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A message from Louisa Hunter -Bett Director

 

I am excited to announce the most significant change to Bett in our 37-year history. Starting with Bett 2023, we are transforming the way you and everyone in the Bett community connects and collaborates by launching a groundbreaking new programme called Connect @ Bett.

Connect @ Bett is a tech-enabled meetings programme that will drive more meaningful conversations between education buyers and EdTech solution providers than ever before. This new programme will be at heart of your entire Bett experience. You’re going to love it.

Connect @ Bett empowers education buyers to discover the right solutions for their learners, in a fraction of the time. And it allows technology providers to find the people within institutions that can unlock the potential of their tech. All meetings are double opt-in and just 15 minutes, so you can tackle your strategic, pedagogical, and operational challenges in the most time-efficient way.

Here are some important updates and changes to the show:

  1. Bett will be held on Wednesday 29 to Friday 31 March 2023 at the ExCeL, London
  2. Bett registration will open on Monday 3 October 2022
  3. Unlike previous Bett shows, there is now a deadline to register that ensures you get to fully participate in Connect @ Bett. Anyone can attend Bett for free if they register on-time. On-time registration ends on 3rd March 2023. Late registration tickets (4th March 2023 onwards) will incur a fee.

Find out more about Connect @ Bett

OrCam Technologies launches learning companion solution

 

OrCam Learn empowers students with learning challenges to read and learn with confidence

 

22-09-22: OrCam Technologies, innovator of life-changing, personal “AI as a companion” solutions, has today launched the OrCam Learn, an innovative, powerful new solution that supports teachers and schools, enabling every student to explore their full potential – by offering vital, practical reading support, and feedback, analysis and reporting.

 

An evolution of the 2021 TIME Magazine 100 Best Inventions Winner OrCam Read, the interactive OrCam Learn empowers students with learning challenges – including dyslexia – to effectively read and learn, resulting in enhanced comprehension, reading fluency, and improvement of overall confidence in an education setting.

 

The OrCam Learn is a wireless, compact handheld solution with an intuitive point-and-click operation that “captures” and immediately reads out loud a full page, paragraph, or single word of text – of the student’s choosing – from books, digital screens, or classroom handouts The learning companion will listen to and provide feedback on the student’s reading, and test reading comprehension.

 

“Reading is crucial to access the school curriculum and we know that children who find reading difficult will struggle across all subjects. In fact, students with dyslexia or another specific learning difficulty (SpLD) are twice as likely to fail to achieve a grade 4 or above in English and maths at GCSE”, said Irie Meltzer, UK regional director at OrCam Technologies.

“The OrCam Learn solution has been designed to help teachers to support their students as they read and study. Integrated into day-to-day school life, it empowers students with learning challenges to develop and maintain reading and learning skills, gain confidence, and thrive – both inside and outside of the classroom. We are driven to level the educational playing field for a wide spectrum of students who can benefit from OrCam Learn.”

 

Moon Hall School in Reigate is one of 50 schools in the UK currently collaborating with OrCam Technologies in offering the OrCam Learn for use to their students with learning challenges.

 

“The OrCam Learn solution enables our students to be as independent as possible with their learning experience, and as headteacher I absolutely recommend it,” said Michelle Catterson, Executive Headteacher at Moon Hall School and Chair of the British Dyslexia Association.

 

Makes reading and learning flow for every student

 

Researchers have observed the benefits of reading out loud to improve reading comprehension and literacy. OrCam Learn’s innovative “Reading Pal” feature harnesses interactive AI to support students in improving reading fluency by allowing them to read any text to the OrCam Learn, and then receiving immediate, conversational, and encouraging feedback about their reading.

 

OrCam Learn listens to the student’s reading, provides positive feedback to elevate confidence and positive feelings about reading, and then generates reports through a web and mobile app that provides teachers and support staff with a comprehensive analysis of the student’s progress.

Enables teachers to focus on teaching

 

“Every teacher’s priority is the development of their students, and those with learning challenges typically require more time and attention to succeed. We developed the OrCam Learn to partner with teachers, providing access to the insight and support they need to guide students with learning challenges more effectively. Allowing schools to direct resources where they are needed the most, and enabling students to work independently which can free up teaching assistants and alleviate logistical pressures like finding extra classrooms or scheduling separate times for exams”, said Irie Meltzer.

 

Every OrCam Learn reading session generates an automatic analytics report identifying areas of challenge. Listening to the student’s reading, it captures a variety of metrics that help evaluate their performance, including those that are commonly used by reading specialists:

  • Text difficulty level
  • Fluency (measured by Words Correct Per Minute)
  • Accuracy (% of accurately read words)
  • Reading rate (Words Per Minute)
  • Total reading time

 

OrCam Learn also has an ‘Exam Mode’ that teachers can select by scanning a QR code before the student enters an examination. This offline setting ensures there is no possibility of any WiFi or cloud connectivity and that the solution complies with general school exam requirements. It also guarantees that students can complete examinations without the need for a human reader.

 

In June 2022, OrCam Learn was awarded the 2022 EdTech Breakthrough Award for Remote Learning Solution of the Year, joining winning submissions in other categories from companies including Discovery Education, LEGO Education, Logitech, Spotify and Verizon.

HTC VIVE Introduces VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker and Eye Tracker

       

 

HTC VIVE expands rich VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem with Eye and Face Tracking

Lightweight and user-friendly, with low latency and high-precision, fitting into VIVE Focus 3 seamlessly

VIVE’s new trackers suit a wide range of use cases, from helping to create realistic avatars, through to medical assessments

 

HTC VIVE announces VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker, expanding the VIVE Focus 3 ecosystem to deliver more natural and immersive professional VR experiences.

Enhanced eye and facial tracking boosts engagement with peers for enhanced virtual collaboration and human interaction in VIVE Focus 3, ideal for virtual events, training, chat groups, VIVE Sync remote meetings, animation and motion capture, and more.

Express yourself in VR

VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker makes it easy to naturally convey your emotions and read intentions in real time. Its mono tracking camera captures expressions through 38 blend shapes across the lips, jaw, cheeks, chin, teeth, and tongue to precisely capture true-to-life facial expressions and mouth movements on avatars.

With a 60Hz tracking rate and optimised runtime for facial tracking, users can synchronise lips to voice with minimal latency and enjoy lifelike interactions in high fidelity. VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker set up is made easy as the module seamlessly connects to VIVE Focus 3 headsets through the built-in USB Type-C port with no need for add-ons or adaptors.

The benefits of facial tracking are vast, improving soft skills in presentation coaching, customer service management, training, and more. Users can track and improve their emotional preparedness, helping to achieve better real-life outcomes across many applications, from education and healthcare to human resources and creative industries.

Unlock the benefits of eye tracking

Gain access to insightful data with VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and reach a heightened level of VR immersion. Bringing realistic eye movements and blinks to virtual avatars delivers true-to-life virtual collaboration and improves human connections in VR through expressive, non-verbal interactions. By tracking and analysing eye movement, attention, and focus, businesses can open the door to deeper user behaviour analysis.

The dual camera setup with supporting IR illuminators is capable of capturing data for gaze origin and direction, pupil size and position, and eye openness. The lightweight module easily attaches magnetically to the headset without impacting the balanced ergonomics and the adjustable IPD works perfectly with the VIVE Focus 3 headset to help users find their viewing sweet spot.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker allows you to see what users see to understand intentions and improve feedback, perfect for training and education scenarios. Measure duration and locate direction with heat mapping and gaze tracking to gain insights about performance and interaction to improve outcomes. VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also helps to understand how users naturally interact with a product and improve the experience by uncovering actionable insights about user intent.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker also makes gaze control possible, opening new avenues for how people experience immersive content, as well as new accessibility options. Eye Tracking also helps with GPU workloads, as foveated rendering prioritises areas where the user is actually focused.

Both VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker support Unity, Unreal Game Engine, and Native. Developing is easy with VIVE’s WaveSDK and upcoming OpenXR support and it’s also seamless to stream content from a PC via VIVE Business Streaming.

A rich ecosystem for professional VR

VIVE Focus 3 has a rich ecosystem of both hardware and software for professional-grade VR. Since launch, HTC VIVE has released five accessories, including VIVE Wrist Tracker, multi-battery dock and carry case giving businesses the features and flexibility to create their ideal VR set-up.

Hand-tracking, OpenXR, extensive Wave SDK, Location-Based Software Suite and MDM support open the possibilities for developers. Devices also come with VIVE Business Warranty and Services which includes a two-year commercial warranty, and expedited return/replacement if needed.

VIVE Focus 3 Eye Tracker and VIVE Focus 3 Facial Tracker are available to order today for £216 and £83 respectively.

askOLA & YPO: a future for EdTech

Schools are, by and large, back to functioning in a way that is similar to before the pandemic. In-person teaching, and the use of physical resources are once again the basis of how teachers educate children, as opposed to a reliance on online technologies and digital learning methods.

However, during the pandemic, YPO, one of the UK’s largest public sector buying organisations in the UK, surveyed educators and found that 79% believed the crisis would have a lasting impact on teaching. Respondents outlined their belief that the result of this would be a hybrid approach that combined traditional ways of teaching with educational technologies and online resources.

Digital technology served teachers well during the pandemic – they were an absolute necessity and successfully allowed for education to continue whilst many other sectors were brought to a halt. It’s no surprise that teachers continue to find these tools useful, as professionals in schools continue to face a myriad of challenges ; be that to overcome teacher shortages or assist students with their mental health.

As a key support to the sector, YPO is always focused on finding new ways to alleviate pressures felt by education professionals. Recently, this has led to a partnership with edtech tutoring platform, askOLA.

askOLA

askOLA is an online, on-demand platform developed by GLUU, which acts as an alternative to private tutoring. Young people can access professional academic support from online learning assistants(OLAs) via the platform – qualified and vetted professionals who deliver personalised academic coaching across English, maths and science – whenever pupils feel that they need it.

YPO has always been a helping hand for schools, identifying and providing high-quality resources to assist with learning. askOLA is a tool that provides appropriate out-of-school support to children, whilst relieving pressure on teachers, who can then focus on in-classroom teaching. This is a particularly important benefit given the current teacher shortages that the country is facing.

Teacher shortages

According to a recent survey from the Association of School and College Leaders, 95% of schools are currently experiencing difficulties recruiting staff. Teacher shortages, which result from a culmination of factors including a lack of national recruitment and low retention rates, are having a real impact on the education system and the students within it. For example, 69% of schools are using non-subject specialists to teach classes. askOLA and YPO’s partnership can help to alleviate some of this pressure.

In a term-length pilot at Shireland Collegiate Academy Trust, the askOLA platform extended student’s learning time by 1,500 hours. Previously, this would have made up for lost learning time resulting from Covid-19, but going forward, schools can rely on askOLA to provide additional support that teachers are currently too stretched to give themselves.

With new research from the National Foundation for Educational Research estimating that shortages will continue until 2025, its important that schools consider this type of alternative support to ease the pressure on teachers in the long-term.

Wellbeing

askOLA’s point of differentiation from other, similar platforms is that OLA’s are trained to check in on young people’s wellbeing alongside their provision of academic support. YPO’s research on education during the pandemic found that 64% of parents were concerned about their children’s mental health and wellbeing, and NHS figures show that the likelihood of a child experiencing a mental health disorder has increased following COVID-19, so it is imperative that the support extended to children covers this ground too.

In its pilot, students reported feeling that askOLA had helped them with their wellbeing, including stress felt over homework, anxiety about not knowing the answers to questions and general mental health. If students show signs of needing more serious mental health support, OLA’s are also able to point students in the direction of wellbeing resources or to a professional mental health support platform, Kooth.

Looking ahead

Investment in resources such as askOLA is absolutely key to the functioning and continued modernisation of the UKs education system, but it’s important to acknowledge that this must come alongside a consideration of how many young people can feasibly access these digital platforms when they are at home. YPO’s research found that ensuring digital inclusion was the biggest challenge that schools faced during the pandemic, so it must be a continued focus for young people to have access to basic digital services and technology.

It’s clear that digital learning methods have a place in the future of education; teachers and students alike value them strongly, and they can be developed in a way that pinpoints what the education system needs. Having education professionals fully embrace these technologies, and ensuring access to them for all pupils, is the next step.

 

 

Early trials of automarking software for maths papers indicate 99% accuracy

Automarking software developed by Cambridge AI company, Blutick, achieves 99% accuracy across marks in two GCSE papers when checked by a human marker.

 

Ofqual research suggests that, in maths, 30,000 students (4%) receive a mark which does not align with the ‘definitive grade’ given by the principal examiners. However, following a successful trial, an automated marking tool developed by Blutick was found to be 99% accurate when assessing scripts across two GCSE exam papers. This is an important step in helping to significantly reduce any margin of error, and ensure students receive the grades they deserve. 

Blutick is a Cambridge AI software company focused on teaching, learning and assessment in maths. The organisation is currently working with exam boards to improve marking consistency by augmenting and supporting the work done by examiners, and ultimately, champion a fair system for all students.

Once the automated marking was conducted across the exam papers, an examiner reviewed the students’ responses and the Blutick mark, correcting any marks where necessary and returning an accuracy rate of 98.6% to 98.75% by the AI software.

Currently, a sample of only 1.2% of questions are double marked (Ofqual 2018, p. 9). However, a 2013 review of literature on marking reliability research by Ofqual indicates the value of multiple marking for exam scripts. Despite this, it raises the recruitment of examiners, cost implications, time constraints and logistical issues as barriers to its introduction across the board. With other experts also disputing the accuracy of the current examination and grading system, this new automated marking software would help remove these barriers and challenges, increasing the feasibility of multiple marking.

Rob Percival, Blutick’s CEO and a former maths teacher, said:

“With so few questions double marked, there is a lot of scope for error. A system like this can review 100% of marked papers and flag potentially erroneous responses for further checking.

“It in no way replaces the work done by examiners, but instead acts as a safety net in ensuring more students get the grade they deserve with almost no extra cost or increased workload for examiners.”

Beyond eradicating errors, more automation in marking processes is a growing focus for exam boards and for Ofqual. With barriers to recruiting suitable examiners exacerbated by Covid, automarking software provides a solution to these problems that benefits students, teacher–examiners and exam boards.

Simon Armitage, Deputy Head at The Perse School, Cambridge, said:

“Whilst examination grades should never be the sole measure of ‘output’ from a school or the nature of any student’s achievements, it is self-evident that any grades must be fair.

“Anything that helps exam boards to deliver accurate results more reliably is good news for everyone – students, schools, universities and employers. It is one of the reasons why The Perse School has been pleased to be involved in the Blutick Maths project.

“If an Artificial Intelligence system is part of this improvement, then it also helps reduce inevitable human error and could help exam boards to circumnavigate the difficulties of finding well-qualified markers.”

 

Unlocking a new level of learning: Enhancing the connection between parents and their school community

 

By Giancarlo Brotto, Global Education Advisor at SMART Technologies

 

As we look towards the start of a new term, educators as well as parents, will be contemplating what more they can do to supercharge the learning of their children and students. Students have had to contend with a lot over the past few years which in turn, distanced them from their teachers, and it’s safe to say that there is a lot of catching up to do.

 

With this in mind, it’s crucial that strong connections within the students’ support network – whether that’s between student and teacher, or teacher and parent – are taken to new levels with enhanced collaboration. This way teachers and schools can make up for the lost time in the classroom over the pandemic, by providing comprehensive support for their students both in school and at home.

 

We know, from data collected by SMART’s very own Edtech Assessment Tool, that schools can achieve better performance outcomes by creating a more symbiotic relationship between teacher and parent. Feedback from the assessment tool shows a clear connection between improved learning for students when the full school community is involved, resulting in greater efficiency in how learning is delivered.

 

With school set to return for the 2022-23 year, what do the key priorities look like for educators to enhance their connection with parents and ultimately benefit the student throughout the year?

Knowing who your pupils and parents are

 

The impact on learning brought by the pandemic has been widespread. Enforced social-distancing took students out of the classroom and siloed them and their parents away from the school. In some extreme cases, new students wouldn’t go on to meet their teachers and classmates in person for over six months.

 

Now normality has resumed, parents and teachers can refamiliarise themselves with one another and form a bond that helps preserve student wellbeing for the foreseeable future and like every connection, it takes effort to nurture.

 

What does this look like in practice for teachers? It means taking the opportunity to talk to your pupils and their parents, not just in the classroom or when an issue arises, but in a wide array of times like at pick-up times and during regular check-ins around performance and wellbeing. This active effort to connect with pupils and their parents on a one-to-one basis brings a multitude of benefits, like building increased trust and keeping parents up to date with the ongoing activity in the classroom.

 

To this point, remember to share the positive news! Parents are always open-eared about their children’s work and progress, so make sure to share their strengths – whether that’s a new skill they’re learning, academic improvements or their positive attitude in the classroom.  Sharing these anecdotes with parents will only help to reinforce positive behaviours outside of the classroom.

 

How EdTech is breaking down the barrier between school and home

Necessary steps were taken during the Covid pandemic to ensure learning continued and one of the steps was a seismic shift towards online learning and technology-based teaching, which enabled the ability to remotely teach and learn. Now with an increased presence of edtech in schools, what can educators do to take advantage of it?

 

To put into context just how quickly the adoption of education technology was, our research shows that almost two thirds (64%) of schools in the UK are now embedding technology in everyday teaching and learning practices, using it to transform teaching approaches and learning outcomes with 84% of schools in the UK reporting positive outcomes for students, and 76% reporting to have met their teaching and learning goals as a result of this adoption,

 

One of the greatest attributes of modern edtech is its deployment in a variety of settings. Whether in-class or at home, educational portals brimming with content provide teachers and students alike with a variety of methods to teach & learn. It is this accessibility that meant that in a matter of days, kitchen tables and living rooms became the classroom for thousands of students during the pandemic. This presented a new and exciting opportunity for parents to engage with their child’s education like never before.

 

Technology is able to break down the barriers between parents, teachers and staff, allowing a free flow of communication, which we all know to be vital in a child’s education. Finding that blend between school life and home life is pivotal to guarantee that both are areas where children feel comfortable to learn, to ask questions and to engage with the material. 

 

For an example of this integration between schools and parents that utilises technology, we can look at Shireland Technology Primary. Shireland actioned a plan that transformed the ways in which communication with parents was handled by integrating SMART technology throughout their education programme, both through interactive displays or the SMART online portal ‘Lumio’. This means that all content and resources that were being taught throughout the school were readily available to parents and students at home.

 

Going forward into term

With this information, teachers can go into the new term with the goal of building out  students’ wider support network by setting out goals for the year early on, so that parents know exactly where the focus of their child’s learning is headed and can contribute.

 

Parents know, just as well as teachers, that students need increased support following the disruptions of the past few years. To place this responsibility solely at the feet of teachers means that a student’s learning is put on pause at the end of every school day. Through an increased relationship and connection between teacher and parents, students can be guaranteed a consistent support system, home and in-school, that helps them engage with the curriculum through enjoyable educational technology. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early trials of automarking software for maths papers indicate 99% accuracy

Automarking software developed by Cambridge AI company, Blutick, achieves 99% accuracy across marks in two GCSE papers when checked by a human marker.

Ofqual research suggests that, in maths, 30,000 students (4%) receive a mark which does not align with the ‘definitive grade’ given by the principal examiners. However, following a successful trial, an automated marking tool developed by Blutick was found to be 99% accurate when assessing scripts across two GCSE exam papers. This is an important step in helping to significantly reduce any margin of error, and ensure students receive the grades they deserve. 

Blutick is a Cambridge AI software company focused on teaching, learning and assessment in maths. The organisation is currently working with exam boards to improve marking consistency by augmenting and supporting the work done by examiners, and ultimately, champion a fair system for all students.

Once the automated marking was conducted across the exam papers, an examiner reviewed the students’ responses and the Blutick mark, correcting any marks where necessary and returning an accuracy rate of 98.6% to 98.75% by the AI software.

Currently, a sample of only 1.2% of questions are double marked (Ofqual 2018, p. 9). However, a 2013 review of literature on marking reliability research by Ofqual indicates the value of multiple marking for exam scripts. Despite this, it raises the recruitment of examiners, cost implications, time constraints and logistical issues as barriers to its introduction across the board. With other experts also disputing the accuracy of the current examination and grading system, this new automated marking software would help remove these barriers and challenges, increasing the feasibility of multiple marking.

Rob Percival, Blutick’s CEO and a former maths teacher, said:

“With so few questions double marked, there is a lot of scope for error. A system like this can review 100% of marked papers and flag potentially erroneous responses for further checking.

“It in no way replaces the work done by examiners, but instead acts as a safety net in ensuring more students get the grade they deserve with almost no extra cost or increased workload for examiners.”

Beyond eradicating errors, more automation in marking processes is a growing focus for exam boards and for Ofqual. With barriers to recruiting suitable examiners exacerbated by Covid, automarking software provides a solution to these problems that benefits students, teacher–examiners and exam boards.

Simon Armitage, Deputy Head at The Perse School, Cambridge, said:

“Whilst examination grades should never be the sole measure of ‘output’ from a school or the nature of any student’s achievements, it is self-evident that any grades must be fair.

“Anything that helps exam boards to deliver accurate results more reliably is good news for everyone – students, schools, universities and employers. It is one of the reasons why The Perse School has been pleased to be involved in the Blutick Maths project.

“If an Artificial Intelligence system is part of this improvement, then it also helps reduce inevitable human error and could help exam boards to circumnavigate the difficulties of finding well-qualified markers.”

Clearlake Capital-Backed Discovery Education Acquires DoodleLearning

Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader backed by Clearlake Capital Group, L.P. (together with its affiliates, “Clearlake”)—today announced the acquisition of DoodleLearning. The Bath-based DoodleLearning’s maths and English products create personalised learning experiences that help improve students’ academic achievement and confidence. Terms were not disclosed. 

 

The acquisition of DoodleLearning supports Discovery Education’s mission to prepare learners for tomorrow by creating innovative classrooms connected to today’s world. DoodleLearning complements Discovery Education’s other award-winning digital services, which include Discovery Education’s K-12 platform, Mystery ScienceSTEM Connect, the MathScience, and Social Studies TechbooksEspressoCoding and Health and Relationships

 

“Discovery Education is dedicated to creating a best-in-class edtech ecosystem that supports our mission to prepare today’s students for future success,” said Discovery Education Chief Executive Officer Scott Kinney. “This acquisition is an important milestone in that effort, and we look forward to both partnering with the talented DoodleLearning team and scaling the reach of their innovative, adaptive maths and English products.”

 

Prior to founding DoodleLearning, Chief Executive Officer Nicola Chilman and Chief Operating Officer Tom Minor taught maths. In 2011, after experiencing firsthand technology’s ability to accelerate student learning, Chilman and Minor created an app combining high-quality digital content and educational supports that encouraged children to learn in an engaging and personal way. 

 

Today, DoodleLearning offers four products supporting instruction in maths and English for ages 4-14 that have been used by over one million children in the U.K. and around the world. As part of the Discovery Education family of services, DoodleLearning will continue to apply its educational ability to building and deploying affordable learning solutions for students worldwide.

 

“The entire DoodleLearning team is excited to join Discovery Education’s efforts to build and scale a powerful edtech ecosystem of digital resources serving teachers and learners worldwide,” said Nicola Chilman, DoodleLearning Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder. “Our team will naturally fit into Discovery Education’s mission-driven culture, and we look forward to working with our new colleagues on our joint mission to prepare today’s students for future success.”

 

“DoodleLearning is excited to join the Discovery Education team,” said Tom Minor, Chief Operating Officer, and Co-Founder of DoodleLearning. “The company has laid out exciting plans to increase the number of instructional minutes it supports each day, and DoodleLearning is poised to play a significant role in this effort.”

 

DoodleLearning is Discovery Education’s latest acquisition. In October of 2020, Discovery Education acquired Mystery Science and in July of 2020, Discovery Education purchased Spiral. In August of 2019, Discovery Education announced the acquisition of Inspyro.

 

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

 

Discovery Education’s Augmented Reality App Earns Spaces4Learning New Product Award

Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—recently earned the Spaces4Learning New Product Award in the K-12 Remote Learning Technology category for its Sandbox AR app. The Spaces4Learning New Product Award programme honours the outstanding product development achievements of companies whose products or services are particularly noteworthy for their ability to enhance the learning environment.Spaces4Learning is a leading publication for companies and organizations interested in creating high-quality facilities in both K-12 and higher education.  

 

Discovery Education’s Sandbox AR app empowers students and teachers to create, share, and even inhabit virtual environments. Within Sandbox AR, users can create virtual worlds and populate them with some of the hundreds of unique objects from history, the built world, science and nature, and more. Sandbox AR also gives students new ways to express themselves and demonstrate their learning through a feature that lets learners take photos or record a video walkthrough with their own voice over. Sandbox AR even offers a mode that allows users to scale up and inhabit their own life size virtual environments.

 

For those new to AR, Sandbox AR includes many pre-built sandboxes exploring diverse subjects such as ancient Egypt, space exploration, Mayan civilization, road construction, and more, with additional sandboxes coming soon. Discovery Education is also making available several free, pre-built lessons educators can use with the app to familiarize themselves with integrating AR into classroom instruction. Sandbox AR is available for download here.

 

The development of Sandbox AR was led by Discovery Education’s UK-based Immersive Learning team who have been pioneers in creating Virtual and Augmented Reality experiences for schools for over 30 years. 

 

Sandbox AR received its world premiere at the BETT Show in March, where it was launched on the Main Stage with London-based educator Simon Pile sharing how he has used the app in his school.  

 

“Since its inception, Discovery Education has been an early mover in bringing innovative technologies—such as streaming video and digital textbooks—into the classroom, and we are now excited to put the power of augmented reality into the hands of educators with the Sandbox AR app,” said Howard Lewis, Managing Director, UK and International, at Discovery Education. “We are honoured by this recognition as it validates our work to provide all educators state-of-the-art resources that connect students to the world around them. Thank you to the Spaces4Learning team for this recognition.”

 

The winners are determined by a panel of judges. Learn more about the New Product Awards and the 2022 winners here.

 

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

 

Discovery Education Announces Latest Enhancements to Award-Winning Discovery Education Espresso Service

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2022— Discovery Education—the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place—today announced a host of new enhancements to its award-winning Espresso service. These improvements make it easier for educators to find, build and deliver compelling lessons that capture pupils’ attention and drive deeper engagement no matter the subject. 

 

Among the latest enhancements made to Discovery Education Espresso for back-to-school are: 

 

More ready-to-use tools to assess pupil outcomes and address learning gaps.

 

Educators can refine instruction to keep pupils motivated with the classroom engagement tool, Quiz. Quiz gives multiple ways to promote active learning in the classroom and track progress in real time. 


Real-time tracking of pupil progress with My Classrooms, an intuitive new way to navigate between tracking pupil progress and assignments. The redesigned interface will help teachers better understand where pupils are and how to differentiate learning to meet their unique needs. 

 

A new time-saving educator experience enhances the use of high-quality instructional resources.

Discovery Education understands that one of a teacher’s most valuable resources is time. Espresso’s search features have been more finely tuned to help educators find just the right piece of digital content they need to capitalise on the teachable moment.  

 

A brand-new Explore page empowers educators to easily browse Espresso’s unique treasury of digital resources by subject, then offers suggestions based on their grade levels and topics of interest. 

 

Enhanced ability to easily adapt ready-to-go lessons and activities.

 

Studio—Discovery Education’s creative lesson-building and presentation tool included with Espresso—empowers educators to quickly modify a ready-to-use activity, create a lesson from a template using proven education strategies, or construct a new digital lesson from scratch. 

 

In addition to improving the overall workflows of Studio, educators are now able to:

  • Quickly preview Studio lessons or activities from the pupil perspective.
  • Use images as buttons for pupil navigation through activities.      
  • Enliven lessons with fun fonts and animated buttons. 

 

A new pupil interface builds agency, inspires learning and promotes time on task.

Discovery Education has updated Espresso’s pupil interface with a refreshing new look and improved overall experience that builds pupil agency, encourages learning and promotes time on task. New features of the improved pupil interface include:

 

  • Personalisation options for pupils to customise the look and feel of their home page. 
  • A refreshed Assignments section that makes it easier for pupils to prioritise, launch and complete assignments. 
  • A brand-new Explore page that offers pupils the opportunity to follow their interests, with content recommendations based on searches, and what is timely, relevant, and new at Discovery Education.

These updates to the Discovery Education Espresso service build upon the high-quality curriculum content that educators across the UK have been using in their classrooms for more than twenty years, ensuring that the Espresso service continues to evolve to meet the needs of today’s classrooms. 

“Continuous improvement is one of Discovery Education’s core values,” said Discovery Education’s Managing Director, UK and International, Howard Lewis. “The newest updates and features added to  Espresso support educators’ efforts to engage and inspire pupil learning wherever and whenever it is taking place. By providing teachers access to timely, relevant content and useful teaching tools all in one place, Discovery Education is making it even easier for teachers to find or create the engaging lessons we know will stoke the natural curiosity in all learners.”

 

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