further points out that e-assessment is increasingly being used in vocational, professional and higher education, and by some awarding bodies.
WHAT NOW? Starting with a blank sheet of paper is diďŹƒcult, so your ďŹ rst port of call might be the DfEâ€™s innovation fund schools. Last year, the DfE invited schools to come up with new approaches to assessment, with the promise that the most interesting-looking ones would be given some funding to develop them further. Around the time that this magazine goes to press, the DfEâ€™s Assessment Commission report should be available. This wonâ€™t be computing-speciďŹ c, but will give you some ideas about the current thinking. If the worst comes to the worst, and you are inspected very early on in the school year and do not have a new assessment in place yet, my understanding is that Ofsted recognises that you canâ€™t change things overnight, but will expect to see evidence that you have thought about it. All this may seem daunting, but try to think of it in a diďŹ€erent way. For the ďŹ rst time in over 25 years we are being encouraged to think about the kind of assessment we want. Assessment that is most appropriate for our individual situations. This is too good an opportunity to miss. Q
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FEATURE: HOW TO… Keyham’s ‘heart area’ is a communal space where staﬀ and students dine together
HOW TO MAXIMISE LEARNING OUTCOMES IN SEN ENVIRONMENTS
Educational AV integration specialist CDEC has a wealth of experience in prescribing and implementing solutions for a variety of learning environments. We asked the company to outline how it approaches the speciﬁc challenges of SEN environments
echnology is engrained in youth culture. Smartphones, instant messaging, music/ video sharing, on-demand content streaming and social networking are the foundation of an important online collaboration among peers and, at the touch of a button, with the rest of the world. In recent years, educators have embraced this collaboration and the deep-rooted use of technology, with teachers increasingly exploring and implementing new and exciting ways to incorporate interactive technologies to enhance engagement and learning outcomes. Yet in certain areas of the education spectrum, such as special educational needs (SEN) environments, not all new technologies are practical, nor
accessible. Quite simply put, not all young people have the physical or mental ability to engage with such technologies. In these circumstances, how can interactive/audiovisual technologies be used to maximise SEN learning outcomes? “We look in depth at the exact needs of an SEN school and its students, and talk in great detail about their aims and outcomes,” explains Toni Barnett, managing director of CDEC. “We share good practice from similar establishments and show live examples of technologies improving the outcomes of young people with disabilities. “There is no single solution; many diﬀerent strategies are needed to support young people with learning and behavioural diﬃculties, and physical
and mental disabilities. In many cases, touchscreens, tablets and any form of technology that requires ﬁne motor skills are not a viable option. We are often met with the challenge of devising viable alternate solutions for SEN facilities.” Barnett continues: “We work closely with our manufacturers to adapt equipment and create bespoke solutions that are more ﬁt for purpose than mainstream solutions. Adapting a certain technology to unlock just one of its many potential uses can make a groundbreaking diﬀerence in an SEN environment. “Our installation teams are highly skilled, sensitive to SEN needs and can devise solutions that are more inclusive for these niche groups of young people,
be it installing a screen at wheelchair accessible height with no peripherals in front of it, or installing ‘unbreakable’ technologies in behavioural units. “The feedback we receive from each and every SEN project is incredibly rewarding and inspires us to continually research and develop fresh solutions and investigate ways to adapt more mainstream technologies to improve learning outcomes in the SEN sector.”
KEYHAM LODGE Two projects illustrate CDEC’s approach in SEN projects. Opened in 1997 as a day provision for boys aged 11–16, Keyham Lodge is a school for children with social, emotional and behavioural diﬃculties (SEBD) providing predominantly secondary education, but
FEATURE: HOW TO… CDEC’S TOP TIPS FOR SEN SOLUTIONS
Toni Barnett, managing director of CDEC
Speak to an experienced specialist who will understand your exact needs and tailor a solution Try the technology before you buy. At CDEC we oﬀer ‘proof of concept’ rooms for our customers who can then make a solid, conﬁdent decision having tested the equipment with students and teachers Explore multi-purpose solutions so that equipment can be used diﬀerently with diﬀerent students depending on their limitations Don’t wait for developments to come along – share your ideas of what would work for your students and encourage adaptations or product developments
with a small primary facility. Barnett explains: “The key considerations for the AV integration were to ensure that the equipment was ﬁt for purpose in regard to the issues that the young people face. The technology needed to be engaging and interactive so as to ensure maximum learning outcomes for this niche group of young people with social, emotional and behavioural diﬃculties. Yet it also needed to be quick to start up, and work ﬁrst time, every time, so as to be able to ensure the attention of the young people is not lost. The reliability and ease of operation of the technology was therefore key.” The equipment also needed to be as ‘unbreakable’ as possible, as it is common for young people with severe SEBD to have physical outbursts – sometimes of a violent nature. The equipment therefore needed to withstand trauma and be installed in a way so as not to cause harm during any situations like that. Barnett adds: “Taking all of the above into consideration, we opted for a highly visual and interactive solution, combining NEC UM280Wi projectors and 80in semi-matt whiteboard
combinations in all 18 classrooms. This solution not only eliminates potential damage to LED or LCD TV screens, but is highly user-friendly and easy to maintain. The NEC UM280Wi shortthrow projectors are ceiling mounted out of reach at the front of the classrooms.” In the science classrooms, CDEC installed the same set-up coupled with wePresent technology, to allow teachers to present wirelessly from a tablet or smartphone, improving interactivity within the classroom. The school’s digital signage in reception comprises a Sahara SV40 LED screen, mounted at 2.5m high. A 60in Sharp LED screen in the school conference room is also on the network and can be used as digital signage or for presentations and for linking with other schools. The centrepiece of the school is in the ‘heart area’ – a communal space in which staﬀ and students dine together and enjoy recreational time. CDEC installed an Epson EB-G6250W long-throw projector to create a 3m wide display on the end wall and Ecler T106 speakers to form a surround soundscape. This space and its technology are used for
assemblies and for educational and recreational purposes. Keyham Lodge’s executive head, Chris Bruce, comments: “The students are the ones who have beneﬁtted the most because the technology is now allowing them to get up and actively learn through the interactive nature of the whiteboards and other technologies. For them, being able to move around the school and continue to learn is brilliant.” Assistant head Victoria Edward adds: “A lot of our pupils have historic literacy diﬃculties, which means they struggle to access the curriculum and this means we need a multi-sensory approach to learning for the pupils to remove those barriers. So it is not good enough for a teacher to stand and talk to the pupils or give them bits of paper, they need an interactive way of approaching learning and of accessing their learning across the curriculum. The AV technology we have oﬀers them that multi-sensory approach, where they can interact with the technology installed around the school.”
ASH FIELD ACADEMY
Ash Field’s hall features Epson projection, Audeo sound and wePresent technology
Ash Field Academy is a day and weekly SEN boarding school for learners of all abilities from a number of local authorities. Learners’ main presenting diﬃculties are physical; however, their needs are often a complex mix of the medical, sensory, communication, intellectual, emotional and social. The new £3.7m facility opened in June 2014 and boasts state-of-the-art accessible teaching facilities and a recreational hall area.
“On this project we again needed to be sensitive to, and accommodate, the special needs of the young people,” recalls Barnett. “Highly visual and stimulating solutions were required in classrooms that were accessible for all and easy to use and maintain. The school also wanted a multi-purpose AV solution in the hall area. “We installed an NEC UM330Wi short-throw projector in each of the seven new classrooms, along with 80in semi-matt projection boards at an accessible height, to enable wheelchair users to access the boards and interact.” In the hall area, CDEC created a 4m wide projection area with an Epson EBG6250W projector and long-throw lens. This is complemented by an Audeo 106 surround sound system and wePresent technology, gearing the hall up for both educational and recreational purposes. It also provides an accessible space for assemblies and performances such as Ash Field’s iPad orchestra performance. This orchestra project focuses on the use of musical apps and light systems to enable the SEN students to create a piece of music by recording their own voices, making sounds with new technologies and creating a visual background for the musical piece. Julie Aqualina, business manager at Ash Field Academy, says: “The AV technology is amazing and the kids are absolutely thrilled by it. It makes their learning multi-functional and it’s accessible by all as well. It has deﬁnitely improved on what we already had in our school.” Q www.cdec.co.uk
SOLUTIONS: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
Professor Neil Morris believes lecture capture enhances the student experience (ÂŠUniversity of Leeds)
RUNNING A BROADCAST MARATHON
When staging a 24-hour live broadcast, the technology infrastructure has to be rock solid, as Michael Nicholson discovers he University of Portsmouthâ€™s broadcast challenge started out in 2010 as a two-hour operation, which helped to summarise a learning objective of the BSc Television and Broadcasting degree course. Four years later, the challenge
had grown. So, too, had the importance of the technology underpinning it. In May 2014, the University of Portsmouthâ€™s BSc Television and Broadcasting degree students set out to broadcast for a continuous 24 hours. To do that, they would need lots of content. They would need presenters
with plenty of energy. And they would need a technological infrastructure that they could rely on. The objective of the project was to test the studentsâ€™ creative and technical skills on an extended live broadcast, which would be used to showcase the studentsâ€™ work from the
last academic year, while also raising money for six chosen charities. Speaking before the 24-hour challenge, course leader Charlie Watts highlighted: â€œWhat we are attempting is going to be very hard to pull oďŹ€; however, my students want to go into the television industry, and I think Iâ€™m
SOLUTIONS: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
StaďŹ€ and students were safe knowing that NewTek TriCaster technology was behind everything they were doing
partly responsible for getting major league broadcasters to look at what we are doing. This isnâ€™t some webcam pointed at the same area for hours on end â€“ this is a live, varied, passionate, multi-camera production that looks like network television, and anyone viewing will be knocked out by what our students are creating this year.â€? The marathon broadcast featured a mixture of original programmes, narrated items, documentaries and short ďŹ lms that included student work celebrating the previous academic year. It opened and closed with CCI Live, the ďŹ‚agship programme of the Faculty of
Creative and Cultural Industries. The challenge was split into six time zones â€“ with each zone having a specialist student team focusing on a particular theme. The live broadcast included local community collaboration, as well as an international focus for foreign students. The production was supported by three NewTek TriCaster systems, which controlled the live and pre-recorded content and the live stream to all of the campus TVs, the university website and the Portsmouth City Council big screen situated in Guildhall Square, Portsmouth.
PASSIONATE TEACHING STAFF â€œI genuinely think many students choose to study within our school because they can see that the staďŹ€ love their jobs and love the specialisms that they teach,â€? says Watts. â€œI also think it helps that we are all pretty down-to-earth people â€“ and that, coupled with our enthusiasm, makes the learning environment extremely welcoming.â€? Watts is passionate about his task: â€œOur prime mission is to facilitate and deliver a course that is focused on the inner workings of broadcast television and radio. The fact that
we have our own TV channel and the ability to broadcast live from internal and external locations with a young and enthusiastic workforce is pretty fantastic.â€?
BREAKING NEW GROUND Having started out with a NewTek TriCaster live production and streaming system in 2012, the students and lecturers have been allowed the freedom to learn, develop and break new ground with the technology. Gary Bown, principal lecturer and head tutor for all outside broadcast operations at the University of Portsmouth, explains:
SOLUTIONS: UNIVERSITY OF PORTSMOUTH
The prime focus of the course is on the inner workings of broadcast television and radio
The challenge raised ÂŁ1,500 for charity
â€œIf students want to go to the moon, weâ€™ll build the rocket, as long as they agree to control the mission. Beyond the talent of our students, a key factor for this ambitious project is reliable technology, and weâ€™re safe knowing that NewTek TriCaster is behind everything weâ€™re doing. Itâ€™s the technology backbone to all of our plans, and an enormous element of our conďŹ dence that we would pull this oďŹ€.â€? Chris Waddington, director of sales east, EMEA at NewTek, recognises the beneďŹ t of being able to facilitate practical working experiences: â€œChallenges like this provide a fantastic real-world broadcasting experience for students. Weâ€™re proud to see TriCaster at the heart of this operation, allowing the students to produce a professional, live streaming video programme that has the look of a major broadcast television show.â€? Course leader Watts outlines why choosing the Tricaster solution was an easy decision: â€œQuite literally, the TriCaster was the most powerful
studio in a box that we found, and it transformed how we worked within a few short weeks. We devised a course that at the time did not exist. Our mission statement was to teach and train students to be able to deliver weekly live TV programmes without fail, and once we had the broadcast server to help schedule and maintain content, the TriCaster slotted very neatly into place as the kit of choice. It transformed our ways of working and we purchased another two as fast as we could.â€œ
IMPACT TECHNOLOGY As Watts points out, the day-long broadcast challenge was only the tip of the iceberg of the opportunities opened up to the BSc Television and Broadcasting degree. This is impact technology. The TriCaster system is a holistic content publishing hub for all media coming into a live programme. It handles the broadcast output, as well as
the multichannel delivery, simultaneous streaming and social media publishing, plus all the integration points in between necessary for users to create, publish and repurpose their media. The system oďŹ€ers remote control of a redundant system, router support for large-scale enterprise production, a 24-channel switcher, professional audio mixing, and up to 14 output destinations. And, with what is described as â€˜the worldâ€™s most powerful integrated eďŹ€ects systemâ€™ now made even more powerful with some innovative visual eďŹ€ects, students and other operators have the tools they need to keep the audience hooked on every screen. Watts continues: â€œThe workďŹ‚ow required to populate a TriCaster is really well thought out, and this helps students plan their programmes in a particular way. Metadata and labelling is essential to a clean, well-organised programme and the TriCaster interface is well designed to help students really get to grips with what they intend
â€˜Quite literally, the TriCaster was the most powerful studio in a box that we found, and it transformed how we worked within a few short weeksâ€™
Charlie Watts, University of Portsmouth
to broadcast. It helps that broadcasters have also adopted the TriCaster as a viable solution for outside broadcasts, and the really essential matter is that live TV in the curriculum is a great way to nurture learning without a safety net.â€?
PROGRESSIVE LEARNING For the university, and for the course, TriCaster has played a part in a wave of progressive education: â€œOur challenge quickly evolved from a two-hour all-live show, to a four-hour and then a six-hour broadcast,â€? says Watts. â€œOur dean and head of school then posed the challenge of a 24-hour show. That really changed everything for us, and it really helped put my course on the map and demonstrate to a great many people what we were capable of. It also helped that we raised money for charity throughout the 24-hour challenge â€“ Iâ€™m delighted we raised ÂŁ1,500 and provided a student experience that they will never forget. â€œWe went into our 24-hour broadcast challenge with eyes wide open and some factors were always going to be unknown until we tried it. All of our TriCasters had to be operating for over 26 hours and with continual use I can conďŹ rm that there was not one blip or restart required. Thatâ€™s a hell of a recommendation for some serious pieces of kit. If you want to put on a memorable show, all you need is a plan, a workforce willing to go into battle, some hopes, dreams and a few TriCasters. If you have all that youâ€™ll be ďŹ ne.â€? Q www.newtek.com
BRINGING HIGHER EDUCATION TO THE FOREFRONT OF TECHNOLOGICAL EXCELLENCE
arwick Business School (WBS) recognised the need to differentiate itself from other education establishments by providing a collaborative learning environment that would appeal to todayâ€™s tech-savvy students. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, opened its prestigious London base on the 17th Floor of the iconic Shard building. The facility provides an outstanding working environment for students to take courses away from WBSâ€™ Warwickshire campus. GV Multimedia was called upon to provide a top of the range AV system, suitable for such a prestigious educational facility, which was then integrated by WBS. Sean Turner, Information Systems Consultant at WBS commented: â€œWe required a highly reliable, aesthetically pleasing and extremely flexible control system for this new and high-profile venture. We specified Crestron products. We gave ourselves an almost unrealistic timeframe in which to program and integrate them, but everything worked as intended on day one. We found Crestron to be highly reliable with easy access to excellent technical support. The
Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, opening the facility at WBS
Sean Turner, Information Systems Consultant at WBS
Crestron touch panels are used throughout the facility
Crestron Connectedâ„˘ displays and new dedicated Crestron control subnet makes integration of these components a doddleâ€?. The WBS deployed Crestronâ€™s AirMediaâ„˘ throughout its seminar rooms and smaller working spaces to enable wireless HD presentation and content sharing to create a seamless collaboration environment. The customised
3-SeriesÂŽ touch panels were in line with the venue design and compatible with existing infrastructure in place back at WBSâ€™ base. The two lecture theatres offer a mix of flatfloor and tiered seating with each theatre seating over 80. Each offers triple projection, suitable for teaching business students for longer periods while ensuring excellent viewing angles. An extra wireless touch-panel and laptop inputs are provided to the secondary lectern in each space, allowing for additional flexibility and remote control when used for events. An interesting part of the project was the IT teaching lab. It has one large central master lectern with quadruple projection ensuring that each duplicated projected image can be seen with utmost clarity from any part of the room, despite the size of the screens being restricted by compromised ceiling height in this area. The 30 fixed enterprise class workstations can be completely folded away, used individually or combined to become 15 separate dual screen terminals. This is useful for training on dedicated financial trading applications.
Deliver outstanding teaching and learning environments with Crestron education solutions Visit us at stand 164 at The Higher & Further Education show 14th October, ExCel London
An easy-to-use microphone system for upscaling audio output for video
he Sennheiser AVX is a digital wireless handheld mic set, which is designed for HD video sound and ease of use. It operates on the licence-free 1.9GHz band, meaning no registration costs, and can be used with professional cameras and digital SLRs. It comes with a marketing tagline that harks back to the golden era of Madison Avenue advertising agencies. ‘Relax – it’s an AVX’ – a statement that is not without merit. Since being launched in April this year, AVX has picked up a clutch of awards, including the Video Innovation Award from the British Columbia Professional Videographers Association (BCPVA). Speaking at the time, BCPVA president Shawn Lam said: “Our members need quality gear that performs ﬂawlessly in the ﬁeld and provides the kind of value that smaller production companies demand and the AVX wireless system delivers on all fronts. As our industry transitions away from larger cameras with multiple shoe slots, the ability of the AVX receiver to mount directly to an XLR input without taking up additional real estate is an incredible asset.” If a piece of media equipment is scoring well with videographer professionals, it gives a good indication of its performance capabilities. It also raises a couple of questions: Is it designed for applications within education? And, how much does it cost?
Sennheiser has speciﬁed that it sees education as one of AVX’s markets. Though there isn’t a lot of literature about this, it’s fair to presume that a natural ﬁt will be found on media courses and in lecture-capture environments, possibly even with keen ﬂipped learning practitioners. As video becomes more accessible and more prevalent in education generally, the expectations for the platform are bound to grow. Expectations relating to ease of use and quality soon become important considerations, which could open the system up to a much wider audience. However, the price of £810 (including VAT) may be an obstacle to that particular opening. The system under review is the AVX835 (UK version). The package includes the handheld microphone/transmitter (also known as the SKM AVX-835), the compact receiver (EKP AVX-3-UK), plus an XLR-3/mini-jack adapter cable and the mounting accessories needed to attach the receiver to the camera hotshoe. Both the transmitter and receiver
are powered by rechargeable battery packs (BA 10 for the transmitter and BA 20 for the receiver), which will keep you rolling for approximately four hours before they need to be re-charged. All of the electronic items mentioned above, including the batteries, can be purchased individually – so extending your operating time, or indeed the system, is easy to do. Technology doesn’t really get much more ready to use than this. Not having to register the system or pay for its use is a strong starting point. The plug-on receiver automatically switches on with phantom power from the camera and pairs with the transmitter. AVX then sets the correct audio level, matching it to the camera’s input sensitivity. It selects a free frequency, and is ready to go. If a source of interference appears, AVX will inaudibly shift to a new frequency. Ultimately, AVX’s objective is to make small-team (as small as one person) recording operations as straightforward as possible, while achieving greatsounding audio. This is clearly an attractive proposition for anybody
KEY FEATURES Q Operates on the 1.9GHz band Q Minimal set-up time Q Up to four hours of operation before re-charge Q Plugs directly into the XLR audio input and uses phantom power Q Automatically matches sound levels to the camera’s input sensitivity Q Selects the best operating frequency and switches to a clean channel before interference can aﬀect the recording interested in producing video content that moves beyond an entry level setup. In education, and in life generally, audio quality is often underestimated as an important factor in engagement and, broadly speaking, bad audio often lets good video down. Therefore, the Sennheiser AVX is an excellent set-up for teachers, lecturers and media departments looking to improve their output without the need to upscale their technical knowhow. Q www.sennheiser.com
FROGPROGRESS Doing the simple things very well can go a long way in education
t’s almost impossible to consider one Frog product without mentioning the others but, in the main at least, this is a review of FrogProgress – the latest product from the global company from Yorkshire with the memorable branding. Frog’s range of software products includes: FrogLearn – a comprehensive learning platform, which currently has around 12 million users worldwide; FrogPlay – a games-based learning tool; and now FrogProgress – technology for delivering the curriculum and monitoring each child’s development within it, which at the time of writing is on early release in 50 schools. Frog was founded in 1999. It now has around 150 staﬀ, a headquarters in the UK and an oﬃce in Asia, and is active in 26 diﬀerent countries. Its ﬁrst product – FrogLearn – is used in 20% of secondary schools in England and has blanket coverage across Malaysia’s 10,000 schools and its 10 million school students. FrogProgress is inﬂuenced by government policy and designed around a ﬁrm set of education principles. Its
roots are in Michael Gove’s scrapping of the National Attainment Levels, which gave each child a number to indicate how well they were doing. At the time – June 2013 – Gove explained that the system of Levels was “complicated and diﬃcult to understand, especially for parents”. The door was left open for something else – though that thing wasn’t stipulated. Instead, schools were free to ﬁgure that out for themselves. Frog recognised the ﬂaws in the numbering system – how could a number tell you anything meaningful about each child’s development? – and set about designing a better way of structuring a child’s progress within the current school curriculum. Like the company’s previous products, FrogProgress is nicely designed and intuitive to navigate. It isn’t a particularly complex system, but it is very eﬀective at what it does. The system answers the statutory requirement for every school to publish its curriculum, and it does that with a very presentable solution. This part of the software is free. So too is the ability to, alongside the curriculum,
publish exemplar standards and learning resources – to the school’s website. An eﬀective tool that is free to use with no strings attached. That’s pretty much a no-brainer. The next part – the part which reinterprets the old attainment levels system – isn’t free, but it is very good nonetheless. Student Tracker expands the idea of adjudging a child’s development using an arbitrary and almost meaningless number by giving the process detail, evidence and understanding. It also presents an evolving standard of what good looks like at each school, which adjusts as new student information is inputted to form a unique and accurate picture of what good looks like for each subject. Using a tool called FrogSnap, which is built into FrogProgress, teachers can record visual evidence of each student’s work by taking a photograph on their iOS or Android device and loading it straight into the system. This helps to grow a timeline of evidence for each child, which is presented in answer to the learning objectives. Where once there were
Q Curriculum Manager allows schools to publish their curriculum online instantly Q Easy to measure progress and support those falling behind Q Parents can view, comment and like their childrens’ work via an app arbitrary numbers, there can now be a qualitative record of progress and development. If, at mid-term, at the end of term or at another checkpoint added by the school, a student isn’t progressing as quickly as expected, an intervention and a detailed analysis of that child’s learning pattern can be used to form a corrective action. One ﬁnal feature that is deﬁnitely worth mentioning is the app that allows parents to take an active role in the process. A parent can open the app on his or her mobile device and see all of their child’s work. They can like and comment, thus providing an authentic audience that goes beyond the classroom. FrogProgress is simple, intuitive and very eﬀective. You should check it out. Q www.frogeducation.com
SHARP BIG PAD Sharp targets a broader range of public learning institutions with this entry-level interactive whiteboard
harp announced the launch of its Big Pad (PN-70SC3) in July, with this new C model being the first in the series to have a specific focus on value. Following the launch, there was an opportunity for Tech&Learning UK to visit Sharp’s central London showroom and get hands on with the newest PN-70SC3 Big Pad, as well as the older PN-70TA3 model. The PN-70SC3 includes a number of features that aim to increase engagement in classrooms and lecture halls and appeal to a growing number of education verticals. This includes the latest Pen Software (3.1) for intuitive writing and a user interface with two pages of icons that include basic write and erase tools and give the user more advanced options to insert images, print worksheets and scan and import documents. The number of features can also be managed to correspond to the age group of the students, with full functionality for university students but limitations for younger learners to make it easier to use.
Touch Display Link 2.0 (TDL2.0) is an optional extra on the C model, and enables BYOD collaboration with up to 50 mobile devices able to access live content sharing via a free app. This allows students to edit and save documents individually or in small groups. TDL2.0 also facilitates largerscale interactive communications by connecting two Big Pads on the same network, via intranet/VPN. The six-point infrared (IR) touch enables two users to work on the Big Pad simultaneously, with the display also utilising Sharp’s UV2A LCD panel technology. In addition, the screen includes anti-glare and anti-reﬂection coating to improve the image quality, while for increased durability a scratch-resistant coating has been added that also withstands ﬁngerprint marks and smudges. For the demo, the Big Pad was set up oﬄine in a presentation room; therefore to showcase mobile device interactivity, the PN-70TA3 model was used separately at the end of the demo. This model is a higher-speciﬁcation, more expensive option, with up to four
users and 10 IR touchpoints. It also has TDL2.0 pre-installed and an embedded controller PC. There is also a 60in version available – the PN-60TA3. Although the latest Big Pad and the existing B models do not have an embedded PC, the advantage they have is the ‘open architecture’, which allows maximum ﬂexibility and control for the user, with the option of adding an external PC for full whiteboard functionality. The Big Pad is capable of being used throughout the day in a classroom, with 16/7 operation. For higher education applications, such as university lecture theatres, the upgraded built-in stereo loudspeakers (2 x 10W) provide strong audio coverage, which is also useful when viewing videos. Using the panel, the responsiveness of the passive pen is immediately apparent. For those unsure of the neatness of their handwriting, this can easily be selected and converted into text using handwriting recognition – the same functionality also works to convert shapes into objects. The background of the board can also be changed from a blank page into a grid format to ensure writing is level.
KEY FEATURES Q Pen Software 3.1 with updated user interface Q Optional Touch Display Link 2.0 for BYOD collaboration Q Six infrared touchpoints for two users
The toolbar along the bottom of the display allows users to navigate between pages and adjust settings, but during the demo it was apparent this works best outside of pen mode. It is important to note that there is training oﬀered ; once a teacher has become familiar with the Big Pad’s range of functionality, including the more advanced features, the learning experience will be more dynamic. The only maintenance necessary is to download Pen Software updates when they are available. The display is easy to switch on and the plug-and-play capability means set-up time won’t eat into lessons or lectures. Furthermore, as a lighter unit than previous models, available on a stand with wheels, it is very portable and has handles on either side to position it accurately. Although this latest model is not the highest spec of the Big Pad, it meets arguably a greater need as an entry-level solution (RRP £3,943), with a broader appeal through its combination of aﬀordability and scalable functionality. Q www.sharp.eu
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TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: VISUALISERS
SEEING THINGS CLEARLY
Visualisers have long been seen as a natural accessory to a projector install, but as the number of screens in classrooms increases exponentially, visualisers can be used to take advantage of the improved display resolution
The AVerVision F17HD+ visualiser employs its 32x zoom capability and a highsensitivity image sensor to capture sharp, vivid images. It supports full HD image streaming via HDMI input/output and can capture objects from any angle thanks to AVer’s signature flexible arm. When not in use, the F17HD+’s camera easily locks into the base for quick, secure transportation and storage. Its flexibility and portability make it a useful and convenient addition to the classroom. Users can create an interactive learning environment with the Sphere2 software’s Class feature and the AVer ClassSend student app for iOS, Android
and Chrome. Through ClassSend, teachers can instantaneously push snapshots of live visualiser images to all connected student devices, so that they can add their own notes to images and send them right back to share with the whole class. With the F17HD+ it is possible to record the sounds and excitement of live experiments, head-to-head debates and object examinations directly to an SD or SDHC card at 30 frames per second, then playback the video during the same class or put it online for students to view when they get home. AVerVision visualisers are exclusive to Steljes in the UK. www.steljes.co.uk
Schools don’t necessarily have to break the bank to allow pupils to beneﬁt from high-quality visuals. The ELP-DC11 desktop visualiser has a ﬁve-megapixel camera and screen refresh rate of 30 framesper-second to give smooth and clear live images, which can help to bring lessons to life. Every detail can be captured with the 10x digital zoom, so 3D objects or books can be shared very easily. The ELP-DC11 has intuitive buttons and a simple-to-use remote control. Ideal for focusing on maps or big documents, the large A3 shooting area allows quick positioning without adjusting the object or camera arm, while the one-touch auto-focus button shares a crisp image
in seconds. When used in conjunction with an Epson projector, the ELP-DC11 automatically detects the native aspect ratio and fills the screen accordingly. Users can also quickly and simply attach a microscope using the included lens adaptor, so pupils can see the world close up. Epson’s advanced interactive software includes features like time-lapse, which enables students to witness moments like ﬂowers blossoming (up to 72 hours of footage can be recorded). They can then add written notes or audio commentary to the video, thanks to the built-in microphone and live annotation feature. www.epson.com
The Elmo L-12iD is a visualiser and document camera designed for teachers who want to create dynamic lessons to enhance learning through interaction and creativity. It oﬀers 12x optical zoom, 8x digital zoom, 3.4 megapixel CMOS sensor and full HD, UVC compliance (webcam feature), HDMI pass-through, a multi-directional camera neck, 30 frames per second full-motion video and a built-in microphone. The L-12ID supports UVC for easy integration with interactive whiteboards and other classroom technology. The HDMI passthrough feature allows users to display an HD computer, tablet
PC screen or HD images from the L-12iD visualiser at the push of a button. It is possible to partner with the Elmo CRA-1 wireless slate/ tablet. Teachers can annotate on live images captured by the L-12iD while the image is displayed on a large screen. Still images and audio video ﬁles can be saved on a USB ﬂash drive or SD memory card for future use. Files may also be saved to a PC or Mac using Image Mate Software, which is included. With the L-12iD, audio enhancement can be added to classroom presentations via the built-in microphone or an external microphone input. www.elmoeurope.com
TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: VISUALISERS GENEE VISION ELITE II
Genee Vision’s Elite II uses a high-quality CMOS camera mounted to an arm. With a powerful zoom, focus and 1080p, the HD-ready visualiser can be used to capture still images or video. It also has adjustable lighting and an LCD viewing panel, so users can see everything that the audience sees, without the need to view the main screen. Features such as mirror, rotate, split screen, black and white, positive/negative, image freeze and title grab allow teachers and students to manipulate objects or text live on screen without aﬀecting the original source. When combined with software such as the Genee Toolbar or Genee Spark, it is possible to annotate, highlight, draw and write over the objects then save work as an image or video ﬁle. Suggested beneﬁts of using the Elite II include: showing a science experiment demonstration; annotating over images and text, and enlarging small text; enabling pupils to demonstrate methods used in their work; displaying paintings, artefacts or photographs that are too delicate to pass around the classroom; and praising work immediately by presenting it on the visualiser and annotating achievements. www.geneeworld.com
HUE HD PRO
Teachers and students can share the smallest objects, text or detailed experiments with Optoma’s DC450 visualiser. With an output resolution of up to 1080p, this flexible document camera is capable of delivering very good clarity. Its eightmegapixel camera, 10x optical zoom and up to 30 frames per second video captures the detail of the tiniest of objects. For larger objects, the DC450 boasts a shooting area of A3 landscape (297mm x 420mm). It is one of only a handful of visualisers on the market that has dual VGA and HDMI inputs and outputs, which makes presentations using the
DC450 truly interactive. These connections allow teachers to link-up a PC or laptop to the document camera, as well as to the projector. Smart DC software, supplied with the DC450, allows teachers to annotate the image captured and record their lessons as video clips. They can easily switch between the image from the visualiser to external content held on the PC. Various formats are supported, including PowerPoint files, PDFs, images and webpages. The DC450’s rotating camera lens allows the presenter to place the item being captured the same way up as the image projected. www.optoma.co.uk
The Hue HD Pro classroom camera and visualiser is the latest addition to the Hue range of USB cameras. It can view a full A4 (or US letter) sheet and project this to the whiteboard via a PC and projector. The Hue HD Pro also comes with specially designed software – Hue Intuition – which gives users the tools they need to master the full functionality of the camera with relative ease. Still in its beta phase of development, the company is currently oﬀering Hue Intuition to teachers on trial and welcomes all feedback. This budget-friendly visualiser has built-in LED lights for illuminating the subject in question and is adapted for both Windows and Mac OS X. Hue Intuition enables users to record video and sound, which can be saved locally and shared via email or uploaded to YouTube. It is possible to annotate images and save them in various formats, take snapshots and take multiple images over time. Suggested uses for the Hue HD Pro include: demonstrating a science project; taking snapshots of students’ work; recording a technique or experiment that can be replayed to the class; stop motion animation; time-lapse photography; and collaborating with remote schools in other countries using platforms such as Skype. www.huehd.com
TECHNOLOGY SHOWCASE: VISUALISERS SMART SDC-450
The SMART Document Camera 450 (SDC-450) enables teachers to easily create exciting multimedia content by turning everyday objects into captivating digital visuals, thus making lessons more dynamic, engaging and collaborative. Using SMART Notebook software, the SDC-450 is activated in one click, helping to maintain lesson focus. With onscreen controls and manipulation of 3D content providing a 360° viewpoint, enhancing subject matter and aiding student understanding of complex, abstract and conceptual content is very straightforward. Teachers can capture and create exciting digital visuals to bring the
Austrian manufacturer WolfVision’s visualiser systems combine a camera together with a powerful lighting source, mounted above a reﬂectionfree working surface, enabling threedimensional materials of all kinds to be spontaneously displayed to student audiences via a projector or monitor. Content materials can also be recorded or streamed if required. WolfVision’s VZ-8 Series systems have become a worldwide standard in a large number of universities, schools and enterprises in recent
years. The latest fourth-generation VZ-8 Series units build on this success, and come with an elegant redesigned housing, feature a superb native 1080p HD camera, and are equipped with WolfVision’s new YSOP1 image processing engine. The VZ-8plus4 is the ﬁrst visualiser system worldwide with a frame rate of 60 frames per second at native 1080p HD resolution, allowing for smoother motion and faster autofocus than ever before. www.wolfvision.com
Designed with schools in mind, the Easi-View visualiser brings together all the most popular features of a visualiser at a fraction of the price. Developed with guidance from teachers, the Easi-View visualiser is a simple-to-use device, which is suitable for both teachers and children. It can be used to enlarge textbooks onto a whiteboard, or a pupil’s work, illustrations or song words – or anything else users want to share with the class. It is described by TTS as being like a large overhead projector – without the fan, the heat or the need to photocopy anything onto acetate. With Easi-View, users can share work
lesson to life and engage students, then manipulate or annotate on any pictures or video taken and easily store within their SMART Notebook gallery. One-touch integration makes it possible to launch and control the SDC-450 directly from SMART Notebook, helping to maintain momentum within the lesson. Any image can be automatically brought into focus and brightness can be adjusted to suit varying lighting conditions. An LED lamp allows for use in darkened rooms. The SMART SDC-450 has a 64MB internal memory, which can be expanded using an SD Card or USB via the relevant slots. www.smarttech.com
with the whole class, and take pictures and videos to upload on to the virtual learning environment. The TTS Easi-View features a ﬁvemegapixel camera, 6x manual zoom and four bright LEDs on a separate gooseneck. Simply position items under the camera, connect it to a projector or computer and show everything on the interactive whiteboard, live – as it happens. The powerful zoom allows users to view detail often not visible to the human eye. Pictures and video can be captured using the camera function and audio recorded via the internal microphone. www.tts-group.co.uk
better! e h t r o f , s s e in r your bus o f , u o y r o f , s r day SE 2016 – Fou IS ISE 2016 is the international destination of choice for AV systems integration professionals. It provides a deﬁnitive four-day showcase for the world’s leading product manufacturers and service suppliers in combination with an exclusive training and conference programme all under one roof.
Find out more and register: www.iseurope.org ISE is a joint venture partnership of
BACK PAGE PICKS WHITE PAPER AV/IT system design in HE One of the most popular white papers currently available for download from Tech&Learning UKâ€™s website looks at the architectural and infrastructural considerations that need to be made when designing and implementing AV/IT technologies in higher education spaces. The publication is the product of a task force established by AV industry body InfoComm International. The group was charged with creating a document for use by architects, engineers, integrators, technology managers, and end users to plan and design AV systems in higher education spaces that support 21st-century learning and teaching. The white paper covers general learning spaces, including collaborative spaces, lecture halls and so on, oďŹ€ering best practices in AV systems design and installation. To read it, login or register on our website. www.techandlearning.uk
EVENT Quote â€˜TECHâ€™ when booking at www.WorldTeachIn.com
to get yourself a ÂŁ15 discount.
Why should students have all the fun? World Teach In invites teachers back into the classroom for some explosive CPD at the Science Museum and Natural History Museum, London, on 20-21 November 2015. Secondary teachers will ďŹ nd out how to get STEM into their science lessons with inspirational talks, hands-on workshops, and take-home resources. Primary teachers will experience an array of cross-curricular lessons and interactive workshops to replicate in the classroom. Join Professor Robert Winston, CBBCâ€™s Gastronaut Stefan Gates, and Imperial College Londonâ€™s Maggie Dallman on a whirlwind adventure to close the gap between education and industry.
EDITORIAL CALENDAR Coming up in future issues of Tech&Learning UK November 2015 Is the education system too resistant to change? Making social media work for you Tech focus: Collaboration technology How to: Make the most of free resources
Draw in 3D Draw in 3D is a drawing app that allows you to easily create drawings in 3D format. Everyone knows how to draw on paper, but only a few know how to create objects in 3D - this app aims to close this gap by providing a unique and intuitive approach to 3D modelling. It is currently available for iOS and free to download. www.drawin3d.com
EdTech trends for 2016 Developing apps for education Tech focus: Charging devices How to: Make your school paperless
Please send editorial submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Remember â€“ you can follow Tech&Learning UK on Twitter at @TechLearningUK and on the web at www.techandlearning.uk
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Classroom as a Service (ClaaS) from SMART We understand that budget constraints often prevent you from getting the technology you need. But now there’s a different way to implement the latest education technology, without capital expenditure and ownership.
The beneﬁts of Classroom as a Service from SMART are: Stretch budgets further Spread the cost of classroom technology by paying a ﬁxed amount over a ﬁxed period Avoid headaches over servicing, training and maintenance, it can all be covered Add more equipment and services if circumstances change Build in a regular refresh to always have the latest learning technology Sell back existing, out of date education technology
For more information about SMART ClaaS, please contact Steljes, the exclusive distributor of SMART ClaaS in the UK, on 08450 724810, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.steljes.com/education/claas