ViewSonic’s ViewBoard IFP70 Series Receives Microsoft Windows Collaboration Displays Certification

A leading global provider of visual solutions, today announces that its ViewBoard IFP70 Interactive Display series has been certified by Microsoft as Windows Collaboration Displays (WCD).

Among displays certified by WCD, the IFP70 series is the only one with a display size up to 86 inches. The ViewBoard IFP70 series is certified as an ideal USB-C one-cable solution, offering a superior touch and writing experience, delivering high-quality video for conferencing, and is Microsoft Azure IoT-certified to make workspaces smarter.

“The ViewBoard IFP70 series is ViewSonic’s line of collaboration solutions, which are specially designed to provide enterprises with easy-to-use, next-generation conferencing capabilities,” says Monica Sun, Director of the Large Format Display Business Unit at ViewSonic. “We are happy it was recognized by Microsoft as a certified Windows Collaboration Display and believe it will allow for advanced collaboration, and better work efficiency and productivity.”

Certified WCD solution for better efficiency and productivity
The ViewBoard IFP70 series makes use of a single USB-C cable that supports A/V, data, Ethernet, and power delivery, ensuring that every meeting or presentation gets started quickly and without a hitch. Meanwhile, it offers Windows Ink functionality in Microsoft 365 to let users take better notes during meetings. Adjust the line thickness by varying pressure on the screen with the included all-in-one smart pen that works for not only annotation but also presentation.

The ViewBoard IFP70 series is embedded with comprehensive conferencing features, including a wide-angle camera lens, a six-array mic, and 2.1 stereo speakers. In addition, the ViewBoard has the ability to automatically switch between the functionality of an external PC and the IFP70 while running Microsoft Windows and video conferencing.

Microsoft Azure IoT certification means the ViewBoard IFP70 series helps make the workspaces smarter through a myriad of capabilities including built-in sensors that detect and measure the attendees, room temperature, humidity, and ambient light. These insights provide office managers with the data they need to optimize workspaces for employees and to improve upon energy efficiency by detailing energy consumption and cost breakdowns.

Beyond WCD – advanced Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) experience
ViewSonic provides advanced wireless presentation display (WPD) tools to make presentations, meetings, and workshops more interactive and collaborative to unleash the power of BYOD. With myViewBoard Display even a first-time user can share content from his or her device wirelessly without the need for dongles. In addition, the content-sharing app ViewBoard Cast provides complete sharing and collaboration functions to meet a variety of different meeting scenarios.

In addition, myViewBoard Manager allows for efficient remote management of multiple displays in the same or in different offices. With Manager, IT administrators can power on/off, restart, and adjust the volume of their ViewSonic devices. Administrators now have the ability to control devices remotely and even display content and emergency broadcasts, all from a single dashboard. An added value to the WPD solution is that these can be grouped and remotely updated, making it even easier to install software on several groups of devices simultaneously.

Let’s deliver a better tomorrow for our children

Hands up who had a Business Continuity Plan for their school at the start of March this year?  Keep your hand up if that plan included what you would do in the event of a pandemic forcing you to close your school gates to all but the vulnerable and the children of key workers.

The reality is that whilst a handful of leaders had some form of idea what they would do should something terrible happen to their school, very few could have ever envisaged a scenario where they would have to close with barely two days’ notice, and stay closed for almost a whole term.

From talking with a number of schools that RM works with, it was very clear that those that reacted the best were establishments that had recognised the role technology could play within the operation of their school long before the Prime Minister made his announcement on 20th March.  Schools who had a technology vision and were well on the way to implementing it… with an internal champion who fought for their share of the school’s limited budget funding, and argued for a slice of valuable teacher inset time to train colleagues… who recognised the short-termism of buying cheap IT equipment that had a very limited use… and who appreciated that a technology partner with strength in depth could make all the difference when the chips were down.

The Lessons Learnt

Well we are where we are – we cannot turn the clock back – but we can learn the lessons, and we can ensure that there are some positives from the pain and suffering that the pandemic has brought.

  1. Develop an IT strategy for your school.  Technology is all around us and having a clear IT strategy up-front allows you to make decisions that will stand the test of time – as explained by an Academy in Stoke-on-Trent: “This made us realise the fundamental role technology plays in empowering, engaging, supporting, collaborating and enhancing teaching and learning”.

  2. Be brave and go for it!  No-one knew what the right answer was, but doing nothing was definitely the wrong one.  In the words of a West Midlands’ Primary: “Staff and children are so much more confident in using technology – simply because they have had to be – they had no choice”

  3. Set expectations with parents.  This has been as much a new experience for parents as for staff and pupils.  “It has brought our school community closer, with parents seeing just how much work has gone into ensuring we kept teaching” said a Primary School in Kent
  • Do not stifle experimentation.  Whilst working remotely, many staff and pupils quickly discovered new functionality and how they could apply it in the school environment.  “When someone said ‘Why don’t we use MS Teams’, I knew we had won” said a Secondary School in Reading

  • Cheap PCs are cheap for a reason.  Whilst school budgets are always difficult, the more modern your devices are, the faster they will run, and the easier they will be to use.  “Teachers are much more likely to engage with technology if it just works – no long boot up times nor system crashes”  believes a Secondary School in Oxfordshire
  • Invest in a reliable technology partner.  Schools cannot be expected to be experts in everything that happens within a school.  A partner – RM or anyone else – gives you someone to look out for you, someone to turn to and guide whilst you focus on what you are judged against: how best to teach your pupils.  “Whilst the price has to be right, for me the business case is all about allowing me to sleep soundly at night” said a school trust in Hull
  • Be lucky!  It was the golfer Gary Player who said that the more he practised the luckier he got.  In the words of a Secondary School in Reading “I wouldn’t call it luck, but with hindsight we made some very wise decisions over the past few years”

The Future

So as we all start a new school year, we should reflect on some of these lessons and in particular our hopes for the future. 

Above all is a desire to move forward – not to regress in any way…

  • …to build on the high levels of resilience that have been accumulated over the last five months…
  • …to extend the appetite that staff and pupils have for developing new ways of teaching and of learning… and
  • …to maximise the investments that have been made – in technology, in training and in new capabilities…

…to prepare schools for whatever is thrown their way – whether that be local lockdowns, floods, fires, or even bad weather. 

Nothing should stop us providing the education our children deserve – whether they are in the classroom or working remotely.

Simon Carter
Director
RM Education

Award-winning food service company to support schools in serving up safer catering solutions during pandemic

Pasta King’s pop-up cafes ensure school catering is safe, efficient, cost-effective and nutritious.

Pasta King has created a safer solution for educational establishments which want to provide hot, nutritional school meals as the new academic year starts. 

The company, which already works with thousands of schools and colleges across the UK and Ireland as well as public sector organisations, has come up with Pop-up Cafés, with safe, mobile serving stations which can turn classrooms, gyms, playgrounds or corridors into a place to serve lunches.  The café carts can serve up to 180 diners per hour, efficiently and at speed in a Grab-and-Go format.

The carts offer a quick and efficient answer to mass catering solutions and also provide a COVID compliant solution for specific ‘bubble’ groups during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Serving up a host of meals including pasta dishes and curries with approved nutritional values and vegetarian and Halal options, Pasta King’s carts can be easily moved to areas in schools where social distancing can be easily implemented.   In addition, a single member of staff can prepare and serve the meals which helps with social distancing challenges in school kitchens and reduced staff numbers.

Using a Pasta King solution assures educational leaders that the food they provide on campus meets the highest standards and boasts authentic ingredients including Spanish sun-ripened tomatoes, traceable meat products and pasta from the most respected producers in Italy. 

To minimise contact, the easy-to-use cart comes with compostable Pasta King pots as well as baskets, ladles and spoons.  Lids are also available for the pots, which has the added advantage of allowing staff to portion up pre-ordered meals which can then be delivered directly to classrooms. 

Mark Stone, CEO of Pasta King (UK) Ltd, which was recognised as LACA’s (The School Food People) Outstanding Supplier of the Year 2018 within the education sector, said: 

“Pasta King is best known for producing high-quality, tasty, nutritional meals for schools and other public sector organisations and our new Pop-up Cafes can help do that in the unique circumstances we are currently facing.   Many schools simply cannot feed their entire school population safely from their normal  dining halls, so our solution brings the food out to other areas, moving one person around the school rather than dozens.

“We understand that getting schools functioning under extreme conditions is already a tough task for many school staff and we want to alleviate the pressure of working out how to serve up balanced, healthy meals while ensuring safety is a priority. This is especially vital as recent research from the National Food Strategy revealed that only 1% of packed lunches meet the nutritional standards of a school meal.

“The importance of good nutrition for brain activity and function can never be underestimated which is why we want to play a role in dishing out good food for thought at a time when it is needed most.”

For further information on Pasta King log onto http://pastaking.co.uk/

Electronic Temperature Instruments launches TimeWash digital timer for hand washing

Electronic Temperature Instruments (ETI), the UK’s largest digital thermometer manufacturer and exporter of electronic thermometers and temperature probes, has launched a new sensor-based digital timer to encourage hand washing. The new TimeWash is designed for restaurants, hospitals, schools and any business where hand hygiene is critical as the UK emerges from lockdown and people return to work. 

For a more effective display, the ETI TimeWash, which costs £19.20 inclusive of VAT, can be mounted onto a wall using supplied Velcro or double-sized tape, displayed in this ‘how to’ video.

By utilising sensors, the TimeWash timer is activated by a wave of the hand which starts the countdown timer. The large clear LCD acts as a visual progress monitor and when the time is complete the user will hear an audible alarm indicating that their hand wash is complete.

The model incorporates eight pre-set countdown times: 20, 30 and 40 seconds, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 10 minutes. The set time button is discreetly positioned on the rear of the unit.

Peter Webb, ETI managing director, comments: “The TimeWash is designed to encourage employees to take time to thoroughly wash their hands by giving them a visual cue. Technology can help on all fronts when it comes to dispelling any anxieties about workplace hygiene and returning to work. Products like the TimeWash can reinforce new behaviours by reminding staff to remain hygienic which reduces cross-contamination. Workplaces with the TimeWash will also reassure its occupants that preventative infection control measures are being taken seriously.”

For more information on the TimeWash® Digital Hand Wash Timer please visit https://thermometer.co.uk/timers-alarms/1352-timewash-digital-timer-for-hand-washing.html?search_query=timer&results=13&goal=0_4d990ad939-da689b675e-61092732&mc_cid=da689b675e&mc_eid=5439c0f7a8

EDPLACE PROVIDES FREE DIGITAL CATCH-UP ASSESSMENTS FOR RETURNING SCHOOLCHILDREN

  • Free ‘catch-up’ assessments launched to identify learning gaps following school closures
  • Launches on September 2nd 2020 to coincide with return to school
  • EdPlace grows during school closure period with initial free service. Users increase by 1104%
  • Aim to build legacy of lifelong home learning with engaging, smart and measureable tool
  • EdPlace is a National Curriculum aligned digital educational platform

EdPlace - Screenshotsjpg.jpg

A COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING PARENTS:

“EdPlace is proud of the role it has played in supporting children and parents during the school closure period. These have been extraordinarily challenging times. The launch of this important ‘catch-up assessment’ reflects our commitment to providing access to smart, engaging and measurable learning tools as children return to school and beyond.”

Will Paterson, Founder, EdPlace

EdPlace is launching a free ‘digital catch-up’ assessments to help parents and educators identify learning gaps in line with the National Curriculum, as children return to school following period of school closures.

The service will define areas of strength and weakness for different age groups. This will provide a measurable and comparable picture of the child’s current academic level following this prolonged period of home learning.

The catch-up assessments are for every year group (Year 1 – GCSE) across the core subjects; English, maths and science. They will initially be available without charge (the user will need to create a free EdPlace account)

Once the student has completed the assessment, a full report will be available to download, providing parents and educators the option to share the results with their child’s teacher, tutor or parent if the assessment is being undertaken within an educational establishment.

The ‘catch-up assessments’ have been designed to be dynamic. The questions therefore change every time the student logs in. This means that a child can return to the assessment later in the academic year, for example, at half-term to see the progress they have made since commencing school.

EdPlace will also provide starter activities, linked to the child’s year group level to start improving upon the student’s weaknesses and help bridge the learning gap. A free user can access up to 5 activities a month. Paid subscriptions have unlimited access to all activities and assessments in addition to exam-board aligned 11+ and GCSE Practice Papers.

A VITAL SUPPORT DURING SCHOOL CLOSURES:

A YouGov poll published during the UK Coronavirus lockdown showed two thirds of parents felt they struggled to maintain discipline and motivation during home-schooling activities.

EdPlace has been created to provide engaging, measurable and hyper relevant support to children and parents when studying at home.

From the onset of the UK lockdown EdPlace committed to making its tools available to every parent and child that requires it. It did this by opening up activities on the website for parents to use without an account.

EdPlace also extended an offer to schools to open free accounts for up to 100 students during the closure period and created a guide prepared by leading education practioners on distance learning. These answered the key questions on what to teach, how to structure at home lessons, where to find resources and how to create fun, engaging and measurable activities for children as they learn from home.

EdPlace has seen a significant increase in the number of parents and users utilising its technology to augment school activity. The company’s user base has grown 1104% yoy.

EdPlace started in 2012 and has since then become a vital resource. EdPlace’s user base comprises both children in mainstream education requiring additional home learning support and home-schoolers.

MEASURABLE OUTCOMES:

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EdPlace’s own research suggests that its digital home learning tools can help students increase academic performance by 53% over expected progress / attainment over the academic year.

Independent analysis of its users commissioned by EdPlace between October 2018 and September 2019 (the last academic school year) comprises data from more than 500,000 individual activities taken through the platform.

In English, children using EdPlace materials accelerate their attainment by 47% above the normal level of progress expected as children progress though the school year. In maths, progress was accelerated by 42% and in science they advanced 74% versus normal performance.

An overall progress figure of 53% in core subjects (english, mathematics and science) has been calculated using a weighted average of improvement over the three core subjects.

LIFELONG LEARNING IN THE HOME:

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EdPlace is built with the mission to help millions of students learn and revise in a smart way for exam success and beyond. It helps all students from Year 1, through 11+, SATs and GCSEs with practice papers that are aligned with the questions presented by leading exam boards.

EdPlace’s platform provides a measurable and engaging answer to increasing pressure for parents to supplement school activity in the home. Both private tutors and parents find it an invaluable tool to engage children in home learning versus more traditional measures. For families with limited incomes and those with limited access to tuition it provides a highly effective alternative to private tuition

EdPlace is a National Curriculum aligned platform. This means children are able to practice skills that will directly accelerate progress through educational Key Stages and exams. It also provides important and measurable visibility for parents and educators to identify gaps and areas for improvement.

EdPlace has drawn teachers and figures in education to create hyper-relevant resources for parents and children to support in the their academic journey.  The platform provides an engaging format that is designed to inspire confidence in students and create a lifelong legacy of learning in the home.

The platform monitors progress through its ‘learn, practice and test’ methodology. Children are able to apply their newly acquired knowledge through 1000s of english, maths and science questions that range from Year 1 to GCSE. This significantly builds confidence ahead of examinations.

Built-in measurability and incentive are a key component. Parents can track progress using a dashboard and personlaise rewards through badges and specific rewards that mirror the progress and reward structures that draw so many children to online gaming.

ABOUT THE FOUNDER: WILL PATERSON:

Will is a proven entrepreneur with a background in corporate finance. Following inspiration from his education experiences, he founded EdPlace in 2012 with the vision to provide support to millions of parents and children in the UK on their own academic journeys.

At a young age, Will discovered he was dyslexic and faced the challenge of not feeling smart enough to progress. Will was fortunate to enjoy significant parental support and that instilled an attitude that the right tools, correctly applied will build confidence for millions of children.

EdPlace is the result of that vision, providing a vital source of support for both parents and children to build confidence and make learning in the home a fun, relevant and measurable experience.

Kaligo launches Cloud version to help provide seamless school to home learning to support the recovery curriculum

 Kaligo has further developed their handwriting EdTech for the cloud, which will help foster a love of handwriting both at home and in the classroom to help fill the gaps to support the recovery curriculum.  

The Kaligo cloud version brings with it many benefits for users, including its cross-tablet capability for iPad, google and android tablets.  For teachers, this means that if you have a class of ten children and 5 are working at home, all pupils can use work on tasks in real-time.  The whole class can be taught at the same time, even though some are not in the classroom.  Also, should the need for remote learning occur again, schools can seamlessly continue the handwriting journey for their pupils, as was the case for Wayfield Primary School. 

“During the COVID pandemic, Wayfield were able to maintain handwriting skills.” Says Matthew Tragheim, Teacher at Wayfield Primary School and Kent ICT Champion of the year.  “As the quality of content on the Kaligo platform is so high, our teaching teams find it very helpful. There is nothing on the market that has functions like Kaligo.”

Kaligo combines years of neuroscientific research with 15,000 analysed handwriting strokes and the latest AI technology and is a tool that will help teachers highlight handwriting difficulties in a few minutes.  It is this machine learning which provides pupils with real-time, automated and corrective feedback.  Each handwriting stroke is analysed based upon shape, direction and order, and identifies any difficulties children as young as age three may have with forming letters, numbers or even if they have an issue with pencil control. 

Teachers choose their preferred handwriting scheme and either a pre-set lesson or set their own lesson for their pupils.  Kaligo then stores the data so teachers can easily monitor progress and provide teachers with the deep dive knowledge they need through its constant classroom assessment.  With Kaligo, pupils find handwriting more fun as the colourful and intuitive screens on tablets most pupils are already familiar with, making the task of handwriting more exciting.

“Children will be able to login to the same account at school and at home.  This means that they can continue to practice when they are not in the classroom, and our teachers can check the continual progress both in class and at home.” Said Andrew.  “The improvement in our pupil’s handwriting in a very short space of time has been really impressive. Kaligo is perhaps one of the most impressive classroom tools we’ve seen.  Anything which provides individual learning, and this level of improvement for the class while saving teacher time is a must.”  Andrew Clark, Deputy Head, St James’ C. E. Primary School

For teachers, the new cloud version has an intuitive interface that makes creating lesson plans quickly which are easily customisable for individual students.  The dashboards and personalised reporting, making it easy for a teacher to see how the whole class or an individual child is doing in a few seconds, in real-time.

For students, there are now 9 exercise themes covering all the fundamentals of handwriting, including capital letters, lower case, pre-cursive and cursive.  And, for parents, it allows them to see how their child is doing at school, as well as providing access for the child at home.

Pupils progress using a self-paced approach, then Kaligo displays a series of real-time arrows and colours on the screen to show the child if they are on track with their writing.  If their strokes are accurate, the green colour indicates success, if they are not correct the red arrows show the child how they can get on track.  Kaligo then provides teachers with records of each child’s ability to write and will also monitor their ongoing progress, giving teachers an accurate picture of a child’s current writing skills.

The ongoing individual assessment and interventions mean that there is no need for daily checking, and there is no impact on teachers’ workloads.  Results and records are analysed and updated automatically; then they are stored in the Kaligo teacher portal, saving many hours of teacher’s admin time.

Approved by the DfE Hungry Little Minds campaign, Kaligo has also been recognised by many awards organisations, including the GESS Education Awards and was a finalist in the BETT Awards 2020 for Early Years and Educational Apps.  Kaligo is a member of the National Handwriting Association and a member of the latest cohort of the UCL Educate programme.

If you would like to know more, please visit www.kaligo-apps.com

Ferco Seating Launches FT10 Wrimatic™ Auditorium Seating

Luxury Education Seating Provides Students and Teachers with Comfort Fitting for Every Lecture Hall 

UK-based seating manufacturer, Ferco Seating, has formally announced the launch of the FT10 Wrimatic™ education seating in. The FT10 is an executive style auditorium seat that is equipped with a patented and award-winning A3 integrated writing tablet. 

The FT10’s ergonomic design includes inbuilt lumbar support for lengthy sitting periods. It can be configured for radial and straight-room layouts as well as adjust to any room’s unique spatial specifications. FT10 is also available as a “swivel” option which has full 360 degree movement capabilities. This allows for students to work together and collaborate within the standard lecture-style classroom. 

For truly flexible layouts, the FT10 can be mounted on easyglide casters, enabling rapid and easy reconfiguration of spaces. 

Above: Ferco Seating’s FT10 installation at Dundee University in Dundee, Scotland (left) and FT10 Wrimatic (right)

Designed by an aeronautical engineer, the Wrimatic™ tablet opens in one continuous movement from its unique triangular joint and stows away neatly when not in use. The smooth prismoid joint about which it rotates is the result of clever engineering design. Additionally, the knuckle joint is made of die cast aluminium which means it is extremely robust. 

The writing surface is the strongest tablet on the market with a load bearing of 240KG (most tablets are tested to 40K), and its A3 size means it is large enough to support laptops  – not just notepads or tablet devices. Wrimatic’s wide surface area means that it is suitable for left-handed persons as it folds out across the entire seat. Made from the same material used to fabricate motorcycle helmets, ABS, the fold out tablet is one hundred percent shatterproof. Most importantly, Wrimatic caters to all users and is available on a height adjustable self-operated gas lift for wheelchair patrons. FT10 can be customized with removable covers in a wide array of contemporary colors, embroidery, fixed desking, DDA spaces, and integrated power and data points. 

The FT10 meets British Standards for strength and durability in addition to acoustic testing for performance spaces. The tablet is anti-panic to conform to fire regulations and meets health and safety requirements with no finger-traps or exposed pivots. 

It is a favorite with corporate clients, discerning teaching establishments and performance spaces alike. Previous installations include Cambridge University and University College London (UCL).    

For more information on FT10 Wrimatic and other products from Ferco Seating, please visit https://www.fercoseating.com/products/lecture-series/lecture-ft10-wrimatic_lecture_theatre_seat/

AVer Europe: how to step up the digital learning experience

With digital learning part of the new normal Vice President of Sales & Marketing at leading AV manufacturer AVer Europe Rene Buhay explores the best long-term investments in education technology.

The start of the new academic year is fast approaching. While some schools and universities will be returning to classes and lectures in person, we have seen immersion into digital learning during the pandemic push the boundaries of the learning experience. Whether in-class or continuing with distance learning, the classroom experience has changed exponentially.

Institutions are now making adjustments in their budgets for technology to adapt for lasting distance learning capabilities.

Initiating Distance Learning

Teachers have been working with a webcam for distance learning over the past few months, but over time they may find this very limiting. Ultra-wide field-of-view cameras with 4K sensor (like the AVerCAM340+) can greatly enhance the student experience.

Integrating Visualisation

Wireless visualisers are great companions for delivering classes remotely. Many visualisers (like the AVer M15w/M70w) can be synced with Microsoft Teams, Skype, Zoom and Google Hangouts Meet for presenting to a class remotely. Switching between a webcam, visualiser and presentation slides, teachers can use a visualiser to seamlessly present multiple sources of material to students.

Many visualisers have real-time recording capability which allows teachers to share the video content on their chosen media sharing platform, so students who cannot make a class can still participate. 

Adapting to the Hybrid Model

Teachers may need to adjust to hybrid models wherein they teach a number of students in class while another batch of students are remote.

Educators are accustomed to having freedom to move around a classroom, making distance learning chained to a desk frustrating. Auto-tracking cameras (like Aver PTC310) allow teachers to move freely around the room, still being framed and tracked, providing a far more enjoyable experience for remote students.

Over coming months we will see education technology evolve and respond with a greater affinity for digital learning. Innovation in the industry to provide impactful solutions offering value for money will be critical for success.