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Student voice in the staff room

By , Director

Posted: in Articles

Like many technology change projects, Portsmouth College set out to enhance the relationship with students by encouraging the take up of a personal tablet device, in their case iPad. There is no doubt that the technology has brought new and exciting elements to teaching at the college and one of the ways this is delivered is through a group of student ambassadors and staff learning champions.

Neil and I have had the great pleasure in working with Portsmouth since the iPad project was first talked about, initially a Vision and Plan session followed up with many days of training and workshops with staff. This September when we visited to deliver Apple Professional Learning workshops we spent some time with the student ambassadors and I’d like to share the workshop we did with them and encourage you to do similar to help measure impact and promote effective Student voice.


Portsmouth College are using the G Suite for Education from Google mainly with iPads, but also Windows desktops, laptops and some ChromeBooks. G Suite gives all staff and students access to an online cloud of tools such as Google Docs, Sheets and Forms while the iPad gives access to a wealth of inspiring creative tools as well as being the device to access everything – what a great combo!

We started by talking about what sort of questions as a student body the ambassadors would ask of fellow students to help document the technology project. We all contributed to a Padlet wall to capture and share ideas. Padlet is an amazing online shared wall where the whole room can contribute to a single space with ideas and feedback, if you aren’t using it you should be – www.padlet.com

It’s time to get students engaged using the amazing tech tools we have at our fingertips

After some discussion around question types, and the benefits of quantitative vs. qualitative, the students set about creating an online form with relevant questions to ask their fellow students. The Google Form creator app (forms.google.com) has some great features where forms can be restricted to the institution and the automatically collecting of student data such as email.

The form, and the data it gathers, is safe in the Google cloud and not ‘out there’ for anyone to access. Each form has a unique web address to share which we copied and pasted in to the-qrcode-generator.com to create some printable QR Codes. These are a great way to drive people to your form and once stuck up around the college make it easy to scan and go.

Now that iOS 11 supports QR Code scanning straight in the camera app it’s even easier! Just update to iOS 11, open Camera and point at this QR code –>

So far we have developed questions, built a form and created a mechanism to access the form. Back in the workshop, we answered each other’s questions so we had an idea of how the form looked and could see how Google helpfully turn our answers into some good looking charts. A quick screen grab of these charts and a tidy up in Photos with the crop tool gave us a set of data we could now present back. What’s the point in collecting this information if all we do is look at it once and leave it in our cloud?

Using the amazing Quik app (app store link) from GoPro we took the screen grabs of the stats, added some titles, music and descriptive text. Quik makes a great looking movie and has a wealth of effects and styles to make sure the videos are varied. On saving, Quik saves the video in our iPad Photos app. Now we have a video – how do we share this? Well hello TrilbyTV. Students uploaded their finished video to TrilbyTV and within minutes after approval the content is playing on the staff room TV screen. A direct connection from students gathering student body views and sharing these with staff – how else could this happen so quickly and in a way that is fully in the control of the students.

We created TrilbyTV because we saw a reason and a need for sharing student voice like this. Ofsted will talk about learners views, ensuring we listen carefully to and work effectively with learners to improve teaching, learning and assessment. While traditional student councils, feedback boxes, observations and meetings all have a place, it is surely time to step things up and get students engaged using the digital tools we are familiar with and that we have at our fingertips. Then get sharing the results and output of this in as many ways as possible including via our digital screens around school.

TrilbyTV is available on a 30 day free trial and we’ll even come and install a player device if you don’t have one – fill out the form here and we’ll be round to help #SwitchOnYourSignage

The importance of showcasing students digital work

By , Director

Posted: in Articles

Once a year, I and fellow TrilbyTV director Ben Stanley, would be invited to the staff Summer Conference at Blenheim High School to run tech focused workshops and support their one-to-one iPad project. It was a couple of days we really enjoyed and over a number of years we became part of the furniture.
I remember a couple of years ago we ran an iPad-focused session with Year 7 digital champions. We put together a session called Product Rebrand where students had to think of their favourite brand or product. This product was to be renamed, enhanced and then advertised using digital creation tools on the iPad. The outcome was a 30 second advert that would be showcased on the screen in reception via TrilbyTV.

As the students entered the room, one young lad stood out in particular. He sat himself alone on a table not looking the most positive young chap in the world. After delivering the session he totally got it and his outcome, based upon his favourite Subaru WRX car, was fantastic. All finished adverts were instantly shared to the school reception screen using TrilbyTV and students eagerly left the classroom to go and watch.

“I have never felt so proud in this school as I feel today!”

After around 10 minutes our Subaru advert appeared, making our pupil return and state “I have never felt so proud in this school as I feel today!” A pretty big statement to make and made because he had been given the opportunity to showcase his work to the whole school.

Too many times I come across educators on Twitter stressing the importance of using digital tools to inspire students to learn. But where is the focus on showcasing this content ? Too often digital content is left stuck on the device or it’s saved and hidden away in a folder. If I know my work has a chance of being screened at various locations around my school then surely, as a student, I’m inspired to work at a higher level?

Some of you reading this might be shouting out “YouTube Neil! What about YouTube?!” but here’s my thoughts: Young people are so used to YouTube that having their work uploaded there isn’t aspirational! Plus I have to go to YouTube, find the video amongst the other thousands of videos on the platform, and then click to play which, although minimal is still a number of steps. We also need to remember the majority of less tech-confident teachers are still very nervous of YouTube as a showcasing platform. We are only a couple of clicks away from content such as cats on skateboards which then detracts from the original reason we went to YouTube in the first place.
Cat on a skateboard

Of course I’m writing this blog piece from a somewhat biased perspective, but I know we have the perfect platform when it comes to sharing and showcasing digital contention across an educational environment. A platform that showcases student progression on a daily basis, that evidences the impact of technology in your school. If your screens are full of exciting student made content then what better way of showing the impact of technology in your school.

Suddenly our digital signage is ‘visible’ and for children it becomes a realistic aspiration to have their work appearing on it

A number of TrilbyTV school customers who have gained great acclaim, from organisations such as Ofsted, more than see the importance of showcasing student made content on a daily basis. Dan Oakes is Deputy Headteacher at Malmesbury CoE Primary School in Wiltshire who have recently gained Apple Distinguished School status for their outstanding use of technology. Dan says “Allowing our pupils to showcase their professional-looking digital work to their peers, teachers and parents makes them incredibly proud”. Digital signage screens at the school used to be turned off or playing content that rarely changed but now Dan will happily tell all visitors “Suddenly our digital signage is ‘visible’ and for children it becomes a realistic aspiration to have their work appearing on it”.

So there is lots of digital content creation initiatives happening in schools across the UK, but let’s not lose focus on the importance of showcasing this work to the whole school and beyond. Just as artwork gets put on the walls and corridors, so should digital content go on screens. We are in a world where a piece of student work can be shared instantly to millions of people. Sounds scary to some maybe, but for a student how aspirational is this outcome?

TrilbyTV is the #1 Digital Signage Platform made for Education focusing on student voice, teacher sharing and the wider community. We don’t like the thought of a students digital work being hidden on a device or in a cloud folder, SO DON’T DO IT. Let’s make sure our students are given the opportunity to show their talents and feel prouder in their schools than they ever have done before!

Installing TrilbyTV Player on CleverTouch Plus and Pro

By , Director

Posted: in Misc

The CleverTouch range of screens are becoming increasingly popular in classrooms as a viable Interactive White Board (IWB) alternative. A large format screen has many advantages over a projector and board combo, mainly the brightness the screen brings which means finally the blinds can be left open and everyone in the room can clearly se the picture. Screens with touch interfaces are also more responsive than boards and eliminate any alignment issues.

Most displays of course an be hooked up to a classroom computer and some displays like the CleverTour Plus and Pro have Android installed on the screen themselves. This means that the screen can work as a simple web browser and can run apps with no need for additional hardware.

We are really pleased to say that TrilbyTV Player is one app that can run on these screens meaning they can be used for sharing and showcasing any student work added to TrilbyTV, just by opening the app.

Anyone can install the app on the CleverTouch Plus or Pro screen here are some step by step instructions:

  1. On the display tap the side arrow to open the main menu and choose settings.
  2. From the Security section under Device Administration turn on “Unknown Sources” This allows you to install apps on the screen from locations other than the CleverStore.
  3. Download the TrilbyTV Player by clicking here (version 3.10) It is best to do this on the screen!
  4. From the main menu choose Files and navigate to the download folder.
  5. Tap on the TrilbyTV Player.apk file and tap Install. 
  6. The App will load and be added to the Apps list. As with other TrilbyTV Players you will need to add the Player Code to your Player Dashboard or login. 
  7. Now whenever you want to use this screen as part of your digital signage setup, just open Apps, tap TrilbyTV Player and you’re done!

The Business End

By , Director

Posted: in News

Reception screen turned offTrilbyTV was developed after years of walking into schools to find a very lonely and unloved TV screen located in reception. That screen was either turned off or playing content that had no connection to the students. Actually it had no connection to most of the stakeholders associated with that school. Working at the coal face with education for the last 20 years we are passionate about giving voice and ownership over to the students because we know first hand just how powerful this can be.

Blenheim School reception screenNow we also know the reasons digital signage has failed in schools. Over complicated and heavy IT feeling systems designed for the business world. TrilbyTV is the polar opposite. Designed from the classroom up, meaning any school stakeholder feels comfortable pressing a + button to add a Title Slide, Twitter Feed or a students video.

The simplicity and reduced set up time has meant TrilbyTV is fast becoming the #1 digital signage platform made for education.

Having recently received Microsoft Education Partner and Google for Education Partner recognition as well as being entrusted by market leaders such as ClickView, we are on a mission to change the face of digital signage in schools and colleges across the world.

Not only is TrilbyTV changing the face of digital signage in education, but we are seeing signups from lots of different verticals. It would seem the ease of use of our digital signage platform is attracting interest from businesses all over the UK and beyond.

“I've got this set up in under 10 mins”.
Rasheeda Russell – PR and Marketing Executive, Joskos Solutions

Only this week TrilbyTV had a trial sign up from the visitor centre at Lake Tahoe in the Sierra Nevada, USA. They want to use their TV screens to show dashboards from Geckoboard, helping to present up-to-date statistics to their visiting customers. By simply adding the Geckoboard embed code into TrilbyTV’s Web Content feature this information is displayed beautifully fullscreen and easily viewable. It’s not why we made TrilbyTV but shows just how versatile our digital signage platform is!

Another recent sign up to TrilbyTV was Opus Energy who switched on their signage with full screen twitter feeds and drone footage focused on biomass storage sites.

Customers entering Opus Energy offices around the UK would be kept up to date with latest information via Tweets and engaged with video, shot on the latest technology and focused on Opus facilities around the UK.

And the opportunities continue to present themselves. The Chamber of Commerce in Birmingham are wanting to switch three signage screens back on. This week we’ve installed TrilbyTV at Browns Restaurant in Birmingham City Centre which is currently playing very depressing news from BBC and Sky – no more, now we’ve helped to reinvigorate on their signage!

So my conclusion from all of this?
The simplicity, ease of use and speedy setup time is fast making TrilbyTV the go-to digital signage platform for schools and colleges around the world. Its not just education that needs a simpler solution that keeps digital signage screens interesting and up to date, it’s pretty much every business I walk into week after week to find screens off because the platforms running these screens are too IT heavy, time consuming and individually uninspiring.

So if you want to go from this …….             to this ……

…then choose a platform that encourages creativity, not just management, and one that allows for ownership from lots of different stakeholders and not just the IT department. These screens are marketing and advertising screens, not for showing excel spreadsheets!

As I always say “It’s not rocket science”

TrilbyTV are proud to be exhibiting at the E2BN conference 2017

By , Director

Posted: in EventsNews

The Digital School for a Digital World

Our children and young people are growing up in an increasingly digitised world. Every aspect of their future lives will feel the impact of new technologies. So shouldn’t their school reflect this?

The E2BN conference 2017 focuses on the use of digital technologies across the whole school – in the classroom, in the staff room and in the school office. It’s always a great two day event. There’s something for anyone interested in raising educational standards through the use of technology – teachers, senior leaders, technical staff, local authority employees and school governors.

The conference is a fantastic CPD opportunity with inspiring and motivational keynote speakers and 26 different workshop sessions to choose from.

The exhibition area has a relaxed, informal atmosphere with plenty of opportunity for networking, one to one discussions and demonstrations. You have the experts on hand so you can get some great advice and you can often grab yourself a bargain!

The conference brings together:

  • 400 Dedicated Educators
  • 70 Great Exhibitors
  • 26 Fantastic Workshops
  • 4 Inspirational Speaker

All of this over two fabulous days to create one brilliant CPD event!

In partnership with E2BN, if you work in education we are able to offer you a free delegate place.

Click here to book and make sure you visit us at our stand, it would be great to see you!

Spice up your staff room with TrilbyTV Tweet Feeds

By , Director

Posted: in News
At the 2017 BETT Education show we launched our new Twitter Feed feature. This means a school entering their Twitter address into TrilbyTV will see their Tweets appear full screen and animated on their digital signage. It’s a feature that our schools love and some have started to use to provide education specific information and light weight CPD in their staff rooms. Malmesbury C of E Primary School is a large, vibrant and very busy two form entry primary school. To develop team sprit and morale as well as providing current and up to date information around educational thinking the school is using the TrilbyTV Twitter Feed Feature. Tweets from those such as TES, DfE and their own school Twitter Feed means staff are kept up to date with whats happening both inside and outside the school Deputy Head Teacher Dan Oakes told TrilbyTV “Staff feel more informed as TrilbyTV allows a continual drip feeding of relevant information to all members of staff” At TrilbyTV we are always thinking of ways our schools can enhance their digital signage. Our new Twitter Feed Feature is a great way to liven up staff rooms keeping everyone engaged and up to date

Twitter Feeds @TrilbyTV

By , Director

Posted: in News
We are excited to announce a brand new feature to TrilbyTV – Twitter Feeds. Our mission to switch on your signage means looking at where your content is and making it super easy to get it on your screens. Today we’re marching forward on our mission allowing you to get more of your content on your screens. We’ve made it really simple to set up, just click on the Menu button top right and choose Add Twitter Feed, enter your @username and click Add! Your dynamic Twitter clip will be added to your Video feed just like a video and can be included in any of your Categories or playlists. We suggest the first Twitter Feed you add is your @school_username which means you’ll always have up-to-date content on your screen. Twitter feed functionality will require an update to your player apps and will be available for Android, iOS and Chrome players on 1st Feb 2017. AppleTV playback of Twitter feeds is coming soon. We would love to hear your feedback on this feature so we can extend it further and make it even more useful to you. Please do get in touch @trilbyTV and feedback@trilbytv.co.uk You can also read more about the Twitter feed on our Support Page

See you at the BETT Show 2017!

By , Director

Posted: in News
BETT is the biggest technology in education show in the UK with exhibitors, seminars and opportunities to network. It takes place at Excel in London from Jan 25 to 28.

Grab a free BETT Show ticket at www.bettshow.com and then come and find Neil or Ben at the show. Neil will be on the Albion Computers (C270) stand and will be running workshops every day. Ben will be on the Exertis (F380) stand showcasing TrilbyTV and our good friends at Parotec-IT (B141) will also have TrilbyTV on their nifty Minix boxes.

If you’re in town please do come by and say hello – we’€™d love to see you.

Switch On Your Signage Today

“My students are so proud and excited when they see their work on our school reception TV.”

Katy Haygarth, Year 6 Class Teacher

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