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‘Mindful e-learning tech’ rolled out to help pupils close COVID-19 learning gap

  • New AI education platform Shiken launches to offer students mindful learning
  • Focused on STEM content for GCSE students and undergraduate medics, it offers over 50,000 free quizzes and trivia questions to support pupils as they progress through the new academic year 
  • Using teacher-created content, the app helps to address ongoing disruption to education by acting as a remote, on-demand learning tool with integrated mental health support  
  • Designed by a doctor, a headteacher, and a video game specialist, multiple domains of expertise are brought together in one user-friendly platform 
  • It’s already being used by 4,500 pupils, with over 1,000 tutors and 200 schools on the waiting list
  • On average, users are spending 35 minutes per day on the platform, with 8 minutes dedicated to mindfulness practice

London, UK – A new AI education platform has launched, integrating mindfulness techniques with AI-driven learning tools to help students catch up on lost summer-term learning and cope with future disruption. 

The platform, called Shiken (meaning ‘test’ or ‘exam’ in Japanese), offers GCSE Maths and Science support, as well as tailored help for students studying medicine at university. There are over 50,000 teacher-created questions, quizzes and study tools currently available. 

Crucially, Shiken combines AI insights with gamification and tailored exercises to create mindful learning experiences. With academic and covid-related anxiety still at worryingly high levels amongst teens, the platform is designed to positively impact their mental health whilst easing them back into education. 

With one-in-20 school pupils still absent from the classroom, Shiken offers a balanced blend of guided and independent learning. This is designed to foster continued self-directed study – a skill designed to prepare students for A Levels as well as potential future lockdowns. Students can use the Shiken app to study alone, or join ‘groups’ to collaboratively tackle a range of fun challenges.

Animated ‘Study Buddy’ characters guide students on their learning journey, with new Buddies and accessories unlocked when progress is made. AI optimises the content for each individual learner and ensures they’re getting feedback, remaining focused, and staying on track to meet their personalised goals. 

The platform has been designed by a team of industry experts. They include a former Headteacher, an NHS doctor, and a graphic designer with expertise in creating mindful content. 

To further support remote learning, schools and tutors can create their own content to publish on the platform. This means that, should students have to return to remote learning, they will have access to engaging, teacher-tailored study materials from their smartphones. 

Nat Al-Tahhan, Creative Director at Shiken, comments:

“This is an incredibly stressful time for students. With many feeling anxious about being back in school or university and getting their learning back on track, we wanted to create a platform that empowers young people to have a less stressful, more enjoyable learning experience. Everything on Shiken – from the questions to the graphics – has been designed with mindfulness and fun at its core. Mindfulness can improve knowledge retention and recall, as well as help reduce stress. We’ve built the perfect partner for students keen to build back their confidence and find the fun in learning once more!”

Patricia Young, a former Headteacher adds:

“Young people are highly adaptable, but this year has been, and continues to be,  incredibly challenging. Many teens are worried about catching up on the learning time lost and achieving the grades they need to fulfil their ambitions. It’s important that they are handed back the control over their learning, and allowed to have some fun while they study. As a former headteacher, I’m convinced that platforms like Shiken will play an important role in tailoring educational support to each student’s needs.” 

365 Response signs three year deal to provide digital transport system to National Express Accessible Transport

Yorkshire based digital transport systems provider, 365 Response has signed a three year deal with leading transport operator, National Express Accessible Transport (NEAT).

365 Response’s innovative Smart Platform is seen as a key part of NEAT’s transformation plan to drive improvements in the operation of home-to-school transport across the West Midlands and Warwickshire.

The project will begin in October and will use advanced algorithms to plan, monitor and streamline routes to and from schools across Birmingham, Warwickshire and Wolverhampton.

Commenting on the partnership, Brendan Fatchett, Chief Commercial Officer, 365 Response said “we’re thrilled to have signed this multi-year contract with National Express Accessible Transport. Our Smart Platform will be used to digitally manage transport requirements, maximising resources and ensuring the fastest, most fuel-efficient route is taken for all journeys. Our digital dispatch software will allow National Express to plan and amend their routes, and integrated mapping will give them a live view of their full fleet, delivering complete visibility and control.”

The cloud-based software will digitise current paper processes, offering new levels of flexibility, efficiencies and visibility for staff, schools, parents/guardians and drivers. This sophisticated solution will be responsible for the journeys of over 1500 children, travelling on 320 minibuses, to and from 17 schools across the West Midlands.

Vinay Parmar, Managing Director of National Express Accessible Transport, commented “It is our ambition to transform home-to-school transport and raise the bar by delivering the most reliable, efficient and inclusive travel experience for children and young people. It is time they got the service they really deserve and not the one they have settled for.

“We’re really excited to be working with 365 Response on the roll out of their Smart Platform on our services. It is a key part of our strategy to digitise operations and bring innovation to our processes, helping to create efficiencies which enable us to deliver more value for money to local authorities as well as increased visibility and reassurance around safety and safeguarding.”

365 Response

A cloud based software solutions provider for transport services, based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire. 365 Response software is responsible for the planning and management of thousands of passenger journeys annually, including patient transport services for the NHS, Special Education Needs transport for Local Authorities and private passenger transport services, including coach and travel companies.

Contact for further details: Laura Dean, Marketing Manager | laura.dean@365response.org

Further editors notes: National Express Accessible Transport operates TfWM’s Ring and Ride door-to-door transport service for more than 20,800 registered users across the West Midlands. The service is available for anybody who is unable to use conventional public transport due to mobility issues or social isolation. Those wishing to use the Ring and Ride service can register at www.ringandride.org.

NEAT also operates home-to-school contracts, providing specialist transport provision for students with special educational needs and disabilities on behalf of several local authorities.

ViewSonic Smart LED Projectors are the Go-To solution for Big-Screen Home Entertainment

ViewSonic LED Projectors Grew 30% in the First Half of 2020.
ViewSonic Corp., a leading global provider of visual solutions, announced today its LED projector sales grew
30% in the first half 2020 (Note 1), which is a new milestone for ViewSonic in LED projection. ViewSonic
entered the LED projector segment in 2017 and became one of the world’s top three LED projector brands
within three years. It boasted the fastest growth amongst the top five brands in the overall projector market in
2019 and continued its strong sales performance in the first half of 2020 with year over year growth of 30%.
“LED technology has now progressed to a point where it is an ideal audiovisual solution for all the activities
consumers partake in at home. ViewSonic’s mission is to deliver a feast for the senses at home,” said Dean
Tsai, Head of Projector BU at ViewSonic. “As an innovator and leader in LED projector technology,
ViewSonic is combining its advantages in LED know-how, and consumer insights to bring new smart LED
projectors to market. We are focused on redefining lifestyle-oriented, all-inclusive solutions, from mobile,
outdoor, to home. We want to light the way for more people to enjoy a new flexible big-screen audio-visual
experience in their daily lives.”
ViewSonic LED projectors’ achievements can be attributed to the continued innovation of product
development. ViewSonic began to focus on LED projector development three years ago when the
technology had advanced to an ideal level, aiming to offer consumers a more versatile option. By combining
great visuals and audio into a single, portable projector the M1 was born. Today ViewSonic provides a full
line-up of smart LED projectors for a wide range of applications, including the flagship X series for premium
home entertainment with enhanced smart functionality and the portable M series for an exciting on-the-move
lifestyle, such as the featherlight, 300-gram M1 mini Plus smart pocket cinema projector.
More than just a device, ViewSonic smart LED projectors are an audio-visual solution. ViewSonic smart LED
projectors combine the latest audio-visual technologies with smart integrated functionality and can connect
with mobile devices, home networks, and content services for a seamless viewing experience. Through four
main features – audio-visual excellence, smart capabilities, user-centric design, and eco-friendliness,
ViewSonic smart LED projectors are differentiated to deliver a new enhanced audio-visual experience for
home entertainment.
Audiovisual Excellence
ViewSonic smart LED projectors deliver true-to-life colours by proprietary Cinema SuperColor+™
Technology with 125% Rec.709, and a new level of brightness with industry-leading second-generation LED
technology. To complement their stunning visuals, all ViewSonic smart LED projectors incorporate
professional audio customised by Harman Kardon or JBL. From hardware design to rounds of audio tuning,
each projector has its own customisation to best fit each scenario.
Smart Capabilities
1/2
The smart features include wireless content casting from users’ smart devices via 5GHz Wi-Fi, and intuitive
touch control via their mobile devices as an alternative remote control. Bluetooth connectivity allows users to
broadcast audio from mobile devices with the projectors’ Harman Kardon speakers, or connect to external
Bluetooth headphones to immerse yourself in big-screen fun. Convenient voice control via Amazon Alexa or
Google Assistant, and USB Type-C connectivity offer a fun twist on streaming for direct projection from
phones, tablets, or gaming consoles.
User-Centric Design
ViewSonic places emphasis on user-centric designs to offer consumers the perfect balance of form and
functionality. By creating humanised, lifestyle-oriented products, ViewSonic has won iF Design Awards for
three consecutive years from 2018 to 2020.
Eco-Friendliness
ViewSonic smart LED projectors are more eco-friendly alternatives to other projector types, free from the
toxic mercury found in traditional projector lamps and consume significantly less power for improved
efficiency. LEDs are also a more durable light source than traditional lamps, offering a lifespan of up to
30,000 hours. As a result, it reduces the total cost of ownership.
To find out more about ViewSonic’s smart LED projectors, please visit:
https://www.viewsonicglobal.com/q/pj-new-led.php
Note 1: Source: Futuresource Q2’ 20 World Projector Market Track. The market share is assessed by the
sales volume.
About ViewSonic
Founded in California, ViewSonic is a leading global provider of visual solutions with a presence in over 100
cities around the world. As an innovator and visionary, ViewSonic is committed to providing comprehensive
hardware and software solutions that include monitors, projectors, digital signage, ViewBoard interactive
displays, and myViewBoard software ecosystem. With over 30 years of expertise in visual displays,
ViewSonic has established a strong position for delivering innovative and reliable solutions for education,
enterprise, consumer, and professional markets and helping customers “See the Difference”. To find out
more about ViewSonic, please visit www.viewsonic.com.

Alupro launches campaign to educate primary pupils about recycling

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the launch of its 2020 primary education programme. From Monday 28September, schools across the UK and Ireland will be recruited to participate in the initiative, which aims to bring recycling into the classroom through science, art, design and PHSE.

The anime-inspired Key Stage 2 (KS2) campaign will see schoolchildren introduced to heroine Ally Minium and asked to join her quest to defeat evil villain Land Phil, who is threatening to take over the planet. Comprising an introductory video, an interactive lesson about recycling and a series of quests for pupils to complete, the creative programme will task pupils with becoming ‘masters of infinity’.  

After completing all the quests, using a series of custom-designed character cards, pupils will complete a pledge to recycle their waste and help others to do the same. The aim of the initiative is to generate awareness of the benefits of recycling all household packaging, including aluminium, as well as drive a long-term shift in recycling behaviour among young people and their families.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Inspiring the next generation and educating students about the properties of aluminium and the role it plays within the circular economy will help contribute to ever-increasing recycling rates. At Alupro, we love working with pupils to build awareness of sustainability and support teachers as they work with their class to promote the benefits of recycling. Our resources have been designed to be hugely flexible and, as such, can even be used by students for home schooling!”

As part of the campaign, students will be invited to enter a competition (which runs between 28 September and 14 December) to complete an anime-based comic strip, for the chance to win an iPad to take home and a £1500 voucher for their school. Rick added: “We’re really looking forward to seeing the entries and the exciting adventures they design. I’d like to offer the best of luck to everyone who takes part!”

ALFED, the aluminium federation, will be part funding the programme. For more information, or to download the resources, visit: https://learningaluminium.co.uk/. For more information about Alupro, visit: www.alupro.org.uk.

What we can learn about distance learning technology in light of COVID-19

Rene Buhay, Vice President Sales and Marketing at AVer Europe, explores different approaches to teaching and learning across Europe in light of the pandemic.

The delivery of classes and lectures has been transformed all over the world because of COVID-19. Different regions have adopted different approaches to learning depending on the severity of the pandemic in the country, the digital capacity of the nation and the availability of technologies to deliver and receive content to the homes of students.

In the UK, schools have reopened and formed class or year bubbles in a bid to maintain school attendance and counter the pandemic. Across Europe, we’re seeing hybrid models and alternative methods adopted. What’s the best approach to distance learning and what can we learn from the delivery of classes in other countries?

A business conferencing approach

Classrooms in Spain and Italy are taking their lead from the business world by utilising technology that is typically seen in boardrooms in corporate environments. By using a professional video conferencing system, teachers can make the most of high-quality optical zoom, true WDR and impressive audio so that they can continue their lessons remotely for as long as they need to. Some conferencing systems – like the AVer VC520 Pro – also enable daisy-chain speakerphone capability, which means this solution can flex to a hybrid model when some students return to the classroom.

Equipping educators for delivery

While teachers and lecturers globally may have relied on built-in webcams and existing technology to deliver content to students up until now, the pandemic and requirement to deliver content remotely is not going away. These existing solutions will likely be showing their limitations, and educational institutions are investing in technology now more than ever. Higher quality cameras are being used in universities across Europe to improve the content delivered to students. While these are still plug-and-play solutions, the 4K premium quality and wide-angle lenses can offer so much more. In addition, visualizers are being utilized by teachers more and more for distance learning.

Educational establishments In the UK are making great strides in combatting the current pandemic. We are delighted to be working with many of them to provide AVer solutions to ensure continuity of learning.

About AVer Europe

AVer Europe provides intelligent technological solutions to harness the power of visual communications for business and education. With over 20 years of research, development and manufacturing excellence, AVer holds numerous international design, innovation, application, and service awards for exceptional product usability, reliability and customer satisfaction.

www.avereurope.com

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