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How technology helps me teach...
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Teaching Technology for education
- how technology helps me teach www.teachingtechnology.co.uk
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Digital Signage guide
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LCD monitor guide
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NEC screens displaying digital signage messages, news feeds, events and activities at Cardinal Newman College
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Linda Adams [email protected]
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We like to visit manufacturers’ product showcase exhibitions as well as the educational shows such as BETT, so we can see first hand what new technology is coming on the market.
As an ex-teacher, I recall being given new technology to work with in the classroom, often with no idea how to switch it on or what to do with it when we had. We were fortunate enough to have an IT manager who would at least give us some basic training as time permitted.
After our school closed down and I moved into AV / ICT technology, we often received training from manufacturers on their latest technology for the classroom and educational environment.
I thought it would be a great idea to pass this knowledge onto teachers and trainers and so the idea for Teaching Technology for education was born.
This issue sees us a year and half down the line, and I’m still amazed at how fast technology changes. Visiting the recent NEC Solutions Showcase 2012 at the O2 Arena, it was great to wander around the educational zone and discover the various solutions for classrooms that are now available.
We’d love to hear from you’d like to share with us how you’re using new technology at your school. Best wishes. Your editor, Linda Adams [email protected]
NEC 3D solution without glasses
Large format 3D screen without glasses for education, live video, 24/7 digital signage and design/engineering departments
This 3D solution comprises an NEC 46” or 55” professional public display with glasses-free Stereoscopic 3D technology with an optional iPONT 3D TV box or iPONT DS Player box and
3DTV Sterescopic Player software.
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When choosing a display screen for your needs, it is important to opt for a professional public display rather than a consumer model such as you’d buy for home use from a high street retailer. Professional displays are of better build, have more connectivity and better warranties.
The NEC X461S and X551S 46” and 55” displays are super slim with a thin body of around 43.3mm which makes digital signage possible without disturbing the aesthetic of the room, even when mounted on a pillar or wall.
The panel can be installed both horizontally or vertical. It can also be placed face up embedded on the floor or a table to deliver content to viewers.
The full HD panels are designed for 24/7 use and have a slim 20mm bezel. They have an option slot so you expand your options, by inserting built-in PC, etc. These panels have eco-friendly features, decreasing energy consumption and lowering expenses over the lifecycle of the display. Each panel has white LED backlighting and contains no mercury to minimise the effects on the environment. Energy consumption and thereby CO2 emissions have been reduced by
45% compared to NEC 55” previous models and 36% for 46” models.
The LED (light emitting diodes) in the backlighting are small, thereby enabling the screen to be slimmer. LED stands for ‘light emitting diode’ and are now powerful and cost effective enough to replace the conventional
CCFL backlights which have traditionally been used as a light source for LCD products. LEDs are energy efficient which is good news for education especially as they have lower power consumption.
The NEC MultiSync ® X461S-3D5V 46-inch display, for example, has LED backlighting. This means that as the LEDs are small, the screen itself can be slimmer.
The display screen is Full HD and has
DVI-D and HDMI connectivity. The
X461S-3D5V and the 55” X551S-3D5V have an option slot.
Obviously, if you use the iPONT 3D solutions then you will use their box and you will also need 3D content.
The iPONT 3D TV box technology, available as a set-top box and in the future as embedded technology, converts iPONT 3D TV box for viewing 3D without-glasses iPONT 3D DS box for 3D digital signage without-glasses any 3D with glasses content today (3D broadcast signals are currently broadcast this way), into auto-stereoscopic content for use on glasses-free 3D TVs and displays, such as the NEC X461S-3D5V and NEC X551S-3D5V screens.
The 3D box can handle Internet, satellite, cable and terrestial services that stream
3D content directly into homes and businesses.
For education, there are already 3D
Ready projectors on the market which require 3D glasses to view and 3D educational content for curriculum use, where you can explore space and planets or the human body in 3D.
3D glasses-free technology in colleges may have a part to play, for example, in automobile departments where the workings of an engine could be viewed.
3D movies are in cinemas and your students are already familiar with this technology. TV channels devote themselves to 3D sports, movies and documentaries. iPONT DS Player box allows 3D content to be viewed on glasses-free displays.
More schools and colleges are looking at digital signage solutions as a means to providing students, staff and visitors with up-to-date information on college activities. As 3D glasses-free technology grows educators may look to this when considering digital signage solutions.
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
Hand-held mobile interactive whiteboard
The Sydney Russell School is a forward-thinking secondary for students in Dagenham, London which continues to improve its results year on year to be a leading school in the borough. The school prides itself on its ICT facilities, and is committed to using the best of 21st century computer technology to support and drive teaching and learning.
Background and challenges
Construction has recently finished on a new school building and the blank canvas provided by the rooms presented a perfect opportunity to introduce new technology. Nikos
Tsagkadakis, ICT teacher and vice principal, has the responsibility for developing ICT within the whole school environment, and had certain requirements in mind for equipping the new rooms:
“The new classrooms were 852m and visibility of the whiteboard was a problem for the students at the far end of the room.
Because of this, we chose to install large Supernova screens, and were looking for a device that would interact with the Supernova. The school had previously used Promethean ActivSlates, but we had found the pen to be overly sensitive and staff did not get on with them very well; an alternative solution was needed.”
Solutions and benefits
The school began using the Mobi View™ hand-held mobile interactive whiteboard from eInstruction last December, and had a positive user experience right from the beginning as Nikos describes.:“The transition from the traditional writing with an ink pen on paper to writing on the Mobi View was a positive one.
The Mobi View™ pen is not over-sensitive, making it very easy to write with and use regularly.”
The Sydney Russell School has equipped each of the 40 staff using the new building with a Mobi View™, assigning each one to a teacher rather than a room as Nikos explains: “In a school day, teachers will move around a lot and can now take their personal Mobi View™ set to their preferences with them for quick and easy use. This personal assignment of a device also helps to ensure they are not lost; each member of staff has to take responsibility for their own device, and they carry them around like you would a mobile phone!”
The school initially planned to use the
Mobi View™ as a mobile interactive whiteboard to control the lesson, as well as annotating and adding notes to material.
However, staff have since realised the potential of the product to transform learning with the range of tools that are available. Teachers are free to use the board as a tool in any lessons across the year groups to ensure that all students can benefit. Currently, the Mobi View™ is used by
ICT, maths, physics, modern languages, as well as English and media. Nikos feels that a key function of the Mobi View™ is its flexibility of application, with each department able to tailor use to how is best suited: “For instance, modern languages uses the
Mobi View™ extensively, but in a different way to how the ICT department does. While MFL uses the handwriting recognition tool more, maths may use it for demonstrating shapes and aiding accurate measurements but ICT uses it to record audio and visual demonstration clips.”
Within the ICT department for example, Nikos feels that the
Mobi View™ is a powerful tool for administration and classroom management. He explains: “At the beginning of the lesson, I demonstrate the skills that will be developed, and how to achieve certain objectives. To do this, I use the recorder tool in the Mobi
View™ before the lesson, sit down with a microphone, and record step-by-step the process to create a walk-through video.
These can then be edited and saved in our central resources bank under the specific topic, and linked back to a lesson plan.
This then enables other teachers within the department to use the recording in their own lessons, sharing resources between us
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and saving on the time and administration needed if each teacher had to create their own. This is a very powerful tool for the staff, as one day you might need to teach the same thing four times and it saves so much time being able to record it and store it!”
Nikos believes that the Mobi View™ is a tool that strongly supports the development of personalised learning across the school: “Because students can also access the resources created with the Mobi View™ in the central bank, if they are late, absent, or missed something or didn’t understand it, they can access the video and go back over it at any time and at their own pace, as often as they like. This concept supports higher ability students as well; if they finish the assigned work, they can look at the work for next lesson in their own time, allowing them to progress at their own pace too. This is valuable for helping to give students options and to customise the learning process.”
The mobility enabled by the Mobi View™ is a significant advantage in Nikos’ opinion: “Using the Mobi View™ means I am not tied to the front; I can go to the back of the classroom, and mix with the students to watch the pre-recorded demonstrations.
Because I am watching it too, they concentrate more, and I can monitor attentiveness as I do not have to turn my back to demonstrate.”
Looking on a wider pedagogical basis, Nikos believes that the
Mobi View™ is a catalyst that is revolutionising teaching at
The Sydney Russell School, as he explains: “As teachers, we can now take learning and teaching to a whole new level that is more investigative than descriptive. Before, I was spending three quarters of my time answering low level questions on troubleshooting and how to do things. My lessons used to be dominated by ‘sir, how do I do this again can you remind me?’ Now I don’t need to fulfil this role as students have the videos created with the Mobi View™ in the central resource bank to remind them. This frees me, the teacher, up to focus on knowledge and understanding – why they do this rather than how to do it. Across the school, staff now have more time to explain how skills can be developed in other areas, to provide transferable skills for the future.”
Following the success of the Mobi View™ with both staff and students, The Sydney Russell School is to equip the remaining
75 staff with a device each. The school plans to link the Mobi
Views™ with the visualisers already in use, so that screenshots from the visualiser can be captured, manipulated and annotated using the Mobi View™. Nikos comments: “As the next step, each member of staff will go through full training on the Mobi View™ and will be encouraged to share best practice with each other to ensure that the many benefits of the Mobi
View™ continue to be maximised throughout the school.”
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Meet the family and discover a range of new SMART Board
interactive whiteboard possibilities
Although a large number of schools, colleges and universities have SMART Board interactive whiteboards installed in their classrooms and assembly halls, you may not be aware that the family of SMART Boards have grown.
The SMART Board 400 and 800 have now joined forces with the popular 600 series to give you a family of interactive whiteboards to meet your teaching needs.
As all the series share the same SMART Notebook™ collaborative learning software, this makes it easy for teachers and students to work on the boards without having to learn new software.
The 400 series uses the classic pen and finger based technology that is so well established within education. The 480iv is a ready to go system which comes complete with a SMART V25 short throw projector, integrated speakers and no hassle warranty. The 400 series is ideal for classrooms where you want to engage your students at lowest prices.
The 600 series helps teachers to create, deliver and manage highimpact interactive lessons. Within the series there are integrated short throw projectors/speaker options as well as standard and widescreen options. The 685ix touch recognition can change the way teachers work.
You can write, erase, move objects and control applications simply by touching or writing on the board. In fact, if the pen isn’t to hand, you can write with your finger.
SMART Board 800 series allows two users to work together. You can use simple, intuitive gestures to flick, rotate or zoom in on objects.
There is an advanced pen tray that automatically detects tool modes.
The 885ix gives pupils the chance to work at the board in twos and share their learning experience. Your pupils will find it naturally easy using the dual touch gesture control, that it won’t seem like they are using a board at all.
interactive whiteboard family.
685ix interactive touch or write
885ix dual touch
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• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
Oxford University win the
3M Simply Interactive projector system
Thank you to everyone who entered the prize draw from Issue 5 of
Teaching Technology to win a 3M Simply Interactive projector system.
Congratulations to Mr A C, MRB IT Manager, Oxford University. Andrew’s entry was the first correct drawn at random by the computer from all entries into our prize draw. The correct answer was ‘an interactive whiteboard’.
The 3M SCP716 short-throw Simply Interactive projector allows almost any plain wall to become an interactive computer screen.
It is tough, versatile and easy to use.
You can install it even in the school’s smallest classroom. By allowing a plain wall to be used as an interactive computer screen,
3M Simply Interactive projectors can help schools make more of these advantages for a relatively low outlay.
When connected to a computer’s USB and VGA ports, the system provides the capabilities of an interactive whiteboard, which means there is no need to buy a seperate interactive whiteboard.
Andrew says, “We aren’t able to install the projector at the moment as we cannot take teaching rooms out of use during term time.” Meanwhile, he’s very pleased to be able to use it and is delighted with their prize win.
Our thanks to 3M for kindly donating the Simply Interactive projector system as a prize.
Repeat Signage Standard
Edition digital signage software
Congratulations to the 10 winners, all drawn at random from entries from Issue 4 of Teaching Technology, who have all now received their software licences.
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security products for the classroom
As schools invest in iPads and iMacs,
TOP-TEC look to security solutions for recharging and storage in the classroom.
iPad charging trolleys
The TOP-TEC ipadCharge pro2 is available in three models, to accommodate 16, 20 or 32 iPads.
The charger has individual power sockets for charging iPads and a fully extending drawer unit with rigid foam dividers, to enable teachers and pupils to easily put away iPads after class and remove them when next in use.
The trolleys have 3-point locking for high security and there’s an optional docking unit to secure the trolley in the classroom. Available in a range of colours and colour combinations, teachers can easily colour code for specific classrooms.
iMac Security Shoe and Slipper
The Security Shoe device secures the iMac, keyboard and mouse. A memory guard is included as standard for the 21.5” and 27” iMac (not included with the iMac Slipper). These are ideal in colleges and universities especially in public access areas.
TOP-TEC iMac Security Slipper
The iMac Security Slipper is available as static or rotation fixing. The high security bar with either of these products prevents unauthorised removal of the iMac.
There’s a chance to win an iMac
Shoe or Slipper for your school in our prize draw, so do enter - details on the back cover.
TOP-TEC iMac Security Shoe
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com
DisplayLite is a touch screen supplier specialising in the integration of touch screen technologies into NEC desktop and large format displays. DisplayLite showcased their multi-touch 1x3 landscape interactive video wall overlay using three 46” NEC X462UN displays.
NEC V422 single screen with
DisplayLite touch screen overlay
NEC X462UN screens with video wall overlay x 3
Touch screen technologies available are surface capacitive (SCT), projective capacitive (PCT), surface wave (SWT), dispersive signal (DST) and optical imaging (OIT). The touch technologies are fully integrated behind the monitor bezel of NEC’s large format display screens. Optical imaging supports twofinger multi-touch. Teaching Technology has a Touchscreen guide supplement
(.PDF), free to download from www.teachingtechnology.co.uk
Preview of new technology
The NEC Solutions Showcase 2012 at the O2, London featured amongst its many zones, a 3D & Leisure and
The NEC Showcase is focused upon integration and offering complete solutions. This means that teachers can opt for equipment that works well together instead of having to source and buy individual products. To facilitate this NEC, cooperate with 47 partner companies, each delivering a ‘best in class’ offering. For example, one manufacturer of digital signage hardware and software for primary education showcased their signage using NEC’s large format displays. Another manufacturer, specialises in adding touch screen technology to NEC large format displays, which are used in education up and down the country. Here is a small selection of products showcased...
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DisplayNote’s application lets you present, share and collaborate on ideas on any device on any platform. Using
DisplayNote, connected devices such as iPad, android tablet or Smartphone, can share their screen, annotations and notes with a presenter or with any other connected device.
Presenters can push documents, images, presentations and videos to any connected device which can annotate, add notes, highlight, save and store for future use.
TeamMate VariHite for SMArT Board
TeamMate manufacturer mobile solutions for interactive environments including education. The mobile trolley mounts a SMART Board® interactive whiteboard and short throw or ultra short throw projector as well as having a cabinet for your AV equipment.
The VariHite Presenter is a selfcontained mobile stand, designed to accommodate large format displays, such as the 8070i, up to 145kg in weight. Ideal for corporate, higher education and training, the built-in rack enclosure is ideal for fitting other AV and IP peripherals with a handy input/ output patch panel for ease of connection to other display devices or input media. The lift and lower mechanism allows easy height adjustment of the large format display providing the right height and comfort level for its user.
Peerless full service video wall mount
Peerless-AV’s ‘Best of Infocomm’ winner DS-VW765 digital signage mount is designed for video wall installation. It is ready to install out-ofthe-box, for quick and easy installation, landscape or portrait format, letting you create any configuration imaginable. It is lightweight and has time saving features like micro-adjustments at 8 points. Suitable for screens 40” to 65” diagonal, the mount sits flush against the wall for a clean side appearance, with pull-out, prop-open mechanism that provides quick service access.
Digital signage software
How to use professional digital signage software in your school
In Issue 1 of Teaching Technology our Digital Signage for Education feature gave an overview of using digital signage or PowerPoint in your school to give students, staff and visitors up-to-date information on school activities and events. Here we explore how to use digital signage software...
if you missed our earlier feature you can download a copy free at www. teachingtechnology.co.uk
Simply click onto the Teaching
Technology link in the top navigation bar, then scroll down to issue 1 and download the magazine or just the Digital Signage Solutions for Education .PDF feature. Also available free is a Digital Signage guide supplement.
Digital signage is about using small and large computer screens to display still and moving posters which have different information scheduled at varying times and can be updated from a computer somewhere in the building.
A typical set up is a 42” LCD screen connected to a computer (which could be a mini PC on the back or a screen cabled to a PC base unit somewhere else) or a digital signage player plus some digital signage software.
Digital signage software v
Many schools use PowerPoint to display information about their school.
The advantages of
• Very easy to use and many people are already familiar with this software package.
• Large number of effects and transitions between slides, which are generally not seen in digital signage packages.
• Is already in use every day in education establishments.
• Licences may already have been bought and PowerPoint is available for around £100 plus VAT in the UK, compared to professional digital signage software that can range from
£225 to over £1,000 plus VAT.
• Supports a huge variety of audio/video formats, PDF documents, Microsoft Office documents, etc, some of which are not supported in all digital signage software.
NEC LCD public displays in a library
Example school/college digital signage screen with different information scheduled for morning, lunch and afternoons
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Obviously, this only allows you to show the same content on both screens. When you want to display content on four screens you need a 4-port graphics card, or two 2-port graphics cards or you can use a splitter box, which splits the signal.
Most digital signage software packages have the following advantage over PowerPoint:
• Scheduling on an hourly, daily or weekly basis what is displayed on screen.
• Update of screen information over the local network or over the Internet.
PowerPoint needs the presentation changing and then you have to set it playing again.
• Some digital signage packages allow any application to ‘print’ to screens.
• Generally, support for RSS news feeds, for example, to display news from the
BBC website, and live video sources such as webcams.
• Some digital signage systems allow dual monitor support for displaying different presentations on separate screens or displaying a single presentation that spans both screens.
Example school/college digital signage screen with different information scheduled for morning, lunch and afternoons.
Digital signage software
There are numerous digital signage software packages available and whilst many have common features, such as inserting images (pictures), text and other media, not all have the same features.
For instance, some do not support
Licensing is another issue. With some digital signage software you may need to buy a separate licence for each computer or digital signage player you install the software on. This may allow you to display it (play out) on one or two monitors, depending on the software manufacturers’ licencing agreements.
You may find too, that some digital signage software publishers have two or three versions of their software, for example, a Lite version which is probably a basic version; a Standard version, which may be for local area network
(LAN) only, and a Professional version which is likely to be for wide area network
(WAN), i.e. updated over the Internet.
There are also digital signage software packages that are ‘on-line editions’, i.e. hosted on the signage company’s server, in which you design your presentation through your web browser.
Some digital signage software packages have a given number of zones into which you insert content.
There may be two zones that allow you to insert two separate pictures, another zone for a video, a zone to add text and perhaps a clock or a ticker message along the bottom.
These are fine if the number of zones are ample for your school requirements, for instance in a small primary school you may only want to show a couple of images, some text, a video and a clock, whereas a college campus might need several signage presentations dotted around with much more content. It’s all down to your specific requirements and there is plenty of choice in the market.
Where teachers want stand-alone digital signage software, this allows you to download the software onto a PC or onto a digital signage media player which then lets you play your signage presentation onto your display screen(s).
Coming onto the market are digital signage software solutions with touchscreen capability, designed to work with touchscreens. Others specialise in 3D signage software for displaying through a 3D digital signage player onto a 3D screen.
We are very happy with the impact that the screens have had and the simple software and hardware setup meant we were able to do everything in house keeping the costs down.
Using Repeat Signage digital signage software has saved us hundreds if not thousands of pounds compared to paying for an outside company to install and provide content for our screens.” David Marsden,
ICT Network Manager
To give you an idea of what you can do with stand-alone digital signage software, here we review Repeat
Signage digital signage software.
This allows pixel by pixel control of displays including plasma screens,
LCD monitors and projectors. It also has PowerPoint scheduling and touch screen support. You can create and host RSS feeds free of charge at
RepeatServer.com There are also over
1,100 free images to download and use in your signage presentations.
repeat Signage digital signage software
Repeat Signage has an evaluation copy you can download (you don’t have to give your details) from www.repeatsoftware.
com The evaluation and full versions of
Repeat Signage are the same installation package. When you purchase Repeat
Signage (currently £225+VAT) a serial number is issued that allows you to unlock the full version on your computer. Online or manual activation is required. You will need
Windows Vista, Windows XP or Windows 7 operating systems.
Online training videos are available from www.repeatsoftware.com/Training.aspx and you can also access the help menu at any time whilst you are designing your presentation by clicking F1 on your computer.
Once downloaded, a Repeat Signage icon appears on your desktop. When you have opened the software you can create a new presentation, open an existing presentation or play the presentation.
Click ‘Create new presentation’ and it asks you which computer screen you would like to create your presentation for. Click ‘This computer screen’ and it shows you the pixels on your screen. However, if you will be displaying your presentation onto an
LCD desktop or large format screen which has a different resolution to your computer, then click ‘A screen on another computer’ and make your selection, for example, high definition (HD) 1920x1080 pixels. Click
‘Create’ and it opens up a blank area to the required size.
You will see a floating tool box which you can shrink to a small size or move to anywhere on your screen, whilst you work on your presentation. So let’s get started with a basic signage presentation.
Firstly, you need to insert some content.
We found it easier to put all the images and videos into a folder on your desktop so they are all in one place when needed.
On the toolbox, select ‘Insert’ then ‘Insert
Picture’. Once inserted, click onto the image and move it anywhere on the screen. You can click the corners to enlarge or use the Image Size box on the toolbox to insert the exact number of pixels you want to resize the image to.
The above example shows the possible usage in a school. An image of your school can be inserted and positioned as shown above.
From the toolbox Insert menu we then selected ‘Text label (single line of text’), and keyed in the name of the school. We then did the same for the school motto, choosing a different colour, i.e. red.
Next we inserted ‘Clock - text based or date’ which was placed beneath the text.
This shows real-time and automatically updates itself. Then we inserted a Flash clock which gives you a classic clock that shows the current time. You can continue adding content by selecting the Insert menu on the toolbox.
The school image and the two lines of text at the top are static and do not update. Similarly, the telephone number and website URL at the bottom of the example, are static. These can be changed at any time by editing and saving the presentation. The playing presentation can be updated at any time over the school’s network.
For the ‘Dates for your diary’ section, we produced a rich text file (RTF) by selecting
‘Insert’ then Insert RTF document’. The
‘Rich text or RTF document’ control allows the mixing of colours/fonts, etc, and is similar to a Microsoft Word word processing document.
Rich text can either be typed in manually, or collected from an .rtf file. The advantage of collecting text from a file is that this can be put on a network drive and changed at will. A playing presentation can be set to monitor the file and automatically display the new text when the file changes. You have to double click the control to open the properties and use the ‘Refresh’ tab to configure this. You can press the ‘F1’ key on your keyboard on this tab for more information. This can be useful for displaying ‘Welcome (visitor’s name) to our School’ in reception areas and changing instantly as necessary.
To create the ‘Dates for your diary’ we clicked on ‘Insert’ then ‘Insert text block’ and manually typed in the information.
However, if you want to have this text saved as an RTF file then you can produce this using Microsoft WordPad.
This is a free word processor that ships with Windows XP, Vista and 7, and is usually found by clicking on the Windows
Start button (or Start orb in Vista/7), then ‘All programs’ then ‘Accessories’ then ‘WordPad’. You can create an RTF
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document by typing text and even inserting pictures. When you have finished you save the document and the default format is ‘Rich Text Format
(RTF)’. Note - Do NOT use Microsoft
Word to create RTF documents even through it allows saving in RTF format.
This is because it adds extra formatting not supported by WordPad and Repeat
Signage uses the Windows WordPad technology to display RTF text. Your finished documents can then be inserted into Repeat Signage presentations.
In the Pictures section, we created a playlist of 6 picture files by selecting
‘Insert’ then ‘Insert picture’, and browsing for the picture in our image folder.
Then double click the image to open the properties box and select ‘Use play list instead’. You can then add other pictures and choose how many seconds you want each to display. The playlist can be scheduled to hourly, daily or weekly.
‘Today’s lunchtime menu’ displays a different rich text file depending on the current day of the week. For example, on Tuesday the file LunchMenuTuesday.
rtf is displayed. If this is updated then the presentation displays the new contents as soon as it is saved. You can create an RTF file for each day of the week’s menu.
The ‘RSS feed control’ gives you the line of text running beneath the pictures. This
RSS control displays news items from www.repeatserver.com, which is a free service to Repeat Signage users that allows RSS news feeds to be created and maintained. In this presentation, http://www.repeatserver.com/Users/
RepeatSamples/SchoolNews.xml is displayed which is just a sample. Your organisation can create a free www.
repeatserver.com account to create and publish your own RSS feeds for use in
Repeat Signage presentations.
All other page text (school name, motto, phone number and website URL) and the top left corner picture is static, i.e. it doesn’t change dynamically. These can be changed at any time by editing and saving the presentation. The presentation itself can also be changed over a network and when saved the Repeat Signage will automatically reload the new version.
Wedgwood AV Ltd publish a
FREE Digital Signage guide at www.lcd-monitors.co.uk
Repeat Signage digital signage software
Digital download only uK sales
• 01754 769967
Download evaluation copy
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Creating a cross campus visual communications
The challenge: ‘We were looking to invest in the best to make a high impact”
When Cardinal newman College began searching for ways to enrich their students’ educational and social progression, they went about it in no small way with the determination to make a big impression.
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Cardinal Newman Catholic Sixth Form College in Preston strives to be a centre of educational excellence for the community, seeking to nurture the gifts of individuals through high quality teaching and learning and dedicated pastoral care.
Stephen Pegg, Principal of the College describes the establishment as “a small and distinctive College which welcomes students of all faiths and has a real feeling of community. We are passionate about excellence, but believe that this can only be achieved if students enjoy their time here.”
With other educational establishments in the area competing for students to fill their course portfolio, Cardinal Newman’s appealing ethos must be strongly demonstrated if it is to attract the most fervent students. On this basis, the college initiated a refurbishment of the canteen and social areas within the campus.
Such highly visible public areas are crucial to forming a perception of any establishment and for young people this is of particular importance. A successful refurbishment would serve to give the college a competitive advantage in attracting student applications whilst enriching the experience of existing students, staff and visitors.
“We were really looking to achieve the WOW factor. From the furniture and coffee vendor to décor and IT installs, we were looking to invest in the best to make a high impact”, said Rick
Boyce, Projects and Development Manager at the college. Rick went on to explain: “The canteen and student common room provide a multi-purpose facility which we use to host a number of events, so we we’re looking to get maximum usage out of our investment.”
The nEC solution
The college sought reputable suppliers through the education purchasing consortium and in terms of their IT requirements, began a dialogue with several AV providers. The AV reseller were able to provide assistance from conception and design through to the final installation and were also able to supply the product expertise direct from the manufacturer.
Cardinal Newman College were initially attracted to the potential impact of NEC’s 82inch LCD, however, after further discussion it became clear that a videowall solution would provide the flexibility they were looking for. First, considering a
4x4 configuration, the college went on to select a mammoth videowall made up of nine 40inch NEC P401 LCD screens for the student common room. They were certain in their conviction to make a big impression.
The college produce their own content with input provided by administration, staff and students aimed at increasing communication, informing students about courses, student services and events. Whilst networked, the installation allows for very simple transmission via a laptop allowing the videowall to be used for presentations at staff meetings and at events such as race nights with convincing race exhilaration conveyed by the huge display.
In addition to the videowall, the college selected a further three P401 displays for digital signage purposes and nine
32 inch NEC V321 displays installed along the canteen wall to display digital artwork further adding to the appeal of the public spaces and providing a fantastic medium to display student work.
To add to the anticipated WOW factor, Rick and his team decided to keep the refurb under wraps so that when staff and students returned after the Easter break they were blown away by the transformation. “We were delighted by the reaction, we were truly satisfield that we achieved the iimpact we were hoping for.”
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
voice and video solutions give students an interactive learning experience
Schools, colleges and universities around the world are using Polycom voice and video solutions to give students more interactive, immersive and innovative educational experience. The technology pays for itself by reducing administrative costs and improving staff productivity...
With Polycom solutions, your school can:
• Help students access knowledge and content, wherever
• Provide distance learning that is interactive
• Equip your administrators, faculty, and students to be mobile
• Promote greater interactions, content sharing, and
engagement among teachers and students
• Be more inclusive in your community outreach and more
efficient in your operations
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Polycom® QDX™ 6000 video conferencing system
Unlike a desktop speakerphone, a true conference phone such as the SoundStation2 is designed for groups of up to 10 people.
The conference phone picks up sound from 360 degrees, whilst also being capable of ensuring background noise is actively removed. Teachers and pupils can speak up to 10-feet away and still be heard properly even when speaking at a natural volume level.
This makes the conference phone ideal for communication. For example, a small group of students learning a foreign language can speak to other students confidently, knowing that they can be heard clearly.
There are three variations of the product:
• SoundStation2 (no display)
• SoundStation2 (with display)
• SoundStation2 Expandable (with display and the ability to
upgrade with a microphone kit either side of the unit to ensure
better pick-up for longer teaching tables/desks).
Where you do not want trailing wires, there is a wireless version, the SoundStation2W for wireless voice conferencing. This uses
Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT 6.0) technology for no wireless LAN interference.
SoundStation2W allows you to roam around the room whilst speaking at a range of up to 150-feet from the base station. It has the advantage of added security of voice encryption and you have up to 24 hours of talk time before recharging.
Polycom® SoundStation Duo™ is a dual mode conference phone that allows conference calls using either analog or IP
(Internet Protocol), as it has connections for both. Whereas the the SoundStation2 conference phones are all analog.
Polycom also have video conferencing solutions to suit all applications. However, where headteachers want a high resolution video conferencing solution at a competitive price, the Polycom® QDX™ 6000 gives good performance at low bandwidths with simplified setup and ease of use.
IThe system comprises a powerful codec, studio qualty camera, high quality audio and multiple video inputs and outputs. With highly secure AES encryption of video and audio you can securely call other headteachers and colleagues to enter into a video conferencing conversation in seconds. You can share content and other media via a simple point-and-click inteface, while
Polycom Lost Packet Recovery™ technology provides smooth and uninterrupted conference experiences, even on congested networks.
In issue 3 of Teaching Technology we featured the success story of how a Lincolnshire school shared teacher resources with a video conferencing system. The French teacher at one school equipped with a video conferencing system and large format
LCD monitor, simply dialled a number to connect to the video conferencing system at a school 7 miles away. Once connected she could view the small group fo A-Level students in order to teach French to both groups, thus being in two places at once.
Polycom® SoundStation2™ with display and also shown without display
Polycom® SoundStation2W™ wireless conference phone
Polycom® SoundStation Duo™ dual mode conference phone
Teaching Technology publish a Distance
Learning for Education guide, free to download
• 01754 769967 • [email protected]
Teachers can view a demonstration of Polycom audio or video conferencing systems at showrooms in Bury, Lancashire or Thatcham, Berkshire, by appointment.
wireless visualiser helps students in exam revision
Davison CE High School for Girls, based in Worthing, Sussex, has an excellent reputation for attainment and pupil performance. Here, Helen Davis, explains how the school used an AVer W30 wireless visualiser for exam revision.
“Just get an AVer W30 wireless visualiser and the possibilities are endless.”
Davison CE High
School for Girls
“I liked filming our perfect speedup brain map for P3. I finally understood moments and lens ray diagram rules... I am the most prepared for an exam as I have ever been.”
Pupil at the school
How was the visualiser used?
The Visualiser was used for preparing pupils for external exams; for example, how to answer exam questions, how to mark them and also for general revision techniques. Year
10 + 11 exam groups were targeted particularly for Physics
GCSE. Answers were modelled and video recorded by pupils using the W30 wireless visualiser in teams around the class. Student teams marked the video recorded answers
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and graded them according to examiners mark schemes.
The teacher validated the pupils’ marking and the teams then made improvement suggestions to each team to gain the perfect score. This was fed back as an edited and highlighted video to show where and how pupils could improve their answers. Still images of the unmarked, marked and improved scripts were taken and any absentee pupils were able to utilise these with their own answers to the same question. Students
created mind maps of the key areas in each topic and used the
W30 Visualiser to video record them being completed. These were then speeded up and put onto the schools VLE for pupil revision, therefore aiding students recall of key concepts.
Students also created their own videos of the key concepts covered in each module to share: animated cartoons, storyboard slideshows, quiz shows etc. Physics calculation exam questions were completed under the Visualiser accompanied by a clock on the interactive whiteboard to ensure they could answer them in time. By using the process, the pupils always went through the correct steps and annotated their answers correctly.
What did you enjoy about working with the
Students were keen to show their work under the W30
Visualiser more than with conventional wired Visualisers as they could remain in their seats and did not have to come out to the front of the class. They were able to work as a team to develop their ideas and all use the Visualiser rather than worry about having to stand behind the front desk one at a time. This is only possible with the W30 Visualiser, no wires means it was easy to move from group to group and quick! Results were instant as they were beamed back to the whiteboard and this led to a competitive impetus in the classroom that raised aspiration and standards.
The W30 is instant, really easy to use and completely frees the teacher up to help individuals in the class not be tied up utilising the technology. We also made use of the Visualiser software to highlight sections of pupil’s answers and write / add improvements to the question answers. Pupils also used the spilt screen feature to show the mark scheme with the question as they graded work.
How do you intend to use the Visualiser in the future?
Based on how well these two groups do in this summer’s exams I will introduce this to all my exam classes in my department next September for the November / January exams.
I will also share the W30 at CPD sessions with a local colleges and schools over coming months.
Just try it. It is so easy and once you start the students lead the use of the visualiser and come up with some really creative ideas. Just get a W30 Visualiser and the possibilities are endless!
What further developments are you planning to do?
We are going to work with students completing ISA practical exams to help them complete QWC answers. Completing questions on the paper will ensure practice in getting maximum marks and understanding what the examiner is seeking!
Students will use the W30 Visualiser to video record completion of section questions, highlighting key points before composing an answer specific to the 9 mark Method and Risk Assessment section.
Quote from a pupil: “I finally get it... 3 marks means 3 key concepts need to be there for me to gain all the marks!”
• 01754 769967
• www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
University adopts IPTV to deliver up-to-date information
At a time when branding is so important and media is being used in more and more places, there is an increasing need to manage media content over entire networks. VIPTV is a powerful product dedicated to this task, be integrating IPTV, digital signage and Video-on-demand all into one complete system.
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Southampton Solent University (SSU) is one of the UK’s newest universities, yet it is already well known for the distinctive way it links together student learning, applied research and services to business and the community. The university wanted to improve the way it communicated with its students throughout the campuses, delivering up-to-date and relevant content. Their aim was to replace the notice boards with digital screens that would allow content, messages and emergency notifications to be instantly updated from a centralised location.
A common sight on university campuses is the notice boards with outdated, untargeted and unclear information. With Digital Signage solutions, universities can efficiently and effectively deliver relevant information to their students, staff and visitors.
“Getting real-time and emergency messages throughout the campus was virtually impossible,” says Stephen Harding, SSU’s Learning Systems Support Manager.
“By the time we had our messages on all notice boards they were outdated and didn’t reflect the reality. It was imperative to find a single system that would meet our communication needs and at the same time be simple to support.”
A digital signage solution would allow the university to correctly target its 16,000 students with relevant information according to the different faculties and courses.
Furthermore, the university would be able to successfully communicate with prospective students and visitors if the screens management of the system is provided through an easy to use web interface and different levels of administrative rights have been set up to control which content, layouts and display groups are accessible and how they can be used. Three levels of users were created: a central administrator who is responsible for setting up and maintaining the system and has access to everything; a corporate administrator who is responsible for corporate messages and has access to parts of solutioall screens in the system; and a departmental administrator who is responsible for a group of screens within a physical area of the university and prepares information relevant to that area. Screens are deployed in key hotspots throughout the university’s two campuses including the reception, students’ admissions office, library, cafeterias, student’s residences, sport and faculties’ premises and business courses’ building. It was important to have the approval and buy in all the departments, if the signage system was to get truly adopted around campus. Training sessions took place over two months to reach each of the 60 potential users of the system. Since then, they have been taking ownership of their screens and actively updating the content on a daily basis to provide up-to-date information to everyone passing through the departments covered.
SSU adopted a Digital Signage IPTV system. Using a centralised control server simplified content management as any changes are administered in a single location without the need to distribute content to each of the individual and devices. This enables fast deployment of content changes and therefore all screens will immediately have the latest updates without the need to check that downloads to each end device have been successful. During the first phase of the project 20 screens were deployed taking only 2 weeks to fully equip, test and install. A second phase took place a month later when 20 extra screens were installed in key hotspots in the university. The current installation comprises of nearly 50 screens targeting different departments and faculties. SSU create their own templates, screen layouts and playlists and employ different content types including text, video, slide shows, pictures and RSS feeds.
A solution that grows with the University’s needs
An IPTV solution delivers the following benefits:
ntegrated Software Media Solution utilises a single iP network avoiding
investments in bespoke hardware and infrastructure: Architecture and standards based software approach streamlines the usage of a single platform utilising an IP network to deliver high definition digital signage throughout the campus.
Scalable platform allows the solution to grow with the university
requirements: New screens can be added to the network without compromising the overall quality, robustness and reliability of the system.
Granular access configuration of user groups grants different privileges based on the location of screens:
The different faculties and corporate areas of the university can successfully update their own screens with relevant content. This is possible because access to the system is provided through an easy to use web interface with user group management to provide control over which content, layouts, and display groups are accessible to specific users.
Fast publishing of new content guarantees updated information any time:
Using a centralised digital signage control server makes new content available in virtually no time as any changes are administered in a single location without the need to manually distribute content to each screen.
VIPTV Key facts
• Technical solution for a single environment
• Linux-based system
• Open hardware and software architectures
• In addition to signage a single head-end can deliver over 80 TV channels
• System can come in SD and HD
• Management and configuration all done via an in-built Simple
Protocol (SNMP) support
• Single network with no signal degradation
• Extendibility without changing hardware
• Packet ID (PID) management efficiently manages bandwidth, minimizing any stress on the network
You can come along and see a no-obligation demonstration of VIPTV at showrooms in Bury,
Lancashire or Thatcham,
Berkshire. Please call to book a convenient date and time.
• 01754 769967
Law Court Building, University of Hertfordshire
Putting AV furniture at the heart of the building design
University of Hertfordshire invested £10 million in their brand new
Law Court Building on the University’s de Havilland Campus. The building offers law students the opportunity to study at one of the most innovative law schools in the UK.
At the heart of the building is a full scale replica court room where students get the opportunity to practice their skills in a ‘real’ setting. In addition to this the building hosts a number of IT suites and seminar rooms all designed to a high specification ensuring a premium feel when attended by the local legal community.
Adam Harvey, Events and Technical Support Manager at the
University of Hertfordshire was responsible for the design of the complete audio visual solution for the Law Court Building.
The system was designed in close working proximity with the
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requirements of the academic staff at the School of Law as they are at the forefront when it comes to the ‘cutting edge’ of teaching and delivery methods. Combining lectures and practical teaching methods the equipment they use to complement their teaching was of the utmost importance during the design and build of the flagship building.
The overall brief was to design a system that provides the full standard technical specification for teaching; laptop, projector, visualiser. The challenge was that the academics didn’t want the
technology to be visible as they felt that often bulky furniture and lots of technical equipment creates a physical ‘barrier’ between the academics and their students.
use. The solution was to improve the quality of our paint finish with an AC Lacquer.
The PP1200-15u provided the perfect solution for the project; the mobile teaching desk provides all of the functionality as standard with a lockable 15u rack cupboard, lockable and removable back panel, 4 castors (2 lockable) and available in a wide range of wood and veneer finishes. The real point of difference with this piece of audio visual furniture is that it is completely customisable. Using a
RAL colour number specified by the architects and Adam Harvey,
CTS at the University the PP1200-15u was identically matched to the environment in which it was situated.
In order to meet the project deadline JM Supplies pulled out all of the stops. From receipt of the order to delivery on site took just three weeks. As a rule the turnaround time for this order would be four weeks but they can improve on this if a project requires, that is one of the benefits of being a manufacturer.
“The product was superb for the features and the price, the customer service provided was excellent and we will definitely be working with JM Supplies again.” AV Systems Integrator
Adam Harvey, commented “we had never painted lecterns before and instantly knew it was a great concept. We painted them to fit the décor of the rooms and they look fantastic. The colour matches the acoustic panelling and light fittings exactly, this teamed with white projectors and white screen housings made the audio visual elements of the room particularly unobtrusive.”
JM Supplies pride themselves on the fact that they provide customers with exceptional service, ensure delivery dates are met, provide the right audio visual furniture available for your budget and value honesty and integrity across everything they do.
“We were so impressed we have since ordered more” said Adam
The installation of the PP1200-15u went to plan, with the audio visual reseller reporting that the engineers were extremely happy with the product. However it is inevitable that during the installation process the audio visual furniture will receive some bumps and scrapes. During sign off it was identified that some of the PP1200-15u’s angled sections were chipped.
“Sue at JM Supplies came to see the finished product and provided pots of touch up paint free of charge which immediately solved the problem. This not only showed that they really wanted the product to look right, but that they had an immediate solution to my problem, great customer service.” Adam Harvey.
JM Supplies took this issue immediately on board as it is imperative that audio visual furniture can withstand the knocks and scrapes that are inevitable throughout installation and general
JM Supplies feel that the University of Hertfordshire’s Law Court
Building Project is one they are extremely proud to have been a part of.
“Not only does the PP1200-15u look good, it also does the job. The rack got really busy during this project and it has held the full system and is keeping it cool.” Adam
• 01754 769967
Chance for you to win prizes in our free prize draws
Win 1 of 3 iMac shoes or 1 of 3 iMac slippers
Designed for the Apple® iMac computers, the Top-Tec iMac security shoe is a simple to fit bracket that fixes to your desk by bolting the bracket through the work surface and into two steel strips supplied. A high security locking bar then secures your iMac screen stand onto the bracket.
The iMac security slipper is designed for the slim iMac. The bracket fits neatly to the desk with the standard choice of a 360 rotation or a static fixing by request. The iMac slipper is available to suit all sizes of iMacs and is compatible with the majority of desk furniture.
iMac security shoe
10 copies of Repeat Signage
2011 Standard Edition digital signage software to be won
For a chance to win 1 of 3 iMac shoes or 1 of
3 iMac slippers, simply answer the following question.
Which brand of computers are the iMac shoes and slippers designed for?
To enter the free prize draw, please go to www.teachingtechnology.co.uk and create a free online account. Login and click on the ‘Competitions’ link and enter your answer. Closing date is midnight on 30 September 2012.
Free prize draw rules: Teaching Technology competitions are only available to the staff of
UK educational establishments. Winners will be selected at random by the editor from all correct entries received by midnight on 30 September 2012.. The winning educational establishment will be notified as soon as reasonably practicable after the competition draw. One entry per person. Multiple entries will be discarded. The editor’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. There are no cash alternatives. iMac security slipper
repeat Signage 2011 is truly flexible digital signage software for Windows.
It allows pixel-by-pixel control of displays including plasma screens, LCD monitors and projectors. It is one of the easiest to use digital signage packages on the market. You simply design the presentation for the resolution of your screen. Includes touch screen capability.
Free prize draw
For your chance to win one of ten prizes of a downloadable copy of this flexible digital signage software, all you have to do is download a free trial copy at www.repeatsoftware.com Then open the software and look at the bottom of the main screen. You will see a 4 digit code in the format TT 0000.
Digital download only
To enter the prize draw, simply go to
and create a free online account. Login and click on the ‘Competitions’ link to enter the
4 digit number. Closing date is midnight on
30 September 2012.
* Your assessment is very important for improving the work of artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project