ICT - Networking and Communications
who were themselves eager to speak to the ‘next generation’ of innovators. It was a chance for successful businesses, educators and entrepreneurs to talk to teenagers about the opportunities that are available to them, now and in the future.
As well as trying their hand at creating backgrounds, characters and movement, students gained knowledge of the science behind the games, and were given an informed insight into the roles and jobs that are available – from coders to designers, audio engineers to animators, and testers to producers.
Jade Parkinson-Hill, Director of Enterprise, North Liverpool Academy commented: “More than £300 million a year is generated by the games industry in Merseyside. We have growing companies, desperate to employ talented young people, right here on our doorstep. Liverpool is the place to be if you want a career in the gaming technology sector.”
Music & Technology
Following the success of its exhibition at the BETT show 2012, educational company Ingenio Pte Ltd has inked collaborations with several award winning schools in the United Kingdom to implement its innovative Moomba Music programme.
The Moomba Music system is a year-long foundation music programme and technology for groups of children. It utilizes an interactive cloud- shaped display surface, 50 inches wide, which is laid out on a table and allows a teacher to facilitate a discussion with up to eight children through the software and games. The software immerses children in a journey of musical discovery, using cartoons designed by the team that have worked on Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street. These young children from ages 4 to 8 have not yet mastered typing skills, so they interact by manipulating specially designed pods to select the answers on the games. This also trains their motor skills.
productivity while reducing IT support costs. With the introduction of our first mobile app, we are empowering educators with a solution to create an integrated learning environment that will leverage these powerful devices.
“ActivEngage Mobile will also help increase teacher productivity in administering assessments for learning to increase student achievement. I am very excited about this development as it is just the beginning of our strategy to develop more applications to support classroom needs.”
Supporting the rise in multimedia content The Royal Grammar School, Worcester has seven ICT teaching suites that are all fully equipped with new multimedia computers, with access to colour laser printing facilities, fast broadband Internet access and a host of software applications. They allow students to be involved in a whole spectrum of activities, ranging from researching and producing coursework, through to producing a film or a website.
8 reasons education is moving to the cloud
Cloud computing can essentially be seen as a way of running your IT without doing all the hard work, and it could be the next big thing in education. Dylan Jones, Managing Director of leading learning platform provider, itslearning, outlines the eight reasons why educational institutions around the world are shifting to the cloud
1. Cloud software is easy to use Having grown up with intuitive cloud software like Hotmail, Gmail and Facebook, users expect cloud programs to be simple. Most vendors, therefore, ensure their software can be used with very little training. This means you don’t have to spend time learning new software tricks (or teaching them to your students) and can concentrate on using the software pedagogically instead.
2. Fast to get started
For many cloud programs, you just need to sign up to get an account. So, if you find a program you want to use, you can be working with it in a matter of minutes. Even institution- wide cloud applications, such as itslearning, can be set-up in just a couple of days.
3. Better student collaboration Many cloud programs facilitate file sharing and multiple authors. This means that students can easily exchange files with each other and invite their peers to work on the same document.
Global education company Promethean launched its first mobile app for the classroom, ActivEngage Mobile (pictured), at BETT 2012. This new virtual learner response system is designed to expand and support the use of hand-held devices, such as iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone, and Android devices (tablets and phones) for teaching and learning activities. The application can be used with a mix of hand-held technologies, (e.g. Promethean ActivExpression devices alongside iPod Touch) to enhance assessment for learning and student response activities without the added cost of additional hardware.
Iwan Streichenberger, Promethean President of Learner Response and Assessment Solutions, said: “For years, businesses have successfully leveraged advancements in technology to increase
The challenge the school faced was to support this rise in multimedia content and enable an increasing number of devices to access the network on a daily basis. The rapid rise in multimedia content and increased usage of internet-enabled mobile devices by staff and pupils was starting to put a strain on its existing network. Up to 800 devices access the network on a daily basis, comprising a mixture of smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktop computers. Furthermore, its existing wired solution was becoming increasingly expensive to support as it was reaching end-of-life. It also lacked the feature set required to enable enhanced security protocols to be introduced. As such RGS wanted a solution which was future-proof and able to meet its growing data demands. Its new wired network required a 10- Gigabit backbone, with redundancy and would also provide 10-Gigabit connectivity for each ICT suite. In addition, it also needed to support and integrate with the school’s site wide 802.11N wireless network.
Robert Berry, Director of ICT at RGS commented: “We wanted to be able to rely on our technology to deliver interactive and engaging teaching to our pupils. As such, we really needed to increase the resiliency and reliability of our network, especially as more and more people were trying to use it concurrently. Having this new networking capability was extremely important as we looked to increase our full multimedia virtual learning capabilities.” After evaluating a number of solutions, RGS opted to work with D-Link and its reseller partner, ICT Networks. The initial product that was selected for the school’s wired network was a pair of D-Link’s latest DGS-6600 chassis switches.
4. Ideal for extending the curriculum to anywhere and anytime Your files and software are hosted on the internet, which means they are always available to you at any time of day or night. This gives students far more choice as to when and how they study – and teachers can work as efficiently at home as they can at school. A number of schools use this functionality to keep education going when schools are closed for bad weather, and to keep long-term, absentees up to date with their education.
5. Minimal upfront investment There’s no hardware to buy and (in most cases) you don’t have to install software on local computers. As a result, an educational institution can vastly reduce the time and money it spends on its IT set-up.
6. Easy to scale
Adding more users is fast and simple. 7. Lower operating costs
As the software is maintained by the supplier, you have to do very little to keep it running smoothly. And because the supplier takes care of any updates, you know you (and your colleagues) are always working with the latest version. This keeps maintenance costs down and eliminates the frustration of incompatible and outdated software.
8. Lower hosting costs Data storage is notoriously expensive. Cloud computing lets educational institutions avoid that cost as the supplier hosts the data on their servers.
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