It’s all been happening on stand F384 at BETT this week – we’ve been speaking to ICT Managers, Headteachers, educational publishers and even a number of visiting students. As part of our research for the beta launch of Lessonwizard we’ve pulled together the following take-aways:
1. Ease of use:
Both headteachers and teachers using digital solutions in schools place a great deal of emphasis on the fact that any publishing or learning software needs to be easy to use, both on the back-end and for the end-user themselves (students and teachers in this case).
This is particularly important in classroom settings as time is, by definition, very limited. On this same note, many spoke of the importance of training and support on how to use both devices and software, in many cases we spoke to, the teachers themselves weren’t given iPads, leading to a gulf in understanding between student and teacher.
2. A way to re-use existing resources:
Schools and teachers often have countless physical and PDF copies of written material that serve a vital role in the curriculum and that they may want to recycle in whichever new digital environment they’re working within. Therefore, a learning solution that gives them this option is highly desirable. We found it particularly interesting how email is still an extremely important communication tool between many teachers and their students.
3. Enthusiasm about bring-your-own-device (BYOD) schemes:
There’s a great deal of enthusiasm about BYOD schemes in the educational space for a number of reasons. A key one is that it alleviates some of the pressure of already overstretched internal school IT support. The flexibility it affords pupils themselves was also talked about, while the final advantage mentioned was that, because pupils tend to own the devices they bring in, this means that more care is taken to their upkeep.
4. A desire to bring everything under one umbrella:
By far one of the most common sentiments encountered at BETT was frustration with the wide-range of different solutions being employed within single schools.
This heterogeneity has affected productivity and caused complications amongst teaching staff, many of whom haven’t had the time to master multiple pieces of software. As a result there is a great deal of interest in any solution that could encompass what these existing, disparate solutions do and bring them under a single umbrella, significantly simplifying workflows for both teachers and students in the process and making any data gathering and analysis more straightforward.
5. Tools to empower creativity:
“Digital learning solutions” needs to mean more than just a way to digitize textbooks and read them on tablet and other mobile devices. That’s perhaps the clearest message we got from BETT this year. Headteachers, teachers and educational publishers themselves are all curious about the possible ways in which the creativity of their students could be leveraged by providing them with platforms, for example apps, in which to create and share content together, and of course print out in a physical format when required. Having access to this content in an offline mode when necessary, is equally important.
YUDU are relatively new to the schools market, and are being drawn in by the frequent requests from schools, who recognise how versatile and useful our technology can be in enhancing and supporting their teaching requirements.
Our beta launch of LessonWizard has demonstrated that there is an even bigger need than ever, for teachers to be given the tools to create the best digital learning experience for their students. Keeping the task and the resources relevant to the needs of individual classes is key, and we’re proud to say that we are already helping a number of schools in their quest to make digital teaching and learning accessible to everyone.