Exciting News – ICTtechie has Expanded!

Its been a long while since I’ve done a blog post due to the increasing demand on my time with running ICTtechie while still working for another School. However this hasn’t stopped me working hard in the background to make ICTtechie even better. Today I’m really excited to announce that ICTtechie is now the complete one stop shop for all your ICT needs. I’ve worked hard to join together with some of the UK’s leading computer distributors, enabling ICTtechie to supply you with anything from a new mouse to a complete new solution for your school!

  

We can now supply all the leading brands including HP, Fujitsu, Epson, SMART, Netgear, Apple and many more. And here’s the even better news, as ICTtechie is a small business with low overheads it allows costs to be kept low and thus we can pass these savings on to you! Also with over 15 years experience working in schools with a large range of equipment and being family run, we can ensure your get a friendly and knowledgable service. The aim is to help you get the right products for your school while helping you stretch your budget further.

So if you are looking for some more ipads, laptops, touch screens, network equipment or anything else why not give us a try and let us be one of your three quotes. All you need to do is drop us an email to admin@icttechie.co.uk with all your requirements or request a callback by leaving your contact details and a convenient time when you can take calls.

Also did you know we offer a free broadband consultation service? If your broadband is up for renewal in the next 6-9 months then contact us on the details above to find out more.

Finally if you have a bigger project coming up in the summer and require installation of a new server, wifi, touchscreens, ipads or a new computer suite again we would love to be one of your three quotes.

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog and we look forward to hearing from you soon.

ICTtechie – What I Do and How I Do It an Adobe Voice Video

Today I decided to have a play with the new Adobe Voice tool which has so much potential for education and beyond. I decided to create a quick video about what I do and how I do it to help spread the word about my social media presence. Unfortunately wordpress.com won’t allow me to embed the video just yet, but you can view it by clicking the link below. I hope you enjoy it.

http://voice.adobe.com/v/I45ZiestqQH

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post. I really appreciate any likes, comments, shares, subscribes and follows. This will help you stay up to date with my latest app reviews, walkthroughs, lesson ideas and more.

Social Media in schools – what to use, when to use and who to target

Social media is used by so many different people from around the world it is a great way to get your schools message out. This morning I found this cool little infographic explaining who to target, what to use and when to use it so I thought I’d share.

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Reflector AirPlay Receiver Review

Over the last month I’ve been trying out reflector as a way to get my iPad screen projected for the whole class to see. At first I was a little sceptical about using software to mirror my iPad screen but due to the difference in cost when compared to an Apple TV I had to give it a go.

Reflector AirPlay Receiver Logo

Reflector AirPlay Receiver

Installation
As with any software you need to install reflector first. It’s worth noting at this point I installed the 32bit version of reflector onto a 6 year old Windows PC with 1GB of RAM and a 1GB wired network connection. I felt if it worked on this machine it would work on anything. Reflector also comes in a 64bit Windows and Mac version.
The actual installation was very simple and quick. It’s not bloated with extra unnecessary software or wording. I think I only clicked twice during the whole installation! So this is a big bonus as no cables, usernames etc needed to be connected/entered before I could get started.

First Launch
The first time I ran reflector I was asked for a serial number. As I was only trialling the program I just clicked ‘Try’. I actually received this message every time I ran the software, but if you registered the software this wouldn’t show again. The trial version also only runs for 10mins before closing down. This was a little frustrating but it didn’t stop me having a good play with the software. Now the software is running and I have a little icon in my task bar which I can use to make any changes.

Connecting the iPad
This is where I thought the app would let me down but I’m pleased to say this blew me away! On the ipad I just dragged up from the bottom (ios7) and selected Airplay. Bang there was the name of my PC. I selected it making sure mirroring was turned on and my iPad screen appeared in front of me. It always connected showing a nice iPad frame which I wanted to remove and I found a quick right click gave me full access to the options allowing me to make it full screen and remove the frame.

Lag
To be honest I fully expected this to have some lag especially after using an Apple TV which suffered from it occasionally. However I’m pleased to report that so far after many hours of use. I’ve never experienced lag even when watching videos from YouTube etc. So another big tick for this software.

Video Resolution and Sound
Reflector allows you to choose the resolution using the options menu this means you can display at full 1080p as long as all the other hardware your using supports it! Also sound works really nicely without any lag.

Extras
As reflector displays your iPad on to the PC, this allows you to record your iPad screen using a screen recorder. Also reflector has the ability to display more than one iPad on the screen at a time. This is really cool as you can use it to compare things or have a video playing on one side and taking notes on the other etc.

Alternatives
There are only two main alternatives to Reflector and they are Apple TV and AirServer. Depending on your usage and setup would depend on which one you go for. However if you are happy to display your iPad on a screen via either a PC or Mac then reflector is the way forward me.

If you need more information or pricing then visit the reflector website here.

Mobile Devices Deployment Guides, Articles and Information

The most common request from schools these days is help with deploying mobile devices. The mistake schools seem to make is misunderstanding how the technology works and how its deployed in an educational environment. Most just buy iPads and give them to someone who signs up with one id and downloads a few apps. They then think it will miraculously change education in the school. Unfortunately most schools find that after a month or so the novelty factor wears off, the iPads start acting strangely, managing the iPads becomes a nightmare and basically the iPads become an expensive bookend!

The best deployment is carefully thought about and heavily invested in. Ensuring school leaders have a clear vision shared with all, the infrastructure is ready, the staff are trained, the Mobile Devices are carefully deployed and managed, the correct accessories are purchased and most of all the correct support network is in place to help.

So to get schools started and thinking about deployments etc I thought I’d create this little post sharing links to a few useful resources. To start you of below is a presentation from FrogTrade giving their Top Ten Tips on a successful Deployment.

Next is a link to download Part 1 of a Guide to implementing devices by FrogTrade. After reading part 1 you should get an email allowing you to download part 2.

http://info.frogtrade.com/implementing-devices-ebook-pt1.html

Another nice guide by 9ine consulting who have worked with tablets for schools investigating 1:1 deployments.

http://www.tabletsforschools.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/CM00-Tablets-for-Schools-9ine-response-to-QA-introducing-tablets_spellchecked.docx

For those of you who prefer to read a book! Here is a link to iPad in Education for dummies.

http://eu.dummies.com/store/product/productCd-1118375386.html

I hope to add more links over time. If you have a good link about this topic add it in the comments below and don’t forget to follow/like.

Thanks

New Website Launched – icttechie.co.uk

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I’m pleased to announce the launch of my new website offering ICT and computing services to primary schools. I’ve spent sometime designing and making this responsive website advertising the services I offer to local primary schools. Over the coming months I’ll be adding more services for all schools like web hosting, email hosting and domain name hosting. Follow me here, on twitter and like my Facebook page to keep up to date.

http://www.icttechie.co.uk