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.

The Jigsaw24 guide to finance

The Jigsaw24 guide to finance

Once you’ve decided your school is heading down the iPad route, the next step is to find the perfect financial option for your scheme (one that’s going to help you get the most out of your budget, ideally). To get a better understanding of the range of options out there, we sat down with our finance partners Burnetts and CHG Meridian to ask the big questions concerning finance…

We’ve never heard of a contribution scheme. What are they and how do they work?

“A parental contribution scheme is a programme whereby the parents of pupils opt to pay towards devices their children are going to be using in school, whether that be in full or in part. For a lot of schools, parental contribution schemes are the only way to make a new technology investment happen. If you’ve decided to run a contribution scheme, the first question to ask is whether you have any budget to put towards the scheme or if you need to fund the whole scheme through contributions. Don’t worry, either way works.”

How does it benefit the school?

“It’s all about providing sustainable IT. We all know the advantages mobile device technology can bring to teaching and learning, especially in a 1:1 deployment, but they can be expensive for a school to cover the whole cost, so getting parents on board is key. If they can see the advantages iPad is having to their child’s progress, they will pay towards the technology needed.”

What does a monthly payment from a parent actually pay for?

“That monthly payment pays for: the iPad (along with any associated accessories, such as cases), warranty protection for the length of the lease, insurance against accidental damage, theft and misappropriation by an authorised user. It also covers parental contribution cancellation insurance to make sure the school isn’t out of pocket if a parent leaves the scheme for any reason. Also Direct Debit collection costs and all administration costs for managing changes of payment details, and all correspondence with parents if a payment is missed.”

How do we make sure we’re getting the most out of our budget?

“As the lease agreement is with your school rather than with individual parents, we don’t need to run any credit scoring or background checks. Instead, you can use public sector borrowing power to get lower finance rates, and students and parents pay you back a monthly fee based on that rate, rather than the higher one they’d be offered in the high street. You will need to pay the VAT upfront, but you can claim this back at the end of the scheme (to do this you need to prove the device is essential for learning, so you’ll need to offer it to all pupils within a year group or across your school to qualify).”

Do we have to organise all the admin side?

“Nope – Jigsaw24 have all the admin legwork covered, providing an exclusive digital portal, branded to fit in with the rest of your school website. Parents can log in to this using a secure username and password, then choose from a pre-selected list of devices and accessories. They then register their Direct Debit details so that Burnetts can administer their monthly payments on behalf of the school.”

How do we collect Direct Debits, and what happens if a payment bounces?

“When a Direct Debit collection fails, we know straight away. Burnetts will agree with you in advance how you would like this to be managed, then the team will contact parents on the school’s behalf and make alternative arrangements, all being discussed with you to make sure you keep control of your scheme. For example, you might want two collections to be made the following month, or might choose to spread the missing payment over the remaining period. If a parent stops paying, you can protect your school by taking out Burnetts’s Parental Contribution Cancellation Insurance.”

So who actually owns the devices?

“Good question. The leasing company technically owns the device, but the agreement is with the school directly. It is possible for school to pay a portion of the cost of devices (so things are cheaper for parents) and the monthly cost for parents can be adjusted to compensate for any extra investment from the school. The title to the devices can be transferred to parents by paying the residual value of the iPad as a one-off payment at the end of the scheme. Alternatively it could be built into the monthly contribution amount from the start.

“This can also be extended to staff. We’d advise setting up a separate login area for staff, showing a pre-agreed list of devices (which could extend to Mac notebooks and other additional devices) with options for monthly payments, but the mechanics of the system would be the same as the student purchase scheme. We can also offer salary sacrifice schemes for teaching staff.”

How do we get started?

“We can help you with everything from all the equipment, including iPad devices, WiFi, software and apps, to a compliant operating lease, theft and accidental damage insurance to make sure your devices are protected, as well as a system for collecting contributions from parents. If you’re looking to run one of these schemes, one of the Jigsaw24 education team can come to your school to have a chat about it with a representative of both CHG Meridian and Burnetts.”

Want to know more about options for financing your IT vision? Get in touch with the education team on 03332 409 217 or email learning@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page.

Education app of the week: Seesaw for iPad

Education app of the week: Seesaw for iPad

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

What is Seesaw?

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

Seesaw for iPad

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

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

How can it benefit the classroom?

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

Seesaw for iPad

What’s the best feature?

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

Where can I get it?

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

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

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wacom release the darlin’ new Cintiq Companion 2

Wacom release the darlin’ new Cintiq Companion 2

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

What is the Wacom Cintiq Companion 2?

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

Wacom Cintiq Companion on Jigsaw24

So what’s new?

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

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

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

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

What’s this about five different models?

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

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

Cintiq Companion 2

Model Name

Cintiq Companion 2 64GB Value

Cintiq Companion 2 128GB Standard

Cintiq Companion 2 256GB Premium

Cintiq Companion 2 512GB Enhanced

Cintiq Companion 2 Enterprise

Processor

Intel i3

Intel i5

Intel i7

Intel i7

TBC

RAM

4GB

8GB

8GB

16GB

TBC

SSD

64GB

128GB

256GB

512GB

TBC

Operating System

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1

Windows 8.1 Pro

Windows 8.1 Pro

TBC

Included Accessories

Pro Pen

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

Pro Pen, Stand & Carry Case

TBC

When can I get hold of the Cintiq Companion 2?

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

Wacom Cintiq Companion 2 on Jigsaw24

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

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Flash

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Flash

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

Adobe Flash keyboard shortcuts (click to enlarge)

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

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

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

Keyboard shortcuts for Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator

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

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

Adobe Illustrator keyboard shortcuts (click to enlarge)

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

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


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

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

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

What is Post-it Plus?

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

Post-it Plus for iPad

How does it benefit the classroom?

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

What’s the best feature?

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

Where can I get it?

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

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

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

Thanks for stopping by our CEO perspective on apps event

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

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

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

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

Martin Balaam talks apps for business

 

Tim Bodill on Phoenix's app journey

Jigsaw24 Events

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

 

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

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

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

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

How to turn on and use Guided Access

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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