Perfect Deployment

Getting your ducks in a row by exploring the latest iPad deployment models. Presented by Apple system engineers. There really needs to be some more text in here. It may be cool to be able to click to read more about the forum, taking you to a separate 'blog' page. This page should contain a content block which links you back to the Summit. People interested in Forums, need to be properly engaged as such. The benefit of creating a post like this is that we can optimise for search engines and link to separately, include additional media and add quality content to our library.

Technology Forums

Solutions inc. 2016 Annual Tech Event

Once a year, Solutions inc. invite educators and technical leaders from UK schools to meet and discuss how technology is changing teaching and learning over two days, with a range of keynote speakers and schedule workshops. Welcome to the Solutions inc. Annual Tech Event. (#SATE2016 if you want to check the event out on twitter).

This year’s event was held at Fanham Hall Hotel, Hertfordshire. Previously Lord Sainsbury’s private estate. It is unusual for education events to be held at such locations, but we strongly believe in the importance of inspirational environments. We want people to be excited, whilst relaxed and eager to engage.

Keeping invaders out of your space

The headline for this years event focused on the Government’s Prevent Duty, where schools are being made responsible for preventing student radicalisation. What practical steps should we be taking to protect children? Dr. Jessica Barker, cyber security advisor to the FTSE100, with regular TV appearances, including  BBC News, opened this year’s event with her presentation ‘Myths and Monsters’.  Dr. Barker was easy to listen to and engaging, tackling social culture and providing insight for both teachers and IT technicians.

Jessica was followed by Simon Eapparillo from security system providers iBoss and Steve Johnson from wireless network specialist Ruckus. Both provide practical solutions for schools through Solutions inc. that reflect industry response to current cyber security threats.

Solutions inc. 2016 Annual Tech Event

Apple is the most relevant technology in education today. Apple Systems Engineers Luke Allen and Dan Pearson presented an exciting first look at the latest iOS 9.3 and the Apple Classroom app, alongside Solutions inc. Education Director Simon Birch. This proved to be an entertaining presentation and provided an opportunity for delegates to put questions to Apple directly.

Solutions inc. 2016 Annual Tech Event

Often teachers are given the latest technology without the necessary support they need. With budgets being squeezed, teacher training is often under-valued. Digital Genius is a teacher and student development programme, which tackles this problem by building local communities, where teachers can share their experiences and learn collaboratively. Digital Genius Ambassadors can be students, teachers or even commercial experts; each recognised for their unique skill in adopting technological solutions.

Vickie Bacon, Apple Distinguished Educator and Digital Genius Ambassador took to the stage in the late afternoon to speak frankly about the practical steps that can be taken to transform teaching and learning with iPad.

At the end of the first day everyone assembled for dinner. People enjoy the informal conversations between presentation as much as they do the main event. This is the reason why our Annual Tech Event is held over two days. We want to ensure people get plenty of time to meet with others in an informal and relaxed environment.

Solutions inc. 2016 Annual Tech Event

The following morning after breakfast,  Jimmy Lee from Schools Broadband and Solutions inc. co-founder Aidan Bowen presented the latest connectivity offerings for schools that feature Fortinet security. Rich Belson gave an extremely informative presentation on Foldr, the school collaboration and storage solution, which proved extremely popular. Almost all attendees have since begun a free trial. If your school would like to do the same then get in touch with the Solutions inc. education sales desk.

Solutions inc. 2016 Annual Tech Event

John Jones, Apple Distinguished Educator and Digital Genius Ambassador took centre stage for the final workshop ‘Drone Wars’. The audience, after a initial demonstration, were asked to download the Tickle app to their iPhone or iPad and given 15 minutes to prepare a programmed flight. Could anyone navigate through the Hyper loop and land safely?

Audience members were selected at random and their programming skills put to the test. This proved to be an extremely entertaining end to this years event. Many delegates have purchased their own Micro drone, though we’re not convinced many have made it in to the classroom yet, as teachers and network managers alike have been ‘researching’ this technology at home.

If you would like to know more about the Solutions inc. Annual tech Event and feel you would benefit from an invitation to next year’s event, please get in touch.

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Minion racing

Writtle Minions.
Digital Genius goes to Goodwood

Inviting 12 young learners from Writtle Junior School to take part in Annual Goodwood Greenpower event for school children aged (8-11) was just the beginning. Before they could compete, they would need to build a car. The all electric single seater race car came in kit form.  Assembly requires little more than a socket set for tightening the nuts and bolts that hold the chassis together. So we set aside a day in the school assembly hall – where else!

Teaching enthusiastic young engineers the basics is fun. Left is loose, right is tight. Once empowered with basic tool skills they can set about assembling all the parts. The entire school got involved and much of the work completed in just one day. Of course every car needs a name and all the students supported the choice of Writtle Minions.

GoodWood in Sussex is a beautiful estate. The ancestral home of Lord March, an aerodrome and motor circuit. It’s also where they make Rolls Royce cars. By 8.30am the paddock begun to fill up with 95 school cars in attendance. Over the course of the day our team would tackle the slalom course and race side-by-side in the sprints. The team are keen to do well in the pitstop challenge, where they had to remove and replace each wheel, with the added pressure of so many people watching.

Our day ended in only slight disappointment when the drive belt on our car broke, leaving us stationary on the final event of the day, the lap of champions. No-one was down, everyone was excited. We worked as a team and we tried our very best. Parents and teachers were rightfully proud of the children’s attitude, behaviour and accomplishments. And as creator of the Digital Genius programme, I was only to pleased to have shared my passion for providing students with a challenge they can enjoy and  learn from.