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The evolution and future of Edtech: A chat with Aaron Webb, Sr Product Marketing Manager at Jamf

How has the pandemic impacted the way we view edtech?

The pandemic has had a significant impact on the way that edtech is viewed within the education system. In the last two years, we have seen technology brought to the forefront, as schools have adopted platforms such as Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom in order to enable teachers to provide learning to children of all ages. There has also been an increase in device purchases or repurposing of existing devices in order to provide students with access to these platforms. While some schools have relied on student having access to their own device at home in order to keep teaching as best they could, others already had devices in the hands of students and the systems in place adapted in a different way. What started as reactive for most and a forced move to use technology has become a learning curve where all schools, even if they already had an established 1:1 programme or already used Teams or Google to reset. Technology in education has many benefits and schools have seen that, from accessibility and providing differentiated resources to cutting the amount of paper used. They have realised what can be done outside the walls of the classroom and they saw the importance of having a structure in place to flip to online learning whenever required. However, during the pandemic, there was little time to implement a strategy or enable staff with the new tools and skills. Some schools still had key worker children on site while teaching remotely so had to juggle both face to face and online learning. We are now in a period where schools are focused on students who are back in the classroom but they are also able to review the workflows they were using both prior and during the pandemic. Many schools are reflecting on those free offerings to blend with other paid-for solutions, for example using Google Classroom as a free offering but moving to Showbie for digital assessment and feedback. Apple devices are being used to blend Google tools with the Apple ecosystem and the need for both teaching training and IT management of devices has grown rapidly. There is also more focus on security, with devices being issued without the knowledge, skills or tools to secure them, and an increase in cyber attacks on schools and universities means protecting students, devices and the networks are now a huge requirement in education. The pandemic has certainly fast-tracked the digitisation of education considerably and will continue to shape the future of learning, professional development with tools and platforms to support.

 

What is Jamf and how are you making a difference in the education sector?

Jamf is the leading Apple enterprise management solution of scale that remotely connects, manages and protects Apple users, devices and services. Our flagship education solution, Jamf School, recently surpassed 5 million devices and provides simple education-focused tools and value-added workflows, not only for the IT admin to manage and secure Apple devices but Teacher, Student and Parent apps to empower student success. Jamf provides a holistic management solution for schools of all sizes that manages every aspect of Apple devices through to provisioning devices right from purchase, through to the deployment with zero touch for IT which gives the ultimate buy in for staff and students who unbox their brand new device, power on and see all their apps and setting configured based on their sign in. With our security solutions and management offers, we can help schools monitor and prevent malware threats, and provide safe online learning environments, all without invading user privacy. We support the use of our devices and tools with training and robust help for IT admins but also free online professional development for the Jamf Teacher app with our Jamf Educator platform. Teachers can learn, try and apply in a simulation environment before rolling out across the school. We celebrate their success with a Jamf educator badge to share on social media and as part of their professional development but also invite them to join our dedicated education hub within Jamf Nation, our online community of IT professionals.

 

What differentiates Jamf from other edtech solutions?

Jamf empowers student success. We know that many stakeholders play a huge part in this and we have tools and solutions to support those key personas. IT, teachers, the students themselves and parents and carers. Each tool and workflow enhances engagement between teachers, students and parents while simplifying IT workflows. It is a unique proposition that presents a variety of capabilities that allow for management of devices by a number of different stakeholders and participants regardless of IT knowledge and skills. Each of these is adapted and created specifically for its role in this journey. Jamf has carefully considered what is required for each participant and developed a capability to support their function.

 

These solutions become even more powerful with our integrations and solution partners. Our integrations with Microsoft and Google mean schools can choose Apple and use the systems they know and love to form a powerful combination that suits their needs. By choosing Apple they can still use their Google or Microsoft systems but blend the Apple ecosystem for a better together approach.

 

We extend that experience even further with solution partners through our Jamf Marketplace. There is a wealth of solutions and integrations that allow schools to use systems they already have or are looking to adopt with Jamf, whether that be IT solution or teaching and learning specific apps such as Showbie, Explain Everything or digital signage solutions for their Apple TV fleet such as Carousel or Trilby TV.

 

How is Jamf combating some of the main security concerns in the edtech space?

The technological landscape is constantly evolving, and it is imperative that learning institutions take the necessary measures to combat the latest threats and security risks to prevent any potential problems. The use of technology in the classroom can be invaluable but steps need to be taken to protect both children and teachers alike, while also respecting and conserving their privacy.

 

Our solutions offer an easy way to remove concerns around security and harness a safe learning environment. Jamf has a robust and comprehensive knowledge base of the potential threats and has solutions that work to mitigate them, giving teachers and students the tools for success while keeping them safe from harm.

 

Jamf have announced their latest tool to keep users safe while they work. Jamf Safe Internet will be available for macOS, iPadOS and iOS this summer, combining content filtering and network threat prevention features that block unsafe content and malicious attacks so students can learn safely anywhere. This protection also includes software to stop malware and phishing attacks in their tracks. Jamf Safe Internet uses a vast content-filtering database and lightweight technology, so the learning experience of the user is not hampered and continues to provide the best Apple experience teachers and students know and love, while avoiding an invasion of student’s privacy. This is yet another layer of protection in place in addition to the existing safeguards in place throughout the Jamf’s Education solutions.

 

What do you think about the future of edtech?

Edtech, at its core, looks to empower teachers, parents and students, both inside and outside the classroom, to use technology as a tool to simplify and progress learning methods and make education as effective as possible. We know that the pandemic has accelerated its progress, but I think we are still yet to see the best to come. Technology is constantly evolving and developing, and the possible applications are vast. However, there are still areas that need to adapt. Exams and assessment were impacted during the pandemic. Schools need to rethink how students are assessed and consider digital assessments – edtech can definitely play a huge part in it.

‘Ed tech’ specialists, Osborne Technologies launch their new and improved WizeFloor interactive surface to schools in the UK, Europe and USA.

Osborne Technologies launch their new and improved, out-of-the-box interactive projection system, the WizeFloor One, designed primarily for educational establishments.

 

WizeFloor is a fun, engaging, cross-curricular interactive learning resource for educators, promoting play, movement and collaboration. Pupils can interact with the surface using their hands, feet, bean bags, play cones and any other soft play items.

 

The new and improved interactive floor system is designed to be more compact, robust and easier to install, whilst making WizeFloor more accessible and affordable. Available in two models, the WizeFloor One is an all-in-one overhead mounted solution designed for fixed installation within designated spaces, such as classrooms and sensory rooms and the WizeFloor GO is a fully mobile and height adjustable solution, for use in any suitable location. Along with numerous improvements to the hardware, WizeFloor is now more affordable than ever and includes a comprehensive 12 month warranty and optional installation. Osborne Technologies have recently installed their first WizeFloor One solution in the SNAP Charity in Essex, UK.

 

WizeFloor apps provide the underlying functionality for the many hundreds of available activities, and two purchasing options, ‘Create’ and ‘Play’ are available to suit different requirements and budgets. The ‘Create’ package provides teachers with all the tools they need to quickly and easily create and customise activities with their own lesson content. Whether it be a quiz to assess understanding of a modern foreign language, a game to solve mathematical equations, or a memory game to test geographical knowledge, each app is designed in a way that can be customised and adapted for any lesson or subject. The WizeFloor Play package (coming soon) will come with 50 and 100 pre-made games.

 

Nev Roberts, Director at Osborne Technologies –

“Many schools across the UK and US already use WizeFloor in their school curriculum to provide fun, enjoyable and motivational learning experiences. It is a unique product in that it can be used right across the curriculum, within virtually any subject and by any age group or ability”.

 

 

New Resources Supporting the Integration of Minecraft: Education Edition into Classroom Instruction Now Available from Discovery Education

 

Discovery Education today announced the availability of a host of new resources designed to support the integration of Minecraft: Education Edition (M:EE) into classroom instruction.  Accessible through Discovery Education’s award-winning K-12 platform, these resources complement M:EE’s ability to inspire student exploration, experimentation, and expression. Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place.

 

The Minecraft: Education Edition Channel, now available within the Discovery Education platform, provides educators useful lesson plans as well as ready-to-use activities that support students as they explore Minecraft Worlds and uncover important subject area content and skills. Furthermore, students can demonstrate creativity and showcase evidence of learning through an editable showcase board built within Discovery Education’s content creation tool, Studio. With Discovery Education’s dynamic set of learning supports, educators have a new set of resources supporting the integration of M:EE into Discovery Education’s math, SEL, STEM, and science lessons. 

 

Connecting educators to a vast collection of high-quality, standards-aligned content, ready-to-use digital lessons, intuitive quiz and activity creation tools, and professional learning resources, Discovery Education’s K-12 platform facilitates engaging, daily instruction in any learning environment.  

 

Discovery Education’s team continues adding, contextualizing, and organizing exciting new content as well as timely and relevant resources to the platform each month in response to current events and the ever-evolving needs of educators. These resources, sourced from trusted partners, are aligned to state and national standards, and help educators bring the outside world into STEM, math, science, and SEL instruction every day.

 

Minecraft: Education Edition takes everything players love about Minecraft and adds collaboration tools, classroom controls, and more into an open-world game where the only limit is students’ imagination. Available for Windows, iPad and Chromebook, M:EE includes exciting immersive worlds such as Sustainability City, that invites students to explore aspects of sustainable living, from forestry to wastewater, recycling to clean energy, and more, and Code Builder, a feature that allows educators and students to explore, create, and play in the immersive Minecraft world by writing code.

 

“Minecraft: Education Edition offers educators a powerful tool with which to engage students and we are excited to offer resources that support its integration into instruction,” said Mike Synoground, Senior Vice President of Product Design at Discovery Education. “Together, we are building exciting learning environments that promote the development of creativity, digital citizenship, and critical thinking skills that prepare today’s learners for future careers.”

 

For more information about Discovery Education’s digital resources and professional learning services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com, and stay connected with Discovery Education on social media through Twitter and LinkedIn.  

 

Persona Life Skills social-emotional learning integrates with NetSupport’s classroom.cloud

 

Persona Education, the UK based edtech company funded by Innovate UK and Google Cloud for Startups, has announced its popular online social-emotional learning platform, Persona Life Skills, will now be linked directly from a new ‘Connectors’ section in NetSupport’s award-winning solution for classroom management, online safety and device management, classroom.cloud.

With students back in the classroom, concerns around their wellbeing are at an all-time high, especially as educators are finding that some students’ concentration levels are decreasing. Schools are now reviewing how to help support students’ social-emotional skills development, which can help them cope with the challenges life throws at them, in turn, boosting their wellbeing and chances of securing the right job.

Persona Education’s mission is to boost wellbeing and employability for young people everywhere, by developing social-emotional skills which are proven to help. Its online learning platform Persona Life Skills is already accessed directly by tens of thousands of students at hundreds of schools and colleges. The company is now making a step change in its availability by integrating it with NetSupport’s classroom.cloud ‘Connectors’ ecosystem. 

NetSupport has always been focused on student wellbeing and has continuously refined its solutions, such as by adding a new online safety toolkit in classroom.cloud to support schools’ efforts in keeping students safe as they learn online. Going one step further, its new ‘Connectors’ section allows seamless access for staff to access a rich ecosystem of complementary EdTech solutions for their school. Persona Life Skills will now be directly linked from classroom.cloud’s via the Connectors.

CEO of NetSupport, Al Kingsley, comments: “It’s important to recognise that wellbeing plays an important part to a student’s success. Equipping students with social-emotional skills is an excellent way to improve academic and personal development. Integrating with Persona Life Skills made perfect sense to help schools access complementary social-emotional solutions and, beyond that, it’s a brilliant solution.”

CEO and Founder of Persona Education, Pete Read, said “With a 91% student progress rating and very positive feedback from teachers, we know our Persona Life Skills online learning modules and personality insights really help high school students build social-emotional skills for the life challenges they are all facing – whether they are in the classroom or in blended learning. So, the opportunity to offer the platform through classroom.cloud, which enables seamless classroom and remote teaching and learning, is a great fit. This will make it even easier for teachers to guide students to discover their own unique Persona and build life skills that boost their wellbeing and employability.”

Persona Life Skills is the popular online social-emotional learning platform with a unique personality insights framework at its heart, where students age 13-19 develop life skills that help to boost their wellbeing and employability. To date, 240 schools in 28 countries have signed up to use the platform with over 56,000 students.

The platform offers a scaffolded, age-appropriate online learning curriculum for Year 9-13/Grade 8-12 (KS3, KS4, KS5) secondary students, built around Persona’s personality insights framework, rooted in behavioural science, and complementing existing school RSE, PSHE, SEL, life skills and wellbeing lessons.

classroom.cloud also links directly to MYCONCERN, CPOMS, National Online Safety, Nurture, Pobble, Natterhub and many other education solutions, and it also integrates with Google Classroom, ClassLink, Microsoft School Data Sync, Clever and Microsoft Office 365.

New Nordic Schools releases Kwizie to help teachers instantly create engaging and inspiring quizzes with AI

Kwizie instantly creates and grades quizzes from any text-based resource, giving insights into each student’s level of understanding and saving teachers endless hours.

ESPOO, Finland (April 21st, 2022) Finnish education company New Nordic Schools launches Kwizie – an online tool that helps teachers engage with their students and save endless hours by instantly creating and grading quizzes with cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI). 

Research on the state of global education by the OECD has shown teachers have been stressed and overburdened with increasing responsibilities causing many to consider leaving the profession. Kwizie helps to decrease teachers’ burden by saving time spent on selecting quality resources and creating interactive quizzes. At the same time, students are empowered to explore their excitement to learn and test their own learning, both independently as well as together with their classmates.

“Kwizie is a great way to create a formative assessment for educators. An educator can give students a quick entrance ticket at the beginning of class to see what students already know and an exit ticket to see what knowledge students have acquired during the class. I liked that I could see how each of my students did on the Kwizie in real time. It was very easy to create questions! You can quickly add a true/false or multiple check question. My students enjoyed it, they said it was very easy to use and a great way to show what they know,” says Maureen Lamb, Grade 9-12 Teacher from Connecticut, USA.

Kwizie can be used as a stand-alone tool where no login information is required – students only need a code to start an assessment, like in Kahoot. However, unlike Kahoot, Kwizie generates the quiz automatically based on the chosen learning material, saving the teacher hours of manual work.

“We are super excited to launch Kwizie, as we truly believe in its capabilities to ease the workload for teachers around the world, improve active recall for students, and most importantly, make learning fun and engaging. Teachers save a lot of time on preparatory work by instantaneously creating quizzes for their students from any text-based resource in English. Kwizie brings excitement and interactivity to learning and assessment, with the help of cutting-edge AI,” says Janne Jormalainen, Co-founder and Chair of the Board of New Nordic Schools.

One of the major benefits of Kwizie is that users can easily access a vast library of quality resources from third-party providers. For example, Britannica School articles are integrated within the resource library and provide instant access to millions of fact-checked materials– a service that would normally need to be paid for separately.

“Research has shown that active recall testing is far more effective at building strong memories than passive study. Kwizie enables students to strengthen their understanding of passive learning material. For example, if a teacher sees that their class is struggling to understand the content they assign, Kwizie makes it easy for the teacher to plan future lessons,” says Christopher Petrie, Director of Digital Learning at New Nordic Schools. 

Future releases of Kwizie will feature personalized quizzes based on each student’s ability and recommend next steps for a mastery style of learning.

Kwizie is also integrated with New Nordic Schools’ own Nordic Learning Platform, a complete hybrid learning solution for students, teachers, and schools. This platform combined with New Nordic Schools’ educational system and consulting services offers a complete Finnish-based K12 system that can be used independently in a modular way or together as a whole.

“Finland’s education system has been awarded as the best in the world on several occasions. With New Nordic Schools’ technology and know-how, we can bring the best practices of the system to any corner of the world.​​ We continue to empower teachers and schools worldwide to transform outdated systems of education,”  Jormalainen concludes.

UK digital literacy to receive major boost as 57k BBC micro:bit coding devices donated to primary schools

  • The Micro:bit Educational Foundation alongside partners Nominet and the Scottish government will donate 57,000 BBC micro:bits across UK primary schools   
  • Support from the Scottish government will see every primary school in Scotland receives devices  
  • In England, Wales and Northern Ireland, priority will be given to the schools that need additional support the most  
  • With many secondary schools now using BBC micro:bits in the classroom, the project aims to boost support for younger children and provide essential teacher resources   

    30 March 2022 The Micro:bit Educational Foundation, the organisation behind the pocket-sized BBC micro:bit computer, has announced plans to help even more primary school children take their first steps into digital creativity and computing. In partnership with Nominet and the Scottish government, 57,000 BBC micro:bit devices will be donated to UK primary schools, alongside comprehensive teaching resources and online Continuing Professional Development courses.   

    As digital literacy and computing become increasingly important core skills, this major boost to teaching these subjects will see approximately 3,000 UK primary schools receive around 20 devices each. Support from the Scottish government will see every primary school in Scotland receive 20 devices, with the Foundation and Nominet working with primary schools in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to prioritise 22,000 devices to those that need additional support the most. Delivery of devices will begin from April onwards.  

    Having launched in 2016, today there are 6 million BBC micro:bits being used by children all over the world, including most UK secondary schools. The Foundation has also seen growing adoption and demand from primary schools to teach 8 – 11-year-olds with the devices. With this major project, the Micro:bit Educational Foundation aims to boost usage in primary schools even further, providing the devices and resources to help teachers make coding exciting, accessible, and something they can teach confidently to younger children.   

Teaching digital skills from a young age has impressive results and understanding computational thinking can greatly enhance a child’s creativity and life chances. However, research underpinning the project from the Micro:bit Educational Foundation and Nominet found that  61% of UK primary teachers responsible for teaching computing have no background in the subject, 3 in 5 also cite lack of resources as a barrier to teaching computing and digital skills.   

Gareth Stockdale, CEO of the Micro:bit Educational Foundation, said: “Digital literacy and computational thinking are critically important not only to the future of our society, but to the future of children who will one day shape that society. They are increasingly important core skills, and we know that the earlier you learn them, the better. The BBC micro:bit has become an essential tool that teachers and students alike have come to love. We’ve seen fantastic adoption in secondary schools, and we’re delighted to support and empower even more teachers to unlock children’s creative potential at primary level.”  

Roll-out of the micro:bits will also complement a three-phase research programme, as the Foundation looks to assess, monitor and address the challenges, concerns and successes UK primary teachers experience improving digital literacy and in bringing micro:bits into the classroom.  

Interested teachers and schools can visit the Micro:bit Educational Foundation website for more information.  

Adam Leach, CIO, Nominet, said: “We are so pleased to see the continued roll-out of micro-bit in classrooms across the UK, enabling so many more primary school children to explore and develop their skills in digital creativity and computing. It’s exciting to think about the potential passion for technology this programme could set alight. On practical level, it is really important that access to learning these essential skills is provided to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to discover, experiment and master them. Each one of the 57,000 devices will impact on developing children’s core digital skills as citizens of a digitalised world – and perhaps even put some of them on a pathway to help fill the digital skills gap in the UK’s digital workforce of the future.”    

 

SMART Technologies and Kooth join forces to transform student and teacher wellbeing

  • SMART partners with Kooth to bring vital mental health resources and support to more students
  • The partnership is an education industry-first for supporting students and teachers with their mental health
  • At least 17% of six to 16-year-olds now suffer from probable mental disorders

London – 29 March 2022 – SMART, the edtech company with a 35-year track record of pioneering learning solutions, has partnered with Kooth, the leading digital mental wellbeing platform, to provide educators with engaging lessons on how to support students and teachers with managing mental health.

This industry-first collaboration will see SMART Technologies apply its interactivity and engagement expertise to Kooth’s clinically proven mental wellbeing content and activities, and embed it into SMART’s digital learning tool, Lumio™ . In doing so, SMART will be able to provide teachers with readily available and digitally engaging lessons centered around mental wellbeing, connecting more educators and learners to Kooth’s resources and community. This includes making Kooth’s integrated platform – currently available to over 20,000 schools across the UK – available in North America, too.  

The partnership comes at a pivotal time for supporting mental wellness for students, with CDC data showing that rates of anxiety, depression, and substance abuse continue to rise. In the UK, data from NHS Digital finds that one in six, 6 to 16-year-olds in the UK now suffer from probable mental disorders – up from one in nine in 2017. The importance of an integrated approach to early education and support for mental health has never been greater. 

Kooth is the UK’s largest digital wellbeing mental health platform for 10-25 year olds, and delivers clinically proven, and research-evidenced therapies for those dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health and wellbeing concerns.

The strategic partnership will also see SMART help to propel Kooth’s North American expansion and beyond by coupling Kooth’s wellbeing expertise with SMART’s global scale and reach to roll-out vital mental health lessons and support to schools and educators across the globe.

Nicholas Svensson, CEO of SMART Technologies, said: “As a company, we have always worked to deliver technology platforms and solutions that boost student and teacher wellbeing and build connections that matter – whether that’s through creating engaging content where students can interact with one another, providing active, collaborative learning options, or supporting social and emotional learning (SEL).”

“As a leader of wellbeing in education in the UK, Kooth can further improve our offering with its clinical expertise that’s underpinned by extensive research and experience in supporting hundreds of thousands of students every year. Together, we’re excited about what we can achieve as a collective unit in alleviating one of the most prevalent issues in classrooms today.”

Tim Barker, CEO at Kooth, said: “The pandemic accelerated mental health challenges amongst students, and as a result, educators are now working tirelessly to provide support where they can. Our collaboration with SMART leverages its trust and scale in education to make accessing our clinically developed content and platform easier for teachers and students across the US, UK, and beyond.”

Hear more from Tim Barker and Nicholas Svensson in this conversion from Bett: https://youtu.be/eIEjdi8Cncc 

‘Going Too Far–Extremism and the Law’- LGfL wins award for resource developed in partnership with DfE… and its Technical or IT Support Services

LGfL-The National Grid for Learning strikes gold with a double award win at BETT 20221

LGfL-The National Grid for Learning celebrated striking gold at this year’s BETT Awards 2022, when it scooped  both the Best Wellbeing, Digital Wellness & Safeguarding Resource for its ‘Going too Far–The Law and Extremism’, developed in partnership with the Department for Education, and the Best Technical or IT Support Services. The BETT Awards, organised in association with the British Education Suppliers Association (BESA), celebrate the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education. The awards form an integral part of BETT each year, the world’s leading showcase of education technology solutions.

John Jackson, CEO, LGfL-The National Grid for Learning said, “We are absolutely thrilled to win these two awards – my thanks goes out to our talented online safeguarding team and colleagues from the Department for Education for producing Going too Far, designed to  promote critical thinking online and equip teachers with scenario-based activities to lead discussions around extremism and behaviours that are dangerous or illegal. I would also like to thank our dedicated team for rolling out significant technology initiatives to ensure that no child is left behind and for delivering exceptional customer care. (Please click on the video and move to 1.10 to see LGfL featured on the BETT Awards site  https://bettawards.com/)

Going Too Far? – Extremism and the Law

Going Too Far?-Extremism and the Law (https://goingtoofar.lgfl.net) –  the result of a partnership between the Department for Education and LGfL – is an open-access interactive teaching resource to help students understand extremism and how certain online behaviours may be illegal or dangerous. Cross-curricular activities facilitate a whole-school approach, complementing and complying with RSHE guidance, Keeping Children Safe in Education and the UKCIS Education for a Connected World Framework.

The resource aims to promote critical thinking and build resilience to help young people face the abundance of extremist content online by exploring the techniques used by extremists and evaluating digital content, making positive choices about who/what is trustworthy online,  challenging extremist narratives and considering the consequences of their actions and making a positive stand.

Going too Far includes case studies and discussion stimuli, videos featuring subject experts,  scenarios to explore potential risks e.g. gaming and social media, signposting to trusted sources for support and reporting channels and printable teacher notes, extension activities, mini video guides and suggested answers to help lead informative discussions.

Its SEND and Inclusion area features audio narrations and alternative texts, as well as differentiated questions to support as wide a range of learners as possible.

Best Technical or IT Support Services

LGfL is one of the fastest growing edtech charities in the UK.  Its mission is the advancement of education. It is passionate about tackling inequality, promoting diversity and ensuring no child is left behind. Its #BridgeTheDivide initiative –  a huge national procurement for up to 2 million Chromebooks and Windows Laptops – enabled it to drive down the cost, save schools millions of pounds and increase access to devices and technology for children, including those disadvantaged. By making its Free School Meals Eligibility Checker free to schools nationwide it was able to help them to identify a potential £112.5M of Pupil Premium Funding and to support communities facing huge challenges.

“Our empathy and understanding of schools’ needs has enabled us to design, build and provide solutions that have been consumed at an unprecedented scale,” said John Jackson.

“Our standards of customer care are exceptional, with a retention rate of over 90%, sometimes involving incredible risk on behalf of our customers.”

  1. LGfL-The National Grid for Learning strikes gold with a double award win at BETT 2022 – Right to Left: Sindu Vee, Event Host and award winning comedian; Mubina Asaria – Online Safeguarding Consultant, LGfL; Bob Usher – Content Manager; LGfL; John Jackson – CEO; LGfL; Gareth Jelley – Product and Security Manager, LGfL.

AWARD-WINNING MUSSILA LAUNCHES IN UK WITH WORDPLAY AN INNOVATIVE READING COMPREHENSION APP

And adds to their awards taking home the International Digital Education Resource Award at BETT 2022

Hot of their win at BETT 2022, Icelandic EdTech company, Mussila, is expanding into the UK market with its award winning Mussila Music and its new digital learning solution Mussila WordPlay, a new creative digital learning solution for children using Mussila’s unique ‘Learn, Play, Create’ methodology.  Current users of Mussila Music will automatically have access to WordPlay and new users will gain access to both platforms.

WordPlay has been created by speech therapists and content creators that have made the app a fun and powerful learning experience for children from 5-8 years old. Narrated by professionals, WordPlay offers hours of listening to practice not only reading but also listening skills making this app one of a kind.  The app is designed to spark children’s natural curiosity, motivating them to easily master the fundamentals of reading and to use their sense of creativity and play to firmly strengthen the knowledge acquired.

 

Children using the app will be able to:

  • Learn and increase vocabulary
  • Work on listening skills
  • Practice and improve reading comprehension
  • Experience joyful reading, by reading or listening to beautiful stories. 

 

“Children are natural learners and our task is to give them creative tools based on evidence-based practice that sparks their curiosity, motivating them to learn.” Says Jon Gunnar Thordarson, CEO of Mussila. “Post-pandemic, we have seen 370% growth for Mussila Music showcasing the demand for digital based learning and following the success in the Nordics, we are expanding into the UK where demand for this style of learning is definitely on the rise. Cambridge University’s recent research* shows that children learn more through ‘guided play’ that for teacher-led instruction and play-focused learning was found to be just as effective as traditional teacher-led methods in teaching literacy, numeracy and thinking skills.”

Research has shown that language and music are connected through listening, rhythm, and singing. This connection is essential for developing phonological awareness. WordPlay is the perfect addition to Mussila’s first game, Mussila Music, which has proven to be effective in teaching music to diverse groups of students. The multiple award-winning app is available in 32 languages and has been certified by the Finnish Education Alliance as a quality learning solution. Currently, children from all over the world are playing the game, and schools in 19 countries are using the app for music education.

WordPlay is available to schools helping teachers to add new dimensions to their current curriculum, teachers will also be able to track students’ progress through the app to analysis where additional support is needed.  Mussila provides teachers with extensive training and have dedicated experts to help throughout the journey so they can continue to support students through the learning process.

Mussila Music is nominated for 3 BETT awards and won one award:

•  International Digital Educational, Resource  – winner 

  • Class Aid or Educator support

 

  • Educational Resource for Parents and Home Learning

Mussila WordPlay is available for download from the App Store and Google Play

*https://srcd.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cdev.13730

Bett Awards 2022 Winners Revealed

24 winners, from robots to music apps, celebrate success at the 2022 Bett Awards

London, 24 March 2022

A robot that can play football, an app that connects budding musicians with real-life professional instructors for a fraction of the normal price of lessons and a tool that can help schools pinpoint £100 million in free school meal funding are just some of the innovations that won at last night’s Bett Awards.

Hundreds of submissions were whittled down to a few dozen finalists before 24 winners were unveiled at the 24th annual Bett Awards at a gala dinner last night. 

The awards are designed to celebrate the inspiring creativity and innovation that can be found throughout technology for education.

Covid-19 has sparked unprecedented need for EdTech with hundreds of entrepreneurs and established tech firms springing into action to meet the need.

The winner of the coveted Innovator of the Year award is Practice Pal – which gives children premium music lessons with professional musicians for just £7.99 a week – less than half the cost of a normal half hour lesson.

Marty the Robot, a walking, dancing, football-playing robot that helps introduce children to the world of coding and robotics, won the Hardware, Digital and Robotic award.

The fast-growing LGfl was crowned the winner of the Technical and IT Support service after making its free schools meals eligibility checker free. The tool helps schools track down the up to £100 million in pupil premium funding that they could be missing out on.

 

The company also scooped the Digital Wellbeing award with its tool, built in partnership with the Department for Education, that helps students identify extremism online.

Two of the winners had tools that help prepare children to thrive online whilst keeping them safe: Natterhub won the Transformational Impact award while Southwest Grid for Learning – 360 Early Years – won the Early Years, Digital Product or Service award.

Maths Circle – creators of primary school favourite Times Table Rock Stars and NumbBots – scooped the Company of the Year prize for firms under £3 million while Renaissance Learning, which helped year six pupils in Hertfordshire undergo assessments, to close the learning gaps in challenging circumstances, won the accolade of Company of the Year in the over £3 million category.

A team of 28 judges were tasked with selecting the winners from hundreds of entries. 

 

Julia Garvey, Deputy Director General, British Educational Suppliers Association and Chair of Judges for the Bett Awards said: “The Bett Awards always attract top calibre submissions and this year was no exception. The winners are all amazing and the standard was incredibly high – the hardest job we had was narrowing it down to pick a winner each time. We are delighted to be able to recognise the hard work of so many businesses in the EdTech space all of whom have gone above and beyond to support teachers and learners during these uncertain times. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back to the Bett Show at ExCeL over the coming days where visitors will be able to see many of the shortlisted and winning entries on display. “

 

Eve Harper, Portfolio Director, UK EdTech – Hyve, said: “The Bett Awards are a highlight of the three-day Bett show but this year we have really seen innovation flourish like never before. The pandemic has fuelled a wave of new inventions from small start-ups to big tech firms who pivoted to meet the need for new ways of delivering education. Long after the pandemic has subsided, these new tools will have changed the way we learn forever.”

 

Many of the winners and finalists will be showcased at Bett until the 25 March 2022 at ExCeL, London. 

 

To register for a free ticket to see the winners and hundreds of other EdTech solutions at Bett go to www.bettshow.com

For a list of all the finalists, please see: 

https://bettawards.com/2022-shortlist/

 

The full list of the Bett Award 2022 winners is below:

Category 2022 Winner
Collaboration with a School Joskos Solutions with Pheasey Park Farm Primary School and Early Years Centre
Innovator of the Year Practice Pal
Transformational Impact Natterhub
Company of the Year (less than £3m) Maths Circle
Company of the Year (more than £3m) Renaissance
Educational Resource for Parents or Home Learning Your Favourite Teacher
Early Years – Digital Product or Service South West Grid for Learning -360 Early Years
Class Aid or Educator Support Developing Experts – Science Curriculum
Primary – Digital Learning Product – Language & Literacy Kaligo
Primary – Digital Learning Product – Numeracy & Maths Learning by Questions
Primary – Free Digital Content, App or Open Educational Resource White Rose Maths – Primary Resources
Primary – Digital Learning Product – Broad Curriculum (other) Busythings
Secondary – Digital Learning Product  Texthelp – EquatIO
Secondary – Free Digital Content, App or Open Educational Resource Mathigon – Polypad
Assessment, Planning & Progress Monitoring Learning Ladders
Technical or IT Support Service LGfL – The National Grid for Learning
International Digital Educational Resource Mussila Music School
Hardware, AV, VR/AR, Robotics or Digital Device Robotical – Marty the Robot
Leadership & Management Solutions Guide Education – Guide Teacher Training
Guide Connect
Wellbeing, Digital Wellness & Safeguarding Resources LGfL – Going Too Far? Extremism and the Law
SEND Resources, Products & Services Pearson – Mable Therapy
Higher Education – Digital Learning Product Lean Library Futures
The Education Show (non-EdTech) Award for School Resources & Equipment for Teaching & Learning The Literacy Tree – The Literary Curriculum
Outstanding Achievement Award John and Ann Crick, Founders, Crick Software

 

Category 2022 – Highly Commended Highly Commended
Class Aid or Educator Support Highly Commended Findel Education – Electronic Phonics
Secondary – Free Digital Content, App or Open Educational Resource Highly Commended Craig’n’Dave YouTube Channel
Leadership & Management Solutions Highly Commended CPOMS Systems  
SEND Resources, Products & Services Highly Commended JellyJames Publishing (Dynamo Maths) – Puffin Maths