Office Lens was released in April of last year. It is a fantastic app that can turn your phone into a portable scanner!
The way that Office Lens works is very clever. You simply take images of your notes, a whiteboard, a receipt, business cards and more. These pictures can be taken at different angles, Office Lens will still be able to grab all the information. Office Lens recognises the corners of the image and will then enhance and crop the image, then it will clean it up. This enables you to read these notes with ease.
The really great thing about Office Lens, is that you can convert these physical documents into Word Documents, PowerPoint Presentations and PDF’s! So you are able to continuously work on these scans. You can even upload your scans to OneNote or OneDrive. If you scan a business card the Optical Character Recognition (OCR) will create a contact in your phone and will automatically fill out the name, number, email address and address fields.
Customers love this app with 5* reviews on the app store!
As I am sure you are already aware of, there is a app out called Pokémon Go and it has quickly become a great success.
The app allows you to travel between the real world and virtual reality whilst catching colourful critters with any iPhone or Android device. Within days, this app has become a massive success all over America, Australia and Germany but it has now become officially available in the UK today. Available from the App Store or Google Play.
Virtual Reality products have recently been rolled out more than ever before. Products such as VR headsets that have been made by well-known brands, PlayStation, Microsoft and HTC to name a few. Virtual Reality has been around since the 90s but its only been recently we are beginning to see how developers really are revolutionising VR and making these mind-blowing experiences. We are beginning to see it rolled out into gaming and entertainment, which is where Pokémon Go has become a hit.
Pokémon Go has got people up and active by sending them outside to certain locations to find and catch ‘wild Pokémon’. This app will make you explore cities and towns. The phone will vibrate when it is near a Pokémon. You then hold up your phone with the app loaded which will show you a camera, then the camera will show the real world setting with an animated Pokémon sat on it. You have to throw a ball to catch these Pokémon’s. These Pokémon’s could appear anywhere; art gallery’s, shops, parks and more.
Some people are even saying that Pokémon Go is helping to treat their mental health as it is getting them up and out of the house, interacting with others. As well as mental health, this game is even improving physical fitness with a user saying they had walked an extra 12 miles in 3 days.
It has been heard that is has quickly become the biggest mobile game in the United States when it is counting on the daily active users.
This game has added billions to the value of Nintendo, who part-owns the franchise.
Quickly becoming a phenomenon, and we are sure that it wont stop there. What do you think? Have you tried out the newest and hottest app? Let us know in the comments below.
iPads are being used more and more within the classroom. Something that a lot of teachers have been querying is ‘Can I reflect my iPad onto my interactive whiteboard?, and the answer is yes! There are many different ways now that you can actually use to mirror your iPad’s screen onto a PC which when connected to an interactive whiteboard, will then appear there.
You can use an adapter or cable to be able to mirror the reflection of your iPad onto an interactive whiteboard. You will need either an HDMI cable or an VGA input in order to connect with the projector. You also will need a lightning or 30-pin Dock connector. These are available on Amazon for your particular model. However this meant that the iPad had to stay stationary, as the lead was very short. But it does mean that the connection is very clear due to direct input.
But now there are a several different ways to mirror your iPad, wirelessly. We are going to take a look at some of the most popular ways.
When you purchase Apple TV you receive a small box. This box connects to the Interactive Whiteboard through an HDMI cable. You then are able to connect your iPad to the Apple TV box through a wireless network. The benefit of the Apple TV is that you can now work wirelessly, given you the freedom to walk around your class and interact whilst you teach. You must allow both the apple TV box and the iPad to be connected to the same wireless network. Many apps support ‘Air-Play’ and you can turn on mirroring to display the iPad on the whiteboard screen. The price of an Apple TV is around £60.00.
AirServer Is an application for the Mac. It enables you to mirror your iPads screen onto itself. AirServer comes with a few features that make it stand out., For example you can live stream your play on your device, to Youtube. AirServer is compatible for both AirPlay devices and Miracast, meaning for iPhones and Android. One last feature is the encrypted AirPlay protects your personal photos and videos when they are transmitted through the network. AirServer costs begin at £5.99 – £13.99 depending on preferred package. However you are able to have a 7 day free trial to see if it is right for you.
Reflector is an software that can wirelessly mirror your iPad or iPhone onto your PC or MAC, which when connected to the whiteboard, will reflect there. The advantage of Reflector over any other mirror app, is that the wireless connection is always on top. Reflector is compatible with AirPlay and Miracast. You can mirror multiple devices onto your interactive whiteboard which makes it appealing within classroom use. It will also black out the background behind the reflected devices, so the focus is purely on the mirrored reflection. One last thing you can do is to live stream straight onto YouTube, so you can live stream how to videos etc. The price for Relector2 is around £10.00 and you are able to download a 7 day free trial!
These are a few of the favourite options for reflecting your device onto an Interactive Whiteboard/Projector. Our personal favourite is the Reflector2, and this is the application that we use within our schools! The technology is not flawless, none of them will be unfortunately. However, from our experience Reflector2 is a very reliable and good value for money!
Wireless charging is a way of charging your devices, this being a tablet, a laptop, a smartphone or even devices as large as an electric car, without the use of cables or adapters.
Wireless charging is extremely popular as you are able to just place your device on a wireless charger and it will begin charging, without the use of any USBs or plugs. However, the Wireless charger itself must still be plugged into the wall.
Wireless charging uses magnetism to transmit energy. It uses two coils of wire, one is in the charger, and the other is in the device. The electrical current coming from the power socket at the wall moves through the wire to the wireless charger, this then creates a magnetic field. This magnetic field then creates a current that passes through the coil that is in the charger, generating a ‘fluctuating electromagnetic field’. Then when the device is placed near or on the charger, the coil inside induces the current. This then charges the battery.
Many smartphones come with wireless charging built into them. The most common brands are LG, Samsung, Google, Motorola, HTC and Sony. If your phone does not come with the ability to charge wirelessly, you may be able to add in the functionality by using a different phone case.
As previously stated, there is now no need for many plugs and USBs which is the biggest advantage as this reduces clutter and makes charging very easy and practically hands free. Also by not having an area full of cables, you are reducing the risk of being shocked by a faulty cable. Another advantage is that by using wireless charging, there are no connectors required which may harbour bacteria, so therefore this is more applicable for medical instruments that need to be battery powered. Lastly, wireless charging really has no health risks, ‘the charger creates a field that is no more dangerous than radio waves, and isn’t strong enough to have any effect on the human body’.
However, there are also a few disadvantages of wireless charging. The main one being that wireless charging is not very energy-efficient. This is due to the fact that it produces a lot of heat. This therefore means that it takes longer to charge your phone.
There are some features that you should look out for when choosing your wireless charger. Some devices have specific chargers for them, so it is usually best to stick to these particular ones. However, there are many wireless chargers that are usable throughout numerous devices such as the GMYLE, Transparent Acryl Disk Qi Charging Pad which is compatible with most popular smartphone models such as Samsung Galaxy S6, Google Nexus 6P etc.
Something else to bear in mind is the amperage of the charger for the wireless charging pad. The more amperage that the charger has, the faster the device’s battery will charge.
At the moment the most use that wireless charging is having, is by using it at your desk at work, or in your bedroom. However, looking into the future, you could possibly be seeing these wireless pads appearing everywhere. Already, Starbucks have begun introducing this into its coffee shops across the UK after great success in the US. IKEA are even putting wireless charging pads into their furniture.
There are still many developments within Wireless Charging. One of these being to look at the potential of having a charging pad that can charge at a distance. Whereas at the moment the device needs to be touching the pad, or in very close proximity. However, it is possible that one day you could just be in the same room, and potentially be able to charge your device.
Lastly, wireless charging really has no health risks. As the charger creates a field that is no more dangerous than radio waves, it isn’t strong enough to have any effect on the human body.
Tablets are becoming considerably more popular throughout schools. This is because students have been accustomed to the touch-screen smartphones for years. This is something that is familiar to them, they feel comfortable with and can use well. Tablets are a good way to capture the student’s attention, and keep them engaged whilst learning, due to interactive activities.
We have taken a look into some of the best tablets for use within a classroom.
There are quite a few Windows tablets to choose from. Windows tablets are not as widely known as the iPad or Android. Microsoft tablets are perfect for work use due to the ability of using Office. Apps for Windows tablets come from the Windows App Store, which supplies the most well-known apps such as Twitter, Facebook, Sky News etc. The last advantage of a Windows Tablet is the fact that you can now use Windows 10 in it, which is Microsoft’s new OS. Windows tablets come with pre-installed apps with Windows 10, these include; OneNote, Mail, Games and more.
Microsoft have completely revolutionised the tablet. They have made a tablet that can actually replace your laptop. This includes a 12.4 inch PixelSense screen, which gives a real-life picture quality. The weight is 757g which enables it to be extremely portable and you can therefore work on the go. You can work up to 9 hours uninterrupted due to the long lasting battery power.
The Surface comes loaded with the latest Pro Intel Core processors which make it more powerful than the previous Surface Tablet. You have options of either; m3, i5, or i7 processor depending on your budget. In addition, it is now a lot cooler and quieter when it runs.
This tablet runs Windows 10 and Office perfectly, meaning you can operate your desktop right from your tablet. Lastly, you’re spoilt with pre-installed apps on your tablet, legacy (i.e. traditional) Windows apps and those available from the Windows Store providing an almost limitless amount of apps to be able to use for all of your teaching needs.
This is priced at approximately £749.
The Dell Venue is an atom-powered windows tablet. It has been called ‘The Ultimate Business Partner’. It is a laptop is disguise. It has an 11 inch full HD Display, weighs up at 712.14 g and has 10 hours of battery life. You can wirelessly stream HD videos and photos from your tablet to a larger screen. The Dell Venue 11 Pro 7000 series is now powered by Intel’s Core M processors. You have the ability to attach a keyboard to the Dell Venue 11 Pro, this therefore enables you to be able to turn your tablet into a laptop.
This tablet is priced at approximately £463.
iPad’s are probably the most popular form of tablet. When people talk about a ‘tablet’ they generally think of the iPad.
The iPad is loved by both the students and the teachers. It delivers so much opportunity for a memorable learning experience. With an app store that holds over 500,000 Educational Apps, there is something for every lesson taught, all delivering at different levels to cater to the student’s needs. Take a look at our previous blogs: a complete list of Educational iPad Apps, and our favourite educational iPad apps.
The most popular type of iPad for use within in a school is a close contest between the iPad mini and the iPad Air.
The iPad Air 2 was released in mid-October 2014. The original iPad Air was 7.5mm in thickness, and now the new edition is even slimmer at 6.3mm with a weight of 469 g and a screen of 9.7in. The iPad Air 2 now has an A8X processor which is still 64-bit and has a new M8 co-processor. The newest feature is the Touch ID button, just like an iPhone. With 10 hours of battery life, this iPad will not need to be charged regularly.
The price of the iPad air 2 is approximately £399.
The iPad mini 2 is the most common iPad mini, although there has been a 3 and 4 since then. The iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3 are almost identical. The only enhancement in the 3 is the use of Touch ID.
The iPad mini 2 has a 7.9in retina display screen with a weight of 331g. With 10 hours of battery life and an A7 chip with 64-bit architecture. The benefit of the iPad mini 2, is the price. Starting from £219, it is one of the cheapest, yet still delivers just as well as the mini 3.
The iPad mini 4 took quite a change. It is considerably lighter at a weight of 299g with the same sized screen. It has an upgraded A8 processor, colour-rich retina display, better cameras and it supports split-screen apps. The use of the Touch ID and the full laminated display has the upper hand upon the mini 2.
This iPad mini 4 is priced at approximately £319.
There are more Android tablets around now, due to Google’s Android OS making it inviting for many manufacturers to make an Android tablet. Android tablets have really been enhanced and improved. Android is popular due to its price and you have over 1.3 million apps in the Google play App store. Google’s Android has ‘Google’ voice integrated in, so you can speak to your tablet, and receive help.
The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 has an 8 inch screen, is only 5.6mm thick and weighs 265g. Just like the iPad, it has a Touch ID. With the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 you have to capability to insert a microSD card slot on the frame and this can boost the 32GB to 64GB.
As a bonus with this tablet, you get “Microsoft Office and 100GB of OneDrive free for two years.”
The price for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 is approximately £319.
The Google Nexus 9 is an Android tablet designed by HTC. It has an 8.9in screen, weighs 425g and is protected with gorilla glass. There are front-facing “BoomSound” speakers which enables the music and audio to be richer. Due to the 64-bit processor, it is easy to watch videos, check email and tweak documents.
The Nexus 9 has Android 5.0 Lollipop, which is a version of Android OS developed by Google. The Benefit of Android Lollipop is that a refreshed notification system has been introduced, and battery consumption has been improved.
The price for this is approximately £189.99.
Something to think about before ordering 30 tablets to be used in a single classroom would be your current Wireless System. When was it installed? What is the speed like when browsing the internet or streaming a YouTube video? If you think the speed is slow when you’re the only one using the wireless, how do think your 30 pupils all trying to access online content at the same time are going to find it? Chances are, if your wireless system was installed more than 3 years ago, it’s going to struggle with the demands of a modern day classroom.
Luckily, this is where Coretek can come in to save the day. We can carry out a survey of your current wireless system, which will provide an in depth report evaluating your system as it stands and showcase our recommendations for a new Dell SonicWALL system.
The approximate price of a Dell SonicWALL 802.11AC Wireless System with 10 Access Points is £6000.
So these are a few of our chosen tablets that we feel are best for use within Education. They all supply a wide range of apps that will cater for any lesson, but each tablet is completely different to the next. There are the Windows tablets that are great for the use of attaching a keyboard to the screen, therefore transforming it into a laptop alternative. Apple tablets have the most extensive app store, having something for your every single need, and they are very lightweight. Then lastly, the Android tablets are very reasonably priced and there are a whole variety of Android tablets.
If you need any advice or help, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.