Our purchasing framework with the University of Nottingham

Our purchasing framework with the University of Nottingham

Now that the national Apple framework has expired, we’ve teamed up with the University of Nottingham to create a new purchasing framework for universities.

We provide centralised ordering, delivery and repair for the university’s Apple devices. We’re now the sole supplier for their national purchasing framework, which is a comprehensive and compliant alternative to the NWUPC HE Framework… and we can do this for your university too!

What we can offer

As the UK’s largest business to business Apple provider, we can provide excellent pricing on Apple kit, storage, networks and peripherals. We also have a services team and in-house support desk dedicated to delivering the best possible Apple experience – and we want to make this high standard of service available to universities across the UK.

We offer:

– Faster Apple repairs. Our typical turnaround time is no more than four business days, including nationwide collection and return. We also offer next day loans when necessary.

– Expert accredited team. We have a 97% customer satisfaction rating for Apple repairs, independently verified by Apple.

– Longer usable lifetimes for devices. We offer four year warranties instead of the usual three, and offer upgrade and refurbishment services.

– Open, honest and competitive Apple pricing. For all our desktops, notebooks, iOS devices and underlying infrastructure.

– Dedicated account management. We provide management information to allow efficient, pan- university understanding of purchases and assets.

– Purchasing portal integration. We can provide a backend ordering system integrated with SciQuest, and restrict the stock list to approved models.

– Greener IT provision. We partner with local environmental company Go4Greener to ensure we meet environmental standards, including using recycled packaging from local suppliers.

If you’re thinking of refreshing your devices or infrastructure, we can run through your requirements and see how the framework could benefit you.

If you’d like to know more about our HE framework, get in touch on 03332 409 333 or at HEframework@Jigsaw24.com, or download the PDF here.

Changes announced for Apple Professional Development catalogue

Changes announced for Apple Professional Development catalogue

Apple have confirmed considerable changes to their APD catalogue. The company look to build on their success offering training courses to educational institutions.

It’s hoped that the revised catalogue will provide greater flexibility to schools and offer a fresh approach to teaching. While Apple Education Trainers will still deliver a full day of training, existing courses in the ‘Fundamentals’ and ‘Curriculum’ (renamed ‘Integration’) categories have been reviewed and updated. They will now be split into three-hour modules, streamlining the teaching experience and tailoring it to suit the needs of different groups or individuals. Two identical three hour sessions may be offered to schools in order to relieve scheduling pressure for teachers, while a bespoke training plan could be put together to better tailor courses to the classroom.

AETs will host seminars following each three hour course, giving teachers the chance to get to grips with their newfound knowledge and consider the implementation of new Apple-based learning methods.

The catalogue will include new Higher Education offerings, while skills developed in ‘Foundation’ modules will be complimented by rebranded ‘Integration’ modules. Five new courses will be offered in correspondence with the refreshed catalogue:

– Facilitating real world learning

Creating authentic learning activities with Apple creativity apps and the Challenge Based Learning framework.

– Designing interactive learning activities

Incorporating gaming into lessons to make them more fun and engaging.

– Physical education, health and fitness

Integrating Apple creativity and health apps into physical education.

– Cross curricula for elementary learners

Learning authentic ways to integrate Apple creativity apps across all areas of elementary education.

– Making thoughtful recourses decisions

Exploring Apple stores and learning how to carefully select resources appropriate for all your teaching and learning needs.

Other courses offered include:

– Vision and plan

– Education strategic planning

– Coaching and mentoring

– Co-delivery and twilight sessions

– Planning

Read the updated APD catalogue here.

Want know more about APD and our education services? Call 03332 409 209, follow us on Twitter @Jigsaw24Edu, ‘like’ us on Facebook or email Education@Jigsaw24.com

BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

BETT 2015: Why Apple for education?

Here’s our final discussion topic from BETT 2015: why we recommend Apple for education. Here’s a breakdown of our top five reasons why we think Apple in education is the way forward.

Yes, we’re an Apple Solution Expert for Education: so obviously we wear the Apple nerd hat with pride. But, when it comes to education, you really can’t get any better than Apple. Here’s a breakdown of our top five favourite Apple features that we think make them top of the class.

1. iTunes and the App Store

There are currently over 75,000 education apps on the App store, with a large proportion of these being available as free downloads. With the introduction of the new Computing curriculum seeing students learning about coding in lessons, what better resource to make use of than the App Store? Incidentally there’s a great range of apps both free and paid for to help children of all key stages learn and practice their coding skills. Its not all tech based though – there are apps to help with all subjects from maths and biology to music. Keep an eye on our education app of the week blog to see our pick of recommended apps.

2. iTunes U

iTunes U is a dedicated destination within iTunes solely dedicated to education content. It’s packed with resources like lectures, videos and books, all available for free for both teachers and pupils to take advantage of. Educational institutions including Stanford, Yale, MiT, Oxford and the New York Public Library all have material on iTunes U that is free to browse. As well as looking at existing content, you can also use iTunes U for free content hosting for lesson materials and creating your own course – a service which we can help you with. Teaching staff can assign students homework to do via iTunes U, with students being able to log time and complete tasks as they do them.

3. Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) for Education

VPP lets you purchase App Store apps and interactive books that are great for education, at educational institution special pricing. Buy apps in volume for both iOS and Mac through the VPP store and distribute them to individual users with redeemable codes or distribute to groups using a mobile device management (MDM) solution.

Schools can get a 50% discount when purchasing apps in quantities of 20 or more through VPP, with iBooks also being included in this.

4. Continuing professional development training (CPD)

When new technology is introduced into education, it’s important to make sure that your staff are clued up on how to use it. Through our e7 iPad scheme, we offer continuing professional development (CPD) training which focuses on giving SLT, teaching staff and technical team the chance to explore the potential of iPad in the classroom, and feel confident about using it in their subject areas.

5. iBooks Author

Available free on the App Store, iBooks Author allows anyone to create iBooks textbooks for iPad and Mac. iBooks Author provides teaching staff with the opportunity to create their own textbooks, which can easily be edited to keep up with the changing curriculum. Using iBooks Author can easily save your school money too – by eliminating the cost of buying new textbooks every year.

To find more about Apple in education email learning@Jigsaw24.com or call 03332 409 333 or visit www.Jigsaw24.com/education. To keep up with all the latest news and reviews follow @Jigsaw24edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. 



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.

Games development in education

Games development in education

New college and university courses and talk of A-levels and GCSEs based on games development are hot topics at the moment. As games development and the integration of 3D animation in everyday life is growing exponentially, there’s no greater time to let student imaginations run wild by letting them create and develop their own video games.

Finding a teenager these days that doesn’t like playing video games is a hard feat, then trying to find one of those that hasn’t ever thought about or talked with their friends about creating their own game is near impossible. Before now, the idea of sitting down with multiple 3D modelling applications and a dummies guide to software coding, kind of took the fun out of starting to create any sort of video game.

Thankfully we now have Unity

Unity is a great all in one games development solution that has been designed to ease creation of games. Aided scripting alongside a vast array of tutorials and walkthroughs makes for a very short learning curve. Pupils can instantly get engaged in exciting, interactive classroom based projects that they have a personal interest in.

When Unity first arrived in the Jigsaw office, the excitement could be seen on the faces of our 3D team. You could slowly see the smiles appearing around the department as the realisation that everything they needed to make that childhood dream game was hours away… needless to say, not much work was done that afternoon!

One of the great things about Unity is that students can get creative and start making interactive games right away. They can build them to play online with their friends, upload to the web or to run on their Mac/Windows PC. The software allows students to work with real-world technologies without subjecting them to the pitfalls and technicalities.

There is support for model import from all 3D applications, meaning whatever your current 3D modelling software, 3D models can be imported directly, hassle free! So there’s no need for students to have to learn new tools or the school to have to invest in new 3D applications in order to create things for their games.

Unity is not restricted to games development however. Unity’s built-in Ageia PhysX physics engine provides a fun and interactive tool for teachers to demonstrate or bring to life other subject areas of the curriculum. Unity allows pupils to build, experiment and interact with endless situations limited only by the imagination of the pupils and teachers – For example what happens to a stack of boxes when a car drives into it? Let the students create the scenarios and explore the consequences using a variety of real life variables such as weight or gravity!

For more on our 3D solutions for education, call 03332 409 306 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. Visit us on Facebook or Tweet us @Jigsaw24video.