Forms Widget now in Blippit App Maker

Google Apps for Education contains a powerful tool called Google Forms.  We know a lot of schools like it so today we added a new free Forms Widget to the Blippit App Maker.

Whatever your children’s app topics, they can now easily and quickly bring in their surveys, quizzes, polls and even assessments to make very interactive app projects.

[fvplayer src=”http://blog.blippit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/io_googleforms.mp4″ width=”1014″ height=”654″ splash=”http://blog.blippit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/stillgrey.png”]

Checkout this Blippit Knowledge Base article for a step-by-step  walk through on how to bring your apps to life by integrating Google Forms.

More about Google Forms

Log in to Blippit with AirHead

Well this month and next we’re super focused upon integrations to help schools log in and get started with even greater ease.  By that we typically mean we’re saving your time and effort in remembering usernames and passwords.

AirHead have a very nice system with their web based launchpads.  Essentially your desktop follows you wherever you go in the browser, you choose what’s in it and CRITICALLY you can add your username and password once so that AirHead can remember it for you.

  • Get a free account for yourself today on AirHead.io to see what it’s all about – we think you’ll like it.

NEXT: News of two more major integrations

Fully Revised Yr 6 Unit for Summer 2016

Written to go hand in glove with Blippit’s App Maker over a half-term including video links and more for use in class.

Also included is a bonus mini-unit that we suggest you use as a ‘warm up’ lesson to heighten awareness of and increase ‘code curiosity’ in the children.

It’s all step-by-step with ready-to-go plans and videos built in so depending on your confidence level you can use it as is or do a bit of computing jazz and give it your own flavour.

Just click below to download the free PDF

Year 6 Plans

 

New 2016 App Maker Tour Video

This longer video is for schools just starting out with the App Maker this summer 2016 & it’s been done to link up with our totally revised planning unit for year 6.

Some people find it easier having everything in one video instead of smaller chunks but you can click the built in navigation buttons (if watching on a laptop in Youtube) to jump about the video to see different chapters and save time. (YouTube version below & school filter friendly version is below that)

Best viewed full screen – includes voice-over

 

    To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser
that supports HTML5 video
 

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!

How to Update your Blippit IO Chrome App Extension

Updating the Chrome Extension version Blippit IO sometimes needs a bit of encouragement.

Many teachers have said

I don’t have a Chromebook

But to use this popular version of Blippit you only need the Chrome Browser not a Chromebook.

At time of writing we’re currently on version 2.2.4.  The quickest way to check if you’re on vers. 2.2.4 at a glance is that the tool bar looks like this.

Blippit_IO

If you’re not on 2.2.4 then follow the steps below.

First

updating chrome ext

Last

Update Extensions Now

Not Installed a Chrome Extension Before?

You can get it here directly  or watch the video first.

Yr 7 Planning Resource & Primary Examples

open-folder-with-fileHave you taken a look at blippit.academy yet? Try our self-paced teacher CPD course for app making.

Holgate Academy’s Year 7 Scheme for Blippit’s App Maker was in today’s collection of Google results!  It’s a very thoroughly prepared few weeks of work that’d we recommend you take a look at if you’re looking for ideas certainly.

  • Here’s the Year 7 Scheme of work on App making with Blippit

maths appsWe also like to read blogs where an educator as taken time to reflect or share on their work.  Here’s one that came from Woodmansterne in Lambeth where you’ll get a great overview of the apps they’ve been making with the original Blippit App Maker not Blippit IO

viking appsWe’re waiting to see what Valence Primary school has been up to in more detail but try to

  • visit Valence Primary School talking about viking apps made with Blippit

Lastly we’ve updated our Year 6 planning units too so do take up our invitation to download, adapt & adopt as you see fit. They have links to videos and real examples now included that weren’t in before

If you’re involved in a project using any of our tools just email support@blippit.co.uk and we’ll feature you on the blog.

Bug hunting can be like 'Where's Wally?'

First you find a bug & then you de-bug.

It’s that simple isn’t it?

blippitcode

All software applications have bugs – some cause no real problems and go unnoticed, others are minor and a minority wreak havoc.  You might be surprised to hear that software providers LOVE hearing about possible bugs via bug reports.  They love it even more if the steps that lead up to the strange behaviour  can be replicated by their Application Development Team because this means the bug is real and can be fixed.

Blippit Code
Real code from the Blippit IO Application that runs on a user’s desktop

Without the help of users (essentially many hands and eyes) application developers can’t hope to capture every bug for debugging try as they might.

In the classroom it’s a fantastic exercise to give students a simple program with a bug or two it.  This way they really REALLY have to

  • be systematic in their approach – record steps taken etc
  • be tightly focused on isolating the area where the bug is likely to be
  • be able to step through the programme in it’s component parts or sections
  • develop an understanding of how the larger whole can be viewed in chunks

Here at Blippit we were able to find and de-bug a FANTASTIC bug in quick fashion this month thanks to two schools who took the time to file a bug report (they told us about it basically) to support@blippit.co.uk .  This lead to more detailed info gathering, a school visit from us and finally within a week and a half a global update of Blippit IO.  They helped us improve Blippit IO in a measurable way for the thousands of students and teachers who are using Blippit IO across the UK, Australia and US.

If you’re a lovely Blippit IO User, we are going to make it nice and easy for you to report anything that feels like a bug to you soon.  More about that to follow.

Blippit Code
Real code from the Blippit IO Application that runs on a user’s desktop
So…the moral of this story is, if it’s safe and legal to do so, always tell the people who wrote the code if you find what you think might be a bug in their app.  They’ll never be offended, they’ll always be grateful and the rest of the community using that app will put you on their cool list.

What more could anyone want?

Bug Hunters Welcome

blippit_bug

2016 has started off with a fantastic bug hunt thanks to Christ Church Primary School in Wigan and The Fernwood School in Nottingham.

Colleagues in these two schools have helped us improve Blippit IO significantly by doing something very simple…

…they told us when something didn’t behave as expected!

As a result, we have managed to IDENTIFY & FIX a bug that was triggered by a unique set of user actions causing some Writer Widgets to lose their writing. Annoying! On the 12th January @16:00 GMT we’ll be implementing the fix across all schools.

Anyone can help us to improve Blippit IO by dropping an email to support@blippit.co.uk describing what happened.

Sometimes, struggling a bit in class may just be to do with familiarity but other times we may need to do some debugging as we have done this last few days.  We so appreciate anyone who takes the time report what might be a bug because it means we can save many others from going through the same issues.

So join in with us today, as Blippit IO continues to evolve and change, in helping to make the Blippit Community a Happy Bug-Free one!

Blippit Torus New App Launch – explore, scan & share!

Blippit Torus is our new QR Code Reader app built exclusively for Blippit IO App Maker users.

With schools moving over to the new Blippit IO we’ve now released Blippit Torus as an all new and totally free companion app that’ll make exploring apps, scanning QR codes & sharing apps a whole lot easier.

  • Log in as an Admin with your Blippit IO details to get your school view of all student apps which is ideal for seeing at-a-glance who has made what for evaluation/assessment purposes.
  • Logging in as a Student with your Blippit IO login gives you all your published apps in one place as well as fellow students.
Available for Android on Google Play & iPhone/iPad on the iOS App Store
Blippit Torus for AndroidiOS Torus