This week, we unveiled our latest piece of Jigsaw24 artistry, our own coat of arms. Featuring all our best assets, zebra included, it got us thinking about our favourite and most memorable heraldic works (we’ve got odd hobbies). Here’s what the team came up with, including Canadian, local and magical coats of arms…
Visually stunning Canadian coats
First up, we’re marvelling at the brilliance and slight madness of the coats of arms of the Canadian states. Whereas us Europeans like to keep our coats traditional and feature lots of lions and medieval shields, we were thrilled to find the Canadians not taking things as seriously and thinking more creatively. Who wouldn’t want their coat of arms to feature bison mermaids, flying polar bears or rainbow jaguars?
Looking more locally now, we’ve been investigating Nottingham’s changing coat of arms. Our current coat of arms has been standing since 1933, and features a pair of stags and a castle. Missing is any reference to our beloved outlaw Robin Hood, who was removed from the coat way back in 1905. We’d quite like him to be reinstated, maybe in his Disney fox form.
We couldn’t talk about coats of arms without mentioning the wonderfully detailed and artistic coat of arms of our favourite magical school, Hogwarts. We love the school motto, which translates to ‘never tickle a sleeping dragon’ and the royal gold colour scheme, and who could forget the Hufflepuff badger?
Carrying on from Hogwarts we thought we’d mention another one of our favourite things, pubs. While pub signs might not be the main reason we visit such an establishment, we all enjoy a good bit of pub signage, especially the example below, a hand-painted sign from artist Andrew Grundon.
Our final piece for this week is a collection of Game of Thrones-inspired coat of arms for the Seven Kingdoms’ houses from Russian designer Ivan Belikov. We particularly like his illustrations for the House of Stark and House of Targaryen.
At last night’s Apple ‘Hey Siri’ event we were treated to not only a new iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, but we’ll soon be able to get our hands on a brand new, super-sized iPad Pro and a refreshed iPad mini 4. Here’s how they shape up…
The largest iPad to date, the iPad Pro features a stunning 12.9″ Retina display, 5.6 million pixels, the latest iOS and new 64-bit A9X chip, giving it enough power to rival most portable PCs.
– 32 or 128GB storage options available.
– Silver, gold and space grey colour option.
– 12.9″ Retina display packing in 5.6 million pixels, 2732×2048 resolution at 264 ppi.
– Refined Multi-Touch technology.
-8 mega-pixel iSight camera and 1.2 mega-pixel FaceTime HD camera.
– New Apple A9X chip, delivering up to 1.8 times the CPU performance and double the graphics performance of iPad Air 2.
UK pricing hasn’t been confirmed yet, but keep checking back in for pricing and availability details!
iPad mini 4
The iPad mini has had a face lift! It’s now 18% thinner (at just 6.1mm thin) and slightly lighter, and is powered by a new A8 processor chip. Available in 16, 64 or 128GB capacities, the iPad mini 4 now comes with iOS 9, Apple’s latest mobile operating system.
– 7.9″ display, packing in 3.1 million pixels and 2048×1536 resolution.
– iOS 9, Apple’ latest operating system.
– A8 chip for speedy performance.
– Touch ID.
– 8 mega-pixel iSight camera.
iPad mini 4 prices start from £319 for the WiFi model, £419 for WiFi + Cellular model and will be available in silver, space grey and gold.
Stephenson Memorial Primary School in North Tyneside serves over 400 pupils in what is, historically, a very deprived area. Despite having incredibly hard working staff and a fantastic learning environment, they were still struggling to hit national averages, so they took part in an iPad purchase scheme to help whole families engage in learning. The result? A massive jump in Points Progress and APS.
In July this year, Stephenson Memorial became an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC) so that they could share their learning and help other schools achieve similar results. Here’s what happened when we stopped by their 70s-themed RTC launch event…
On 3rd September Wacom announced the release of a new generation of tablets to their popular Intuos range. Four new models are soon to hit the shelves, in the form of the Intuos Art, Intuos Comic, Intuos Photo and Intuos Draw (pen only).
Want to get hands-on with the new Wacom products? We’re holding a Wacom Drop-in Day on 17th September which you’re more than welcome to attend. Simply fill out the form at the bottom of the page to let us know you’re coming.
Not only have Wacom dropped the four new tablets, but they’ve also announced that they will come with free creative software and video tutorials, so you’ll have everything you need to start working in one package. Here’s what you need to know about them…
– 1024 pen pressure sensitivity levels for great precision and accuracy.
– Four customisable ExpressKeys to give you shortcuts to the functions you use the most.
– Free creative software and video tutorials.
– Quick and easy to set up (plug into your Mac or PC via USB, install the driver, register and download your creative software).
– A choice of size and colour.
(Creative pen tablet)
Perfect for: Sketching and drawing beginners.
The Intuos Draw has been designed with drawing in mind, and is the perfect choice for novices looking to improve their skills. The Intuos Draw comes with free ArtRage Lite software.
Wacom Intuos Draw creative pen tablet – small (blue)
(Creative pen and touch tablet)
Perfect for: More advanced digital art and design.
The Intuos Art is perfect for those of you who will be creating artwork, printing paintings and sharing your work online. The Intuos Art comes with all the tools you need to paint, design and create artwork including Coral Painter Essentials software.
Wacom Intuos Art creative pen and touch tablet – medium (blue)
(Creative pen and touch tablet)
Perfect for: Digital photo editing.
If you’re looking for a tablet that will allow you to perfect your images for printing, push your creative boundaries and share your work with friends and family, the Intuos Photo is the perfect tool for taking your work to the next level. The Intuos Photo comes bundled with plenty of great software including Coral Paintshop Pro X8 for Windows, Coral AfterShot Pro 2 for Windows and Mac and Macphun Creativity Kit (with Tonality Pro, Intensify Pro, Snapheal Pro and Noiseless Pro).
On Thursday 9th July our education team braved the tube strikes and took to the Emmanuel Centre in London for the annual Education Reform Summit 2015. Our reason for attending, other than our enthusiasm for discussing technology in the classroom? We were the proud lead sponsors of the event.
We had a fantastic day down at the Summit listening to keynotes from big names like Nick Gibb: MP and Minister of State for Schools, Tristram Hunt: MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Education, Richard Culatta: Director of the Office of Education Technology, and Munira Mirza: Deputy Mayor of London for Education and Culture discussing what education reform means to them. Here’s a roundup of what we got up to during the Summit…
As the lead sponsors for the event we were out in full orange force with our collateral and videos on display for all to see. We also had our Senior Professional Development Trainer Paul Ford stepping into the position of executive producer and working with a group of students from Langley Grammar School on a challenge-based learning activity.
Working with the students at Langley Grammar School
Throughout the event, Paul worked with the Langley Grammar School students to produce a video response to the question ‘what does education reform mean?’ After producing a storyboard to map out exactly what information they wanted to find out, the students set off to interview delegates at the Summit, including Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt.
A portable greenscreen studio was set up for the students to use for filming their interviews, which they later edited and presented at the end of the event to demonstrate to the delegates how staff and students viewed the day.
The finished product
A massive thanks goes out to the pupils at Langley Grammar School for their hard work in making the video. Here it is…
We’ve got a great team of Pro Audio Experts based across our three offices in Nottingham, MediaCityUK and Soho. And recently we’ve added new faces to our super Soho squad, so we thought it was about time we introduced you to them. Meet our London-based Pro Audio Experts…
Introducing… Andy Brooks, Head of Business Development | Pro Audio
With over 25 years experience supplying over 500 Avid audio solutions, we’re thrilled to have Andy Brooks on board as part of our Pro Audio team. Andy counts some of the world’s most respected audio production facilities, record producers, recording engineers and music artists among his long-term customers, including Abbey Road Studios, Deluxe Media, Halo Post and Warner Brothers.
Introducing… Dave ‘Saxon’ Greenep, Senior Creative Consultant | Pro Audio
Saxon has enjoyed a varied 15-year career in the Pro Audio industry. From being the in-house engineer and musician at Mute Records/EMI Studios (where he worked with the likes of Depeche Mode, Goldfrapp, Nick Cave, The Bad Seeds and Mute’s founder Daniel Miller), to being the composer/mix engineer and editor on commercials for Wrangler, Urban Outfitters and Shepperton Studios, it’s safe to say he knows his stuff!
Saxon’s broad knowledge of Pro Audio allowed him to found ‘The Global Music Community’, a thriving social network for members of the audio industry. In the six months Saxon’s been with us, he’s completed major on-site audio installations for Channel 5, Halo Post, SNK Studios, Sound 24, Splice Post and Steve Lipson/Near Perfect Productions.
Introducing… Matt Lewis, Senior Technical Consultant | Pro Audio
We’ve also added Matt Lewis to our master lineup. He’s been in the game for over ten years now and has worked as an audio producer and engineer, gaining experience in post-production, live entertainment, broadcast, recording studios, corporate enterprises and teaching academies. He’s worked alongside some of the most prestigious companies in the world too, including Apple, BBC, Warner Brothers, Universal Music and Evolutions Television.
Here’s what Oscar and BAFTA award-winning Film Sound Mixer Niv Adiri had to say about Jigsaw24’s Pro Audio Experts…
As well as being Experts with Pro Audio, don’t forget you can also count on us for supplying your complete, end-to-end Broadcast and Post-Production solutions. Visit www.Jigsaw24.com/broadcast to see how we can help you!
In this video, Adobe’s Senior Director for Product Management Terry White introduces Adobe Stock, the new stock content sharing service. Adobe Stock allows you to purchase 40 million royalty free stock photos, illustrations and graphics from within the new 2015 Creative Cloud desktop applications. Watch Terry demonstrate how simple it is to purchase, edit and use Adobe Stock images…
We answer our most asked Adobe Creative Cloud questions and put the myths to rest…
Do I have to run CC apps in my web browser?
No. It may be called Creative Cloud, but you aren’t confined to cloud and web-based services. Certain aspects are web-based, like the online training tutorials and the cloud storage, but your core apps still run on your desktop.
Do I need to be constantly connected to the internet?
You will need to be connected to the internet when you install and license your software, but once you’re up and running you don’t need an internet connection. However, you’ll need to make sure you connect your CC-running devices to the internet once per month, just so that Adobe are aware that your membership is still current.
Do I have to buy a complete membership?
If you’re likely to use a range of CC apps then we’d recommend you buy Creative Cloud Complete, but if you know you’ll only need one or two applications, you can purchase single app subscriptions.
Do I have any control over updates?
As a Creative Cloud subscription holder, you’ll have access to all the latest updates as soon as they’re available. But you can download them at your leisure – they won’t automatically download. If you’d like greater control over updates, Creative Cloud packager allows you to centrally choose when applications are updated. You can even have access to archived versions of Creative Suite if you need them.
Do I have to use cloud storage?
As part of your subscription you are given 100GB of cloud storage – whether you want to use this is up to you. Your IT departments are able to set access rights for teams using Creative Cloud, so you can decide whether you’d like your users to have access to cloud storage or not.
axle release new camera workflow software, axle Cam, which automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Here’s the press release…
“ORLANDO, Florida- June 17, 2015- axle Video, developer of media management tools for video production, broadcast, news-gathering, and other applications that are easy to install, use and afford, today announced the release of a groundbreaking new product that resolves elegantly and cost effectively – the most persistent problem faced by videographers today: managing complex camera media. Shown for the first time at InfoComm 2015, axle Cam is a low-cost camera ingest application that streamlines the process of acquiring, organising and sharing media from today’s most popular video cameras and DSLRs.”
axle Cam resolves organisational issues caused by multiple file formats, bitrates, file wrappers and folder structures. The software automatically detects, imports and organises camera media. Users are then able to instantly access, edit and share files through a simple user interface that leverages axle’s radically simple media management technology. The product supports DSLRs and HD cameras made by Sony, Panasonic, Canon, JVC, Nikon and GoPro. The company is developing specialised modules to support higher-end cinema cameras, though release dates have not yet been announced.
axle Cam is an ideal solution for news organisations, sports broadcasters, professional videographers, schools, governmental organisations, religious groups and others who deal with large volumes of camera media. It provides a simple path between production and editorial, and makes it easier to share camera media with other parties for review and approval or collaborative editing.
“axle Cam is the missing link between the camera and the computer,” says axle Video CEO Sam Bogoch. “It eliminates the countless hours video professionals now spend in processing and organising camera files before they can be used by others.”
With a cost of just $995 for a two user licence (UK pricing TBC), axle Cam is priced far below competing solutions, making it a compelling choice for a range of professional users.
axle Cam is a comprehensive and versatile solution. During ingest, camera files are rewrapped with no reduction in image quality, and low resolution H.264 proxy versions of camera media are created for use in editorial and review. The application also features a suite of integrated media management tools, including an interface for displaying media in browsers or mobile devices, a search function for technical and other metadata, and a dashboard grid layout that makes it easy to designate sources and select actions.
“DSLRs and video cameras generate dozens of files and folders, which for the majority of users, are needless clutter,” notes Bogoch. “It leads to more workflow steps, more errors and misplaced shots, and less time for creativity. axle Cam provides an elegant, automated solution, it cleans up incoming files, makes H.264 proxies, grabs the metadata, and displays it in a browser/mobile interface.”
Media Files Supported:
– MOV/MP4 – Samsung NX1 H.265, any format playable by QuickTime Player or plug-ins.
– M2T – HDV-style M2T streams (MPEG2 video with MP2 audio).
axle Cam was demonstrated at axle Video’s booth at InfoComm2015 in Orlando, FL on June 17-19 (Booth 490) and will ship by the 1st July. The software is priced at $995 for a two user licence, and we’ll let you know as soon as it’s available to order in the UK!
Grafton Primary School is a large four form Primary School in Dagenham, a suburb of East London, with approximately 950 students between Nursery and Year 6 on the roll. Although the school is in the top percentile for deprivation, the teaching and managerial staff have created a well organised, positive and safe learning environment for the children, who are flourishing under their care.
Committed to the introduction and improvement of ICT within the school, Stephen Hawke, Assistant Head and ICT Coordinator at Grafton began overhauling the school’s IT resources two years ago shortly after joining the school. Impressed with new software and apps that can enhance children’s learning experiences in line with the curriculum, Stephen worked to upgrade the school’s server and install new PCs, robust interactive front-of-class touchscreens and iPads into the classrooms.
Clevertouch talked to Stephen recently about ICT at Grafton and how it has changed since he joined the school in 2012.
Why is good ICT so important in schools?
Because society relies so heavily on instant connectivity these days, schools have a responsibility to prepare children for the future and ensure that they have the necessary skills to join a digital workforce when the time comes.
What technology do you have in the classrooms?
The classrooms at Grafton Primary School have PCs running Windows 7, which are used with Clevertouch 84” interactive touchscreens at the front of the class. We also have a few 70”, 65” and 55” screens in the library and break out spaces. The students also have iPad and the school uses a variety of software and apps on both the front-of-class screens and the iPad devices.
In addition to the classroom technology, we have an ICT suite for specific ICT lessons and our code club, which takes place before school on a Tuesday morning and is very popular with our older students.
How do the children at Grafton surprise you?
When it comes to IT, the children here surprise me in a number of ways. Often as an adult we expect children to use things in a specific way because that’s what we do. Children pick a new device up and engage with it in their own way, they don’t need to be taught and navigate technology intuitively, coming up with their own solutions and uses.
What was it like when the children got to use to the touchscreen for the first time?
Their faces light up when they use them. It was amazing seeing them run in to class the morning after the Clevertouch screens had been installed saying “have you seen our screen, have you seen our screen?” They were really excited.
How has the touchscreen helped the staff to lesson plan?
Quite often the Clevertouch screens will be the starting point of a lesson plan. The teachers often look at the ways in which they can get the children to interact with the screens as part of the lesson to make it more interesting and engaging so that the children can access learning in a more stimulating way.
Has technology improved or enhanced the learning experience of kids with learning difficulties?
I think the technology in the classroom has improved the learning experience of the children across all abilities. For example, teachers can set different levels on the apps that the children are working with on their iPad without it being obvious to their peers.
Clevertouch screens work with the software Snowflake and Lynx, which enables teachers to change the background colours on the screen – great for dyslexic children. Snowflake also enables you to split screens so that children can work side by side or collaborate on work together.
The early-years team use the Clevertouch screens, iPad and other resources such as recording devices to help children thoroughly explore words so that they really know them inside out.
Ultimately, technology helps the children to access and engage on a more sensory level, which makes it more enjoyable and it helps information to penetrate.
What’s the main difference in the classroom since bringing in interactive touchscreens and iPad (e.g. more collaborative, interactive)?
One of the benefits of introducing iPad and the 84” interactive Clevertouch touchscreens into the classrooms at Grafton is that they have directed learning back to the front of the class and encouraged greater interactivity between teachers and pupils. Before we had Clevertouch screens we had projectors with visualizers, which often shadowed and required greater attention and input from teachers, keeping them behind the desk rather than in front of the children.
The old projectors would over-heat often and weren’t as robust as our new Clevertouch screens, which have been made for education and can withstand hard knocks. If the old visualisers were knocked or bashed by accident you had to recalibrate everything, which took time away from teaching and the pace of learning.
Has classroom technology assisted with the assessment process?
The Clevertouch touchscreens and iPad have improved the efficiency of the assessment process in Early Years, where the teachers use the 2Build a Profile app from 2Simple to capture observations on the move.
Every teacher has an iPad which allows them to make informal observations and record oral and visual work by taking photos and videos of the children. These can then be used as evidence for Ofsted and provide a great showcase for parents to actually see what the children have been doing in lessons.
Clevertouch had the robustness behind screen, they had the software and now they have apps that are scaled for large screens. Clevertouch haven’t just built a good presentation touchscreen, they’ve built a screen for education and the software reflects that because it’s so easy to use and adaptable.
What do you find most rewarding about your job?
The best part of my job is that I’ve had a positive impact on the 950 children that attend this school through our improved ICT – not just the children in my class.
Is it a good time to be working in education?
It’s a very exciting time in education at the moment, the technology is really pulling things together to enhance the learning experience in schools. When I first started teaching you had your Smart boards and could perform basic functions like writing on them, watching videos and moving a few shapes around but not to any degree of quality. Now we have 84” 1080 P HD touchscreens in classrooms, which you can mirror iPad to and pull in all sorts of online resources that you just couldn’t do five years ago. Learning should be a fully interactive experience for both teacher and learner. Technology today makes this easier and far more exciting.