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 firstname.lastname@example.org with initial ideas/questions.
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.
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.
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)
Yesterday I took Blippit to the National Museum of Computing – immediate neighbour of Bletchley Park. To be invited as part of their Bytes Festival and work directly with their visiting families surrounded by such history was not half-bad.
Out of school you get such an insight into how parents relate to their children and learning as a whole. They share insights with you quite openly and comment on your limitless patience with their child who frankly drives them nuts most of the time.
There’s noone marking, setting targets or observing when it’s just you and a family which makes for some very natural and easy steps forwards. One young man (Year 3) made an app and learned what HTML 5 markup language was as he worked with me on the side and his mum making encouraging comments as he progressed. To say he was ‘off his seat’ with excitement when he saw his app on mum’s phone (she downloaded a QR code reader to get it) is an understatement.
Another young man’s Dad regaled me with stories of his son’s disengagement at school contrasting with his persistence, resilience and immersion in his favoured world of technology. It’s not an unusual story and we all know children like this but seeing how he learned was interesting. Essentially it was broadly like this
“listen to the expert”
“grab the basics”
“build and try out”
“go over bits as needed with expert again”
“build towards a result”
“improve on published app”
I’ve been lucky (no doubt about that) to teach in many different schools and environments over the years sometimes as a ‘regular’ teacher, sometimes as an ‘advisory’ teacher and more recently as the ‘Blippit Man’.
The ‘Blippit Man’ tag does generate extra attention and effort from children no doubt at all so my reflections are mindful of how children respond to people they view as ‘experts’ from the ‘real’ world.
This bit of shine from an external expert isn’t sustainable and so it makes what teachers and children achieve together, day in day out, all the more remarkable.
Have you taken a look at blippit.academy yet? Try our self-paced teacher CPD course for app making.
Holgate Academy’s Year 7 Scheme for Blippit’s App Maker was in today’s collection of Google results! It’s a very thoroughly prepared few weeks of work that’d we recommend you take a look at if you’re looking for ideas certainly.
Here’s the Year 7 Scheme of work on App making with Blippit
We also like to read blogs where an educator as taken time to reflect or share on their work. Here’s one that came from Woodmansterne in Lambeth where you’ll get a great overview of the apps they’ve been making with the original Blippit App Maker not Blippit IO
Year 4 have been getting busy with the original and out-going Blippit app maker in Maths
Lastly we’ve updated our Year 6 planning units too so do take up our invitation to download, adapt & adopt as you see fit. They have links to videos and real examples now included that weren’t in before
All software applications have bugs – some cause no real problems and go unnoticed, others are minor and a minority wreak havoc. You might be surprised to hear that software providers LOVE hearing about possible bugs via bug reports. They love it even more if the steps that lead up to the strange behaviour can be replicated by their Application Development Team because this means the bug is real and can be fixed.
Without the help of users (essentially many hands and eyes) application developers can’t hope to capture every bug for debugging try as they might.
In the classroom it’s a fantastic exercise to give students a simple program with a bug or two it. This way they really REALLY have to
be systematic in their approach – record steps taken etc
be tightly focused on isolating the area where the bug is likely to be
be able to step through the programme in it’s component parts or sections
develop an understanding of how the larger whole can be viewed in chunks
Here at Blippit we were able to find and de-bug a FANTASTIC bug in quick fashion this month thanks to two schools who took the time to file a bug report (they told us about it basically) to email@example.com . This lead to more detailed info gathering, a school visit from us and finally within a week and a half a global update of Blippit IO. They helped us improve Blippit IO in a measurable way for the thousands of students and teachers who are using Blippit IO across the UK, Australia and US.
If you’re a lovely Blippit IO User, we are going to make it nice and easy for you to report anything that feels like a bug to you soon. More about that to follow.
So…the moral of this story is, if it’s safe and legal to do so, always tell the people who wrote the code if you find what you think might be a bug in their app. They’ll never be offended, they’ll always be grateful and the rest of the community using that app will put you on their cool list.