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.

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)
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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.

Google Apps for Education Single Sign On for Easy Blippit Access

Blippit is introducing a powerful new single-sign-on option for Google Apps for Education school users globally and ‘yes’ this latest enhancement is a free addition for all schools.

If your school already uses Google Apps for Educators (GAFE) to access various tools, such as email, Google Docs and so on you will benefit from this simple way of signing in straight away.

With GAFE

  • your school log in for Google Apps for Education is all you need to use Blippit
  • faster and smoother starts to lessons so more time for app making, computational thinking & collaborating
  • one less username and password to remember

What is Blippit?

We’ve got a HQ in England and Australia which means people don’t always know what Blippit is when search engines or other schools send them our way so here’s the low-down on what we have got going on in our coding and computational thinking journey.

  1. App Maker 
    Drag and drop or do some mark up language then publish your apps to Planet Blippit with your teacher’s approval and individualised feedback.
    .
  2. Blocks
    Drag and drop block programming to stimulate those computational thinking brain cells and even see the Python code behind the scenes. Create projects personalised to scaffold learning concepts for your children and much more to promote collaboration.
    .
  3. PureCode Python
    The next step along the coding journey from Blippit Blocks with a focus on text based programming using Python. Start with a blank Turtle project or create projects yourself to scaffold learning concepts for your students to use.
    .
  4. Spotlight
    The simplest and safest web based video conferencing tool available designed to support learning where experts are brought ‘virtually’ in to class or where classes link up to share learning. School firewall friendly.
Try Blippit out with the Google Apps for Education Login Integration

Here’s how to do it if you want to find out more and link your school’s Google Apps with your school Blippit account. Just click the button.

Log in with Google

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

 

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that supports HTML5 video
 

Blippit May 30-31st at Edu TECH AU Brisbane Stand 142

EdTechAU

We’re so pleased and thrilled to be exhibiting at EduTech 2016 on Stand 142 this month in Brisbane, Australia.  At the last event in Sydney, Craig Wallace was non-stop answering questions, giving demos and listening to Australian educationalists for 48 hours.

At the Edu Tech event in Brisbane near our AU Offices, there’ll be more people on the stand and hopefully Craig may even get chance to grab a couple of minutes for a coffee at some point.

Craig would love to see you there if you’re in the neighbourhood and if you’ve met him before, had a free account and want to follow up with Blippit this is the ideal situation to do that.

For now though please send your positive vibes again over again to Blippit on Stand 142 – they really helped last time.

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