Part 1: Learning with Year 2 about the Vikings, non-chronological reports and app making

We’ve been focusing on how the process of improving non-chronological report writing could combine with publishing a mobile app using Blippit’s App Maker.

One of the most striking factors was the effect of telling the children that their app would be seen by the world; this would include mum & dad on their mobile phones too.  We’ve always believed in the positive effect of having an authentic audience and what was clear was that these children, at such a young age, were highly motivated at the thought.

What you’ll get a sense of in the video is the absolute focus on literacy and writing improvement.  What was less easy to capture was the willingness of the children to ‘fix’ their writing to make it better.  This is the ‘norm’ for these children it seems and dealing with being told that there’s ‘a problem with’ some part of their writing was not a problem for them.  You can get the Viking App Template from Blippit Academy.

Listen to Assistant Head & Literacy Leader Mrs Emma Smallshaw, from Salesbury Primary in Lancashire, in action with her class and reflecting afterwards about the process so far.

You can also read and listen to Part 2 of this project and if you prefer YouTube you can catch the project playlist here.

App Maker Templates for Literacy

Last week we pruned Blippit Academy right back to basics. What we’ve got now is a stripped back site that we’re aiming to build up again with the help of teachers using particularly Blippit App Maker.

We’re really excited what’s happening in literacy via our App Maker templates.  We’ve a couple of case studies under way in Year 6 & Year 2 that we’ll be sharing soon so that you can find your bearings a little more quickly when you’re teaching.

Can you help?
Have you made a scaffolded app for the children to use?  Would you like to to share it with a growing community of other teachers via Blippit Academy with full credit given?  Visit Blippit Academy to check out what’s involved and to also try existing ready-to-go app templates which are ready to be uploaded into your Blippit account.

Blippit Academy

NHS Blippit App Maker Project Partnership – Refer to Pharmacy

NHSRefer-to-Pharmacy allows hospital pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to refer people directly to their community pharmacist for free NHS services such as the New Medicine Service or a Discharge Medication Review.

We’ve been working with Alistair Gray, Clinical Services Lead Pharmacist at East Lancashire Health Trust, on an idea to help spread of the word about Refer-to-Pharmacy.  After an initial chat, Alistair quickly saw the potential of having an app, that he had complete control over,  to aggregate sources of news, project updates, video, talks/events and so on for anyone wanting to know more about the project.

Bonus Brochure

With an hour’s training he very quickly made a really convincing job of the first ever ‘Refer to Pharmacy’ app and incredibly within 24 hours a QR Code and link were added to the latest print run design of the new R2P brochure. We feel confident that having an eye for detail, Alistair’s app will continue to evolve – in fact it’s at version 11 at time of writing!

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Every Success

Blippit is really happy and proud to support awareness raising of such a great project with it’s roots firmly in the NHS.  The fact that Refer-To-Pharmacy is being picked up internationally now too is a really positive sign.

Award time for Patient Safety

Refer-to-Pharmacy is a Patient Safety Award winning initiative; being the recipient of the Best Emerging Technology or IT award at the 2016 Patient Safety Congress.

Does your organisation have a project?
We’re in talks about a few other projects supporting the strategic goals of large organisations just now and we’ll hopefully be able to share more in time.  If you are from a large organisation, such as the NHS, and have strategic goals that could be supported in a similar way please contact us via support@blippit.co.uk with your idea.  If your organisation has established links to education already and would like to discuss an app making project or competition concept for schools we’d be happy to talk.

21 New free Python Template Projects for Years 7-9

21 new Python Project Templates have just been added to Blippit’s PureCode Python for secondary schools.

The templates have been created by an Industry Project Team of final year computer science students at Griffith University on the Gold Coast in Australia who have been working with Blippit Australia to bring their subject expertise to schools learning to code in the cloud with Blippit.

 

Bubble Algorithm
This sorts a list using a bubble sort algorithm, can you figure out how it works?
PureCode Python Project Templates

These new project templates are progressive with the concepts they present and of course being templates they are completely editable by the teacher if schools wants to make their own version of the project.

If you’re not using Blippit already you can register for a free account in the UK here and in AU here

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10 Improvements to the App Maker

Our improvements today are all about usability & accessibility on the App Maker. These will be arriving late in the day (Friday 23rd Sept) for most schools in all countries 🙂

  1. New platform wide Font for easier reading (pic)
  2. Trimmed and simplified language in Widgets descriptions
  3. Icons added to improve interface & familiarity with widgets (pic)
  4. Widget Tips made easier to read for IWB and laptop users (pic)
  5. More space to write your feedback to children in app feedback
  6. More feedback when moving a widget in the Drop zone
  7. LITE gets the Switch Control Panel removed to make life simpler for Office 365 Education and Google Apps for Education & RM Unify schools
  8. You no longer get logged out when you change your password
  9. Teachers choose what happens to a .blip project template (pic)
  10. Blippit arrives faster on screens now via HTTP/2 (tech)

Get this ready-to-import Heart Fitness Blippit App Project Template

We’re aiming to help with scaffolding learning in the classroom using app making as the vehicle across any area of the curriculum.  Children love making and publishing apps so why not?

Below you’ll see a screenshot of Planet Blippit where we’ve published a template project app for children to adapt and make their own. Here’s how YOU can do this for any topic and any subject.

To get the Heart Fitness App Project Template

  1. download it from Planet BlippitBlippit Academy or directly here
  2. follow this video of how to download then upload a template into Blippit App Maker.

.app template heart fitness

Linking the real world with the classroom just got easier with Blippit

We are starting to talk with organisations outside of school to explore collaborative projects that unlock knowledge and skills in the work place to build bridges with schools.

The projects that we’re most keen on just now have a clear learning legacy in the form of reusable digital app & code project templates that will continue to benefit schools after a project formally comes to an end.

We see a big opportunity for willing organisations to create, amongst other things, their own collection of project app templates that would be downloaded/uploaded & remixed/developed by students from the company website, Planet Blippit or wherever works best.

Wrapped around these projects are some other nice ideas such as beaming expertise into the classroom using Blippit’s school network friendly secure video conferencing tool ‘Spotlight’.  We want to put learning truly in the Spotlight and let children benefit from having a professional and critical audience from beyond their usual environment.

If your organisation would like to talk about an education project idea do get in touch with us via support@blippit.co.uk with initial ideas/questions.

New App Maker Templates – make, share, remix, download & upload apps

faster, smoother starts
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 now do
  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.

Here’s one video about how the teacher can now really easily share their own project in the app maker as a template for other children to work with and learn from.  More videos on this topic are in the Blippit Knowledge Base.

 

Planet Blippit

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.

Planet Blippit Downloadable Apps

 

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.

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