Tag Archives: bett

The rise of tablets in education

It was obvious tablets were going to continue their popular demand in the education sector but for many it was a surprise just how quick the increase has occurred. The British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) have compiled some interesting facts regarding the needs and hopes for schools, so we put a few of the important stats into an infographic for you.

For more information on school technology please feel free to contact us. We have a wide client base in the education sector and some of work can be found on our Education page.

Cloud schools could benefit third world countries

Cloud computing

We all know how much technology has changed the way we teach and learn within the education sector but Professor Sugata Mitra has managed to take these ideas to a whole new level. Prof. Anant Agarwai has already set up one online school, known as ‘edX’, where one million students have already enrolled to access a variety of online courses. The content has been shared from around 27 partners at universities, creating a non-profit project that could help poorer countries, who are yet to have formal education, as well as here on home soil.

“Education has not changed in 500 years – we still herd children like cats into classrooms at 9am”, he explained. This model will involve an adult supervisor on the other side of the screen but a lot of it will involve the children having to organise themselves. Thanks to investments from the likes of MIT and Harvard universities, the Prof. Mitra hopes to open five online schools, three in India and two in the UK. The establishment will be a glass pod filled with computers and a large screen for the supervisor to be seen on and have some authority over the children.

When he did a similar project in 1999, Mitra dealt with an influx of interest and children were eager to play games but it eventually calmed down into a great learning tool. For areas where there are no teachers or good teachers available, the cloud school covers the problem whilst using support from some of the world’s top professors. Another part of the project involves “cloud grannies”. Retired people in the UK can connect via Skype to youth clubs over in India and offer activities such as reading a story and this is something that is thought to be incorporated into the schools.

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Sugata Mitra at TEDGlobal

Prof. Sugata Mitra’s talk at the TEDGlobal conference about cloud schools can be found on Youtube.

Bett 2013 – Action from the show

If you were unfortunate enough to miss this year’s bustling BETT show, do not fear, for our team were able to catch some of the stand-out products live in action! From interactive whiteboards to ultra short throw projectors, there was something for every educational establishment at the new ExCel venue in London. Click the video below to find out more and for more information on products at BETT, check out our Tech Zone section for features on some of the key factors for future education.

BETT focus: The importance of audio in classrooms

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Despite taking up half of the term “audio-visual”, the impact of audio on offer at BETT seemed to be lacking. Although many of the latest interactive screens had integrated speakers, there was only a small cross-section of companies offering speakers or microphones to enhance both the classroom and a presentation theatre within an education establishment.

Studies have been carried out to prove the impact that classroom noise can have on students and Lightspeed’s latest Exciter technology takes this research into account. According to a study from 1994, a professor of Audiology proved that ELL (English Language Learning) children were affected by ambient noise in a classroom. Word recognition by these pupils was affected by volume, distance from the speaker and how the audio was distributed, but all of the children; both native and non-native had better understanding when little or no additional noise was created, through issues like feedback, or buzzing electronics. In a current situation where classrooms are full to the brim, distance cannot often be altered, so teachers need to be as audible as possible, regardless of the room size.

Lightspeed have taken these ideas to create a speaker that enhances both audibility (the volume) and intelligibility (the clarity) in the classroom by using a panel style instead of a cone-shaped speaker. This helps distribute soft consonant sounds and creates a clear sound without having to use maximum volume. This simple yet effective technology creates a natural voice for the teacher and feedback is eliminated regardless of where the teacher is located in the room.

 

Lightspeed's TopCat speaker

Lightspeed’s TopCat speaker

If you’re interested in enhancing your audio in either the classrooms or would like to upgrade your school hall acoustics, our free health checks can offer you advice and support regarding your specific needs. We can carry out acoustic tests, as well as finding ways to minimize feedback and ambient noise, so contact us via our query forms and we can get back to you.

 

BETT Focus: Classroom Collaboration and BYOD

samsungsmartschool

Despite a few visitors complaining about the lack of public Wi-Fi on offer at an event that promotes technology, the BETT show was trending on Twitter for the second day in a row! The demand for Wi-Fi is proof that BYOD (Bring your own device) is a theme that will occur in all sectors now – including education – as we see tablet computers being tapped all around the hall. Many studies including Ofsted reports confirm that a more interactive lesson engages students and therefore many companies have created software that incorporates BYOD into teaching time.

Most of the software exhibited today offers flexible access to collaborating via Apple, Android and Microsoft devices, so you do not have to supply the hardware to the pupil. Many of the manufacturers including the likes of Vivitek, DisplayNote and Samsung have created features which include allowing annotation from presenter and pupil, content sharing and instant response to quizzes and more, which all help the teacher to assess the grades of the class whilst still in the lesson. Although this interactive learning may seem fun to pupils, there will always be some that take advantage of a new medium and use in for non-educational purposes. Luckily the teacher is able to view and display anyone’s screen, as well as all their annotations being saved for you.

Using a tablet PC as a way to control your main screen gives the teacher mobility around the class and allows all forms of content to be streamed across the platforms, whether it’s a video on YouTube or and extract from a book. With all this in mind, it seems apparent that this will soon be the norm in all areas of education so if you would like to future-proof your classroom, please feel free to contact us for more information on the range of software available.

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Day 1 at BETT 2013

IMAG0251Despite clashing with equally popular AV event ISE this year, the DLR line was still rammed with teachers and techies heading to the opening day of BETT at its new home in the ExCel. Plenty of children were also in tow to check out the new technologies and were likely to have plenty of fun as once again the interactivity was in an abundance.

A new piece of jargon to many will be BYOD (standing for Bring Your Own Device), which is playing a dominant role on many manufacturers’ stalls. Brands such as Vivitek and Genee are showcasing their own new software that assists collaboration between teacher and pupils through tablet PCs, along with DisplayNote who seem slightly ahead of the game due to additional features, including the teacher being able to personally message a pupil if they have an incorrect answer, saving embarrassment in the classroom.

The evolution of lamp free projection continues with more products becoming more energy efficient thanks to higher lumens and less power consumption and visualisers are getting smaller despite the definition getting higher.

Wherever you turn you will see an interactive whiteboard being scribbled on by visitors, which is surprising considering the recent jump many brands have taken into using interactive LED and LCD screens instead. Many of the screens being demoed today are dual touch, however a few are yet to reach a true multi-touch experience unlike Clevertouch or the new Smart table, however we shall go hunting for this, along with other innovations again tomorrow.

The DisplayNote software in action on a tablet.

The DisplayNote software in action on a tablet.

For more updates including video interviews and product reviews, please check out our Twitter and on our Tech Zone.

Paragon @ BETT 2013

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With our Tech Zone continuing to grow with useful information on the innovative, what better place to attend than this year’s BETT show, bursting with an array of technologies enhancing the educational environment. As a technology partner who speaks your language, the Paragon team will be interacting amongst the other 30,000 visitors over the three days to research the latest audio-visual equipment and report back, including projection, digital signage and interactive whiteboards.

Last year, Paragon Multimedia were pleased to see an increase in some of the new technologies that revolved around touch screen panels, 3D content and the integration of iPads into the classroom. Since then, the evolution has continued and so we shall continue to update you on products we find may be suitable for you.

358107231_fbd3c0e06dAs well as bringing you daily updates via our website and Twitter, we will also be conducting video interviews with industry experts and showing you live usage of some of the great equipment on display. The BETT arena will hold host to an array of different speakers from different areas of the education field and will even include an appearance and talk from celebrity scientist Prof. Brian Cox (Friday 12.30). Although there will be a lot of schools in attendance, there will also be plenty for those who are in charge of teaching within the workplace, thanks to office friendly products and ideas in the talks specific to a more corporate environment.

This is only the start of the multimedia platform that is Paragon’s Tech Zone but we can’t evolve it without your help! If you are unable to get to the event but would like some specific information, we can collect it for you and share any reviews or news we have found on the day. Feel free to contact our marketing team if you have any requests.

Are you visiting BETT and a bit worried about where to start? One of our consultants will be on site and happy to guide you around products you may have interest in. Contact Diana to arrange a meeting via dianabeckinsale@paragonmultimedia.com.

 

Paragon @ BETT 2012

When you first walk into the London Olympia Hall, being thrown leaflets and pens from every direction and walking passed stalls just to escape the bustle of the entrance, there is one thing that screams out to our marketing team. And that was that we wished we went to school now and not five or so years ago. Everything looks fun and exciting, an array of products are on display to make certain senses tingle and the strangest part is that it is all in the name of learning.

Despite the fact BETT’s trade show has been going for over 25 years, today is Paragon’s first time here and the fact that such a large venue is crammed with so much technology, solely for educational purposes, makes you wonder what sort of products were shown here in 1985. Nonetheless, the fact one gets lost around the National Hall proves the quantity of both hardware and software on offer in the industry now and particularly audio-visual.

Around 30,000 people will pass through the doors over the three days, from all over the world and Paragon bumped into many promising pieces of equipment that are bound to shine themselves into our classrooms very soon. With BETT covering technology that caters for all stages of education, small children run around playing with Smart boards or taking example classes with said equipment.

It appeared the most popular innovation was touch-sensitive screens of all sizes and proved Smart would have a lot more competition this year, despite leading the interactive whiteboard race previously. The Apple iPad may have doubled up as a geek’s girlfriend replacement back in 2010, but despite the attention over at the Apple stand, there are many Android-based tablets scattered around BETT, which lower in cost and just as durable.

Overall, it’s fair to say the innovation is never going to slow down, with promising manufacturers from around the world still fighting to get into the UK market. With that said, we have collected a small snippet of our new found favourite products in the AV industry.

For more on the products at BETT 2012, check out our Top 5 Audio-visual finds at BETT article.