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.

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.

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. 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

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, 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.

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.

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.

Education app of the week: Mathletics Student for iPad

Education app of the week: Mathletics Student for iPad

If you’re already using Mathletics to engage your pupils with maths, then you’ll be pleased to know there’s also an iPad app version too – Mathletics Student – letting your pupils keep on learning on the go. See why we’re such fans… 

What is Mathletics Student for iPad?

For any newcomers, Mathletics is an online platform for pupils to learn and practise all aspects of maths including arithmetic, shapes, measures, data handling and more advanced topics. It’s all done through live games that include step-by-step support through problems.  It’s based on an active global community of more than 10,000 schools and 3.5 million users, who pupils can ‘play’ against to rack up high scores while they learn.

Mathletics Student on iTunes

Mathletics Student (3P Learning, free), is the iPad version of this. You can log onto the Mathletics app on an iPad and your account settings and results data will automatically be synced across, so pupils can carry on with the same challenges they were completing on the desktop version. There’s also now an offline mode, which means you don’t even have to be connected to the internet to access Mathletics.

How can it benefit the classroom?

The reason we’ve seen so many schools using Mathletics so far is the fact that it is so closely aligned to the UK National Curriculum. We’re not just talking simple arithmetic challenges here – Mathletics is broken down by year level, so you have everything from basic reception-friendly activities (numbers and patterns, spaces and shapes etc) right up to GCSE-level (ratios, quadratics, linear equations, data handling, trig and all that lovely stuff). It’s a great complement to your traditional teaching methods, getting children engaged with challenges to achieve outstanding results.

What’s the best feature?

We really love how teachers and parents can also get involved. Through the separate Mathletics Teacher app (3P Learning, free), teachers can assign homework or classwork activities, access all their students’ results data in realtime, and amend and update courses directly from their iPad or iPhone. Weekly reports can also be emailed straight to parents, so they get to have an insight into how their child is progressing.

Where can I get it?

You can download Mathletics Student (3P Learning, free) for iPad from the App Store, or by heading to iTunes. Mathletics Teacher (3P Learning, free) for iPad is available here. Just note, you need to have subscribed to Mathletics online first to get access to the Mathletics apps.

– Missed our last app review? See what we thought of ClassFlow 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.

Education app of the week: ClassFlow for iPad

Education app of the week: ClassFlow for iPad

One of the great things about BETT is the chance to check out various vendors’ latest wares. And this year, we were particularly impressed with interactive whiteboard manufacturer Promethean’s new iPad app, ClassFlow.

What is ClassFlow for iPad?

ClassFlow (Promethean, free) is an all-in-one, cloud-based classroom presentation and management tool that lets teachers create multimedia lessons, and then deliver interactive content including pictures, graphs and activities quizzes, polls and surveys to student devices. There are two versions of the app – ClassFlow Teacher and ClassFlow Student – as well as a browser-based content creation platform, ClassFlow.com.

ScreenFlow on iPad

ClassFlow Teacher allows teachers to lead interactive lessons using their iPad from anywhere in the classroom. Navigate a lesson while displaying it on the classroom display, share differentiated content and drive discussions, control live polls, access notes and view realtime progress, all very simply from within the app. The Student version combines with ClassFlow Teacher to let students receive lesson content from the teacher direct to their device, and respond to questions and open-ended activities more creatively through words, drawings or annotations.

How can it benefit the classroom?

Being able to deliver interactive content using ClassFlow makes for a more engaging and collaborative learning experience, with students able to demonstrate learning in a range of different ways. Using the feedback functionality like polls, quizzes and surveys also allows teachers to assess student understanding. And you don’t need any new hardware to run it all – while ClassFlow does work with any Promethean Smartboards you might already have, ClassFlow is free to download and start using straight away on teachers’ and students’ devices.

What’s the best feature?

What we really like about ClassFlow is just how easy it is to start building lessons. You can search and import all manner of  existing content including webpages, PDFs, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint docs, Promethean ActivInspire flipcharts, and video files from multiple sources. For a handy place to start, you can also access lessons shared by other teachers in the ClassFlow community.

Where can I get it?

ClassFlow Student (Promethean, free) is available to download from the App Store on your iPad, or you can check it out on iTunes here.

– Missed our last app review? Catch up with why we love RefME 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.

Education app of the week: RefME for iPad

Education app of the week: RefME for iPad

If you’ve graduated from university, or are currently slogging your way through a course now, you won’t need us to tell you all about the Harvard-based horrors that are referencing and citations. Good then, that we now have RefME for iPad, an app that promises to turn writing coursework into a reference-laden joy.

What is RefME for iPad?

RefME itself is a browser-based tool for generating citations, reference lists and bibliographies. To accompany this, you have the RefME for iPad app (ReferenceME Ltd, free), which syncs up with refme.com. While the browser version automates the whole referencing process for you, letting you search by book/journal article title, DOI, ISBN, ISSN or by copying and pasting any website URL, the iPad app lets you use the camera to scan in any book’s barcode or ISBN, then sync with refme.com to create a reference list in just a click.

RefME for iPad

How can it benefit the classroom?

We’d say RefME would be ideal for all college and university students. Keeping track of dozens and dozens of citations can sometimes be a bit of a chore, especially when left to compile until the very end of an essay or dissertation (guilty…). But with RefME, you can stay on top of references as you go, making the whole process much easier and quicker. And as it’s free, it’s definitely worth recommending to all your students/colleagues.

What are the best bits?

What we really love about RefME is how quick it makes referencing for journal articles, book titles, DOI, ISSN, ISBN and others, with just one click or a scan of a barcode. As well as 7000+ referencing styles to choose from (including Harvard, APA, MHRA and other university-specific styles), RefME includes 35 referencing sources from legal cases, DVDs, CDs and more, so will comply with university standards. Everything’s synced and saved with refme.com too, from where you can export your references to email, Word, Evernote and more.

How much is it and where can I get it?

RefME for iPad (ReferenceME Ltd, free) is completely free and available to download from the App Store on your iPad, or through iTunes. There’s also an iPhone version.

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.

Business iPad app of the month: iZettle

Business iPad app of the month: iZettle

This month, our iPad app of the month is one for retailers. We’re looking at iZettle, a free app and a new way of taking card payments and growing your business. Use iZettle alongside a secure card reader and analytics to keep track of all of your sales. 

What is it?

iZettle is a free app that when paired with a card reader works to take payments for goods. The app is designed for use on both iPhone and iPad, so is great for those of you who want to take your business with you on the move.

How does it work?

iZettle provides you with the tools to start, run and improve your business. Run your business from your smart phone or tablet by uploading your products to the app and organising them into folders (think of this as your online store). Set the app up with a card reader so you can take payments for your goods in a quick and easy manner. Finish things off by keeping track of your payments: iZettle allows your customers to choose between receipt via email or print and it keeps track of all your transactions for you in case you ever need to refer back.

Who is it for?

iZettle is great for small and micro businesses. The app itself is free, the only cost you need to take into consideration is getting yourself a secure and reliable card reader. Lo and behold,  iZettle sell them too, and at £59 inc VAT their mobile Chip and PIN reader lets you accept secure card payments anywhere.

What’s the best feature?

After paying out for your card reader there are no other monthly fees or rental charges. Instead merchants are charged for sales. There are no fixed charges per transaction, but there is a sliding scale ranging from 2.75% to 1.5% of your sales, with the percentage lowering the more sales you make.

How much is it and where can I get it?

The app itself is free to download on the App Store here. Visit the iZettle website to get your hands on their £59 Chip and PIN reader.

Want to know more about making the most of iPad in retail? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email B2B@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.