AVer Europe launches mechanical arm visualiser with impressive 322X zoom

MSRP: £799 ex VAT

LONDON – 14 October 2020 – AVer Europe, the award-winning provider of video collaboration and education technology solutions, announces the launch of the AVerVision M90UHD Mechanical Arm Visualiser. This innovative teaching tool is destined to engage students in exciting new ways with its 322X total zoom (14X optical, 23X digital) document camera. 

Enhancing the whole student learning experience, teachers can go from a massive A3 shooting area to focusing on small details, such as tiny postage stamps. The incredible zooming power is complemented by lucid imaging from an Ultra HD, 13-megapixel lens and super-quick autofocusing, displaying every subtle detail.

Along with projecting intricate live images, the AVerVision M90UHD enables one-push recording, image capturing, and playback. These options make it easy for users to create content to use instantly in class or save for creating interactive assignments or online courses later. Its convenient playback function also helps educators reflect on their own teaching methods and evolve content to help develop a dynamic learning environment. 

The AVerVision M90UHD’s long mechanical arm is highly extendable, and its weighted base lets users change the camera angle without shaking the whole device and creating a wobbly image. This stability and reach allows teachers using the M90UHD as a USB webcam for livestreaming to give distance learning students a view of their on-campus classmates, reducing the isolation of learning from home. In addition to USB connectivity, HDMI and VGA ports offer convenient versatility.

 “The M90UHD is a visualiser with an impressive line-up of features, all serving to help teachers demonstrate different types of materials in an extraordinarily vivid way, “said Rene Buhay, AVer Europe Vice President of Sales & Marketing. “What’s more, instinctive function buttons, an extendable arm, and AVerTouch software allow teachers of any subject to create fantastic collaborations in next to no time.”

AVerTouch software compatibility is an additional feature of the M90UHD. This free app connects the visualizer to student and teacher devices, and users can sync the system with the cloud to automatically save images and videos.

First-ever virtual Get Online Week levels up digitally excluded UK

A national campaign to reach the 9 million people in the UK who are unable to use the internet fully returns next week – held virtually for the first time ever.

As the UK is thrown into a harsh Winter with intensifying restrictions, Get Online Week will see hyperlocal community partners assist and facilitate digital learners at hundreds of events.

For the first time in the campaign’s 15 year history, community organisations will run hundreds of life-transforming events in a variety of locations – all with no cost to the attendees. These COVID-safe events will minimise the need for in-person contact, with local support for those needing help to get online.

Pandemic restrictions show the internet is an essential skill critical for everyday life. It allows almost half of all British workers to work from home1, helps isolated people stay connected, and makes sure children can stay on track with their schooling. 4 out of 5 people polled in a recent survey say digital technology has been a vital support to them in lockdown, and 78% say the pandemic has escalated the importance of digital skills.2

However, 7.6m workers are facing redundancy or reduced hours and pay due to COVID-193, and 82% of jobs required digital skills, even before the pandemic4.

Improving the UK’s digital capability is the solution. It will reduce the devastating economic fallout of the pandemic by protecting livelihoods, in turn, it will improving the wellbeing of millions of people.

Supported by BT and the Department for Education, Get Online Week is here to help make sure that everyone in the UK has access to free, friendly and local support to improve their digital skills.

From Zoom interview masterclasses and CV workshops to online coffee mornings and Skype quizzes, events right across the UK will help people grow their essential digital skills and confidence with digital.

Get Online Week is delivered by Good Things Foundation, the UK’s leading social and digital inclusion organisation. The charity helps people develop and improve their digital skills and teaches them how to use the internet safely and confidently, so they can be happier, healthier and better off.

Helen Milner, Chief Executive at Good Things Foundation says: “Now more than ever, digital skills are critical to the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people in our society. Locked-out and locked down, they’re facing a bleak winter.

Get Online Week will begin to transform the lives and experiences of the 9 million who lack confidence, helping them find the support and resources they need to stay connected to society and essential government services.”

Marc Allera, CEO of BT’s consumer brands says: “As our world becomes increasingly reliant on technology, having the skills and confidence to access digitally-enabled services has never been more important – whether that’s being able to message a loved one on WhatsApp, or order groceries or prescription medicines online.

“It is clear these services are a lifeline for millions of people across the UK and we have a responsibility to make sure those with lower digital skills are not left behind, especially in the face of such uncertain times. This is why we are proud to support Get Online Week 2020, so we can continue our work to ensure everyone is able to learn the skills they need to access vital services and stay connected to friends and family.”

If you’d like to take your next step to making more of the internet – or want to help someone else do so – you can find your nearest Get Online Week event at www.getonlineweek.com.

Royal artist campaigns to get disadvantaged kids their school essentials

A Royal-appointed artist is on the case – literally – to help aid some of the four-million children who returned to school in September without access to basic pens and pencils.

Jeremy Houghton, who has painted everyone from Her Majesty the Queen to Sir Andy Murray, is urging charitable Brits to fill a pencil case with stationery and help support disadvantaged pupils.

With Christmas looming, along with the threat of more intensive lockdowns, Jeremy said it was vital to help children unlock their creative side.

His charity, Heart Felt Tips, is urging the public to act now and bring the joy of colour and paint to millions of children who cannot afford even basic art materials.

“I feel so sorry for these kids who have had barely any school provision for six months and are in families who just can’t go out and buy new equipment for them at school or at home,” he explained.

“Pens, pencils, felt-tips and paintbrushes aren’t luxuries – they’re everyday items which our children need to express themselves, especially in turbulent times.

“In a digital world, we often forget the importance of a good pencil case and the tools inside it. When I was a child, I loved my pencil case, it completely opened up my eyes to what was possible at school.”

The father-of-two is also laying down the challenge to Britain’s biggest stationery providers to help utilise old and unwanted stock, and he urged schools around the country to support the plan.

“Nothing could be simpler, or easier, than to grab a pencil-case, fill it up with some felt-tips and pens, and then send it on to your local foodbank to distribute to the needy,” he said.

“We already have dozens of schools who support Heart Felt Tips but now is the time to amplify this message, whether that’s some of the stationery giants joining forces with us or individual households and groups.”

Jeremy hopes the pencil cases will be filled by children at schools, clubs and church groups and then distributed via frontline foodbanks, ensuring the kids who need them receive them quickly.

“It’s more important than ever that we provide this service to disadvantaged kids,” Jeremy added. “During lockdown, so much of the homeschooling focus will have been on keeping up the teaching of core subjects like maths, English and science but creative subjects like arts will have taken a back seat.” 

All donations received will be set aside and quarantined for three days and then cleaned thoroughly before being sent on. 

For more information and to get involved, please visit www.heartfelttips.co.uk 

New partnership of Physical Education and sport specialists gives support to primary schools

This autumn, education experts from three renowned organisations are coming together to offer primary schools tailored support to help pupils learn core subjects and develop essential life skills through the power of sport.  

Move.Learn.Grow will see experienced sports teachers, coaches and internationally-acclaimed educators from the Harlequins Foundation, Kingston University and Sport Impact working together to provide schools with unique learning solutions. 

The launch of Move.Learn.Grow comes amid fears that children’s physical exercise has fallen sharply since the pandemic. Sport England found that during lockdown, just 19% of children under 16 were doing one hour or more of physical activity every day – the government’s recommended daily amount. 

Move.Learn.Grow offers bespoke and wide-ranging support packages to primary schools, initially across three London boroughs. This ranges from curriculum development and planning to numeracy,  literacy and Science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) programmes. It also includes extra-curricular clubs and inter-school sport competitions, as well as training for teachers who are less confident or experienced in delivering PE. 

Marc Leckie, Head of Harlequins Foundation, said the partnership – Move.Learn.Grow – came out of a desire to help pupils recover “mentally, physically and educationally” from six months of school closures. 

Leckie said: “As sports education experts, we know exactly how to use the appeal of sport to help children with their core subjects and to develop in them the inner confidence and resilience that is needed more than ever in these testing times. 

“The value of sport goes well beyond what happens in PE lessons and on the pitch. Our focus is on the whole child and the transformative effect of physical activity to inspire, engage and empower children.”  

Alan Watkinson, Partnership Director of Sport Impact, said his organisation was already well-known to schools in Hounslow and was excited to be working with schools in Richmond and Kingston through the partnership. 

Watkinson said: “Move.Learn.Grow will boost the physical education and sport experience of young people at the very time they need it most.” 

Greg Dryer, Director of Kingston University’s Centre for Physical Education, Sport and Activity, said: “The demands on teachers have changed over recent months and it is more important than ever to provide them with professional support and learning so that they can confidently deliver exceptional experiences for their pupils at school. 

“Move.Learn.Grow will be a leader in its field.” 

Kathryn Harper-Quinn, Headteacher of Hounslow Heath Infant School, said many schools were struggling to deliver school sport and needed outside support. 

“Move.Learn.Grow is invaluable. High-quality enrichment activities, alongside help with curriculum development, are making a big difference to our children’s mental and physical well-being, as well as their learning and development. The fact that Move.Learn.Grow takes a whole child approach makes it an important part of our recovery curriculum and means that we’re getting much more from our Sports Premium than purely physical activity.” 

For more information, visit www.harlequins.foundation/movelearngrow/ 

Leading education insurance specialist rebrands to PIB Insurance Brokers

Education insurance specialist, DE Ford Insurance Brokers, has changed its name to PIB Insurance Brokers.

The move is part of a nationwide programme that saw a number of businesses under the parent company, PIB Group, rebrand to simplify the business offering.

The York based business has over 30 years of experience delivering services in the education sector. 

Craig Walton, Branch Director at D E Ford said: “We’ve experienced over 40 years of success operating as D E Ford Insurance Brokers and we’re delighted to announce the next chapter for the business. The fantastic team has been integral to our success and will continue to provide a high-quality service to our clients who can enjoy working with the same familiar faces.

“By moving under a single brand as PIB Insurance Brokers, we will be able to continue improving the range of services we offer to our valued clients in the education sector, while drawing on the expertise of the wider PIB Group.”

DE Ford Insurance Brokers is one of 11 businesses within the PIB Group Specialty division which will move under a single brand of PIB Insurance Brokers. The move will also complement services provided by the PIB Risk Management and PIB Employee Benefits businesses.

All 500 people employed across 30 branches in the Speciality Division will remain in their roles, and PIB Group hopes to create additional roles in the coming years.

Steve Redgwell, CEO of the Specialty Division said:“The team at D E Ford has been a trusted provider to the education sector over the last 30 years and we are looking forward to seeing this experience strengthen in the coming years under the PIB Insurance Brokers name.

“This is an incredibly exciting time for PIB Group as we continue expanding our range of services and niche sectors we work with. Bringing these specialist commercial lines businesses under one brand will ensure we take even more of a unified approach and develop further strength as a collective for the benefit of our clients.”

Companies now trading as PIB Insurance Brokers include Cooke & Mason, Wilby, DE Ford, Franklands, Lorica, PIB Private Clients, PIB SME Insurance, QPI, WW Group, BKG West and Cobra Insurance Brokers. All employees will remain in their roles and keep the same contact details. 

For more information please visit: www.pib-insurance.com

Ebbsfleet Green Primary School construction back on track

Ebbsfleet Green Primary School – sustainable and environmentally-friendly.

Maritime Academy Trust is delighted to announce the commencement of construction on Ebbsfleet Green Primary School, in Ebbsfleet Green Garden City, Kent. The long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony – which marks the start of Kier Construction’s site preparations for the installation of the new prefabricated modular school building in January 2021 – was attended by Executive Headteacher Joanne Wilkinson-Tabi, Head of School Kelly Garrett, Estates Lead Ricky Bangs, Kier Assistant Site Manager Kamley Robinson and KCC Project Manager Joanna Johnson. Once in place the building will be fitted out and additional ground works and landscaping to the outdoor learning areas completed by August 2021 ready for the start of the new school year in September 2021.

This stunning new sustainable building commissioned by Kier and designed by gdm architects, is environmentally-friendly, with classrooms positioned around a large central courtyard to foster ‘collaboration, innovation and education’, the ethos of Maritime Academy Trust. The classrooms will look out onto beautifully landscaped grounds with a wildlife dipping pond. A wilding area and vegetable garden will be created with the students when the school opens, promoting the Ebbsfleet Development Corporation’s vision of an ‘Edible Ebbsfleet’.

Situated in the heart of Ebbsfleet Garden City, the new school will be one of three primary schools serving the new development. Ebbsfleet Green Primary School will provide 420 places and will include a 26-place nursery and SEN centre helping to meet the needs of local children and the increasing demand for school places in Dartford and Gravesham, whose population is predicted to rise to 252,000 by 2031.

The groundbreaking ceremony in September (L to R)  Joanne Wilkinson-Tabi, Executive Head, Ebbsfleet Green Primary; Kamley Robinson, Assistant Site Manager, Kier; Kelly Garrett, Head of School

The school is part of the Maritime Academy Trust, an educational charity catering for over 4,000 pupils aged 3-11 across thirteen primary schools with nurseries based in London and Kent. The Trust is headed up by Nick Osborne, CEO and National Leader in Education – a title earned for his ‘exceptional’ leadership as Executive Head Teacher of Millennium, Brooklands and Timbercroft Primary Schools, a position he held prior to founding Maritime.

Commenting on the groundbreaking ceremony Joanne Wilkinson-Tabi, Executive Headteacher , Ebbsfleet Green Primary said, “I was really excited to visit the Ebbsfleet Green Primary School site with Head of School, Kelly Garrett. Kelly and I were shown the plans of exactly where the school will sit and could imagine what it will be like this time next year. It is a vast expanse of land which is unusual for a new school and will provide us with plenty of space to make Ebbsfleet Green Primary a first-class Garden City school. It is also great to see the housing development continue to grow around us. We are very much looking forward to our launch party in January 2021 when the school building will be in position. It is all beginning to feel very real!”

BookLife Publishing provides exclusive offer to TAP Schools

TAP is a free-to-use social thanking platform designed for parents and carers to thank and praise school staff, as well as raise much-needed funds.

TAP (Thank And Praise) is partnering with BookLife Publishing to offer its award-winning titles to TAP Schools as part of a match funding scheme.

According to BESA, 1 in 4 schools lack basic teaching resources and £136 is spent on classroom materials per year by teachers. This means that match funded donations from parents and carers provide staff and their pupils with additional and much-needed resources.

Now schools registered on TAP’s free thanking platform can also benefit from BookLife Publishing’s beautiful and inspiring books which educate children of all ages and cover all the key subject areas including science, geography, history and STEM.

BookLife Publishing was born from a simple idea: putting children at the heart of their books. Their unique, award-winning style and creative approach means their books are loved by children all over the world.

“BookLife Publishing are excited to be working in partnership with TAP to exclusively offer our titles as part of a Match Funding scheme for the first time. This means that BookLife Publishing will pay 50% of your school’s book order,” said Nick Ison, Managing Director, BookLife Publishing.

To see the books included in the match funding scheme, exclusive to TAP Schools, please go to: www.booklifepublishing.co.uk.

“I’m absolutely delighted that we’re partnering with an award-winning publishing company. Not only does BookLife Publishing provide an extensive range of quality books, they are also a mission-led, socially-driven organisation like TAP,” said Matt Findel-Hawkins, CEO of TAP.

In order for your school to benefit, simply register your school on TAP’s free-to-use thanking platform at www.thankandpraise.com/organisations   and start collecting funds on its digital donation platform.

The TAP thanking platform allows people to send private messages of thanks to members of school staff, praise a school publicly on a digital thanking wall, as well as raise match funding.  

TAP’s underlying mission is to support and improve the well-being and mental health of all those working in education, by encouraging people to show appreciation to them.

If you’d like your school to benefit from TAP, please:

  • Send a message with your full name and organisation name to 07871 064296 on WhatsApp
  • Or visit our Organisation page on our website

Headteacher standards mark an important moment for the English education system

Leora Cruddas, chief executive of CST and vice chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review Group said: “The publication of the new Head Teacher Standards is an important moment for the school system in England.

“The standards define the work of a head teacher or school principal – those leading a school whether a maintained school or a school in a trust.

“The standards have been used to develop a suite of national professional qualification frameworks which are rooted in the best available evidence of leading a school – what head teachers need to know and be able to do.

“It is important that the development of leaders in England is underpinned both by ethical standards and secure knowledge so that leaders can solve persistent or novel challenges and contribute to society’s conversation about schooling. 

“As Malcolm Trobe CBE, chair of the Head Teacher Standards Review group says, ‘both the profession and society rightly have high expectations of those that lead our schools and it is important that the standards accurately reflect those expectations.’ It was a very great privilege to work with Malcolm and the review group to develop these standards.

“Head teachers and school principals play a very important role in our society as they lead the education of our children. It is essential that we invest in their development so that we have the very best leaders and our education system keeps getting better.”

Virtual Reality Tech Provides Socially-Distanced Solution For Schools

This autumn, virtual reality training pioneers Virti are partnering with schools across England to enable powerfully effective remote learning. 

Virti have equipped several secondary schools with VR headsets and cameras which can be used to create personalised immersive video content. These instructional or demonstrative videos can then be uploaded to a cloud-based platform, and accessed remotely by staff and students as often as is needed.  

The VR tech is being used for the following:

  • To train teaching staff at a safe social distance outside of school premises
  • By science students to complete practical experiments without direct teacher instruction, outside of the lab
  • By teenage pupils to explore mindfulness exercises as they readjust to school life and work to catch up on missed teaching 

These collaborations mark the first instance of virtual reality technology being deployed in UK schools to overcome the unique challenges of socially-distanced education. 

With students and teachers contending with strict regulations and localised lockdowns – whilst under immense pressure to catch up on missed learning time – remote and effective solutions such as Virti are in high demand.

Headteacher of Upton Hall School, Mrs Andrea Gaunt, comments: 

“We have been working hard to provide the best education in the safest manner; innovation is essential for this, so Virti’s platform will be an invaluable tool in our school. 

Our students reacted incredibly well to online learning during school closures.  I am sure that when we develop resources in Virtual Reality, using both headsets and their mobile devices to access their learning, they will benefit immensely.

Our staff will value the ability to create and upload their own personalised content to the platform, and shortly will begin using it to help students with preparation for upcoming exams. 

At this moment, young people need to make up a lot of lost ground as they prepare to enter a tightly competitive and highly skilled job market. In my opinion, it’s time for all schools to explore adopting VR technology for socially-distanced learning.”

A solution tailored to 2020 and beyond

The hands-on, fully immersive experience of learning via VR is an effective way for groups of students to access content from the safety of their homes or school ‘bubbles’. Additionally, the mindfulness sessions are designed to build teens’ mental resilience and alleviate any academic or pandemic-related anxiety. 

The technology is also being used across the Atlantic. High schools in Indiana are making use of Virti’s technology to participate in remote work experience and build their employability skills. Teachers have reported a high demand for places on VR work experience courses, and plans are underway to expand the range of opportunities and partner organisations. 

Virti are currently developing the platform’s capabilities, with the goal of making immersive remote learning a central pillar of every student’s education experience. 

Founder of Virti, Dr Alex Young, comments: 

“Schools are facing a raft of new challenges this term, with students and teachers negotiating an uncertain and unpredictable landscape. The Virti team are excited to be putting our immersive reality platform to powerful use at this important moment. 

The challenges and successes of lockdown-era learning have made it clear that education providers must reimagine their pedagogical frameworks to allow for a flexible combination of socially-distanced and face-to-face instruction.

At the same time, there’s growing recognition of the fact that the introduction of VR technology into classrooms has the potential to drive incredibly impactful change in the secondary and higher education sectors.”

A Royal Question for a British Astronaut

The National Space Centre, home to the National Space Academy, yesterday welcomed Her Royal Highness The Countess of Wessex to meet with a small number of students and staff as they begin a very exciting educational year.

The Countess of Wessex joined British astronaut Helen Sharman at the National Space Centre as part of World Space Week to meet a small number of students from the National Space Academy Space Engineering course, which this year has seen a significant growth in applications, leading to a second student group being added for the first time.

The visit included a live Q&A session with Helen, that was transmitted (via space satellites) to a worldwide audience online.

Questions were kicked off by Her Royal Highness, who asked about inspiring the next generation of children.

The National Space Academy

In 2012 the National Space Academy established the UK’s first full-time post-16 course for students in Space Engineering. It is the only course of its kind, unique both in its subject matter and in its combination of BTEC qualifications with traditional A Levels.

More than 80% of its students, the majority having no family history of progression into Higher Education, have gone on to study degree-level University courses in physics or engineering or Higher Apprenticeship programmes with some of Europe’s leading aerospace and engineering companies including Airbus and Rolls Royce.

Several students who have finished their undergraduate and MSc courses have been awarded first-class degrees.

With the success of the course and significant career opportunities within a thriving UK space industry, this year there will be two cohorts of Space Engineering students to meet demand for places.

The Academy is part funded by the National Space Centre, the UK Space Agency and the Lloyds Register Foundation, with additional support from The Ogden Trust and PPG.