Jul 07, 2023


The Empower Learning Academy Trust has installed 170 NovoTouch interactive displays across its four sites located in Upminster, Hornchurch, Havering and Romford. Vivitek’s NovoTouch replaces the Academy’s fleet of aging projectors, bringing a new interactive dimension to lessons and learning, while lowering operating costs, simplifying maintenance for the Academy’s IT support teams and lowering print volumes. Founded in July 2011, The Empower Learning Academy Trust has three secondary academies and a primary school at the heart of its ambitious multi-academy trust, and is home to approximately 3,000 students and 530 staff, including its IT support team. Tony Stevens, Head of IT Operations and Support, and his team are responsible for maintaining approximately 1,200 desktop devices, several hundred iPads and 60 printers across the Academy. Previously, the Academy had a fleet of projectors in its classrooms, but their running costs and requirement for frequent maintenance meant that the Academy sought a more effective display solution for it newly refurbished classrooms. “We didn’t want 15 year old technology in our newly refurbed classrooms, or in our brand new building at the Hall Mead School,” Tony explained.

The majority of the new Vivitek display devices being used by the Academy are NovoTouch EK753i’s, a true 75” 4K interactive display with wireless collaboration and touch interaction for the classroom. It impressed the Academy with its comprehensive feature set. By way of example, in addition to its 75” display with ultraHD 4K (3,840 x 2,160) resolution for outstanding details and stunning visuals, the Academy benefits from a Backlit D-LED (ADS panel) technology for brighter pictures, flawless colours, richer textures, and extra wide viewing angels (178o/178o ). The NovoTouch has been preconfigured with Vivitek’s NovoConnect wireless presentation and collaborative system for cable-free and hassle-free presenting in the classroom.

  • It can connect up to 64 students simultaneously, and enables four of them to present on one display to facilitate large group work, while its high contrast ratio and fast response times delivers crisp, readable content.
  • Students also enjoy from the Display’s interactive functionality with up to a 20-point finger touch capabilities (10-point writing, 20-point touch) for on-screen annotation, drawing and common gesture controls.
  • The NovoTouch offers a 4mm thick toughened glass for added protection against scratches or screen damage, helping to protect the Academy’s investment long term, while powerful, front-facing stereo audio speakers with up to 32W of total power (16Wx2) and multiple audio-in/out ports, ensures that everyone can enjoy loud, crisp and clear sounds.

The IT team’s productivity is boosted by features like remote manager with IT management software offering automatic discovery and configuration, while a full suite of connectivity ports - including HDMI-In VGA-In, Audio-In/Out, LAN, RS232 and USB - makes connecting to other devices simple. On that matter, Tony stated that he is impressed with the connectivity options.

“It ticks all of our boxes, while the Android module is really good hardware. It’s flexible, fast and has no lag.”

He has praised the installation too, stating that it was exceptionally easy, with no complex cabling to install or climbing up ladders required. As well as offering better TCO and lower maintenance issues compared to running a fleet of inefficient projectors – which need bulb replacements and regular recalibration – the NovoTouches aren’t affected by ambient light, so no matter where a student is sitting, they can see the display.

Tony noted: “Because all of the students can easily see the 75” display, teachers no longer have to print out lesson notes, which has helped lower our print volumes and costs.”

The feedback from the Academy’s teachers has been highly positive, with them stating that the installation of the NovoTouch displays has ushered in a new era of modernity into the classrooms, in keeping with the refurb. They added that the displays are a brilliant way to showcase students’ work and share their screens.

“When the art teacher saw it in action, her jaw dropped,” Tony noted.

Teachers have also found NovoTouch easy to use, as Tony states: “We would have a regular number of calls to classrooms to fix projectors that weren’t working. Sometimes it was a setting not being reset by a previous user or a problem with the projector itself. With the NovoTouch display, teachers and pupils just connect wirelessly and effortlessly. The IT team’s call out rate to in-lesson problems has plummeted, enabling us to focus on more pressing IT issues.”