Ashford School embraces digital transformation in the classroom with ViewBoard interactive display technologies from ViewSonic
About Ashford School
Ashford School is a co-educational independent boarding and day school in Ashford, Kent, governed by United Learning Trust, providing a broad-based curriculum to 480 students aged from 11 to 18 in the senior school, and 360 students aged from three to 11 in the prep school.
As part of the school’s digital transformation strategy, it has designed a new digital classroom environment which includes Viewsonic display hardware and software, and in which every student has a tablet to enable them to prepare, participate in and present work. The digital classroom benefits from the school-wide deployment of Microsoft Office 365 and ViewSonic myViewBoard software technologies, enabling staff and students to deliver effective teaching and learning outcomes.
Today’s school students have a distinctive approach to learning and knowledge, rooted in their mastery of touch-based digital computing devices such as tablets and smartphones. Children navigate through graphically rich displays at speed, view and absorb inputs from multiple screens concurrently, and use graphics-rich display-based presentation formats with ease.
In response, forward-thinking educators are engineering the digital transformation of the classroom, creating a new model of learning in which students are no longer passive recipients of knowledge handed down from the teacher. Instead, today’s learners actively collaborate with the teacher in their own learning and use technology to pursue independent research and develop their own thinking.
Ashford School’s new digital classroom environment perfectly complements this new teaching and learning style. To take full advantage of the students’ iPad and Surface Go tablets, Ashford School wished to equip teachers with a display system and software solution that enabled active collaboration with students, and supported effective use of their tablet during lessons, while reinforcing the child’s engagement with their learning at all times, in class and at home.
Ashford School chose to use the ViewBoard Interactive Flat Panel (IFP) and Projection display technologies from ViewSonic as the basis for the display element of its digital classrooms. The ViewBoard IFPs installed at Ashford School are full featured interactive digital whiteboard displays that support advanced multi-touch functions, giving the user a similar feel to the experience of using a new tablet. The myViewBoard software powers the ViewBoard platform, providing dual-pen annotation, infinite canvas and an array of annotation and collaboration possibilities.
The advantage of the ViewBoard IFPs and Projectors backed by myViewBoard software, beyond their outstanding picture quality, brightness and wide viewing angle, was the way they seamlessly integrate with other devices and software deployed by the school. This integrated functionality includes Single Sign-On with Office 365 accounts and built-in content and screen sharing to other student and teacher digital devices. The touchscreen IFPs or Projectors at the front of the classroom can duplicate or share their content with any local tablet or computer running the myViewBoard software. Students can annotate the displayed content or add new content, and this can be shared back to the main display with the permission of
the class teacher.
An important innovation implemented by Ashford School was the installation of the ViewBoard S units on the teacher’s desks. These 27″ personal touchscreen displays can also duplicate to the ViewBoard IFP or projection screen. This means that the teacher can change the display content and make touchscreen inputs from their desktop touchscreen, while the students see these changes in real-time on the larger display. At all times, the display can be clearly viewed and the teacher maintains engagement with their students. By contrast, earlier interactive whiteboards required the teacher to stand at the display with their back to the class, often obscuring the class’s view of the displayed content. Adrian Barnett, a Design and Technology teacher at Ashford School, says:
“Now that I am using the ViewBoard S and ViewBoard IFP in tandem, I can stand to one side so that the students can see what’s on the big screen, while I can add notes as the lesson goes on in a far more interactive way than I could previously.”
The new ViewSonic ViewBoard display solutions have increased student participation in the learning process, putting technology at the service of the school’s educational strategy summed up by the call to ‘Prepare, Present, Participate’. The effectiveness of Ashford School’s use of education technology to support teaching and learning was recognised in 2019 when
it was named one of the UK’s EdTech 50 Schools. The award cited the school’s:
“Very highly thought out digital strategy for both parents, pupils and staff. This school makes excellent use of its digital ecosystem to impact learning.”
Maths teacher Sue Childs highlights the importance of the new display provision to the success of the school’s technology strategy. She says that display content mirrored from the main IFP to the students’ tablets, where they can work in familiar Microsoft Office environments, means that:
“They are finding the information that they need much more quickly than before. And the students now have instant access to all of the notes that they make in class.”
Adrian Barnett, one of the school’s Design and Technology teachers, has witnessed a profound change in students’ participation in classroom learning since the deployment of ViewBoard technology in the new digital classrooms. He says:
“The introduction of a truly interactive display system has had a huge impact – the interaction with students has been fantastic. It allows me to create a really dynamic lesson. The combination of the ViewBoard display and software puts the whole program at my disposal, and has made teaching really easy.”
Reflecting on the school’s digital transformation, Dr Neelam Palmer, Director of Educational Technology, Digital Learning and Innovation at Ashford School, says:
“As a result of this streamlined ecosystem, teachers are able to work in more effective ways, making workloads more manageable. There has also been a significant impact on wellbeing and engagement for both students and teachers; with students embracing and ‘co-constructing’their own independent learning journey.”
Solution Summary – ViewBoard + myViewBoard
ViewBoard IFP7550 – Interactive Flat Panel Display
- 4K Ultra HD Resolution
- 20-point Multi-touch Interactive Screen
- Built-In Android OS with
- Out-of-Box Collaboration Tools
- Annotation Overlay
- myViewBoard for Android
- Google Chromium Browser
- Zoom Video Conferencing
- WPS Office
- VCast Wireless Presentation and Screen Mirroring
- Airplay Receiver
- Mobile Device Management
- Intel OPS VPC10 i5 Integrated PC
- Windows 10
myViewBoard – Digital Whiteboard Software
- Infinite Canvas
- Annotation, Collaboration, Quiz and Subject Tools
- Open to all users (Teachers and Students)
- Integrated Chromium Browser
- Integrated YouTube
- .IWB, .notebook, .flipchart, .ENB, .DOCX, .PPTX, .PDF, .ODT file
- All major multimedia file types supported
- Dedicated multi-screen casting (Share and Receive)
- Send content from any device (Win, Android, iOS, Chrome)