Education app of the week: Tickle for iPad

Education app of the week: Tickle for iPad

The robots have taken over! Well, they’ve heavily influenced this week’s education app review, in any case, as we take a look at Tickle, the simple robot programming app for iPad… 

What is Tickle for iPad?

Tickle (Tickle Labs, Inc, free) is a free app that lets you program a wide variety of robots through a simple programming language and drag and drop visual interface, then control them from an iPad. Just some of the ‘bots and systems controllable by Tickle include the Sphero robotic ball, a wide variety of flyable drones, the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping platform and Philips Hue smart home lighting. You can also program interactive stories and simple games using a library of animated characters and sounds.

Tickle for iPad, and Sphero

How can it benefit the classroom?

What we’ve been really interested in is using Tickle with the Sphero robotic ball (if you’re new to Sphero, have a recap on why we love it here). It provides a simple way to cover off some of the key aspects laid out in the computing curriculum, including: understanding what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions; creating and debugging simple programs, and using logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.

A good lesson plan, for example, is navigating a simple maze using both Sphero and Tickle. Mark out lines on the floor using tape, then get pupils to move the Sphero ball across the maze, while describing the movement and location by coding the sequence (there may be a bit of trial and error involved in the programming). It’s a really fun, creative and collaborative way to solve mathematical problems.

What’s the best feature?

What we probably like most about Tickle is just how easy it is for pupils to pick up, get programming, then start controlling robots in just a few minutes. It’s all done through a colourful visual programming language, whereby pupils can simply drag and drop blocks of commands to string sequences together (if you’ve ever used Sphero MacroLab or the Scratch language before, you’ll be right at home with this).

Where can I get it?

Tickle (Tickle Labs, Inc, free) is completely free, and you can download it from the App Store on your iPad, or by heading to iTunes. If you’d like to know more about Sphero, get in touch with the team on the details below.

– Missed last week’s app review? Catch up with our thoughts on BandLab 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 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

What to expect from our Innovation in Retail event

What to expect from our Innovation in Retail event

Heading to our Innovation in Retail event in Soho? We’ll be joined by top speakers from the industry explaining how they’re using disruptive technologies to drive profitability, improve productivity and enhance customer journeys. Here are just a few other highlights to expect on the day… 

iBeacon

iBeacon is making serious inroads into the high street, and at the event we’ll be discussing how to use Apple’s Bluetooth proximity technology to inform, entice, engage and convert customers and passersby. We’ll also introduce our new Jigsaw24 Retail app, designed to showcase the kind of technologies and features we can incorporate into customers’ apps. The app leverages iBeacon as well as barcode and QR code recognition to provide product information and marketing messaging that’s tailored to customers.

Apple Pay

The word on everyone’s lips post-WWDC was Apple Pay (well, here at Jigsaw24 anyway) and it’s now being rolled out to the UK. With most banks now on board with Apple’s new contactless payment system, and hundreds of high street stores signed up too, you can ask us how it affects you retailers, and address any questions you may have around security and compatibility. Our app development team will also be on hand for more information and advice on embedding Apple Pay into your apps.

As well as the chance to try innovative retail technologies like iPad, iBeacon and intelligent WiFi first-hand, the day will give a great insight into how other retailers are leveraging these solutions to increase revenue, and an opportunity to discuss real-life retail stories with industry peers (over a couple of drinks).

– Not signed up for our Innovation in Retail event yet? There’s still time! RSVP over on our events page.

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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.

5 signs you might need Backup24

5 signs you might need Backup24

Assets all over the shop? Don’t have fast and easy access to data? If any of the following scenarios sound painfully familiar, chances are you could benefit from our secure, offsite, managed backup, Backup24

1. “Our business is growing… and so are our assets!”

If you find yourself needing to store more data and assets following growth and business development, Backup24 can help. Our offsite tier 2+ data centre lets you store and access as much data as you want, so you’re not restricted from pitching for new business because you don’t have the storage capacity.

2. “We’re diversifying into video, and all that footage is racking up!”

Rich digital media such as video footage can take up a lot of space, especially if you’re making the move to shooting in 4K. Instead of relying on storing and archiving everything locally, take a look at our backup service, featuring daily syncs, multiple versions and routine checks so you can be sure your work is always secure.

3. “We’re juggling assets all over the shop!”

Are you switching from drive to tape storage, and back again? Unstructured data can be a nightmare, but with Backup24, you have everything in one place, whether it’s video, audio or image files.

4. “We need quick access when we’re up against it!”

Don’t get caught out on deadline day because you don’t have fast and easy access to data. Backing up with Backup24 means you have physical access to a secure copy of your data available to you at any time, especially when it really matters.

5. “We’re wasting time looking for assets!”

If looking for files is taking up more time than it should, you could benefit from Backup24. You can be more productive, as you don’t waste time redoing lost work, plus you have multiple versions of files, giving you access to previous iterations of work and assets as needed.

Get in touch today for a quote

Want to know more about Backup24? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email services@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

Education app of the week: audioBoom for iPad

Education app of the week: audioBoom for iPad

This week, we’re talking podcasting, as we look at the popular audioBoom app for iPad, that gives students and teachers access to a vast repository of content, as well as letting them record their own shareable podcasts… 

What is audioBoom?

audioBoom (Audioboo Ltd, free) is a podcasting app that lets you  create podcasts as well as access a huge range of existing content from various media channels and education resources. It operates as both an online, browser-based service, and a complementary app for iPhone or iPad. If the name rings a bell, you may be thinking of the former Audioboo app – the company renamed it to audioBoom last year.

Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you can immediately start browsing podcasts, which are divided up by sub-sectors to make content easy to find. It’s not specifically aimed just at educators, so there is a lot of content which may not be too useful (one of their main selling points is the Russell Brand podcast), but there’s plenty on offer for students and teachers, including whole History and Knowledge sections, with stories relating to pretty much every subject. You can then save these to your playlist, or share by embedding the files on your website, over social media or using a QR code.

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How can it benefit the classroom?

audioBoom is a great tool to provide supporting content in the classroom, for students to learn at home, and also for teachers to promote the idea of a flipped classroom. Students can create topic-specific playlists that link current affairs and stories with topics currently being studied, and share the playlists with the class. Teachers can also use the resources to keep up to date with current educational topics, so it works towards professional development too.

What’s the best feature?

Another great thing about audioBoom is that it lets you really easily record and edit audio straight from the app, so students can start creating their own podcasts without the need for any other equipment. Our Apple Education Trainers have been showing teachers how they can easily make audio recordings that can then be accessed by their students via QR code or any other way of sharing a weblink. This is great for creating sound-based resources (just scan a QR code next to a word to hear how it sounds, on a book to hear a book review, on a piece of work to hear some peer feedback, give an instruction in a treasure hunt, or add URLs to ThingLink to make a soundboard, and so on…)

Where can I get it?

It’s completely free to sign up for an audioBoom account, and you can download the app from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes here.

– Missed last week’s app review? Check out the new update to iTunes U here.

Want to know 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.

Time to upgrade to Creative Cloud – Adobe price lock is back!

Time to upgrade to Creative Cloud – Adobe price lock is back!

Anybody still dallying over switching from Creative Suite to Creative Cloud now has another reason to make the move. Adobe have reinstated their price lock offer, saving you a whopping £543 over three years, but you only have until 28th August!

How does it work?

Basically, if you buy Adobe Creative Cloud today, you’ll pay £455 per user, per year (as opposed to £636), and you’ll then be locked in at that price for two annual renewals – giving you a total saving of £543 over the three year subscription. The offer applies to Creative Cloud for teams Complete, Creative Cloud Single App and Creative Cloud for teams with the new Adobe Stock image service. It doesn’t apply to education licences or renewals – the offer is only open to Creative Cloud customers moving from Creative Suite.

Why should I upgrade?

If you are still on Creative Suite, you’re missing out on tons of new features and updates that have come out since Adobe moved to Creative Cloud (see the full list of Creative Cloud 2015 updates, including Adobe Stock, here). Subscribing means you have access to the most up to date versions of Adobe creative tools like Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, as well as new collaborative features, online storage and more. And this promotion means you get it all for a fixed price for the next three years.

How do I get it?

If you want to take advantage of this limited time only offer, you’ll need to get your orders in before 28th August. Just give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com and we’ll sort you out!

Interested in 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.

 

Adobe drop new 2015 Creative Cloud features and updates

Adobe drop new 2015 Creative Cloud features and updates

In what’s become a bit of a yearly tradition, Adobe have unveiled major new 2015 updates for all Creative Cloud desktop apps, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more.

Creative Cloud 2015 also brings new updates to mobile apps, including the brand new Adobe Hue for iOS, as well as new improved libraries and the new Adobe Stock asset marketplace. Of course, if you’ve got an ongoing Creative Cloud membership, all the new stuff comes at no extra cost too. We’ve picked out our top new updates and features below.

 

Desktop apps get a sprinkling of magic

All 15 Adobe Creative Cloud desktop apps get updates in the 2015 release, with Adobe adding what they call their ‘Adobe Magic’. Just some of the new features to look out for include:

Photoshop CC. 2015 sees the introduction of Artboards, an easy way to create and preview multiple layouts of different sizes in one Photoshop document, and Device Preview, so you can check how they’ll look on different devices. An interesting workflow addition is the new Photoshop Design Space interface which lets users create their own tool layouts based on just the tools they need to do their work. Performance-wise, the Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush and Patch tools have been boosted with Mercury Graphics Engine enhancements, so you get results up to a massive 120 times faster than in CS6.

Lightroom CC. Lightroom, as well as Photoshop, gets a new Dehaze feature which eliminates fog and haze from photos, including underwater shots, for startlingly clear images. Haze can also be added to a photo for artistic effect.

Illustrator CC. Illustrator has also had a speed boost – it’s now ten times faster and ten times more precise than CS6. Thanks to a new Mercury Performance System boost, you can pan, zoom and scroll faster and more smoothly, and zoom into your artwork to create and edit with incredible precision (magnification can now reach up to 64,000% instead of 6400%). A new Chart tool lets users create custom charts and graphics.

InDesign CC. Mercury performance has also come to InDesign, meaning you can now zoom, scroll and page through complex documents twice as fast. Other new enhancements let you place images directly into cells of tables, add colour or shading to paragraphs, and publish and distribute documents with a single click.

Premiere Pro CC. Video users get spoiled with some big new improvements in the 2015 release. The new Lumetri Colour panel simplifies colour workflows with better colour correction tools and intuitive sliders. For editing interviews, the new Morph Cut feature smooths out jump cuts and sound bytes in talking-head shots to create a cohesive, polished sequence.

After Effects CC. New tracking features give you exceptional accuracy by managing the level of detail you track, and simple mask tracking lets you quickly apply effects only to a face, such as selective colour correction or blurring. You can easily animate 2D characters from Illustrator or Photoshop with Character Animator, which tracks your facial movements, records a voiceover and even triggers bodily movement with simple keyboard actions and automated features. Newcomers will also benefit from the new Simplified Preview mode which helps users get to grips with motion graphics and visual effects.

Dreamweaver CC. It’s now easier than ever to create mobile websites in Dreamweaver, with support for responsive design to create production-ready websites that dynamically adapt to various screen sizes. You also have the ability to preview and test websites on multiple devices in realtime. Quickly turn Photoshop comps into code-based designs with Extract, and work more efficiently with Code Editor tools like code completion, built-in validation and site management.

Muse CC. With instant access to premium fonts in Typekit from the Adobe Muse font menu, and the ability to integrate blogs, shopping carts, radio buttons and more using new widgets downloaded from the Library panel, it’s now much faster to create dynamic, engaging web designs.

 

Libraries get Linked Assets

Creative Cloud Libraries has always been a favourite feature of our team, giving easier access to key tools, brushes, colours, fonts and more, in Photoshop and InDesign. Now in the 2015 release, that functionality is extended to more apps, with support for Premiere Pro and After Effects. Adobe have also added support for Linked Assets, which lets you make an amend to an asset and then have that change automatically incorporated within every document or project.

 

Adobe stock up on assets

Adobe Stock is Adobe’s new asset marketplace, home to some 40 million quality images and graphics. It conveniently integrates into CC desktop apps like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and more, letting you save images to your Creative Cloud Libraries and then access them directly from inside your apps. You can work with watermarked images directly in comps, then when you’re ready to purchase, any edits you made to the watermarked image are magically applied to the purchased full-resolution image via CreativeSync.

You can buy Adobe Stock with new Creative Cloud for teams purchases or simply add it to your existing membership, and we’ll have full pricing and availability soon.

 

New and improved mobile CC apps

The Creative Cloud mobile app lineup keeps getting stronger, with updates to Adobe Comp CC, Photoshop Mix, Photoshop Sketch, Illustrator Draw, Brush CC, Shape CC and Color CC for iPad and iPhone (Shape, Color and Photoshop Mix are also now available for Android).

Adobe have also released new mobile apps Adobe Hue, Preview and Comp which are designed to make it even easier to capture inspiration and create from anywhere. Hue lets you capture colour palettes from photographs to create ‘Looks’ that can be uploaded to your Creative Cloud Library. You can then use these as creative references and to improve video footage in apps like Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Premiere Clip for iOS devices. Adobe Preview CC gives Photoshop CC designers precise, realtime previews of their mobile designs, while you can use Comp CC to draft your layouts using natural drawing gestures.

 

– The 2015 updates to CC desktop and mobile apps are available to download immediately for all Creative Cloud members as part of their membership at no additional cost. If you want to know more about Creative Cloud subscriptions, get in touch on the details below.

Adobe Creative Cloud hub on Jigsaw24

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.

Education app of the week: Chirp for iPad

Education app of the week: Chirp for iPad

Sometimes sending files between devices is a right faff. But with the Chirp app for iPad, you can send photos, videos and other files between devices with a mere chaffinch-like chirping audio clip…

What is Chirp for iPad?

Chirp (Animal Systems, free) is a simple file sharing app that uses sound to transfer images, gifs, PDFs, and now video, over the air between iOS devices. The technology behind how it actually does this still baffles me (something about data in the files being turned into audio clips, which are then picked up and decoded by other Chirp users and converted into links to the original files), but the little birdsong flourish, or ‘chirp’, emitted when you send and receive a file is pleasing enough to not have to worry about its inner workings.

How can it benefit the classroom?

It may seem like a bit of a novelty (a pretty impressive one at that) like the fist-bumping transfer app Bump, but Chirp actually has a lot of practical benefits over other file sharing apps or messaging services. It’s easy to use for a start – you just open the app, tap the ‘+’ button, add your required media from your Camera Roll or create a note, take a photo or video from directly within the app, then tap the little lightning bolt button to send it out as an audio signal. Recipients just need to be running Chirp themselves to pick up the file.

The other big benefit we can see for education is security. Unlike some apps, such as WhatsApp, that use an email address or phone number as a user ID to actually send media, all Chirp requires is for both users to be on a WiFi or cellular network. There’s no sign-in via social media, no user profile to create, and not even any need for Bluetooth – each chirp is a one-time transfer to devices whose microphone can pick up the audio signal. Also, no data is stored on Chirp’s servers.

What’s the best feature?

While Chirp is intended as a quick way of transferring media to anyone in a close proximity, the audio functionality on which it’s based actually lends itself to wider usage. For example, you could send students files such as PDF worksheets by Chirping over the classroom’s TV, over a school PA system, or even over Skype or FaceTime. Although, we have found it does work best when the devices are closer together.

Where can I get it?

Chirp is completely free, and you can download it from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes.

– Missed last week’s app review? Catch up on our review of PopBoardz here.

Want to know 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 Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

 

CPD course overview: Introducing our most popular sessions

CPD course overview: Introducing our most popular sessions

In these videos, Jigsaw24 Apple Education Trainer Mike gives a quick introduction to our most popular CPD training courses, starting with ‘Assessment tools on iPad’, and also taking in ‘Planning and vision for iPad’ and ‘iPad and the primary computing curriculum’. Take a look, and remember to get in touch for more information on our full programme of CPD training courses.

Assessment tools on iPad

Planning and vision for iPad

iPad and the primary computing curriculum

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 Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Education app of the week: Quizlet for iPad

Education app of the week: Quizlet for iPad

Forget mountains of colour-coded flashcards and bathroom walls covered in hundreds of sticky notes – Quizlet for iPad combines flashcards and quizzing into one handy app. We’ve given it a review just in time for exam and study period season…

What is Quizlet for iPad?

Quizlet for iPad (Quizlet LLC, free) is a simple study tool that works like a searchable glossary – you type in a topic and get a list of terms on that subject, with accompanying definitions. You can then use these in a few different ways as study aids: the ‘Cards’ option turns them into a deck of flash cards, with the term on one side and the definition on the back, the ‘Learn’ function works like a quiz, where you need to type the term to match the definition, and ‘Match’ lets you play a matching game against the clock.

How can it benefit the classroom?

The clear benefit of Quizlet is as a study tool, and its ‘by rote’ nature of quizzing and matching exercises is ideally suited to learners who thrive in visual, competition and repetition-based study. There’s already a ton of topics uploaded to Quizlet for you to search through, from history to the sciences and more, and it could be especially useful in languages – the ‘French Verb Quiz’ series could have been particularly helpful all those years ago back at secondary school…

What’s the best feature?

What’s really great is that, as well as all the content that’s already available in the Quizlet bank, teachers can also create their own topics with their own sets of terms too. You just need to log in (you can quickly set up a profile, or sign in using Facebook or Google), then tap ‘Create a new study set’, enter your terms and definitions, save and upload for students to search for. This means you can create glossaries for whatever topic you’re currently covering – the amount of content on offer is endless!

Where can I get it?

Quizlet for iPad (Quizlet LLC, free) is completely free, and you can download it by searching the App Store on your iPad, or heading to iTunes.

– Missed last week’s app? Catch up on our review of Google Slides here.

Want to know 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.

Education app of the week: SQA My Study Plan for iPad

Education app of the week: SQA My Study Plan for iPad

It’s that time of year again when the sun seems to shine more invitingly than it has done all school year, and daytime TV ratings see a massive spike. Yes, exam revision season is upon us, but luckily SQA’s My Study Plan for iPad is on hand to help students better organise their study.

What is SQA My Study Plan for iPad?

SQA My Study Plan (Kotikan Limited, free) is an iPad app developed to help students (and adults too!) organise their study time. It lets you automatically create your own personalised study plan based on your exam times, their importance and when you want to study, as well as view and edit your plan after to further customise to your needs. While it has the SQA (Scottish Qualification Authority), the national accreditation and awarding body in Scotland’s branding on it, you’ll be pleased to know it works just as well for anyone not in Scotland.

In fact, our close partner Conyers School, in Stockton-on-Tees, have been recommending all of their students to download SQA My Study Plan to their iPad in the run-up to exam time.

SQA My Study Plan for iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

We don’t need to tell you the importance of a well structured study plan for exam revision, but a few of the benefits of SQA My Study Plan include: setting your preferred study period for each subject and prioritising subjects, setting the times when you want to study, automatic generation of a study plan based on your preferences, editing and sharing plans, receiving notifications about study periods, and the ability to mark off and monitor completed study. If you’re in Scotland and rocking the SQA MyExams app (you’ll need v1.0.9), you can also import exams into SQA My Study Plan.

What’s the best feature?

The reminders are probably the most useful thing about SQA My Study Plan; they’re something I could have certainly done with all those summers ago. As one iTunes reviewer puts it: “the app makes me feel bad as I am meant to be sticking to my timetable and it tells me if I’ve not. I know I’ve not been studying and I know that I’ve been doing many pointless things like playing video games and watching repeated episodes of the chase every night.” Quite.

Where can I get it?

You can get SQA My Study Plan (Kotikan Limited, free) by searching in the App Store on your iPad or heading on over to iTunes. Best of all, it’s completely free, so well worth passing on to your students.

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