All the news from WWDC 2016

All the news from WWDC 2016

This was a big one. With four, that’s right, four whole OS updates being unveiled at Apple’s June keynote, it’s fair to say there’s a lot to talk about and a lot to get excited about.

If you love Apple (and emojis) like we do, you’ll have been itching with anticipation for this year’s keynote. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of all the big announcements from WWDC 2016.

iOS 10 

Release: Public Beta in July, coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

It’s being called the ‘biggest iOS release ever’, and it’s hard to disagree. Designed with user experience in mind, and with substantial improvements to some of iOS’ most popular features, the wait for number 10 will feel like waiting for Christmas. It’ll be available on iPhone 5 and later, and will include:

– Redesigned lock and home screens, incorporating 3D touch, raise to wake and widgets.

– Siri will be opened up to developers for 3rd party messaging apps, allowing users to book Uber rides, pay friends, make VoIP calls and much more. If that’s not convenient enough for you, never fear, Apple already has it figured out with QuickType. QuickType provides intelligent suggestions with deep learning (LSTMs), through factors like current locations, contact information, recent addresses and availability – it even offers intelligent scheduling for the calendar app.

– Photos is getting some cool additions too, with facial recognition, object and scene recognition, and memories (clusters of photos sorted by date, people and topics).

– Maps will receive an all-new design, complete with improved traffic information, faster route suggestions, and quick controls to find food or petrol. The app will also be opened up for developers, allowing users to book a table and the like.

– Music (now with 15 million paid subscribers) will get a shiny new redesign too. Apple have simplified the app, improved audio clarity, and added a lyrics feature.

– Following suit, News has received a redesign inline with Music, and will feature breaking news notifications to boot. Apple said the app will now include over 2000 publications.

– Home is a brand-new app that’s designed to simplify home automation. It works in conjunction with HomeKit-compatible accessories, which now include controls for cameras, door locks and air conditioning. Home app can see and control all accessories from one place, and provides remote access to home automation.

– Thanks to new Phone updates, you’ll now be alerted to possible spam calls or suspicious numbers (which is great if you’re sick of hearing about PPI!). VoIP apps will also be integrated, and Contacts has received an upgrade.

– Last, but certainly not least, Messages has been gifted some impressive new features that have had Apple fans everywhere talking. The app will now include rich links, tap-to-replace emojis (perfect if you want to let pictures do all the talking) and emoji prediction (emojis are now three times bigger!). Not only that, iOS 10 will introduce a range of bubble effects (including invisible ink for more secretive messages), as well as quick tap back, handwritten messages, digital touch and exciting full screen effects.


Release: Coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

tvOS will receive a substantial update this fall with new features, including:

– 1300 video channels, up from 80.

– 6000 native apps.

– An AppleTV remote app for your iPhone, allowing you to control AppleTV through your handset. It mimics the hardware remote, with Siri voice and typing support, dictation for usernames and passwords, a Now Playing screen, accelerometer and gyroscope support for games, touch navigation and more.

– Siri can now search for movies by topic, and browse YouTube.

– Live Tune In – Siri can take you straight to the action, available on AppleTV and iPad.

– Single Sign-on – Also available on iOS, you can now sign in once to access all apps on the network.

– Dark Mode, perfect for nighttime viewing.

– For developers: ReplayKit, PhotoKit and HomeKit.

watchOS 3

Release: Coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

Apple announced some exciting new updates for its wearable hardware:

– In-app launch time is now seven times faster.

– Background updates.

– Dock – Push the side button, and swipe through live apps.

– iOS Control Center – Accessible by swiping from the bottom of the screen.

– Improved smart reply options.

– Scribble – Write your own message replies one letter at a time (available in English and Chinese).

– New, swappable watch faces, including the Activity face which lets you quick start Workout, Minnie Mouse with customisable dress colours (if that’s what you’re into), a numeral face available in a variety of fonts, and analogue, digital and chronograph, the three new Activity ring faces.

– SOS calling – Holding down the side button initiates a three second countdown to call emergency services, and then sends a notification with your location data to all emergency contacts and brings up your medical ID. It works in conjunction with your iPhone or over WiFi.

– Activity Sharing – Swipe right on your Activity rings to check out your family and friends’ rings (a cool feature if you love getting competitive). You’ll even be placed on a leaderboard, so you can see how much better you’re doing than everyone else.

– Breathe – Designed to help combat stress, Breathe is a neat deep breathing/meditation app. It relies on haptic feedback and visuals, and takes a heart reading towards the end of a session.

macOS Sierra

Release: Public Beta in July, coming this Autumn (free upgrade)

Apple’s latest macOS is called Sierra and it’s all about continuity. Along with a whole range of new features, Apple will incorporate Siri, Apple watch and Apple Pay into its flagship operating system when it drops this Autumn. Here’s a rundown of everything we know:

– Auto Unlock – You can now use your Watch to automatically unlock your Mac, very handy if you’re a fan of Apple’s wearable.

– Universal Clipboard – One of the new continuity features, Universal Clipboard allows users to copy content on one device and paste it onto another.

– Hot off the announcement that 10 billion user documents are stored in iCloud, Apple confirmed that all files stored on the Desktop or in the Documents folder of a Mac will be available across multiple devices including other Macs, iPhone and iPad.

– Optimised Storage makes room for new files by keeping older ones in the cloud, and getting rid of files you’ll never use again through a simple user interface . You’ll receive notifications that remind you to delete useless app installers, caches, logs and duplicate downloads.

– Apple Pay on the web works in conjunction with iPhone, and prompts for touch ID payment authentication.

– Tabs will now be available outside of Safari in a variety of Apple apps like Maps, Pages, Mail and more, and will be incorporated into third-party apps too.

– Picture in Picture will allow users to watch videos while performing other tasks; it’s great for multitasking and ideal for continuing your Netflix binge while taking care of other, more important, things.

– Siri is making its Mac debut under Sierra – it’s accessible in the dock and menu bar. Siri will be able to send messages, search the web, open documents, look through photos and videos, make phone and FaceTime calls, set reminders and more.

If you want to know more about all the latest releases from Apple, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

All the news from Apple’s spring event

All the news from Apple’s spring event

It’s not every spring that we see an iPhone launch, so Apple’s ‘Let Us Loop You In’ event from Cupertino took us a little by surprise, with not only the new iPhone SE on the agenda, but also a new smaller iPad Pro 9.7″. We’ve rounded up all the news on those, plus the latest on iOS 9.3, Apple TV and more below (as well as our over-excited live tweeting…)

Apple iPhone SE

First up, in terms of new product at least, was Apple’s new 4″ iPhone SE. Apple are positioning this as both an option for those users who prefer a smaller phone, and who want a more affordable option, coming in at a modest 4″ and $399. Having said that, it doesn’t skimp on features and specs, matching up to iPhone 6 in most departments, but being more akin to the old iPhone 5 in design.

iPhone SE at Jigsaw24

They’re calling it the most powerful 4-inch phone ever, with a 64-bit A9 chip that’s great for graphics-intensive games and their most advanced camera system – 12MP iSight, Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Live Photos and 4K video capture, plus a front-facing cam with Retina flash to help you get the perfect selfie. Hey Siri, Touch ID and Apple Pay are all present and correct, with battery improvements and speedy LTE and WiFi.

Read more about Apple’s iPhone SE here.

iPad Pro 9.7″

The other headliner at the event was iPad Pro, with a new 9.7″ model that takes everything great about the larger 12″ iPad Pro and shrinks it down to a more portable form factor. As with the larger version, the main talking point here is the power-efficient oxide TFT display that’s 40% less reflective than iPad Air 2 and 25% brighter, with a wide colour gamut and 25% greater colour saturation. It now sports True Tone technology which measures colour temperature of ambient light and adjusts to match, becoming warmer for more comfortable working.

iPad Pro 9.7" at Jigsaw24

The A9X chip gives great processor and graphics performance, making it ideal for modelling and rendering, and it also features the most advanced iPad camera ever – a 12MP iSight cam with Focus Pixels, True Tone flash, Live Photos and a front-facing 5MP cam too. Then there’s the four built-in speakers which give it twice the audio performance of the iPad Air 2, and support for the excellent Apple Pencil and Smart Keyboard.

Read more about Apple’s iPad Pro 9.7″ here.

And the rest…

Among the other, smaller announcements, we had new bands for Apple Watch (including a woven nylon strap and new colours), and incremental software releases. tvOS gets an update with improved Siri functionality and new folders system, while iOS 9.3 sees a new Education Preview suite designed for students, teachers and administrators, Night Shift mode which switches colours in the evening to the warmer end of the spectrum to help you sleep better, password-protected Notes and other updates in CarPlay, News and Health.

Apple also showed off a new addition to ResearchKit, with new CareKit, an open source scheme to build apps to enable people to take more active role in their care. And they were keen to stress their green credentials too, mentioning that they are operating with 100% renewable energy in 23 countries, using more and more recycled and sustainable packaging among other good stuff.

As it happened

It’s become a bit of a tradition to unleash our Core Operations Manager Charlotte Barton on our Twitter feed during Apple launches, and this time round was a real stream of consciousness belter, touching on iPad, iPhone, yaks and elbow patches…



Want to know more about the new Apple releases? Call us on 03332 400 888 or email, and keep up with all things Apple by liking us on Facebook and following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24

Introducing the Apple Classroom Essential Bundle

Introducing the Apple Classroom Essential Bundle

We pride ourselves in delivering the very best from Apple to schools up and down the UK. Designed with teaching and learning in mind, the Apple Classroom Essential Bundle provides schools with affordable, but utterly impactful educational tools. 

We’ve been providing high-quality services and solutions to educational institutions for 24 years, so we know what you need to make your classroom a more productive learning environment. The Apple Classroom Essential Bundle is designed to support your high standard of education, packing the kit you’ll need to get the best from your students and curriculum. The bundle includes:

– 30x iPad mini 2.

– 30x rugged cases.

– A large Lock’n’Charge Carrier with capacity for 30 iPad.

– Three-year warranty.

Optional extras can include:

– Mac mini caching server.

– 30x one year licences for Lightspeed Mobile Device Management.

– 1x day installation for configuration of caching server and Lightspeed.

– 3.5 days’ bespoke CPD training.

We offer special pricing on all Apple technology for education – we won’t be beaten on price, it won’t break your budget and we return quotes fast! Our knowledge of creative technology allows us to give expert advice on creative educational solutions, ensuring you’ll be making the best use of your new tools for years to come.

If you’d like to know more about our Apple Essential Classroom Bundle, call 03332 409 290, email, ‘like’ us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @Jigsaw24Edu


Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple annual roundup 2015: All the news and highlights from Cupertino

Apple’s hardware and OS refreshes for Mac, iPad and iPhone have become highly-anticipated annual events. You could say this was an even more landmark year than usual though, with the 12″ MacBook, iPad Pro, a long-awaited new Apple TV, plus brand new ventures into the world of wearables and music streaming in the form of Apple Watch and Apple Music.

MacBook and more

While it was all quiet on the Mac Pro front this year, all eyes were on new Mac on the block, the 12″ MacBook, in March 2015. Thinner and lighter than MacBook Air, it features a brand new faster Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM, up to 512GB of flash storage and a swanky 2304×1440 resolution Retina display. It also features a new edge-to-edge keyboard design, a Force Touch trackpad and sports just one USB type-C port and a headphone jack. Oh, and it was also the first MacBook model to be available in gold, which is great if you need your notebook to match your neckwear.

As well as the new 12″ MacBook, the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro also got a refresh at the Spring Forward event. With new fifth-gen Intel processors giving a significant speed boost, a Retina display, and more efficient storage architecture, the 13″ MacBook Pro now also features Apple’s latest Force Touch TrackPad too, as announced on the 12″ MacBook.

There was good news for iMac users in 2015 too. As well as getting bumped up to Retina 4K display with 4096 x 2304 resolution, the new 21.5″ models also feature new colour display technology that widens their colour gamut by 25% and include Intel’s Broadwell processors.

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Mac for Business


iPad updates

On to September’s Hey Siri event, which focuses on mobile devices, and there was a whole raft of new iOS goodness. Analysts and Apple fans had been predicting this was the event that Tim Cook would unveil a new, bigger iPad Pro, and they weren’t disappointed. The largest iPad to date, iPad Pro features a stunning 12.9″ Retina display, 5.6 million pixels, the latest iOS and new 64-bit A9X chip, giving it enough power to rival most portable PCs.

iPad mini also got a face lift, with a new 18% thinner (at just 6.1mm) profile, and slightly lighter, and is powered by a new A8 processor chip, finally bringing it in line with the power of iPad Air.

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

– Apple announce new iPad Pro and iPad mini 4

Buyers Guide 2015: iPad for Business

iPhone 6s and 6s Plus

It didn’t take Nostradamus to predict that Apple may continue their run of annual iPhone refreshes at the Hey Siri event in September and, true to form, they unveiled iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, while discontinuing the colourful iPhone 5c. As Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said at the time:

“The only thing that has changed with iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus is everything – 3D Touch lets users interact with iPhone in entirely new and fun ways, and the innovative Live Photos brings your pictures to life. These are the most advanced iPhones ever, with 7000 series aluminum, ion-strengthened glass, the new 64-bit A9 chip, 12 megapixel iSight and 5 megapixel FaceTime HD cameras, faster Touch ID, LTE and Wi-Fi. Customers are going to love them.”

Buyers’ Guide 2015: iPhone for Business


OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

Back at the Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June 2015, the assembled crowds of devs were treated to first glimpses of both the new Mac operating system, OS X 10.11 El Capitan, and Apple’s mobile OS for iPad and iPhone, iOS 9.

The focus of OS X 10.11 El Capitan was really on user experience, with new gestures, improvements to Safari and a new, more powerful Spotlight. A few of the new features we’ve found most useful in El Capitan have been: being able to shake your mouse or a finger on the trackpad to locate your cursor; Split View in full-screen mode; being able to pin tabs in Safari; swiping to delete messages in Mail and muting individual tabs in Safari.

iOS 9 meanwhile, saw Siri become 40% more accurate and 40% faster, with new additions like starting your music player when you plug in your headphones, adding invitations to your calendar automatically, and advising you on the time it will take to get to a meeting based on realtime traffic info. She can even suggest who a caller might be by trawling your email for phone numbers hidden in email signatures. Other highlights included Apple Pay, meaning you can now pay for a coffee with your iPhone, better battery life, the News app replacing Newsstand, and more.

Apple TV

It had been three years since Apple updated their standalone set-top box, so Apple TV was well due an upgrade when the all new model was announced in November 2015. Apple TV now has its very own App Store (which, as of December 2015, features BBC iPlayer, which is very welcome news for anyone in the UK), plus a brand new touchpad remote with Siri integration. There’s now support for games too, using the touchpad remote as a game controller. You can also pick up a very fetching Wii-style optional strap for more active gaming, or serious gamers can opt for a third-party MFi game controller.

Apple launch next generation Apple TV


And the rest…

Earlier in the year, health, fitness and fashion freaks welcomed Apple Watch with open arms. Apple’s first wearable let users track fitness, receive notifications, messages and mail directly from their wrist, and came with a number of different options (we’re still holding out for an Apple Watch Edition from a very loving relative this Christmas). It then got an update to its operating system at WWDC, watchOS 2, which was paired with WatchKit, a set of tools allowing developers access to hardware and software to create native Apple Watch apps.

The same conference also saw Apple unveil a new music streaming service, Apple Music. As well as listening to your own iTunes library, you can stream any of the 30 million songs Apple has access to, or listen to carefully curated playlists based on your tastes.

Anything we missed that was top of your Apple list in 2015? Anything you’d like to see from Apple in 2016? Let us know in the comments below… 

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

Buyers’ guide 2015: Content delivery

Buyers’ guide 2015: Content delivery

If you’ve seen our earlier articles telling you that your workstation could be better and that your office is disorganised, you might have formed the impression that we’re a mean-spirited bunch. Not so! We’re only cruel to be kind and, now that you’re incredibly organised and powering through projects, it’s time to think about how you want to show your work off.

Option 1: The Oversharer

Apple TV is a great alternative to an old school projector/monitor setup, or manually linking your laptop to a display. You can use it to mirror the screen of any Apple device to a larger display, and when the presentation’s over you can go back to using the screen for other things. (It also means you can play iTunes content on a giant screen in your boardroom, if that’s the sort of small rebellion you enjoy.)

Option 2: The Multitasker

If you want to take things a bit further, you can set up multiple, linked NEC screens and schedule content to play on throughout the day. We recommend using a nifty bit of software called sedna Presenter. This scheduling application is designed to specifically deal with Apple kit and the content produced on it. If you value what our AV consultant calls “the Apple look” – ie very clean, chirp graphics – send Presenter will help you ensure your content retains this on any display.

You’ll need to hook Presenter up to a Mac mini or two in order to manage your screens (don’t worry – we’ll set you up and supply training), but then you’ll be able to schedule content to play across your site from a single, central unit.

Option 3: The Show Off

If you want to add more screens across more sites, or show more than a slideshow of video and images, you’ll need to step things up slightly. Get in touch with our AV team for advice on custom setups including: video walls, interactive signage, using Apple devices as kiosk displays along with custom apps and interfaces (we love a good iPad kiosk), and, most importantly, tech support should anything go wrong.

Alternative delivery methods include…

Livestreaming content to the web or signage

NewTek’s TriCaster range gives you all the tools you need to start livestreaming, with larger models supporting up to eight cameras, VTR feeds, chromakey and on the fly graphics editing. If you’re just getting started, pair the simpler TriCaster Mini with encoding software from Matrox and Telestream Episode Engine to create a universally supported streaming service.

Delivering direct to apps

If you’re looking for something you can do straight from your iMac, we have good news. Adobe DPS is an extension of your Adobe apps that allows you to transform InDesign documents into interactive digital publications and distribute them through the App Store, Amazon Marketplace and Google Play. No muss, no fuss, just interactive content built in nice, familiar InDesign. Easy win.

Printing your project out (in 3D!)

We stock a full range of professional and large format printers, we offer loads of different colour charts and have our very own ink and toner configurator, but what we really want to talk about are 3D printers. We’re not saying you should find an excuse to start 3D printing in-house, but the godlike feeling that comes from watching your creation appear before your very eyes is pretty satisfying. They’re also good for rapid modelling and low cost prototyping.

…and you can speed all this up with MatrixCMS

MatrixCMS is a multi-channel, multi-platform eCommerce solution that supports multiple SKUs, images, pricing and descriptions for different markets and territories. As well as dovetailing neatly with your PIM solution, MatrixCMS is integrated with InDesign, meaning your designers can create and distribute content without having to learn a new programme from the ground up. To find out more, register for a free online demo at their site (you need to scroll down a fair bit).

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

Infographic: How does Apple help teaching and learning?

Infographic: How does Apple help teaching and learning?

Wondering how Apple’s Mac and iPad can help teaching and learning in schools? Take a look at our infographic, covering the learning benefits, the Apple family, what parents think of it, and common uses across schools.

Infographic: How does Apple iPad and Mac help teaching and learning in schools? - 94% of tablets in education are iPad - iPad is now being used in 47% of UK schools - 43% of teachers allow students to use iPad as an aid in lessons - 8 million iPad have been sold directly to education institutions around the world - 500,000 free lectures, videos, readings and podcasts are available in iTunes U - 108,030 active education apps in the App Store in January 2014 - 80% of those education paid apps are targeted at children - 88% of parents who use education apps with kids support the use of iPad in primary schools and pre-schools, according to Apps In My Pocket - According to Kid Industries, 77% of parents believe that tablets can help children's learning and creativity - Young children are exploring mobile applications earlier: 10% of 0-2 year olds, 39% of 2-4 year olds, 54% of 5-8 year olds - 90% of students (all ages) believe that tablets help them study - In a US study, students using iPad had a 20% maths test score increase compared to using traditional textbooks - Collins, Pearson, Hodder and Oxford University Press all have digital textbooks available in the iBook Store - iPad is the ultimate mobile tool; students can learn in the classroom, the corridor, at home or on the way to school. - Whether watching video, listening to audio, reading or writing helps students most, they can access the resources they need. - Mac and iPad have accessibility in mind, with built-in features for students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), plus support for 21 languages. - The content your students need. Both free and paid-for content is available for students to access online. - Mac and iPad encourage students to use both the left and right side of their brains to tackle problems and learn in a creative way. - Incredibly intuitive, Apple solutions are great for students of any age. They are easy to use and help level the playing


Using Apple TV, iPad and interactive touchscreens

Using Apple TV, iPad and interactive touchscreens

Are you thinking of replacing your ageing interactive whiteboards? Before you reinvest, it might be worth taking a look at the combination of Apple TV, iPad and a few well-chosen apps, or an interactive touchscreen, as a replacement for, or to work alongside, your existing display solution. 

In this quick guide, we’ve taken a look at some of the factors you might want to take into consideration before you make a new purchase. The first thing you really need to think about is: how are you currently using your presentation systems?

Are you able to easily use the interactive features of your existing equipment to enhance teaching and learning? It sometimes takes a lot of training and practice to get the full benefit of some systems, so perhaps there’s a solution that might be better suited to your teaching style, and the needs of your students. You need something that’s easy to use, cost-effective and will make sure both staff and pupils are getting the greatest educational benefit from the technology.

To get you started, we’ve looked into the teaching benefits of using Apple TV with iPad, as well as those offered by traditional interactive whiteboards, and broken down the key things to consider when looking at presentation systems. These include content, interactivity, accessibility, collaboration and, most importantly, cost.

The hardware on offer

We’ve been working with hundreds of schools recently to implement iPad and Apple TV deployments, and are really starting to see the benefits of the workflow on offer. But what actually is Apple TV? This isn’t a screen, as the name may suggest, but a tiny box that can plug into any display or projector, allowing you to wirelessly mirror the display and audio output of any iPad in the classroom. This will allow the teacher and students to model any activities and projects on the iPad to the rest of the class and present content such as video, images and presentations. And since the introduction of the Mountain Lion operating system you can also mirror the screen and audio of any Mac in the classroom as well.

Apple TV connects directly to any display or projector with an HDMI socket, or to a VGA projector using a simple adaptor. And once an Apple TV is present in the classroom, nothing further is required on the iPad or Mac – Apple’s AirPlay technology makes it easy to connect over WiFi.

Then you have interactive touchscreens, which function like huge iPad devices and can work in conjunction with Apple TV for wireless mirroring. One model that we do like is the C-TOUCH Leddura board – a huge 65″ whiteboard with HD visuals and multitouch control that’s great for interactivity and looks impressive, and retails for around £3300. Ultimately it’s what level of interactivity you need, and how you want to teach, that will determine whether a whiteboard is the right option for you, or Apple TV with iPad.

Presentation benefits

Apple TV doesn’t require any kind of computer to connect and, because you can project wirelessly from any iPad (or Mac), teachers can move freely around the class, and away from the Victorian ‘chalk and talk’ model of being stuck at the front of the room giving a presentation. That means they can work with individual pupils and groups, while also giving pupils the chance to project to the screen at the front from their desk. This is a great way for pupils to present work in plenary exercises, and for peer assessment, encouraging those with less confidence to present their work without having to stand in front of the class

And here’s another idea you might try – the wireless connectivity also makes Apple TV a great solution for streaming content like school announcements to screens in the school hall or entrance lobby. Assembly halls with projectors no longer need a cumbersome computer to display digital content – simply connect an Apple TV to the projector and use an iPad for all your presenting needs.

On a side note, there’s not a lot of point going down the Apple TV and iPad deployment route if your projected image is poor. While an interactive touchscreen like the C-TOUCH will present your content in crisp, sharp HD, if you’d prefer to go down the projector route, or don’t have the budget to stretch to an interactive touchscreen, we can provide brand new projectors to give your images a boost.

Getting interactive

One benefit of an Apple TV setup over a traditional whiteboard is the greater level of interaction you can have with content. Instead of interacting with the board, students interact with the iPad as a handheld control surface, giving a greater range of functionality than that offered by an interactive whiteboard. There’s a wide range of apps available for iPad that duplicate or enhance the interactive features of existing technologies too – such as apps that allow students to annotate content in real time, as a way of evidencing their learning.

Other apps give the teacher ways of controlling presentations from their own iPad, and have it show up on pupils’ devices from anywhere, so everyone is seeing the same thing at the same time, along with interactive features such as quizzes and surveys. An important point to remember is once students begin to have devices of their own they too can have the same apps that drive the display systems and start to create their own digital content to support teaching and learning outcomes.

Creating content

You’ve probably already got a huge wealth of staff-created content and legacy resources, often put together over many years, so it is great to know that many file types such as Powerpoint .ppts can be opened, edited and presented from iPad, and you can continue to use these resources. An app like Explain Everything automatically turns an existing Powerpoint slideshow into an interactive resource that can be annotated and recorded in real time.

All existing SMART and Promethean lesson plans can also be used on new interactive touchscreens too. And the chance to create new materials, and moving away from the legacy software means you’re not tied down to using the content just on existing interactive whiteboards, freeing both teacher and students to work and interact anywhere.

Considering cost

The real crux of the decision on new technology for schools is usually cost. An Apple TV will only set you back £79.50 ex VAT per unit, with iPad devices starting from as little as £209.50 ex VAT each. If you need to use Apple TV with an existing VGA projector, you will also need a Kanex ATV Pro adaptor to connect the two, which sells for £35 ex VAT.

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


e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

e7 in action at Netherfield Primary School

Assistant Head Nadeem Shah explains how iPad is helping to engage students at Netherfield Primary, an inclusive urban primary school in the second most deprived quintile in the East Midlands whose head teacher was recently named teacher of the year at the Pride of Britain awards

You provided staff with iPad devices back in 2012 – what were your main goals in doing so?

We wanted to introduce staff to the new technologies available. With iPad, that was mostly
the vast App Store, that would open up so many new opportunities for the children, and also the touchscreen technology that made it so accessible for students and for adults. We took an educated guess as to whether people would be totally involved with it, and they were. Some of our staff who were maybe reluctant ICT users actually turned to keen ICT users very quickly.

Was it important to you that staff got comfortable using the devices before handing them out to pupils?

Absolutely, which is why we invested in having 18 for staff across the school, mostly in areas where we were going to deploy iPad devices to students. When we had the whole school iPad training session it was just such fun. The laughter around the staff room was fantastic. The staff engaged very much straight away, and giving them that time to go away and get familiar with the iPad first meant that they were able to engage fully with the learning on the iPad in the term that followed. It was absolutely the right decision to make.

What made you decide it was time to trial a student 1:1 scheme?

We need to keep up with the times. ICT is constantly evolving and developing, and this is what they’re used to at home. They have access to this kind of technology on a daily basis, and if we don’t provide them with it in school then very soon […] children aren’t engaging with ICT because the technology that we’re using is obsolete, and then the learning across the curriculum can be at a disadvantage. We obviously want to keep up to date so kids are engaged and involved with new technologies as they happen.

Why did you choose the e7 Project?

We stumbled across the e7 Project and are delighted we did. We were at a seminar where Apple and some education agencies were running a session, and one of the teachers mentioned that they were having an e7 rollout and that the Jigsaw24 team were at the event. In our inimitable style we tried to crash the party and see if any more iPad devices were going.

Did you have to do any work to prepare for the trial?

Yes, we had to make sure the WiFi was capable of handling the workload, so we actually had some guys from Jigsaw24 in to do a survey for us. We’re really glad we did it because it brought up some blips and some gaps as well as some over-use of the WiFi – where the signals were too close and bouncing off each other. We had a bit of a redeployment and moved around some of the access points, and it made a big difference.

Talk us through how you used the iPad devices during your e7 term.

We had 16 based in our Foundation unit along with ten staff ones. We had eight in our Nurture provision classes, and then the other 16 around school to be booked out. They were out in every class, all the time. We had to create a separate log out book for the tablets because they were being used so often and so positively, to move the students’ learning on with the fantastic array of apps available, so that was brilliant.

Tell us a bit about how you went about finding apps for your classes.

Because we were able to give staff the opportunity to try out iPad over the holidays, they
found some fantastic stuff app-wise that we were able to install, and as the weeks and months progressed we would have regular weekly meetings where staff would talk about apps that they’d found and recommend that we should roll them out.

GarageBand was phenomenal for our music tuition. What has been particularly good for us has been being able to target specific aspects [of apps] to pupils’ individual learning. So if a whole class is doing something, you can tailor the apps to suit their individual needs and learning gaps.

It’s not just, ‘Right kids, you’re all going on this program’; they might be going on different apps, or they might be going to different aspects of the same app to hit their individual needs, which is perfect for us. Rather than generic teaching, it’s all about personalising the learning, and iPad and the apps are a fantastic tool to help personalise learning for the children.

What were the main benefits of the trial for students?

We specialise in supporting children with challenging behaviours, and this is a fantastic carrot for them to have. I’ve got a pupil with me now who’s a great example of a pupil who’s gone from having specific difficulties to really turning himself around and getting on in class, and the iPad has been a fantastic tool for doing that. Not only does it engage the children, who want to learn through those devices, it supports them in being occupied but in a positive way, a learning way.

You’re not just saying ‘Here, play on this game,’ it’s about learning. And it’s a fun way for them to engage with their learning, he’s telling me. The opportunities that they may have had to switch off in a classroom, which led to negative behaviours, become much less of an occurrence because they’re engaged in their learning full time.

How have parents responded to the scheme?

It’s been great, the parents are getting involved and the kids are coming in saying ‘We’ve downloaded this app at home, Sir, have a look at this one, it’ll be great for what we’re doing at the moment’, so the home learning is being engaged in that way as well.

Did you encounter any problems, and if so how did you overcome them?

There’s always the funding thing. Obviously ideally we want one per person full time, but the funding issue involved in that is what it is. Because they were so popular, getting them to everyone who needed them was an issue, but it was workable because we had what we had. I think if we had any more it would have been easier.

The one issue we did have was that we weren’t able to get Apple TVs working, but straight away Chris came to me and said that he’d found a solution to that at another school, so we should be able to use them effectively now.

What were the key factors in deciding whether or not to keep the iPad deployment?

Once that resource had been in school and the children had access to it, there was no way we could take it away from them. The learning that they’d done, the enjoyment they got out of it and the engagement that they’d had meant we couldn’t. And the staff ’s faces when we said that the iPad deployment was going back were, ‘What are we going to do now?!’

How did you find working with the e7 team?

Great! Chris was always at the end of the phone.

I’d often call him or send him an email and to his credit, he was available at hours I wasn’t expecting him to be. I’d send an email at nine, ten o’clock at night expecting him to pick it up in the morning, and I’d get a reply within a couple of minutes nine times out of ten. And he was local as well, so if there was an issue we couldn’t handle over the phone or digitally, he would pop in either for an extended period of time or on his way to somewhere else, so the support was always to hand, prompt and of a very professional standard.

We’re just delighted with the project and long may it continue!

Want to know more about the e7 Project? Give us a call on 03332 409 333, email or visit our site. For all the latest news, tips and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Facebook page

How do I prevent my Apple TV from getting ‘hijacked’?

How do I prevent my Apple TV from getting ‘hijacked’?

Making sure your Apple TV hub can’t be hijacked – especially in an education environment – is an important, but easy, setting to make. Luckily the latest version of the Apple TV software – v5.1.1 – has an in-built, much needed anti-hijacking feature.

If your Apple TV unit is still running iOS 5 and Apple TV software v5.0.2, you’ll need to update it by running a Restore from iTunes. This will update iOS to version 6 and the Apple TV to version 5.1.1. An article explaining the procedure is here.

Once updated you have the option (Settings/Airplay) of adding an on-screen password, so that an iPad user has to use a four digit passcode which appears on the apple TV connected TV or projector. Not only that but if anyone tries to interrupt someone presenting on the Apple TV, they will see a warning on their iPad saying “Apple TV Not Available – Apple TV is being used by someone else”.

This means that students cannot use the Apple TV until the teacher has disconnected from it. Much better! Anyone who has an Apple TV can check which software version they have in Settings under the About item.

Got any questions about Apple iPad? Call us on 03332 409 333 or email To keep up to date with what our e7 team are up to, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page