BookTrust delighted by record total raised as over 8,000 people donate to Christmas Appeal

BookTrust is delighted by donations to its Christmas fundraising appeal, which raised a record £240,000 which is an incredible £47,000 over the target amount.

The campaign caught the public’s attention immediately after launching on 4th November, which saw more people donating straight away than last year. On Giving Tuesday and the day after, BookTrust received a record 1,653 donations in just two days.

The festive appeal forms part of the Letterbox project, which sends book parcels out to children who are vulnerable or in care. For many of these children, it’s the first time they have owned a book. BookTrust, the UK’s largest children’s reading charity, called on the public to donate £10 to donate a special book parcel and brighten up a child’s Christmas. Over 8,000 people made donations to the appeal and 12,480 parcels were delivered to the children.

BookTrust carefully chose six beautiful hardback books for children aged 3-13. Each parcel contains one book, a letter from award winning author and current Waterstone’s Children’s Laureate Cressida Cowell, a poster and bookmark created by Neal Layton, and a postcard.

Children across the UK are enrolled for the Letterbox Club by local authorities and schools. Each child receives a parcel of books, maths games, stationery and other high-quality materials once every month for six months, from May to October.

Diana Gerald, BookTrust CEO, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled by the support from the public and thanks to so many generous donations, we have been able to send a festive gift of a book to each of the 12,250 children in our 2019 Letterbox programme.

“We would like to thank everyone who donated and helped to light up Christmas for so many children who are vulnerable or in care with the gift of a story.”

BookTrust will be using the additional £120,000 to reach more vulnerable children through its programmes and activities. For instance, through Bookstart Corner, which is a free programme aimed at families with very young children who need additional support and help to engage in reading.

For more information, visit booktrust.org.uk.

Test the safety of your school during Bett 2020

Prowise presents key foundations for privacy and security in the classroom

During Bett, the world’s largest education fair which takes place from 22 to 25 January in London, visitors can arm themselves against potential dangers in the classroom. In a special ‘privacy and security zone’ safety in schools can be tested.

Security is a hot topic in the world of education. There is almost no ‘industry’ in which so much privacy-sensitive data is circulating. Personal data, test results and other privacy-sensitive information are reviewed daily in the classroom. That’s why as a school, especially with the future of children and students in mind, you want everything to be set in place perfectly in terms of privacy and security. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, there are dangers lurking that not everyone is aware of.

Take, for example, the recent major cyber attack at Maastricht University. The university was forced to pay a ‘ransom‘ to hackers in order to secure student data and nullify the consequences of the data breach.

Arm yourself against dangers

The special privacy and security zone on the Prowise stand is called ‘Creating a Safe Classroom Environment’. Nine themes (from data storage to hackers) which focus on security in the modern classroom allow visitors to review how privacy is organised in their schools. All the key areas in the field of privacy and security that teachers, pupils and directors have to deal with every day. Sometimes without them noticing it. Time to open your eyes and protect yourself against possible dangers.

Secure digitization

With ‘Creating a Safe Classroom Environment’ schools test which dangers are around the corner in the classroom, to what extent they are prepared for them and what they can do about them. Prowise is the only touchscreen supplier to meet the strict privacy requirements of the UK Ministry of Defence. As a result, Prowise has been the regular supplier of touchscreens and interactive board software to various Defence training institutes for a number of years. The Dutch company has already launched the safe interactive whiteboard selection guide and is happy to help schools towards a safe digitisation of the classroom.

In this way, teachers can do what they do best in a safe and carefree way: teaching passionately.

Prowise’s privacy experts cordially invite interested parties to the Bett stand in London: SG20. More information about all Prowise products, classroom security and the stand can be found at bett.prowise.com.

York St John University chooses TechnologyOne to revolutionise HR and Finance

Common ethical culture makes TechnologyOne the perfect partner for University’s digital goals

York St John University has chosen TechnologyOne to transform its HR, Finance and Payroll systems. TechnologyOne’s OneEducation Software as a Service (SaaS) solution will form part of the University’s digital strategy, which aims to provide a personalised and seamless digital experience for staff and students in the next year. OneEducation will unify three vital university functions and replace separate legacy systems.

York St John University chose TechnologyOne during a competitive tender process because the company and its approach matched its own ethical focus and business goals.

Paul Revell, Head of Procurement at York St John University commented: “As we underwent the tender process, it became clear that other providers in the market couldn’t satisfy us that their solutions would meet all our needs, unlike TechnologyOne. In TechnologyOne we’ve not only found a partner that can support our transformation ambitions, but a company that shares our ethos and works in the same way. We’re replacing our three solutions, all over a decade old, with TechnologyOne’s more harmonious approach. OneEducation is going to enable our Finance and HR teams to improve our payroll procedures and better manage our sick and absence leave, as well as the performance and promotion pathways for our 900 staff.

“We chose to partner with TechnologyOne because we immediately saw that for them, business with us was not just about short-term gains, or profit before people. TechnologyOne has a set of values that echoes our own and understands our perspective on providing a unique environment for our staff and students.”

The OneEducation SaaS solution from TechnologyOne will help York St John to:

●               Move from technology systems that have grown organically to a more strategic, interoperable solution, which provides efficiencies from day one

●               Easily access HR and Finance data that was previously held on disparate systems, such as complete supplier profiles, to improve tender processes

●               Improve information flow between the HR and Payroll teams, for example, new starter details

●               Transform system communication between the University’s York and London campuses, eradicating duplication

●               Implement true procurement self-service – providing staff with access to HR and Finance data including a catalogue of approved suppliers and products from an online purchasing system

Paul Revell continued: “We are genuinely excited to be working with TechnologyOne as we embark upon a new phase in our University’s transformation. For us, it’s not just new software replacing old. We’re committed as a team to eradicating inefficiencies and controlling the impact our systems and processes have on our staff and students.”

TechnologyOne’s Chief Executive Officer, Ed Chung, commented: “We’re delighted that York St John has become our second UK HR, Payroll and Financials customer and that we’re partnering with an institution that shares our values. Paul and his team were drawn to our approach and our commitment to philanthropy at TechnologyOne, which is a source of great pride to our team members.”

Following an Autumn 2019 procurement, York St John University has worked with TechnologyOne to appoint a project team. Now in the design phase, the system is expected to go live in August 2020.

Ranked: The school tasks teachers think they are spending too much time on

  • Both primary (65%) and secondary (78%) school teachers think general administrative work is the non-teaching task they are spending too much time on
  • Equally primary (52%) and secondary (41%) school teachers place organising resources and premises, setting up displays, setting up/tidying classrooms as the support/management activity they are spending too much time on
  • Interestingly, 53% of primary and 61% of second school teachers believe they are spending too many hours on marking and correcting pupils’ work

In the backdrop of constant budget cuts, teachers are under huge pressure to provide students the best possible educational experience with the resources available to them.

This challenge can be signified by recent research by UCL’s Institute of Education (IOE), who found that one in four teachers worryingly work more than 60 hours a week.

Interested in teachers’ workloads, TheKnowledgeAcademy.com analysed the latest findings from Gov.uk, who surveyed 4,329 primary and secondary school teachers across the UK to discover the non-teaching tasks as well as the support/management activities they think they are currently spending too much time on. 

The Knowledge Academy found that both primary (65%) and secondary (78%) school teachers think they are spending too much time on general administrative work.

Thereafter, primary school teachers believe they are spending too much time on individual planning/preparation of lessons (56%).

Whilst, secondary school teachers rank marking/correcting pupils’ work (61%) as the second non-teaching task they are spending too much time on.

Contrastingly, only 11% of primary school teachers think they are spending too much time on pupil counselling. On the other hand, just 9% of secondary school teachers equally state they are spending too much time on engaging in extracurricular activities as well as on teamwork/dialogue with fellow colleagues.

Both primary (52%) and secondary (41%) school teachers place organising resources and premises, setting up displays, setting up/tidying classrooms as the support/management activity they primarily perceive to be spending more time on than they would like to. 

Although 41% of secondary school teachers also feel they are spending too much time on staff meetings. Interestingly, 33% of primary school teachers say the same thing about staff meetings.

Opposingly, just 10% of primary school teachers believe they are spending too much time on appraising, monitoring, coaching, mentoring and training other teaching staff.

Whilst only 9% of secondary school’s teachers think they are spending too much time contacting people or organisations outside of school other than parents.

Twinkl partners with schools for the Bears of Sheffield Trail

Sheffield-based Twinkl has partnered with The Children’s Hospital Charity to support schools during the lead-up to the exciting Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail this summer.

The educational publisher will create resources for all schools taking part and provide design support for a select number of participating schools, helping to bring to life 100 Little Bears for the trail.

The ‘Bears of Sheffield’ is the latest fundraising campaign of The Children’s Hospital Charity. This is following the success of its hugely popular ‘Herd of Sheffield’ elephants in 2016, which saw sculptures created by Sheffield’s own Pete McKee, Geo Law and even one signed by the Arctic Monkey themselves.

The aim for the 2020 Bears is to raise even more money than the Herd which generated an impressive £610,000. Each school that has signed up to the project has been tasked with raising £750 for their bear and this is where Twinkl comes in. 

Twinkl is thrilled to be supporting schools by offering free specially-made educational resources, created in-house by professional designers and teachers.

The resources will support teachers and children throughout the project, helping them with fundraising as well as designing and decorating the bear. There will also be fun activities to be used in the classroom such as making bear masks.

Twinkl’s reading education pack will feature a range of engaging information about the charity. This will not only demonstrate the work and importance of The Children’s Hospital Charity, it will also help raise lots of money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital Cancer and Leukaemia ward.

Those requiring extra help or inspiration for the design of their bear will have the opportunity to be visited by professional artists and qualified teachers from Twinkl, the creative team behind the company’s globally renowned resources and books.

Jonathan Seaton, Co-founder and CEO of Twinkl, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be the Official Education Partner of the Bears of Sheffield. Not only will it bring together the wonderful community we have in the city, but the money raised will transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward, which will help make a vital difference to children here and across the UK.”

The ward provides treatment for cancer and blood disorders in children from babies through to 19-year-olds in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire but sees patients from across the UK for treatment and surgeries including bone marrow transplants.

The redevelopment will see the ward transformed into a brighter and refreshed space for both patients and their families staying there. Under the plans, more private patient bedrooms with en-suite facilities would be created, giving more children a place to make their own as well as increase the space for a parent to sleep comfortably alongside them.

Jonathan continues: “We are also excited to be working with schools throughout the process. We hope that the resources and help from our illustrators will encourage schools across Sheffield to get involved with the campaign and support such a worthwhile cause. The elephants created by schools in 2016 were incredible so I can’t wait to see the different designs that are created this year!”

Abbie Pervin, Regional Fundraising Manager and schools lead for the bears, said: “I’m very pleased to be able say Twinkl will be helping schools. For some schools decorating a bear will be second nature, but for others they might encounter difficulties. We want every school to feel they have the support and guidance they need to not only decorate a beautiful bear but to enjoy the process and take away a new set of skills.

“As much as the bears are about raising money for charity, they’re also about giving schools the opportunity to work together as a team, develop their knowledge and skills and have a great time in the process.”

100 Little Bears will be joining the sculpture trail this July alongside 60 big bear sculptures, which will be decorated by chosen artists and sponsored by local businesses. After the trail, each Little Bear will be returned to the school, nursery or college as a permanent memento of the project.

If you would like to be kept up to date with everything Bears, you can sign up to their mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/gMtHVD

You can also follow their social media accounts to be updated on a daily basis:

Twitter: @BearsofSheff

Facebook/Instagram: @bearsofsheffield

For more information about Twinkl, please visit twinkl.co.uk

How Teenagers and Students can Overcome Dyslexia for Better Results

Human Intelligence Entrepreneur, Jonathan Kemp, didn’t know he was dyslexic until he was in his late 40’s and invented a next generation form of note taking called SmartWisdom, that gives dyslexic students a real advantage during lectures and exams. SmartWisdom overcomes a core problem for dyslexics – a barrier to learning.

Students with dyslexia often experience distress arising from their own condition and they require a special knowledge management method to reverse this tendency. SmartWisdom note-taking has been designed with the needs of dyslexics in mind. It’s scientifically proven to increase understanding in dyslexics by an average of 23% [1]. At present many solutions given to dyslexics are technology based to help reading or writing skills. SmartWisdom is the first solution to solve the great challenge of understanding new information when studying and upskill for  the workplace.

Dyslexics often experience difficulty reading and listening. Their reading and writing ability can be low and labour-intensive and can include difficulty spelling and poor handwriting. A person with dyslexia will often go out of their way to avoid activities that involve reading, listening to certain types of information (e.g. theoretical, conceptual, jargon intensive) and taking notes. They will often mispronounce or not understand certain names or words and have problems retrieving information. This can make lectures, writing reports and exam time even more of a challenge than it should be. Dyslexic, Jonathan Kemp had experienced all of this from a young age and became the driving force behind his unique invention, SmartWisdom.

SmartWisdom is a next generation form of note-taking that increases 10 key cognitive skills real-time, allowing dyslexic students to achieve their true potential™.

This unique system enhances listening, concentration, real-time comprehension (by an average 23% to 87% understanding, 3% above what non-dyslexics achieve) [2], deeper questioning, spotting patterns and links, critical and analytical thinking, and accurate and detailed recall. The SmartWisdom template® transforms your Glance Access™ during a meeting or presentation, so you can see all the information you have captured for up to 60 minutes in real-time, which increases your short-term memory by 100% or more. It also takes the stress out of lectures and meetings as you don’t have to capture every word.

Personal wellbeing also improves; users feel more relaxed, confident and excited by their ability to manage more information at a new level. It trains students to listen and concentrate at a high level for at least an hour, in meetings, lectures, and interview situations. The biggest advantage is that it puts dyslexics more in control of the information in lectures and exams, than anyone else there.

Students can use their increased knowledge gained in real time, which gives them an immediate edge, and afterwards quickly review their high quality lecture notes that are more concise, more detailed and easier to recall, even a year or more later. The focus is on meaning and the relationships between words and topics rather than just recording. It means that students are more able to focus simultaneously on listening, recording, understanding and questioning – something few humans attest to being able to do.

The SmartWisdom® course costs £99 for children from age 12 and students and £399 for non-students, and takes 5 hours. You can enrol in the SmartWisdom University at www.smartwisdom.com

Adobe Champions Creativity in the Classroom at Bett 2020

Adobe celebrates landmark year for education initiatives, driving creativity in the classroom

London, UK – 22 January 2019 – Today, Adobe has announced that more than three million students and teachers in the UK have access to Adobe Creative Cloud applications. Following a landmark year for education initiatives, Adobe returns to BETT with 40+ training sessions hosted by teachers at the Adobe Creative Academy on stand 5G30 to help teachers get the most out of its applications, as well as hosting sessions at the Tech in Action Theatre showing how creative learning techniques can apply across a wide range of subjects. 

Adobe is reinforcing its ongoing commitment to creativity in the classroom by continuing to invest in developing relevant resources for teachers across the curriculum to bring digital into the classroom. The company is devoted to supporting educators and institutions to teach more creatively by driving digital literacy in the classroom; its Creative Cloud applications and teaching resources empower students to think imaginatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into university and career opportunities.

Adobe’s education initiatives grew in size and scope over the course of 2019 with the Adobe Education Exchange now hosting more than 700,000 members worldwide and almost 9,000 free teaching resources to help teachers ignite creativity in the classroom and integrate Creative Cloud applications into lesson plans across all subjects at all age groups.

The technologies changing the world of work are providing educators with more opportunities than ever to integrate digital learning into classrooms – no matter the subject. At Adobe, we believe it is our responsibility to ensure teachers have the resources and support they need to ensure creativity is at the core of the curriculum,” said Simon Morris, Education Programme Lead, Adobe EMEA. “Creative teaching methods can improve student engagement and outcomes, in addition to preparing the next generation with the critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills they need for the workplace.” 

Adobe also developed relationships with London Grid for Learning to provide Creative Cloud Licenses for free to its over 2,000 primary and secondary school members and the Royal Shakespeare Company to provide free digital learning packs to help English teachers integrate Creative Cloud apps into their lesson plans. To-date almost 1,000 schools have adopted Creative Cloud applications via LGfL and Adobe has built more than 10 digital learning packs in partnership with RSC to help highlight the relevance of Shakespeare’s plays in the 21st century.

Find Adobe at stand SG30 at Bett and for further details on Adobe’s Education programme, check out: https://adobe.ly/385HTQG

Kura kicks off school run revolution with BETT 2020 launch

Kura the leading transport management provider helping St Bede’s College to optimise its school transport, making its school run both greener and safer for students, and more efficient for staff

Kura, a game-changing suite of apps and technologies designed to revolutionise the school run, is officially launching today at leading education technology (EdTech) conference BETT 2020.

Kura harnesses powerful tracking and app technologies to provide schools with a safer, greener and more cost-efficient school run service, increasing pupil uptake of school transport and in turn reducing traffic congestion, both on the roads and at the school gates.

Using advanced geofencing technology, Kura allows schools and parents to keep track of when pupils get on and off the bus, while also providing transparent, real-time journey updates when the school bus passes through pre-determined journey markers, such as local bus stops or journey landmarks.

Schoolchildren can “tap” on and off the school bus using a NFC (Near Field Communication) fob. The system then notifies trusted family members, guardians or friends in real-time when the children are boarding or alighting, in turn significantly easing parental concerns about their children’s safety during school hours.

Using Kura, parents feel reassured in opting for school buses as their child’s means of transport between home and school each day, removing cars from the road and substantially decreasing a school’s carbon footprint. A single 49-seater Kura-powered coach can take as many as 31 cars off the road, reducing a school’s carbon emissions by as much as 75% per 20-mile shared journey.

As well as its safeguarding features, Kura has the ability to analyse routes and identify the quickest, most efficient travel times whilst avoiding areas of congestion. The technology subsequently allows routes to be adapted, further reducing journey mileage and related emissions.

Manchester independent school, St Bede’s College, is leading the way by becoming one of the first schools to partner with Kura to manage and optimise its home-to-school transport, catering for in excess of 300 pupils a day across six different travel routes. Most notably, by using Kura St Bede’s College has already further improved its pupil safeguarding when children are travelling to and from the College, among other areas.

Mathew Hassell, founder and CEO of Kura, said: “Home-to-school transport, which has remained largely unchanged for decades, needs a revolution. Safe, sustainable, cost-efficient school transport is not a far-flung future concept, but something that we can deliver today, and we’re partnering with schools across the country to make this a reality. 

“The school run is currently responsible for a quarter of all vehicles releasing harmful emissions during rush-hour, and that’s not even taking into account the flood of emissions from cars idling outside school gates across the country. This has contributed to air pollution being one of the deadliest threats facing our schoolchildren today, and it’s clear that more must be done to stop this problem in its tracks.

“With the right technology, practices and partners in place, we truly believe that a completely green, zero-emission school run could be a reality in as soon as three to five years, without compromising other crucial areas, such as pupil safeguarding, and saving increasingly-stretched school budgets. This would have a major, positive impact on our schoolchildren, schools and, indeed, the country as a whole.”

The Kura technology is backed by a seven-figure investment from Souter Investments, the private family investment office of Stagecoach founder Sir Brian Souter, with the aim of making school journeys across the UK safer, greener and more efficient.

For more information, please visit www.ridekura.com or visit stand NN53 at BETT 2020. The business will be exhibiting on all four days of the show (Wednesday 22nd January – Saturday 25th January), and Mathew Hassell, Kura’s founder and CEO, will also be at the stand on Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd.

The UAE Ministry of Education visits the UK to showcase innovation and technology in education within the region

10% per cent rise in UK students studying in UAE

The UAE Ministry of Education is bringing its ‘Study in UAE’ campaign to the UK to promote the UAE as a prime destination for international students to pursue their degrees in acclaimed UAE based universities. After having invested more than £2 billion in its education sector in 2019, with a particular focus on innovation and technology. It will be taking part in Bett (22 to 25 January 2020), the world’s largest educational technology event which this year is being hosted in London.

As the first nation with a government minister dedicated to AI and with plans to test the introduction of a robotic police officer, innovation is key for the region. The Ministry has introduced fourth industrial revolution (4IR) technologies such as robotics and blockchain into its education system so students can have an opportunity to learn more about these pioneering technologies. The region is also pioneering Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Series (AIR – a programme which has been created to help students develop their AI knowledge and set them up for the job market in the near future. With so much technology and innovation it’s an ideal place for ambitious students to study.

The region is becoming an increasingly popular destination for students from the UK, with officials reporting an overall 10% rise in UK students studying in the UAE since 2016, joining 50 establishments as undergraduates begin to take advantage of the diversity of courses on offer.

Latest official data also shows over 32,000 new business formed across the UAE in 2019, bringing in exciting new opportunities and roles for students looking to stay on in the UAE after graduating.

Commenting on the participation in BETT, HE Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education, said that the UAE has become one of the prominent and attractive global destinations for visitors from different countries to visit, work, study or live in, due to its social stability, cosmopolitan environment, human and development capabilities and strategic plans that enhance individual progress, which aids in its society development. This is due to the wise leadership support and their continuance guidance to achieve a comprehensive human-based development and future investment.

His Excellency also added that the Ministry of Education’s participation in BETT stems from the importance of this event and the educational and leadership experience it offers its participating partners, in addition to the educational solutions it provides that serve the education sector in UAE. The UAE worked hard at maintaining a continuous work pace based on technology, innovation, artificial intelligence, smart learning system and plans that enhance advanced skills, as well as establishing an educational methodology for the coming years for the public and the higher education sector to become the best country worldwide in sustainable education that provides qualitative outputs and contributes to the country becoming the best worldwide in all sectors, working towards a knowledge economy and keeping pace with the requirements of the Fourth Industrial Revolution through preparing a young knowledgeable generation that is exceptionally ambitious and able to compete in vital scientific disciplines.

His Excellency also added that BETT is an opportunity to showcase the UAE’s achievements across all levels, especially in the education sector that is devoted to a modern learning vision, and what it includes from higher education institutions that have come to the forefront in global competitive indicators, pointing out that The Ministry of Education, through launching its “Study in UAE” campaign, is looking to attract students to study in its universities, meet their academic and professional aspirations, achieve a unique learning experience, and to open broad horizons of excellence, development and work that the UAE offers to international students.

Dr. Sheikh Ammar Al Mualla, Director of Department of Educational Organizations and External Relations, says, “The trend in UK students coming to take advantage of what our universities have to offer looks set to continue. We’d love to see more students from the UK and the wider international community follow in their peers footsteps and study here to get a taste for UAE life and open the door not only to a new, exciting culture but to exciting and lucrative career prospects.”

The UAE has established the Emirati School Model few years ago to raise the standards of teaching and learning, enabling all schools across the country to operate under a standardised framework, developed according to the best international practices, and aiming at keeping up with future changes and developments that compete with international education systems.

The Emirati school Model consist of seven pillars, each focusing on a different aspect of mainstream education. By streamlining processes across all schools, the UAE has taken a 360 view which puts technology at the heart of education. The seven pillars are:

  • A curriculum designed to create a comprehensive scientific mindset in students, blending different sciences, critical analysis, discovery and practical experiences
  • Activities including the Artificial Intelligence & Robotics Series (AIRseries). The AIRseries aims to promote interest and development in robotics and artificial intelligence and to raise the UAE’s presence globally in this field
  • Learning streams including an Elite Track for distinguished students, in addition to the General and Advance Streams, and forward thinking Technical Career Paths
  • Each Emirati school classroom will be equipped with a high specification laser projector, to maximise learning opportunities
  • Incorporating regular monitoring of students’ progress ensures they are supported on an individual level
  • Training to support students in perfecting their strengths
  • Evaluating students’ achievements by measuring the quality of learning experiences and developing a comprehensive evaluation framework to measure the quality of schools performance

The Ministry of Education stand at Bett will include a Study in UAE section, with the participation from 6 leading UAE universities, namely: UAE University, HCT, Zayed University, Khalifa University, Ajman University and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University. There will be a theatre area for presentations, display areas for projects from curriculum, AIR Series, and Universities, and the Study in UAE Photobooth. Activities will promote the country and its unique offerings as the preferred destination for students from all over the world to pursue their undergraduate and postgraduate studies. Supporting partners will also be in attendance: Etisalat, UAE Space Agency, Khalifa Empowerment Program and Alef Education.

During BETT, the Ministry of Education will present the “Advanced Skills Strategy”, which was previously announced by H. E. Dr.  Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, aims at establishing the concept of “Lifelong Learning” for all UAE nationals and residents. The “Advanced Skills Strategy” provides students, fresh graduates and experienced individuals with the most important skills required to prepare them for the fast-changing future. The skills include advanced skills identification and measurement, target segments identification, policies and program setting and movement creation, which all help create a “Lifelong Learning” environment. The strategy sets out 12 skills that can be acquired and students can apply in all practical sectors. The list of skills, which appears in the form of an interactive electronic game, include scientific literacy, tech literacy, financial literacy, critical thinking, creativity, communication, collaboration, adaptability, leadership, social and cultural awareness, empathy and growth mindset.

In addition, Emirati university students will be participating through showcasing their cutting-edge projects, based on technology and innovation skills they gained from the Emirati School Model that prepares them and improves these skills in them from early ages. These projects are Vita-Cam, which is a smartphone AI application that detects vitamin deficiencies of the user from photos they take of themselves without the need for blood samples then suggests a compensational diet; Eyelid based steering control in vehicles, which is a novel method for medical emergencies; and The Smart Kaytoub, which is an intelligent solution developed to monitor students as they board and leave the school bus and that can be monitored by parents and school officials.

For those interested in finding out more about studying in the UAE, visit the BETT event’s website for further details: http://www.bettshow.com/

‘CUE Cards’ Launched by Avid Games Entertains and Educates Children and Adults Alike

CUE Cards by Avid Games is designed to inspire curiosity in all ages. With an emphasis on culture and STEM (*Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), the game features an ever-expanding supply of knowledge and trivia titbits, from Lions to Meteorology, from Pi to the Bayeux Tapestry, from Napoleon to the Parasaurolophus and beyond.

View teaser: https://youtu.be/lphThQa-e3c

The game makes a point of not taking itself too seriously. Players use their card-based knowledge to take each other on in head-to-head ‘duels’, where cards compete across a series of arenas, ranging from the Deep Ocean to Outer Space. Adding friends and family to challenge them directly is easy.

According to Ofcom statistics, time spent playing games increases with age, growing from 6 hours 12 minutes per week (for 3-4-year-olds) to 13 hours 48 minutes (for 12-15-year-olds)*.  Players of CUE Cards (Cards, the Universe and Everything) spend an average of 30 minutes per day in the game. CUE Cards app delivers time well wasted for kids and adults alike – asthe worst outcome is that users may learn about String Theory or Ancient Greece.                                             

The app is free and available to download here:
https://go.onelink.me/ulB8/af841ac6

Managing Director at Avid Games, Paul Mayze said:

“Educational games often sit at the worthy end of the spectrum and forget to ‘bring the fun’.

“We set out to make a game that channels trading card gameplay into real-world subjects. The truth is that fantasy and science-fiction can’t begin to compete with our actual universe – so we’ve got an endless source of awesomeness underpinning CUE.

“The cards remind you how utterly fascinating the world is – but they also play a role in the game, with different cards having special abilities that can give you the edge during battle. It’s wholesome. It’s silly. It’s fun!”