Help students achieve record results with Revision Plan

Help students achieve record results with Revision Plan

If preparing students for terminal exams feels almost as stressful as taking one yourself, my new favourite application, Revision Plan. It’s a new piece of software that’s designed to help you deal with the shift back to terminal exams and ensure your students shine when held to the new Progress 8 measures.

Paul, what is Revision Plan?

Revision Plan software enables you to create individual, personalised learning plans for pupils of all abilities. You can use the software to create tasks and then assign them to pupils based on their target grade and current level, so that everyone is working at their own level.

So it’s not an iPad app?

No. Surprising as it may sound, every now and then I talk about something other than iPad. Revision Plan is web-based, so you create your students’ plans online, and then distribute them as PDFs or as print outs (we’d recommend PDFs, as then you can include links to past papers or resources in the plan – take a look at an example PDF here).

How does it help pupils?

Well, Revision Plan’s theory is that having a personalised plan with revision tasks and rest days built in makes the whole thing less daunting, while at the same time emphasising the importance of exam prep (especially as the curriculum moves away from modular testing and continual assessment). It also makes sure they’re giving equal time to all subjects, and not just focusing on areas where they’re already confident.

There’s also evidence that it strengthens the partnership between home and school, as having a clear, concise summary of what needs to be done gives parents more confidence in their ability to support and monitor their children’s revision. Pupil Premium students can use their revision plan in supervised revision sessions, as well.

What have teachers got to say about it?

Only good things, for the most part – 99.3% of users say they would recommend it, probably because the development team includes teachers, so it’s a fairly intuitive extension of the lesson and revision planning you already do.

Are other schools seeing results?

– Sidney Stringer Academy, whose iPad rollout we also helped with, recorded a +0.77 Progress 8 score.

– St Mary’s Catholic Academy exceeded Trust targets to be in the top 25% of similar schools after two years using Revision Plan.

– South Shields’ Mortimer Community College achieved record results in their first year of using the software.

– This year, St James’ Catholic High School in Greater Manchester posted record results for the second year running.

What are the key benefits?

Well, for starters it gives you the benefit of foresight. You can see at a glance how many ‘revision slots’ you have before the big day, and can plan your lessons and homework tasks accordingly. Having this all visible in one application helps students balance their time, prioritise different subjects, and arrive to class with all the relevant work complete.

It’s also great for teachers, as you can assign tasks based on target grade, offering more targeted tasks and additional support for pupils who need it. Another nice touch is that you can mix and match revision task types (mind maps, past papers, etc) and change the nature of the response you want depending on each student’s learning style, so you can ask some to record a response verbally, while others need to be encouraged to write or diagram their response to the same question.

And what if my students still don’t do as well as I wanted?

Then Revision Plan’s exam analysis tools will be a big help. You can go through results and see which questions or topics students lost the most marks on, and then adapt your revision plan to make sure things go better next year (or during resits).

How much is it and how do I get it?

Revision Plan is available as a site licence that covers everyone in your school (prices start at £1000 per annum). Get in touch with the Jigsaw24 team on the details below and we’ll sort you out.

If you’d like to find out more about Revision Plan, drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. Follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or like our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Apple Classroom app now available

Apple Classroom app now available

iOS is packed with a set of amazing features designed for education. This includes some incredibly powerful tools for supporting learners and teachers in the classroom using iPad.

A big one for us is the Classrooom app. This is a dedicated tool which acts as a teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through lessons, track their progress and ensure they can stay on track. It can be downloaded for free and configured to give staff the following tools:

Start, focus or pause student work

– Launch any app, website or book on a student device with a tap.

– Lock devices in a single app to help provide student focus.

– Lock screens to pause work or bring focus back to your class.

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See what your students see with Screen View

– See an on overview of all your students devices at once.

– Focus on a single student screen (students are informed when their screens are being viewed).

Share student work on the classroom Apple TV with a push of a button (great for feedback and peer review!)

– Showcase the great work your students are doing in class.

– Use AirPlay to wireless present a student’s screen onto your classroom display.

Reset forgotten passwords right in the classroom

– Reset a managed Apple ID password without calling IT.

Organise student devices using groups

– Classroom automatically creates groups of students based on apps they are using.

– Teachers can create groups to break students into teams.

– Perform actions on entire groups or individual students within groups.

Assign shared iPad to students

– Once configure, Classroom connects to nearby students devices.

– Classroom intelligently assigns students to the Shared iPad they most recently used.

– Log students out of shared iPad at the end of a session to prepare for the next class.

iOS 9.3, including the Classroom app, is available to download now. An education configuration profile does need to be installed and there are minimum requirements for the devices, so if you have any techie questions or need to upgrade your iPad to ensure you can take advantage of these awesome tools then please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Requirements

You’ll need: iPad with iOS 9.3 (iPad 3rd gen or later, iPad Air or later, iPad mini (1st gen) or later, iPad Pro); App configuration via Mobile Device Management server; Supervised Student Devices enrolled in Mobile Device Management server; Bluetooth and WiFi enabled on both student and teacher devices; Student devices within Bluetooth range of the teacher running.

Find out more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom. Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Haslingden High School’s 2015 Citizenship Awards

Haslingden High School’s 2015 Citizenship Awards

Haslingden High School is an institution that I’ve had the pleasure of working with for nearly three years now, and on the evening of 16th July, I was asked to attend their annual Citizenship Awards ceremony. This very special event honours the outstanding achievements of students and staff, celebrating the great community work that they have done in school and beyond.

In total, the school received over 300 individual nominations, and on the night 32 awards were presented to deserving students and members of staff for their outstanding contributions. It was an incredibly humbling occasion and I was very moved to hear the stories of personal sacrifices that young people make to support friends, family and the local community.

I was asked to present an award to Ben Lord. Ben is 12 years old, and three years ago he was cleared of a very rare form of cancer called Hodgkin lymphoma. After going though such a traumatic and incredibly challenging time in his life, his family asked him how he would like to celebrate. Ben asked if they could celebrate with a party, but not just any kind of party – he wanted a fundraising party.

He felt he wanted to give something back to the hospital where he was treated and to show his appreciation to the Manchester Children’s Hospital. Ben now organises the fundraising events all by himself (with a little help from Haslingden Cricket Club), organising raffles and shaking his bucket to raise funds.

Over £6200 raised

Ben has set himself a target of raising £10,000 by 2017, which will be when he has been clear of cancer for five years. So far, he has raised over £6200. His next fundraiser is during the summer at Haslignden Cricket Club in August.

His story is an incredible one and I have nothing but the utmost admiration for his strength and determination that he has to make a positive impact in the community. To help Ben raise money, Jigsaw24 donated an iPod Nano to add to his raffle prizes; we hope it helps him on his way to achieving his target for such a worthy cause.

This was just one of many stories told during the evening and a heartfelt congratulations goes out to everyone who was nominated and awarded on the evening. I want to thank Haslingden High School for inviting me to present the award and to play a very small part in such an outstanding event. I also want to send a special thanks to Kate Sieg-Hogg (Head of Health, Food and Child Studies) who organised the proceedings and invited me to the event.

Want to know more? Call 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.ollow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Our CPD training workshops: What to expect

Our CPD training workshops: What to expect

If you’ve booked some CPD training at your school, or are heading down to our place for a session, here’s a bit more information about what to expect on the day, from computing to movie-making. We’ve broken down the focus of each workshop, the key areas covered, and what kind of skill level you will need, so you can prepare yourself, or swot up a bit beforehand. Remember, all our training is delivered by our qualified, in-house Apple Education Trainers, and you can sign up below!

Introduction to iPad in the primary classroom

Focus: This practical workshop demonstrates how the iPad can be used effectively within a classroom environment. Staff will gain an understanding of the fundamental tools such as the evidence capture, sharing exemplar pupil work and accessing teaching and learning resources.

Skill level: The workshop assumes no prior knowledge of iPad and is suitable for beginners.

Key areas:

• Understand basic tools and functionality of iPad.

• Using iPad to demonstrate learning on digital displays/whiteboards.

• Capturing pupil evidence in class.

• Providing feedback for modelling.

 

Introduction to iPad in the EYFS/KS1 Classroom

Focus: This workshop targets the unique challenges that teachers are likely to face in the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 classroom. It helps build attendees’ confidence and competence when using iPad, while providing lesson ideas and recommending apps to support their curriculum delivery.

Skill level: The workshop assumes no prior knowledge of iPad and is suitable for beginners.

Key areas: 

• Explore built-in tools to support young learners.

• Use iPad to capture evidence and record student progress.

• Ideas for improving literacy, language and numeracy skills.

 

iPad in the primary computing curriculum

Focus: This workshop allows participants to learn skills, explore activities and investigate lesson ideas that will help them deliver the new 2014 primary computing curriculum using iPad. This hands-on session will allow you to experience apps and workflows that promote relevant skills, such as logical thought, creating simple algorithms and developing computer programs.

Skill level: You will benefit from previous experience of iPad.

Key areas:

• Explore the current programme of study.

• Develop ideas for programming.

• Understand assessment techniques for the computing curriculum.

• Explore computing apps and develop lesson ideas.

 

Maths on iPad

Focus: This workshop covers tools that help enhance and transform the teaching of mathematics with iPad. This session explores third party apps, allowing students to show their understanding, track progress and investigate new methods to demonstrate learning. It also covers tools to support theorems and mathematical content and considers how the ‘flipped learning’ model combined with real world problems can enhance students’ critical thinking and maths skills.

Skill level: This workshop does require previous knowledge of iPad and basic ICT skills

Key areas:

• Use Apple tools to enhance the application of real world problems.

• Explore maths-specific apps.

• Explore ways of providing rich and relevant feedback.

• Learn how to structure scaffolds to extend and support all learners.

• Capture evidence of student progress.

 

Assessment tools on iPad

Focus: This workshop allows teachers to gain experience in using iPad to develop ways of embedding assessment activities, ideas and tools based around assessment for learning strategies. You will experience a range of tools and techniques that will allow you to develop cohesive and ongoing self, peer, formative and summative assessment skills.

Skill level: You will benefit from previous experience of iPad.

Key areas:

• Ideas for pre and post learning tasks.

• Tools which auto-mark and provide instant feedback.

• Using a range of apps that allow students to self-reflect and improve their work.

• Tools that develop conversational and developmental marking.

 

Supporting all learners with iPad

Focus: This workshop is designed to showcase the built-in accessibility features provided with iPad to support all learners, including those with a variety of different needs, including SEND. This hands-on session will allow participants to explore how they can use third party apps to support student access to lesson content, demonstrate understanding and revisit and reflect on what has been taught.

Skill level: The workshop assumes no prior knowledge of iPad and is suitable for beginners.

Key areas: 

• Use basic functions of the device.

• Explore built-in accessibility features.

• Address different learning styles.

• Explore apps to support SEND learners in mainstream education.

• Examine different ways of assessing and leaving feedback.

 

Movie-making and green screen techniques with iPad

Focus: This workshop will introduce you to the power of using movie making combined with green screen techniques to inspire young minds. You will explore activities and lesson ideas using these techniques, and discover how easy it is to implement them in your classroom to support a wide range of learning situations.

Skill level: You will benefit from previous experience of iPad.

Key areas:

• Making movies and trailers on iPad.

• Capturing and editing footage.

• Using a green screen.

• Exploring virtual worlds.

• Lesson ideas and sample activities.

 

Want to book some CPD sessions?

As well as being able to book CPD sessions onsite at your school, we’re hosting 12 half-day CPD sessions at our Nottingham HQ. These sessions cost £75 per person, per session, and if you pop your details in the form on our Events page here, someone will be in touch to confirm your details and arrange payment.

Wednesday 6th May & Wednesday 17th June
9.00-12.00 Introduction to iPad in the primary classroom
12.30-3.30 Introduction to iPad in the EYFS/KS1 classroom

Wednesday 13th May & Wednesday 1st July
9.00-12.00 Maths on iPad
12.30-3.30 Primary computing curriculum with iPad

Tuesday 19th May & Wednesday 8th July
9.00-12.00 Assessment tools on iPad
12.30-3.30 Supporting SEND pupils with iPad

 

Want to know more or sign up for our CPD training sessions? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Apple brings iTunes U course creation to iPad

Apple brings iTunes U course creation to iPad

Good news for any teachers producing their own lessons in iTunes U – Apple have now added new tools that make it possible to create courses directly on iPad, without the need for a Mac.

You’ll now be able to add learning materials from a wide range of sources including iWork, iBooks Author or any other of the 75,000 educational apps for iPad, as well as photos and videos, and package them into a tailored lesson. Another addition is the new Discussions feature – this lets pupils hold debates and join in conversations (while teachers can keep an eye on discussions and remove any off-topic messages too).

‘Really useful’

Many schools are now replacing teachers’ laptops with iPad, so the ability to create iTunes U courses on iPad rather than requiring a computer is really useful. And with feedback and discussion being huge topics in education at the moment, adding the forum ability to iTunes U should get a lot of schools interested.

Fraser Speirs, head of computing and IT at Cedars School of Excellence in Scotland, has been a champion of iPad in education from the off, and thinks iTunes U is the most powerful tool for bringing education to life on iPad. “By freeing teachers to create and organise courses right on iPad, educators can be better focused on enabling student participation both with the content and one another,” he said.

– iTunes U will be available to download for iPad from 8th July. Read more about why we love iTunes U here.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook


Apple TV update lets you AirPlay over Bluetooth

Apple TV update lets you AirPlay over Bluetooth

It seems Apple’s latest update for Apple TV, version 6.1, hides a pretty special skill up its sleeve. You can now search for connectable devices for Apple TV using AirPlay over Bluetooth, bypassing the Bonjour gateway.

I’d discovered this new feature during the Apple TV 6.1 release notes last week but finally managed to field test it at a school. After running a diagnostics app on the WiFi, we found that the Bonjour gateway ports were not open (unfortunately a very common occurrence for school networks). I continued to test AirPlay on my iPad regardless as the Apple TV (version 6.1) was on the network and so was my iPad (iOS 7.1). And incredibly, AirPlay still worked thanks to Bluetooth.

This is great news for school IT admin teams setting up iOS device and Apple TV pairings as, previously, it could be quite difficult for Apple TVs to discover devices on networks that might block Bonjour. Now you can just use Bluetooth. All you need is: an Apple TV updated to 6.1, an iOS device updated to 7.1, and IP connectivity between both devices.

Update 6.1 also adds a security option to require that iOS devices or Macs be verified with a one-time, onscreen code before using AirPlay (requires iOS 7.1 or later on an iOS device or a Mac with Mac OS X 10.9.2 or later). You can find out more, and see how to update your Apple TV here.

Want to know more about Apple TV and Apple 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: The Human Body for iPad

Education app of the week: The Human Body for iPad

Want to introduce the wonders of anatomy to younger pupils? The Human Body app for iPad teaches all about the body in a fun, interactive (and not too grisly!) way. Here’s why we recommend it…

What is The Human Body?

The Human Body (Tinybop, £1.99) is an interactive, animated model of the human body, in iPad app form. It lets pupils learn human anatomy through six interactive and animated layers of systems (Nervous, Skeletal, Respiratory, Circulatory, Digestive and Muscular). Pupils can prod away at animated organs to their hearts’ content, all the while learning what the body’s made of and how it works.

How can it benefit the classroom?

With a fun, animated style, The Human Body is squarely aimed at younger audiences, so it will be perfect for encouraging key stage 1 and 2 pupils who may not quite be ready for some of the more graphic anatomy and science apps out there.

There’s also an accompanying handbook aimed at helping teachers make the most of the app in the classroom. Full of great ideas for lesson objectives, quizzes and lesson ideas, it’s an essential read and comes free (take a look at the PDF here).

What’s the best feature?
The Human Body really stands out due to its interactivity. One of the best detailed interactions lets you use the camera to act as a human eye, so when you cover the camera the pupils dilate. You can also feed the body show to show how food affects different parts – feed it sweet things and you’ll notice how they start to affect the enamel on the teeth. Giving the teeth a quick brush cleans them up and brings back the sparkle!

How much is it?
You can find The Human Body (Tinybop, £1.99) by searching in the App Store directly from iPad, or by heading to iTunes. It costs £1.99, but if you’re bulk buying more than 20 instances of the app, you can get it half price for 99p under Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme.

– Missed last week’s app? Read our review of Apple iBooks for Mac 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: iBooks for Mac

Education app of the week: iBooks for Mac

Teachers using iBooks will be very pleased to know that the iBooks app has (finally) made its way to Mac and is available once you apply the free upgrade to Mac OS X Mavericks. If you’re new to iBooks, here’s why we recommend it…

What is iBooks?

The iBooks app (Apple, free) gives users access to a huge repository of electronic books. All of the classics (Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Shakespeare) are available for free through the iBooks store (as well as some great supporting study texts), as well as ‘Textbooks’ which teachers can access. These Textbooks can include features such as video, interactive images, assessment questions and even 3D models.

How can it benefit the classroom?
The media rich Textbooks, in particular, are fantastic as classroom materials, as they go far further in terms of interactivity than the traditional textbook. For example, science textbooks can include embedded video that allows pupils to watch experiments, while English textbooks could include interactive quizzes testing pupils’ knowledge on characters and story arcs.

GCSE textbooks and revision guides are mapped to specific subjects and include English, maths, science, languages and many others. They’re all produced by educational publishers and written to address the UK National Curriculum too, so you can be sure they’re aiding your teaching.

What’s the most useful feature?

What we really like about iBooks is that every iBook has the option to download a ‘Sample’, so you can try textbooks before you buy. And everything can be purchased through Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme too, making deployment across many Macs simple.

Where can I get it?
To download the app, simply open up the Mac App Store utility on your Mac, and upgrade to OS X Mavericks – it’s completely free.

– Missed our last app review? Check out Sketch Nation Shooter 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.


 

Why choose Apple for SEND students?

Why choose Apple for SEND students?

As an Apple accredited trainer in schools, I spend a lot of time in classrooms, helping teachers find ways to use iPad, iPod touch and the Apple Mac range to support their teaching style, and one area where I always see a huge amount of progress is with SEND students.

OS X and iOS, the operating systems that power all of Apple’s devices, have built-in accessibility features that mean SEND students can use the same device as the rest of the class, and apps like Proloquo2Go are a great budget alternative to specialist equipment. Here we’re rounding up everything you need to know to get started using Apple technology, including recommended apps and advice from SEND schools who have already made the switch. Remember, if you have any questions, you can always get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com.

Step one: Decide which Apple device is for you

We can provide, install and configure the entire Apple range, from iPad mini to the mighty Mac Pro. However, here’s a quick guide to the devices we think will be most at home in your classroom…

iPad With customisable controls (including switching everything to voice commands) and a host of creation and communication apps available, iPad is perfect for students who struggle to communicate, and by extension involve themselves fully in lessons.

iPod touch Portable, durable and perfect for recording evidence, iPod touch’s size makes it the ideal choice if you want something students and staff will find it easy to take with them everywhere.

MacBook Air If you want something that’s mobile but not a tablet, go for the extremely light and very fast MacBook Air, which uses an SSD rather than a HDD to ensure the fastest possible startup and load times. If you have a classroom iPad deployment, you can use a lock and charge case to sync them all with a teacher’s MacBook Air overnight, so students have all the resources they need pre-loaded each morning.

Mac mini If you’re stuck for space (or strapped for cash), the sandwich-sized Mac mini packs the power of a PC into a tiny box that’ll work with your existing keyboards and displays – this is excellent if you have a lot of modified displays or assistive devices that you want to keep using, but still want to update an ageing computer.

iMac Powerful and easy to use thanks to its ultra-simple OS X operating system, iMac’s all-in-one design means it takes up less space than a traditional desktop computer and leaves far fewer cables trailing in its wake. It’s also packed with assistive technologies that make rich content much more accessible and further support SEND students.

Students use iPod touch to take photographs at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

Students use iPod touch to take photographs at Jesmond Gardens Primary School

Step two: Level the playing field with built-in accessibility tools

You can buy plenty of assistive devices to help students interact with their iPad or Mac, but the beauty of Apple hardware is that it gives SEND students the chance to use exactly the same device as their peers, helping combat the stigma around SEND. All these devices come with audio, display and interaction options that allow a huge amount of customisation if you work with students who have mobility, hearing or visual impairments, but there are also some general accessibility features built in that we don’t want you to overlook!

Modified displays Invert colours, see images in greyscale, enlarge cursors so students can find things more easily or zoom in on whole pages or specific sections of a page. If you want students to focus on one task, you can even choose to view distraction-free, text only versions of web pages.

A range of audio and visual cues Use VoiceOver to read onscreen text to visually impaired students, alert hearing impaired students to messages using Screen Flash, and choose to hear stereo audio as mono.

Personalise interaction Attach assistive devices, customise mouse and keyboard controls, or even use voice commands – whatever makes it easiest for your students to access their Mac. Use a trackpad rather than a mouse, and you can even customise the gestures used to perform common actions in order to make them easier for students to use.

Guided Access can be used to lock students into the app that they’ll need for a lesson, and lets you control which features are available so that they can’t accidentally change any settings. And all you need to do to access it is triple click!

Assistive touch lets you create new gestures, change anything that’s controlled by a multi-finger gesture to a simpler single finger gesture and lets you represent physical switches like the home button on the main touch screen.

Dictation does what it says on the tin – lets students dictate notes and messages into their iPad rather than writing, and even access features using voice commands.

Step three: Get your staff on board and up to speed with Apple Professional Development
Apple Professional Development training at Sidney Stringer Academy

Apple Professional Development training at Sidney Stringer Academy

Apple Professional Development is, unsurprisingly, Continuing Professional Development that focuses on Apple devices like iPad or desktop Macs. APD sessions are often a great way to kick off your move to Mac or an iPad rollout as they give staff the chance to get hands-on with the devices, learn skills that are relevant to their subject area and practices using key apps, so they don’t have to worry about whether they’re doing something right once they get in front of students.

The ideal APD course for educators who want to explore iPad or Mac accessibility features and build learning experiences is Reaching All Learners. This day-long course covers how to support every type of learner, including those with visual, auditory, motor and learning disabilities. It also teaches how to use the built-in Apple tools to provide students full access to the curriculum, improve access and enhance learning for all learners.

If you’re only just getting started on a new technology plan, there are also vision and planning sessions available, where an Apple Distinguished Educator will help you find the right Apple kit to support your ICT vision and help you plan a rollout. Download the course catalogue below to see the full range, or have a read about our top five courses to get a taste of what’s available – and remember, you can always give the team a call for more info.

Download the Apple Professional Development course catalogue

Step four: Try new approaches to learning with apps for education

App of the Week: Somantics for iPad and iPod touch

Somantics is a free collection of apps that are designed to make the most of the touch and gesture functionality of your iPod or iPad, as well as interactive features like the camera. Everything’s designed to help students with Autistic Spectrum conditions communicate, gain confidence and increase their self-awareness. Read more 

Find top apps for SEND students in our App of the Week archive

Step six: Take a look at these top resources for ideas on how to adapt your teaching style
For Mac users

Essential read: Apple’s guide to assistive features If you have a ticklist of features you know your classroom tech needs, head over to Apple’s full rundown of the accessibility features in iOS and OS X devices. As well as nicely illustrating what each device could do, it’s a great resource for anyone who wants to get up to speed on the features of the Apple tech they’ve already got.

The Jigsaw24 blog – it may be blowing our own horn, but we’re proud of our blog. Head over for case studies, resources and tips on which technology is right for you.

Richard Harrold from ACS Cobham International School explains how his school has been using ICT to help SEND students

For iOS devices

Essential read: An iPod for SEND primer Over in Illinois, Springfield Public Schools have been compiling a master list of all their best resources and recommendations, which they’ve kindly made public for SEND teachers everywhere. Here you’ll find top tips for using iPad and iPod touch alongside app recommendations and video tutorials, all broken down by the area of SEND where they’ll be most useful. Definitely worth a read!

Which are the best SEND apps for non-verbal students? We found this great article rounding up all the best apps for SEND staff who are thinking of incorporating iPod into their teaching, and we think it’s a must-read…

AT Classroom pit iPad against a desktop computer to see what each offers students

Apple’s official (and helpfully illustrated) guide to the accessibility features in iOS The full list, just in case you ever need a quick reference guide to what’s available for each student.

If you want to know more about deploying iPad, iPod or any of the Mac range in your classroom, you can reach our team on 03332 409 333 or at learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and how-tos, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Using Apple TV, iPad and interactive touchscreens

Using Apple TV, iPad and interactive touchscreens

Are you thinking of replacing your ageing interactive whiteboards? Before you reinvest, it might be worth taking a look at the combination of Apple TV, iPad and a few well-chosen apps, or an interactive touchscreen, as a replacement for, or to work alongside, your existing display solution. 

In this quick guide, we’ve taken a look at some of the factors you might want to take into consideration before you make a new purchase. The first thing you really need to think about is: how are you currently using your presentation systems?

Are you able to easily use the interactive features of your existing equipment to enhance teaching and learning? It sometimes takes a lot of training and practice to get the full benefit of some systems, so perhaps there’s a solution that might be better suited to your teaching style, and the needs of your students. You need something that’s easy to use, cost-effective and will make sure both staff and pupils are getting the greatest educational benefit from the technology.

To get you started, we’ve looked into the teaching benefits of using Apple TV with iPad, as well as those offered by traditional interactive whiteboards, and broken down the key things to consider when looking at presentation systems. These include content, interactivity, accessibility, collaboration and, most importantly, cost.

The hardware on offer

We’ve been working with hundreds of schools recently to implement iPad and Apple TV deployments, and are really starting to see the benefits of the workflow on offer. But what actually is Apple TV? This isn’t a screen, as the name may suggest, but a tiny box that can plug into any display or projector, allowing you to wirelessly mirror the display and audio output of any iPad in the classroom. This will allow the teacher and students to model any activities and projects on the iPad to the rest of the class and present content such as video, images and presentations. And since the introduction of the Mountain Lion operating system you can also mirror the screen and audio of any Mac in the classroom as well.

Apple TV connects directly to any display or projector with an HDMI socket, or to a VGA projector using a simple adaptor. And once an Apple TV is present in the classroom, nothing further is required on the iPad or Mac – Apple’s AirPlay technology makes it easy to connect over WiFi.

Then you have interactive touchscreens, which function like huge iPad devices and can work in conjunction with Apple TV for wireless mirroring. One model that we do like is the C-TOUCH Leddura board – a huge 65″ whiteboard with HD visuals and multitouch control that’s great for interactivity and looks impressive, and retails for around £3300. Ultimately it’s what level of interactivity you need, and how you want to teach, that will determine whether a whiteboard is the right option for you, or Apple TV with iPad.

Presentation benefits

Apple TV doesn’t require any kind of computer to connect and, because you can project wirelessly from any iPad (or Mac), teachers can move freely around the class, and away from the Victorian ‘chalk and talk’ model of being stuck at the front of the room giving a presentation. That means they can work with individual pupils and groups, while also giving pupils the chance to project to the screen at the front from their desk. This is a great way for pupils to present work in plenary exercises, and for peer assessment, encouraging those with less confidence to present their work without having to stand in front of the class

And here’s another idea you might try – the wireless connectivity also makes Apple TV a great solution for streaming content like school announcements to screens in the school hall or entrance lobby. Assembly halls with projectors no longer need a cumbersome computer to display digital content – simply connect an Apple TV to the projector and use an iPad for all your presenting needs.

On a side note, there’s not a lot of point going down the Apple TV and iPad deployment route if your projected image is poor. While an interactive touchscreen like the C-TOUCH will present your content in crisp, sharp HD, if you’d prefer to go down the projector route, or don’t have the budget to stretch to an interactive touchscreen, we can provide brand new projectors to give your images a boost.

Getting interactive

One benefit of an Apple TV setup over a traditional whiteboard is the greater level of interaction you can have with content. Instead of interacting with the board, students interact with the iPad as a handheld control surface, giving a greater range of functionality than that offered by an interactive whiteboard. There’s a wide range of apps available for iPad that duplicate or enhance the interactive features of existing technologies too – such as apps that allow students to annotate content in real time, as a way of evidencing their learning.

Other apps give the teacher ways of controlling presentations from their own iPad, and have it show up on pupils’ devices from anywhere, so everyone is seeing the same thing at the same time, along with interactive features such as quizzes and surveys. An important point to remember is once students begin to have devices of their own they too can have the same apps that drive the display systems and start to create their own digital content to support teaching and learning outcomes.

Creating content

You’ve probably already got a huge wealth of staff-created content and legacy resources, often put together over many years, so it is great to know that many file types such as Powerpoint .ppts can be opened, edited and presented from iPad, and you can continue to use these resources. An app like Explain Everything automatically turns an existing Powerpoint slideshow into an interactive resource that can be annotated and recorded in real time.

All existing SMART and Promethean lesson plans can also be used on new interactive touchscreens too. And the chance to create new materials, and moving away from the legacy software means you’re not tied down to using the content just on existing interactive whiteboards, freeing both teacher and students to work and interact anywhere.

Considering cost

The real crux of the decision on new technology for schools is usually cost. An Apple TV will only set you back £79.50 ex VAT per unit, with iPad devices starting from as little as £209.50 ex VAT each. If you need to use Apple TV with an existing VGA projector, you will also need a Kanex ATV Pro adaptor to connect the two, which sells for £35 ex VAT.

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.