We’ve expanded our education team! Jigsaw24 welcomes Graham Trick

We’ve expanded our education team! Jigsaw24 welcomes Graham Trick

We’re excited to welcome Graham Trick to the Jigsaw24 education team, and the wealth of experience he brings with him.

Graham will be helping to make iPad core to learning, improve results and add value to the teaching and learning experience. We’re excited for him to join our education team increasing student/teacher satisfaction with iPad.

About Graham

Graham has come on board as our new professional development trainer for education. He has worked in education for the last 16 years, 15 of those as a teacher and head of department. He has always developed technology-rich lessons and loves working with iPad, having led many training sessions on the use of technologies in teaching and learning. For the past two years, Graham has worked with Northumbria University to introduce and lead the Geography PGCE for the Teach First programme, where a high percentage of student teachers achieved an outstanding rating upon leaving the course.

“The opportunity to work with the Jigsaw24 education team was too good of an opportunity to miss,” says Graham. “The whole ethos of the company and team around transforming education in schools around the country is one that resonates with me and is in line with my own views on technology in education.”

Want to find out more about how Graham can help schools get the most out of iPad in the classroom? Drop him a line at graham.trick@Jigsaw24.com.

 

How we can help with iPad in education

Jigsaw24 help some 1400 schools across the UK make the most of Apple devices and classroom technologies. As revealed in our 1:1 iPad impact study, some of the ways that iPad has improved learning and teaching across the UK include:

– Stephenson Memorial Primary School seeing a 24% increase in reading test results since 2013.

– 97% of students at Jesmond Gardens Primary School achieving their expected progress in writing.

– Yew Tree Primary School seeing a 26% decrease in absenteeism.

– 94% of students at Churchill Community College say lessons are more enjoyable since introducing iPad.

 

Want to find out more about what our education team can do for you? Get in touch by calling 03332 409 290 or email us at education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest education news and tips, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

The secret to saving with a 1:1 iPad deployment

The secret to saving with a 1:1 iPad deployment

So, you’ve got your class set of iPad. You’ve seen how much using the devices increases engagement. You’ve seen an uptick in performance from students who were previously struggling. You and your colleagues are comfortable using the technology. You’re ready for a 1:1 device programme except for one thing – where’s the money going to come from?

This is a story we hear pretty often from schools we work with, but here’s the thing: if you can rustle up the cash to buy or lease the initial devices, you’ll actually find that your iPad deployment pays for itself quickly (especially if you can persuade parents to cough up £3 a week for a parental contribution scheme).

First, find savings in other areas of your budget…

Giving each student a personalised device means that many of your physical resources like newsletters, planners and textbooks can be replaced with apps and ebooks, which are far cheaper to create, easier to keep up to date and don’t incur any printing or delivery costs.

Here’s the maths from one of our customers, a secondary school who found that buying 150 iPad a year as new year groups entered the school was actually cost neutral.

1_to_1_iPad_Savings_Table_1

So, now that you know you can make your yearly device refresh pay for itself, how do you bring down the cost of the initial investment?

…then lower initial costs with leasing

Leasing helps you spread costs, lower outlay, and really make your budget work for you. We work with leasing company CHG-Meridian to buy and distribute your devices. The leasing company ultimately owns them, then you, the customer, hire use of the assets, paying rental over a fixed period of two or three years. Once your contract’s up, you can either request to extend the lease or return them and get new equipment with a refreshed lease.

…or cut them altogether with a parental contribution scheme!

You’ve all heard of these – the school leases or buys the devices, and parents of pupils opt to pay towards devices their children are going to be using in school, either in full or in part, usually over time. As well as reducing the cost to the school, a parental contribution scheme allows the pupil’s family to buy the iPad, bringing that new technology into their home as well as the classroom.

“We wanted to send iPad home with pupils because some of our parents aren’t always confident in supporting their children with learning at home, or there can be misconceptions in relation to different teaching strategies,” explained Lynsey Carr, eLearning leader at Stephenson Memorial Primary School in North Tyneside. “Giving them iPad created an element of teamwork and enabled them to share their learning.

“[At the first parent meeting], we put the weekly cost of the leasing scheme against the cost of a pint of lager, children’s toys and other things our parents could relate to, and then we benchmarked it against what it would cost to buy a non-branded tablet, because we wanted to put it in context for parents. And once they realised it would only cost £3 a week, it became instantly a affordable for every parent, so even though 58% of our children are in receipt of free school meals, they all signed up.”

Why go for leasing?

Low outlay

The volume advantages of buying in bulk, without paying upfront. The cost can also be allocated to revenue as opposed to a capital budget, which is a big bonus. This saving is even greater if you pass a portion of the cost on to families through a parental contribution scheme.

Flexible costs

Leasing means you can easily spread your costs over a one to three year period, making budgeting much more flexible. Repayments can be made monthly, quarterly, termly or annually, by Direct Debit or invoice, whichever is most convenient.

Get the latest technology

Keep up to date with the latest tech, as schools can upgrade throughout the lease period without having to repurchase. This means the school is never left with obsolete equipment in a way that would not be possible with an outright purchase.

And get it right now!

Leasing prevents having to delay the implementation of ICT plans until sufficient funds become available, enabling new technology to be adopted instantly. Schools can upgrade or expand their resources easily, as and when the need arises.

Easy admin and procurement

Another good thing about leasing with us is that we can cover the whole admin side. We can even set up a purchasing portal for parents, branded to fit in with the rest of your school website, making the whole procurement process easy.

Want to know more about iPad in education? Drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: 11 essential steps to a successful rollout

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: 11 essential steps to a successful rollout

iPad and mobile technology is great for education, but implementing a whole-school or year-group 1:1 (that’s one device per user) iPad scheme can be a little daunting. But, with careful planning beforehand (and perhaps a little helping hand from a reliable IT partner…), everything should go smoothly and you’ll be seeing improved learning outcomes and teaching benefits in no time. 

Check out our 1:1 iPad roadmap for the essential steps you need to consider to achieve your 1:1 iPad vision…

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap: Your 11 essential steps to achieving a successful 1:1 iPad rollout

Your 1:1 iPad roadmap

Want to know more about iPad in education? Drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Video: Learning to code on iPad with Apple Swift Playgrounds

Video: Learning to code on iPad with Apple Swift Playgrounds

In this video, Apple Education Trainer Mike runs through the basics of how to use Apple’s coding app Swift Playgrounds, why it’s great for students, and how it helps you hit those computing curriculum requirements. Learn to code on an iPad in a fun, engaging way.

Want to know more about iPad and coding in the classroom? Give us a call on 03332 409 290 or drop an email to 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.

Help students achieve record results with Revision Plan

Help students achieve record results with Revision Plan

If preparing students for terminal exams feels almost as stressful as taking one yourself, take a look at my new favourite application, Revision Plan. It’s a new piece of software that’s designed to help you deal with the shift back to terminal exams and ensure your students shine when held to the new Progress 8 measures.

Paul, what is Revision Plan?

Revision Plan software enables you to create individual, personalised learning plans for pupils of all abilities. You can use the software to create tasks and then assign them to pupils based on their target grade and current level, so that everyone is working at their own level.

So it’s not an iPad app?

No. Surprising as it may sound, every now and then I talk about something other than iPad. Revision Plan is web-based, so you create your students’ plans online, and then distribute them as PDFs or as print outs (we’d recommend PDFs, as then you can include links to past papers or resources in the plan – take a look at an example PDF here).

How does it help pupils?

Well, Revision Plan’s theory is that having a personalised plan with revision tasks and rest days built in makes the whole thing less daunting, while at the same time emphasising the importance of exam prep (especially as the curriculum moves away from modular testing and continual assessment). It also makes sure they’re giving equal time to all subjects, and not just focusing on areas where they’re already confident.

There’s also evidence that it strengthens the partnership between home and school, as having a clear, concise summary of what needs to be done gives parents more confidence in their ability to support and monitor their children’s revision. Pupil Premium students can use their revision plan in supervised revision sessions, as well.

What have teachers got to say about it?

Only good things, for the most part – 99.3% of users say they would recommend it, probably because the development team includes teachers, so it’s a fairly intuitive extension of the lesson and revision planning you already do.

Are other schools seeing results?

– Sidney Stringer Academy, whose iPad rollout we also helped with, recorded a +0.77 Progress 8 score.

– St Mary’s Catholic Academy exceeded Trust targets to be in the top 25% of similar schools after two years using Revision Plan.

– South Shields’ Mortimer Community College achieved record results in their first year of using the software.

– This year, St James’ Catholic High School in Greater Manchester posted record results for the second year running.

What are the key benefits?

Well, for starters it gives you the benefit of foresight. You can see at a glance how many ‘revision slots’ you have before the big day, and can plan your lessons and homework tasks accordingly. Having this all visible in one application helps students balance their time, prioritise different subjects, and arrive to class with all the relevant work complete.

It’s also great for teachers, as you can assign tasks based on target grade, offering more targeted tasks and additional support for pupils who need it. Another nice touch is that you can mix and match revision task types (mind maps, past papers, etc) and change the nature of the response you want depending on each student’s learning style, so you can ask some to record a response verbally, while others need to be encouraged to write or diagram their response to the same question.

And what if my students still don’t do as well as I wanted?

Then Revision Plan’s exam analysis tools will be a big help. You can go through results and see which questions or topics students lost the most marks on, and then adapt your revision plan to make sure things go better next year (or during resits).

How much is it and how do I get it?

Revision Plan is available as a site licence that covers everyone in your school (prices start at £1000 per annum). Get in touch with the Jigsaw24 team on the details below and we’ll sort you out.

If you’d like to find out more about Revision Plan, drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. Follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or like our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.

Video: Our 1:1 iPad Impact Study on the benefits of iPad

Video: Our 1:1 iPad Impact Study on the benefits of iPad

We’ve worked with some of our partnering schools gathering data to measure the effects of their 1:1 iPad rollouts and give an honest look into the effects iPad has had on teaching and learning, including progress, attainment, judgments by Ofsted and curriculum goals, rather than just the technology itself. This video highlights some of our key findings from the report.

 

If you’d like to find out more about iPad in education, drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 

iPad: Overcoming IT and teaching challenges

iPad: Overcoming IT and teaching challenges

IT can be a pain for schools for a whole load of reasons, but Apple’s signature tablet can provide a lasting solution to all your teaching and tech woes.

In case you missed it, we provide 1:1 iPad deployment to schools throughout the UK, and it’s been shown to improve student engagement, performance and attendance, but it doesn’t stop there.

Futureproof and cost efficient

Keeping up with the latest tech is important for any school – if it falls behind with IT, odds are it’ll fall behind other institutions. While spending to stay up to date can be off-putting at first, with iPad, the small initial capital cost will be made up thanks to future savings on routine kit upgrades, and it’ll even save you a few pennies on reprographics when documents, worksheets and presentations can be shared between devices and viewed onscreen. Regular software updates ensure iPad won’t lag behind when it comes to app support, and you’ll get all the latest security features, bug fixes and new features iOS has to offer as they’re released.

If you’re struggling to shake that money worry, cost neutral schemes can offset the initial outlay. Operating leases, for example, can soften the cost of paying for the goods in full, letting schools get their hands on the latest tech without breaking the budget.

Keep track of student progress

Mobile devices like iPad allow teachers to keep on top of student progress thanks to realtime assessment. This is great for creating personalised tasks for individual students that are fine-tuned to suit their abilities, and apps like Socractive were designed with this in mind. Whether you’re sharing pre-prepared assessments or dishing out spur of the moment questions for pupils to answer, Socractive helps teachers connect with students as they learn, providing a greater insight into student engagement.

Let’s be honest here, teachers don’t like marking work, and audio feedback apps like Showbie not only save them time (often up to five hours a week), they provide new ways of assessing work while engaging students with constructive criticism. Parents and carers of pupils can access any digital feedback too, offering further support for their child’s learning and development.

The latest and greatest teaching tools

High standards of teaching are key to any classroom, and top notch tech helps support it. That’s why iPad allows teachers to share pedagogical information and exchange ideas and best practices with other teachers, enabling them to develop new teaching techniques, materials and lesson plans. iPad helps schools formulate clear training strategies for teachers, ensuring that all staff get the most out of their new teaching tools whatever their previous experience level.

If you’d like to find out more about iPad in education, drop us an email at education@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 290. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

 

Apple School Manager event roundup

Apple School Manager event roundup

Last week, we took iOS and Apple School Manager to the DoubleTree Hilton Nottingham Gateway hotel to give education professionals from up and down the UK a hands-on look at Apple’s latest iOS education features, as well as all the educational benefits it provides. 

Just in case you missed it, we thought we’d put together a quick roundup of all the days’ events – that way you’ll feel like you were there, even though you weren’t.

First off, thanks for coming along! It was a great day, and we saw a strong turnout, with places filling up within 48 hours! 97% of those that attended rated the event either ‘very good’ or ‘excellent’, with 72% asking us to pop into their school to discuss their future with iOS.

Paul Ford, Ryan Slater and Jason Taylor from Jigsaw24 kicked things off – they discussed supporting an iOS environment and told the audience about our infrastructure offerings, including WiFi design (click here for more info on free infrastructure reviews). The trio talked about the importance of Apple’s Caching Server, which supports new Shared iPad users, and how mobile device management ties the new features together.

The guys also covered device deployment within schools, 1:1, classrooms using Shared iPad and student owned devices. Shared iPad requires:

– iPad Air 2

– iPad mini 4

– iPad Pro

– 32GB or higher

Click here to take a look at devices compatible with Shared iPad.

The day was split into two workshops, one looking at Apple School Manager, and the other focusing on Classroom app and Shared iPad. They gave attendees the chance to get up close and personal with the new education apps, and to get some expert advice while they were at it.

The Classroom app workshop:

– How Classroom App can be set up with your chosen MDM system.

– How to launch an app on each student’s iPad at the same time.

– How to lock students into a specific app.

– How to view pupil screens remotely with Screen View.

– How to connect students to an Apple TV.

The School Manager workshop:

– Transitioning from VPP and DEP to Apple School Manager.

– Importing staff and students and giving them roles.

– The importance of MDM for School Manager.

– Managed Apple ID creation.

– Content delivery – apps, books and iTunes U.

Just before lunch, Dave Hornby from JAMF Software took to the stage to talk about mobile device management and Classroom integration. Dave discussed and demonstrated how iOS supports MDM features, including:

– Locating and recovering lost or stolen Apple devices without compromising student privacy through ongoing location tracking. When Lost Mode is activated, the iOS device receives a customised lock screen message, is disabled from use, and sends its location to IT.

– How schools can now deliver a simplified device experience with the ability to customise which apps appear on the home screen and where.

– How institutions will be able to deliver a personalised learning experience with Shared iPad for each student (supported by JAMF Software’s Casper Suite).

Following the event, we asked guests for a few comments. Here’s what they thought:

“Informative, mind blowing, so much to learn.”

“Very knowledgeable, thought provoking, exciting & excellent!”

“The event has been really enlightening and very useful.”

“Very impressed with the technical weighting. Best CPD yet.” (You can find more information about training here).

“All the staff are extremely friendly and knowledgeable.”

95% said they’d attend one of our events again, so make sure you don’t miss out on the next one!

If you’d like to discuss iOS further and schedule a meeting, please fill out the form below or call 03332 409 290. For all your other iOS in education needs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Sonos in education

Sonos in education

Providing an AV system that can work throughout a school can be both costly and difficult to implement (even more so if you’re hoping to control volume levels independently, and play different audio in different areas). There’s lots of cabling involved, including zoning amps to control volume levels and distribution, as well as expensive touch panels and media servers.

A Sonos system streamlines AV implementation and provides you with a cost effective, easy to use and scalable system that can stream any audio to any speaker or group of speakers on the network. Obviously, we’re not encouraging you to start playing background music in classrooms (although your students might like it) but there’s always a strong demand for music in concourses, cafeterias, reception areas, galleries, sports halls, performance areas. Sonos gives you full control over sound throughout your school.

Access to every song available

Controlled from a central app, Sonos has access to more music than any other system available. You can stream from all the major services such as Apple Music, Spotify, Tune In, Google Play Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, Amazon Music, Napster and Tidal as well as locally stored music from an iTunes library or shared storage.

The Sonos app lets you create playlists that combine tracks from any of these sources to give you complete flexibility. Because you can add your own locally stored files to the playlists, you can easily add your own custom announcements into the mix. The Sonos Connect even lets you add external sources such as CD players into the mix, or even a public address microphone for announcements. Multiple users can access the app to control their own area, whether that’s via computer, smartphone or tablet, and its password protected so that your students can’t take over.

Simple to set up

Audio is streamed between the app and the speakers over your existing WiFi network meaning that installation and setup is very simple. It’s easily scalable too – you can start with just one Play series speaker and add more as your needs grow. Since every speaker is self-contained with its built in amplifier, there is no need for a separate amp rack or excessive cabling. If you have existing installed ceiling speakers, or want to use external weatherproof speaker to bring sound to an outdoor area, you can add the Sonos Connect Amp to drive these too.

Perfect sound – even in non-ideal conditions

Although the Sonos range is visually attractive, there will be plenty of situations where you’ll want to place your speakers more discreetly. Often, this would result in compromised acoustics but not with Sonos – the free Trueplay app analyses the acoustics of your room and speaker placement and adjusts the speaker response to produce a perfect response even in the most non-ideal conditions. That means you’re free to desk-mount your speakers, or place them on one of the dedicated Flexson floor stands, wall-mounts or ceiling mounts and site them wherever is least obtrusive.

If you want to experience the power of Sonos for yourself, you’re welcome to come to our Golden Square demonstration suite and immerse yourself in top-quality sound.

If you’d like to find out more about Sonos, drop us an email at sales@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 400 888. For everything else, including the latest news, events and offers, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Key multitouch software for education

Key multitouch software for education

We’ve all heard that touchscreens are great for collaborative, student-led learning, but what can they actually do? Andy Cain explains key multitouch software…

Working with schools to implement multitouch screens, I’ve seen some fantastic learning outcomes, including increased peer-led learning and feedback, better student engagement and a rise in on-task behaviour, as no one’s ever left waiting for ‘their turn’ to work.

However, many teachers are nervous about adopting the technology because – unlike tablet devices, which run apps that you can download and trial at home – multitouch tools are a bit of mystery until you get your hands on one of the screens.

Obviously, the best way to get over this hump is to arrange a demo or get a sample screen to a TeachMeet so that staff can try it out (give me a call on the number below to arrange a demo, by the way). But until you have time to try one out, I thought I’d try and demystify the key tools included with one of our most popular ranges,Clevertouch screens.

Snowflake Multiteach

Let’s start with the pre-made stuff. Snowflake Multiteach is an excellent collection of pre-built fun activities that encourage students to learn by making use of the Clevertouch’s interactive features. Activities cover everything from maths and literacy to geography and biology, to music.

As well as being a subtle way to improve your class’s hand-eye co-ordination, these apps are great for engaging different types of learner and teaching content in a range of ways to ensure the message hits home for everyone. You can customise the pre-made activities for different levels of ability, or make your own activities using Clevertouch’s software (I promise you don’t have to code anything).

Top tips to save time/make you sound clever when you finally meet a demo screen: apps can be categorised for easy reference, then accessed by swiping left to right on the screen. You can also divide the screen into two (so that students can compete or carry out independent activities at the same time) by clicking on the Zones icon and then just selecting your preferred layout.

CleverLynx

Next up is this fully-featured annotation application that allows you and your students to annotate over any type of document – if you’ve ever used SMART Notebook or Active Inspire, you’ll feel right at home, and will be wielding its multiple pens, brushes, highlighters, shapes and lines in no time.

The software installs on a Windows PC that connects to your touchscreen, and
every screen comes with five perpetual licences, so you won’t have to pay for
software subscriptions. Once it’s up and running, you can choose from its vast library of hi-res imagery (maps, buildings, people, animals and food all feature heavily) or drag and drop images from Google,which can be accessed without leaving CleverLynx.

Once you and the students have annotated to your hearts’ content, you can use screen capture to save the lesson’s work for revision or assessment. Much easier than keeping track of worksheets.

CleverNote

If you order an Android-based Clevertouch screen, you’ll get a model with the CleverNote annotation application included, so you can just turn it on and start scribbling. It allows you to annotate anything on screen – you can brainstorm, paint and import pictures to add notes to.

As CleverNote is incredibly simple to use and doesn’t require your screen be attached to a computer, there’s very little risk of failure or damage, meaning it’s a great app to let students use in their free time. Anything they work on can be emailled straight from the screen, saved to its built-in memory or to a USB stick.

Because this application doesn’t require a computer, it’s great if you want your screen to be trolley-mounted and mobile, and supply teachers can just upload their lesson content via USB stick and crack on – even if school laptops and computers are down.

DisplayNote

DisplayNote allows you to wirelessly connect your tablet to the touchscreen to deliver presentations, or mirror the content onscreen to students’ tablet devices. Students can view and capture slides and pages, then collaborate with one another and the teacher in realtime – you can even give them access to the Clevertouch screen to add animations from their tablets.

Like the straightforward annotation apps, you can import any document or image and share instantly. You can also see at a glance which students are actively adding content, check their screens on your own, send them individual messages or pause a student’s access to DisplayNote if you think they’re up to something. And as every Clevertouch screen comes with ten perpetual licences, you don’t have to worry about subscription fees.

For more information, call 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook