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.

JAMF Software release new Relo app for iPad

JAMF Software release new Relo app for iPad

JAMF Software took the opportunity of last week’s JAMF Nation ‘Ice-Out’ event to launch their latest endeavour – Relo for iPad, a handy little app that lets you shift all your important data from Android devices and tablets over to iPad and iPhone.

For anyone who’s tried to do this manually in the past without the aid of a dedicated app, especially any IT admins in big businesses, you’ll know that this can be a right chore. As well as being time-consuming and often frustrating, there’s also the added risk of losing important and sensitive data such as photos, videos and contacts, ending in information often being left on old devices. Ditto apps. But now JAMF Software, makers of the excellent Casper Suite, have addressed the needs of those working on multiple platforms, or making the move from Android to iOS, by letting them quickly and simply copy data from non-iOS devices to iPhone and iPad.

JAMF Software promise their Relo app will let users:

Bring Important Data With You. Relo wirelessly copies all contacts, photos and videos from an Android to a new iOS device. Just download the app on both devices, scan a QR code and you’re done!

• See iOS Versions of Your Apps. If you have an Android app that is also available in the App Store, Relo will display the iPhone or iPad version for you to download.

• Ensure Privacy of Your Data. Relo doesn’t upload any data to the cloud or anywhere else, ensuring that private information stays private for users and organisations alike.

Another big plus point for Relo: it’s completely free! You can download it right now from the App Store on your iPad or head on over to iTunes.

Want to know more about JAMF Software’s Casper Suite? 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.

App of the month: Apogee MetaRecorder for iOS

App of the month: Apogee MetaRecorder for iOS

This month, we’ve been looking at MetaRecorder, Apogee’s new field recording app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch (and Apple Watch too). With high quality audio recording, comprehensive metadata and Final Cut Pro X integration, find out why we think this is going to be one to interest pros as well as consumers…

What is Apogee MetaRecorder?

Years ago there was a piece of software called MetaCorder, developed by Gallery. New app MetaRecorder is very similar, but developed for iOS and now with the Apogee name on it. Apogee are hailing it as the “first two-channel audio recording app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch to offer intuitive multi-take recording, tagging and file organisation for any field recording scenario”.

How does it work?

First of all, connect a microphone, audio interface or use the built-in microphone on your iOS device to record mono or stereo audio up to 96kHz/24-bit resolution. MetaRecorder then lets you add keywords, markers and notes, designate ‘favourite’ takes and customise auto file naming for a unique, informative and easily searchable name. Once you’re done, save your session as an FCPXML file from the app. When opened in Final Cut Pro, metadata entered in the field makes searching and organising your media fast and effortless.

MetaRecorder for iOS

Who is it for?

While Apogee are positioning this as a simple high-quality setup to record podcasts, presentations, news reports, interviews or meetings, as well as a consumer app for recording school plays, wedding speeches and the like, we can also see it being used in more professional applications. The FCP X workflow is certainly very interesting for audio post.

MetaRecorder lets you apply metadata tags like keywords, favourites, markers and more to your audio files while recording in the field, then share the recorded audio and Final Cut Pro XML files directly to Dropbox. Once you’ve imported it into Final Cut Pro on a Mac, the captured metadata gives you a much simpler way of organising and parsing your media, substantially accelerating your post-production workflow.

What’s the best feature?

OK, we’re going out on a limb here to suggest a feature that we may not have yet actually used, but can see being very useful – Apogee have already developed an Apple Watch version of MetaRecorder, enabling you to have a remote control for the iPhone or iPad app. Essential features that can be controlled from Apple Watch include start and stop recording, adding a take to favourites, adding markers and setting your microphone input level. Now, just wake us up when our Apple Watch delivery gets here, will you?

How much and where can I get it?

Apogee MetaRecorder (Apogee Electronics Corp, free) is free to download from the App Store on your iPad or iTunes. Just a word of warning – the free version of MetaRecorder does limit you to just 60 seconds’ continuous recording time. For a limited time, if you have a compatible Sennheiser or Apogee device, you can unlock unlimited continuous recording for free by connecting to MetaRecorder (check iTunes for a full list of compatible devices), or purchase the full version in the app to unlock the recording time restriction.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

24/7 support now included in Adobe Creative Cloud

24/7 support now included in Adobe Creative Cloud

Midnight oil-burners and creative insomniacs, rejoice: Adobe now offer 24/7 phone support included as standard in Creative Cloud for teams. Any admins needing technical support out of office hours, or just fancying a chat (don’t actually do this – we’ve tried), can now connect with an Adobe rep to resolve critical issues and minimise creative downtime.

“But haven’t we always had access to technical support from Adobe?”, we hear you say. Well yes, technically, but Adobe have now introduced the out of hours aspect so you can get support at any time. They’ve also made the process far simpler, by introducing a new Support tab in the Admin Console, detailing regional phone numbers and generally making the whole thing a little more customer-friendly.

What do I actually get?

IT admins now have access to 24/7 advanced technical support (English only after business hours and weekends though) to enable quick issue resolution and help deploy their Creative Cloud for teams software. The advanced technical support regional phone numbers can be found on the Support tab of the Admin Console. As this level of support is only available to those on a Creative Cloud for teams licence, it’s definitely another point in the ‘pros’ column for anyone still considering making the move to teams from an individual Creative Cloud membership.

– For more information on Adobe Creative Cloud for teams 24/7 support, click on the image below.

Creative Cloud for teams 24/7 support

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.


Lesson ideas for using touchscreens in the classroom

Lesson ideas for using touchscreens in the classroom

Interactive touchscreen technology is great – you get to present content to your class in a more engaging way than with a whiteboard, and teach content in different ways for a more effective pedagogy. Think multitouch collaboration, integration with your mobile devices and feedback in exciting quizzes and surveys.

And the list of benefits is as long as your arm. As well as improved educational outcomes (for pupils, teachers and the school), better engagement between teachers and pupils, ease of use (it’s quick and easy to add content), touchscreens can support multiple subjects and are suitable for the whole secondary spectrum. While the possibilities are endless, we’ve come up with a few very basic lesson ideas to get you started…

Our top touchscreen lesson ideas

 

1. Pointless history quiz

If your students are anything like the teenagers we know, then they’ll be big fans of daytime quiz shows. As the questions on quiz shows take a format students recognise, we’ve found this can be a great way to really engage them in topics, and splitting them into teams builds on the collaborative aspect too.

As an example, take our current daytime favourite, BBC One’s Pointless (though we’re rarely home in time to catch it, unfortunately), and apply a history angle. Come up with sets of questions and answers based on the current topic you’re covering in the style of the quiz format, and get teams of students up to the front to answer them on-screen and compete to see who can get the lowest scoring answers, while you play joint Xander/Richard hosting duties. “We asked 100 people what the main causes of the First World War were”, “We asked 100 people if they could name these Elizabethan figures” etc.

2. Understanding imagery in poetry

Getting students to understand some of the often complex imagery in poetry and ballads can be difficult (it’s not really an onion, is it, Carol?), but using a more visual approach can really aid their comprehension so they can go off and start using more advanced poetic techniques in their own creative writing. That’s where an interactive touchscreen can come in useful.

A fun, engaging activity is to choose a variety of images that pertain to the imagery of the set of poems the class is currently studying (you could search stock photos or Google Images to download some free to use ones), then get students to think about what the image connotes. Get them up to the front of the class to annotate the images on the interactive touchscreen with creative adjectives. Go further by getting them to think about similes and metaphors they could use in their own writing.

3. Discussing drugs in PSHE

Interactive touchscreens are perfect for any topic where group discussion is involved, so they lend themselves perfectly to personal, social and health education lessons. This lesson idea uses students’ listening, answering and researching skills to discuss drugs, smoking and alcohol.

Split students into groups to answer as many questions as they can on the effects of drugs (how does smoking affect your lungs, for example). You start by running through the questions on the touchscreen, while the group-assigned scribe jots them down. Now get them to go off and find the answers themselves on their iPad, making sure they’re working together so that each group member knows the answer to each question. A good tool to use for this would be a mind-mapping app like BaiBoard for iPad, that lets students combine text, drawing and images to create a ‘mood board’ of ideas, connecting with other users to collaborate on a brainstorm as a group.

Now you can go through the set of questions gain, getting another member of each team to give their answers for each question. Students can annotate the questions and compare answers and bits of additional information they didn’t find, while another team member writes up the answers. These findings can then be shared with the class as a resource.

Want to know more about interactive touchscreens? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 218 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com For all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page.