Video: The benefits of an Apple Solution Expert for Education

Video: The benefits of an Apple Solution Expert for Education

As an Apple Solution Expert for Education, we love Apple technology, and helping customers enhance learning. Here’s more on the benefits we offer, including support and services from our expert team.

For more information on our Apple support and services, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Creative trend: The rise of interactivity and animation

Creative trend: The rise of interactivity and animation

The days of static web pages, emails and designs are behind us, and with interactivity and animation rapidly gaining momentum over the past few years, it’s safe to say immersive content is here to stay. Offering up richer experiences for customers and users, interactive designs are proving much more effective and engaging, and creative businesses have been quick to adopt the trend and make it their own. So what kind of interactive, animated content have they been creating and how could it affect business and generate better marketing results?

Due to the fundamentals of human psychology and visual perception, ensuring the effectiveness of your visual communications is key – that’s why usability and accessibility are so important to any digital or online experience. Linear, easy to use interfaces, intelligent personalisation and specialisation should be your top priorities when it comes to UX (user experience), and in 2018, interactivity and animation have an essential role in all of that.

As a form of interactive storytelling, these mediums have proved successful with customers and are now an integral part of marketing engagement. Reportedly, 88% of online customers are less likely to revisit a website if they’ve had a bad experience, while 75% of judgments about website credibility centre on a site’s aesthetics. To top that off, a massive 94% of first impressions are based on design, showing just how important it is to create engaging content that offers something unique and different, with interactivity being the key hook to keeping customers engaged with whatever your company is offering.

Interactive creativity

We can’t have a conversation about the rise of interactivity and animation without discussing the actual content that’s being created. While some websites opt to have video backgrounds, this can lead to noticeable performance issues. To overcome this problem, web designers have begun employing background animations – known as ‘particle backgrounds’ – instead of video. Created from lightweight javascript, particle backgrounds let animation form a part of a website’s natural background, reducing load times while still engaging customers in a unique, thought-provoking way. Taking this one step further, so-called integrated animations are another way that designers have taken advantage of browser technology improvements, and are particularly useful for keeping a user engaged throughout the duration of their visit to a website. They can be used to liven up a typically dull loading screen, display something fun and attention-grabbing while hovering over a link or image, or react according to a user’s scrolling and navigation patterns.

Mobile-optimised websites are another facet of interactivity that’s taken hold in recent years. In 2016, smartphones and tablets overtook desktop to become the population’s browsing device of choice. Desktop’s portion of browsing traffic dwindled to 48.7%, while mobile web browsing’s share of the action had risen consistently since 2009. That meant that developers, marketers and eCommerce giants had to respond accordingly – they started to create sites that were just as easy to navigate on mobile as they were on desktop, if not easier. Featuring stripped back, minimalist designs, mobile-friendly sites are seen as nigh-on essential these days, making it even easier for customers to interact with their favourite brands online while engaging with products and content. Likewise, responsive design has even helped revolutionise desktop browsing. These days, websites typically respond to the size of the window they’re being viewed in, and react and resize depending on how the user manipulates them. In the coming years, designers will have to accommodate newer mediums such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality), which demand deeper interactivity for users.

But what do actual creatives think to these new interactivity standards and the inclusion of animation in design? We asked our resident Web Designer, Jamie, for his thoughts – “With mobile phones and tablets becoming today’s primary devices for browsing, I think responsiveness is key to giving equal experience to a user, regardless of screen size. And if you want to capture a user’s attention, animation and interactivity are great tools that draw on the curiosity and playfulness of a person’s mind.” Our Graphic Designer, Videographer and Animator, Simon, added “The presence of motion graphics on a web page or email immediately draws a user’s attention and provides an extra level of engagement. Animated GIFs or longer animated videos embedded in the page can also help get an idea across more clearly than a still illustration or icon in some situations.”

How can interactive designs and animation benefit business?

A number of industry marketing studies suggest that brands which utilise animation and interactivity (and have paid particular attention to UX design in general) will see the results. According to one study, one in three people will abandon a purchase if they can’t find the correct information, suggesting an interactive site that responds to a user’s needs and displays information more clearly would retain their custom. Similarly, visit-to-lead conversions have shown to be as much as 400% higher on websites with a better UX design, while a more user-friendly UI (user interface) has raised conversion rates by 200% in some cases. It’s also worth noting that 97% of business customers consider usability to be the most essential component of mobile apps, something that interactivity and strategically placed animation could help companies take advantage of.

If you’re more concerned with email design, polls have routinely ranked interactive emails as the number one email marketing trend. Interactive emails can consist of a news story feed, polls, navigation bars and tabs, feedback functionality and more. In 2015, Ticketmaster trialled an interactive email containing a poll. It let recipients vote for the best music video of the year, best female video, best male video and best rock video, all without clicking away from the email – and it paid off! On top of better than average click-through and engagement rates, the email received 182% more opens than standard email communications. Some companies have even gone so far as to include the ability to place orders within an email, and while few have perfected it, it’s led to an uptick in sales within these communications.

Want to get started?

Thankfully, there are plenty of tools out there to help you bring animation and interactive design in-house. A designer’s first port of call should always be Mac, which is ideal for any creative looking to immerse themselves in animation. Built with enough processing and graphical power to handle intensive animation generation, Apple hardware is perfectly suited to the requirements of modern creative workflows. If you want the best of the best, the brand new iMac Pro is fully equipped to take on 3D animation, which’ll really put you ahead of the competition!

Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes everything you could need to get started (as well as tutorials to lend a hand along the way), is essential if you want to achieve the industry-standard and remain competitive. Popular Adobe apps for animation include After Effects, Animate, Illustrator, Photoshop and new Character Animator. Simon thinks highly of Creative Cloud’s powerful tools, too – “Motion graphics are increasingly simple to produce within Adobe Creative Cloud. The timeline window in Photoshop is great for compiling short sequences, while After Effects has every tool you could ever need to produce longer, more complex animations.” You can find out more about Creative Cloud here, including features, applications, benefits for your studio, and price plans.

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

When’s best to refresh your team’s creative technology?

When’s best to refresh your team’s creative technology?

If you’ve had your current technology setup for a while now and it’s still doing a perfectly good job, upgrading probably isn’t even on your radar. And that’s fair enough – spending on new kit can be expensive, and moving over to fresh hardware can be a hassle if you don’t really need to. But it’s important to remember that as new software and standards are released, your tech will gradually begin to slow down. 

It’s easy to sit back, relax, and deal with something as big as a complete technology refresh only when you absolutely have to, and having the very latest hardware isn’t exactly essential. With that being said, why should you bother upgrading your kit, when exactly is the best time for a refresh, and how can you ensure you’re getting the best value for money?

Why?

If you want to stay ahead of the competition, having access to the latest hardware is obviously a major plus and should prevent you from falling behind. Powerful tech allows you to explore and experiment with new mediums – for example, only Creative Cloud users have access to Adobe’s incredible tools for things like VR, AR and 3D animation – and means your existing workflow and projects will benefit from increased efficiency and productivity no matter what your creative vocation is. Likewise, if you’ve started to notice your current setup wearing down and underperforming, it’s time to start plotting a refresh. Once your tech starts causing problems for your creative workflow, you’ll find it harder to hit deadlines and meet the requirements of stakeholders and clients.

When?

Answering the ‘when’ question is a bit trickier. A lot of it comes down to the amount of money you have available for an upgrade at any given time, what’s happening in your business (whether you’re in the middle of large projects, restructuring or hiring new staff, for example), and how critical a kit update is for your team. It almost goes without saying, but keeping an eye out for deals and sales could be ideal if you need new hardware but are limited in the budget department. So try and time your purchasing plans with upcoming sales and jump on bargains when you see them, and if you can purchase a large amount of gear in one go at a discounted rate, you could save yourself more than a few quid.

How?

When planning out your creative technology upgrade, consider searching out trade-in/buy back deals. Once you’re sure you’ve received a good offer for your existing tech, trade it all in for cash to put towards new hardware. It’s also worth staggering your upgrade process, starting with the oldest tech and working up – that way, it’ll be easier to manage and you won’t have to splash out on a large outlay.

In terms of manageability and affordability, you’ll find it easier if you partner up with a reliable supplier that can offer you expert guidance along the way, and advise you on the best choices for your creative needs and budget (like us!). It’s also well worth looking into Device as a Service (DaaS) models for your purchasing. DaaS provides businesses with a rolling agreement for the very latest hardware, and includes support, repairs, warranties and more for one price, per user, per month. Likewise, leasing arrangements are a great way of spreading the cost of your new kit, allowing for increased flexibility and simpler budgeting than a big, one-off payment. You can find out more about our leasing options here.

If you think you’re ready to upgrade your team’s setup, take a look at our Creative Kit Configurator – it’s the best way to ensure you get the perfect, cost-effective tech for your needs. Simply select the type of user you’re buying for, then customise different parts of the setup to suit your specific requirements.

For more information, get in touch with the team by calling 03332 400 888 or emailing sales@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #5: Productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds

Apple Teacher #5: Productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds

In our final look at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides and how they can be used to upskill staff to help them plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac, we’re focusing on productivity, creativity and coding with Swift Playgrounds.

Enhancing Productivity Apple Teacher Guide

The Enhancing Productivity with iPad and Enhancing Productivity with Mac guides and badges could be completed either before or after the App guides. The book focuses on student productivity, and is broken down into four sections: Productivity fundamentals, Getting organised, Planning and sharing, and Documenting and reflecting.

We really like the ‘Organising a research paper’ activity and the vocabulary flashcards. It’s a great way to introduce the skill of referencing, which students will need to get used to if they go on to study the Extended Project Qualification or go to university after sixth form. The flashcards are a great and effective revision tool for students of all ages, as the content can be fully customised for the ability of the student, and personalised to them. There are links to other iBooks at the back of the guide that will give staff and students further information on how Apple technologies can make you more productive.

Fostering Creativity Apple Teacher Guide

The Fostering Creativity with iPad guide is all about initiating those creative juices, and is the perfect one to leave until last. You’ll know how to use all of the Apple apps on your iPad and Mac by this stage in your Apple Teacher journey, and will be one badge away from becoming an Apple Teacher. Fostering Creativity starts with the fundamentals of the creative process in learning, taking in brainstorming, gathering inspirational resources and, finally, telling compelling stories.

The ‘Reflect on family history’ activity, which uses Pages, Photo Booth (Mac)/Camera (iPad) and iMovie, is great for a simple app smash (combining apps together in one final piece of work). Not only does this develop local history knowledge, it can bring the whole family and school community into a student’s learning. By the end of the guide, you’ll be thinking of new possibilities to use iPad in your classroom.

Swift Playgrounds Teacher Guide

The Everyone Can Code series developed by Apple is a comprehensive, high quality and free set of resources that covers the entire curriculum from year 1 through to year 13. If students follow this programming language all of the way through to the end of sixth form, they will be working with industry standard development tools and be coding in a language that has been used to create apps such as Airbnb, LinkedIn and Eventbrite.

Swift Playgrounds is a block-based coding app (simply drag and drop a short piece of code or instructions) that has a full set of lessons and resources that can be downloaded, used and customised by teachers. For some activities, they also have possible answers which can be revealed (don’t tell the students!). You access them all from the teacher guide in the iBooks Store, and all of the lessons and challenges are mapped against the UK National Curriculum.

Additional support

Regional Training Centres hold a big event every year that are designed to support and inspire your iPad and Mac journeys. If you want additional support for Swift Playgrounds, then you might want to look at iTunes U. Apple Education have created an iTunes U course that is perfect for teachers learning how to code. It follows the Learn to Code 1 and 2 guides and is an excellent course to follow if you want that bit of extra support from home.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

Fostering Creativity introduces the concept of ‘app smashing’ (combining apps for learning), and to ensure this high quality learning is tracked and the progress is highly visible, we would recommend using Showbie. Our course The Paperless Classroom: Showbie upskills your staff to make sure app smashing and progress work seamlessly together.

The Swift Playgrounds app is an amazing introduction to computer science for Key Stage 2 and 3 students. What makes it perfect for the whole coding curriculum is that it allows third party apps such as Sphero and Parrot’s drones to be used by students for the control unit. If you’re interested in integrating these into your coding curriculum, contact your Jigsaw24 Education Manager for more information.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #4: Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers

Apple Teacher #4: Unexpected ways to use GarageBand and Numbers

In our latest look at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides, and how they can be used to upskill staff to help plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac, we get to GarageBand and Numbers. Here I explain how you can use them in ways you may not have expected…

GarageBand Starter Guide

Those of you who are already familiar with the Apple environment will know that GarageBand is an amazing app for easily creating great quality music in the classroom. But who would have thought that it can also be used in a way that helps literacy? The GarageBand for iPad and GarageBand for Mac Starter Guides focus on creating a lesson that brings a poem to life by learning how to use the Live Loops feature of GarageBand to add layered loops of music. This approach gets teachers and students to stray away from traditional learning and start to think differently.

Even if students cannot play an instrument, they can join in with a jamming session by choosing and playing a live loop. There’s plenty of inspiration to give food for thought and promote out of the box thinking for iPad and Mac in lessons, including ideas around creating soundscapes and radio shows, and a times table song.

Numbers Starter Guide

Numbers is Apple’s spreadsheet app, but it’s not all just about formulae and graphs. In the Numbers for iPad and Numbers for Mac Starter Guides, as with the Pages guide we looked at before, you build a full science report looking at butterflies. The guide touches on Challenge Based-Learning with iPad and Mac, and goes step by step into how students can build a real life science report, covering the project overview, formulae and budgeting for creating a garden to attract butterflies.

You’ll learn how to create tables, formulae and interactive graphs (not as scary as they sound!) that change with a tap of the screen or trackpad. Not only do they look great, they also aid students when they are analysing data, and comparing data sets becomes more visual. In the ‘Going further’ section, there are some great ideas in and around how you can use Numbers for assessment.

Regional Training Centres (RTC)

Most Regional Training Centres have a social media presence and tweet about upcoming Apple Teacher Workshops, so it’s a good idea to get on Twitter and follow your local RTCs (and @Jigsaw24Edu) who will quite often advertise their upcoming courses that are free to attend.  Having that extra bit of help can come in handy when learning how to use new apps.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

By now, your staff will know their way around iPad and be familiar with seven different Apple apps. So it could be time to think about taking training to the next level. Ask us about our mastery training courses where we look at ways of integrating iPad and Mac into your day to day teaching.

A good one to think about would be iPad in the Curriculum. In this course, our Apple Education Trainers use their expertise to work with staff to effectively plan iPad and Mac into schemes of work.  This can be delivered as a whole staff training session or with smaller groups of teachers. Another course you could think about is Making Music with Mac, where our trainers will go in-depth with GarageBand to help create amazing music lessons.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Apple Teacher #3: Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie

Apple Teacher #3: Producing exciting lessons with Keynote and iMovie

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the Apple Teacher Starter Guides, and how they can be used to upskill staff to help them plan engaging lessons with iPad and Mac. Now we move on to the Keynote and iMovie for iPad and Mac guides – two great resources for helping teachers to produce new and exciting lessons. 

Keynote Starter Guide

In both the Keynote for iPad and Keynote for Mac Starter Guide, there is a Science and Nature theme that shows you step by step how to build a fantastic professional-looking presentation using Apple’s very user-friendly Keynote presentation app. You’ll learn how to insert videos into presentations, how to move objects with Magic Move, which is brilliant for emphasising important areas of slides, and more.

You’ll also revisit the Instant Alpha feature you used in Pages, which further cements the skills you will be starting to develop. This will increase your confidence in the early days, when using iPad and Mac can help your lessons be successful. As with the other iBooks, chapter 3 has a skills list for you to refer back to, which is always a good safety blanket. The last chapter then looks at giving you inspiration for other lessons across the curriculum

iMovie for Mac Apple Teacher Guide

As with the other teacher guides, iMovie for Mac starts with an overview in chapter 1 and 2 of the app and its layout. You’ll be familiar with chapter 3, which starts with a list of skills you will learn – use this for planning in the early days, especially when using iMovie for the first time with students. If you plan in a little bit of time to orientate students around the app, it will pay off in the long run. We recommend drip feeding only the features you will use – once students have used iMovie a few times, you’ll soon have a class of young Spielbergs!

The guide then focuses on creating an iMovie of a Natural Science field trip. Among the many skills you’ll pick up on in the book is learning how to use voiceover as well as using the clip editing feature (which lets you take out parts of clips you don’t want) to create high quality movies. After completing this badge, you’ll have the skills to create brilliant starter activities or even a project for the students to create their own movie clip. In the last chapter, you have the cross-curricular links that are common in all of the guides.

Additional support

As mentioned in our last article, Regional Training Centres (RTCs) all around the country are hosting free introduction workshops based around the Apple Teacher Guides. Most are starting out with sessions based around the iPad starter guide. Look out for upcoming courses in the new year where you’ll find many of the app-based sessions being run.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

If your staff have the skills to create resources in iMovie and Keynote, then you might want to ask our Apple Education Trainers about our Flipped Learning with Explain Everything professional learning. Flipped Learning is a concept that looks at how students can complete new learning out of the classroom, so you can deepen the learning experience during lessons. Explain Everything is the perfect app to bring together your Keynote and iMovie resources to produce the perfect flipped learning resource. Our Apple Education Trainers can introduce your staff to this effective teaching and learning technique with this practical professional learning workshop.

– Missed our last Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Video: How to create a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment

Video: How to create a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment

In this video, we discuss how you can get the most out of your school’s 1:1 iPad deployment, with teaching and learning benefits that go way beyond the lifetime of a single device – all while keeping costs to a minimum and ensuring it’s sustainable from the very start!

For more information on creating a financially sustainable 1:1 iPad deployment, get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #2: Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides

Apple Teacher #2: Exploring the Pages, iPad and Mac Starter Guides

If you’re new to iPad and Mac, the Apple Teacher Starter Guides are the perfect place to start picking up new skills that you can use to plan new and engaging lessons with your iPad and Mac. The Pages for iPad and Mac guides are a great follow-on to the starter guides, introducing skills for producing new and exciting lessons. 

iPad Starter Guide

The iPad Starter Guide gives you an overview of the iPad and the key features you’ll need to know when using iPad in your day to day teaching. Chapter 3 starts with a skills list that you can use as a point of reference after finishing the book.

One of the best things you’ll learn here is how to use the AirDrop function to push out resources electronically, and make your printing bills go through the floor. The final chapter showcases the different places where you can find teaching resources, such as the App Store, iTunes U and iBooks Store. The book then finishes by giving ideas and inspiration for different teaching and learning ideas across a range of subjects.

Mac Starter Guide

The Mac Starter Guide is an excellent resource if you’re switching from a Windows-based system to Mac. It highlights all the user-friendly Mac features that you’ll love, with new ways to make your working life easier from Multi-Touch gestures through to accessibility features like the built-in narration tool that types as you speak. Again, chapter 3 starts with a skills overview, and even if you’re an experienced Mac user it’s well worth a look as you may learn something new to use in your lessons (AirDrop works on Mac too). Chapter 4 covers the learning resources available much in the same way as the iPad book, and the final chapter is full of inspiration and ideas.

Pages for iPad and Pages for Mac

The Pages for Mac and Pages for iPad Apple Teacher guides navigate you through designing a science report called Plants and Butterflies using Apple’s user-friendly word processing app. The guides start with how to navigate Pages and where to find key features. Chapter 3 begins with a list of the skills that you will develop, and the guides then go through step by step how to create your report. You’ll love how easily the picture editing tool Instant Alpha takes away the background of a photo and how effortlessly wrapping text works. You’ll also learn how to set up your project as a collaborative piece so groups of students can work together. At the end of the book, you get teaching ideas for Literacy, Maths, History and Assessment.

Additional support

If you are struggling with any of the content in the starter guides, don’t worry – there are other lines of support (in addition to Jigsaw24). Regional Training Centres or RTCs all around the country are hosting free introduction workshops based around the Apple Teacher Guides. These workshops are designed as an additional layer of support when it comes to achieving Apple Teacher Status, and are definitely worth checking out.

Next steps with Jigsaw24

Every school and every iPad and Mac project is different, and our Apple Education Trainers recognise this. All of our trainers are former teachers who have a wealth of knowledge and experience with iPad and Mac. Right at the start of your project, we can work with you to develop a bespoke training strategy that will ensure you get the best from your Apple technology. To make sure that your long term goals are achieved with iPad and Mac, we would recommend that you ask us about our Planning and Vision sessions.  Another good course that would build on the skills developed in the iPad, Mac and Pages guides would be our Reaching All Learners training session.

– Missed our first Apple Teacher article? Catch up on ‘An introduction to Apple Teacher’ here.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Apple Teacher #1: An introduction to Apple’s professional learning

Apple Teacher #1: An introduction to Apple’s professional learning

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be delving into the amazing (and free) professional learning programme for teachers that Apple have created. Apple Teacher is a high quality, self-paced professional learning course and, having worked with schools integrating Apple Teacher, we find it gives staff the skills and confidence to be able to use iPad and Mac for amazing lessons using Apple apps.

Overview

There are two sets of guides in the iBooks Store that are free to download. Each guide has an online quiz to check your understanding of using iPad and Mac for teaching and learning. After completing the quiz successfully, you earn a badge for that element of Apple Teacher. When you complete all eight badges, you become an Apple Teacher.

Apple Teacher for iPad

The iPad starter guide is the best place to begin, as it shows you the basics of the iPad. From there, you can complete the other books in any order (I would recommend completing the app guides next). The guides focusing on apps cover iMovie, Numbers, Pages, Keynote and GarageBand. There are also two other guides that give practical ideas: Enhancing Productivity and Fostering Creativity. Each book looks at how to create resources, plan a lesson and use Apple apps in the classroom, and at the end of each guide there are ideas for other curriculum areas and links to more ideas and inspiration. 

Apple Teacher for Mac

The Apple Teacher guides for Mac follow the same format as the iPad guides and give you the fundamental skills and knowledge of the Mac environment. Schools wanting to switch from Windows to Mac will find this series of guides and Apple Teacher badges really useful in learning the differences in (and advantages of) using Mac in the classroom.

Swift Playgrounds recognition

The Everyone Can Code series of iBooks from Apple are a free set of resources and lesson plans that teachers can work through and use, beginning with Get Started with Code 1 and 2, followed by Learn to Code 1, 2 and 3. It is based around the Swift Playgrounds app on the iPad and lets students (suitable for Key Stage 2 and early Key Stage 3) learn the fundamentals of coding with Swift, Apple’s coding language. We recommend you complete Learn to Code 1 and 2 before you do the Swift Playgrounds badge on Apple Teacher.

Why we recommend it

At Jigsaw24, we look at the best solutions to make your journey with Mac and iPad a success. We love Apple Teacher as it is a great launch pad to give teaching and support staff the foundation skills they need for their first lessons with iPad and Mac.

This means that when we work with and support your staff, we can build on this early success and help to transform learning at your school. We’re then able to jump into some of our more advanced courses earlier than we were previously able to. For teachers, being an Apple Teacher is widely being recognised by schools using Apple technology, and tells them that you have the skills to be successful with iPad and Mac.

– Check in next week for our next Apple Teacher article on Pages and Apple’s iPad and Mac starter guides.

Want to know more about Apple Teacher and iPad in the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 290 or email education@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Everything you need to know about macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

Everything you need to know about macOS High Sierra and iOS 11

Apple’s latest updates to macOS and iOS have arrived! From now on when you buy a snazzy new Apple device, it’ll come pre-installed with High Sierra on Mac or iOS 11 on iPad and iPhone, and both OS upgrades are packed full of great new features.

macOS High Sierra

High Sierra provides loads of great enhancements. From added GPU capabilities like machine learning, virtual reality, and external GPU support, to a more expressive Siri, the latest macOS is the best yet.

New features

Apple File System (APFS)

One of High Sierra’s great new features is that it comes with Apple’s new, modern file system, APFS (Apple File System). Optimised for all‑flash internal storage and with an advanced architecture, it brings a new level of security and responsiveness to managing your data.

High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC)

Up to 40% better compression than before, the new industry-standard for 4K video is now available on your Mac. Your videos will stream better and take up less space on your Mac, but you maintain the same great visual quality.

Metal 2 graphics

Metal 2 is a technology built into macOS that lets you access the full power of your Mac’s GPU. For High Sierra, Metal 2 not only takes the visual experience to the next level, but also adds capabilities like machine learning, virtual reality, and external GPU support for entertainment and professional creative apps.

Photos

High Sierra makes your growing library more organised and accessible, with intuitive editing tools to help you perfect your images. Filter your photo collections by your favourite criteria, find what you’re looking for quickly and easily with the always-on sidebar, and fine tune your photos with powerful tools like Curves for contrast and colour adjustments, and Selective Colour to make colours more saturated.

Intelligent tracking prevention

Safari now uses machine learning to identify advertisers and others who track your online behavior, and removes tracking data they leave behind – so you can browse in peace without seeing that same ad pop up again and again.

Siri

Siri gets a more expressive makeover with a more natural voice, and more changes in expression, intonation and emphasis based on what it’s saying. It can also learn your music preferences to make suggestions, or play you something to suit your mood.

Upgrading to High Sierra

High Sierra’s powerful new features may make you want to dive right in, but before you rush into upgrading your business to the new macOS, there are a few things to consider.

You may already be aware of some of the challenges your business might face in upgrading to a new OS – needing to control who upgrades when, and ensuring as little downtime as possible. With High Sierra, you’ll also need to consider the impact of the APFS on a mixed Mac estate. While you’d still be able to share files between new and old Macs switching to SMB, AFP won’t be able to share files with the new APFS. This could cause issues if you have different team members using different OSes.

You’ll also need to consider imaging, as you may find yourself needing to move DEP (Device Enrolment Program) workflows or purchase mobile device management (MDM) software to push out images across multiple machines. Finally, before you upgrade your entire estate to High Sierra, you’ll need to ensure that your current infrastructure is supported. If you try to use a monolithic system image, required firmware updates will be missing from the installation. This causes the Mac to operate in an unsupported and unstable state.

To help you get your head around this, Apple have published a Preparing for macOS High Sierra document, which you can download here.

We can also support you in your transition to Apple’s new macOS. If you’d like an audit on your existing estate, we can help you work out how best to transition seamlessly with minimal downtime. Plus, we’ll train your IT staff at the same time on how best to utilise all the new features!

iOS 11

iOS 11 promises to make your iPhone and iPad more powerful and personal than ever. With updated features for everything from Siri to Apple Pay, we had a look at why the latest version of iOS 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 very 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 lineup.

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, an 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) enrolment. Users will have a 30-day provisional period to remove the device from enrolment, supervision and MDM.

iOS 11 is available now.

Want to know more? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or by emailing solutions@Jigsaw24.com to speak to one of our consultants. You can stay up to date with all the latest from Apple by following us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 or by liking us on Facebook.