Survey: How are you using iPad in education?

Survey: How are you using iPad in education?

At Jigsaw24, we aim to give the best Apple Mac and iPad advice and services possible. So we rely on our customers to let us know exactly what their concerns, issues and requirements around technology in the classroom are.

This survey is designed to find out exactly how schools are using Apple in education, from the adoption stage right up to considering a full 1:1 iPad rollout. Please take a couple of minutes to fill it in, and we can provide you with a summary of how you compare with other schools (pass it on to anyone else you think would be interested too!).

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Want to know more about the latest technology trends for education? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


New education-friendly features in OS X Mavericks

New education-friendly features in OS X Mavericks

The latest version of Apple’s operating system, OS X Mavericks, is now here, bringing with it a pile of new features that we think will be great for the classroom.

As well as iBooks and Maps now making their way from iOS to desktop Macs, there’s better collaboration with iCloud and updates to keep you productive. Best of all, it doesn’t cost a thing (Apple have announced all future operating system updates will also be completely free of charge). I’ve picked out some of the most useful updates that make OS X Mavericks an essential update for your classroom Macs.


Possibly the biggest change for education users is that you can now use iBooks on your Mac. iBooks syncs with your mobile devices to bring across notes and bookmarks, and pick up reading where you left off. There are over 2 million titles in the iBooks store, and you can also view and access your school’s own created textbooks on your Mac after you’ve created them in iBooks Author.

iCloud collaboration

An all new iWork suite of productivity apps for Mac and iOS makes creating, editing and sharing documents easier than ever. Using a unified file format, there’s better compatibility between Mac, iOS and iCloud, and the iWork for iCloud beta now includes support for real-time collaboration. Create your document on iPad, edit it on your Mac and then share in iWork for iCloud, even with PC users.

Apple have given the iWork interface a bit of an overhaul too, making it simpler to use, but still providing all of the powerful tools you need to create documents, spreadsheets and presentations in Pages, Numbers and Keynote.

Multiple Displays

For anyone who uses two screens (for video editing in the media lab, for example), there’s now more flexibility over what you can do with the  Multiple Displays options. Run an app in full screen on each display, have multiple windows on one screen and a full screen app on the other, or access the dock from wherever you choose.


Another new update is the addition of the Maps app to OS X. This uses the full power of your Mac’s graphics capability to create a photorealistic 3D experience which complements your route planner. Where we can see this being really handy is for creating lesson plans in modern foreign languages – for example using Maps on the Mac to give directions around a remote town in rural France in French!


With OS X Mavericks, you can now access Notifications and reply to them without ever having to leave the app that you’re in, which makes multitasking much easier, and also means you’re not going to miss any important staff emails while you’re putting a presentation together!

Tabs and Tags

Finder now includes even better tools for organising your work. You can add Tags (such as ‘history’, ‘Henry VIII’ etc) to content to bring it up in Finder search results, and there’s the ability to open Tabs so you can search for different files or applications without having to open new windows.


New Shared Links and Top Sites features in Safari are big news because they allow you to easily organise your favourite sites and directly visit URLs linked to on Twitter. There’s also improved speed and performance, with Safari now 1.44 times faster than Chrome and 1.17 times faster than Firefox, yet still managing to use far less energy than both!


The OS X Calendar has had a complete facelift! Aside from a simpler and easier to use interface, there’s a new Inspector tool that looks at your agenda and tells you estimated travel times and local forecasts, which might just mean you beat that morning rush (no promises!).

Want to know more about Apple OS X Mavericks, and Macs and iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


Survey: How is iPad being used in primary schools?

Survey: How is iPad being used in primary schools?

Developer Apps In My Pocket, creators of the excellent Pocket Phonics, recently polled their customers and found 88% of parents who use educational apps with their kids support primary schools and pre-schools using iPad. 

The survey was sent to Apps in My Pockets’ customers in the UK in July to find out just how iPad is being used in primary school and pre-school. 504 parents and 74 teachers responded, with 81% of those completing the survey in full. The key findings of the survey included:

• 88% of parents who use educational apps with their kids support primary schools and pre-schools using iPad.

• 40% of primary schools and 18% of pre-schools are using or trialling iPad.

• State primaries are at least as likely to have iPad as independent primaries.

• Cost holds back tablets, but is not determining which device is chosen.

• iPad is out-selling Android devices 14:1 in schools.

• Only one of the top ten education apps recommended by parents is on the Google Play store.

For a full explanation of the findings, check out Apps In My Pocket’s survey results document here. The developer will be carrying out part 2 of their survey this autumn, in which they hope to explore more free schools and primary academies.

Want to know more about Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.


e7 resources: iBookstore gets improved textbook categorisation

e7 resources: iBookstore gets improved textbook categorisation

Apple have now made it much easier to browse iBooks textbooks on the iBookstore, with a new group page that gathers them all into one place. That means you can quickly search through textbooks by subject like English, Maths, Science and Languages, by education level, or just take a look at the latest releases in the New & Noteworthy section.

With over 300 iBooks textbooks available including GCSE secondary school textbooks and revision guides, it’s a fantastic free learning resource. Click the image below to head over to the iBookstore and have a browse for yourself.

Want to know more about 1:1 iPad deployments in schools? See our e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email You can also follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Coding in the classroom with Scratch

Coding in the classroom with Scratch

Coding and programming look set to become a big part of ICT in schools, hitting the ‘Developing ideas’ section of the curriculum which includes using information systems and sequences of instructions to solve problems. 

But before your purchasing team snap up armfuls of Raspberry Pi computers and get stuck into a few hefty Java and C++ language manuals, there could be an easier way to get staff and students’ heads around basic coding and programming.

I’ve recently been looking into Scratch – a programming language developed by MIT aimed at getting 8-16 year olds into coding by using a graphical approach in place of text script. Because it comes with blocks of ready-made code, students can quickly build images, video and audio into movies and games, all without having to write a single line of code themselves.

Intro to Scratch from ScratchEd on Vimeo.

The BBC recently featured a report on how Lampton School, Hounslow, have been using Scratch in their Citizenship classes. They’ve been teaching with it for over a year, giving students the basic building blocks and aiming to get them adapting their own code to give a full understanding of the whole process.

The people behind Scratch explain: “As students work on Scratch projects, they have opportunities to learn important computational concepts such as iteration, conditionals, variables, data types, events, and processes. Scratch has been used to introduce these concepts to students of many different ages, from elementary school through college. Some students transition to traditional text-based languages after getting introduced to programming with Scratch.”

So why not give Scratch a go? It’s an incredibly intuitive way to get a taste of coding, and it’s free too. Find out more at the Scratch website.

For more information on coding and ICT in the classroom, call us on 03332 409 333 or email To keep up with what our education team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page


Education app of the week: iMindMap HD for iPad

Education app of the week: iMindMap HD for iPad

We’re always on the lookout for any iPad apps that make learning more intuitive and collaborative, and with this week’s top app, I think we’re onto a real cross-curriculuar winner. Read on to find out what iMindMap HD is, why we love it and, most importantly, how it can benefit the classroom…

What is iMindMap HD?

iMindMap HD (ThinkBuzan Ltd, free), as you can probably guess, is a mind-mapping tool for iPad which works in much the same way as Popplet (which Rob reviewed a few weeks ago here), letting students jot down and collate their ideas for any subject in a very visual way. It’s incredibly easy to use – simply drag a strand out from the middle starting point, type in the little box it creates, add another strand, add some more text, and so on. Unlike mind-mapping on paper, you’re not restricted by size, and students can move the strands around once it’s populated, making sense of their ideas and generally giving it a bit of a tidy up.

How can it benefit the classroom?

For any subject involving planning and research, especially history, iMindMap HD really comes into its own. Firstly, you can get students to enquire about a subject by going off and gathering information from a wide range of sources – websites, galleries, stories, eyewitness accounts – before collating it all as a mind map. Secondly, they can work on organisation and communication by selecting which bits are relevant, discarding the non-relevant bits and planning ways to communicate the information. This would also be great for researching geographical processes or planning experiments in science.

The 1:1, multitouch nature of iPad itself also makes it perfect for collaboration between students. Set them a group project, then they can assign each other their own research area, then come back with a mind map based on their portion of the project and share it with the group. iMindMap HD also lets you export mind maps so they can be shared via email and cloud-based services, but this is a paid-for feature. We found a quick workaround for this, though, is to simply take a screen grab of your mind map by holding your iPad’s lock button and clicking the Home button at the same time, then sharing from your Camera Roll. You can then stream it to your classroom’s Apple TV or use it in a presentation over AirPlay Mirroring, even.

What’s the best bit?

The real beauty of iMindMap HD is in just how intuitive it is – you simply drag a strand out from the middle starting point, and the app chooses a different colour for each strand, automatically colour coding and grouping ideas. This simplicity makes it great for every education level, from primary right up to higher education.

Where can I get it?

iMindMap HD (ThinkBuzan Ltd) is available on the Apple App Store or iTunes. While it is free, the basic version doesn’t let you export or share your mind maps with other devices – an in-app upgrade to iMindMap Freedom is needed if you want unlimited export and syncing options.

– If you missed it last week, you can catch up with our review of GarageBand for iPad here.

For more information about our top apps and Apple iPad for the classroom, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

The best bits from BETT 2013

The best bits from BETT 2013

While not throwing up many big surprises, there was a lot to inspire at this year’s BETT education show. All the big topics were covered off – mobile learning, iPad, cloud computing, content creation as well as a few interesting newbies – by more than 640 exhibitors showing off their techie wares, teaching tools and branded goodies. Here are our best bits…

iPad and mobile learning solutions

Mobile devices, specifically iPad, are huge in education right now, so we expected a lot of BETT 2013 to be skewed towards mobile learning and 1:1 deployments. It was good to see a lot of interest in Lightspeed’s stand, as they are one of the vendors we’re really excited about at the moment, and have suggested their solution to our e7 iPad trial customers. Lightspeed is a great tool that lets you manage devices and ensure secure web access, with mobile device management (MDM), online workspaces and loads of security and web filtering options all in one package.

We also spent quite a bit of time checking out the buzz at the DisplayNote stand. DisplayNote is a presentation tool that looks set to change the way you teach, letting you deliver presentations directly to iPad, rather than to a whiteboard at the front of the class. It was interesting to see less interest in interactive whiteboards this year – usually a mainstay at BETT – in favour of the more personal learning and pedagogical benefits of solutions like DisplayNote for iPad and the cost-effective media streaming functionality of Apple TV.

Also popular were solutions for syncing and charging your classroom iPad deployments at the same time, especially Lock’n’Charge trolleys. These are a great way to store and sync devices if you’re just starting to integrate them into your teaching, but we would suggest a move away from a static trolley to an MDM solution that lets you sync and push content out to devices over the air, if you want to stay really flexible. (Get in touch with us for more on these!)

Live TV and radio, 3D printing

There were a couple of stands showing off live radio studios, which we think are a great way to get students working together to create content. We offer all manner of audio suites for classrooms, but we can actually take it one step further by adding something like NewTek’s TriCaster to turn it into a full TV solution, with live vision mixing, instant replays and more. This is the kind of solution we provided Wiltshire College when they wanted to update their analogue TV studio.

Lastly, 3D printing is a technology everyone seems to be talking about at the moment, and it was causing quite a stir at BETT too. Linking programming skills to engineering and production, 3D printing lets students get hands-on with a full design workflow, from initial concept to finished product. It’s definitely one we’ll be looking out for in future.

Want to know more about any of the solutions featured at BETT 2013? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email You can also keep up with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.


It’s time for BETT 2013! Our guide to the must-see speakers!

It’s time for BETT 2013! Our guide to the must-see speakers!

With BETT 2013 just around the corner (how is it a year since the last one?!) we decided to give you a quick round-up of the must see speakers!

Who to see?

Mobile devices are still the hot topic in education so don’t be surprised when you find them everywhere at BETT 2013. As well as giving you the chance to get hands on and the benefits of mobile devices for yourself, there’ll be plenty of speakers talking about how they can be used to enhance engagement with the curriculum.

The big must-see for us though is our partners Lightspeed, who are setting up camp at stand F180. A major supportive partner in our e7 project, they provide a great collaborative solution which encompasses mobile device management, safe web-filtering and My Big Campus (a safe and secure platform for communication and sharing resources – a bit like Facebook for school). Lightspeed are going to be staging a number of live sessions from leading educators and schools from around the world.

Sessions include:

Paul Hutton, a Learning and Teaching Consultant in his ninth year working for Luton LA. He has spent the last three years developing uses of iPad that enhance learning across the curriculum in Luton and in surrounding schools, and introduced Lightspeed MDM in autumn 2012.

Gary Futcher from Notre Dame Roman Catholic School will be talking about how My Big Campus has given primary students a platform to make and sustain friends, whilst providing a valuable forum to alleviate worries, and address a wide range of questions and concerns parents/students have when moving from a Primary to a Secondary school.

Darryl LaGace, a former Technology Director who rolled out a successful mobile learning programme, will share best practices for planning, deploying and managing iPad within an educational setting. With the right preparation and solutions in place to keep devices safe, managed and meaningful in classes, your mobile learning program can be a success! Plus you’ll get to ask your questions and get real-world answers!

Adam Hodgess from Lipson Co-operative Academy will explain how they use Lightspeed technology to open access to video resources easily and use it as a platform for discussion that then follows, whilst still being able to monitor and ensure safeguarding.

For updated times and presentation details got to

Download your Lightspeed Systems stand guide

By attending any presentation at the Lightspeed Systems stand F180, you’ll be in with a chance to win an iPad. Either download the form below and take it with you or fill one in when you get there, and just drop It into the helpfully labeled “Win an iPad” box on the Lightspeed Systems stand.

Download your full Lightspeed stand guide here!

Want to find out more about iPad in education?

We’re going to be doing the rounds (make sure you say “Hi” if you see us) but if you have any questions about iPad in education, drop us an email on or call us on 03332 409 333. Or if you want to take part in our free 1:1 iPad trial scheme, sign up for the e7 project here.

Also, keep an eye out for our roundup of the show after it’s all over!

e7 resource: Cottenham Academy’s iPad for Learning blog

e7 resource: Cottenham Academy’s iPad for Learning blog

Once the e7 schools we work with take receipt of their new iPad deployments, we’ve found many like to keep students, staff, parents and governors up to date with dedicated blogs, videos and more. Cottenham Academy, for example, have an iPad blog they keep updated with all the apps they’ve tried, learning ideas from students, technical and teaching tips, and more. Click the image and video link below to see how they’re getting on.

Their iPad trial is all about using the devices as tools for improving learning. They said: “Ultimately, we know that motivated learners get better grades and more from their education. We want to find out if a very simple to use personal learning device is effective in our school context.”

Think your school or college could benefit from a free 1:1 iPad scheme? Find out more about the e7 Project here, call 03332 409 333 or email You can also  follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Education app of the week: Collins Big Cat

Education app of the week: Collins Big Cat

With the rise of digital books and mobile devices like iPad, learning to read is becoming a much more inclusive and interactive experience. Take, for example, our app of the week – the Collins Big Cat series – a teaching tool for primary learners that develops reading and writing skills, while also letting pupils get creative by coming up with their own stories.

What is Collins Big Cat?

Collins Big Cat started as a collection of reading materials, and is used by more than 9000 primary schools across the UK, as well as in English-speaking schools the world over. They’ve now ported the same quality material to a range of interactive, digital Collins Big Cat apps (HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, free) – Around the World, Playing, The Farmer’s Lunch and more. Aimed at various levels of learner (4+, 5+ etc), the series includes animated, interactive books that come with their own sound effects and narration – all with English pronunciation – so children can read along on their own.

How can it benefit the classroom?

What sets the Collins Big Cat apps apart from using traditional paper-based reading tools is the narration, meaning children can learn under their own steam, rather than having someone teach in front of a whole class or one on one. They can choose ‘Read to me’ to read along with the narration as each word is highlighted or ‘Read by myself’ to read without a narrator. You can even record your own narration and sound effects, which gives the opportunity to develop speaking and listening skills, as well as reading, then check the pupils’ progress with the Collins Big Cat Quiz at the end.

What’s the best feature?

The Story Creator tool adds another level of engagement to the Collins Big Cat apps, meaning children can use their reading and writing skills to make their own books (with a little help from the teacher). They can add their own pictures, characters and key vocabulary to get creative with elements of the story, all within a very easy-to-use template.

Where can I get it?

The full range of Collins Big Cat apps are available from the Apple App Store or iTunes, and all for free! The Story Creator titles include Around the World, It Was a Cold, Dark Night and The Farmer’s Lunch.

– If you didn’t catch our last app review, check out our Education app of the week: Paper.

For more information on our favourite apps for Apple iPad in the classroom, call the team on 03332 409 333 or email You can also stay up to date with all our latest education news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.