Blippit IO – New Browser Based Version LIVE!

Schools have been asking for a browser-based version of Blippit IO so today we launched one.

You only need Google’s Chrome browser to use the new version of Blippit (UK Log In blippit.io) (AU Log In au.blippit.io) which hopefully means less hassle for you and your students.

(The downloadable Windows and Mac versions are still available via the website)

Blippit IO New Look and Feel

Blippit has also had a face lift designed to help you move nimbly around the screen while you’re making apps, block programming, coding or having a video call.

We’ve added

  • a full screen feature (top right)
  • clean and simple arrow screen management (side panel tops)

See the new look and feel for yourself by logging in or if you’re in a rush checkout the gallery below.

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You've got that yucky feeling? Blippit chat to Kidsafe

This week Blippit Social met up with NW based Kidsafe for a chat about safeguarding, child exploitation and the importance of not keeping experiences inside that give a child a ‘yucky feeling’ as Kidsafe describe it.

Blippit Social’s approach & beliefs about the importance of schools having a social approach to parental engagement complement Kidsafe’s work well which is why we’ve some interesting ideas bubbling in the pipeline now that will mean good things for schools in the future.

blippit social and kidsafe
“They know it’s a puppet!” Jude Walker from Kidsafe with KS.

Latest Updates on Blippit: April 2016

Here’s what we’ve updated, added, fixed or just improved on Blippit IO.

There are a couple more major updates coming this month but for now here’s what’s live in April.

All Blippit Users
  • Plain English name changes.
    • Old name: Comms -> New name: Inbox
  • A Quick Tour of Blippit now launches at log in for everyone
  • The Button to the Blippit Knowledge Base is now bright orange for better visibility (top right)
  • Knowledge Base articles expanded and improved
  • Bug that prevented Blippit re-sizing and displaying properly in some screen sizes fixed
Teachers/Admins CPD
  • Blippit Academy is now live with the first App Maker course available now free
    • course materials also use resources on the Knowledge Base without the need to log in
App Maker
  • Plain English name changes.
    • Old name:  Widget Pallette -> New name: Drop Zone
Blocks & Purecode Python
  • Speedier Turtle draw area to cope with longer & more complex programs
  • Background Scene Gallery added
    • Admin upload own images for themselves & share to all students
    • Students upload own images for themselves & share
  • Capture Cam feature added for users to grab the drawing area for evidence of achievement.  This is in addition to the ability to Download the code used in a project.
Admins Only – New & Live
  • A Notification pop-up tells you how many apps you have waiting to approve/decline at log in
  • Blippit (HQ & Support) can System Message all Admins via the new Inbox.
    • Our Messages will be marked with an orange dot
      • Feedback message from Admins to students will be marked with a green dot
    • Messages will be few and of the type that directly affects Blippit use as opposed to “hey how are you?”
    • This is a pre-emptive step to enabling the same capability for School Blippit Admin’s to be able to message users proactively via the inbox to help you support your classes

Byte at the Museum

Yesterday I took Blippit to the National Museum of Computing – immediate neighbour of Bletchley Park.  To be invited as part of their Bytes Festival and work directly with their visiting families surrounded by such history was not half-bad.

Out of school you get such an insight into how parents relate to their children and learning as a whole.  They share insights with you quite openly and comment on your limitless patience with their child who frankly drives them nuts most of the time.

There’s noone marking, setting targets or observing when it’s just you and a family which makes for some very natural and easy steps forwards.  One young man (Year 3) made an app and learned what HTML 5 markup language was as he worked with me on the side and his mum making encouraging comments as he progressed. To say he was ‘off his seat’ with excitement when he saw his app on mum’s phone (she downloaded a QR code reader to get it) is an understatement.

Another young man’s Dad regaled me with stories of his son’s disengagement at school contrasting with his persistence, resilience and immersion in his favoured world of technology.  It’s not an unusual story and we all know children like this but seeing how he learned was interesting.  Essentially it was broadly like this

  • “listen to the expert”
  • “grab the basics”
  • “build and try out”
  • “go over bits as needed with expert again”
  • “build towards a result”
  • “publish”
  • “improve on published app”
  • “re-publish”

I’ve been lucky (no doubt about that) to teach in many different schools and environments over the years sometimes as a ‘regular’ teacher, sometimes as an ‘advisory’ teacher and more recently as the ‘Blippit Man’.

blippitio manThe ‘Blippit Man’ tag does generate extra attention and effort from children no doubt at all so my reflections are mindful of how children respond to people they view as ‘experts’ from the ‘real’ world.

This bit of shine from an external expert isn’t sustainable and so it makes what teachers and children achieve together, day in day out, all the more remarkable.

The National Museum of Computing is an awe inspiring place for anyone with the slightest interest in technology and they’re pretty rammed with school visits and tours but if you’ve not been yet, do yourself a favour and go!

Colossus
Colossus