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Press Release | 20 Oct 2020

New ‘connected education’ pilot launches in Newbury school

New ‘connected education’ pilot launches in Newbury school
  • Vodafone launches Connected Education: a suite of digital tools and services including tablet devices, connectivity and security.
  • Includes mobile Wi-Fi to boost school connectivity and specialist training to help teachers with digital skills.
  • Incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education.
  • Pilot will run for six months in Newbury, Berkshire.

Vodafone today announced trials of ‘Connected Education’, a new suite of digital services for teachers and pupils. It includes tablet devices for teachers and children, mobile Wi-Fi connectivity, advanced-grade security, and technology consultancy for educators.

It also incorporates Microsoft Teams for Education, an online classroom environment where students can connect with teachers and classmates easily and safely. The pilot will be running for six months at St Joseph’s primary school in Newbury.

With an estimated one million children and young people in the UK with inadequate access to technology at home [1], providing digital devices and connectivity can help bridge the digital divide. For children, access to education platforms at a young age will help them gain vital digital skills, essential for many jobs of the future [2].

Connected Education provides straightforward access to class work, school materials and resources suited to a range of learning styles. It enables a teacher to provide an in-classroom and remote learning experience at the same time, using tools such as video and creating digital exercise books. This ensures children forced to miss school due to illness or quarantine can continue to join the class if they are well enough.

Time-consuming tasks – such as lesson preparation and analysis of data to monitor a child’s progress – can be partly automated via the Microsoft Education platform, giving teachers an estimated 30% more time for student-focused activities, such as developing relationships or supporting those who need more help [3].

The Connected Education package includes technology consultancy from independent provider Tablet Academy to help Heads understand how to digitise their school and get the most from technology. Teachers also benefit from digital skills training to help ensure they can get the best from the suite of services. Vodafone provides telephone support so issues can be quickly resolved.

Michael Robinson, Deputy Head Teacher at St Joseph’s School, said: “We are delighted to be working with Vodafone and excited about the opportunities this pilot could present. We hope it will provide teachers with new and creative ways to deliver teaching, and enable Year Six children at our school to experience something they wouldn’t normally have access to.

“We recognise that using such tools as a part of their school day will help develop vital digital skills without them even realising.”

Anne Sheehan, Business Director, Vodafone UK, said: “We are excited to be working with St Joseph’s in Newbury to trial our Connected Education solution. The recent months have highlighted the importance of digital education platforms that children can access whenever they need to. We hope this pilot will showcase the effectiveness of such provision.

“By incorporating devices, connectivity, specialist training and advanced security, we can help increase vital digital skills and ensure no child is left behind, whatever their circumstances.”

Connected Education has been developed by Vodafone Business Ventures, which combines social purpose and technical expertise to change lives for the better. A full commercial proposition of Connected Education is due to be available to educators and councils across the UK during 2021.

Vodafone recently announced it is working with Coventry University to trial state-of-the-art virtual reality learning for student nurses and health professionals over the next phase of 5G technology.

-ends-

 Notes to Editors

 Connected Education comes with:

  •  mobile Wi-Fi to boost connectivity to schools;
  • online content and specialist training for schools via Tablet Academy;
  • classroom hardware (tablets for both pupils and teachers);
  • cloud security and a managed service by Vodafone;
  • Microsoft Teams for Education which includes access to cloud-based productivity apps including Teams, OneNote, Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel. This helps to enhance remote collaboration between teachers and children by providing the ability to work together in real time via video, instant messaging and file sharing.

For more information visit Vodafone Business Connected Education page.

Nominet Trust 2019 (Digital access for all)

DCMS 2019 (Current and future demand for digital skills – a call to action)

Microsoft and McKinsey & Company 2020 (Preparing the Class of 2030)

About Vodafone Business Ventures

Vodafone Business Ventures, the social enterprise division of Vodafone Business, combines a focus on social purpose with our expertise in Connectivity, Cloud, Internet of Things and Mobile Payment Infrastructure. Our aim is to empower those with less access to technological resources and use technology to change lives for the better. Vodafone Business Ventures commercialises social purpose innovations to take them to scale sustainably. All profits are reinvested in Vodafone Business Ventures and Vodafone Foundation charitable programmes. .

For more information, please contact:

Vodafone UK Media Relations Team

Tel: 01635 693693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Twitter: https://twitter.com/vodafoneuknews

[1] Nominet Trust 2019

[2] DCMS reported in 2019 that 82% of online job advertisements require digital skills.

[3] Microsoft and McKinsey & Company 2020.

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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were also the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. As of October 2020, we have 5G in 57 locations in the UK and 193 across Germany, Spain, Italy and Ireland.

In September 2020, leading mobile benchmarking company, umlaut, named Vodafone as London’s best network for 5G. Our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population. And in October 2020, Vodafone was named Network Provider of the Year by readers of leading technology advice website, Trusted Reviews.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

For more information about Vodafone UK please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk.

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Email: ukmediarelations@vodafone.com

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587