Transforming teaching with Apple at Nether Alderley Primary School

Transforming teaching with Apple at Nether Alderley Primary School

Nether Alderley are using iPad to engage parents and improve results by personalising learning. They weigh in on their favourite classroom apps, the benefits of Macs, and how to get parents on board with 1:1 schemes.

Nether Alderley were looking to develop the use of Apple devices in the classroom, and found the support they needed in our e7 Pilot programme. After the pilot, they rolled out iPad across Year 5 and 6, opted for a mobile Mac suite instead of a PC lab, and have opened a new staff development suite. Here’s the story of their conversion to Apple devices…

 

If you want to know more about iPad in education, give us a call on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Our infrastructure and device management services for education

Our infrastructure and device management services for education

We know that a successful deployment is more than just getting devices in hands. Our solutions help both students and teachers get the most out of their devices they use in their work every day.

In this video, we lay out everything we can do to help your school on its way towards a successful technology deployment, in particular establishing a robust wireless infrastructure including network and WiFi surveys, installation services, structured cabling and switches.

If you want to know more about our services for education, give us a call on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Enriching the student experience with iPad and Langley Grammar School

Enriching the student experience with iPad and Langley Grammar School

Why are iPads so valuable to the student experience? We put our heads together to figure it out, and in the end we decided… we should probably just ask the kids at Langley Grammar school, who are into their fourth year of using iPads in the classroom.

We asked pupils to tell us how iPad has affected their learning, and they replied with this video, shot and edited entirely on their iPads. Students say that iPads enable “fun, independent and creative” learning, which prepares them for the future of technology.

Independent, versatile learning

iPad enables independent learning, opening up the learning process by allowing students to personalise their work based on their own preferred learning style, helping them to stay engaged and grasp concepts better. Students at Langley Grammar say that the “best part about iPad is having the ability to control the way in which we learn”, as they can go through each lesson at their own pace and to make their learning more effective. Students say that they “now have a full system built on independent learning”. They’re even able to test themselves at home, accessing class materials with a link to the school’s server system. And with iPad’s built-in features that make it accessible to students of all ages and abilities, the benefits can be felt by all pupils.

Encouraging creativity in a fun learning environment

As iPad becomes a core part of learning, students are able to be more creative by utilising the wealth of tools available to them. Pupils can take advantage of multiple ways of producing and presenting work to their peers and teachers, which were not available to them before iPads were introduced, giving students more freedom in their learning. Langley Grammar pupils tell us that they’re able to be more creative with iPad, as it opens up “new opportunities that couldn’t be done without iPads”, allowing them to “rethink learning”.

Because iPad allows for more fun learning, students say they are “more engaged and remember more” from their lessons. Creative activities with the iPad (such as shooting and editing videos such as this one) allow them to develop their technology skills in an enjoyable, competitive way. Pupils are eager to work with the iPads, looking forward to lessons that involve the device.

“Rolling out iPad in schools has had a huge impact on student learning and the effectiveness of using technology in the classroom,” says Paul Ford, our head of education. “As a result of creating a more engaging, more collaborative learning environment, we’ve seen schools smash their targets in terms of both grades and student satisfaction.”

If you’re looking to boost creativity and independent learning in your school, we’ve got everything you need to get up and running – from the iPads themselves and their protective cases and charging carts, to mobile device management (MDM) software and training. We also offer extended warranties and repairs, onsite support, helpdesk, training for first line technicians, IT health checks and more, so you’re covered from end to end.

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.

 

iOS 11 brings upgraded Apple Pay, Live Photos, Siri and much more…

iOS 11 brings upgraded Apple Pay, Live Photos, Siri and much more…

iOS 11 is here, and Apple promises it’s going to make your iPhone and iPad more powerful and personal. With updated features for everything from Siri to Apple Pay, we had a look at why the new OS is said to be the most intelligent it’s ever been…

New features

Files

The new Files app lets you easily browse, search and organise all your files in one place, with a dedicated place for recent files, as well as those on other iOS devices, in iCloud Drive and across other services like Box and Dropbox.

Dock (for iPad)

The new Dock is now available from any screen, so with just a swipe you can open and switch apps instantly. Plus, you can customise it with more of your favourites. Recently and currently open apps on your iPhone or Mac will appear in the right side of the Dock.

Apple Pay

With iOS 11, the convenience of Apple Pay is brought to Messages, so sending and receiving money between friends is as simple as having a conversation. You can use Apple Pay with your credit or debit card to send money instantly and securely, and request and receive money just as easily within Messages.

Live Photos

Improved Live Photos mean you can be more expressive and creative in your shots. iOS 11 allows you to turn a Live Photo into a video loop, or play them in reverse with Bounce. And with Long Exposure, you can create beautiful effects usually only possible with a DSLR camera.

QuickType keyboard (for iPad)

You’ll no longer need to switch back and forth between keyboards, as letters, numbers, symbols and punctuation marks will now all be on the same keyboard – just flick down on a key to select what you need.

Siri

iOS 11 makes your personal assistant more personal – and even more intelligent. Siri gains a natural, expressive voice, and advanced machine learning means that it will get to know your tastes and preferences. So now if you ask Siri to play you some music, it knows what you’re going to like – no risk of it accidentally playing Jedward when you’re trying to impress someone.

Control Centre

With the redesigned Control Centre, you can customise the settings for the things you do the most. You can add a Voice Memos control, Home controls, and use 3D Touch in Control Centre to unlock even more commands.

Coming soon… new emoji

Finally all our campaigning has paid off, and iOS 11 will soon usher in the era of the zebra emoji! Well, that’s what we’re calling it at any rate. There’s also a woman in a headscarf, a dinosaur, a zombie, a bearded man and a breastfeeding woman added to the line up.

 

Adding devices to Apple School Manager or DEP

With iOS 11, you can now add iOS and tvOS devices to Apple School Manager or DEP using Apple Configurator 2.5, even if the devices weren’t purchased directly from Apple, and Apple-authorised reseller or an authorised cellular carrier. When you set up a device that has been manually enrolled, it will behave like any other enrolled device, with mandatory supervision and mobile device management (MDM) enrollment. Users will have a 30-day provisional period to remove the device from enrollment, supervision and MDM.

iOS 11 is available now.

Want to find out how iOS can impact the way you work? 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

 

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

 

WWDC 2017: All the news and releases recapped

WWDC 2017: All the news and releases recapped

Apple’s annual bash for developers usually delivers a few key software releases, but this year we have a bumper crop, with new iMac, a refreshed notebook lineup and updates to every OS Apple are currently running. Oh, and of course the new HomePod smart speaker system. Let’s start with the hardware…

iMac

With Mac Pro undergoing a complete overhaul after 2013’s redesign, creative professionals have been turning to top spec iMac models to support demanding work. Apple seem to officially acknowledge this with the 2017 iMac models, which boast all-new speedy Kaby Lake processors, boosted graphics (the entry level gets Iris Plus 640, up to 80% faster, the 21” models get Radeon Pro 555 and 560 with 4GB VRAM, up to 3x faster, and the 27” iMac gets Radeon Pro 570, 575 or 580, with 4GB VRAM).

Apple have said the display on the new iMacs is also the best ever on a Mac, 43% brighter with 500 nits and 10-bit dithering which basically boils down to them looking really, really good.

We also got a sneak peek at a brand new iMac Pro, due to ship in December. This new version is going to be a great prospect for video editing, as well as VR content creation, with workstation class performance, new fan architecture, 80% better cooling and quiet operation. Apple announced it would come with an 8 Core Xeon processor, upgradable all the way up to an insane 18 Cores, with Radeon Vega graphics, 16GB VRAM and 11 teraflops. iMac Pro will also come with up to 128GB ECC memory (more than twice that of current iMacs), up to 40TB storage, built-in 10Gb Ethernet and four Thunderbolt ports. Most importantly, it’ll be the first iMac to come in a fetching space grey.

Mac notebooks

In terms of notebooks, there wasn’t anything Earth-shattering to report – MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro all get a bump up to new Kaby Lake processors, as expected, and Apple announced they would also receive faster storage and graphics. They’re also dropping the price of the entry level models.

iPad Pro

iPad users will now have a third size option to choose from: the 10.5″ iPad Pro. Apple are putting that extra screen space to good use, giving you a full size onscreen keyboard with support for more than 30 languages. But don’t worry about it getting unwieldy – despite being 20% larger that the 9.7” iPad, it still only weighs a pound.

The new 10’5” iPad Pro and the updated 12.9” model both sport a speedy A10X Fusion chip powering a six-core CPU, which gives you 30% faster CPU performance and 40% faster graphics performance than the previous generation A9X chip. The two leading iPad models have also gotten new screens capable of a 120Hz refresh rate, which combines with a new Pencil to deliver the most responsive iPad Pro performance ever, with just 20 milliseconds latency.

To save you battery life (iPad Pro can still clock up to ten hours on a single charge), the refresh rate is intelligently adjusted based on what you’re doing. If you’re viewing stills, it’ll drop down to the standard 24Hz, play back movies at 48Hz, and then move in to high gear so you can deal with interactive content at 120Hz.

watchOS 4

Good news for anyone rocking an Apple Watch, as watchOS got an update to version 4. Apple showed off new Faces, powered by Siri, which are designed to use machine learning to always display the most relevant information to you and dynamically update the display. Activity and Workout get new features which will appeal to all sports and gym bunnies, but we were most excited by the colourful Kaleidoscope display feature and, oh yes, animated Toy Story characters. They’ve got a friend in us.

tvOS

Apple TV fans rejoice: Amazon Prime Video is coming to tvOS, making it much easier to binge boxsets of the Man In the High Castle and Transparent.

You can visit our Apple store here. If you want to know more, 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.

Jigsaw24 webinar: Deploying and managing your Apple devices

Jigsaw24 webinar: Deploying and managing your Apple devices

This webinar goes over a few of the features and technologies Apple make available to enable us to deploy and manage devices in our environments – whether it’s ten devices or 5000! We cover a few of these technologies such as Apple’s Device Enrolment Programme (DEP), why you should be using them, and how you can take advantage of them. We show how you can make the end user experience as positive as possible, how we can get devices into users’ hands, and how we can manage them in a modern environment.

Want to know more about iPad deployment and MDM? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Preparing for APFS

Preparing for APFS

At last year’s WWDC Apple announced that their new file system, APFS, would be replacing the age-old HFS+, which has underpinned their file system since 1998. It came to mobile devices with iOS 10.3, and is expected to make the jump to macOS at June’s WWDC event. So, with the mooted release date looming, how should companies be preparing for APFS? What considerations do you need to take into account? 

Key considerations

Data loss A developer beta has been available for a while now, and from what we’ve heard transitions have gone smoothly – Apple say they’ve built the system to avoid all data loss. However, being the cautious types we are, we can’t help but think a bit of pre-rollout preparation is for the best, especially if you’re in an enterprise environment.

Awareness of the impact on mixed estates and corporate services If your estate isn’t standardised, you’ll be handling a mixture of older machines using HFS+ and newer ones using APFS, and will need to offer parity access to corporate services (printers, files shares etc). Do you have the tools to inventory your estate and identify potential pitfalls?

Imaging strategy Consider what impact the change may have on the way you approach disc imaging.

Missed the announcement? Here are the key features of APFS.

Protect against data loss

APFS has been engineered to fit neatly into the gaps in HFS+, meaning the chance of data loss is minimal. However, we can’t in good conscience tell you to perform a cross-office upgrade without backing up your own data and ensuring end users do the same with their endpoint devices. Ideally, perform an automated backup across all the devices under your command yourself – asking end users to back up manually rarely gets the desired result, and even if some users oblige you, there are roadblocks such as the photo storage limit that’s imposed on the free version of iCloud, which might prevent some users backing up all their files.

We’d recommend doing an automated backup across all the devices you manage, and keeping at least one copy internally and one copy at an external site – you might want to rent some hosted cloud storage for the switchover period, as this is a really easy way to ensure you have secure, offsite backup without massively impacting your budget.

If you don’t have an automated backup solution already in place, take a look at Archiware P5, or Acronis Backup Advanced. We can also offer Backup24, our own hosted cloud backup solution, in which your data is held in our secure, UK-based data centre, and can be accessed at any time without any retrieval fees.

Know what you’ll need to standardise, and check access to services

Macs running anything earlier than OS X Yosemite won’t be able to read APFS volumes. Any Macs that you buy after the next macOS release will arrive with APFS as their native file system. To avoid problems, you need to inventory your devices and work out which bits of your estate are running OS X Yosemite or earlier and then, where possible, update them so that they’re running the latest OS (here are the minimum requirements for upgrading to Sierra). You’ll also need to root out any devices which are not 64-bit.

You can share APFS volumes over SMB or NFS, but not using AFP, which has led to widespread speculation that Apple will be phasing this out soon. If you’re currently making use of AFP to give your Mac users access to print servers and the like, the move to a later OS should also help you move them over to SMB, which is far better supported in more recent OS releases.

So how do you manage this auditing process and switchover? Well, the number of dedicated Mac management solutions is on the rise, and many of them offer auditing and inventory tools that you can use to roadmap which parts of your estate need changing and when. We recommend Jamf Pro in most instances (we’re so keen on this one we can offer it as a managed, hosted service if you’d rather not take on MDM in house), but AirWatch is another popular solution that’ll serve you well if you’re in a mixed Android/iOS environment.

Want to know more about inventorying your estate? Take a look at our whitepapers here.

Changes to standard imaging practices

APFS is likely to have an impact on some of the traditional forms of disk imaging used in the deployment of new devices. Your current process might involve building a Mac with the desired OS, software and configuration settings, then creating a disk image that contains the content of that Mac’s boot drive, and then applying this to multiple other Macs.

However, Apple seem to want you to invest in MDM (we can’t argue with this) and then use DEP to facilitate zero touch device enrolment as an alternative to imaging.

Doing some research into the best MDM solution for your business and getting your team skilled up on DEP both seem like good ideas at this point – get in touch with our team on the details below to find our how to get started.

Want to know more about achieving zero touch deployment? Take a look at our whitepapers here.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email services@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Apple School Manager: What you need to know to get started

Apple School Manager: What you need to know to get started

Apple School Manager is Apple’s free online management service for your iPad deployment. It hooks into your mobile device management (MDM) solution to provide exciting new functions, and replaces two Apple solutions you may already be using: the Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) and Device Enrolment Programme (DEP). Here are a few key points to help you get started with ASM… 

What does Apple School Manager do?

Currently, Apple offer the Device Enrolment Programme (DEP) to help register your devices with an MDM solution, the Volume Purchase Programme (VPP) for when you want to bulk buy apps, and iTunes U for when you want to upload and share content. Apple School Manager brings those three things under one roof, so your poor admin staff don’t have to keep track of three separate systems.

It’ll even integrate with your Student Information Systems to allow you to create bulk batches of managed Apple IDs for students and staff (these are Apple IDs that are managed by the school, but can be transferred to a pupil after they graduate, so they can still access their work).

Will our DEP and VPP accounts be converted to an Apple School Manager account automatically?

No, you will need to ask Apple to upgrade either one or both accounts for you. The process for this is different depending on whether you have a VPP account, a DEP one, neither or both. You’ll also need to do some initial setup to access the new features (we can help with this).

Is Classroom part of Apple School Manager?

Nope, that’s a separate app, although they do work together. Classroom lets you group iPad into Classes and give teachers control over all the iPad in their Class, so they can do things like launch apps when it’s time to start an activity, send and open links, lock students into apps and see what’s on pupils’ screens. Apple School Manager will let you create Classes centrally, though.

How does this interact with Shared iPad?

Shared iPad is a new feature in iOS 9.3 that lets students log into any iPad in a class set with a simple passcode and use it as if it were their own device. When they log out, all their details are hidden so that each student who uses the iPad only sees their own work. Shared iPad is not part of Apple School Manager, but for it to work your students need to be using Managed Apple IDs, which are created in Apple School Manager.

Can I get any of these features on any iPad?

iOS 9.3, the operating system that makes all this possible, will work on anything from an iPad Air, third generation iPad, iPad mini or iPad Pro up. Shared iPad is a bit more taxing, so you’ll need an iPad Air 2, iPad mini 4 or iPad Pro with 32GB or more of memory.

How do I migrate my accounts?

The process is different depending on which programmes you’re in, when you enrolled in them and whether your accounts are registered as a single institutional account or separately. It’s a bit finicky, so we’d recommend giving us a call before you make the move. However, if your IT team are confident, here’s our guide to migrating to Apple School Manager.

Want to know more about Apple School Manager? Give us a call on 03332 409 290 or at education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

Here’s why iOS 10.3 is great for business

Here’s why iOS 10.3 is great for business

iOS 10 is now more personal, and more powerful. Apple’s latest operating system is packed with features to make your business day run as smoothly as possible.

Whether you’re running late for a meeting or need to make secure payments on the web, iOS 10.3 is here for your everyday business needs. If you’ve been considering iOS for business or have already made the jump, here are just a few features that could improve your day…

APFS

iOS 10.3 is the first to adopt the new Apple File System (APFS), developed to replace the 30 year old HFS file system. APFS is optimised for Flash/SSD storage and features strong encryption, copy-on-write metadata, space sharing, cloning for files and directories, snapshots, fast directory sizing, atomic safe-save primitives, and improved file system fundamentals. Copying files with APFS is noticeably speedier thanks to efficient space optimisation and the updated way the file system calculates capacity.

Dual apps

With iOS 10.3, the way you use apps is changing. It’s now possible to work on two apps at once, so you can move fluidly between tasks for a more productive experience. Siri now works with all your favourite business apps from the App Store, so you can ask it to book a ride or send a payment with ease.

Contextual predictions

Your device is now able to speed up your interactions by predicting the information you want to share, based what you type. When sharing contact information, simply type something like “My number is…” and your details will pop up ready to populate. Or tell someone “I’m available at…” and iOS will search your calendar for your next free space. Perfect for making arrangements on the go.

Updated Settings app

The Settings app has been revamped for iOS 10.3, so you can spend less time hopping in and out of menus to configure your device. Manage your iCloud and App Store configurations all in one unified menu, as well as accessing information on all of your connected Apple devices. It’s also easier to keep your device protected, as the Password and Security menu is just a tap away. Here you can change your password, set up two-factor authentication or edit your trusted phone number to make sure all your business files stay secure.

Maps

Your Maps app is now more intelligent, able to learn your daily commute and check the best route available based on meetings in your calendar. It can also make proactive suggestions on other places you might like to visit and calculate them into your route, so you can easily stop for food, coffee or fuel.

Multilingual typing

Save time when speaking with international colleagues or clients with multilingual typing. Now in iOS 10 you can type in two different languages at the same time, without the need to switch between keyboards. iOS can now recognise any pair of the following languages: English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. It also supports English and Chinese together.

Apple Pay

With Touch ID and Apple Pay on the web, shopping online is now easier, faster and more private. With the hardware working seamlessly with the OS, the advanced fingerprint sensor recognises you and the software keeps your payment information safe. Simply browse the web, and pay using your fingerprint for a quick and secure checkout.

CarPlay

Switch between apps more quickly and easily in CarPlay to stay connected on the go. Using the quick switcher in the status bar, tap between your communication, Maps and entertainment apps while keeping your focus on the road.

Check out 9to5Mac’s video on the full list of new iOS 10.3 features…

Want to know more about the new iOS 10.3? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or pop your details in the form below. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.