Education app of the week: PureFlow for iPad

Education app of the week: PureFlow for iPad

If you’re looking for a really simple way to create flowcharts, you’d do well to take a look at PureFlow for iPad, which our Apple Education Trainers have recently been using in computing curriculum workshops.

What is PureFlow for iPad?

There’s nothing fancy about PureFlow (Aleksandr Kozlov, free); it’s simply a very easy way of creating flowcharts on iPad. Open up the app, tap to create a new flowchart and you have a blank canvas on which to create any kind of flowchart. Tap anywhere to create a start point, and branch out from there choosing different types of objects and dragging arrows to extend your chart outwards, drag elements around, and more. Once finished, you can share your flowchart via email, Facebook, Twitter, PDF, or save it as an image.

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How can it benefit the classroom?

As mentioned, the team have been using PureFlow in computing workshops, helping to visualise ideas through mind maps and flowcharts (maths, design, even projects in creative subjects like English and drama). But it could really be used in any subject, both for presentation and in the concept and planning stages of a project to share ideas with teachers and peers, as having a visual aid is a great way to help people make decisions.

What’s the best feature?

We’ve tried a few different flowchart apps, but for basic flowcharting, PureFlow really can’t be beat. In fact, its lack of bells and whistles is probably its greatest feature (that, and the fact that it’s completely free too).

Where can I get it?

PureFlow (Aleksandr Kozlov, free) is completely free to download. You can get it on the App Store, or here on iTunes.

– Missed our last app review? Catch up with Videon for iPad here.

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

How to buy apps with VPP Credit

How to buy apps with VPP Credit

When Apple first introduced their Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) – it was great news for schools using iPad, letting you easily buy multiple copies of apps, and dish them out to pupils’ devices via managed distribution (as well as getting you bulk discounts of 50% off on many apps too!).

The only problem with VPP previously was that you needed a credit card to facilitate the purchase – not the best way to buy for some schools. But now, with VPP Credit, you can simply pay for credit to use in the VPP App Store with a purchase order, meaning more flexible payments. And you can do it really easily through us, without needing to go to anyone else.

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up for the Volume Purchase Programme

The first thing you’ll need to do, if you haven’t already, is enrol onto Apple’s Volume Purchase Programme (if you’ve done this already, you can happily skip to Step 2). You’ll need to set up an Apple ID for your institution by entering your details and your institution’s details before verifying your contact details and Apple reviewing your application.

Sign up for VPP here.

2. Buy your VPP Credit

Once you’re enrolled, you can now actually buy your VPP Credit. Just send us, as an Apple Authorised Reseller, a purchase order from your school with the following information, so we can begin to process your order:

– Amount of VPP Credit required (please only use increments of £1).

– First and last name of VPP account holder (the one you set up in Step 1).

– Email address on VPP account.

– School name (if the order comes from the LA, they need to state your school name).

– The part code you need to order for VPP Credit is: D6701Z/A – VPP Credit for Education.

We’ll then process your order, and when it’s ready, you’ll receive an email from Apple sent to the email address registered to your VPP account, with a link to a secure inbox which you can use to access VPP Credit for your institution.

3. Use the secure inbox to purchase apps
You can now sign in to the secure inbox with your Apple ID and, after signing in, download a spreadsheet with a redemption code for each VPP Credit order. Now, use this code to start buying apps and books from the VPP Store. You’ll have four weeks to download VPP Credit from the secure inbox. After that time, you (or we) can resend the VPP Credit.
 4. Distribute apps to devices

Once you’ve bought your apps, it’s now time to distribute them to your iPad deployment. VPP makes it easy to push out content to student and staff devices, letting you distribute to selected devices either through USB with a Mac and Apple Configurator or over the air via a mobile device management (MDM) solution. MDM solutions will let you control the entire distribution process, assigning apps to users, and revoking and re-assigning unused app licences.

Of course, if you do have any trouble at any step of the process – from setting up VPP to purchasing credit to distributing content – don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team for help on the details below.

Got another VPP question? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

Last chance to save when you move to Adobe Creative Cloud!

We really mean it this time. If you’re still on old versions of Creative Suite, you only have until 27th November 2015 to migrate over to Adobe Creative Cloud (and save a cool £543 over three years). After that, you’ll only be able to buy new, full price seats, so it’s definitely time to make the move!

Adobe have been offering discounted migration pricing ever since they first launched Creative Cloud (way back in 2012!), so the fact that it will no longer be available is a really big deal for anyone who hasn’t moved over to Cloud yet. And they’re making migration an even more enticing prospect by also reintroducing their three year price lock.

Calculating Creative Cloud costs

Now for the money bit. Adobe migration pricing costs £455 ex VAT per seat for a 12 month term, but with the three year price lock taken into account, seats purchased now at £455 will be locked in for the next two renewals – which all saves you a whopping £543 per seat. After 27th November, however, new licences can only be purchased at the standard cost of £636 ex VAT for a 12 month term. It’s a massive opportunity for anyone who hasn’t yet migrated, as well as anyone who is looking to expand their estates, especially when you consider everything you get in Adobe Creative Cloud for teams

Why migrate to Creative Cloud?

We don’t really need to tell you that using legacy versions of software means you’re missing out on all the new features and workflow improvements that have come out since Adobe moved to Creative Cloud, not to mention the issue of file compatibility. For more info on how it works, check out our handy Adobe Creative Cloud infographic here, or for more on the new features, Adobe tutorials, customer stories and tons of other Adobe resources, head to our Adobe Creative Cloud hub.

Migrate to Creative Cloud now

To migrate to Adobe Creative Cloud and take advantage of this limited time offer, you’ll need to get your orders in before 27th November. 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 409 251 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Jigsaw24 scoop Blackmagic Design Outstanding Achievement award

Jigsaw24 scoop Blackmagic Design Outstanding Achievement award

It’s official – we’re excellent. Or at least, that’s what Blackmagic Design think, handing us an Outstanding Achievement award for excellence in distribution. We’re really proud of being honoured with such an achievement, so we want to say a big thanks to everyone at BMD!

The award was dished out at the Blackmagic Design dealer briefing on 10th September by Director of Channel Sales at Blackmagic Design, Tim Siddons, and our very own solutions and business development guru Jamie Allan went up to receive it. There were no Gwyneth/Kanye-style speeches, but Jamie and everyone at Jigsaw24 was very chuffed to be recognised by Blackmagic Design (just check out that proud dad look in the pic below). Now we just need to find somewhere to display the shiny statuette!

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Jigsaw24 and Blackmagic Design

We like to think our close relationship with Blackmagic Design stood us in good stead for the award. As well as excelling in distribution (we were the first in the UK to get our hands on their Cinema Camera and Pocket Cinema Camera), we’re also the UK’s sole provider of the DaVinci Resolve for Linux systems, as well as the leading provider of DaVinci Resolve for Mac, so it’s safe to say we know Blackmagic Design pretty well.

On top of all that, we now have our Soho service and customer experience centre, featuring our Steampunk demo room which is completely kitted out with the Blackmagic Design Resolve panel, as well as the Avid Pro Tools | S6 surface, and more.

Exclusive Resolve 12 and Cintel Scanner launch

To further boost our Blackmagic Design credentials, we’re even playing host to the official Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve 12 launch at our place in Soho. During the day we’ll be showing Resolve 12 running on Linux, Mac and Windows, with stations set up to show project collaboration, editing and grading. We’ll also be showing the latest versions of the Cintel Film Scanner and Fusion Studio fresh from IBC. During the evening, we’ll be welcoming a series of special guest speakers to present on their experiences using these products in the real world. Just pop your details in the form below to RSVP!

Want to know more about Blackmagic Design products? 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.

Our ultimate guide to networking, WiFi and servers

Our ultimate guide to networking, WiFi and servers

Are you an IT manager whose network regularly leaves you wanting to bang your head against your server rack? We know how important it is to make sure your network gives you the speed you need for users to work effectively – especially designers and anyone working with and transferring large files over the server.

So this article is for you, as we get down to the nitty gritty of scalable networking, how our solutions can see you right, and look at how we helped Space Digital future-proof their infrastructure…

Networking

First things first, if your network doesn’t have built-in resiliency or sufficient bandwidth, you’re never going to get the maximum ROI – or the best work out of your employees. We offer the full range of networking solutions, from the design and installation of complex multisite networks to tailor-made WiFi setup. Put simply, our engineers will make sure your network is fast, continuous and secure, and with our range of support options, our engineers are just a phone call away if you need help. It all means you get faster, more reliable network and device access across platforms, improved end user security, and the peace of mind that you have technical support in case of any network issues.

WiFi

Giving employees access to mobile devices is great for productivity (with everyone able to access business resources anywhere onsite), but it’s also going to have a knock-on effect on your network. We can help you deal with the challenges of connecting iPad, iPhone and more to your WiFi. We’ll do a WiFi survey and provide advice on hardware that’ll meet your needs, then install everything and perform ongoing network health checks, so you can ensure you have the bandwidth you need, without any loss of connection or disruption to your WiFi.

Servers

Whether you’re looking at a server upgrade, want to consolidate or virtualise your servers to host your legacy systems and web development, or give your business the agility and flexibility that comes with server virtualisation and consolidation, our solutions ensure you get the best fit for your business, and your investment is future-proof.

Some of the things we can do include workload optimisation, server room design, hardware provision, consolidation, virtualisation and migration pilots, and leasing, rental and finance options, all designed to give you faster delivery of core services, and a reduced energy and space footprint.

 

Customer story: Future-proof infrastructure at Space Digital

Over the years, we’ve helped many creative agencies and businesses get their network and infrastructure up to speed. For example, when post-production supremos Space Digital moved to new premises in MediaCityUK, they decided to build their own internal server room and recable their entire facility to enable their artists to work over 10GbE. As well as helping them design and install the facility, we’ve continuously advised Space Digital’s team on the latest hardware, including their new Thunderbolt-based workflow.

Simon Blackledge, Head of Post-Production at Space Digital, said: “Then we ran through where all the network points were going to be in the different offices, and the layout of the different edit suites. Jigsaw24 got back to me with the options for the cabling […] Jigsaw24 came up once all the floor had been laid and put down all the cabling for the network and the SDI leads and extenders. I moved my machines in a couple of days later and they had us all up and running – everything was fine.”

Free Server and Deliver event

If you want to learn more about infrastructure, particularly making your Apple estate work in perfect harmony with your IT environment, join us on Thursday 3rd September for our Server and Deliver event! Stop by from 5pm for a drinks reception before diving into keynote presentations with Dell, Quantum (Dothill) and Brocade on a whole host of key challenges creatives are facing today. We’ll be talking servers, storage and networking, Mac integration, device management, network migration, business continuity and much more. So if that sounds like your bag, RSVP your place by filling in the form below.

 

Want to know more about networking, WiFi and servers, and our insanely great infrastructure solutions? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Sony offering super savings on cameras for classrooms!

Sony offering super savings on cameras for classrooms!

Want to teach students the professional production skills they’ll need in their future careers (and attract prospective students)? Now’s the time to update your camera kit, as Sony are currently offering education institutions up to £1079* off cameras, including the PXW-X70 and FS7. It’s only on until 30th September though, so it’s a great excuse to dig into that budget!

The promotion covers a wide range of Sony’s professional cameras, from pro handheld up to film cameras. We’ve picked out our top cameras for education below, but if there are any other models that have caught your eye, or you need advice on what camera to plump for for a particular course or scenario, do get in touch with the team – as Sony Professional Solution Specialists, we’re here to help!

What’s on offer?

PXW-X70 – Great for all creative courses

Sony PXW-X70 on Jigsaw24

This 4K-ready camera was the first on the market to combine the dual benefits of a large sensor with a fixed lens, enabling incredibly shallow depth of field, with a real broadcast-quality workflow. A price tag of around £1500 means this camcorder is a professional and practical choice which isn’t going to break the bank. £1475 ex VAT (Save £216* with the Sony promo!)

PXW-X200 – Great for journalism courses

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A bit of a step up, the X200 features three 1/2-inch type Full-HD ExmorT CMOS sensors to achieve high resolution, high sensitivity, low noise, and wide dynamic range, 17x Fujinon professional HD zoom, and support for the most popular video formats, shooting to SxX cards or even inexpensive XQD, SDXC and SDHC cards via an adaptor. £3915 ex VAT (Save £432* with the Sony promo!)

PXW-FS7 and PMW-FS7K – Great for film courses

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Sony’s FS7 is a complete large sensor camera system that delivers long-form recording capabilities with 4K resolution in a compact, hand-held (and robust) design that makes it great for giving a cinematic sheen to students’ production. £4830 ex VAT (Save £288* with the Sony promo!)

PMW-F55 – Great for high-end production courses

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The F55 has a Super 35 4K CMOS sensor, global shutter technology that means far fewer artefacts, a wide colour gamut, and internal 4K recording to SxS Pro + cards at up to 60fps and 2K/HD at up 180fps. You can also simultaneously record XAVC 4K files and HD MPEG files to the same SxS Pro + card, for both backup and getting ready for grading.

We recently kitted out Staffordshire University with an F55, and Richard Mortimer, Media Centre Technical Team Leader, has been very impressed: “Now we’ve got mind-blowing technology we can put in front of students, things that they’re not going to see until they’ve been in industry a while and gotten their feet under the table.”

£17,500 ex VAT (Save £1079* with the Sony promo!)

– You can see the full range of Sony cameras here.

How does it work?

The promotion is only available to recognised public or private schools, colleges and universities providing full-time study. For that reason, we don’t apply the savings to the products on the website – you’ll need to get in touch with the team to put an order in, then we can apply your discount. Just remember, you only have until the 30th September 2015!

Want to know more about Sony cameras? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or education@Jigsaw24.com to find out more. For all the latest news and updates follow  @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

*Savings are adjusted for exchange rates at time of publishing, and so are subject to change.

 

Implementing live video streaming with TriCaster at IGN

Implementing live video streaming with TriCaster at IGN

IGN are the world’s largest video games website, and the destination for anyone looking for the latest gaming news (as well as film, TV and comics coverage). Realising the massive impact video was having on the industry, and how their audience consume content, IGN thought it was time they got on board with video at their UK office, installing a new studio based on NewTek TriCaster that would help them deliver professional-quality live video streaming in limited space.

Watch the video below to see the IGN guys and their new NewTek TriCaster video studio in action (including a TriCaster 460 with control surface, separate Yamaha MG166-c audio mixer, Canon XF300 and Canon XF305 cameras, and an Ianiro Florescent lighting rig). For the full case study write-up from NewTek, click here.

NewTek TriCaster on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about NewTek TriCaster? 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.

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.

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.