BESA CORNER In our re fe


body BESA, Education Today thismonth hears fro PAUL GRAY, Business Manager at Timstar.

AUL GRA RAY AY, BusinessManager at Timstar. r

Revolutionising teacher training with virtual reality

ty With SUSAN DAY,Managing Director, Connect

Technology has over the last 30

years that simulations, due made such great advances

to their ability to simultaneously engage the emotional and cognitive processes of trainees, are viewed as one of the most effective training methods available. Our platform, C-Live, which is

nominated for a Bett Award in the Higher or Further Education Digital Services

category, is the UK’s first computer-generated training aid that brings virtual reality to the education sector.

It utilises unique technology, allowing teachers to take control of their personal development, particularly in areas not covered by traditional training.

Classroom training Classroomtraining

Classroom strategy is hailed as one of the most vital skills for a teacher to master if they want to truly succeed within the profession. C-Live’s unique software allows teachers to practise this by interacting with virtual students in real time. The simulation can be paused at any point, allowing teachers to review and improve their classroom techniques with pupils who can’t be negatively affected by mistakes.

Bath Spa University have been using C-Live as part of their initial teacher training and all of the trainees felt that C-Live helped them to prepare for their classroom practice, as it gave them a safe place to try different techniques and strategies.

Teacher coaching Teacher coaching

C-Live can also be used to assess teacher performance. Head teachers can create specific scenarios that re-create areas where teachers may be struggling. Performance can then be improved through peer coaching and mentoring. Our virtual classroom is also extremely effective for benchmarking as it offers consistent scenarios as opposed to a “real” classroom where pupil behaviour constantly changes.

SEND training SEND training

Statistics have worryingly revealed that 88%of school teachers believe that initial teacher training doesn’t adequately prepare them to support children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

C-Live offers specialist scenarios featuring pupils who exhibit behaviours frequently displayed by pupils with SEND, allowing teachers to build their confidence without the fear of acting inappropriately.

Teacher and parent conversations Teacher and parent conversations

Another challenging situation often not given attention in teacher training is engaging in difficult conversations with parents or other teachers and stakeholders.

It has been shown that the use of realistic human avatars can evoke the same emotional reactions that the trainee would experience when interacting with a real person.

C-Live’s adult avatars simulate the concern that a new teacher might feel when having a difficult conversation with a parent. This allows teachers to alleviate their fear of a challenging situation by practising in a safe environment. The software can also be used for senior management and heads of schools to practise employee reviews and other professional conversations in advance of the actual meeting.

Throughout our research and work with universities, we have seen that C-Live really can have an impact on teacher performance.We hope to continue working with education establishments to enhance teacher confidence and skills.

Formore info university

formation about howC-Live can be used in your school or ty contact 01270 449 165 or email

14 www

In our regular featurregular feature highlighting thework ofmembers of the UK education suppliers’ trade body BESA, Education Today this month hears from SUSAN DAY, Managing Direct at Connect; andrect at Connect; and PA

re highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers’ trade To

romSUSA DAY,Managing Dire N AY

Science teachers and technicians need all the support they can get

By PA PAUL GRAY, BusinessManager, Timstar

In the UK, STEMindustries are currently falling short of 200,000 professionals each year to maintain the economic benefit of the UK STEMsector. To fill this shortage, we need to inspire children to take up STEMsubj

bjects at school, and for

that, practical science can play a crucial role. It is through practical science that students learn about the

requirements of a future career in STEMindustries. Practical lessons inspire young children and provoke an enquiring mind set; indeed a teacher has been quoted as saying “ without practical is like swimming without water”.

However, when compared to other funding requirements in schools, such as staff salaries, science resources are considered a lesser priority. They are therefore one of the first areas to be cut in times of crisis, such as what schools in the UK are currently going through – the latest British Educational Suppliers Association’s research found a 4.8%year-on-year decrease in resources spending in secondary schools. Funding has been reduced to a level whereby only 3%of schools have enough facilities and equipment to do frequent practical science. How can we shorten the STEMskills gap and indeed ensure that children enjoy and are engaged in science lessons without the necessary facilities and equipment to do so? This has very significant consequences, and in many cases, we see major challenges around both the time and budgets made available to science teachers and technicians to maintain their departments and del curriculum.

With a real focus on the benefits

of practical science for our iver an enriching

future workforce, Timstar strives to support those teachers and technicians who deliver science education daily. Timstar provides products which are ready-to-teach – giving teaching and support staff the assurance that their equipment is fit-for- purpose in a school environment. And when inevitable issues do occur with products, we offer a complimentary technical support line, which gives direct access to product specialists with specific experience of science education in schools. Our product teams continually ensure pricing remains competitive, and working alongside a fully-stocked warehouse, provide 99%stock levels on a huge array of popular lines – so schools can get the equipment and consumables they need, when they need it, even at last minute.

Both as an organisation and a group of individuals, Timstar is a passionate advocate of practical science in schools.We recognise that it is vital for the UK economy and society that children have access to quality practical science, so that they are fuelled with a desire to develop STEMskills and make up

Resources for our schools matter the UK STEMworkforce.

statement: www

. Please sign the December 2017 2017

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