EdTech for the New Normal School
COVID-19 has changed the education landscape as we know it. Schools are presented with the near-impossible challenges around effective safeguarding, consistent teaching, staff and pupil well-being, the list continues.
All this against a backdrop of the continuing pressures of outcomes, workload, staffing, budgets and more, as identified in our recent EdTech Insights 2020 Research.
As the country and the education sector embark on this journey into a new normal, Elementary Technology is here helping schools use technology to continue to flourish into the Autumn Term and beyond.
In order to halve the number of pupils in each classroom, you need to double the number of classrooms – it’s basic KS1 Maths
If only 10 pupils can ‘safely’ be accommodated in a classroom, where will the remainder go? And what about those who remain home learners? These are questions every school needs to consider.
Although schools are not yet bringing all their pupils back, in due course most will need to increase the number of spaces where effective teaching can take place.
The good news is that we have a range of solutions that can help, and that these can adapt to the individual circumstances of each school.
Effective use of technology can help ensure learners in a mix of locations can receive a similar learning experience. This video outlines some key examples.
After working closely with our local authority and education partners, we have developed a range of solutions to ensure the need for mixed-location learning does not affect the quality of your teaching.
As classes are split between different spaces, perhaps a classroom and the school hall or a classroom and home learners, effective, appropriate technology is vital to ensure equal access to teaching.
We have developed what we call a Conference Classroom – a concept which is best seen demonstrated to see its full potential. It essentially means that using additional camera and screen technology, whether a pupil is at home, in the library, in a break-out area or in the classroom, they can access the same teaching, live.
Ask us for a live demo – we’re the teacher, you’re the pupil. It’s a surprisingly affordable solution. And watch this space for a demonstration movie.
Expanding teaching into new spaces
As larger numbers of pupils return to schools, the need for some element of social distancing means space becomes an issue. We’re now providing schools with a range of low cost ‘touchscreens on trolleys’ which means teaching can take place for the short/medium term in other spaces such as the school hall or library. We’ve even supplied one for use in a changing room!
They can also be used as part of our conference classroom – one teacher, two teaching spaces.
Using a compliant operating lease, these mobile teaching units are available from as little as £75 per unit per month. Contact us for details.
Visualisers enable social distancing
Classroom visualisers improve engagement, reduce marking, engage pupils and support remote learning, and Elementary Technology has supplied hundreds of visualisers since the beginning of school closures.
They are a low cost, high impact tool for teaching in normal circumstances, yet bring a range of extra benefits when supporting mixed-location learning. This video showcases how they can be used for remote learning:
We are the largest supplier of visualisers into education, directly and via our specialist website thevisualisershop.com.
To support schools at the moment, we’re also providing schools with significant discounts and free remote training on larger orders of certain models. Contact us for details.
As schools re-open to more pupils after Covid-19 closures, there is a real anxiety around safeguarding for staff, visitors, parents and pupils.
There are some measures which can be taken around hygiene and social distancing but there is a lot more that can be done in order for schools to maintain a safe environment.
In recent weeks we have been working hard to build a range of technology solutions which support schools to stay safe.
The following are some key examples. Please contact us to discuss your specific situation and we’ll work together to provide a solution.
Who is in my school? And do they have symptoms?
To best way to manage risk of transmission in your school is to understand who is on your site at all times. Even better is if you mitigate risk they have symptoms and also minimise contact whilst they are there. We are supporting schools with all of these challenges.
The InVentry sign-in system protects pupils, staff and visitors, streamlines management of data and supports your school’s compliance with GDPR. Keep track of who is on site, manage pupil lates, administer school club attendance and lots more – all fully integrated with your MIS.
And as the leading system of its kind, development is ongoing – it now provides your school with a range of tools to keep you safe as you reopen your doors. Some examples of many more:
- maintain hygiene and reduce physical contact in your school
- avoid visitors congregating in reception
- manage ‘Classroom Bubbles’ and staff/pupil attendance
- agree a Health Declaration for visitors prior to entry
- Lots more…
Contact us to see a recent webinar recording or to discuss your individual requirements.
Temperature screening and Fever Scanners for Schools
Fever scanners are used throughout the world in areas of high footfall to minimise flow of those who are unwell. Temperature screening technology quickly assesses an individual’s body temperature which can indicate whether they are experiencing a fever. As part of a range of measures a fever scanner acts as additional safety net to avoid passing on infection in your school.
Several options for screening temperatures of those on site are available to schools; a handheld fever scanner is ideal for use in the playground for staff and pupils arriving in staggered starting times. Where visitors per minute are higher, a temperature screening podium or fixed fever scanning unit for schools may be used to minimise any bottleneck.
Such technology is available to schools on its own or as part of a larger Safeguarding Technology solution.
Technology to communicate and inform…
How people move around your school and how they behave whilst on-site has fundamentally changed.
Visitors cannot sit and wait in reception, corridors may be one way, parents need to socially distance in the playground, playtimes may be staggered, people need to wash their hands on arrival – the long list continues.
The challenge is how to convey this information to the right people at the right time in the most effective way. Technology helps.
School Digital Signage
Many schools have some element of digital signage on site, usually in reception. In our experience this is usually a TV on a wall showing an image gallery or Powerpoint on a loop.
This is fine, but new fast-changing guidelines and requirements demand a more powerful, easier-to-use solution. Schedule messaging for certain times of the day, quickly update hygiene guidelines or add a school-wide news announcement – all from a web browser and across multiple screens if required.
Even better is if the screen integrates a hand-sanitiser station – perfect as a hygiene messaging station in reception. Or perhaps a mobile, battery-powered A-Board (pictured) to wheel around the school as required – mornings in the playground, lunchtime in the hall, afternoons in Reception – a unique message each time. Available for around just £75 per month as part of a bundle.
Schools are loud – but people can still listen!
In a world where we’re bombarded by visual cues and instructions, audio technology can easily be overlooked – the same applies to schools.
In recent weeks we have installed several school-wide audio-alert/PA systems – perfect for quickly, easily and clearly communicating informations through your site. See here how it’s working in a West Midlands school.
Permanent audio infrastructure is one solution – a portable audio PA system is a quicker, easier and lower cost alternative if you need to communicate in a single area. Armed with a wireless speaker and microphone, a Headteacher can issue instructions in the playground in the morning and a PE teacher can then use on the school field. Contact us for more details.
The provision of consistent teaching and learning to all pupils needn’t suffer if pupils are learning from different locations, whether at home or elsewhere in your school.
Indeed, many of our customers have flipped recent challenges into an opportunity, and started upgrading the infrastructure and methodology behind their teaching.
As you’d expect, there are hundreds of tools available which claim to help schools succeed during and after this crisis. Most can help, but the best approach is addressing your whole teaching journey as part of a digital strategy. We can help with this.
In the meantime, here are some leading tools you should consider for your school.
SMART Learning Suite
Better outcomes begin with better ways to teach and to learn.
SMART Learning Suite is the global leader to support schools with this journey, and Elementary Technology is the SMART Partner of the Year 2019 and a SMART Platinum Partner. It’s a winning combination.
SMART Learning Suite, which includes SMART Notebook, is the only software for educators with interactive lesson delivery, collaborative workspaces, game-based activities, formative assessments and more. Even better is with SMART Learning Suite Online, blended learning and remote formative assessment become a doddle.
Watch a brief snapshot from our colleague here:
Contact us for a free trial and a free remote training session – whether or not you choose to work with us.
Learning by Questions
The Learning by Questions platform is set to revolutionise how teachers measure attainment and manage their time.
Furthermore, it is being used by hundreds of schools to support remote learning.
Using over 70,000 curriculum-aligned question sets covering KS1 to KS4, Learning by Question (LbQ) provides teachers with an effective tool to measure pupil understanding, in real time, in class or remotely. Use Learning by Questions to guide an entire lesson, or else towards the end of your lesson to test learning, to intervene where it has not been effective and to avoid delaying feedback until work has been marked.
Visit our Learning by Questions page for more information.
Digital Learning Platforms
Microsoft Teams and Google for Education are the two leading platforms for school to store content, share resources, communicate internally and with pupils and to gather feedback and response.
There are however several more so please contact us for advice.
In themselves they bring value and efficiency to your school. While some pupils are learning remotely though, they are game-changing.
We work with both DfE-approved and more local/regional ICT Support partners. Together we will support you to succeed with what is a large shift in your school’s digital infrastructure. Crucially, we will also ensure your school, staff, pupils and potentially parents utilise it properly to get best value.
Contact us for an initial conversation.
Classroom visualisers are a low-cost high impact teaching tool which improve engagement, reduce marking and support remote learning.
Elementary Technology has supplied hundreds of visualisers since the beginning of school closures for several reasons. A particular appeal is how they enable social distancing within a school.
Our video here showcases how a visualiser can be used to support STEM learning in a school – whether in class or remotely:
We are the largest supplier of visualisers into education, directly and via our specialist website thevisualisershop.com.
To support schools at the moment, we’re also providing schools with significant discounts and free remote training on larger orders of certain models.
Contact us for details.
Our research shows the pressure of low budgets is the largest challenge to schools when considering their technology.
A key concern for schools is that to continue to flourish as your school reopens will cost even more money, whether this be cleaning, school meals, home learning tools and technology to keep your school safe.
The good news is in amongst an array of guideline shifts and communications in recent weeks, the DfE has announced additional funding for schools for ‘exceptional costs associated with coronavirus’. Visit their page here.
Technology such as software to support home learning and hardware to support social distancing in your classrooms is an exceptional cost to maintain an inclusive and quality education, and we suggest claims can be made for such purchases via this fund.
Other solutions within this page, such as an additional mobile touchscreen trolley to social-distance pupils in your school hall, can be procured using a public-sector compliant operating lease. It means for around just £75 per month you’re able to have full use of this technology as required for 3 years, after which you have options according to your current need.
The same applies for a sign-in and safeguarding system and most other higher value technology.
Contact us using the form below to discuss your options – we’re committed to ensuring that keeping your school running is as affordable as possible.
The Elementary Technology team has spent several weeks researching what the ‘new normal’ may look like.
Additionally, we’ve also looked in immense detail at how we can help schools to continue to succeed. So we’re under no illusions – it’s complicated, detailed and can be quite bewildering. More so for a busy school with a thousand other priorities.
So we’re doing the hard work for you and are developing a set of detailed training plans to support adoption of this new tech in your school; whether for pedagogy or safeguarding or anything else in between, we’re there.
During lockdown in fact, we employed a new Training Manager, partly based on our research which highlighted training was a key challenge for schools. Doing so during the crisis reflects our stability as a partner for schools and our commitment to our customers. Frazer Williams is dedicated to ensuring our customers use their new technology to succeed.
Contact us for information on our training support, or even better, if you’d like to contribute to how we build and present it to be most useful for schools.
As the coronavirus (Covid-19) disruption continues, we’d like to tell you about the steps we’re taking to ensure the safety of our customers, employees, trade partners and suppliers and help prevent the spread of the virus, whilst strictly adhering to government guidelines.
We take our role in the community seriously and are strictly following the guidance issued by the government and health authorities, and adjusting our policies and procedures in line with latest advice.
Our team visits schools on a daily basis for various reasons; demonstrations, training, a site survey, technology installations and more.
During this period of Covid-19 those visiting schools are strictly following government guidelines. They are carrying hand sanitiser, will thoroughly wash their hands at the start and end of each visit and will use PPE appropriate to their activity.
Before we arrive at your premises, could you please consider the following so the visit can go ahead safely:
- The external door nearest to the area they are working is operational.
- There are facilities to wash their hands before and after carrying out the project.
- Colleagues at your organisation are able to stay in another room for the duration of the visit, or remain more than 2m from the our colleague.
- For installations, we will not require a sign-off signature once the visit is completed – this will be organised remotely.
- If at any point our colleague believes that entering your building could be a risk to you, them or other individuals, the visit will be aborted and rescheduled.
As a duty of care to our customers and colleagues, we would kindly ask that if anybody dealing with our team members starts feeling unwell as a possible result of Coronavirus that you inform us immediately and we will decide our next steps. We may need to postpone our visit until the isolation period is over.