Category Archives for Education

Tech-Eco-Friendly-Christmas

How to use Technology to have an Eco-Friendly Christmas this year!

With Christmas quickly approaching us and the dread of debt for all the Christmas presents, food, decorations and much more. Why dont you take a step back and have an affordable and eco-friendly christms this year with the help of technology? Which is not only great for the environment, but great for your wallet too.

LED Lights

Did you know the LED lights use up to 95% less energy than traditional bulbs? LED lights convert 95% of their energy into light and only 5% into heat, whereas fluorescent lights convert 95% into heat and only 5% into light! LED lights also draw much less power than traditional lighting. A typical 84-watt fluorescent lightbulb can be replaced with a 36 watt LED bulb. Using less energy reduces the demand from power plants and therefore decreases greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to this, LED lights have a better quality of light distribution and a longer lifespan. LED bulbs can last up to 100,000 hours. Due to all of the above factors, this means that LED lighting is cheaper in the long run and better for the environment.

LED lights are no more expensive either, you can pick them up in the form of fairy lights for a couple of pounds. You can use these to decorate your tree with this year and not have to worry about the strain of them on your electricity bill.

Go Online

Another way to use technology for an eco-friendly Christmas would be to go online. There are two main things that you can choose to do online that may really help you this Christmas. Firstly, you can buy E-Cards online or create your own and send them to your receivers inbox. The point of doing this is so that you save money on unnecessary packaging. You can also do your Christmas shopping online. This could be your presents or your food shopping, resulting in you saving on car emissions.

Saving on heating

One way to save on your heating over Christmas would be by using a Smart Thermostat. You will need to pay for the initial thermostat and its installation but once this has been installed it will forever save you money. You can control the thermostat from your Smartphone, you can control which rooms you would like the heating on and at what time. You can then also purchase extra sensors which can be put on doors and this will enable the heating to turn on in a room once that door has been opened. By setting schedules for your heating you could save up to £130 a year. One product we recommend for this would be Hive Active Heating Smart Thermostat.

Smart Power Strips

So you may not have heard of Smart Power Strips before but they really are an amazing asset for saving electricity. Many devices you may think are completely off when switched off but they are not, they are in standby mode and are still using power. A Smart Power Strip looks similar to an extension cord but the benefit of it is that it shuts off all power to the devices. It works by preventing power to the electronics when they are plugged in. The benefit of using a Smart Power Strip is that you won’t need to spend the time unplugging all of your devices in order to save energy and money, the Smart Power Strip does that automatically for you.

Gifting for tech lovers

So you want to stay eco-friendly this Christmas but you have a family member or friend who is a massive tech lover? Well, there are many products out there made from sustainable materials that may be ideal. For example, you can get energy-efficient computer monitors. The PowerSensor display line by Phillips has great monitors made for this purpose. If you move away from the monitor then the screen can detect this and will go into power saving mode, this reduces the amount of electricity it draws by 80%.

All of the above factors could really help you to save money on your home this Christmas whilst being eco-friendly!

It-Support-For-Nurseries

Did you know that we provide IT Support for Nurseries and Preschools too?

Did you know that we also provide IT Support and Consultancy services for nurseries?

We understand that budgets can be a lot tighter for nurseries and support needs are subtly different to primary or secondary schools due to relatively fewer pieces of IT equipment. We have taken that all on board and have created a specific IT support package specifically designed for nurseries and preschools.

This uses a bank of hours that called be called on whenever IT support is needed. Simply contact our ServiceDesk and you have instant access to our of our friendly, experienced engineers to help resolve your issue. If the issue requires on site support, this is also covered. This more ad-hoc approach allows nurseries to get access to exactly the same great level of service as our larger clients but at a price that fits within nursery school budgets.

We also offer an array of services from IT Consultancy and Support to Cabling Services and Cloud Backup Solutions.

If you are a nursery in need of IT Support then let us know by getting in contact with us at 0800 304 7444 or by email at enquiries@coretek.co.uk

Black-Friday-Featured-IMage

Get 1 month of SecureSuite Email completely FREE this week!

In conjunction with Black Friday and the launch of our new SecureSuite service, we have a fantastic offer for you.

Anyone who signs up to SecureSuite Email in the next week will receive one month completely free of charge.

If you missed our launch post, SecureSuite Email is our new service that includes: Email Filtering, Email Archiving and Email Business Continuity. These are the three vital services that work together to your organisation’s email safe.

Here is a summary of what each service provides:

Email Filtering – protection against viruses, malware, spam and email spoofing/phishing attacks
Email Archiving – backup of your emails and archiving of historical email
Email Business Continuity – continue working even if your email server goes down

Make sure your business, school or charity is protected against the devastating consequences that follow a serious virus attack like Cryptolocker or a phishing attack that could result in serious financial loss.

SecureSuite email starts at only a few pounds per user per month so if you are interested in safeguarding your email, get in touch today and claim your offer. The offer begins now and will end at 5pm on Cyber Monday the 27th.

You can contact us by calling on 0800 304 7444 or by email at enquiries@coretek.co.uk or by our social media pages – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

black-friday

The Best Tech Black Friday Deals So Far…

As you probably already know, it is Black Friday this Friday! Black Friday was originally a tradition in America, but now UK retailers are getting heavily involved. On Black Friday, shops drop their prices on many of their products. It is known that the name of ‘Black’ Friday came along because this date was supposedly a date when retailers were going ‘into the black’. ‘Going into the black’ means to make a profit. These profits were shown in the retailer’s financial records. In the records, where red ink has been used it meant there were losses, black ink meant a profit. Black Friday initiated the first day of the holiday season where there was only profit.

This year Black Friday takes place on Friday the 24th of November! However, you will already be seeing deals appearing as of today in some retailers. We decided to take a look at the best upcoming tech deals which you can get this week and on Friday.

Microsoft Surface Pro with Black Typecover – 128 GB

Surface-Pro

The Microsoft Surface Pros have become very popular and now Currys are doing a great deal on one that you won’t want to miss. Get a 128 GB Microsoft Pro with a Black Typecover included for only £849 compared to the usual £1099.99 that it would be. That saves you a massive £250.99, so head over to Currys to buy yours now.

The brand new Amazon Echo (2nd generation)

Amazon-Echo

You may have seen recently that Amazon brought out a new range of products including the all-new Amazon Echo. Well, Amazon has decided to get involved with the Black Friday deals and have brought the Price of the Amazon Echo down from £89.99 to £69.99 making it that little bit more affordable, and a perfect Christmas present. You can buy the new Amazon Echo from the Amazon website.

Google Home

Google-Home

The Google Home is very similar to the Amazon Echo but uses the Google Assistant rather than Alexa. Currys have decided to reduce the Google Home down to £78 from £129. This saves you a massive £51, which really should not be missed. It has been predicted that these are going to sell very quickly so get in there fast. You can get the Google Home from the Currys website.

Sony Playstation Pro

PS4-Pro

Amazon has revealed that they are selling the Sony PlayStation Pro with FIFA 18 + Call of Duty: WW11 (PS4) for only £299.99. That’s a massive £50 discount off of the of the price that it is originally being sold at, plus you have the games included. The PS4 Pro is the upgrade of the PS4 and has twice the amount of power as its predecessor. You can buy this off of Amazons website.

Udemy

Udemy

 

Udemy is an online course marketplace. A little different from the above products, here you can buy online courses to help with your learning development. Udemy has a Black Friday deal on with over 55,000 online courses at £10 or less. They host many different types of courses ranging from foreign languages to music and IT. Take a look at Udemy’s website to see if there is anything that takes your fancy and get it quick whilst the Black Friday sale is on.

Many more retailers such as Tescos, Argos, John Lewis and Game have an array of deals on already and more to come this Friday. Good luck with your Black Friday shopping and remember to keep safe on the busiest shopping day of the year. We have put together some tips on how to keep safe whilst shopping online and in-store on Black Friday.

Secure-Internet-Fetaured-Image

SecureInternet – A brand new solution for fast and secure internet coming soon!

Coming soon – Coretek SecureInternet!

We have some exciting news! Here at Coretek, we have been carefully listening to our school and business clients and internet lines are one of the things that is most frequently requested.
In particular, schools have been telling us there is a clear need for fast and secure internet designed specifically for education.

With this in mind, we have been busy putting together an unbeatable package that meets the following needs:

  • Value – cost-effective and fits within school budgets
  • Secure – industry leading security against threats
  • Safe – filtering that keeps pupils safe online
  • Flexible – the autonomy to decide what sites to allow and block
  • Fast – above all…FAST speeds to cope with the needs of education

This package is currently in testing and should be ready for release within the next few months.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can register your interest by calling us on 0800 304 7444 or email us at enquiries@coretek.co.uk and we will make sure to notify you as soon as SecureInternet goes live!

But what if you’re a business? Don’t panic….we’ve thought this through! The new SecureInternet package can also be optimised for business use. Contact us today, to find out more.

This month's Cooltek

The Razer Phone and the all new Amazon Echo Show plus more from this month’s Top Gadgets!

Last month our team liked the new update to Ebay caled ‘Image Search as well as the exciting Amazon Echo Show and the brand new smartphone from Razer.

Ebay – Image Search

Ebay have now introduced ‘Image Search’, if you have previously heard of Pinterest’s ‘Visual Search’ then you may be aware of the concept. Ebay have now unveiled their new feature to the app, simply take a picture or pull up an existing photo from your camera roll of something that you like and this will produce an ebay search of the exact match or similar items. So if you have seen an item in a shop or in a picture that you like but want to find it online and are unaware of the name, then this is ideal for you. This feature has been rolled out onto both the Android and Apple app.

Razer Phone

Razer are a globally popular gaming hardware and peripheral company and they have just announced they they will be releasing a high spec phone with its emphasis being on entertainment. There are many great features on this new smartphone. UltraMotion technology backs a stunning screen that delivers refresh rates up to 120 Hz for a smooth, lag free vibrant experience. The ‘true-to-life cinematic audio’ sound experience comes from the Dolby ATMOS standard which is produced through front-firing speakers and dual amplifiers. It has superior battery life with a 4,000 mAh battery, allowing you to enjoy your gaming experience for longer. With a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 8GB RAM, you canbe sure that you are getting the ultimate viewing excperience. With 12MP cameras and dual tone flash, you will always get a natural and balanced image. The Razer Phone also comes with Game Booster which optimizes the phone for game play. The Razer phone will set you back by £699 and you can now pre-order it on Three for £41 a month contract with a 49 up front fee. If you’re an avid gamer, then this smartphone is what you need.

Amazon Echo Show

The Amazon Echo Show is a new product from Amazon. The Echo Show has all of the Alexa features from the original Echo, but now Alexa can show you things too. With an additional 7-inch screen and a 5 megapixel camera, you can now enjoy a more interactive experience. The screen will show you brief videos, Amazon audio content, music lyrics, recipes, security camera, weather forecasts, photos, shopping lists and much more. You are able to make hands-free video calls to anyone with an Echo Show or Echo Dot with the Alexa app. In terms of audio quality, the Echo Show has “Dolby processing speakers [with] crisp vocals and extended bass response.” With 8 microphones and beam-forming technology, Alexa can hear you from across the room. This really is a great product within the line of Amazon Echo products. You can pre-order the Amazon Echo Show for £199 right now. Amazon even has a deal on that when you use the code ‘SHOW2PACK’ after placing 2 Echo Show’s in your basket, you will then receive £100 off. Do not forget to check the terms and conditions.

SecureSuite

Our new unbeatable email and system security package from Coretek – SecureSuite!

Coretek are proud to be launching our brand new, comprehensive security package – SecureSuite.

SecureSuite offers industry-leading, complete protection for your email and data and comprises of three distinct products:

SecureStore – Dependable Cloud and On-Site Backup

SecureArchive – Secure Email Archiving

SecureFilter – Advanced Email Filtering

The fundamental need for email and file protection

The cyber terrorists and hackers of this world are finding more and more sophisticated ways to get access to your information. 2017 was a tipping point where this has come to the forefront with recent high profile victims including: the NHS, Renault, FedEx and Hitachi, amongst others. A serious attack can be debilitating for an organisation of any size – especially those in the SMB and SME categories, who may never recover from the aftermath.

The solution

Here at Coretek, we take protection of our clients extremely seriously and continually review the products we recommend to ensure that we offer the best products on the market. As such, we are confident to promote our new SecureSuite of products as the best in their respective fields.

Each one has been specifically chosen to a counteract a particular threat, whilst working together provide a holistic approach to keeping you protected.

SecureStore – Your Plan ‘B’ in case of an emergency

SecureStore is our dependable backup solution that will allow you to restore your vital files and folders in the case of virus attack or accidental deletion.

Backups are stored both on-site and to the cloud for the best of both worlds – the restore speed of on-site and the assurance of having an additional backup in the cloud. Our cloud backups are fully encrypted so you can rest easy that your data is safe with us.

SecureArchive – Your safety net for email

SecureArchive provides the safety net to assure you that even if emails are deleted from your inbox, they can be quickly restored.

Most organisations understand that they need to back up their data. However, email availability is often an afterthought or not considered at all. Email is the primary means of communication for many, if not most organisations and just like with files, the loss of an important email could be extremely damaging. Our SecureArchive not only keeps your email safe but also is invaluable for those who need to keep archived email for regulatory purposes and its advanced search options can even help improve efficiency.

SecureFilter – The security guard for your inbox

SecureFilter is our email filtering solution that keeps your inbox clear from spam and protected against viruses and targeted email attacks.

Over 100 billion emails are communicated every day and recent email statistics state that over half of this email traffic is categorised as spam. SecureFilter blocks spam before it reaches your inbox, keeping you free to concentrate on what counts. Furthermore, it provides you with the autonomy to block or allow any email you choose. SecureFilter also works hard to keeps your inbox free from targeted attacks such as phishing, as well as protection against viruses and cyber fraud by using the latest in AI technology. These attacks are fast becoming the biggest threat to any business and having adequate protection in place could save your organisation thousands of pounds.

If you would like details on any of the SecureSuite products, get in touch with the team today.

This month's Cooltek

The Nintendo SNES Mini, brand new Amazon Echo Plus and more from this months Top Gadgets!

Last month our team have been loving the new releases! The Nintendo Classic Mini SNES and the very new Amazon Echo Plus have been the hot topics here as well as a very practical app for your storage if you are an Android user!

Links2SD

If you are an Android user and find yourself using up your storage and then having to delete various apps and images to get more on there, then this app would be ideal for you. Link2SD is an application manager that makes it easy to move applications to the SD card. Link2SD uses a secondary partition on your SD card and uses it as another segment of internal storage. There is a multitude of exciting features such ‘force move’ which allows you to move apps over to SD even if the app does not support moving to SD. The ability to link apk, dex and lib files of apps to the SD card, freeze and un-freeze system and users applications and much more. If you regularly find yourself running out of storage on your Android phone then this is worth looking into, you can download it here.

Nintendo Classic Mini Super Nintendo Entertainment System

Nintendo Classic Mini SNES was released last Friday and it is so popular that stock is already sparse! The SNES Mini is a tiny version of the original console from the 90’s and comes with 21 games from that era. It comes with two controllers that connect via USB. It also comes with a HDMI cable so that you can connect it to the TV. A new feature that has been added is that you can now rewind up to five minutes of gameplay. Also you can wrap a border around your games with the new Frame feature. If you have an Nintendo Wii, you can simply plug the Wii Classic Controllers and accessories in and play! Due to how popular the SNES Classic Mini was in the 90’s, it sold out mostly just from the pre-sale and they completely sold out on launch day. However, you may be able to pre-order on Amazon France. Although this is the France stock, UK members are still able to pre-order.

Amazon Echo Plus

You would probably think that the Echo Plus will have a whole new look, but it actually imitates the old version. But dont be put off by this as there are many new changes beneath this. The first thing that has been added is Zig-Bee friendly hub. The purpose of the Zig-Bee is that it allows the Echo Plus to easily connect to a wider range of smart home devices. All you have to do is say ‘Alexa, discover devices.’ The Echo Plus is compatible with everything from light bulbs to locks. Alexa will automatically name the devices too so the first light set up will be called ‘first light.’ Amazon is even going to ship every Echo Plus with a Philips Hue light bulb so that users can see the real potential from this new device. Additional features are pretty much the same as the new Amazon Echo, including a dedicated woofer, a tweeter and Dolby-certified audio which is meant to make the sound a whole lot better. As well as this, it also has 7 microphones that can hear you from any direction, even when music is playing. The Echo Plus is even cheaper than its predeccesor selling for $149.99, you can pre-order it now.

https://youtu.be/Ha0zuiJ_GeU

YouTube

How to create a safe YouTube account for your School

Having a YouTube channel for your School or your individual classes is a great idea. eLearning videos can be a very powerful tool, especially for students. They help to explain difficult topics through a visual representation. Videos also help to keep students engaged in the lesson. Students can then upload their own videos to show their understanding of the lesson. This could be done by demonstrating their latest science experiment, as an example.  The other great thing about YouTube is, if used safely, there is a whole load of informative videos available for free.

So how do I set up a YouTube account?

Firstly, you need to have a Google account if you do not have one already. It is best to create a new one for your class/school rather than use a personal one. If you do not yet have an account you just need to create an account here. Next thing you need to do is go to YouTube. If you have already signed into your Google account, when you visit YouTube you will automatically be signed in.

Next you should click on the user icon circle in the top right. Here you should select ‘Creator Studio’.

Creator-Studio

This will take you to a page that says ‘Create Channel’, you should click on this and follow the instructions through.

Create-Channel

Create-Channel-2

You will then see the below Creator Studio Dashboard. You need to click onto ‘View Channel’ which you will see just below the name of your channel.

View-Channel

You should then select ‘Edit Layout’.

edit-layout

Then, you will see the below image. This is your channel which you can customise how you wish. We would advise branding it to your school with your logo and school colours as well as a description of your school/class.

Customise-Page

At the top of the dashboard you will see ‘Video Channel’ and this will take you to a screen where you can upload a video by clicking the upload button in the top right corner next to the bell notification icon. This will upload a video you have previously made. Or you can select ‘create’ which is one of the option on the menu on the left of the screen. This will enable you to create a video straight into YouTube.

You will also have the option to make these videos Public, Private, Unlisted and Scheduled which gives you the power over who you want to be able to see these videos. You are also able to turn comments on and off.  Once the video has uploaded, you can add a title, description and tags. Then select the ‘publish’ button and the video will go live.

How can I make YouTube safer for my students?

If your students are going to be accessing YouTube on their own in your classroom there are a few measures that you can take in order to make it safer for them. Restricted Mode is YouTube’s current parental control offering. It filters out content that has been flagged as bad or branded for adults by the creator. However YouTube has stated that this will not always be 100% effective at filtering out the bad stuff. To gain access you should log in to your google account, which you created in the previous step. Then visit YouTube.com and click on the icon in the top right corner. On this menu you will see the words ‘Restricted Mode: Off’. If you click on this you will see a toggle to enable Restricted Mode. You will be prompted to enter your password. This will lock the restricted mode to this browser only. So if you may be using other browsers then you may want to do this to each one.

restricted-mode

Restricted-Mode-Toggle

If you have any other questions about the use of YouTube for education and its safety please feel free to get in contact with us at enquiries@coretek.co.uk or 0800 304 7444.

iPhone-X

The first look at the iPhone X – the 10th anniversary iPhone from Apple

The iPhone X – the biggest product launched by Apple this year. It celebrates the 10th anniversary of Apple’s iPhone, with the ‘X’ being pronounced as 10.

The new iPhone has an 5.8 inch OLED screen, a glass front and back which is said to be the strongest used yet, as well as being waterproof and having the ability to wirelessly charge. The OLED screen fills the majority of the front of the device excluding a small black slither at the top. This is a bar that includes the front camera, the speaker and microphone, an infrared camera for face recognition, proximity sensor and a floor illuminator as well as an ambient light sensor and a dot projector. These are all in the very small section at the top of the iPhone X. There is no longer a home button just a simple swipe up to access the home screen. The improved cameras have a 12Mp sensor and a new telephoto camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).  As well as OIS the rear cameras have a fast lens which creates incredible photos and videos, in any light.

The phone can now be unlocked with Face ID, a facial recognition software that recognises your features and unlocks the phone. Face ID is enabled by the TrueDepth camera, it maps your face with over 30,000 invisible dots so that it can recognise you in any lighting or style. You can also use the Face ID for Apple Pay and customising the new animoji.  A new feature in Portrait mode is the Portrait Lighting. Get studio-quality lighting effects. Animoji combines animations with emojis. It captures your facial expressions and muscles and portrays them on an emoji. So you can simply turn yourself into an emoji. Another development with the iPhone X is that it has been tuned for Augmented Reality. This has been done by Apple specially designing the cameras to be optimised for the technology. Augmented Reality is the technology that uses a phone or tablet’s camera and a specific software to put virtual images on top of the real-life images.

The phone is powered by the A11 Bionic, This is the ‘most powerful and smartest chip ever in an iPhone’ as stated by Apple. There is a neutral engine which is capable of up to 600 billion operations per second. There is a 70% faster CPU and two 25% faster performance cores. Machine learning powered by the A11 Bionic, enables to Face ID to adapt to physical changes over time. The A11 chip was also designed to improve the performance of the AR apps.

If this phone takes your fancy then you will have to wait a little while until you can get your hands on one. With the official pre-order date being the 27th of October and the official release date being the 3rd of November. Expect to be set back $999 for the 64GB version and $1149 for the 256GB version.

https://youtu.be/K4wEI5zhHB0