Compare Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors with our chart

Compare Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors with our chart

Looking for a new broadcast reference monitor? The Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED BVM and PVM range are among the most impressive monitors on the market when it comes to colour critical work, with a 12-bit non-linear cubic colour conversion management system giving picture uniformity, colour consistency and accuracy of reproduction. Powered by Sony’s TRIMASTER EL image processing technology, these OLED monitors offer you a huge colour gamut across their entire luminance range, with deep, detailed blacks, accurate skin tones and far less of the flicker and motion blurring you get with CRT monitors.

Click on the link below for our at-a-glance Sony TRIMASTER EL OLED chart…

Know your BVM from your PVM?: Our Sony TRIMASTER OLED EL comparison chart

Want to know more about Sony’s TRIMASTER EL OLED monitors? 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

Dr Brian Jones and the Last Hurdle (part 4)

Dr Brian Jones and the Last Hurdle (part 4)

All good things must come to an end, and that includes time travelling quests for Apple Mac minis involving moustachioed adventurers. In the final part of Dr Brian Jones’s quest, he finally returns home after a revelation, but finds someone familiar waiting for him…

Think you might have missed a part of the story? Catch up on part 3, and all the previous episodes, here.

Alternatively, have your own quest for a Mac mini, and all our best Apple offers and deals, by clicking the link below!

 

 

Dr Brian Jones and the Old Flame (Part 3)

Dr Brian Jones and the Old Flame (Part 3)

For the third part of his Moroccan adventure, Dr Brian Jones is transported to the not-too-distant future, where he catches up with a familiar (albeit more wrinkled) face…

Missed the previous parts of the story? You can see Part 1 here or catch up with Part 2 here.

If all this time travelling is making your head spin, you can always head over to Jigsaw24.com for our best Mac offers. Just click the image below.

Apple Mac Offers

 

 

Dr Brian Jones and the Time Thief (Part 2)

Dr Brian Jones and the Time Thief (Part 2)

In part two of Dr Brian Jones’s search for a Mac mini, our hero comes across a devious temptress…

Fast forward to part three in Dr Brian Jones’s journey, or check out the first part here.

In the meantime, click the banner below to find out you can get your hands on a Mac deal without travelling through time.

Dr Brian Jones and the Winds of Time (Part 1)

Dr Brian Jones and the Winds of Time (Part 1)

Jigsaw24 presents the first part in our Apple Mac comic series. In this first instalment, Dr Brian Jones travels to Marrakesh in search of the elusive Mac mini.

Read part two of Dr Brian’s story here

Or, if you don’t fancy going to such lengths to get your hands on a Mac mini, click the banner below.

What the new Apple releases and iPad mini mean for education

What the new Apple releases and iPad mini mean for education

Apple are really advancing technology for education at the moment, and their huge recent product launch helped back up their cause. Not only did they release the brand new iPad mini, which is ideal for the classroom, and new Mac hardware, they spent a good chunk of the presentation talking about how iBooks and iBooks Author were helping engage learners. Here are a few of the standout points.

iPad mini (and the updated iPad)

The release that’s got everyone talking, Apple’s iPad mini fills that niche between the regular-sized iPad and the iPod touch. At 7.9″, the tablet’s an ideal size for the classroom, as younger pupils who might have trouble holding the full size 9.7″ tablet will find the new design much more comfortable, and older students are able to hold iPad mini in one hand and use it as an e-reader (much like a Kindle). As Apple were keen to stress, the iPad mini will do everything the regular sized one will do – all apps work the same, as do all the configuration and management features. Of course, you still get access to some 275,000 apps in the App Store too.

Another problem the iPad mini addresses is in using the camera. We always find it a little awkward to shoot photos and videos using the rear-facing camera on the iPad, so the new slimmed down version should make the whole process much easier. There’s also a front-facing FaceTime HD camera so students can produce video diary-style reports. As usual, there’s a range of different storage capacities depending on how many documents, apps, songs and videos you want to load on, and a choice of black or white.

The regular iPad line-up also got a refresh, with 4th generation iPad Retina display models now sporting the new Lightning port recently launched on the iPhone 5, and a new chip which promises processing speeds of double that of iPad 2.

iBooks 3 and iBooks Author

The announcement of the new iBooks 3 and updated iBooks Author will see a huge improvement in the kinds of textbooks, both published and internal, that schools, colleges and universities will benefit from. In the US, iBooks now cover 80% of the curriculum, and the number of digital textbooks for the UK curriculum is on a significant rise too.

iBooks is Apple’s reader app, which has its own iBookstore and ability to create your own digital textbooks with iBooks Author. For an idea of what you can do with iBooks, check out our handy iBooks tutorials. Version 3 now lets you store books and save your place on iCloud to read on any device – pretty handy if students are reading a textbook on the iPad mini, then need to carry on from the same place on their iPhone or iPod for research and analysis around the text. With improved scrolling, sharing features and now 40 supported languages, this will be a real boost for education.

iBooks Author has also been updated, making it easier and faster to publish iBooks. There are new Apple templates, including a portrait template which wasn’t previously available, and better handling of custom fonts, widgets and mathematical functions which will help to close out the remainder of the school curriculum that hasn’t been covered by iBooks yet. They’re both available to download for free now.

The new Mac line-up

Apple don’t tend to just focus on one thing at their presentations, and took the opportunity to unveil a ton of new Macs that have some interesting points for education.

We’ve always recommended iMacs as the perfect desktop computer for the classroom – you get everything you need in one machine the size of a display, with no need for a tower. For the new version, Apple have slimmed the screen down to an incredible 5mm at its edges, and have got rid of the optical disc drive for this model (you can buy an additional SuperDrive to load DVDs, or wirelessly connect to another machine’s drive though).

For subjects where you need to see fine detail – video editing and production, and other graphics work – the new 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display is ideal. With 2560×1600 resolution, they have four times the number of pixels as the previous generation of MacBook Pros, and are powerful enough to run demanding editing software too. Apple’s smallest Mac also had an update – the Mac mini can now fit up to 16GB RAM and is still only 20cm x 20cm, which makes it perfect for the classroom or your desk.

For more information on the whole Apple iPad mini and new Mac range, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with all our classroom technology news and reviews by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Sony NXCAM camcorders get 10% education rebate

Sony NXCAM camcorders get 10% education rebate

Sony NEX-FS700 NXCAM camcorderSony NXCAM camcorders are ideal for teaching techniques used in filmmaking and documentary, so it’s great to see Sony launching an education discount across the full range. The scheme means we’re now able to offer a 10% rebate on all NXCAM camcorders – including Jigsaw24 favourites the HXR-NX70E and NEX-FS700E.

Also available with a new discounted price are the NEX-FS100, HXR-NX30 and HXR-NX5. The camcorders’ names don’t exactly leap off the page, but NXCAM as a recording format really is an exciting prospect for schools.

What is NXCAM?

NXCAM is a compression format for tapeless camcorders that compresses footage far more efficiently and gives a more professional picture quality. It’s supported by video editing software including Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro, and lets you store footage on affordable Memory Stick Duo, SDHC card or – if you don’t mind forking out a bit extra – a slot-in flash memory unit. You can record to a card and the drive at the same time, giving students an instant backup copy of their work. An 11-hour recording time has made NXCAM a big hit with corporate and event videographers, but we think the fact that it offers both fully automated and fully manual control makes it perfect for educational settings (especially when students often forget to put the battery back on the charger!)

The Sony NXCAM range

Keen to provide solutions for those schools just getting into video production, right up to colleges offering more industry-applicable broadcast courses, Sony have discounted their full range of NXCAM camcorders. The NX line are entry-level cameras that are ideal for schools – easy to use, and ranging from the dinky, handheld NX30 and NX70 (this is also completely dust and rain proof!) to the shouldermount NX5. If you’re looking for something a bit more professional, it’s well worth looking at the great image quality and performance of the FS100 and FS700. These are the kind of cameras the pros take out to shoot adverts and promos, and will really impress prospective students and/or employers.

– Go to our website for 10% education rebate on our full range of Sony NXCAM camcorders.

To find out more about Sony’s Education Partner Programme, give us a call on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com or visit our site for the full Sony NXCAM range. For all the latest news, follow@Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter.

 

How to start an iPad band: Leamore Primary School

How to start an iPad band: Leamore Primary School

As an Apple Regional Training Centre, Leamore Primary School in Walsall are always trying new ways to get the most from their technology. Recently, they decided on a project to create a band using their iPad deployment that would involve the whole of Year 5 and get them really engaged with digital music alongside traditional instruments. Here, deputy head teacher Michelle Hill explains what they were aiming to do, and how they went about it…

Why did you originally decide to start the iPad Band project?

The children of Leamore Primary School are well known for their musical ability. We were keen to utilise the children’s musical knowledge and ability, whilst also incorporating our innovative approach to technology.

What were your goals?

Our goal was simple. We wanted the whole of our Year 5 class (who had at that point been learning the violin the longest) to participate in an iPad band using a mixture of iPad, digital instruments and a small selection of traditional percussion instruments. Our learning outcome was that all children would be able to musically contribute to a soundtrack.

How long did it take to plan and rehearse?

We knew we were going to be working with a fantastic bunch
of children, so we allocated two full days to learn and rehearse a soundtrack. The children exceeded our expectations and within these two days they were able to learn three complete soundtracks as a class and rehearse them to perfection.

What hardware and apps did you use?

As well as 30 new iPad devices, we invested in an Allen and Heath ZED16FX 36 Channel USB Mixer, five Alesis IO docks and iRig adaptors for connecting the microphones, guitars and MIDI keyboards. We also used Apple TV to demonstrate how to play various notes on specific instruments in GarageBand on iPad. Apple TV was brilliant for individual and small groups of children to play back their specific parts of the soundtrack and contributed to tighter quality assurance of the band overall.

How did pupils find making music with iPad?

In terms of engagement and enjoyment, the iPad Band project will be something that the children remember for the rest of their lives! The project made an impact on a number of levels, from Daniel – who found a natural talent for drumming – to other children who realised that they could play other instruments besides the violin. Our original learning outcomes were smashed. The iPad is more about the music itself – the playing and the composing rather than the ability to play the instrument correctly. It’s a different way of looking at and approaching music. So children can use the iPad to play complicated soundtracks without needing to invest time in the technique of plucking strings, for example!

Do you have any tips for other teachers?

Just go for it! We spent a lot of time talking the project through and invested in a substantial amount of kit, but it is possible to set up
a basic iPad band without these aspects. Apple TV is fantastic for teaching and demonstrating music-making on the iPad, but it is also brilliant to use during a live performance.

What else are you planning to use iPad for in future?

The investment that we made into iPad music technology has meant that our original Year 5 iPad Band and all subsequent iPad Bands will have the opportunity to go ‘on tour’, so any live performances will not just be a one-off wonder. We’re also planning to work collaboratively with the Royal College of Music to offer the equivalent of a GCSE in iPad music-making from September. We have lots of other projects in the pipeline: from experimenting with one-to-one iPad in a classroom to investigating the possibility of paperless learning, the use of iPad with SEN children, and specific projects in all areas of the curriculum.

About Leamore…

Leamore Primary School, Walsall, is an official Apple Regional Training Centre which focuses on teaching with creative ICT (they won an NAACE Impact Award for it recently). They regularly run iPad training events for teachers, and you can see more of their projects in action at www.YouTube.com/LeamorePrimarySchool. To find out more about how to become an Apple Regional Training Centre yourself, get in touch with us on the details at the bottom.

Have a go yourself! Our six step guide to starting your own iPad band

Fancy taking a leaf out of Michelle’s book? Starting an iPad band is easy, and a great way to engage learners and get them working together with music technology, even for those with no previous skills. Here’s how:

1. Get started

First of all, you need your iPad devices. The iPad band is a collaborative project, and you can scale it up to include a whole class of students (we’ve worked with class sizes of 25-30 before with great results). You’ll also need a mixer to control the audio output of all the devices with enough channels to support them – 32 is enough.

2. Fire up GarageBand

Apple’s GarageBand app (£2.99 from the App Store) really is the best app for music-making at this level, with a huge base of ready-made loops and virtual instruments including keyboards, guitars and drums.

3. Get pupils in time

Start students off by making sure pupils are in rhythm, especially those with lower musical ability. The Smart Guitar instrument in GarageBand lets the learner simply tap the chord symbol to strum a chord in time, like striking a triangle, but far more engaging.

4. Develop musical skills further

The great thing about GarageBand is that it allows each learner to learn at their own pace and develop their skills. Once pupils are comfortable with timing, you can start to look at chord sequences, structure and song writing, then develop roles for learners based on ability, and incorporate ideas from students too.

5. Add some real instruments

For anyone who’s had peripatetic music lessons, you could think about adding some physical instruments. Using adaptors like the Alesis IO dock, and iRig and iMic, you can connect guitars and microphones directly through the iPad’s headphone jack, and an additional Camera Connector kit lets you hook up a MIDI keyboard via USB.

6. Plan the pay-off

To complete the project, and see how well pupils have achieved the original learning outcomes, plan a one-off performance. This will also help the project create a bit of buzz around the school, governors and parents. You can even get more of the school involved by adding some backing singers, dance sections and percussion like djembes and glockenspiels to supplement the digital instruments.

Want to know more about starting a band with iPad? Get in touch on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com.

 

Edit any PDF in Quark with PDF2DTP

Edit any PDF in Quark with PDF2DTP

It’s one of those design nightmares – a client comes to you with a PDF and wants it amending, but you don’t have any of the original source files! Short of manually converting the PDF one page at a time or recreating the entire document (all the while mentally editing an image of your client’s head into a vicious animal attack), what can you do?

Markzware, creator of tons of plug-ins for Quark, think they have the answer with PDF2DTP. This new plug-in, or ‘XTension’, lets you easily import an entire multipage PDF into QuarkXPress 9, converting the whole thing into an editable Quark file. Then you can simply make your edits with familiar tools and export it back out to hand to your client as a new PDF.

How well does it work?

Have a look at the PDF2DTP XTension for QuarkXPress 9 in action and get the full word from Markzware in the video at the bottom. It’s already getting rave reviews from designers for its conversion speed and accuracy – Paul Ramos, a publishing professional at Difusao Cultural enthused, “PDF2DTP is fantastic! I tried it on a PDF for a book that had 524 pages, and it took less than five minutes to make the total conversion. It even isolated the images in separate files.”

Our resident Quark expert Priya Saggar reckons PDF2DTP will be a very welcome addition to designers’ toolbelts. “This is going to take a lot of tedious work out of converting PDFs to make minor edits, or quickly recovering a document when all you’ve got left is the PDF,” she said. “It does usually retail for £179 but, for a limited time, you can get it free with every QuarkXPress 9 purchase or upgrade. PDF2DTP comes as an electronic download for either Mac or Windows – all you need to do is register your Quark and fill in the online redemption form.”

You can also get more info by calling our team on 03332 409 306 and emailing sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.