Sandwell Academy is part of the Thomas Telford Multi Academy Trust (TTMAT), established in September 2017 and comprises of three secondary schools and one primary school across the Midlands in England. Opened in 2006, Sandwell Academy is home to 1,200 students and boasts state-of-the-art facilities and technology and specialises in PE and sport and business enterprise.
In 2016, Sandwell started the process of replacing their existing projector and whiteboard stock due to regrading image quality, which was impacting on the delivery of lesson content, mainly as the use of video was prevalent across the school. IT Manager for the Academy, Daljeet Kangh started the process of looking for a superior, replacement solution.
“The ongoing cost associated with projection-based technology was unpalatable for the Trust, and we found that we were constantly replacing lamps and filters, we wanted to upgrade our front of classroom display solution that met the needs of the school today but also future-proofed our investment. I was aware that interactive touchscreen displays were becoming popular within the education market, so, together with my audio visual provider, we started to look at credible alternatives to projection.”
Future-proofing learning environments Daljeet had core objectives from the upgrade project, precisely that the replacement solution needed to be affordable with no ongoing maintenance costs, completely intuitive and a supplier that provided excellent post-sales support and warranty.
“From the start of our engagement with Avocor, we have been impressed with the product quality and the support we received from the team at Avocor. It demonstrated to me that Avocor was a company that cared about customer relationships and gave me the
confidence that Avocor would be actively supportive through the lifecycle of the displays we rolled out across our estate.”
Daljeet standardised on the Avocor F series, the flagship model in the Avocor product range. “We particularly loved the crystal-clear image displayed by the Avocor F series displays which delivered high definition, 4K image quality, and our teachers loved the simplicity of the Avocor solution, the fact that they could just pick up the pen and start annotating directly into lesson content made lessons more interactive and ultimately saved valuable lesson time.”
Avocor is partners with Qwizdom, education software specialists and provides each Avocor display with a free subscription to OKTOPUS, content creation software that also enables users to open ‘legacy’ whiteboard content that may have been created in bespoke software such as SMART Notebook.
Advocates of natural to use technology, Avocor solutions are created to be intuitive with a familiar Microsoft interface.
The Avocor F series also includes a connect and control bar at the front of the display, giving access to USB ports for guest users, reducing the need to connect laptops via the rear connectivity ports. The bar also includes control functions that remove the need for remote control devices which inevitably get lost, rendering the technology useless.
A collaborative partnership Daljeet has continued to be impressed by the team at Avocor, citing that the company is flexible and agile enough to respond to end user needs and requirements, implementing changes in product development if required.
“We feel as though Avocor indeed hears our feedback and we have seen changes in the product roadmap that reflect our feedback. Deploying the Avocor solution across Sandwell Academy has meant that we have ultimately saved time and money and we are more productive as a result. We no longer have to calibrate the solution before we can start lessons, we don’t have additional maintenance costs, and the technology has a longer lifecycle than our previous projector estate, meaning we have invested in technology that will be future-proofed and provide excellent return-on-investment.”