Education app of the week: audioBoom for iPad

Education app of the week: audioBoom for iPad

This week, we’re talking podcasting, as we look at the popular audioBoom app for iPad, that gives students and teachers access to a vast repository of content, as well as letting them record their own shareable podcasts… 

What is audioBoom?

audioBoom (Audioboo Ltd, free) is a podcasting app that lets you  create podcasts as well as access a huge range of existing content from various media channels and education resources. It operates as both an online, browser-based service, and a complementary app for iPhone or iPad. If the name rings a bell, you may be thinking of the former Audioboo app – the company renamed it to audioBoom last year.

Once you’ve signed up for a free account, you can immediately start browsing podcasts, which are divided up by sub-sectors to make content easy to find. It’s not specifically aimed just at educators, so there is a lot of content which may not be too useful (one of their main selling points is the Russell Brand podcast), but there’s plenty on offer for students and teachers, including whole History and Knowledge sections, with stories relating to pretty much every subject. You can then save these to your playlist, or share by embedding the files on your website, over social media or using a QR code.

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How can it benefit the classroom?

audioBoom is a great tool to provide supporting content in the classroom, for students to learn at home, and also for teachers to promote the idea of a flipped classroom. Students can create topic-specific playlists that link current affairs and stories with topics currently being studied, and share the playlists with the class. Teachers can also use the resources to keep up to date with current educational topics, so it works towards professional development too.

What’s the best feature?

Another great thing about audioBoom is that it lets you really easily record and edit audio straight from the app, so students can start creating their own podcasts without the need for any other equipment. Our Apple Education Trainers have been showing teachers how they can easily make audio recordings that can then be accessed by their students via QR code or any other way of sharing a weblink. This is great for creating sound-based resources (just scan a QR code next to a word to hear how it sounds, on a book to hear a book review, on a piece of work to hear some peer feedback, give an instruction in a treasure hunt, or add URLs to ThingLink to make a soundboard, and so on…)

Where can I get it?

It’s completely free to sign up for an audioBoom account, and you can download the app from the App Store on your iPad or from iTunes here.

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

Education app of the week: 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.

 

App of the month: Apogee MetaRecorder for iOS

App of the month: Apogee MetaRecorder for iOS

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

What is Apogee MetaRecorder?

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

How does it work?

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

MetaRecorder for iOS

Who is it for?

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

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

What’s the best feature?

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

How much and where can I get it?

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

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

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: 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.

Infographic: Top app ideas for every area of your business

Infographic: Top app ideas for every area of your business

You can now streamline pretty much every area of your business with a bespoke app. From a customer-facing sales catalogue that will improve your meetings with clients, to a warehouse distribution app that’ll ensure your logistics are as efficient as they can be. Take a look at our infographic below for some of our top ideas (just click to see it in more detail)…

Infographic: Top business app ideas

Want to know more about developing your own killer business app? Get in touch with our app development team on 03332 400 888, email appdevelopment@Jigsaw24.com or head to our custom app development site.

Business app of the week: AirServer for Mac

Business app of the week: AirServer for Mac

We’ve long enjoyed the ability to stream content from our iOS and OS X devices to Apple TV thanks to AirPlay Mirroring. With AirServer, your content can be streamed to a Mac as well as connected projectors – your business presentations just got an upgrade!

What is AirServer for Mac?

AirServer brings the mirroring magic of Apple TV to Mac in a neat little downloadable package. Once installed on a computer on the same network as an AirPlay-enabled Apple device, said device will be able to see the computer as an AirPlay receiver. This opens the door to a wealth of possibilities, including the chance to conduct presentations without the need to be close to the ‘next slide’ button. Additional options such as full screen recording extend AirServer’s powerful feature list.

How does it work?

Once installed, AirServer sits on your Mac’s toolbar, broadcasting its ability to AirPlay Mirror. Access command centre on your iOS device and as long as it’s on the same network as your computer, tapping AirPlay will display your computer name. Selecting your computer from the list and flicking the switch for Mirroring will swiftly see your device displaying on your Mac.

Every pixel of content from your iOS device will now seamlessly appear on your Mac display too. As mentioned previously, AirServer also has the ability to record whatever you choose to stream. Recording a presentation and sharing it with relevant parties after the meeting adds a particularly compelling opportunity.

Who is it for?

Technically, AirServer isn’t targeted at one particular type of customer – we can see clear advantages in education and home entertainment too. Its powerful recording function could be just the thing for an app developer wanting to create a video demonstration. Equally a teacher could conduct a presentation to students safe in the knowledge that it can be stored afterwards for safekeeping or shared.

What’s the best feature?

Apart from the obvious power of the record function, AirServer’s best feature is its lack of fuss. It has a very focused aim and does it with no resistance. It quietly runs in the background and only comes to life when you require it, and even then AirServer has an extremely minimal user interface with quick access to preferences such as display resolution and security settings.

How much is it and where can I get it?

AirServer is available for download on the AirServer website and is priced according to the sector in which you’ll be using it. Single business licences are available for a one-off $19.99, consumer licences are a one-off $14.99 and education licences are a one-off $7.99 to $11.99. You’ll be pleased to hear there’s also a free 7-day trial available for you to experience why we’re so excited about this app!

For more on Apple solutions from Jigsaw24, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe launch new storytelling app, Adobe Voice for iPad

Adobe are best known for their professional Creative Cloud apps like Photoshop and InDesign, and tools like Acrobat, but lately they’ve been focusing on standalone mobile apps too. Now they’ve officially launched Adobe Voice, their brand new storytelling app for iPad.

Aiming to give anyone the ability to create and share engaging stories, Adobe Voice lets users easily create and share animated videos that combine images, music, voice recordings and special effects. This is great news for educators and students who want an easy in to creating basic video, using simple tools that make it easy to teach, to learn and to express themselves creatively.

It’s an ideal way for teachers to explain a concept or for students looking to create an engaging school assignment where they may not necessarily have the skills or resources to go down the traditional video route.

Adobe Voice for iPad

All you need do to get started is choose from a preset story template which outlines the structure of your video. Then you can simply import your own photos, pick from the app’s library of 25,000 icons or search the web for your own images. Next, pop a soundtrack over the top to fit your video from Adobe’s library, and even record a voiceover to explain your story. Your finished animated video can then be shared across social networks by posting a single link through social media, email, personal blogs or websites.

We’re going to be giving Adobe Voice a thorough test in the future, but in the meantime, why not give it a go yourself? It’s completely free and available to download now 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 409 333, email learning@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.
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