How can technology enhance teaching in rural schools?

Using technology to teach in a rural school

With rural schools facing pressure from low pupil rolls, budget cuts and declining birth rates many small schools are struggling to maintain high standards. Kendra Bolton, headteacher at Stewartstown Primary, recognised internationally for its excellence in mathematics, explains how technology has helped her school meet these challenges and embrace its rural environment...

The power of focus: new app Tiimo offers structure for pupils with autism

Melissa Würtz Azari, co-founder and CPO at Tiimo

Melissa Würtz Azari, co-founder and CPO at Tiimo, the assistive technology app that provides visual guidance and structure to those affected by ADHD, ADD and autism, comments on using technology to help pupils focus…

Cognitive deficit disorders can make daily life a little messy for the person affected and for those around them – and when we find ourselves in a tangled and confusing situation, the thing we need most is focus. While technology has traditionally been seen as a source of distraction – especially for children and young adults – we decided to use this fundamental aspect of our daily lives as a source of help, a useful tool to re-centre and find focus. 

The verdict is in…no phones before bed!

Students with no phones before bed poster

Pupils at Weaverham Primary Academy have pledged to ditch their phones and smart devices before bed.

Research has shown that using the technology at the end of the day can cause poor-quality sleep, which is linked to a decline in mental health.

Pupils at the school debated over whether smart phones should be used in their bedrooms before going to sleep.

And the resounding verdict was ‘NO’!

Now the Year 6 children have promised to shut down their screens earlier in the day.

Executive Head Teacher, Fiona Whittaker, said: “It was very clear from the arguments for and against, that mobile phones and smart devices should not form part of a night-time routine.

New AI software from Lexplore helps identify struggling readers in minutes

Lexplore can detect dyslexia - children reading in class on carpet

Showcased at Bett 2019 for the first time, Lexplore (stand B303) has brought 30 years of research into reading development to create a new tool that will help teachers accurately pinpoint children’s reading attainment. The artificial intelligence software in Lexplore highlights specific eye movement patterns in children which can suggest reading difficulties including dyslexia. This can help teachers identify children who may be struggling with reading in a matter of minutes.

Technology from Twinkl brings never seen before objects to the classroom 

Technology from Twinkl

What would happen if you showed a 3D dinosaur to a classroom of children?  Thanks to the team at Twinkl and a new Apple technology called AR Quick Look, you can.

Twinkl has created the largest collection of educational digital models that you can view in the classroom in 3D through augmented reality (AR). 

AR brings the real and virtual world together by superimposing computer generated images into real-world environments. 

The collection of over 100 models includes planets, animals, parts of the human anatomy and even a unicorn or Santa Claus.

The models are free to access and can be used on the latest Apple devices, on the iOS 12 operating system.

Edtech opens up the possibility of an Eton education for all

Edtech - a phone with books illustration

Alongside print management software providers United Carlton, Education for Everybody explores how technology is improving education and where edtech is heading in the future…

Technology has had its fair share of nay-sayers, with worries that the new digital age would cause robots to take over the world. But what about all the positives of technology? 

Nearly every sector has seen a boost thanks to new technological advances, and that includes education. From ditching chalk for whiteboard pens, then from that to digital boards to bring all manner of visuals and interactives to presentations and lessons, the classroom has definitely had a technological makeover! 

Technology’s place in the classroom 

Technology to help fight off loneliness

Companies such as Oslo-based start-up No Isolation are leading the fight in using technology to help find a solution for lonely groups of people within society. Their first product, a telepresence robot named AV1, has been designed to help a vulnerable section of society that sometimes is overlooked in the media. Children who suffer from long-term illness and cannot connect with their friends and school-mates, often suffer from depression as a result of their isolation. With doctors’ appointments and treatments sometimes taking over the lives of these children, it can be a relief to chat to their friends and learn alongside them at school using simple technology.

Virtual Reality Learning

Virtual Reality

The role of virtual reality in classrooms is providing adjustments for students struggling with their mental health.

Mental health problems, such as anxiety, can inhibit someone’s ability to get to school and be physically present during lessons. Here, Sam Warnes, a former teacher and founder of EDLounge, a unique platform that gives students who struggle with mainstream education the opportunity to access learning, explains how virtual reality in classrooms can offer a solution for accommodating pupils with mental health issues.

Autism East Midlands Wins Charity Times Award with Brain in Hand

Autism East Midlands has won the Charity Times Award for Best Use of Technology.  Its use of Brain in Hand has been selected from hundreds of entries from across the charity sector as it has successfully helped to transform the lives of its service users and their families, delivering significant operational improvements.

Implementing Brain in Hand as part of a Positive Behaviour Support programme across Autism East Midlands has changed the nature of incidents and the strategies used to support individuals.  The length and severity of interventions have decreased and requirement for restraint has reduced.  This has enabled staff to focus more time on proactive and positive development activities.