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.
The new United Arab Emirates Design & Technology Curriculum is well under way with STEM themed app making projects and fabulous learning happening in schools such as this leading girls’ school.
The attention to detail in these apps is very noticeable, as is the thought that has gone into the preparation for the learning, supported and emphasised in the new MoE created teacher & student handbooks.
Here are some images of the girls’ activity and work from the classroom where students are seen presenting to peers the key features, content and design considerations. It’s good to also see the creative use of Google Forms in a number of the apps – you can see this in a screenshot of one of the apps lower down this article.
Considering that the UAE only began using Blippit in mid-January 2018 we’re impressed with the rate of progress. Congratulations to everyone involved.
For years we’ve kept the app writer as a completely open ended tool so that people aren’t immediately channeled in to predictable and boring pathways like trying to create a restaurant app.
The result is has been that teachers are able to, for example, focus on their own curriculum subject areas like vikings to extend, consolidate and publish the children’s learning to the whole world with a literacy focus.
A few weeks ago one teacher we worked with (year 4 & 5) told us about a reluctant writer of hers and the impact that writing in Blippit’s App Maker had on him. You can listen to her here…
Here’s a quick view of the apps once they were published to our App Store on Planet Blippit.
The last literacy-focused app publishing lesson with Year 2 happened last week. Both during and after the lesson we learned a lot about how the writing process was affected, even in more reluctant writers, by the addition of app publishing.
Though the focus was so clearly writing improvement, when the children were asked, the prospect of Mummy or Daddy having the app on their phones was also featuring large in their minds.
Listen now to part 2 with Assistant Head & Literacy Leader Mrs Emma Smallshaw, from Salesbury Primary in Lancashire, in action with her Year 2 class and reflecting afterwards with John Bidder from Blippit about the process as a whole and next steps.
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.
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.
Refer-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.
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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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.
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?
[panel-content]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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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 🙂
- New platform wide Font for easier reading (pic)
- Trimmed and simplified language in Widgets descriptions
- Icons added to improve interface & familiarity with widgets (pic)
- Widget Tips made easier to read for IWB and laptop users (pic)
- More space to write your feedback to children in app feedback
- More feedback when moving a widget in the Drop zone
- LITE gets the Switch Control Panel removed to make life simpler for Office 365 Education and Google Apps for Education & RM Unify schools
- You no longer get logged out when you change your password
- Teachers choose what happens to a .blip project template (pic)
- Blippit arrives faster on screens now via HTTP/2 (tech)
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
- download it from Planet Blippit, Blippit Academy or directly here
- follow this video of how to download then upload a template into Blippit App Maker.