Education app of the week: Seesaw for iPad

Education app of the week: Seesaw for iPad

It’s not always easy to catalogue exactly what students are working on, but with the Seesaw app for iPad, you can easily create learning journals by snapping pictures of projects that can then be viewed by teachers and shared with parents too. Here’s how it works… 

What is Seesaw?

Seesaw: The Learning Journal (Seesaw Inc, free) is a free iPad app that lets students build up a digital portfolio of all the projects they’ve been working on in class. Made by the same developers as the excellent Shadow Puppet app (check out our review of that here), it’s incredibly easy to add assets to a portfolio, and you can do it in a number of different ways: using the iPad Camera, you can take a picture of the worksheet, diagram or any other paper-based work, shoot a video to give a recorded account of things students have learned, add items from the Camera Roll or even draw directly in the app to make diagrams and notes on what they’ve been working on. Once loaded into Seesaw, students can then add annotations as well as voice comments to the items for further explanation.

Seesaw for iPad

From a teacher point of view, Seesaw lets you browse and sort assets from the whole class (you’ll need to set up a free Seesaw classroom account first, then get students to join by scanning a QR code). Everything’s all in one place, so you can just scroll through the whole class’s submissions or drill down into a particular student’s work, and easily access the whole lot on your iPad from anywhere.

Seesaw are also adding PDF support so you will be able to export from Book Creator or Pages as a PDF and then import to Seesaw, as well as support for adding ePUBs to Seesaw.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Giving students the ability to create and organise their own work in a digital journal empowers them to develop their academic voice and collaborate with classmates. And by bringing in the parent communication aspect, with realtime notifications, gives an insight into what their children get up to during the day, as well as providing an opportunity to support learning at home.

Seesaw for iPad

What’s the best feature?

While Seesaw is great for students and teachers, we really like how there is also the added bonus of being able to share work with parents. Once a teacher has approved a submitted piece of work, a feature in Seesaw sends automatic notifications to parents’ iPad or iPhone. This means they can see what their children have been up to in class, and discuss the work with them later at home. Parents just need to set up and sign in to their own free Seesaw account.

Where can I get it?

You can get Seesaw: The Learning Journal (Seesaw Inc, free) from the App Store on your iPad or here on iTunes. All you need to get started is to sign up for a free Seesaw account.

– Missed last week’s app? Catch up with our review of MathBoard 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.

Adobe case study: Collaboration with Creative Cloud at Nature’s Path

Adobe case study: Collaboration with Creative Cloud at Nature’s Path

Nature’s Path Organic Foods are the largest indie manufacturer and distributor of breakfast cereal, snack bars and other wholesome grub in the whole of north America. With a 30 year history (they’ve got five years on Photoshop!) and a brand to retain, they decided it was high time their in-house graphics team made the move to Adobe Creative Cloud for teams for all their packaging, print materials and digital artwork.

The result? More consistent branding, easier collaboration, an expanded toolset and seamless workflows.

Click the image below for the full lowdown on Nature’s Path Organic Foods and their new Adobe for Creative Cloud for teams workflow (PDF).

Adobe case study: Consistency and collaboration with Creative Cloud at Nature's Path

Want to know more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Wacom release the darlin’ new Cintiq Companion 2

Wacom release the darlin’ new Cintiq Companion 2

A little over a year ago, Wacom released their very first graphics tablet with onboard processing power, the Cintiq Companion. Now they’re back with the second generation Cintiq Companion 2, your all-in-one tool for creating on the go. With five different models to choose from, we’ve broken down what’s what with the new Wacom…

What is the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2?

Just about the most flexible graphics tab ever. Running Windows 8.1 and packing Intel Core processors, the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 lets you run all your creative apps while you’re on the move. Edit images in Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud, create characters in Autodesk Mudbox or even just fire off a few emails (and check Twitter, obvs) – whatever your workflow, the Cintiq Companion 2 lets you get creating with all the precision and pressure sensitivity you’d expect from a Cintiq, but without needing a separate desktop/notebook machine to run everything from. We’re not usually ones to over-react, but it is truly awesome (we recently held an event at our Soho office to show off the Cintiq 27QHD and Companion 2, and you guys said the same).

Wacom Cintiq Companion on Jigsaw24

So what’s new?

Fawning hyperbole out of the way, let’s look at what’s actually new in the Cintiq Companion 2 compared to its forebear:

– A simplified range that now allows users to work in full Windows 8 or hybrid mode on one device. This means the Cintiq Companion 2 will work as a fully functional mobile tablet running full professional creative software, as well as a Cintiq Interactive Display when attached to a Mac or PC.

– Improved CPU and graphics performance which enables the customer to run 3D applications properly.

– High resolution (2560 x 1440) display impresses with sharp pictures and colour brilliance.

What’s this about five different models?

So there are actually five models in the Cintiq Companion 2 range – Value, Standard, Premium, Enhanced and Enterprise (specs haven’t been released for this yet), the difference between each being memory (ranging from 4GB to 16GB), storage (from 64GB to 512GB) and processing power (ranging from Intel i3 to i7). The better specced models also come with Windows 8.1 Pro as opposed to standard Windows 8.1, as well as an additional stand and carry case.

These five models will replace the current old Cintiq Companion and Cintiq Companion Hybrid models:

Cintiq Companion 2

Model Name

Cintiq Companion 2 64GB Value

Cintiq Companion 2 128GB Standard

Cintiq Companion 2 256GB Premium

Cintiq Companion 2 512GB Enhanced

Cintiq Companion 2 Enterprise

Processor

Intel i3

Intel i5

Intel i7

Intel i7

TBC

RAM

4GB

8GB

8GB

16GB

TBC

SSD

64GB

128GB

256GB

512GB

TBC

Operating System

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows 8.1 Pro

TBC

Included Accessories

Pro Pen

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

TBC

When can I get hold of the Cintiq Companion 2?

The first four models – Value, Standard, Premium and Enhanced – are available now from Jigsaw24 with an expected shipping date of the end of March. The Enterprise model hasn’t been released yet but we’ll update our website with more information as soon as it is.

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD, or our full Wacom Cintiq rangeGive us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Flash

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Flash

 Could your Adobe Flash workflow be a little more efficient? We’ve put together these keyboard shortcuts that make it easier to switch between all your essential tools, shaving precious seconds off your web work! Just click on the image to see the keyboard a bit bigger…

Adobe Flash keyboard shortcuts (click to enlarge)

– Using Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator? You’ll want our keyboard shortcuts for those here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

Want to make your Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator workflow that little bit more efficient? Learning these little keyboard shortcuts will soon have you jumping between cropping, lassoing and zooming tools like a pro. Just click on the images to see the larger keyboard…

Photoshop CC
Adobe Photoshop keyboard (click to enlarge)InDesign CC
Adobe InDesign keyboard shortcuts (click to enlarge)Illustrator CC

Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcuts (click to enlarge)

– Working in web? Check out our Adobe Flash keyboard shortcuts here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.


Apple Spring Forward with newly refreshed 2015 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

Apple Spring Forward with newly refreshed 2015 MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

While Apple showed off the Apple Watch and radical 12″ MacBook to the throngs assembled at the Yerba Buena Center in San Francisco yesterday, there was another announcement that may not have had all the hoo-hah of the new wearable and notebook, but still had us bumping fists while we live-streamed the Spring Forward event: newly refreshed MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs!

It’s been a little while since both Apple’s notebooks have had a refresh, so this slew of updated models, as announced by Phil Schiller, will be very welcome. And they’re all ready to pre-order too!

What’s new in the 2015 MacBook Pro?

The first thing to know is that only the 13″ MacBook Pro have had a refresh, with the 15″ model remaining as is. As well as new Intel processors giving a significant speed boost, a Retina display, and more efficient storage architecture, the 13″ MacBook Pro now sports Apple’s latest Force Touch TrackPad too, as announced on the 12″ MacBook.

– Souped-up speeds. Fifth-gen Intel Core processors with standard speeds up to 3.1 GHz and Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.4GHz, and Intel Iris Graphics 6100, make the new 13″ MacBook Pro a much speedier beast. The flash memory is also double the speed of the previous version, with Apple claiming throughput of up to 1.6GBps.

– Tantalising Touch. The new Force Touch TrackPad is the only real change to the form factor, but it’s a great one. Now using four force sensors and a ‘Taptic Engine’, it allows anywhere clicking and adjustable click feel, Apple say. It’s completely pressure sensitive, with new ‘Force Click’ technology letting you press harder for different functionality (preview files, bring up directions, fast forward in media apps etc).

– Better battery. It was also announced that the battery life would be longer, now giving up to ten hours of battery life and up to 12 hours of iTunes movie playback, the company says.

– Retina display. Every 13″ MacBook Pro now has a brilliant Retina display as standard. Hurrah!

The 2015 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display is available to pre-order right now from Jigsaw24. Click on the banner below to check out the full range of options and specs we have on offer!

What’s new in the new 2015 MacBook Air?

There aren’t any major standout changes to report in the new 2015 range of MacBook Airs – the TrackPad remains the same, its the same thinness as ever and still rocks the same ports and connectivity – but, as expected, the whole lineup have had a speed boost.

Both 11″ and 13″ MacBook Airs for 2015 have had upgraded flash memory that’s now twice as fast as the previous generation. Add to that fifth generation Intel Core processors with up to 2.2GHz, Intel HD Graphics 6000, and Thunderbolt 2 connectivity for double the bandwidth at 20Gbps, and the 2015 models will be significantly speedier.

All the new models are ready to order now from Jigsaw24 too. Just click on the banner below to see all our available options and specs, or indeed get in touch with the sales team to get your hands on a new MacBook Air.

Want to talk to us about any of the newly released Apple products? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Education app of the week: Post-it Plus for iPad

Education app of the week: Post-it Plus for iPad

This week we’re featuring Post-it Plus for iPad, a fab little app that lets you digitise and share your Post-it notes. Our regional education consultants have recently been using it as a way of letting pupils collaborate on ideas, and now we’ve all fallen in love with it too…

What is Post-it Plus?

Physical Post-it notes are great (you should see the abundance of yellow reminders surrounding the copy team’s monitors), but they do have a tendency to lose their sticky-ness, fall off or get forgotten. With Post-It Plus (3M Company, free), you have a great way of organising all your little notes and thoughts. You just capture an image of your notes with your iPad camera, then are able to edit, group and organise them, before sharing your organised board.

Post-it Plus for iPad

How does it benefit the classroom?

Collaboration is the watchword here. The team have been using it with pupils to get them working together and put ideas down on Post-its, then send the collective notes to themselves digitally. Sort of like a digital mood board, it’s ideal for group activities where pupils have to work together and collate ideas. It now works with Handoff too, so you can continue collaborating across all your supported devices.

What’s the best feature?

We particularly like the sharing features on offer in Post-it Plus. Once you’ve combined your boards, you can then share via all your favourite apps and platforms. Post-it Plus supports PDF export, Microsoft PowerPoint and Excel sharing, as well as Dropbox and more.

Where can I get it?

You’ll have to take a trip to the stationery cupboard to get your Post-its, unfortunately. But the good news is that Post-it Plus (3M Company, free) is available to download via the App Store on your iPad, or by heading over to iTunes. And it’s free too!

– Missed our last app review? Find out why we’re loving Mathletics Student 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.

Avid users, your upgrade ability is extended!

Avid users, your upgrade ability is extended!

Remember way back last year when we were banging on about it being the last chance to upgrade your Avid Media Composer and get on a Support Contract? Well, turns out Avid have now extended the deadline, so any users who have Avid software (Media Composer, Symphony and Newscutter) now have another chance to upgrade, if they haven’t already. But only for a limited time!

Good news all round, as going forward getting a Support Contract is the only way to gain access to new releases without purchasing an entirely new licence. An Avid Support plan gives you access to any and all updates Avid release for free, plus basic tech support. If you stop paying for Avid Support the licence will still function, but if you want to access any new features you will have to pay for a new licence.

What do I need to do?

Anyone who missed out on the ability to upgrade their seats when the last deadline hit now has another chance. Until the end of the month – 31st March – we’re offering the Avid Annual Upgrade & Support Plan for Media Composer Software for just £320 ex VAT. You do still miss out on the original low price of £190 ex VAT, unfortunately, but that’s small beer when you consider the significant saving you’ll make on not having to fork out for a new seat. From the 1st April until 15th May customers will still be able to purchase, however the cost will be going up to $699 (the GBP price will be confirmed by Avid come 1st April).

The official word from Avid: “All Upgrade & Support plan purchases must be made prior to the stated deadlines. Upgrade & Support plans will be available via both Activation Codes and ‘traditional’ support contracts. All Activation Codes must be redeemed prior to 31st May 2015.”

Do I already have Avid Support?

If you’ve already purchased Avid Support, you can sit back and relax. If you have a current Expert Plus or Elite support contract with Avid, then your Media Composer licences will automatically be enrolled in Avid Support. There’s more info in this guide here, but if you’re unsure about whether you need to get Avid Support, please do get in touch with us ASAP. There’s not long left.

Avid Support on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about Avid Support? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

Last week, we got together with Phoenix IT to hold an app development event in Soho, aiming to give a CEO perspective on how apps can benefit your business. To everyone who made it down, we’d just like to say a big thank you – it was great to see you and talk apps!

Our own CEO, Martin Balaam, was on host duties for the day, beginning with an introduction to apps, and the merits of investing in apps to take your business to the next level. Of course it’s often the bottom line that CEOs, business leaders, department heads and budget holders are looking at when investing in new tech, so Martin broke down the costs for development, support and training, the skills required and the realistic ROI you could expect. Our head of app development, Neil Box, was also on hand to explain the end-to-end app dev process, and field any questions.

Then it was over to our guest speaker Tim Bodill, Sales Director at Phoenix IT, to explain how apps had changed Phoenix’s sales focus. When Tim first came to us looking for an app, his ambition was consistency, getting the sales guys to talk a consistent message about their products and services. Once the app was installed, it really sparked the imagination of the sales team and the business and now the app has developed into so much more, with sales staff able to provide product information and quotes instantly. From a managerial prospective, Tim now has the ability to track quotes, notes and meetings and so much more. Thanks for the talk, Tim!

We hope the session was useful for anyone thinking about apps for their business or being asked to sign off budget for an app development project, taking you behind the scenes from business needs to finished app and everything else in between. Thanks again for coming, and hopefully talk to you again soon!

Martin Balaam talks apps for business

 

Tim Bodill on Phoenix's app journey

Jigsaw24 Events

Want to know more about app development for businesses? Fancy popping down to one of our future events? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email events@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

How to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk

How to use Guided Access to turn your iPad into an in-store kiosk

It would be great to let your customers have a browse around your eCommerce site on an iPad kiosk, wouldn’t it? It’s certainly a way to bust queues by providing relevant product info without the need to wait for a sales assistant. But how do you make sure they’re not exiting your great content to Instagram a selfie or have a quick blast of Threes?

One of iOS’s inherent features, Guided Access, lets you lock down your iPad onto just one app (Safari, for example) or piece of content, so you can leverage that iPad you have lying around to feature your content, without your customers navigating away from the good stuff, with just a triple-click of the Home button. Now you have another stationary POS or kiosk system where customers can engage with your products, inventory, stock levels and pricing – immediately busting your queues.

How to turn on and use Guided Access

Using the Guided Access feature in iOS is incredibly easy. You don’t need any special admin skills or anything, just follow these quick steps on your iPad:

– First, as with any change to your iPad’s settings, head to ‘Settings’.

– From here, you’ll want ‘General’, then ‘Accessibility’.

– Now scroll down to the LEARNING subheader and you’ll see ‘Guided Access’. This will probably say ‘Off’ next to it.

– You want to turn that feature ‘On’, so tap into it and make sure the slider next to Guided Access is highlighted green.

– That’s it. Now, you can exit out of Settings and open up the app or content you want the user to be locked in to.

– With that open, triple-click the Home button, and a new menu will come up, with your app or content in the middle. From here, you can do a few very cool things:

Disable areas. Using your finger, you can simply circle on the screen around any areas of the app or content that you want to disable. If you’re in Safari, that means you can disable the search/address bar, History, Share and other options that might take the user away from your site.

Restrict buttons and touch. You can also restrict what method of input the user has access to. Under Hardware Buttons, decide whether they can use Sleep/Wake, Volume, Motion and Keyboards. Under Touch, you can restrict whether they can use touch input.

Time Limit. With Time Limit options, you’re able to set a time period for Guided Access to be on, which is handy if you only need to be locked into the app or content for a short period of time.

– You’re now good to go. Tap Start, and you’ll be asked to set a passcode for the Guided Access session (something other than 1-2-3-4 or 0-0-0-0 is usually helpful!).

– The user is now locked into your specific app or content. If they press the Home button, they will be prompted to triple-click, which in turn requires your passcode (which you’ve definitely remembered or saved somewhere safe…) to turn off.

Want more tips on the best ways to use iPad in retail? We’ll soon be holding a free webinar all about how iPad can boost your bottom line. Keep an eye out for details!

Want to find out more about improving your customer experience with iPad for retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email retail@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook