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Issue 4 available October 2011
Teaching Technology is posted quarterly to educational establishments in the
UK. Current and back issues will also be available on-line in .PDF format for download at www.teachingtechnology.co.uk If you’d like to receive an email when a new issue is ready for downloading please send your contact details to [email protected]
Teaching Technology resources are available at www.teachingtechnology.co.uk
These include free Digital signage guide supplement, Touch screen guide supplement
Distance Learning guide supplement and audio visual guides.
02_Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
Teaching Technology for education
- how technology helps me teach
Linda Adams [email protected]
Contributions should be sent to the editor at the above address.
Every care is taken of materials sent for publication, however these are submitted at the sender’s risk.
The views expressed within are of the contributors, and not necessarily the TT.
Warners Digital 01778 391113
Warners Digital 01778 391113
Warners Group Publications plc,
West Street, Bourne,
Lincs. PE10 9PH
Tel: 01778 391000
All information, models and prices are accurate to the best of our knowledge, at the time of writing and are intended as a guideline only. You are advised to consult individual manufacturers speciﬁ cation sheets on interested products.
Wedgwood AV Ltd is registered in England
9/11/10 10:10:25 with registered number 3514877.
Copyright 2011 Wedgwood AV Ltd. All rights reserved. Corporate names and trademarks are the property of their respective companies.
Speciﬁ cations subject to change without notice.
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Principal at Branston Community Academy invited us to ‘return to school’ and sit in on an
A Level French lesson with a difference. The teacher was in two places at once! Curious?
Then you can read about this on page 26.
This prompted us to look further into the idea of recording video conferencing lessons and discover the success that Lucy and her team at the University of Derby were having with online learning. You can read Lucy’s article on page 30.
Next stop was to look at how video conferencing links up, which led to an interesting article from
Tim Boundy, who is JANET’s Project Manager and Schools Content Coordinator.
By the time you read this, we’ll have had our open day of new technology in Lincolnshire. If you missed this, you’ll be able to view the photos and request details of the new products by visiting www.teachingtechnology.co.uk We can even arrange for you to view new technology at your inset training days.
Next issue we’ll be covering some of the new products being exhibited at BETT 2012 and our main feature will be touch screen digital signage. So, if you don’t want to miss this and you and your colleagues haven’t signed up already to receive either printed magazines copies posted to education establishments in the UK or on-line versions, then please do so at www.teachingtechnology.co.uk Meanwhile, if you’d like to contribute an article or tell us about an exciting project at your school or college, then please email me [email protected] Best wishes. Your editor, Linda Adams
It’s a short throw from interactive classroom to lecture theatre
Your focus is on teaching -
Sanyo’s focus is on projection technology to help you choose a projector, whatever your teaching needs
Ultra short throw projection for wall mounting above an interactive whiteboard
Ultra short throw projectors, designed to be wall mounted above an interactive whiteboard, are ideal for the classroom, as the teacher does not have the glare from a bright projector light.
Wall mounted above the projection surface, the PDG-
DWL2500 requires one of the smallest gaps between the top of the board and the bottom of the projector, which helps solves a problem where ceiling height is limited.
The PDG-DWL2500 provides 2500 ANSI, native WXGA resolution, although it can be switched to a 4:3 aspect to provide compatibility with current board installations. It is available in both 16:10 (DWL) and 4:3 formats (DXL) with
SANYO’s 5 year ‘Elite’ de-install/re-install and 5 year lamp warranty options.
An integrated 10 watt speaker provides sufﬁ cient audio for the classroom, while network monitoring and control with e-mail alert, enables the projector to be managed remotely across your network to resolve either operator issues or to remotely switch the projector into standby mode at the end of the day. Excitingly, the PDG-DWL2500 is 3D compatible. With education applications forecast to be one of the strongest growth areas for 3D, this enables you to “Future Proof” your purchase, and offers the opportunity for a truly immersive teaching experience.
04 _Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
Short throw and short throw interactive projectors
You can save on lamp life and energy when you don’t need as much brightness. The PLC-WL2500 is 2500 ANSI lumens and reduces to 1500 ANSI using Eco mode. It is also ideal for education and training environments where the short throw lens helps to minimise the on screen shadows which can affect longer throw projected images.
It has WXGA resolution, HDMI input, as well as two analogue
Dsub15 data inputs plus video and an integrated 10 watt speaker. Network monitoring and control with e-mail alert, enables the projector to be managed remotely across the network. This saves a lot of time as there is no need for someone to go from class to class switching off projectors.
Extended lamp life and long life ﬁ lter all help to reduce the need for maintenance.
Supplied with an embedded IR (infrared) camera, pen and control software, the PLC-WL2503 can make almost any projection surface interactive. Using an interactive projector is ideal in classrooms that do not have interactive whiteboards as you can project and annotate onto an ordinary dry-wipe whiteboard. These short throw models have SANYO 5 year
‘Elite’ de-install/re-install and 5 year Lamp warranty options.
Primary and secondary school classrooms
The PLC-XE34, exclusive to education users, where the projected output of 1500 ANSI in Eco mode, XGA resolution, dual data inputs plus video are ideal for primary or secondary schools. Rather than an entirely orange cabinet, the PLC-
XE34 now has an orange security plate to identify the unit as an education model, balancing the need for security with the end user requirement for aesthetics. Network monitoring and control allow the projector to be managed remotely and enable an administrator to switch the projector into standby at the end of the day.
As energy saving and its impact on the environment is important, the standby power consumption of less than 1
Watt and extended lamp life of up to 6000 hours reduces the
Total Cost of Ownership (TOC). The PLC-XE34 is supported by a SANYO 3 year lamp warranty and 3 year de-install/reinstall projector warranty. De-install/re-install warranty will give you peace of mind, for if the projector does need repair, you do not have to worry about calling in someone to take down the projector for repair and then reinstall it.
Hall / Lecture theatre
Designed for lecture theatres, the PLC-XM100L gives you
5000 ANSI, XGA resolution, RGBHV, component and DVI-D or VGA inputs. With high contrast ratio you will gain superior image quality for your presentations.
It has horizontal and vertical lens shift and keystone correction together with a new range of lenses covering throw ratios from 0.8:1 through to 7.36:1. The standard lens (LNS
S20) provides a huge throw range at 1.70 – 2.89:1 allowing it to be selected for many installations.
Centre mounted lenses simplify installation, while SANYO’s
Auto Maintenance Filter System enables the projector to operate for up to 10,000 hours without ﬁ lter maintenance.
Once installed an RJ45 port enables the PLC-XM100L to be monitored and controlled across the network to ensure that the resource is available when required.
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
Large venue projectors make a big impact in schools and colleges
Epson understands that technology has the potential to improve the standard of pupils’ education and provides solutions that promote a greater responsiveness amongst pupils.
However, it’s important to note that it’s not just inside the classroom where schools and colleges can utilise new technologies to enhance engagement with students.
In fact, many schools and colleges are realising the beneﬁ ts of Epson’s G-Series projectors, designed to meet the needs of large rooms, which deliver high image quality and functionality alongside a simple set-up.
An ideal choice to optimise large spaces including assembly halls, drama studios, atriums and lecture halls, Epson’s G-
Series projectors are versatile tools that boast multiple usage options. Epson suggests a few ways that its G-Series projectors can make an impact in your school:
Assemblies continue to be a great opportunity for schools to bring to life
– to articulate and demonstrate – the core values of the school community.
There are many ways to put across a message or story in a didactic way that is fun and engaging. Visual elements in presentations particularly help to capture the attention of students.
The beneﬁ t of Epson’s G-Series projectors to teachers and the wider workforce is their ability to give high-quality, visual
06 _Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
Epson’s 3LCD technology, presentations made using the Epson G-Series projectors have vivid yet natural colours, even when projecting in a well-lit environment.
A great idea to further help assemblies come to life is to use the Epson G-Series projectors together with the Epson ELP-
DC11 desktop visualiser for schools and colleges (pictured right).
Presenters can connect the ELP-DC11 directly to any Epson G-Series projector to share physical objects or digital content with the audience. The native aspect ratio is automatically detected, so the image ﬁ lls the screen exactly. A host of possibilities through this Epson visualiser and projector combination include the option to share good work produced by students, excerpts from books that relate to the assembly theme, 3D objects, plus more.
Drama and school productions
Drama, an area where pupils’ creativity can ﬂ ourish, is an important part of the school curriculum. In the modern world of theatre, many works incorporate new media and equally, drama within schools and colleges can be greatly enhanced by technology.
When the school play comes around, why spend time building your own set backdrops when Epson’s G-Series projectors can project the perfect backdrop for every scene? Just one example of how to incorporate new media into drama productions, projection can prove itself to be an innovative and ﬂ exible option to the stage management team and beyond.
In drama lessons, a creative way to highlight important scenes from ﬁ lms or recorded theatre productions is through projection using the Epson G-Series projectors. The projection area you can achieve is much more extensive than that
TeachingTechno_03_32pg.indd 6-7 of a television screen. Plus, images will really jump out at pupils thanks to the ﬁ rst-class picture quality of the Epson
G-Series that boasts natural colours and deeper blacks.
The great thing about an
Epson G-Series projector used within a large space at a school or college is its versatility – there are plenty of uses for the projectors even after the school day is over. Of course, extra-curricular activities at schools and colleges have the added challenge of retaining students’ attention after a day of lessons so the help of technology to stimulate pupils could come in useful!
A perfect example of how to use the
Epson G-Series projectors in an extracurricular context is to project ﬁ lms for a ﬁ lm club. Epson’s 3LCD technology, used in all of its projectors, delivers bright, vivid and clear images, even in daylight.
Take advantage of the best-in-class image quality to project ﬁ lms or display video content such as music videos to complement school discos. Epson’s
G-Series projectors guarantee rich video and projection content with bright, true-to-life colours.
Designed and built to meet the exacting requirements of large venue installation,
Epson’s G-Series projectors incorporate a range of features that schools and colleges can beneﬁ t from.
Key product features include:
Outstanding picture quality: Epson’s
3LCD technology and 5,200 lumens deliver bright, vivid and clear images, even in daylight. Deeper blacks are created with the high contrast ratio of 2000:1.
Lens shift: Keep installation simple with the centrally positioned lens, while placement options are broadened with the vertical and horizontal lens shift. The bayonet mount and wide 1.8x zoom ratio with the standard lens make positioning the projector a hassle-free process.
Low maintenance: The electrostatic ﬁ lter can be cleaned or changed quickly, plus the long-lasting lamp and long-life C2Fine
Inorganic LCD panel means durability is assured and total cost of ownership
(TCO) is kept to a minimum.
Easy MP Network and Control:
Monitor the status of your projector, and set up alerts, so the projector emails the administrator in case of any issues.
You can also broadcast a message to the network with the included EasyMP
Network Projection software. Plus, automatic power on or off at predetermined times.
Environmentally friendly: A paint-free design, lead-free lenses, and recyclable packaging.
Expand educational horizons with Epson
EASYMP Multi-PC projection
Collaborative learning with the Epson G-Series projectors
Inside lecture halls, enhance the way you teach by presenting information from up to four different sources on a single screen with the Epson G-Series projectors. Multi-establishment schools and colleges can display multiple images in real time and share them with lecture halls in different buildings with this versatile feature, standard on Epson
Presenting without limits
Maximise the potential of multiple display presenting with Epson Multi-PC Projection software and Epson’s new G-Series1
Project from multiple sources at the same time and achieve more effective results than presenting just a single image or static PowerPoint slide.
Multiple images, intelligent learning
Comparing information is a crucial part of helping students to understand the bigger picture. Now, images from up to four computers with wired or wireless network connection can be displayed onscreen, referred to and discussed without the distraction of switching between pages.
Before PowerPoint-based teaching, lecturers would often construct their teaching across multiple boards, building their arguments, ideas and explanations through simultaneous comparison.
Now your projector can be used for this multi-board teaching technique as you develop concepts, compare elements and refer back and forth without changing the image.
You’re always in control. You can still project a single image using the whole screen, but the option to project two or four images gives you the ﬂ exibility to teach your way.
Share in different locations
What’s more, you can share your presentation with up to four Epson G-
Series projectors and present remotely in other locations, simply by ‘mirroring’ your content on the additional networkconnected projectors.
This process means everyone is looking at the same screen, anywhere on your network, so colleagues in other buildings and locations can get involved in real time and classes can reach much larger audiences.
Other team members connected to the network can easily contribute to the meeting by adding information screens from their own PCs, providing they have
Epson EasyMP Multi-PC projection software installed.
Whether connected to the network with wires or wirelessly, users simply drag and drop their screen onto the live presentation using the intuitive control panel.
Epson Multi-PC Presenting is supported by the
Epson EB-G5450WU, EB-G5650W, EB-G5750WU and EB-G5950
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Screen International Compact Tensioned
When setting up a video projection, it is important to know that the projection screen is just as important as the projector itself. A top end projector cannot be used to its full potential without a good screen and it is important to look after your screen.
A good projector screen really does matter! Often schools and colleges will source the best projector for their budget and then ‘make do’ with a cheap projection screen. This can prove a costly mistake, especially when using larger size screens such as in lecture theatres or large auditoriums. Your audience will not be impressed if the projected image is covered in ripples.
The most common fault for a screen is that it ripples on the surface and this particular fault normally starts with a small area and is likely to develop into a larger area. If this happens in a lecture theatre or large auditorium, it is likely to affect audience viewing and the cost implication of replacing the screen will be high due to the size of the screen and installation cost. It is always advisable to purchase a good quality screen from an established screen manufacturer to avoid further cost.
Choosing the right screen for you
It is important to know what screen to choose from to suit the individuals and the most common question asked by our customers is if they are able to obtain a screen other than the standard size. A customised screen can maximise your projection space and fully utilise your
AV equipment. Screen International is specialised in producing screens with a wide range of measurements: from standard to custom sizes in order to satisfy every single request that comes from its customers.
Your projection image is only as good as the surface it’s projected onto, therefore it is important to pick the right screen to suit your application. The screen that will work the best depends on the projector, the viewing angle, the amount of ambient light in the room, and the distance of the projector from the screen. The following outlines may help:
Screen International Flat Elastic
Characteristics of the room
Before making any purchases, familiarize yourself with the room you will be placing the video projector in. Is there sufﬁ cient room to project the large image you intend to project? Is there any other furniture in the way that you are unable to remove? Are you using the screen in the daylight or in the evening or both? Excess ambient light would prevent the room from being dark enough for video projection use.
The distance between the projector and the screen determines how large an image can be projected onto the screen. The greater the distance, the larger the image it would be. The size of the screen is also determined by the projector used as it will have its own unique throw ratio. The throw ratio determines how large an image can be projected from a given distance. Bigger does not always mean better as you will need to take into consideration the seating positions of the audience. The screen size is also limited by the projector that is used as well as limited by the size of the room.
Screen aspect ratio
– 4:3, 16:9, or 16:10
The popularity of widescreen DVD and
HDTV has driven the trend in video projection screens towards the 16:9 aspect ratio. However with the recent boost in the newer generation laptops offering the native resolution of 16:10, there has been a surge of demand in the 16:10 screens in the recent months. 4:3 ratio tends to be popular in the education and corporate projection screen market even though viewing a 16:9 image on a 4:3 ratio screen will result in a larger unused screen surface area. It is always advisable to use the same screen aspect ratio as the projector’s native resolution so it will not compromise on the picture quality.
TeachingTechno_03_32pg.indd 8-9 are similar to pull-down screens, but instead of the screen being pulled down manually, an electric motor raises and lowers the screen.
Electric screens are usually raised or lowered using either a remote control or wall-mounted switch, although some projectors are equipped with an interface that connects to the screen and automatically lowers the screen when the projector is switched on and raises it when the projector is switched off.
Screen International Compact Home Cinema
Screen surface selection
- front / rear projection
Projectors can be used to project an image from either the front or rear of the screen.
Front projection screens are the most common, and the easiest to setup.
When using the rear projection method, it is advisable to get a short throw projector that can project a large image at a short distance. It is generally more difﬁ cult in setting it up as it is prone to hot spotting, however in listed buildings or buildings with high ceilings, the rear projection screen will be the best method for this use.
Viewing angle is a measure of the distance from the centre of the screen at which you can still see the same quality image as from the viewing axis. Some projection screens are made with material which reﬂ ect more light perpendicular to the screen and less light to the sides, making it harder to view the projected image if the audience is not seated in the area of the centre of the screen.
Higher contrast from the screen will be regarded as an important factor where the main aspect of the screen is to show ﬁ lms and pictures. The high contrast screen
(normally grey) will give you the additional contrast to boost your viewing pleasure.
Screen surface selection
- high gain / high contrast
Gain is a measure of reﬂ ectivity of light compared to a screen coated with magnesium carbonate or titanium dioxide, when the measurement is taken for light targeted and reﬂ ected perpendicular to the screen. Titanium dioxide is a bright white colour, but greater gains can be accomplished with materials that reﬂ ect more of the light parallel to projection axis and less off-axis.
Electric screens can be wall/ceiling mounted. These are often larger size screens, though the Screen International
Home Cinema models tends to use smaller sizes of screen. Electric screens
A gain of 1.5 means that the screen reﬂ ects 50% more light than the screen standard. People in the past have used high gain screens to save money on projectors as the additional gain on the screen was used to compensate the lost on the brightness of a projector.
Manual / electric screens
Manual screens are inexpensive and easy to use. Operating just like a window shade, a manual screen is revealed by simply pulling the screen down by hand.
In some instances where there is a limitation on the projector selected, the screen can be used as a method to produce extra brightness (gain). The screen will be made with additional coating to reﬂ ect as much light as possible to produce a bright image in a speciﬁ c type of environment. The shortfall for this type of screen is that it will narrow the viewing angle.
Audio Visual Material is an established distributor for branded projection screens, including Screen International and ScreenLabs, and has built up a reputation of over 40 years of supplying high quality audio visual products and projection screens through its dealer network. Screen International manufacture projection screens with very high quality standards as well as respecting the environment.
Tensioned / non tensioned screens
The main advantage of a tensioned electric screen is that it helps keep the screen fabric ﬂ at and immobile (so no rippling effect), whereas the non tensioned models have the fabric of the screen hanging freely from their support structures and are prone to screen curling around the edges.
Tensioned screen will increase the lifespan of the projection screen and it will save money in the long run.
Where you have a very high ceiling, you can use a screen winch. This lets you see the top of the casing and it helps the screen to come down. This is an alternative to having a screen where the height is greater than the width and where the manufacturer cannot guarantee the ﬂ atness of surface, thus rendering it to screen edge curling. The screen winch is a method of bringing the screen down to give you the format you require.
Screen International screen winch
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GeneeVision visualisers capture the imagination of Guiseley
GeneeWorld support teachers by providing ICT technology to use in schools to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom. By supplying GeneeVision visualisers and interactive response systems, it allows teachers to introduce new technology into their classrooms and to share best practice with their colleagues.
Pupils were shown the basic reaction and the key concepts outlined to the group during a science lesson. These were essentially delivering the mints quickly whilst maximising the surface area in contact with the Coke and doing this from a distance so they were not immersed in Coke. Pupils subsequently made the system in Technology and tested its effectiveness whilst the visualiser ﬁ lmed the reaction. Pupils later discussed how they would improve the system in light of what they had seen via the visualiser videos.
“After learning the science when designing and building our equipment, it was great to see it played back in lesson so we could see exactly what happened.” Lead Practitioner: Andrew Mangham.
The project was based around using the visualiser to examine close up what happens when you drop Mentos mints into a bottle of Diet Coke. It was known that this would create a
Coke fountain but the idea was to examine the reaction in detail to see how the effect could be maximised.
• Link science and technology TEM agenda requirements
– Pupils studied the reaction in science then designed their own trigger systems for delivering the mints
• Using new technology like the visualiser to study the reaction
• Use PLT to draw conclusions from the visualiser observations and suggest a way to improve the design system.
We constructed a special shower resistant jacket for the visualiser and cut a collar in acrylic to the exact size of the lens shoulder using the laser cutter. The focus and direction of the camera were then controlled remotely using the computer controls and the hand set.
Issues to consider
The main problem that we encountered was timetabling the pupils so they could ﬁ rst work in science then move on to technology. This wasn’t easy and only achieved once year eleven pupils had left school and freed up some more timetable slots.
The next step
The next step is to take the video obtained last academic year and use it as a starting point for next year’s exploration so the project can move on.
Quotes from pupils:
The video footage obtained and the ensuing discussion showed the success of the project. The general group conclusion reached by those participating was that the next delivery system should be designed to do all the above but encourage the production of small bubbles not the large ones seen on the video because they quickly rose to the top of the bottle but took little Coke with them which meant they contributed little to the fountain of Coke.
“Watching the video allowed us to see exactly what was going on inside the Coke bottle and link it back to the science behind it.”
“I could see on the video where we went wrong and what we could do to improve it next time.”
“The visualiser allowed us to study the experiment close up and the remote control allowed us to position the video camera to see the detail quite easily without having to constantly return to the lens. It sort of mimicked the industrial situations where cameras are used in hostile environments to see what is happening without endangering the operator. In this experiment it basically meant that the operator wouldn’t get covered in Coke. The pupils had to work together in order to coordinate the use of the visualiser and trigger the reaction which meant team work was involved and ﬁ nally they were able to see the reaction up close and plan how to improve the performance next time. This covers at least two Personal Thinking and Learning Skills. It also demonstrates the visualiser which is an amazing piece of technology in itself and shows what is available in the modern technological world.” Lead Practitioner,
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Improving mental Maths skills within KS2 at New York Primary
The pilot scheme was to introduce Interactive Response Systems into the classroom as a way of being able to show evidence of embedding technology across the whole curriculum.
In the 21st Century technology plays a key role in all aspects of our life. At New
York Primary, we believe children should be exposed to varied and cutting edge technology to develop their learning and provide them with the life skills needed in a modern world. By exposing children at a very young age, we can inspire and motivate children in their learning.
The days of having 2 hours a week in a stuffy old computer room are long gone.
Technology should be used daily and with imagination and a little planning, technology can be used in all subjects, driving the learning from the core and not merely as a pretty but ultimately meaningless add-on.
The Classcomm Genee Pad Interactive
Response System can be used in any subject where assessment of knowledge is required, with the option of multi choice questions keeping all children active and involved, especially the SEN children.
At New York we have used the panels for summative testing in both Science and Maths.
Their potential stretches far beyond this however. The Genee Pads have also been used in literacy lessons, where children have been able to text in adjectives, adverbs etc to annotate pictures. Any learning outcome which requires short text answers can be met by the Genee Pads.
They have also provided an invaluable resource for student perception surveys where children can vote anonymously on whole school issues. This has proved useful in addressing issues in the school and has helped the children to feel they have an independent voice.
Actions we took
Children to be able to learn and recite their times tables quickly and efﬁ ciently
A series of PowerPoints were set up in the style of Who Wants to be a Millionaire with 4 possible options available. A timer was set (e.g. 10 seconds) to encourage the children to respond swiftly. The option to watch progress using race cars etc was used to engender completion amongst the children.
This is evidence of success
Children were really excited to have a times tables test on a Friday. The element of competition meant children were prepared to practice the nominated times table for the week at home. Children’s mental recall improved, the speed and number of correct answers also signiﬁ cantly improved over the weeks. Children were able to use the foundations laid to help in other areas of maths.
“Are we doing a times table test today?” a very eager Year 3 pupil (on a daily basis)
“Can we set the timer for 5 seconds, this is too easy!” Year 3 pupil who previously had to use a multiplication square.
“Children’s willingness to invest the time at home to practice and learn their times tables increased dramatically thanks to the motivational aspect of using voting panels.”
The voting panels have a real impact on motivation in the classroom. The children love the independence that they bring, reducing the amount of time spent off task because all children are engaged. Children have improved their times tables knowledge which has improved their conﬁ dence in mathematics generally.
The use of voting panels will be extended into different subjects whilst forming a large part of our mental maths teaching in mental / oral starters. We will be looking at developing the texting aspect of the voting panels e.g. adding adjectives to photos etc, labelling plant parts in science.
Funding for the voting panels was provided through EAZ funding in North Tyneside.
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
By Matt Beresford, ICT Co-ordinator
AVerVision CP135 ﬂ exible neck visualiser
Congratulations to Peter Curtis from Small Heath School in Birmingham.
Peter’s entry was the ﬁ rst correct drawn at random by the computer from all entries into our prize draw in Issue 1 of Teaching Technology. The correct answer was 500.
Peter tells us that the Head was very pleased with the result. Their Design Technology department are glad of the opportunity to add the variety of equipment and improved opportunities to give a more varied approach to the delivery of their lessons.
Repeat Signage 2010 Standard
Edition digital signage software
The correct answer was TT7494.
There are 10 winners, all drawn at random from entries from Issue 1 of Teaching Technology.
• Cornwall College, Cornwall
• Portlethen Academy, Aberdeen
• Hele’s School, Plymouth
• Reﬂ ections Training Academy, Birmingham
• Wembury Primary School, Plymouth
• Gumley House Convent School, Middlesex
• University of the Arts London, Central Saint Martins
• The University of Manchester, Manchester
• Newbattle Abbey College, Midlothian
• Gilmorton Chandler CE (Aided) Primary School,
Do remember to enter the prize draws for this issue of Teaching Technology as you could win an LG SuperSign digital signage solution, or one of 10 copies of
Repeat Signage Standard Edition 2011.
In our ﬁ rst issue of Teaching Technology we looked at LED energy saving parcans for end of term school productions. Here we turn the spotlight on LED for indoor architectural lighting.
Museums and exhibits
Energy saving, light emitting diodes (LEDs) give off little heat and can be safely used to illuminate interior walls and exhibits in museums and galleries or when exhibiting students’ work.
Lanta Orion Link
Straight bars, such as Lanta Orion Link, can also be used to run the length of an interior wall by daisy chaining from unit to unit.
This product has a mixture of LEDs and they have a breakdown of the following colours: 96 red, 96 green and 96 blue. This means you can have all 288 on red, all on green, or all on blue. Or you can colour mix them to create various colours as well as creating various effects such as static, chase or fade.
The Link accepts signals from a standard
DMX lighting desk, so that its colour changes can be programmed and controlled.
Lanta Orion Aspect
If you compare this ﬁ xture with the Orion
Link, you can see the difference in size of the individual LEDs. The Orion Aspect uses Tri
Colour LEDs in which each of its 16 LEDs contains three colours, i.e. red, green and blue. You can get different wattage in
Tri Colour LEDs, such as 1W or, as in the
Orion Aspect, 3W Tri LEDs.
The Lanta Orion Aspect is a colour wash which colour changes through the full spectrum of colours. It has a versatile bracket which allows it to be used along the edge of a stage or exhibition platform or can be installed on a lighting rig. It can be used as a ceiling wash or to light up columns.
Lanta Orion Sunspot
A spot is a more focused lighting ﬁ xture.
Using three 3W Tri Colour LEDs the Orion
Sunspot can be used as a mood-effect wash.
It can be set, for example, to illuminate an exhibit in red, in green or in blue, or it can change colour. It can also be used as an uplighter or feature spotlight by positioning, for example, beneath a work of art.
Long lasting LEDs
These LED lighting ﬁ xtures are long lasting with an average life of several thousand hours. The Orion Sunspot, for instance, has an average service life of 50,000 hours. Not only does LED lighting save money on energy, but there are no replacement bulbs to buy, which also saves maintenance costs.
Distance learning for education
Introducing audio and video conferencing for schools and higher education
In this article, we look at various ways to communicate with other educational establishments for distance learning
VC500EX video conferencing kit
Most of us in the UK remember French
Exchange trip or visits whilst we were at school. Even if you weren’t part of these, you will remember groups of French children visiting your school once in a while. Some of us had French pen pals, so that we could always practice our reading and writing as well.
Jumping forward to the present day, we are no longer restricted to face-to-face visits. We have a wealth of technology and the Internet, giving us many more options to speak and see people from other countries who are eager to learn
English and are happy to speak with us.
Distance learning isn’t just for languages either. You can involve seven schools, for example, in multi site learning, such as in the delivery of A Level French, Law or
Further Maths. But for the purpose of this article, we’ll just talk about language learning.
Language learning and telephones
Let’s start with the telephone. When we were at school, we never spoke directly to French exchange students as the cost of foreign calls was astronomical. Also, phone calls were always a one-to-one call with someone. This has changed.
Telephone companies have packages with international calls at around 10p per minute, so that cost barrier disappears.
Telephones themselves have changed.
Conference phones, which allow several people to speak and be heard at once are now low cost. We have all seen movies with triangular shaped phones in
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Polycom® SoundStation2™ conference phone
ofﬁ ces and boardrooms, (if you haven’t then watch out for them). These are conference phones and this model costs around £325+VAT and is suitable for up to around eight participants. An expandable version is available which allows you to talk up to 10-feet away and is suitable for up to 12 participants.
Wireless versions are another option.
Also don’t forget that these phone calls could be recorded with something as simple as a cassette recorder or phone call recorder, so that the students can then play them back in class and learn from their conversations. Bretford
CombiPower50, for example, is a cassette recorder, CD player with USB and public address (PA) system.
Because we are looking at language learning, the quality of audio needs to be spot on. So the better quality desktop conferencing phones with high deﬁ nition
(HD) voice, such as Polycom SoundStation
IP5000, would be better suited. The IP5000 is a voice over IP (VoIP) phone, and this and the other models in its range, will replace analog phones as many organisations switch to IP phone technology. This model costs around £495+VAT.
Polycom® SoundStation® IP5000
Making phone calls via the Internet
The above looks at “normal” phones but the Internet gives us some better and even cheaper options, especially for one-to-one or small groups. Many people already use
Skype. Have a look at www.skype.com if you are not familiar with this. Many people in the UK use this to communicate with relatives abroad, especially when sons or daughters emigrate to Australia, for example.
Skype and other servers allow telephone calls over the Internet. You can either just use the speakers and microphones built into most computers or purchase better quality
TeachingTechno_03_32pg.indd 14-15 ones including telephone handsets and audio conferencing handsets that plug into the computer. The teacher’s job then becomes the organising and scheduling of these types of calls, if we are just looking at audio.
Audio and video
Move on to audio and video, and we start looking into the world of video conferencing. You may already be familiar with instant messaging on your computer, which allows you to chat to other people over the Internet. Instant messaging also lets you make a video call if you have a built-in camera on your laptop, or by plugging into an external webcam. Unless you have good Internet connection, the image is often ‘grainy’ or
‘jumpy’ and the audio may not be clear.
The Polycom CX300, for example, is a
USB desktop phone optimised for use with Microsoft
Lync™ 2010. This costs around £125+VAT. Microsoft
Lync™ allows users to connect and collaborate from any location that has Internet connectivity. The CX300 desktop phone was designed to be used as a regular handset and calls may be placed or answered using the phone or a Microsoft
Ofﬁ ce Communicator 2007 R2 client window.
for voice and video calls over Internet
Protocol (IP). If you are familiar with the term VoIP (voice over IP), then that uses
SIP, as does instant messaging and online games, for example.
These all-in-one desktop video conferencing systems are ideal for one or two students at a time to communicate with a similar number of pupils in one school at a time, either within the UK or in another country such as France. Such a system is also ideal for head teachers to liaise with one or two colleagues at another school.
The next level is professional video conferencing so that you get the best quality audio and video. This can come at a very high price, however, there is a choice of systems to suit most budgets.
Polycom C100S for Skype
LGExecutive powered by LifeSize®
Desktop video conferencing systems are available which comprise an LCD monitor, integrated camera, microphone and speakers.
Another example is the use of webcams with services such as
Skype, so that you also see a small image of the person, or very small group of people, you are talking to. This is very cost effective as even the better webcams and microphones are cheap, and colleges and universities will already have Internet connections in place. Polycom C100S, for example, is a desktop microphone and speaker, designed for use with Skype. This costs around £95+VAT.
The LGExecutive powered by LifeSize
, for example, has an integrated 720p camera and Full HD 1080p 24-inch diagonal LCD monitor. A system like this, or something similar, costs around
£2,650+VAT. Communication is H.323,
SIP, Skype (audio) and there are two video inputs, 1 x HDMI and 1 x VGA. You can use anything between 128Kbps to 2Mbps for a video call. For obvious reasons, the more bandwidth available, the better.
An option is to install a dedicated phone line and Internet connection at around
£20+VAT per month.
Polycom CX300 for Microsoft® Lync™
You can make a high deﬁ nition call using 1Mb of bandwidth with the
LGExecutive powered by LifeSize
The LifeSize patented technology means that LGExecutive will give you a great quality experience even at bandwidths below 1Mb.
This article isn’t going into the technicalities of connection, but for clariﬁ cation, H.323 is widely used to provide audio visual communication over any packet network. SIP stands for
Session Initiation Protocol and is used
Small group conference calls
Obviously you don’t want twenty people talking to their counterparts in another country, but one idea is to allocate a small
VC500EX video conferencing kit
conference room for small group video conferencing calls. You could have a desk and four chairs all facing a large
50-inch (diagonal) LCD or plasma screen on the wall, with powered speakers either side. Then either on a small shelf above the screen, or the desktop, you position the camera and codec. Panasonic offer a choice of kits with either a pan, tilt, zoom (PTZ) camera or camcorder option and a Panasonic plasma screen. These are ideal for K-12 and higher education classrooms where remote guest speakers or sharing between schools enhances the learning experience.
This small conference room could be used to allow students in for timed sessions or for teachers to communicate with colleagues in other schools, thereby saving time and costs on travelling.
Classroom and conference room systems
We have talked about communicating using a display screen in a small room.
However, you may want to use video
Unicol Avecta high level trolley
Unicol Avecta twin screen trolley
conferencing in the classroom where you have access to your projector and interactive whiteboard. This is not a problem.
You could, for example, position your one or two display screens, on a trolley in the corner of the classroom, and place the video conferencing camera and codec on a shelf. Using the remote control you can pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) the camera, to show different parts of the classroom.
Trolleys with lockable cabinets are also available for you to keep all your equipment secure and move around as and when needed.
Bretfford TC35FC-BK ﬂ at panel
Cameras often have presets. This means you could press a button and the camera whirls round to show the teacher at the interactive whiteboard, press another button and it whirls round to a preset position to show another part of the room or person.
There is a huge difference in quality from connecting your laptop over an instant messaging service, for example, to connecting via a codec in a professional video conferencing system. The codec is the part of the system that sends the signal to make your call happen. A professional system using HD display screen, HD camera and HD voice is like speaking to someone as if they were in the same room as you.
When you get to this level you are looking at thousands of pounds of investment, and ongoing costs. For example, people already using video conferencing systems through ISDN (phone lines) have installation costs, quarterly rental, plus call costs everytime the system is used. For
IP (Internet Protocol) it literally depends on whether your area has access to high speed Internet connections otherwise this is just not an option. For education in the UK, schools can use the JANET network service connectivity and video conferencing services.
When video conferencing came on the scene a few years ago, around
80% of systems connected over ISDN.
Nowadays that has changed and the majority of video conferencing systems
LifeSize Room 220 codec, camera and conference phone
connect over Internet Protocol (IP).
LifeSize, for example, have HD systems to suit most applications. There are choices of desktop microphones or conference phones, ﬁ xed cameras for use with Skype as well as classroom systems such as the LifeSize Room or
LifeSize Team. These allow connection of up to 8 sites, or up to 4 sites (multi point) respectively.
In a classroom situation, a school can share teacher resources where there are just a few students taking a subject, such as A Level French. This is better than telling two students they can’t take the subject because it’s not practical (or cost efﬁ cient) to do so. A French teacher, for example, can then teach those two students in their own classroom and via video conferencing, teach a small group at another location (point to point) or even join up four schools or eight schools
Point to point or multi point
A point to point system, also called peer to peer, is when you call one other location. Obviously, the system you are calling needs to be compatible in that your codec can ‘talk’ to the other codec.
This is where industry Protocols and standards come in, which makes it easier for people to communicate with each other.
Panaboard UB-T880W multi-touch interactive whiteboard
A multi point system, sometimes called multi site, lets you communicate with several locations at the same time. For example, the AVerComm H300 allows
4-way video conference calls.
Again, when video conferencing came on the scene, there were point to point systems and if you later wanted to upgrade to multi-point you then had to buy a Multipoint Conferencing Unit (MCU) which was a ‘box’ used to bridge video conferencing connections. Nowadays, although you can still do that, most manufacturers tend to offer a choice of systems, such as AVerComm’s H100 for point to point or H300 for multi point for up to four sites, where the MCU is embedded into the system. This means you don’t have to worry about the ‘inner workings’, you just connect to whoever and make the call, thus concentrating on your teaching or meeting.
Recording video conferencing lessons
Recording of teachers meetings or lessons may be as simple as using a cassette or DVD recorder. Many schools still use cassettes, especially for language learning, so that students can listen to and rewind at leisure, the language lesson they are learning.
Some models of video conferencing systems include a recording function, such as the AVerComm H300, where all you do is press a button to record, and save the recording on a ﬂ ash/memory stick or a network video recorder (NVR).
There are many reasons for recording video conferencing lessons. A school, for example, may lose the services of its French teacher, but will still have the
French lessons recorded for posterity. A university may decide to record lectures and have absent students view the lecture over the Internet as it is happening. Or they can have streaming video where the lecture is uploaded section by section to the Internet. Viewers watch a section and whilst they are doing so, the system is uploading or ‘streaming’ the next section to the Internet so that little or no breaks appear in the lecture.
Student receiving recorded lesson
LifeSize have a product called Video
Center, which has one button streaming, recording and auto-publishing solution.
A professional solution like this would cost in the region of £24,999+VAT.
When integrated with LifeSize 220 series video conferencing systems, educators can press one button to broadcast, record and publish classes to anyone with a computer.
Live and on-demand videos are easily accessible from any location and on more devices such as the iPhone
® and iPod
. This then also opens up commercial opportunities. A university, for example, could record lectures and offer these to external students on a pay-as-you-watch type service.
In University teaching hospitals, a lecturer, for example, could contact a remote colleague for a second opinion via video conferencing. Recorded lectures could be used for student training.
Video Center can stream up to 1000 live viewers simultaneously and handle 20x
720/30 recording sessions at a time.
IP over Satellite transmission
RADVISION’s IP videoconferencing system was chosen to provide distance learning for 82 remote schools in Alaska, via IP Multipoint Conferencing Units
(MCU). There were six pioneering school districts involved in this project, which was to deploy a video conferencing network to 82 schools all over Alaska.
The school districts’ objective was to facilitate distance learning and communication in their own districts and the entire region. They were able to tie together all 82 sites using IP over satellite transmission, an impossible task if traditional ISDN services were used.
Back down to earth in the UK,
RADVISION’s SCOPIA XT1000 video conferencing system has the multipoint expertise embedded, which includes a high end PTZ camera and 3-way microphone pod. Their XT1004 version has an embedded 4-way MCU so that four locations can join in the lesson or meeting at the same time, whilst the
XT1009 version is a 9-way room system.
Cost of the basic system is around
£5,700+VAT and £11,500+VAT for the
For manufacturers speciﬁ cation sheets, quotations and more information please visit www.conference-rooms.co.uk
LifeSize Video Center
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Sandringham School delivers advanced learning experiences with 3M Simply Interactive
Sandringham School in Frimley,
Surrey has extended its computeraided learning facilities to reach the school’s smallest classroom by installing the 3M SCP716 short-throw
Simply Interactive projector. The system allows almost any plain wall to become an interactive computer screen, and is also tough, versatile and easy to use.
SCP716 Simply Interactive
Interactive computer-aided learning has quickly become central to teaching at all levels, from reception to further education.
Among the many beneﬁ ts of having an interactive screen in the classroom, even very young children can participate actively in lessons, practice working collaboratively with their peers and begin acquiring valuable computer skills from an early age. In addition, teachers have been able to enhance their lessons by incorporating rich content from a variety of sources, such as graphics from other programs, scanned images, video clips or resources taken from the internet.
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 white board. A DVD player or camcorder can also be connected, to playback movies or video taking advantage of the system’s built-in 2x20W speaker system. The system is easy to set up, and also allows very young children to interact with the screen without risk of damaging the equipment.
Meeting school objectives
Sandringham School, which has children aged from four to seven years, is committed to delivering the best possible learning opportunities for its pupils. Among the facilities the school has invested in, interactive whiteboards are installed in almost every classroom.
In fact, the main hall and one classroom reckoned to be too small to have an interactive whiteboard were the only
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areas not to be equipped. When the opportunity to acquire extra resources arose, the school governors identiﬁ ed super close projection as a potential solution for the small room.
Jessica Gower, a teacher at Sandringham
School, explains that the school was keen to have the extra ﬂ exibility to present computer-aided lessons in the small room, and to install an interactive screen in the main hall. “The projection system in the hall allows us to present much more representative information during parents’ workshops, which we use to keep parents up to date with their children’s learning,” she says.
The school believes in involving the parents in their children’s education, and frequently invites parents to presentations on subjects such as ICT and numeracy.
“We can now build our workshops around the same learning platforms that we use
TeachingTechno_03_32pg.indd 18-19 in the classrooms, and integrate these with interesting presentations to give parents a clearer understanding of the learning experiences their children are enjoying. We also use the hall projector to present information to the children during assemblies, such as the words for each hymn while it is being sung.” to the internet for additional tools and resources. The teachers are also able to use the projector to show DVDs to the children, either as an additional source of educational material or purely for entertainment.
When the hall is being used for other purposes, such as indoor sports, the folding wall mount allows the system to be stored out of the way and protected against damage.
By installing one of the new systems in its smallest classroom, which is mainly used for four-to-ﬁ ve year olds, Sandringham
School is able to increase interactive learning opportunities for the youngest children. This is possible because the
SCP716 projector with 3M Super Close
Projection technology can project the same size image from 40 inches as a conventional projector does from 10 feet away. “We can now deliver the same learning opportunities in this room as in any other, which gives us extra ﬂ exibility to utilise the resources we have available,” says Jessica Gower, who often teaches in the small classroom.
The projector was installed and its Simply
Interactive features demonstration. “Once up and running it has proved very easy to use,” conﬁ rms Jessica Gower. “For a comparatively low outlay, we can now deliver enhanced learning experiences to all of our children, in any lesson, anywhere in the school; even in the room we had previously thought too small for interactive equipment.”
The results achieved at Sandringham
School show how 3M’s Simply Interactive and Super Close Projection are able to overcome traditional limitations such as budgetary constraints and small room sizes, which often prevent schools and colleges – as well as small businesses
- from realising the full beneﬁ ts of computerised interactive learning.
Being able to project the interactive features against a plain wall also allows the teacher to position the “screen” at a lower height, to enable the youngest and smallest children to do exercises such as handwriting, drawing and basic
ICT. Another aspect of particular value in subjects such as ICT is the ability for teachers to demonstrate how to accomplish a required task, which the children can then copy immediately to conﬁ rm that they understand.
Jessica Gower and her colleagues have found the system very easy to use.
The computer is connected and the system conﬁ gures its internal software automatically. The user calibrates the screen, on the ﬁ rst use only, by touching points in the screen area using the interactive pen. The system is then ready for action, using the pen to control mouse functions as well as all writing and drawing actions. This contrasts with some types of conventional interactive white boards that use different pens for different colours. These can be difﬁ cult to manage, especially for very young users.
3M is a trademark of 3M Company
3M captures the spark of new ideas and transforms them into thousands of ingenious products. Its culture of creative collaboration inspires a never-ending stream of powerful technologies that make life better.
The $27 billion diversiﬁ ed technology company has, since 1902, been creating innovative products that help make the world healthier, safer and more productive.
Well known 3M brands include Scotch,
Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate and
3M employs some 80,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 65 countries. The UK and Ireland is home to one of the largest 3M subsidiaries outside the USA, employing more than 3,500 people across 19 locations, including 10 manufacturing sites.
Products manufactured in the UK include coated abrasives, occupational health and environmental safety equipment, adhesive tapes, industrial microbiology products, drug delivery systems, highperformance coatings, secure documents and passport scanners.
Using the pen, teachers and children can call up features, interact with programs on the computer, annotate content using the powerful annotation tools native to
Windows PCs, and quickly connect
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Connecting the country
For teachers in classrooms up and down the country the beneﬁ ts of videoconferencing have been evident for some time. It enables organisations to share resources, to be
(virtually) in two or more places at the same time, to access educational content or experts worldwide and to enhance teaching and learning. But, how do you make this happen?
A selection of the schools sessions from UK content providers can be seen at www.ja.net/vccontent
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We remember years ago, when interest in videoconferencing was taking off, that we booked a meeting room, fully equipped with a videoconferencing system. We tried to connect to a colleague at the other side of the country who also had videoconferencing facilities, only to ﬁ nd that we couldn’t. The problem was that the system we were using connected via the telephone lines whilst the system they used connected over the Internet.
Nowadays, schools (via their local authority or regional broadband consortia), universities, and colleges can access a fully managed videoconferencing service, free of charge: JANET
Videoconferencing. This means users can book and manage a videoconference through a simple online interface, with full support and quality testing. They also have the ability to conference between different videoconferencing systems. And there is no longer a need to have complex videoconferencing equipment as sessions can now take place simply using a PC and webcam.
Furthermore, by using JANET Videoconferencing, education and research organisations can stream videoconferences to the Internet, record lessons and provide a web link for guests who do not have access to a videoconference system to join a videoconference via their desktop.
The number of schools using videoconferencing is growing annually. One common usage is to share teaching resources in subjects where demand is spread unevenly between classes or across regions. For example, one teacher can take a class of students directly from her own classroom whilst other schools join remotely via videoconferencing, thus giving the beneﬁ ts of being in multiple places at once. Schools can also access teachers from around the world to offer new course options to students.
Schools are also able to access a wealth of educational content via videoconferencing, which not only enhances the student experience but also saves money. For example: KS2 and KS3 might want to take a journey through our Solar System to explore each of the planets, but instead of taking a day to visit the
National Space Centre, they can now do this in the comfort of their own classroom. Many Schools Content providers who use videoconferencing offer content for free, or at a much lower cost than accessing the same workshop content or expert presenter in person.
Outreach, access and inclusion!
Connecting distance learning
You can share the learning using video conferencing technology.
This is low cost and an easy way to collaborate over any distance in the neighbouring classroom or schools, college or university.
Share resources across multi-locations
An issue some schools experience is when only a handful of students choose to do particular subjects. When this happens a school cannot justify hiring a teacher especially for these purposes. Rather than cutting off access altogether, and disappointing these students, wouldn’t it be great to still deliver these lessons?
There is an alternative to still allow students to access these subjects. A teacher can run a lesson from one classroom and by using AVerComm video conferencing technology, this lesson can then be shared with other local schools in up to three different locations, whether they are in neighbouring towns or across other authorities, and teach the same lesson to everyone as if they were all in the same classroom.
Technology is used day in and day out so it’s easy for students of all ages to be part of a virtual learning environment and be part of a lesson being taught as a video conference.
Affordable and money saving
As well as a low cost and an affordable video conferencing solution, AVerComm will also help save costs on your overheads by sharing one resource with a number of other schools.
Video conferencing is also ideal for local authorities to use for inset days as it ensures teachers in local schools have the opportunity to keep up-to-date with the latest teaching practices at the time without them having to travel.
Record your lessons
By just plugging in a USB storage device and then simply pressing a button, you can easily record your whole lesson then replay, review with colleagues and share your lessons at a later date with other students.
Helping you be green
Not only reducing travel which saves time and money,
AVerComm video conferencing helps you reserve energy and reduces carbon emissions helping our climate too.
AVerComm video conferencing systems for distance learning
AVerComm have two systems: the H100 is for communicating from one location to another; the H300 lets you communicate around the world, connecting up to four sites. Both systems include the codec unit, a high deﬁ nition pan, tilt and zoom (PTZ) camera, table hub, microphone, IR remote control and connection cables. They both support single or dual monitors.
The H300 has an integrated recording feature and HD720p picture quality.
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Video conferencing mounts
Video conferencing has been with us for some time now with teachers setting up special areas or small conference/meeting rooms to accommodate their equipment.
Unicol mobile solutions
Three main types of video conferencing systems are available to education. These are desktop systems, room systems and mobile systems including roll-abouts.
Room systems are permanent installations where the display screen is normally wall-mounted, with the camera and codec sitting on a shelf. Mobile systems, include the display screen(s), codec and camera mounted on a suitable trolley. The roll-about system is basically a trolley that holds the display screen and includes a lockable cabinet into which all video conferencing equipment can be stored.
Given the cost involved in purchasing video conferencing equipment, it makes sense in education, to utilise resources.
This is where Unicol can help.
You may already use trolleys in your school or college to move your interactive whiteboard and short throw projector from room to room, so using trolleys for video conferencing will work in a similar way.
With the ability to move your video conferencing equipment as needed, it can be used for the beneﬁ t of both teachers and students. Staff can undertake teacher training via video conference link and pool their resources by having one teacher teach one or more classes at the same time, by linking to other schools via video conferencing.
Students can beneﬁ t as speciﬁ c subject experts that may not be available in their establishment, can teach them via video conferencing. Students also beneﬁ t by collaborating with pupils from different schools and cultures.
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Avecta twin screen trolley
The advantage of having a trolley that can hold two display screens is that instead of the teacher seeing a small image of the remote class that is being taught, the image can be displayed on a second screen.
When any data is shared, this can be displayed on the second screen.
The Avecta twin screen trolley has a video conference mount (shown at the top of the screens), and a shelf.
Hi-Level and Lo-Level versions are available in black or silver.
Avecta Hi-Level trolley
The Avecta Hi-Level trolley is designed for an LCD or plasma screen for screens 33” - 57” diagonal. The height to the centre of the screen is adjustable from
126 to 151cm, and the trolley, in either black or silver, comes with an equipment shelf as standard.
A Lo-Level version is available too.
Unicol AVR2 wheeled cabinet
Although the video conferencing camera and codec may be locked away at the end of the school day, it does have its advantages to keep all the equipment in one place. Then when it’s needed, it’s a simple matter to wheel to another room. The Unicol AVR2 is free standing with an MK1 mast assembly and screen mount, which are sold separately, as is the optional 14U rack mount kit and two shelves. Available in black only, it is designed for display screens 33” to 57” diagonal in size.
Axia Hi-Level and Lo-Level trolleys
The Unicol Axia range can accommodate larger display screens.
Two sizes are available; 33” – 57” or 58” – 70” diagonal in size.
Two sizes of toughened glass shelves can be used to house your video conferencing equipment for the Hi-Level version; one glass shelf is included with the Lo-Level trolley.
Unicol ﬁ xed installations
This modular track system for linear mounting screens in any number to a wall is ideal for Video Conferencing Telepresence. The unique jigsaw design allows wall plates to be linked together to carry standard screen arms. Camera shelves that ﬁ t above and below the screen and toughened glass shelves that ﬁ t directly to the wall are also available.
Video conferencing mounts
You can use a Unicol standard shelf when ﬁ tting below the display screen. However, for mounting above the screen, a special standard platform unit is available.
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Multi site learning
across seven Lincolnshire secondary schools
Peter Beighton, Principal of Branston Community
Academy, tells us about his video conferencing project across seven secondary schools
Branston Community College
We are an 11-18 all ability secondary school of 1050 students situated 4 miles to the SE of the city of Lincoln. On 1st December 2010 we became an
Academy. Recently a commercially bench marked survey of our parents and school inspectors (Ofsted) have rated the Academy as ‘outstanding’ for its overall effectiveness.
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High deﬁ nition video conferencing
“Seven secondary schools in the Lincoln area have been collaborating on a number of ventures since 2007”, reveals
Principal, Peter Beighton.
We identiﬁ ed the potential for a curriculum collaboration with A level courses (particularly A2 courses) that have historically attracted smaller numbers of students.
The economic inefﬁ ciencies of stafﬁ ng very small numbers of students was clearly a concern that we felt would worsen in the more difﬁ cult ﬁ nancial times ahead. In addition the educational problems resulting from, for example, the lack of group dynamics were also cited.
As a result the schools, supported by Lincolnshire local education authority, were funded to pilot the use of high deﬁ nition video conferencing to promote multi site learning across the seven schools.
In Year1 four schools were involved in the delivery of
A level Law and three schools in the delivery of A level
In Year 2 two schools collaborated on the delivery of
A2 Physics and A2 French.
Three different models of delivery
There are three different models of delivery for the multi site learning currently in operation. The delivery model for A2
Physics and French is perhaps the most successful to date and the one most likely to become embedded in provision.
This is because it ensures students at school X have a teacher at school X for half of curriculum time with all that means for ownership, security, approachability and general quality assurance.
Students and staff accessing a shared virtual learning environment for communication and the organisation of learning materials is a necessity and affords the possibility of creating on line resources organised so as to create the potential for greater independent learning and capacity for review and examination revision.
In particular the technical issue of ‘capturing the moment’, ie recording key segments of the VC lessons and uploading them as vodcasts (video podcasts, which are video and sound) to the VLE (virtual learning environment), is a major developmental project which we believe will take the project to another level in terms of its impact on learning and capacity to develop on line courses and professional development materials.
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Back to school to see French teacher in
two places at once
by Linda Adams
I was very excited at the prospect of going back to school. I’d been invited by Peter Beighton, Principal of Branston Community
Academy near Lincoln, to see their video conferencing in action
If my old French teacher could have been there, she’d have thought she was in a Sci-Fi movie. Technology has indeed moved on, and here was an Academy that was embracing technology and enjoying its many advantages.
The ﬁ rst thing I noticed when invited into the classroom
(see picture left), was that the door was marked ‘Conference room’, and although there were about 20 chairs around a square format of tables, there was only one pupil, Nick, and his French teacher Karen.
Take a look at this picture (bottom left). This is their video conferencing system. At the top is the LG high deﬁ nition LCD display screen which is mounted on a Unicol height adjustable trolley. Underneath the display screen is a shelf that holds their
LifeSize video conferencing camera and codec (the box that connects you to other locations). Whilst the lower shelf houses an AVerVision visualiser. I’m not sure where the umbrella ﬁ ts in, but no doubt is useful on rainy days!
Karen pressed a button on the remote control, clicked a button onscreen to connect over the Internet, and a few seconds later, a classroom image appeared on the screen.
Switching her desktop microphone on, Karen said hello to the students. Again, using the remote control, she angled the camera to show who else was in her room, then switched it back to show herself at the interactive whiteboard (SMART Board).
If you’ve ever held a video call using Instant Messenger on your laptop, and the Internet connection isn’t very good, you’ll know just how grainy and ‘jumpy’ the images are. There was none of this, just a brilliantly clear picture, almost like the girls were in the same room.
Karen was discussing techniques for their forthcoming exam, and annotating over the presentation.
The presentation was projected from her computer through a
Casio ceiling mounted projector, onto the SMART Board.
This was then viewed on the display screen so that the girls in the other school could see what Karen was doing via video conferencing.
A small boundary desktop microphone picked up Karen’s voice, and she could hear her students, who were at a neighbouring school seven miles away, through the loudspeakers just above the interactive whiteboard.
Setting the students a test for ten minutes,
Karen switched off the microphone, and explained about the use of this new technology. ‘When I starting teaching French I used to visit France and come back with bagsful of magazines and newsletters so that my students could read and debate local news stories,’ Karen revealed, ‘now I can ﬁ nd these on the Internet.’
Karen’s emphasis is on teaching her subject, and I was impressed with her enthusiasm and teaching skills. She doesn’t need to understand how the video conferencing system connects via the codec to any one of the other six schools that are involved in this pilot scheme. All she needs to know is that she presses a button to connect the call. As simple as dialling a telephone number.
The other school that Karen had dialled through to has the same video conferencing system as Branston Community
Academy, to ensure compatibility.
When Karen looks at the display screen she can see her students in the main image, with a small image of herself at the board, and any data that she is sharing. Karen demonstrated this by placing a document beneath the visualiser. The image then appeared on the display screen.
Karen said she also uses email to send documents and other information to her students.
I then spoke to Andy who is in the ICT department, to ask how they connect to the internet through the video conferencing systems codec. He told me that many schools use the JANET system to connect, but they were also exploring other options.
He said that sometimes they wanted to communicate with other establishments, such as a London museum to look at artefacts, and needed the ﬂ exibility to be able to do this.
Branston Community Academy and the other six participating schools are utilising their resources. The initial cost of the video conferencing system is offset by future savings. Principal, Peter
Beighton, explained that instead of having one teacher to teach a small group of students in subjects such as A Level French and
A Level Law in each school, one teacher could teach her own and one another class in a neighbouring school at the same time using video conferencing.
Peter said they now wanted to take this to the next level and look at recording their video conferencing sessions. He wants to be able to build a resource of recorded lessons that absent students can catch up on, or view for refresher sessions. He also said that should he ever lose his excellent French teacher, he would have a record of her lessons for posterity.
After my visit, I spoke with Wesley Hunt from
LifeSize to ask his views on recording lessons held over video conferencing. Wesley informs me they have a product called LifeSize Video Centre, which is an easy way to record and live stream your video conferencing, simply by pushing a blue button on the easy to use VC remote. Whilst you are recording, anyone with a laptop can join onto a simple URL which takes you to a website page hosted on the Video Center and you can watch the live recording as it happens. Or, after the lesson or meeting has ended and you press the blue button again to end the recording, it automatically posts the recording to the Internet and is immediately available for review.
The possibilities of using video conferencing within education and public sector are as many as your imagination allows. Council chambers can open up meetings for people to watch real-time over the Internet or at a later time. Under achieving schools can link up with higher achieving schools to exchange best practice.
Students can view exhibits at art galleries and museums without the cost of travelling.
Oh yes, and students can catch up on missed work by watching pre-recorded lessons. Now I knew there’d be one disadvantage to video conferencing!
26 _Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
Video conferencing system
If you are linking several schools together, for example, then it makes sense to use the same video conferencing equipment
• Panasonic KX-VC500EX
at each location.
Enhanced video conference kit
• HD PTZ camera option RRP
• Including plasma screen RRP
• LifeSize Team 220
– HD 4 site multi point
• LifeSize Room 220
– HD 8 site multi point
• LifeSize Video Center
2200 – streams recordings 24/7
• RADVISION XT1000
• Multi point
• Multi-point 9-way
• AVerComm H100
• AVerComm H300 HD,
4 site multi point
Education and public sector offer
For more info and education prices please visit www.conference-rooms.co.uk
Demonstrations and training available
One free licence for Repeat Signage Standard Edition 2011 digital signage software worth
£150+VAT with any products purchased from this issue of Teaching Technology value over £300+VAT.
10 free licences with any products over £3,000+VAT.
Offer for purchases in the UK or Channel Islands only
All video conferencing systems have a requirement to purchase a minimum 1 year service contract. This is either included in a bundled package or is a mandatory requirement. Installation service is available or can be undertaken by competent personnel.
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com
28 _Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
takes the strain out of video streaming
By Lindsey Reynolds, specialist writer (Attitude Communications)
Using video to communicate with customers, shareholders, students, even suppliers is on the increase in a YouTube world, where the Internet puts 24/7 access to video in the hands of anyone with a connected computer or phone. While camera phones and the Web have democratized video, the demands of professional applications like corporate communications or distance learning rise by an order of magnitude. High-quality video must be captured, re-formatted for the web, organised and uploaded – all time-consuming, skilled and expensive processes.
As it receives video, LifeSize Video Center transcodes it to a format suitable for the web and streams it live or ﬁ les it for future playback, on demand, from any Web-enabled device, from a laptop to an iPhone. A single LifeSize Video Center is capable of 20 concurrent recordings in HD, 1,000 simultaneous live streams and up to 450 simultaneous on-demand streams.
Capacity increases exponentially with lower resolutions. All this happens automatically and instantly as deﬁ ned by the network administrator, from the video resolution of the video to the categories under which captured video is stored or ‘published’ and permissions levels for users.
Systems to automate these processes exist, but their high price tags and accompanying complexity keep them out of the reach of most business and public sector organisations.
LifeSize Video Center brings automated streaming, storage and playback into the reach of a new set of users in terms of price and versatility, opening the door to diverse applications in the public and private sectors.
LifeSize Video Center is a single, rack-mount unit that sits with the rest of the network infrastructure and connects over that network to LifeSize 220 series endpoints, which it uses to capture video at the point of use and during a videoconferencing session.
The user, who might be a university lecturer or a business executive giving a presentation or holding a videoconference, is able to initiate the process with a single click. LifeSize Video
Center is fully scalable to enable a user to begin with a single
LifeSize 220 endpoint, adding further endpoints as required.
LifeSize Passport and LGExecutive, powered by LifeSize, are supported for out-of-call recording. While £22,599+VAT is a signiﬁ cant investment for an organisation, Video Center enables video streaming to be delivered to a far wider base of customers.
Project design, install and commissioning services, are provided through LifeSize registered partner Medium UK, working with
Wedgwood AV Ltd, who supply videoconferencing systems into education.
• 01754 769967 • [email protected]
As one student from a previous course remarked,
“It would be nice to have the opportunity to meet with programme leaders and tutors and clear up issues and questions face to face”.
The virtual open days are made possible through the use of a web conference system called Wimba Classroom. All participants are sent joining instructions and once they have run a ‘set up wizard’ can log into Wimba via the internet. Questions can be submitted in advance during the booking process, but learners can also participate in live discussion with programme tutors for speciﬁ c subject related queries. And for those that can’t make the actual online virtual open day, archived sessions are available on the website.
The beneﬁ t of using this technology is that it helps to engage with learners in a familiar environment – i.e. usually at home, in a personal, friendly and professional manner. Learners also experience one of the many ways they can expect to interact with their programme leaders and course tutors, as Wimba
Classroom is used by many tutors when giving presentations to their online cohorts. It also demonstrates to learners that through the use of interactive technology, such as Wimba Classroom, they will not be learning in isolation.
This model has been so successful that it is now being adopted by the University’s International department to help overseas students applying for full-time, on campus places, with questions about their course, visas, immigration, ﬁ nancing, accommodation and leisure activities.
To see an archive of an online virtual open day, visit www.derby.ac.uk/online/open-day .
Online distance learning
Online distance learning at the University of Derby has grown signiﬁ cantly over the past two years – it now accounts for 26% of its part time market. Due to this increased demand for ﬂ exible learning, the university is investing in the development and expansion of its online portfolio.
Part of this success can be contributed to the introduction of online virtual open days. They were introduced in 2009 as a way of engaging with learners who wanted to ﬁ nd out what it’s like to be an online student at Derby. As one student from a previous course remarked, “it would be nice to have the opportunity to meet with programme leaders and tutors and clear up issues and questions face to face”.
With this in mind the Online Distance Learning Project Team created an online alternative that offers a similar experience to an open day. Online virtual open days provide a perfect forum for learners to talk in real time with programme leaders, the dedicated online support team and current online students.
30 _Wedgwood AV Ltd - 01754 769967
• 01754 769967 • [email protected] • www.wedgwood-group.com www.teachingtechnology.co.uk_
Chance for you to win prizes in our free prize draws
Win an LG
SuperSign digital signage solution
LG’s SuperSign has been designed with the education and public sector market in mind. An external media player, featuring
LG’s simple and intuitive SuperSign software, can be linked to a wide selection of high performance displays. The predesigned templates and drag and drop functionality help you create impressive content quickly and easily. With the ability to conﬁ gure the content to the screen resolution of your choice, LG’s SuperSign can be used with a wide array of screens to help you communicate effectively with your target audience.
For a chance to win an LG SuperSign (worth over £700+VAT), answer the following question.
How many LG LCD network monitors are featured in the main picture on the cover of this issue of Teaching Technology?
To enter the prize draw, simply 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 2011.
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 2011. The winning educational establishment will be notiﬁ ed as soon as reasonably practicable after the competition draw. One entry per person. Multiple entries will be discarded. The editor’s decision is
10 copies of Repeat Signage
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Repeat Signage 2011 is truly ﬂ exible 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.
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For your chance to win one of ten prizes of a downloadable copy of this ﬂ exible 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.
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To enter the prize draw, simply go to www.teachingtechnology.co.uk
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 2011.
Wedgwood AV Ltd. Part of Wedgwood IT Group. www.wedgwood-group.com
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