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.
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.
Blippit Blocks has been added to Blippit IO. It’ll be available for all schools to use from @5pm (GMT) 5/1/16
is a block-based visual programming tool for Key Stage 2-3 Computing.
promotes computational thinking opportunities
is great for developing debugging skills
is designed so that student/teacher project sharing, creation & playback are really simple & open
has accessibility built in with the option of a higher contrast/larger text Code Theme
has whole class big screen accessibility built in with the option of super-zoom
is touch-responsive so can be used in the browser on an iPad
sends it’s code seamlessly to Blippit IO’s PureCode Python tool for keen coders to develop further in text
Write and debug programs that accomplish specific goals, solve problems by decomposing them into smaller parts use sequence and repetition in programs.
Tap or click an image to magnify
Teachers can share projects with students as a Blippit IO Template Project for debugging, extension and development. We’ve also added a special button that appears in Blippit Blocks Projects so you can export your Blocks code into Blippit IO PureCode Python for more advanced text-based coding development, if needed, using the popular Python language.
Thanks to all our fabulous school users for your ongoing feedback, support and interest in Blippit IO – we really do appreciate it!
You might have noticed that there’s now a choice of logging in to the UK or Australia when you first run Blippit IO? It’s a tough choice, we know, but it’s there because Blippit has now got an HQ on the Gold Coast in Queensland Australia as well as here in the UK. We’re pleased to be working with Craig and his team over there and are very excited about seeing what the various school sectors get up to as they are introduced to Blippit through ICT & the wider curriculum.
With teachers being so instinctively creative and connected we believe that there are opportunities for some interesting joint projects and links between Australian and UK schools. Some quick ideas…
We’ve been taking on board your feedback and so here are the latest improvements to Blippit rolling out this week. We’re aiming for nost schools to have this entire list live as a FREE uplift by Thursday 3/4/14.
Blippit Admin New Features
Turn off/on CAPTCHA for logging in!
One less login to remember for Admins. Log in as Admin User then just switch to being a user & vice versa just like Blippit on RM Unify; no logout required (see screenshot below)
Students can now keep working as you monitor ‘live’ from your computer
Monitor students apps without them having to submit & be locked out of an app
One click bulk approval/decline of multiple apps
Blippit User Goodies
E-mail address is no longer required or seen when starting an app
Writer Widget improved to offer more opps for exploring coding
Writer Widget improved to offer full screen editing
Writer Widget adds an image from another web location
Media Widget for YouTube
Media Widget for Vimeo
Media Widget for SoundCloud
Improved Image Widget with option to add a link
No more waiting for your app to unlock. Don’t submit your app for assessment; just keep working & improving while your teacher reviews it from wherever they are
We’ve *just* (2/4/14) implemented a solution to an issue affecting triggered by some proxy servers in schools that caused a pop-up to repeatedly appear saying confirm stay/leave on a page.
that makes MakeWaves Widget now waits for you log in to it without triggering an error message
Admins can update their own passwords! This is linked to their User account.
Writer Widget in Internet Explorer 11 now saves properly
We’re working hard on more truly unique features & extras to make using Blippit “even betterer” 😉
Your feedback is what helps us develop the right tools and we have a group of beta testers coming together to make sure we don’t wander off and do something silly. DM or say hi via @justblippit if you’re interested in beta stuff too!