Technology

Microsoft Intune for Education

Microsoft have launched  Intune for  Education.   Intune  facilitates express configuration  of Windows devices. This is how it works: Microsoft Intune for Education   streamlines   set up, control, and management of the resources for your school including apps, devices, and settings. It is part of the overall Microsoft Education  solution  which also includes:   Office 365 for Education  – online apps for work from anywhere and desktop apps for advanced functionality, built for working together and available across devices, and it’s free for schools, teachers, and students School Data Sync to help automate the process for importing and integrating School Information System (SIS) data that you can use with Office 365 OneNote Class Notebook to organize course content, creat...

Microsoft Teams for Education

It’s not even a year since Microsoft launched  Classroom as an app in the Office 365 suite for education and yet by July 31st 2017 it will  be discontinued!  The reason for this is that almost simultaneously  Microsoft launched Teams its chat based work space for business and it has now deemed this to be  a better collaborative platform  for teachers and students to use.  This app will be much easier for teachers and students alike with web, desktop and mobile  versions. Microsoft are integrating  Teams with  MIS data sync  and launching  the product for education.   Microsoft say that using  Teams    will allow you to “quickly and efficiently create classes with automatically populated student rosters from their school information system; share files and teaching material...

Magix Creative Software

Bernard Dady, Head of Education at Gaia reviews an affordable creative software solution from Magix. One of our primary aims here at Gaia is encouraging the use of ICT for creative production. This is a key function of our studio and feature of our project support to schools, academies and colleges. The industry standard software in this field has long been dominated by Adobe, with packages like Photoshop used extensively in the art curriculum and Premiere Pro for video production. However, Adobe has recently shifted purchase of their software to a subscription and Cloud delivery model. In the current financial climate schools have been telling us that the Adobe route, with its annual subscription is proving too expensive. In fairness to Adobe the company has taken steps to mitigate the pr...

Google Takes Geography Virtual

If you teach geography take a look at what Google is up to. A suite of different products are coming together to provide what Google describes as the power to ‘teach beyond the four walls of your classroom’. Visit the Google training centre and look at Unit 7 Here you can learn how to use:  Hangouts to connect to the world Google Maps to take virtual field trips Google Earth  to set up a virtual world The brand new Google Expeditions If you want to get going with Google Expeditions  then find out more here. In particular you may be interested  in signing up your school, academy or college to the Expeditions Pioneer Programme.  Its time to act now. If you would like support from Gaia on introducing the use of G-Suite applications  in geography or  want to learn more about intern...

Smoothwall & Safeguarding

Smoothwall is Gaia’s product of choice when it comes to providing our clients real time content filtering. The software forms an integral part of a safeguarding solution that also includes consultancy support to help you develop your strategy policy and practice and deployment of Impero, which is a teacher controlled solution for managing ICT use in the classroom. Smoothwall is responding to the new safeguarding agenda through development of new reporting tools that both record blocked events and maps patterns of student intent.               Take a look at Smoothwall’s recent webinar on You Tube: Smoothwall’s Latest eSafety Functionality – Recorded Webinar 18.02.2016 This explains the product development and latest functionality a...

Google Apps Rebranded

Did you realise that it is  ten years since Google launched Google Apps? Things have changed a lot in that period.  The range of apps has extended  from the basics, Google Drive, Docs,  Sheets etc., to include new productivity solutions for education not least the arrival of Google  Classroom. Now something else has changed  – the name!  From Autumn 2016 Google Apps for Education (GAFE)  is being  re-branded as  G-Suite for Education. Whilst the range of apps looks familiar Google have introduced the power of machine intelligence.  In computer science, an ideal “intelligent” machine is a flexible rational agent that perceives its environment and takes actions that maximize its chance of success at some goal.[1] Thus  Google have introduced new  features into Sheets, Docs,...

The Cloud – Too Many Choices?

The shift from  locally hosted services to  the Cloud is gaining momentum  and now  it is almost certain that you have been looking at  Office 365 (O365) or Google Apps for Education (GAFE). You may have  one or both operational.  Certainly these  platforms would seem to be the core of any future provision  but alongside  O365 and GAFE  many schools still choose to run an educational VLE  and increasingly  software is accessed with other educational services  on-line. It is all very complicated if you are trying to make up your mind where to go next.

Gaia at BETT 2017

Are you going to BETT in January? This year Gaia is sponsoring a   meeting area  which is located on  the My Learning UK stand  (F260). My Learning UK is  the learning platform that we commend to our clients . One of   Gaia’s clients which chose to adopt MLUK is South Devon UTC. Assistant Principal, Alison Hannah, says, “The My Learning platform is a key tool for us that has enabled our learners to adopt our ‘Digital Learning Culture’ and embrace technology to support their progression both in their learning and in preparation for the workplace.” The BETT Show  is the UK’s largest  education technology and it takes place every year  at Excel London.  In 2017  BETT runs from January 25th -28th. This year’s headline speaker is Sir Ken Robinson.  You ...

The National Internet of Things Survey

National Internet of things survey to identify how children get online at home Schools across the UK are being invited to take part in a national survey of internet use by pupils when at home.  Education consultant Brett Laniosh from Catshill Learning Partnerships, who are carrying out the survey, said that the results will provide valuable information to schools on the range of hardware such as laptops, tablets, consoles and smart phones being used by young people.  Brett said, “We know that children are using a wide range of technology to get online at home including games consoles, tablets and even their parents’ smart phones. This will be a chance for schools to find out what devices their pupils are using and then compare their results alongside the national average when the results a...

New Microsoft Classroom

Microsoft have announced improvements to  their One Note Class Notebook and launched their Classroom service in Office 365. These improvements include: A New Manage Notebooks  function wherein  a teacher can see all of his/her class notebooks on one page with an expanded set of capabilities, including: Rename student sections—If you want to rename any student sections, click the pencil icon and type the new name of the section. Be sure to press Save after adding the student sections. Add section—To distribute a new section to all students, simply click the Add section button. Be sure to press Save after adding the student sections. Enable Teacher-Only section group—The Teacher-Only section group  is a private space where only the teacher can see what is inside—students cannot see anything....

Virtual Reality

Occulus Rift and HTC Vive headseats are delivering a great step up in the quality of virtual reality immersiveness. At the budget end Google Cardboard and  a plethora of  low cost  plastic headsets  are making use of the humble smartphone to  bring VR within reach of the classroom. Here at Gaia Technologies we are experimenting with  translation of our 3D resources  into VR apps for mobile phones. We are not far away from a time when most schools will have immersive spaces and VR rooms.  At the high end the Occulus Rift and  HTC Vive  headsets make demands on PCs and  their components.  So any school looking at that route needs  to consider device procurement very carefully.  At the budget end  the headsets are  a powerful low-cost learning tool. However, schools will need a strategy  base...

The Google Play store, coming to a Chromebook near you

Exciting news from the Google blog yesterday: We launched Chromebooks for people who wanted a fast, simple and secure computing experience. Chromebooks just work — open the lid, and within seconds, you’re on your favorite sites and apps, getting stuff done. Virus protection and automatic updates are built-in, so you don’t have to manage your computer. And that’s worked great for our users. Schools in the US are now buying more Chromebooks than all other devices combined — and in Q1 of this year, Chromebooks topped Macs in overall shipments to become the #2 most popular PC operating system in the US*. We’ve been encouraged by this growth, but our users have often told us that they would like to do even more with their Chromebooks — run more apps, use Office files mor...

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