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 learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

 

BETT 2014 review: Our highlights from this year’s education expo

BETT 2014 review: Our highlights from this year’s education expo

BETT 2014 – the UK’s biggest education and learning technology event – has closed its doors, after another bumper show full of new ideas for tech in the classroom. Chief on the agenda this year (or so it seemed by sheer weight of interest) were interactive touchscreens, 3D printing, Apple iPad apps and accessories, as well as an increase in furry costumes. These are our BETT 2014 highlights. 

Interactive touchscreens were big news

The first major thing we noticed when we stepped into the BETT 2014 show space at London’s Excel was the amount of interest interactive touchscreens were getting. A couple of years ago, the main buzz was around interactive whiteboards, but it seems this has now been replaced with interactive touchscreens – and every other stand seemed to be promoting touchscreens!

One of our current favourite bits of tech for the classroom – the CTOUCH interactive touchscreen – was looking great, and receiving a constant flow of people to the stand. The CTOUCH is essentially a huge iPad, with an HD display ranging in size from 45″ to a massive 84″. It’s ideal for classrooms, as teachers can present with the CTOUCH mounted on a trolley, streaming content from mobile devices, or it can be used flat on a table top, with up to four students getting hands-on and collaborating with activities at the same time. Check out more about CTOUCH here.

CTOUCH on Jigsaw24

On the subject of collaboration, there was also a fair bit of attention on collaboration tools like DisplayNote – a presentation solution that lets you deliver presentations directly to students’ iPad, rather than to a whiteboard at the front of the class.

3D printing was a hot (!) topic

We’ve been extolling the virtues of 3D printing for the classroom for a little while, and there seemed to be a huge amount of interest in any stand showing off 3D printers. It’s one of those solutions that is really helped by seeing it in action, and looking at some of the results for yourself. We think 3D printers could be a very welcome addition to design-based subjects, and the team have been testing out a particular model made by Cube recently. See it in action in our Cube 3D printer hands-on test.

Apple iPad remained a big draw

If you know Jigsaw24, you’ll know we’re huge proponents of Apple’s iPad, and help schools achieve their 1:1 visions with our Apple and iPad services. So it’s always good for us to check in on the latest apps and accessories that are being developed for iPad. Every stand seemed to have some kind of Apple tech on there, whether it be an iPad case, they were developing an app, or they were just using iPad as part of their exhibition. iPad is now clearly engrained in the minds of educators and the education sector. Find out more about iPad for education here.

Device management and security

Key to successfully implementing mobile devices like iPad in the classroom is mobile device management and security. The Lightspeed Systems stand was getting a lot of attention for this reason, especially on the subject of web filtering for the future, and keeping students safe online. Their Web Filter solution is a CIPA-compliant web filtering service that lets teachers create class-specific ‘web zones’ so students can only access content approved for their age group, and it can be applied to specific mobile devices and even works offsite too. Find out more about Lightspeed Systems here.

Some interesting seminars and stands

The seminars at BETT are always a big draw, and this year’s lineup was no exception. There was a strong focus on pedagogy, with speakers addressing the pedagogical shift in the classroom, and what technology and infrastructure is best suit suited to support it.

In terms of the actual stands, the standouts were Frog and EducationCity, which were lively, colourful and very busy! Each big brand also had its own message, and the big players Apple, Google and Microsoft were all in attendance, although they were all bringing different ideas rather than a coordinated thread.

And then there were the furry costumes. It’s unclear just what it was about the show this year, but BETT 2014 definitely had a lot more cuddly characters in attendance than usual!

Want to know more about the latest technology trends for education? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education 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.

iBooks

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.

Maps

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!

Notifications

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.

Safari

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!

Calendar

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 learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

 

iBooks now available under Apple VPP

iBooks now available under Apple VPP

Apple have now included books and iBooks textbooks in the Volume Purchase Programme (VPP). That means, as well as iOS apps, educational institutions are now able to purchase books in volume and distribute them to students, teachers, administrators and employees. 

To have a browse of what’s on offer, visit the Textbooks category on the iBookstore from your desktop or iPad to browse titles and download samples. Alternatively, head over to the Volume Purchase Programme Education Store – you’ll now notice in the ‘Media Type’ drop-down menu next to the search box, there’s the option to search by either ‘Apps’ or ‘Books’.

What are iBooks and the iBookstore?

Apple’s iBooks incorporates both a powerful reading app, as well as a vast online catalogue of downloadable digital books – the iBookstore. This lets you browse over 2 million books, including Multi-Touch textbooks. The books you buy download straight to your iPad, and iCloud makes them available on your other iOS devices too.

– For more information on iBooks, check out our video tutorial here.

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


 

e7 news: Apple iTunes accounts for under-13s in iOS 7

e7 news: Apple iTunes accounts for under-13s in iOS 7

Where previously a student would have to be over 13 to hold an iTunes account, with iOS 7, Apple have now updated their Ts & Cs to give individual access to students under 13 years old. They do still have to have their account created at the request of an ‘approved educational institution’, however.

This means, when iOS 7 is released, each student can access iTunes with their own individual log-in, download apps, iBooks and more. All of which gives schools even greater flexibility when it comes to managing their iPad devices, and enhances the 1:1 nature of deployments.

The official terms of Apple’s policy state: “These App and Book Services are only available for individuals aged 13 years or older, unless you are under 13 years old and your Apple ID was provided to you as a result of a request by an approved educational institution. If you are 13 or older but under the age of 18, you should review this Agreement with your parent or guardian to make sure that you and your parent or guardian understand it.”

Want to know more about Apple iPad for education? Call us on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up to date with what our e7 team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page

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 e7@Jigsaw24.com. 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 learning@Jigsaw24.com. 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 learning@Jigsaw24.com. 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 learning@Jigsaw24.com. 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.