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Educators can now access premium video through Alamy

Alamy, PA Media Group’s stock image business has partnered with Pond5 to provide over 6 million premium videos for education and creative customers around the world.

 

In 2016, the Universal Journal of Educational Research found that using videos or multimedia materials in education increases learning [1]. Five years later, the technology used to create and edit these videos has improved so much, we now see movie quality videos offered on websites like Alamy, making them easily accessible to anyone with an internet connection.

 

Emily Shelley, Managing Director at Alamy, said: “Our collection of videos mostly depicts authentic and diverse real-life stories, real-life people, and real-life scenes which can help students get energized and engaged about new topics when learning in schools and other institutes. 

 

“We already have lots of education clients using our stock images in classrooms, so we look forward to providing high-quality video content too.”

 

With over 6 million videos to choose from, Alamy has acquired high-calibre compelling content from Pond5’s video collection, meaning customers can choose from a wide selection of royalty-free videos.

 

The company has already been commended by clients like Pearson, with Claire Bowers, Rights Manager at Pearson English & Global Schools saying, “Alamy has a wide range of images and clips. There is a person to chat to about projects if you need, which feels like a luxury these days, and they are.’’  

 

Alamy, which officially launches its new video offering on its website on 2 August, has more than 100,000 customers across 150 countries. Pond5 joins other premium providers on the platform, including Reuters, EyeEm, The Independent and Alamy’s parent company, PA Media Group.

 

Visit www.alamy.com to view its new stock videos and over 260 million additional stock content assets.

 

Encouragement from schools is the biggest motivator in choosing a career in tech, with girls more likely to be influenced by role models

14% of students were encouraged to pursue a tech career by their parents, 11% were motivated by an industry role model

 

With many students now approaching their graduation at the end of the school term, recent research has found that the most significant motivator for career direction among 18-24-year-olds is being encouraged by their school or college.

 

The report, by global emerging talent and reskill provider, mthree, found that more than a third of students (37%) attribute their career decisions, such as pursuing a career in technology, to encouragement from their school or college/sixth form (30%).

 

Interestingly, the majority of reasons that were cited for pursuing a career in technology were the same for both males and females. These included being pushed towards a career in tech by their parents (14%) and because they had completed a degree in a related subject (9% of males and 10% of females).

 

However, the research did find that whilst only 8% of males felt encouraged to pursue a career in tech by their friends, over 13% of females gave this as their primary motivation. Similarly, whilst 9% of males were inspired by a high-profile person, or role model within the sector, 13% of females stated that this was their biggest motivator. This suggests that social influence and having recognisable role models is particularly significant to young girls. With women making up just 19% of the technology industry across the UK,  there is a real need for more positive representations of women in technology in the media that can encourage further female uptake of careers in the sector.

 

Becs Roycroft, senior director at mthree, commented: “Whilst it’s great to see the significant role that educational establishments have in encouraging students to pursue a career in technology, it also highlights how students with potential could be missed, if schools do not advocate career paths such as that of tech.

 

“The technology industry is thriving, however, when you consider the diversity problem tech and many other sectors are currently experiencing, addressing the gender imbalance by looking at young people’s motivations for when they chose a career, can go some way to resolving the problem. Our research findings are a further reminder of how, to attract women to pursue careers in the sector, recognisable role models and positive representations of women in the industry, are essential.

“Schools and businesses can take active steps to promote careers in the sector as well as advocating technology jobs as a viable career path for female candidates.

 

“Introducing role models to young girls whilst at school, arranging for inspirational leaders in the field to come in and to discuss their role, can encourage students, and girls, in particular, to see the wide breadth of opportunity that the sector can offer.

 

“Similarly, for businesses, having a greater presence at recruitment fairs and university open days can be a keyway to not only introduce those to the sector, but also as a great opportunity to identify candidates that may have the necessary skills.”

 

“By demonstrating the extensive opportunities within technology and understanding young people’s motivations when considering a career, the technology sector can welcome more suitable candidates that have the relevant skills, to thrive within the industry.”

 

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier device helps protect teachers from bacteria and viruses

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier enables teachers and educators to remain protected from viruses and bacteria in school classrooms. This level of UV-C protection means schools can remain open during potential rises in COVID-19 infections.

Estonian EdTech Respiray’s wearable air purifier device helps protect teachers from bacteria and viruses

Countries worldwide responded to teaching during the pandemic via remote learning. Still, despite the herculean and heroic efforts performed by schools and their teachers, distance learning proved challenging and inadequate for 21st-century schooling.

Indrek Reimand at the Estonian Ministry of Education and Research commented that the Ministry is delighted to endorse innovation, and turned to its famed tech sector to innovate and provide a solution to the challenge. One such company that is innovating in the Estonian EdTech sector was Respiray.

“Respiray provides a fantastic example of how the collaboration between engineers, scientists, designers and entrepreneurs drives creative solutions for complex issues. The mixture of instrumental vehicles include vaccines, medicines, social distancing and air purifiers, that are engineered by Respiray’s product development team.”

Respiray was born in spring 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world. It began when the company believed that office workers, schoolteachers, and retail staff could upgrade the ordinary face mask for the 21st century using UV technology. Respiray’s engineer believed that as UV-C LED technology has been proven to be highly effective against viruses, it could build a next-generation wearable air purifier.

Respiray’s team began working on a high-tech face mask alternative that eliminates the need to cover a face or restrict breathing. Central to this concept was that people could protect themselves while still talking and showing their facial expressions as normal – crucial when communicating and teaching with students.

Picture credit_ Rocca Al Mare school teacher Maris (1)

WWF teams up with TrilbyTV to bring ‘WWF Facts’ to schools digital signage

Monday 21st July 2021 –  Digital signage software company TrilbyTV has announced an exciting new partnership with the Worldwide Fund for Nature! The new partnership will bring facts from the globally recognised organisation to school digital signage nationwide. Schools can now access ‘WWF Facts’ via TrilbyTV, which shows one of over 40 stunning images each week and alternates daily between five different wildlife and ecology facts. 

 

WWF-UK Primary Education Officer, Amy Ball had this to say on the partnership,

 

“We are delighted to be able to work with TrilbyTV and their wonderful school focused digital signage product. At WWF-UK we believe that a connection to nature is crucial for our younger generations, as experiencing the nature around them can improve wellbeing and empower young people to take action to protect our amazing planet.

 

WWF Facts is full of fantastic wildlife information from across the globe to inspire curiosity in the natural world. It’s packed with up to date scientific information on environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution, biodiversity loss and deforestation, as well as simple tips on how we can all make planet-friendly choices. This partnership with TrilbyTV will bring these important topics directly into schools across the UK, increasing pupil’s environmental awareness and encouraging young people to fight for our planet at the time when it needs it most!”

 

TrilbyTV Director Neil Emery added,

 

“How can you partner with WWF and not be excited? They are one of the most recognised organisations in the world. How fantastic that our education customers will be able to share and showcase this beautiful content in their schools. Content focused on important subjects such as Polar Regions, Oceans and Climate Change. From someone who has visited the Amazon Rainforest a number of times, I absolutely know the importance of educating the next generation to look after this planet we live on.”

 

‘WWF Facts’ can be added to digital signage screens via TrilbyTV’s Content Catalogue which works as if you had added the content yourself. You can add or remove slides, edit times and dates, and add your information to the mix.

 

It’s great to expand students’ understanding of conservation and for using as starter topics in biology and other eco studies. You can use the facts to inspire pupils to think about the World around them. ‘WWF Facts’ work well on screens around school, but if you have a digital display in your Biology department, it would be an excellent content item to share there.

 

ABOUT TrilbyTV

 

TrilbyTV, created in 2015, is the number one digital signage platform made for education. Founders Ben Stanley & Neil Emery were technology trainers, who were fed up of walking into reception areas and seeing TV screens switched off. After investigating further and plugging in a cable or two, they’d usually find the Christmas play pictures from five years ago. When looking into why the screens were switched off initially, there seemed to be a pattern; the software was too hard to use and had to be constantly micromanaged by the IT department. This is why they created TrilbyTV, the easy to use digital signage software that gives users ownership and control of their own content. 

The platform offers a full range of content options for digital signage including video, slideshows, Twitter feeds and web content. It also contains a content catalogue, full of education-focused ready to use content from well known and trusted organisations.

Find out more about TrilbyTV here

Education technology provider launches first facial recognition software to UK secondary schools

 

CRB Cunninghams, provider of cashless catering, online payment, and identity management solutions to education establishments in the UK, is the first education technology company to launch Facial Recognition software for UK secondary schools. The first of its kind software offers pupils the ability to collect and pay for school lunches without the need for physical contact, providing a fully contactless meal collection method.

 

Contactless recognition method

Joining Fusion, CRB Cunninghams’ existing range of identity recognition options, including biometric smart card and PIN, Facial Recognition is developed to offer secondary schools a truly contactless identification method. The new software reduces the need for students to carry any form of identification, such as a card or PIN.

 

With Facial Recognition, pupils select their meal, look at the camera and go, eliminating any contact at the point of sale. Intuitive technology enables the POS operators to quickly identify the pupil’s cashless account whilst payments are instantly adjusted in the same way as all other identification methods in CRB Cunninghams Fusion software.

Developing Facial Recognition

CRB Cunninghams has used biometric data since 2008 to identify pupils on the cashless system to pay for school meals and began exploring the development of Facial Recognition as a new identification method in late 2019.

 

When we developed Facial Recognition, we focused on creating a straightforward contactless solution for all pupils and providing a long-term safe and secure transaction method post-COVID-19.” Said Carl Lewis, Release Manager at CRB Cunninghams. “There has been a huge shift in the way schools operate over the past year, especially regarding the way pupils order and pay for their lunches. We built Facial Recognition to help schools adapt to these changes and offer a unique and effective enhancement to their lunch service.”

 

Due to the pandemic and the increasing demand for contactless meal collection options for schools, CRB Cunninghams developed Facial Recognition to retain the security of fingerprints whilst eliminating the requirement to touch a scanner. As an increasing number of UK schools focus on removing cash from the dining hall, CRB Cunninghams developed Facial Recognition in response to the changing landscape of school lunchtimes and to provide schools across the UK with a solution that focuses on safeguarding staff and pupils.

“When schools reopened after lockdown, we noticed an increasing number of our customers required a fully contactless lunch ordering method that guaranteed staff and pupil safety as they adapted to a new style of lunch service,” said David Swanston, Managing Director of CRB Cunninghams. “After the overwhelming success of Fusion Online, our pre-order app, we developed Facial Recognition to offer secondary schools a fully contactless lunch collection method. Facial Recognition seamlessly integrates with our existing cashless ordering solutions, helping schools increase their speed of service and simplify the payment and collection process.”

 

Kingsmeadow School, based in Dunston, was the first UK school to implement CRB Cunningham’s Facial Recognition solution and described the software as “fast, better than fingerprints.”

 

For more information on CRB Cunninghams’ Facial Recognition software for secondary schools, visit: https://bit.ly/3wuMI2z.

 

To learn more about CRB Cunninghams, visit the CRB Cunninghams website.

Acer UK adds even more value to the Acer STEM Rewards Programme.

 

Acer UK is launching a new promotion to deliver the best value and service to schools, colleges and universities, offering a free extended warranty on two of the most popular products available for the education sector.

 

From 1st June 2021 up until 30th September when schools or universities purchase the Chromebook 311 (C733U and C733T) or TravelMate B3 (B311-31) they will receive a free 3-year warranty. https://uk-offers.acer.com/education-laptops-promo/

 

Acer Chromebook 311 

The ultraportable Acer Chromebook 311 is designed for classes, projects, and everyday activities. Combining a pleasant typing experience and long battery life, this Chromebook is not only easy to use, but also stands up to the daily wear and tear of an active lifestyle.

 

Weighing in at only 1kg, this Chromebook combines extreme portability with the ARM Octa-Core processor, giving enough processing power to get through a day’s work, even whilst on the go. The Acer Chromebook 311’s concave keycaps and substantial travel distance are designed to make typing faster, more accurate and comfortable for the user. The HD Touchpad is also moisture resistant and with an all-day battery life of up to 15 hours, users can stay active and engaged.

 

Acer TravelMate B3 

Stimulate student learning with the TravelMate B3’s high performing, ultra-durable design. Featuring a long battery life, mechanically anchored keys, and blazing fast connection speeds, empower students to get even more out of their classes.

 

 

The new promotion is offered as part of the extensive STEM rewards programme which offers primary, secondary schools and colleges an opportunity to enhance STEM learning outcomes. When schools participate in programme they benefit from the opportunity to refresh devices, free teaching and learning resources and exclusive offers and promotions.

For more details on the Acer STEM Rewards Programme, contact your local IT reseller or click here – http://www.acer.com/gb-stem-rewards/enduser/

 

Whizz Education Quantifies Maths Lockdown Learning Loss

Whizz Education, provider of the leading virtual tutor Maths-Whizz, has quantified the lockdown learning loss in maths experienced by 5–13-year-olds in the UK.  Whizz Education’s research shows that 46% of the 1,721 children assessed experienced a learning loss, exhibiting an average of knowledge decline of eight months during the first lockdown.

Dr Junaid Mubeen, Director of Education explains: “Learning loss is such a loaded term. At Whizz we simply take it to mean a decline in students’ knowledge levels, which is hardly surprising in the face of severe disruptions this past year. Despite the tireless efforts of teachers to adapt lessons and provide remote classes, the global pandemic has had a drastic effect on pupils’ learning.

“We found that pencil and paper multiplication was the skill that fared worst, along with pencil and paper addition, both demonstrating more than six months of knowledge declines across the sample. 

“Knowledge declines were less severe in topics such as integers, powers and roots and also decimals (5 months’ learning loss).  Children studying these topics are generally older, however, so these findings reflect similar studies we have conducted in other regions around the world, where younger pupils with a limited store of knowledge to draw on, suffered a higher degree of learning loss.

“It is also likely that those in our underserved communities have been hardest hit – a sad consequence of the pandemic is that it has exacerbated the attainment gap, with disadvantaged students falling further behind due to lack of access to online learning during school closures. We’ve observed this in both the UK and globally. 

“While we recognise that some students have lost almost a year’s worth of maths knowledge, when addressing how best to move forwards it is important that teachers are not put under further pressure, or that students are made to feel penalised, for events which have, frankly, been out of their control.  We should not expect quick fixes; it will take months, even years, for students to regain any lost ground.  The emphasis needs to be on informal assessment of gaps and ensuring each student receives individualised support that addresses their specific knowledge gaps.  Virtual tutors can play an important part in the battle against learning loss, without inducing further burdens on teachers. 

“At Whizz Education, we believe that every child deserves a learning experience that caters to their individual needs and pace of learning.  We work closely in partnership with schools to develop quality bespoke learning programmes delivered via our virtual tutoring platform, Maths-Whizz.  Maths-Whizz uses powerful AI to build a completely personalised plan for each child, and then continues to tailor it as they complete lessons. 

“Maths-Whizz provides more than 1,250 pre-prepared lesson plans, assisting teachers to deliver measurable learning gains for children with a range of abilities.  Our research shows with just 60 minutes per week of Maths-Whizz over a six-week summer period, students can expect to acquire a 4-month learning advantage. This year of all years, this seems like too great an opportunity to pass up.”

 To find out more about Whizz Education and the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor please see: www.whizzeducation.com

Whizz Education Calls for Virtual Tutors to Become Part of National Strategy to Help Lost Learning

25 May 2021:  Whizz Education, provider of the leading virtual tutor Maths-Whizz, is calling on the Government to use catch-up funding for virtual tutors as a cost effective, scalable option to help lost learning due to the Pandemic.

 

The Institute for Fiscal Studies states: “By the time the Pandemic is over, most children across the UK will have missed over half a year of normal, in person schooling. That’s likely to be more than 5% of their entire time in school. The unprecedented nature of the current crisis makes it hard to predict the actual effects and the negative effects are also likely to extend beyond educational attainment.”   

 

Richard Marett, CEO, Whizz Education explains: “Over 2020-21, more than £350 million of public funds will be spent on the provision of subsidised human tutoring organised by the National Tutoring Programme (NTP) as an unrivalled means of supporting student catchup.   However, there is a missed opportunity in the form of virtual tutoring.  A virtual tutor is an automated online system that simulates the most effective instructional behaviours of a human tutor.  Virtual tutors have been shown to be as effective as human tutors and far more scalable.

 

“For example, our research shows with just 60 minutes per week of the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor over a six-week summer period, students can expect to acquire a four-month learning advantage.  In addition, Maths-Whizz provides more than 1,250 pre-prepared lesson plans, reducing the burden for teachers and assisting them to deliver measurable learning gains for children with a range of abilities.

 

“The rates payable by schools for just 15 hours of 1:1 human tutoring from the NTP subsidised tutors is a typical total cost of £700 per pupil.  By comparison, virtual tutoring costs approximately £30 per child per subject per annum when deployed at an individual school level and would be substantially less if adopted at scale, reducing to around £10 per child.  Therefore, we are calling for virtual tutoring to become part of a long-term national strategy bringing real-time accountability and measurable gains.

 

“Virtual tutoring now has the potential to form an integral part of education and serve as a safety net for all students irrespective of their background, to enjoy uninterrupted access to quality education.  It offers the real chance to help to close the learning gap and help students get back-on-track in a cost effective and scalable way.”  

 

To find out more about Whizz Education and the Maths-Whizz virtual tutor please see: www.whizzeducation.com

 

QCOUNTER LAUNCHED TO HELP SCHOOLS ENSURE COVID-SAFE OPERATIONS

For the safe flow of people in schools

 

The company behind some of the UK’s most exciting and dynamic interactive exhibition displays in visitor attractions and museums has brought to market QCounter – a fully automated, but low-cost, access control/people-counter system.

 

Businesses emerging from lockdown restrictions must limit the number of people accessing a space or building to ensure the site remains Covid-safe and compliant with government regulations.

 

QCounter, based on a traffic light system, is a fully automated (without the need for any human operation), ‘Plug n’ Play’ customer/visitor/staff counting system that manages and ensures the safe flow of people through spaces – thus ensuring organisations remain Covid-safe whilst fully operational.

 

QCounter provides the following functionality:

 

  • Fully automated – no staff/personnel remote control operation required (unlike other systems)
  • Ergonomic design
  • Large bright indication of status (based on traffic light system)
  • Integrated LCD information display
  • Easy-to-change number of people allowed
  • Powered by dc supply from mains plug or USB power bank
  • Portable and easy to mount to any standard retractable barrier post – no tools required
  • Both single and dual units versions available – works on one way system with separate in and out doors
  • Client-branded ‘dashboard’ webpage (for public visibility)

Operational benefits for client:

 

  • Compliance with COVID secure rules
  • Visual reassurance for customers/visitors/staff/guests
  • Non-language specific
  • GDPR compliant (no integrated cameras)
  • Webpage can be displayed on larger screen to further reassure compliance
  • Expansion options available

The units have been designed and manufactured in the UK by FifeX, the UK’s leading concept-to-reality company and are available to order today from their dedicated website www.qcounter.co.uk

 

Paul Neil, Managing Director, FifeX said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce the launch of QCounter. We work with some of the leading visitor attractions and museums in the country and we have listened to their needs and developed this innovative, yet simple-to-deploy and operate people counter. The device benefits from our many years of complex product design expertise in terms of its functionality but we have priced this purposely at a low cost to make it ubiquitous in its deployment ensuring all businesses, regardless of size, can afford it. It is our way of helping businesses get back up and running in a safe manner, after what has been, a hugely challenging time for everyone.”

 

The company behind QCounter – since 2002, FifeX has designed, built and managed a huge range of interactive displays for visitor attractions and other venues as well as providing repairs and upgrades to products designed by other companies.

 

For more information about QCounter please visit www.qcounter.co.uk

 

For more information about FifeX please visit https://www.fifex.co.uk/

 

New book of Education Technology insights provides food for thought for schools in today’s changing education landscape

This book charts the journey of EdTech pre- and post-Covid, with unique tips and insights from an author with experience in the domains of education and software development.

UK: 10th May 2021 – Looking at educational technology through a wider lens is the subject of a new book by Al Kingsley, CEO of education software company, NetSupport, and Multi Academy Trust Chair. My Secret EdTech Diary brings readers a unique view of the topic of EdTech from an author who has dual experience as both the head of company that develops education solutions and as an active participant in the strategic operation of education in his local area.

EdTech suddenly came into focus during the pandemic and, with it, came an explosion of questions from schools as to how they could best leverage its benefits as the education landscape shifted and changed ahead of them.

“Many people think of EdTech simply as the solutions that are found in the classroom,” says Kingsley. “But expanding that view to paint the picture of what tech can do throughout a school, while putting its evolution into perspective, will hopefully get people engaged and thinking about the potential that technology has to improve things across the board for everyone working in a school or trust.”

Al has spent over 30 years working and volunteering in the education sector and, with this book, brings together his knowledge and experience of education technology to share in an easy-to-read conversational format with schools. My Secret EdTech Diary is not only a commentary on educational technology; it’s also a helpful guide packed with tips and suggestions for best practice, suggested questions schools should ask themselves (and vendors) as they select the right solutions for their context, and advice on co-producing solutions with vendors – as well as featuring practical checklists, recommendations, and contributions from trusted peers.

 

Availability

My Secret EdTech Diary is published by John Catt Educational Ltd and is available in paperback for pre-order from Amazon ahead of its official launch later this summer.

ISBN-10 : 1913622630
ISBN-13 : 978-1913622633
Price: £15.00
Release date: 5th July 2021

For a detailed overview of My Secret EdTech Diary, please see: https://alkingsley.com/my-secret-EdTech-diary-EdTech-book/