Education app of the week: iTunes U (v2!) for iPad

Education app of the week: iTunes U (v2!) for iPad

We’ve been big fans of Apple’s iTunes U ever since it first came out (a platform to provide free educational courses directly to iPad – what’s not to love?). Now with brand new features in version 2, it’s an essential upgrade!

What is iTunes U v2 for iOS devices?

iTunes U (Apple, free) has already been featured as our App of the Week and for good reason – it’s the gateway to experiencing a huge range of free courses created by both world-famous institutions such as Harvard University and The Open University, and thousands of schools around the globe. It includes something for everyone, from courses on quantum mechanics to learning the basics of using iPad.

iTunes U v2

Teachers have also been able to create and publish private courses for their own students using iTunes U Course Manager in a supported browser on a computer. With the update to version 2, Apple have added the ability to write, edit and manage your courses directly in the app on your iPad. This is massive news for teachers who wish to replace their laptop with an iPad. Apple have also added a ‘Discussions’ feature so that both teachers and students can start and join discussions relating to the course

How can it benefit the classroom?

iTunes U was already a proven essential for the classroom, but with these new features teachers can now easily create and share courses with their students. Teachers who have previously struggled with the complexity of virtual learning environments will enjoy the simplicity of course creation and management, directly from the same device with which they are already accessing the amazing free content available in iTunes U.

What’s the best feature?

Being able to access, create and manage courses all within the same great app makes iTunes U an absolute essential for teachers. The fact that all that content and ability to create materials comes for free is just the icing on the cake!

Where can I get it?

iTunes U v2 (Apple, free) is a free upgrade if you already have the app, or you can download the app for free from the App Store or iTunes.

– Missed our last app of the week? Check out the review of Sphero’s apps here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: Sphero apps for iPad

Education app of the week: Sphero apps for iPad

In a bit of a departure from our usual posts about single apps, this week we’re letting you know all about Sphero, the programmable robot. In particular we’ll be looking at the suite of apps that support Sphero, and picking out a few of the best for the classroom.

What is Sphero?

Sphero is a robot ball that can be programmed and controlled through a range of apps. Borrowing heavily from floor robots like Bee-Bot, which offer an easy way in to programming, Sphero takes it a step further by being able to roll around the classroom at speed, traverse ramps and even cross water thanks to its education-ready rugged design. To really get an idea of what it can do, see it in action in the video below…

What apps are available for Sphero?

There are two basic types of apps available for Sphero. The first group allow you to drive your Sphero, and range from the self-explanatory Sphero Drive (Orbotix Inc, free) app to a whole host of games such as Sphero Golf and  Sphero Exile. You can even use your Sphero as a controller for an app called FlappyBall for Sphero. No prizes for guessing what that game is based on!

How can it benefit the classroom?

As well as pupils learning through playing games, and developing fine motor skills in a variety of ways using the ‘driving’ apps, Sphero has particular relevance to the Computing syllabus in the 2014 curriculum in today’s classroom. There are two apps developed specifically for both coding and programming activities.

Sphero

The first, Macrolab (Orbotix Inc, free), is a programming app that lets you sequence instructions that control Sphero’s speed, direction and colour. The second, orbBasic (Orbotix Inc, free), lets you achieve similar results but by hand coding the instructions using a version of the Basic programming language. Seeing the effects of your programs on a physical object can have a far deeper impact than programming in a virtual environment.

What’s the best feature?

The best thing about Sphero is that, once you’ve forked out for the actual hardware, all the apps mentioned above (and many more) are free!

Where can I get it?

All apps are available on the iTunes Store – just search for ‘Sphero’. You will need the Sphero hardware to get started, but you can pick that up from us. Get in touch on the details below to find out more.

– Missed our last app review? Read up on Shadow Puppet for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: Shadow Puppet for iPad

Education app of the week: Shadow Puppet for iPad

Need a quick way to turn your photos and video into a narrated movie? I’ve recently been using the Shadow Puppet app for iPad and iOS devices in my sessions with teachers. Here’s why I think it’s great for the classroom…

What is Shadow Puppet for iOS devices?

Shadow Puppet (Shadow Puppet Inc, free) is a free app that lets you choose a sequence of photos or videos from your photo library, then add your own audio commentary. You can also add simple titles to each image or video, and share the result as a movie to a a variety of locations including the Camera Roll and directly to apps like Showbie. It even includes cheesy background music – always a winner!

Shadow Puppet app

How can it benefit the classroom?

Great for encouraging speaking and listening activities such as storytelling, Shadow Puppet is also an alternative way of presenting evidence in a wide range of activities as science experiments and history projects. It works well as a quick and easy solution where something like Apple’s iMovie may be too complex a tool for the task in hand, so younger learners will benefit from its simplicity, while older learners will enjoy the speed with which they can create.

What’s the best feature?

What’s great about Shadow Puppet is how quick and simple it is to use. It’s a really fast way to put together a movie, without having to learn how to be a movie editor.

Where can I get it?

Shadow Puppet (Shadow Puppet Inc, free) is available download directly from the App Store on your iPad, or from iTunes here. There are also loads of handy resources for teachers to check out over at Shadow Puppet’s website.

– Missed our last app review? Read Education app of the week: Codeacademy Hour of Code for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Are you ready for the new computing curriculum?

Are you ready for the new computing curriculum?
The 2014 National Curriculum is introducing a new subject, Computing, to replace ICT. It recognises the importance of computational thinking as a skill that will allow children to thrive in an increasingly digital world. But how should you plan for the new curriculum, and how are you going to develop the additional skills you’ll need to support your students?

Here at Jigsaw24, we can guide you through the jargon, and show you how you can easily cover the requirements of the curriculum.

iPad is great for learning the principles of programming, and there is a wide range of apps are available to support all aspects of the computing curriculum, from games that help you learn how to you think like a programmer to apps that allow you to code your own games. From controlling robots to building programs with instruction blocks, we’ll have you up and programming in no time!

And don’t forget that programming and coding are only part of the computing curriculum. iPad is perfect for addressing other aspects of the curriculum through creative project work.

Our iPad in the Computing curriculum training is specially designed to help you get prepared for the changes that are on their way, covering off key apps and teaching strategies for those who haven’t encountered code before. It covers off basic algorithms and programming, including understanding how programming language works, and can go all the way up to advanced techniques and coding depending on what your staff are hoping to cover in lessons.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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.

Education app of the week: Codeacademy Hour of Code for iPad

Education app of the week: Codeacademy Hour of Code for iPad

Computing has a new focus in the national curriculum for 2014 and, while programming skills are well supported with apps like Hopscotch, coding is still a foreign language for many. This is where Codeacademy’s Hour of Code app for iPad comes in…

What is Codeacademy: Hour of Code for iPad?

Codeacademy: Hour of Code (Codeacademy, free) is an iOS app that gives a basic introduction to coding. It does this by encouraging you to work through the vocabulary and grammar of coding as if you were learning a language, taking one small step at a time, building on previous knowledge, and introducing you to the concepts and terminology behind the apps you use on your device and the websites you visit.

Codeacademy for iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

An excellent introduction to the concept of coding for students, Codeacademy: Hour of Code is also perfect for self-study and reinforcement. It does its best to keep the concepts of coding engaging and relevant for non-geeks, and once you get started it’s difficult to stop!

What’s the best feature?

The great thing is about Codeacademy: Hour of Code is that it can be completed in around an hour (hence the name!) but you needn’t do it all in one go – students can work through each stage at their own pace. And once they’ve finished and are ready for more, you can head over to http://www.codecademy.com for more resources and coding goodness!

Where can I get it?

You can download Codeacademy: Hour of Code from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes. It’s completely free, so why not give it a try?

– Missed last week’s app? Check out our review of Duolingo for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: Duolingo for iPad

Education app of the week: Duolingo for iPad

If you’re looking to introduce modern foreign languages to the classroom, but thought time constraints, and the cost of books and learning materials might be a barrier, the Duolingo app for iPad is a fun, free and quick solution. It even won Apple’s 2013 App of the Year.

What is Duolingo for iOS devices?

Duolingo (Duolingo, free) is a free app that lets you choose from a range of common languages to learn at your own speed. As well as learning languages as an English speaker, you can learn English if it’s not your first language, or even Portuguese as a Spanish speaker and vice versa.

Duolingo for iPad

It presents vocabulary and grammar in simple steps supported by images and sound, and every step is tested so that you know you’re getting it right. You can also set daily goals to motivate yourself and even compete with Facebook friends, where appropriate.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Duolingo is a great introduction to learning languages and would really help students who are new to languages get interested and engaged in the subject, both in the classroom and learning by themselves. It’s also an incredibly useful tool for building extra confidence, and for students to practise speaking and listening.

What’s the best feature?

What’s really great about Duolingo is that each language is broken down into a series of easy to follow steps that build on previous knowledge, with progress reports available at the end of each section. This means students can learn in bite-size chunks at their own pace.

Where can I get it?

Duolingo (Duolingo, free) is completely free and available to download straight from the App Store on your iPad, or from iTunes.

– Missed the last app review? Check out my video on Educreations for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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.

Education app of the week: Apple iPhoto for iPad

Education app of the week: Apple iPhoto for iPad

If you want to start exploring photo editing in a bit more depth than what’s offered in iPad’s built-in Photos app, then Apple’s iPhoto is a no-brainer. Especially now that it’s free! But it also has another trick up its sleeve which is great for the classroom – the new journals webpage feature!

What’s new in iPhoto for iOS?

The original version of iPhoto (Apple, £2.99/free) offered a basic journal feature, which allowed you to sequence and present your photos on an iCloud hosted webpage. The latest version (which has been updated along with all the other Apple apps on the release of iOS 7) adds the ability to insert videos as well as photos, text, sticky notes, recipes, flags and maps, along with simple structural devices such as page dividers and new pages. Think ultra-simple webpage layout and you’ll be getting close!

Apple iPhoto journals example

Once you have added all your content, you can simply move the elements around by tap-and-dragging, then all you have to do is choose the look of your journal, then share it! You can share your journal from device to device by using AirDrop, or send it to iCloud, where your journal automagically becomes a webpage that you can then share with anyone.

How can it benefit the classroom?

You can find a wide range of uses for iPhoto journals in the classroom, from building personal portfolios with text annotation, to a place for collecting all the resources for a project, and adding notes to create a plan for more extended work in other apps. Its ease of use makes it primary school-friendly, but the quality of the output means it will find favour with all key stages.

What’s the best feature?

There’s plenty to love about iPhoto, but I’d have to say the best thing is really its simplicity. It’s a really easy way to build a great looking journal and share it with others.

Where can I get it?

If you have a new iPad with the latest operating system, iOS 7 (anything registered after 1st September 2013), you can download iPhoto for free. If you’re on older devices, you can download iPhoto from the App Store or iTunes for £2.99, although that price drops to £1.49 if you’re buying more than 20 licences under VPP.

– Missed last week’s app? Watch my video review of Educreations here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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.

Education app of the week: Educreations for iPad

Education app of the week: Educreations for iPad

Educreations Interactive Whiteboard is a fantastic app that turns your iPad into a mini interactive whiteboard. It allows you to record realtime annotation and your own voice, which means it’s great for explaining things to students if you’re a teacher, as well as being great for students to explain what they’ve learned. It’s available to download for free from the App Store or iTunes.

In the video below I show just how easy it is to create great-looking presentations in minutes…

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: BaiBoard for iPad

Education app of the week: BaiBoard for iPad

Capturing the ideas of students working individually or in groups is a fundamental classroom activity, and an essential part of the planning process, as well as a way to measure understanding of the current topic. And ‘mood board’ apps like BaiBoard HD for iPad are a popular way to capture ideas in a creative process.

What is BaiBoard HD for iPad?

BaiBoard (LIGHTPLACES LIMITED, free) is an app that allows you to combine text, drawing and images to create a ‘mood board’ of your ideas. You can also connect with other users to collaborate on a project and brainstorm as a group.

There’s a wide range of tools on offer for adding your thoughts to the board, from a freehand pen, through to line and arrow tools, and you can also import from the iPad Camera Roll and speech bubbles. When you’re finished, you’re able to export the results in a variety of formats, or enter ‘presenter’ mode, where one user adds to the board while others view the results in real time.

A quick BaiBoard mood board

How can it benefit the classroom?

Being able to collaborate in realtime and share your ideas with others, then saving the results as a plan for more extensive work will really get the creative sparks flying! For students and teachers, the ability to capture evidence of planning and collaboration is also invaluable.

What’s the best feature?

The best thing about BaiBoard is the ease with which you can connect to other users in the same room or online. This makes it really easy for students to collaborate on ideas, working together to pull together and annotate content.

Where can I get it?

BaiBoard is completely free, and can be downloaded from the App Store on your iPad or by heading to iTunes.

– Missed last week’s app? Catch up on our review of Graphing Calculator for iPad here.

Want to know more about our favourite apps and 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.

 

How to distribute Apple’s free iLife and iWork apps via VPP

How to distribute Apple’s free iLife and iWork apps via VPP

As you may have seen last year, Apple have now made their full range of iLife and iWork apps available for free, meaning you can now get the likes of Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iMovie and iPhoto for nothing! But how do you download and distribute those apps through Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme (VPP)? 

The free apps are available for free on the App Store to all VPP customers with qualifying iOS 7 compatible devices activated or purchased on or after September (that is, more recent iPad, iPhone or iPod touch devices). All you need to do to request content codes for your qualifying devices is fill in the form at the VPP Contact Support page, and they’ll sort you out. Then you can distribute your free apps using Apple Configurator or your mobile device management (MDM) solution.

Just follow these few steps from Apple:

(UPDATE 10/03/14: We just wanted to point out that sending the form by email is just the first step. It raises a support ticket (Apple quote up to five days for a response, but it’s usually quicker). The email dialogue (with serial numbers etc) would then take place via the support ticket/email.)

“1. [Email] a copy of your original sales receipt with the number of eligible devices clearly marked. If the serial numbers are not listed, please include them as well.

2. In five to seven business days, after we verify your information, we’ll send you a password protected file containing your content codes. We’ll send you a separate email shortly after with your password to open the codes file.

3. You can use the iPhoto, iMovie, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers codes using Apple Configurator or another third party Mobile Device Management (MDM) software. Users can also redeem the codes individually using their Apple IDs.”

If you need any more information on redeeming codes, take a look at our article VPP explained: Educational discounts on iPad apps, or get in touch on the details below.

Want to know more about Apple’s iWork, iLife, 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.