Weekly design inspiration: 25 years of Photoshop, pancake art and optical illusions

Weekly design inspiration: 25 years of Photoshop, pancake art and optical illusions

This week we celebrated Photoshop’s 25th birthday, Pancake Day and revelled in the joy that we now know who killed Lucy in EastEnders. Here’s a round up of some of our favourite creative inspirations from our celebratory week…

1. 25 years of beautiful, fake images brought to you by Photoshop

Happy 25th Birthday to Adobe’s much loved digital imaging software, Photoshop. Now, whenever I’m feeling old, I can seek comfort in knowing that Photoshop has been around for longer than I have. We’re enjoying Matt Novak’s homage to Photoshop and his collection of his favourite Photoshopped images. The CCTV camera outside George Orwell’s house is one of our favourites, with George Bush not far behind.

25 years of beautiful, fake images brought to you by Photoshop via gixmodo.com

2. Pancake art

A nice topical one for this week. On Tuesday we all gathered in the kitchen for a mid morning pancake. As much as we enjoyed being able to bring our Nutella and maple syrup jars into the office, our pancakes were nowhere near up the the standard of Nathan Shields. Meet super-dad, maths teacher and pancake artist Nathan Shields who certainly wins the award for most creative design for a pancake. His Disney princess collection is particularly charming, as is his African animal series.

Pancake art by Sainpancakes.com

3. Largest ever image of Andromeda M31 Galaxy

In late January NASA released this stunning high definition image of the Andromeda M31 Galaxy. It’s been described as the “sharpest large composite image ever taken of our galactic next-door neighbour”. The image itself has a resolution of 1.5 billion pixels (1.5 gigapixels) and has a storage size of 4.5GB. What you’re looking at is a 48,000 light-year long stretch of galaxy and over 100 million stars. I don’t even think i could imagine what 1 light-year looks like, let alone 48,000, i’ve only just mastered kilometres. Take a look at the zoom-able version of the image here.

Sharpest ever view of the Andromeda Galaxy

4. Mind-bending optical illusion paintings

We love this series of 25 images by Canadian artist Rob Gonsalves. His paintings are drawn from his interest in drawing from the imagination and “magic realism”. His paintings are utterly breathtaking, we really could never tire of looking at them (except maybe one or two, which we can’t decide whether we find fascinating or creepy).

Mind-bending optical illusion paintings via wherecoolthingshappen.com

5. Design of the Year 2015

The nominees have been announced for this year’s Design Museum ‘Design of the Year 2015’, and they’re all amazing. It’s hard not to feel inspired by such creativity. We were going to pick out one category and highlight a few of our favourites, but in truth there’s so much captivating work (some you might recognise from our previous blogs) that we really couldn’t pick a favourite.

Such lies.

We were trying to be impartial, but obviously we’ve picked our favourite. Taken from the ‘Fashion’ category, our winner goes to Kate and Laura Muleavy’s series of Star Wars-inspired dresses. Not sure how we’d accessorise a C-3PO dress though…

Design of the Year 2015 via designmuseum.org

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Weekly design Inspiration: Penguin jumpers, hamster love and CD corpses

Weekly design Inspiration: Penguin jumpers, hamster love and CD corpses

This week we’ve gone through all the emotions with our inspiration. We’ve got Valentines day and Friday the 13th to contend with and we find our inspiration as a mix of the cute and the slightly disturbing. We’re serving up penguins in jumpers, hamster love and dead people made from CDs…

Penguins in jumpers

The only thing more adorable than a penguin in a jumper is a 109-year-old man knitting the jumpers. Alfie Date is the oldest man in Australia, who spends his days knitting jumpers for injured penguins. He is too cute, we can’t cope, we want him to be our adoptive granddad. If knitting is your thing and you fancy doing your bit for charity – here’s the link to the Penguin Foundation website, where you can find out more about knitting for nature.

Australia’s oldest person knits jumpers for penguins via telegraph.co.uk.

Tiny Hamster’s tiny date

Sticking with the cuddly animal theme… Happy Valentines day one and all – here’s two hamsters getting in to the spirit of romance. Chivalry certainly isn’t dead for rodents.


Tiny Hamster’s tiny date via YouTube.


Brightening up London Children’s hospital

Vital Arts is an organisation for Barts Health NHS Trust, which works to make hospitals a more welcoming place for children through the use of art. The art work is completely charming, we can see why it’s made the hospital seem a far less frightening and stressful place. Our favourite place is the Trauma and Gastroenterology Ward by Morag Myerscough (there’s a sentence we never thought we’d say). The combination of work from different artists creates a really lovely mix – I’d quite like a curtain around my bed at home like the scenic ones they have in the wards. Take a look at the full range of artwork commission for this project here – it’s magical.

London Children’s hospital art via Buzzfeed.com

Piracy Project

Now we’ve got the nice sentimental stuff out of the way, we’d like to present dead musicians made from their own records. Italian designers Mirco Pagano and Moreno De Turco have created this amazing ‘Piracy Project’ ad campaign against internet piracy, by creating musical icons with their ‘greatest hits’ CDs. We really appreciated this piece after spending several minutes discussing Valentines day.

Piracy Project by Mirco Pagano & Moreno De Turco via abduzeedo.com

New Norwegian Currency and a fake Hungarian Euro

We’ve got an interesting little currency theme going on here. We’re keen on the new Norwegian currency which features a water themed-illustration on one side (we like the Viking ships) and then a pixelated version on the reverse. It’s little additions like the higher the denomination of the note, the more pixelated the image becomes, that make our currency seem so ordinary. If we suddenly open up an office in Norway – you know why.

New Norwegian currency via norges-bank.no

In contrast, Barbara Bernát has designed her own paper version of a mythical Hungarian Euro. It’s a shame this isn’t an actual currency – it’s really lovely, who wouldn’t want to pay for their goods with a €20 hooded crow?

Hungarian Euro via Behance

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.



BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

Here’s our final discussion topic from BETT 2015: why we recommend Apple for education. Here’s a breakdown of our top five reasons why we think Apple in education is the way forward.

Yes, we’re an Apple Solution Expert for Education: so obviously we wear the Apple nerd hat with pride. But, when it comes to education, you really can’t get any better than Apple. Here’s a breakdown of our top five favourite Apple features that we think make them top of the class.

1. iTunes and the App Store

There are currently over 75,000 education apps on the App store, with a large proportion of these being available as free downloads. With the introduction of the new Computing curriculum seeing students learning about coding in lessons, what better resource to make use of than the App Store? Incidentally there’s a great range of apps both free and paid for to help children of all key stages learn and practice their coding skills. Its not all tech based though – there are apps to help with all subjects from maths and biology to music. Keep an eye on our education app of the week blog to see our pick of recommended apps.

2. iTunes U

iTunes U is a dedicated destination within iTunes solely dedicated to education content. It’s packed with resources like lectures, videos and books, all available for free for both teachers and pupils to take advantage of. Educational institutions including Stanford, Yale, MiT, Oxford and the New York Public Library all have material on iTunes U that is free to browse. As well as looking at existing content, you can also use iTunes U for free content hosting for lesson materials and creating your own course – a service which we can help you with. Teaching staff can assign students homework to do via iTunes U, with students being able to log time and complete tasks as they do them.

3. Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) for Education

VPP lets you purchase App Store apps and interactive books that are great for education, at educational institution special pricing. Buy apps in volume for both iOS and Mac through the VPP store and distribute them to individual users with redeemable codes or distribute to groups using a mobile device management (MDM) solution.

Schools can get a 50% discount when purchasing apps in quantities of 20 or more through VPP, with iBooks also being included in this.

4. Continuing professional development training (CPD)

When new technology is introduced into education, it’s important to make sure that your staff are clued up on how to use it. Through our e7 iPad scheme, we offer continuing professional development (CPD) training which focuses on giving SLT, teaching staff and technical team the chance to explore the potential of iPad in the classroom, and feel confident about using it in their subject areas.

5. iBooks Author

Available free on the App Store, iBooks Author allows anyone to create iBooks textbooks for iPad and Mac. iBooks Author provides teaching staff with the opportunity to create their own textbooks, which can easily be edited to keep up with the changing curriculum. Using iBooks Author can easily save your school money too – by eliminating the cost of buying new textbooks every year.

To find more about Apple in education email learning@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 333 or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/education. To keep up with all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 

Weekly design inspiration: Paper animals, hidden brands and cone art

Weekly design inspiration: Paper animals, hidden brands and cone art

Now that February is upon us and we’ve finally made it through our dry January, we’ve gone for a more light-hearted theme for our inspiration this week. We’ve got paper mammals, animals in cones and an amazing new app that allows volunteers to act as the eyes for the blind…

Life sized Paper mammals

First up, we’ve been enjoying this series of life sized paper animals from Estudio Guardabosques. Originally this project started out as an installation for a Decoupage Art Show entrance, as a series of life-sized, cardboard models of some of Argentina’s endangered species. We love these original models, especially how they blend in with their surroundings in full chameleon style camouflage. But we equally love the next stage of the project, where the animals adopt full colour – just look at that spectacled bear. *This would be a great addition to supermarket entrances as somewhere to leave children (or even fully grown adults) to play.

Paper animals by Estudio Guardabosques via Behance

Logos with hidden messaging

It’s been an educational week for us all, after learning that there’s a hidden arrow in the FedEx logo between the E and x – we’re still getting over this news. We love this collection of logos with hidden messaging, although I still can’t find the bear in the Toblerone logo. We’re now looking for ways to hide a zebra in our logo.

 Logos with hidden messages via Pinterest

Lend your eyes to the blind

Even if eyes creep you out – you can still get involved with this genius new app. ‘Be My Eyes’ is an app that connects blind people with volunteer helpers from around the world via live video chat. You act as a pair of eyes for a blind person and help them out with everyday tasks like checking the sell by dates on products and reading the mail. We love the video that accompanies this app, it nearly made us weep.

Be My Eyes app by bemyeyes.org

Cone art

Naturally, the correct reaction when your pet is injured is to deface the extremely flattering plastic cone they have to wear, to make them look more like Batman. We love how immature this series is – who doesn’t love a dog dressed up like a Martini? Just because we spent a good ten minutes giggling over these pictures, we thought this deserved a place in our weekly inspiration.

Cone Art via stumbleupon.com

Seebuehne Theatre, Austria

Spending an evening watching the opera on a stage floating on Lake Constance in Austria can only be described as magical. We have no idea how this stage exists, floats or how it can be individually designed and put together to look so completely different, but we’re still amazed by it.

The Floating Opera Stage of the Bregenz Festival, Austria via entertainmentdesigner.com

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.




Guide to Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme

Guide to Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme

Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme or DEP is something you’re going to be hearing more and more about over the coming months. For those of you who don’t know what DEP is or want to find out how it will affect you, we’ve put together a simple guide to run you through the programme, and how it will affect you for any future or past purchases you’ve made with Jigsaw24.

What is it?

In as few words as possible the Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) is a new ‘zero touch’ service from Apple that helps businesses and education institutions easily deploy and manage iPad, iPhone and Mac devices that are purchased directly from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller (like us).

In a few more words, DEP makes your existing MDM solution even more hands-off, by allowing the institution to send its preferred settings straight to Apple, who then installs these on your devices as soon as users turn their new devices on. Ideally, you’ll already have an MDM solution in place, but if not, keep on reading for more information about our range of hosted and managed services.

The introduction of DEP with MDM makes deploying and delivering new devices across your institution a speedy process, and ensures that new devices are protected and restricted as soon as the user switches them on. It cuts out the lengthy process of having to manually add the right configurations to devices every time a new member of staff starts, or you purchase a new device.

How does DEP work?

DEP works by applying MDM settings to your devices automatically during setup when they’re first turned on, simplifying the process for IT and end-users. When you buy a new device for your business, you can enrol your devices into the DEP and they’ll automatically have the correct MDM profile and permissions installed when they are first switched on. This means your devices are ready for you to deploy and distribute straight away.

What devices does it cover?

Devices including iPad, iPhone and Mac can all be enrolled in the DEP. It’s worth noting that all new purchases are automatically enrolled in DEP, and any devices that were purchased after March 2011 can also be enrolled. If you enrol your existing devices in to the DEP you’ll need to make sure you’ve associated your devices with the reseller you purchased them from. Our Jigsaw24 Reseller ID is 2287450. To enrol your devices in the DEP click here.

How does it work with MDM?

To use DEP with your MDM solution you need to register your MDM server with Apple so that their servers will remember the configurations you like to deploy to your different types of users. You’ll then get sent a ‘token’ for your MDM server that identifies it to Apple. When you add new hardware to your institution or reload the operating system of your existing hardware, Apple will effectively see your organisation’s token and apply the setup you specified automatically through DEP when you turn the device on for the first time – meaning you wont have to apply the same settings and restrictions every time you get a new device or reload the operating system on an existing one.

What if I don’t have an MDM solution?

DEP will simplify your device deployments, but requires MDM to work. So although you may not yet be using an MDM solution, we would recommend it, as it will save your IT department and users time and stress.

We can provide you with an MDM solution to meet your needs, whether you want to manage it yourself or have it as managed service, host it on premise or in the cloud. Check out our managed supply services here.

What does this mean for education?

MDM is a way to control iPad and install apps on them in bulk without having to collect them all and plug them in. You gain wireless control of restrictions, apps, books, camera functions, the ability to reset forgotten passcodes, and force a class of iPad into a specific app for pupil focus. We recommend MDM as the best way to manage iPad.

All your institution-owned devices can now be enrolled in DEP and associated with an MDM solution. Meaning that whether you use iPad, Mac or iPhone your devices will be configured with your MDM solution as soon as you turn them on. Any existing devices your institution owns can be enrolled in DEP too, as long as they were purchased after March 2011.

So if you were to roll out iPad on a 1:1 basic school-wide with our e7 scheme, your new devices will be enrolled in the DEP and will arrive at your school ready to be configured with the permissions and access rights set up by your MDM solution as soon as you switch them on.

What does it mean for business?

DEP provides a fast and streamlined way to deploy your corporate-owned iOS devices, by automating enrolment in MDM and the supervision of devices during setup. To enrol your corporate-owned devices that were purchased after March 2011 into DEP you’ll need to create an Apple Deployment Programme account and provide Apple with some basic information about your business, including details about your hardware purchases made directly from Apple or an Apple Authorised Reseller (that’s us). You can do this here.

Once you’ve done this you can create and assign people as additional administrators, who are responsible for managing and configuring your corporate-owned devices.

What if I have Apple Configurator?

You have the option to transition to DEP. However, Apple does not allow supervision of devices with configurator if that device is registered to the DEP profile. So you can set up devices with DEP or Configurator, but not both on the same device. If you already have devices enrolled with Apple configurator or an MDM solution using Apple configurator, these can be wiped and re-enrolled to the DEP.

Enhancements to Volume Purchase Programme (VPP)

Volume Purchase Programme now allows for a ‘managed distribution’ model. This model assigns apps to AppleIDs instead of devices, so that apps can appear on the devices without anyone having to type in a password or agree to the installation. Apps can install silently and be ready to use without intervention. Your MDM solution needs to understand who the users are in your organisation and what their AppleIDs are. You can now upload a ‘token’ from the VPP programme that indicates the apps that you’ve purchased. In your MDM interface, you can now assign apps to groups of users, resulting in only specific AppleIDs getting access to apps.

Want to talk to us in more detail about DEP or MDM? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Weekly design inspiration: Moss art, New York photography and miniature cities

Weekly design inspiration: Moss art, New York photography and miniature cities

We moaned last week about our disappointment over the lack of snow, but this week we find ourselves moaning when our cars struggle to make it through the slush to the top of the hill to the office. Here’s what’s been getting our creative team through the snowy week. We’ve got some epic pictures of the New York skyline, cities on food and moss. You have to read it to believe it…

Moss graffiti

Yep, you read right, this week we’re feeling inspired by moss. And why not? If you find your cupboards are overly stocked with buttermilk, yoghurt, sugar and corn syrup and you’ve got an overwhelmingly large supply of moss, then here’s the perfect solution to use it up. Blend together the above ingredients (moss included) and you’ve made yourself the perfect moss paste to start painting with. Here are a few examples of our favourite works of moss. Rumour has it beer works just as well as water to make your mixture – but realistically, who has beer to waste on moss paintings?

Google ‘moss graffiti’ and this is what happens.

New York skyline

Photographer Vincent Laforet has provided us with some serious ‘gasp’ moments this week with his stunning series of images of the New York skyline, taken from leaning out of an open door of a helicopter 7,500 feet over New York City during the night. I don’t think we need to say any more, other than you must check out his photos – they’re unbelievably amazing.


‘From Above’ by Vincent Laforet

Miniature cities on food

This collaboration from illustrator Bea Crespo and photographer Andrea Portoles sees popular food combined with the area it’s famously associated with. They release a new image every two weeks, sadly, there’s not yet a Nottingham one. But there are ones for Dublin, London and Rome that we think are utterly adorable!

Miniature cities pop up on the food that are iconic of them via designtaxi.com

The best Christmas card EVER

Are we really early for Christmas 2015 or really late with Christmas 2014? Either way, we’re loving this Christmas card from Bird Box Studio that’s the all singing, all dancing card we always dreamed of receiving. Genuinely, this would keep us entertained for hours.

Bird Box Christmas card by Bird Box Studio

Magic carpets made from rubbish

We really will never look at an empty plastic bottle the same way again. Bob, Marcia and Stijn are a trio of Amsterdam-based artists that take ordinary, everyday objects and make them into carpets. Judging by the amount of rubbish down the sides of the A610 in Nottingham, we’d be able to make a pretty good carpet. Our favourites in this collection are the pasta carpet and cup carpet – these guys have certainly given Phoebe from friends a run for her money for the most creative use for a cup.

The incredible magic carpets of everyday junk via messynessychic.com

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.



Gearing up for BVE 2015

Gearing up for BVE 2015

It’s that time of year again. BVE will be taking to the ExCeL arena in London on the 24th – 26th February 2015, and we’ll be down there offering our words of Jigsaw24 wisdom. Just like last year, we’ll be giving you the opportunity to book a meeting with us down at BVE, so we can walk around the event with you, offer you advice and answer any questions you might have.

Interested in meeting us down at BVE? Email us at BVE@Jigsaw24.com, and we can sort out a meet up.

What, no stand?

Much like last year, we wont be having a stand at BVE this year. Our reason behind this: because we’ve now got our swanky new Soho services and customer experience centre, that’s open all year round and is fully kitted out for demos, including the full Avid family. If you do want to come in and demo some of our kit, it’s dead simple – simply fill out a quick form on our website and we’ll get back to you and book you in. We’ll have the kettle on, and be ready and waiting show you our demo kit and answer your questions.

Soho solution

It’s not that we don’t love BVE, we do, and we’re looking forward to meeting you down there. We’re just really proud of our new place in Soho, so we want to make the most of it. As well as being able to host demos, we also do Mac repairs, same day collection for everyday tech supplies like drives and cables and host events. Check out our events page, to find out more about the events we’ve got coming up in the next few weeks. Spoiler: there’s free beer and dim sum on offer.

Our roundup:

Keep checking back for all the latest announcements and resources from BVE – we promise we’ll keep it up to date!

Want to find out more about Jigsaw24 at BVE 2015? Email us at BVE@Jigsaw24.com, to set up a meeting. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

10 reasons to use Adobe in education

10 reasons to use Adobe in education

With Adobe being the go to software for creatives everywhere, it’s a great idea to introduce the key applications into schools and get your students clued up on the industry-standard tech, before they leave education and enter the world of work. Here are our top ten reasons for bringing Adobe into education…

1. Ensure your students are industry ready

Being Creative Cloud literate is an essential workplace skill for anyone looking to work in the creative industry. So by starting young and introducing students to this industry-standard software, you’re giving them the best possible head start for when they leave school and enter the world of work. In comparison to running Creative Suite 6, Creative Cloud updates are available and accessible as soon as they’re ready, so your students will be well clued up and in the know with key applications like Photoshop CC and Illustrator CC.

2. Collaborate more efficiently 

Each seat on your Complete Named User Licence plan comes with 100GB of cloud storage – five times more than with an individual membership – for file sharing, versioning, and anytime access to every project from one place. With students being able to save their work to the cloud, they aren’t confined to one specific machine; they can access their work across a range of devices, both desktop and mobile.

3. Grow your students creative skills and develop their portfolios

Access the entire Adobe library of video tutorials that make learning new apps easy and give your students the responsibility to conduct their learning independently, allowing them to take control and research areas of particular interest to them.

4. Get one-on-one support from Adobe product experts

Have questions? Want to learn something new? Adobe Creative Cloud for teams includes two free one-on-one phone calls with an Adobe product expert per user each year. Note: This is for named users only. To find out more about the different licensing options for education, visit our page here.

5. Access a high-quality library of curated creative content

Give your class access to a free collection of over 30,000 curated assets for creatives with Creative Cloud Market, available on both desktop and mobile devices. Again, Market is for named users only.

6. Create and collaborate from anywhere

Your class can work whenever, wherever, with all-new mobile apps that are tightly integrated with the latest Adobe creative tools. Students can start work on Photoshop CC on desktop computers then pick up the same project on iPad with new mobile CC apps like Photoshop Mix and Photoshop Sketch. This only really applies to named users as any work students do from CC apps is synched via the cloud.

7. Always stay on budget

Annual plans offer flexibility and stability. Licence Adobe’s complete collection of creative tools or single apps. Both named users or device licences provide you with flexibility to select your own renewal date to coincide with budgets.

8. Simplify your software management

Add or reassign seats anytime with the easy-to-use admin console, and deploy apps and updates your way with Creative Cloud Packager. Named users only!

9. Discover top creatives with Adobe Creative Talent Search

Give your students access to the work of designers, illustrators, artists, and more to use as inspiration for their own work using the Creative Talent Search in Behance. Named licence users can also upload their own portfolios of work to Behance and share their ideas with far more people than a class of 30.

10. Champion creativity with students and staff

Creative Cloud for teams gets better all the time. Take pride in seeing your students excel and be top of the class while continuing to push the limits of their creative possibility.

Want to find out more about Adobe in education? Give our team a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

BETT 2015: SWOT analysis of school infrastructure

BETT 2015: SWOT analysis of school infrastructure

Now that BETT is in full swing, we thought we’d address another one of our key topics we’ll be discussing down at the ExCeL arena this week. We’ve been looking at the effect that poor WiFi and IT infrastructure has upon schools and student learning. We’ll be ‘swot’-ing up and looking at the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that schools are faced with on a daily basis, with their IT infrastructure.

You might not be aware of the impact that poor IT infrastructure can have upon your students. But whether you’re a primary or secondary school, higher or further education institution, keeping up with your tech is vital. Here’s why…

What is IT infrastructure?

When we’re talking IT infrastructure we’re referring to all the hardware, software, networks and facilities in your school that are used to develop, test, deliver, monitor, control or support your IT services. Simply, if it has a wire or some flashing lights, it’s probably part of your IT infrastructure.

Why it’s good to keep your IT infrastructure up to date:

Let’s draw a hypothetical picture and go on a journey. If your IT infrastructure is feeling slightly neglected, you might find that your WiFi is running slower, meaning it’s taking longer for your students to access the sites and the work they need in lessons, leading to a lapse in concentration and a negative impact upon their classwork. Rewind and let’s think about a school with tip-top infrastructure: fast, secure WiFi and managed classroom devices which restrict what content students can and can’t access, to keep them safe online. In this setup, students are more focused because the content they need to access loads quickly, meaning no lapse in concentration and a more engaged classroom.

IT infrastructure isn’t just confined to the state of your WiFi, it also concerns general infrastructure like storage availability. By providing your students (and staff) with plenty of secure storage, you’re encouraging your students that there’s room for all of their ideas. Realistically, there’s no point in investing in new devices like tablets, laptops, desktop computers, 3D printers or interactive touchscreen displays (to name a few) if your school isn’t ready for it. So by ensuring that your infrastructure can support all your existing and any new devices, you’re creating an environment within your school to inspire staff and students’ learning. 

What if tech isn’t really your thing?

Updating your school’s IT infrastructure can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you’re not clued up on technology. Knowing which solution to go for and the added budget worry of trying to keep costs down can seem even more of a challenge. The solution: finding an education service provider that can come into your school, map out your current infrastructure and provide you with a report, which you can then use to come up with a sensible solution.

Take a look at our range of WiFi for education and managed services here, to see how we could help you close the void in learning with mobile technology due to poor WiFi. Our services and solutions can set you up with faster, more reliable WiFi, mobile device management to keep your students safe online, a secure network so you can get a full overview of what your students can access and plenty of storage.

Good IT infrastructure opens all kinds of doors…

It’s all good and well us stating these things, but let’s look at some stats. According to BBC research, almost 70% of primary and secondary schools in the UK are now using tablet computers, so it’s hardly surprising to hear that £250million a year is being spent by schools on new technology. Taking this into consideration, it would be worthwhile making sure you have a good foundation in which to introduce your new technology. WiFi coverage, server capacity and access point intelligence are just a few of the things you need to consider if the future of classrooms ‘is about access anywhere learning and collaboration, both locally and globally.

Take a look at our ‘classroom of the future’ to see what technologies we recommend and how we can help you implement them into your schools.

Online safety

The safety of children online has been a key theme in the news lately. Cyber bullying and false identities seem to be everywhere, and this is obviously a cause for concern for any school looking to introduce technology and more online accessibility for their students. When thinking about your infrastructure it’s worth thinking about mobile device management solutions like JAMF software Casper Suite and Lightspeed Systems’ MDM tool, which allow you to look after your mobile devices and restrict what content staff and students have access to. With proper device management in place, online threats can be reduced, managed and prevented.

Give us a call, or drop in to see us at BETT for more information about future-proofing your IT infrastructure.

Want to know more about our education services and solutions and how we can help your school with their IT infrastructure? Email learning@Jigsw24.com or call 03332 409 333 or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/education or click to read about keeping your students safe online.


Weekly design inspiration: Straw robots, AprilZero and 365 cartoons

Weekly design inspiration: Straw robots, AprilZero and 365 cartoons

This week we’ve all been feeling pretty blue, with the promise of snow that never showed up leaving us disappointed and dragging our feet through slush. So here’s a taster of our favourite design inspirations that have had us feeling motivated and ready to take on our work. We’ve got straw robots, 1-second animations and an inspirational fitness website – don’t forget to send us yours!

Build Quirkbot robots with drinking straws

Quirkbot robots are hackablele toys for children, that can be built from drinking straws, LEDs and hobby motors – that kids can programme through the kids hack days website. We are loving the hula girl quirkbots! If only these could be programmed to do our work for us… leaving us free to play with straws.


In true January style, we’re liking this fitness site by Anand Sharma. Anand’s site monitors everything he does and everywhere he goes, including his running routes, heart rate, steps walked and weight. We like the slick and clean website design, but aren’t so keen on how fit this guy is. If i did one of these, i’d definitely run far less, take far fewer steps and consume way more burritos.

AprilZero.com by Anand Sharma

Funky doodles that interact with every day objects

This collection of illustrated characters interacting with everyday objects by cartoonist Manik N Ratan has given us a whole new perspective and way of keeping ourselves occupied in really long, boring highly important and fascinating meetings. Now if someone could provide us with some Lego, like they do in the waiting rooms of dentists, for us to doodle around, that’d be great. 

Funny doodles that interact with everyday objects by Manik N Ratan.

365: a one-second cartoon for every day of the year

If only we had the time or patience to do something like this. The Brothers McLeod have produced this amazing short animation that comprises of a short second-long animation for every day of 2013. There’s no logic, relevance or narrative to the compilation – but that’s why we love it. We find ourselves trying to tell our own little story while watching it, somewhat struggling with making the sequence of a flying unicorn, frozen body parts, wolf, rainbows and a circus not turn into a seriously twisted fairy-tale.

‘365’, A short animation compilation comprised of a one-second cartoon for every day of the year, via laughingsquid.com.

Drop back in next Friday to see more inspiration from our design team. In the meantime, head on over to the Jigsaw24 shop to take a look at great deals and prices on design and publishing essentials. Found something you think should have made it into the list? Pop it in the comments box below. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or Like’ us on Facebook.