The Blippit App Maker has just become an even more flexible, creative tool for curious minds!
With a renewed focus on coding using HTML we’ve done our utmost to retain the App Maker’s simplicity, keeping the drag and drop principle to make light work of complex tasks, while boosting more advanced features.
Every widget now has it’s own unique Widget Code so that you can now link to anything from within a Writer widget
Linking can be now done using text and images
Writer widget has a new colour-coded Source view for coding
Images are now managed for each app project in a gallery that collates all images uploaded across all widgets for ease of use
Images can now be uploaded directly into a Writer widget
Widgets can now be hidden from view in an app so that they can be worked on & included when ready or hidden to help users follow a set navigation path
Here are some new videos to support you if you’re looking to take advantage of the new features.
Say goodbye to a blank app project starting point! New features to support faster, smoother and easier lesson starts, assessment and collaborative working are now live for all schools.
Here’s what you can do
Save a great project starter app as a project template and share it out directly within Blippit to target year groups/classes or individuals for any subject or colleague to use.
Save time year on year with planning and preparation
save, store and re-cycle templates
make templates to support different abilities and share to targeted students with differing levels of scaffolding in place within the app template
All users can now download an app at any stage of development. This is useful for assessment purposes in that you can have different versions of the app saved to show how it has developed over time
Download an app from Planet Blippit (see how in this video) and upload it to your own account for re-mixing before you share it out to targeted class groups
Teams of students working collaboratively can plan and develop an app project together then download the basic app and share an exact copy to each member of the team to develop different versions based on that design. This is done with the new app template upload/ download feature available to all users.
As you can see every app made by a student or teacher user now has an extra link so that others can download and remix the app if they want to using their own Blippit App Maker account. No other tool can open a Blippit App to remix and develop it further. All apps are teacher approved and all apps carry an audit trail in their About section to show the origins of the app project.
Since we started doing the free version of Blippit IO we’ve been so pleased at the response and uptake from thousands of users. It was the right thing to do for everyone what with time-limited trials being a headache for everyone.
This weekend we did the cloud equivalent of a full skeleton transplant with Blippit IO. It was pretty intense but in order to enable schools who were behind older proxy servers it had to be done and hopefully it will pay off for those schools now who may not even realise the restrictions being applied to their web use.
All things for a reason though we like to think. As part of the ‘transplant’ we also had to re-allocate a big chunk of Blippit’s resources to ensure that schools who had upgraded to unlimited everything were getting the best service possible. We’re really pleased with the results now even though we had to skim some resources from our many lovely free Blippit users.
Blippit IO is now also a downloadable application instead of purely browser-based experience and there are many reasons why we’ve done this. A big reason is that we sensed a potential digital divide emerging giving a two tier experience for those schools with ‘modern’ desktop browsers and those without.
Blippit IO can offer school much more in terms of features and tools in it’s downloadable version. Even the Safari browser version for iPad does so much more than ever before, all because it’s a ‘modern’ browser.
We’d love to have kept Blippit IO as purely a browser-based experience but unfortunately because of the reality that many schools have many different types of browsers (many old ones) it would have meant that only people with the latest browsers would have benefited from Blippit IO’s powerful new features and tools. This would have gone against one of our driving principles which is all about inclusion and giving everyone the same opportunities. Last year one of our in-house issues was that different and older browser types would cause unexpected behaviours in the app maker and this made it really difficult for us to support schools to the level we’d like. Now however, the downloadable Blippit IO package puts every school on the same level playing field and that is wonderful.
With Blippit IO as a downloadable application we can offer every school
The brand new Blippit Spotlight – an exciting and made for schools web conferencing tool which is perfect for when you’re snookered by firewalls and filtering – it just works
Brand new customisations for mobile apps that given a huge range of new choice about how your apps should look
A brand new communication tool as part of the app maker to support learner feedback between teacher and children
A brand new powerful photo editing Widget in the App Maker that means you no longer need to be a master of graphics to get very cool images in your app
Heaps of new flexibility in how teachers organise and move children around the Admin side of Blippit IO
The brand new interactive online coding tool PureCode Python currently cooking up a nice bit of fuss at KS 3
Excellent support and a rock solid knowledge base from within Blippit IO
So there you have it – we just wanted to share our thinking and hope you can see the logic too 🙂 Have a great term whether you’re trialling or using Blippit IO and speak soon.
Upgrading software can be simple sometimes and trickier others. Thankfully because Blippit IO is largely a Cloud based service you don’t have to worry about how to upgrade it ‘just happens’.
The only extra things we recommend you doing when we roll out the latest upgrades are as follows and they vary because of the different platforms that we’ve written Blippit IO to run on.
Chrome App Users
Chrome is a fantastic browser as Chromebooks are fantastic bits of hardware. We recommend the Chrome Web App version of Blippit IO as the easiest and fastest version to use. When an upgrade has been made that you log out of your Google Account and then back in again to make sure Chrome goes and gets the update for you.
Mac OSX Desktop App
If you’re a Mac user of the Blippit IO desktop application then we’ve made a little utility for you to keep on your device that clears out previous files that your Mac will be hanging on to from the older Blippit IO. Just download and install Clear Blippit then run it and you’re ready to go again.
You don’t have to do anything extra. All changes are instant in Safari when you’re in either the App Maker , Blippit Blocks or you’re bravely coding using Blippit IO Purecode Python (not really ideal on a laptop with all those characters!!). The most you should ever have to do is reload the page if after an upgrade there seems to be something not quite in the right place
We’ve emailed you already with special rates as a thank you for sticking with us from the beginning. If you’ve not received an email from us just contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll put that right.
The new app maker currently in closed BETA testing is getting a, dare we suggest it, beautiful overhaul of how user admin is handled. Having played tonight with the new interface and features first-hand I can say that it makes admin almost a pleasure.
We’ll be unleashing the new app maker for general release really soon so keep your eyes peeled if you’re interested in seeing the new incarnation.
[thumbnail src=”http://blog.blippit.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/blippithelpvideos.png”] A lot of people, particularly from secondary schools, have the age old challenge of crazy schedules with one class out and another one straight in. It’s a bit like Paddington Station.
Because of this and the other demands every teacher faces it’s no surprise that not everyone has chance to practice/play with a tool like Blippit’s App Maker much before they actually come face to face with the children using it. Indeed we know for a fact that sometimes the children are the first main power users of the app maker in school.
So. That’s the reality. What then can we do to ease this a bit? Well videos seem to be one solution to support the class so that they can more independently get to grips with being creative while having their questions answered through video.
We’ve now just released a bunch of newly updated help videos and more are to come. They feature
an intro for app maker newbies
widget specific help videos
Just log in and click the ORANGE ‘?’ button in the top right corner to get to the Knowledge Base at any time