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A light touch webinar designed for busy teachers and other colleagues who are tight for time. December 4th 2020. This event is now passed.
Why does it matter? See this short video.

pdf of the many questions & answers is here

This webinar explores the impact of optimising CO2, TVOC, PM2.5, humidity, temperature, noise and light, on our schools and learning spaces; gains range from better behaviour to advances in academic perfomance.

It also suggests simple and affordable ways to correct things when any of these 7 variables are outside of optimum levels for learning.


Seven <10 minute recorded videos, were released today, Wednesday 2nd December (UK time), before the event. These can then be viewed, or selected, and shared, at any time after that. Videos will be linked from this web page.

In addition, this web page will be linked to a live chat window (a Google doc table) for your text questions, in english or spanish, which will be answered live at the following times:

The chat window will be answered live at

14:00 - 16:00 GMT Friday afternoon December 4th
and again (to help S Hemisphere colleagues) between
08:00 - 10:00 GMT Tuesday morning December 8th

You can connect at either time of course.
The connection will go live from this web page

Although the "live" chat will open and close at those times, all the resources, including Q&As and broader chat activity - will be curated and available afterwards, for years.

The "live chat" will include a troubleshooting secion for those of you with Learnometers who need a bi of tech support.

Always start at this page please.

Seven <10 minute recorded video inputs
these go live from the images below, on 2nd December 2020

click on each image below for a short video;
slight delay, they are high quality

CO2 (ppm)

As students learn, and teachers teach, they breathe in oxygen and exhale CO2.

Once CO2 reaches levels of 1,000 part per million (and maybe lower, some research suggests) we know that learning is impaired. Many classrooms run damagingly above this level.

click image to view video

temperature (°C)

The optimum range for learning is 18°C - 21°C. Above 21°C academic performance drops in a straight line.

Classrooms needing windows and doors to be opened - to reduce CoVID aerosol tranmission dangers - may be colder than many students were used to, but that is no bad thing.

click image to view video

light (lux)

Teacher colleagues suffering regular headaches - or feeling exhausted on a Friday - may be surprised to hear the impact of poor light on that.

But for children: engagement, attention, deep concentration are all impacted by light. Above 500 lux, with a Kelving value of 5,500+ is what optimal learning needs.

click image to view video


There is probably a PhD or two in defining what “total volatile organic compounds" precisely are - but you'd recognise the chemical smells from fresh, oil-based paint, or from glueing carpet tiles.

TVOCs are not good for learning. Alarmingly our Learnometers have shown high TVOC levels in classrooms because of Deep Cleaning for CoVID.

click image to view video

humidity (%)

Humidity has leapt to the fore in 2020 because moist airways help capture inhaled virus bearing particles - so that humidity helps reduce infection rates. But as well as too dry, humidity can also be too moist. The optimal seems to lie somewhere beween 40% - 60%

click image to view video

Noise / sounds (dB)

Every teacher will know how distracting excessive noise can be. Lots of research on vehicle noise and driver concentration confirms our common sense. Under 76dB is a good target.

But the rapidity of noise patterns is a concentration wrecker too. Quiet music can help, but the "right" music is not always what you might expect.

click image to view video

microparticulates (pm2.5)

The nasty soot particles from traffic and industrial pollution are well documented as Bad For Your Wellbeing. The CoVID virus can hitch a ride on them too, making them even more unhealthy.

But now we know that they can also damage cognitive processes - with students possibly dropping a full year of schooling before 15 as a consequence.


click image to view video

technical support

And finally (no video for this section) if you already have a Learnometer, or Learnometers but need a bit of technical support - then this final section is a Q&A for Tech Help

no video for this chat session

our thanks to the wonderful staff and children of Fingringhoe Primary School in Essex who hosted the video session and to Gratnells who provided some of the video capture.

See also:

  1. the next webinar in this very light touch format - for busy professionals - features the impact of aerosols in our schools and learning places. Date to be announced but after Christmas 2020. The draft web page is already posted.
  2. a webinar for SEK parents - all details from this link - is before Christmas
  3. the 3rd webinar in this series will be around Playful Learning - similar format, again aimed at busy learning professional with limited time and this time with a Playful Challenge to be launched too
  4. It's not too late to buy youself a Learnometer - the sensors are accurate, calibrated and reliable. Gratnells distribute them

These webinars are created for teachers and others in the SEK schools around the world and in our Learnometer family of mini-research schools in Australia.

It is open to other schools too however, there is no need to register, just watch the webinar videos and return for the chat streams on the scheduled following days.

Prof Stephen Heppell of UCJC
this page last updated on Wednesday, December 16, 2020