App Shy or App Proud? Blippit IO caters for both

We know some teachers don’t want all apps to be showcased for their own reasons.

This is a ‘top tip’ blog post for all Blippit IO Admins who have the job of saying yes/no and providing feedback on submitted apps from students.

How to control whether apps are showcased in Planet Blippit or still go live but ‘not’ appear in Planet Blippit.
blippitiovisibleinvisible

How to view a student app if you’ve chosen not to list it on Planet Blippit

The Administrator clicks the ‘View App’ buttonView an app that is not listed on planet blippit

and a QR Code will be created for you to scan with *Blippit Torus and get the app.

scan with blippit torus

How the student gets their app if it’s not on Planet Blippit

student scans qr code

 

*Blippit Torus has not been published just yet but we hope to bring good news soon

ICT Use Divides Schools

Last night I was handed an article from the latest copy of the SEN Magazine www.senmagazine.co.uk which we read at home with both a professional and personal interest to try to keep up.

The article is very short (scanned into this post below) but unusual in this magazine because the piece has an ICT focus and comment from both NAACE Chief Exec Mark Chambers & the British Education Suppliers Association BESA on a critical issue in schools.

Typically it’s another flavour of the ‘digital divide’ theme but critically it is absolutely right in saying, I paraphrase, that where technology is least loved & appreciated you’ll find poor infrastructure (cables & clever boxes) and little hope in ICT as an enabler at leadership level & I’d add, almost by default, class teacher level too.

 This conjures up a rubbish Christmas tree in my mind.
Nice baubles - pity about the tree
Nice baubles – pity about the tree
This following scenario isn’t unheard of

A school buy a class pack of iPads and then try to hang these new ‘shinies’ onto their aged school network. It’s an unwelcome surprise when their investment appears to lack much impact over time as people get fed up with slow speeds online, wi-fi unavailability, time consuming app management, printing fever and more. Kit starts to go home and usage drops.  School leaders begin to wonder; “What can we do to make people use this kit on a daily basis?”

Why might this happen?

Nice baubles-pity about the tree.  The impact of the ‘boring cabley bits’ not being right is far reaching.  We know cables & clever boxes are sometimes overlooked for understandable reasons like the fact they’re invisible and parent’s can’t see them like they can see a shiny iPad.  Let’s be honest. “School Gets Latest Super Router 1.9” doesn’t exactly get parents’ juices going compared to “1-1 iPads in Year 6”.

Time for a reality check par’dner

  1. There have been times when the education ICT Support/solutions industry has been like the wild west. Schools made decisions in good faith and were often guided by wider LA strategy that may have been a compromise for their setting.  Where school leadership was more confident they’d go independent with ICT support and sometimes it’d work and sometimes it wouldn’t but either way the responsibility fell to the school to sort it with the service provider.
  2. Schools who opted to stay with local authority infrastructure support did/do, I’m told by some Heads, still feel a level of reassurance that no matter what the Authority will always be there to be accountable.  If things aren’t ideal in school then it’s because they’re with the Authority *rolleyes*.  It’s a challenge to avoid inadvertently slipping into a semi-comfy position of learned helplessness as opposed to grabbing the thing by the baubles when you know deep down that change is needed root & stem.
  3. Not being able to speak techie has always been a bug bear for many school leaders. It’s not what they joined up for.   The answer to this is to communicate in scenarios.  “I want all all our children to be able to easily keep evidence of….”  A good provider can interpret, understand and also offer scenarios based on experience that maybe school has not arrived at yet.  If they can’t speak so you can understand what they’re offering or bring ideas and innovations based on experience – find someone else who can.
  4. TRUST. Some schools have had quite a run of having their trust, shall we say, abused?  It’s a horrible word to have in the same sentence as ‘schools’.  Trust is something that an official framework can’t magically create. It comes with people doing what they say they’ll do and maybe doing a bit more besides without soliciting a red carpet thank you for doing it. It’s a human thing in my mind and honestly you should get a good feeling from every point of contact with a  supplier – not just a ‘front man’.
  5. ICT and it’s boring invisible bits are only one part of a large, complex and pressured environment in school. However, done right it could really help everyone shine.
Who’s out there?

It’d be pretty crass to name names here but do email me if you like and I’ll pass you details of at least one thinking company doing, in my opinion, a class leading job in the north west and beyond. [Update 6/11/14: I’ve had a re-think & decided life’s too short & people are too busy so here’s a nugget for you: Virtue Technologies ]

Here’s the SEN Magazine Article

New Blippit Makewav.es widget goes live today

From today if you’re a school using Makewav.es your students can now publish their stories, in part or in entirety, as discrete apps using Blippit!

We’ve designed this to be super easy as you’d expect and the end result is that

  • video
  • audio
  • slideshows & text can now be added in seamlessly amongst the other Blippit widgets.

Not a Makewav.es user?
You can register for free if you like with Makewav.es and get 30 mins of recording time free.

  • This  widget is our very first optional upgrade pack
    • Equivalent cost of £3 month Primary   £6 month Secondary  (unlimited p.a.)
  • We’re giving the widget to everyone free for three weeks from 1/9/13 so you can see what it does for yourselves.

The Australian Curriculum & Blippit IO

We’ve just released a downloadable introduction to Blippit IO as part of the Australian Curriculum to help teachers get a feel for where Blippit fits in with teaching and learning.

This article from St Andrew’s Lutheran College (JS) in Queensland is a post by Julia Boulton who’s role there takes in e-learning and innovation more broadly.  Here’s Julia’s post which includes her initial views on the original Blippit App Maker. (UPDATE: Since this article Blippit IO was launched in 2015)

We really like the Australian approach to ICT in the curriculum.  The way that ICT is woven through in the online documentation as one of seven general capabilities running throughout subjects seems to work well.  It’s much inspired by FutureLab’s Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum.