Fab Friends at BETT

We were really proud to have some fantastic realsmart users demonstrate how they use realsmartcloud in their schools during the BETT Conference and Exhibition this year. Take a look at these videos we snapped of the handsome chaps in action!

 

Kingsmeadow Community School

“…the students have been very much involved in it [realsmart]. This hasn’t been very much a staff centred drive to it,it’s been very much a collaborative affair with staff and students. Effectively the students have driven it for the past year or so through their program [digital leaders]”.

 

St Thomas More Catholic School 

“…certainly our feedback in school is that pupils are going home and using it [realsmart] on any kind of tablet, laptops, phones, whatever it may be…and the integration with Google – the amount of people that have said ‘we’re using Google, what does realsmart add to it?’. You’ll show it to them and they go ‘Oh yeah, I get that, I see how it works’.”.

“…the most important aspect for us is that people can bespoke and use it [realsmart] how they want”.

 

Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School

“…the emphasis is on teacher – student dialogue and communication… the feedback we’ve had from parents is that it’s brought about more dialogue with them about what their children are doing… it’s lead to some really powerful discussions. It’s [realsmart] enabled us to be more creative with the dialogue we have with students”.

 


Many thanks to;

Andy Sprakes – XP School

Marc Voltaire – XP School

Andy Dolinski – Bosworth Academy

Andrew Strachan – St Thomas More Catholic School

James Simpson – Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School

Lewis Thompson – Kingsmeadow School

February Update

We’ve recently updated our wordpress installations to version 4.0 (Benny), this is a significant release in terms of security but also includes some great new features.

New features include:
benny

  • Upgraded media library with quicker editing and viewing of files
  • Distraction free writing mode
  • Preview videos and galleries in the text editor before publishing
  • Embed from Youtube, Vimeo, Twitter and many more simply by pasting the url

Check out the WordPress update here : https://wordpress.org/news/2014/09/benny/

NB: We’re already testing sub-version WordPress 4.1 so expect to see that hitting your admin area in the near future too.


Tips and tricks

Manual guides

qWe’re currently building a new resource to help you use and improve your cloud sites – ensuring you get the most out of our flexible cloud sites. We will also be adding guides on Google products from our Google-Approved training team, technical data about setting up your realsmart installation and loads more!

Tutorials will be varied, from basic to advanced will focus on our frequently asked questions. We are adding guides and improving the experience daily.

You can check out the site in development here : http://manual.realsmart.co.uk. If there is anything you would like us to cover, just drop us a line.


Google Keep

keepQuickly create, access and organise notes, lists and photos with Google Keep. All your notes are automatically stored in Drive.

We’ve found Keep really useful at realsmart for sharing to-do lists.

Keep has also been added to our smart control panel plugin so you can add this directly to your top bar by heading to your WordPress Admin Dashboard > smartPlugins > cPanel and select which apps you want to show in your cPanel.

Note: If you don’t see cPanel in the smartPlugins menu you may need to activate it – click here to read more about cPanel.

 


TIP : Post title styling

post_titleWith a little CSS you can totally change the look and feel of your cloud site – but remember with great power comes great responsibility!

Here we look at changing the style of the post title, creating a coloured band with white title. Take a look at the code snippet and try it out on your site. If there’s any styling options you’d like to see covered, just drop is a line and we’ll see if we can help.

/* Header title background */

.entry-header {
   padding: 20px 30px;
   background-color: #3c5562; /* Insert your own colour here */
}

.entry-header .entry-title a,
.entry-header .entry-meta i,
.entry-header .entry-meta span {
   color: #fff; /* Insert your own colour here */
}

 

 

Google Keep

What is it? Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 17.47.43

A note taking application from Google, it allows you to create and organise notes, to do lists and pictures.  You can share and collaborate on these notes and can even set geo-fenced reminders .  For example you could create a note to remind you to print the resources for period 3 when you get to school.

How could you use this in school?

  • Project management
  • Shared to do lists with your class group
  • Collaboratively build jobs lists
  • Share your shopping list with your partner with a Geotag for the supermarket

Take a look at this overview video from the Google Team.

How do I get it?

Go to http://keep.google.com or ask you website administrator to add it to the control panel at the top of your site from the smartoptions area of your website dashboard.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 17.57.21

 

Kingsmeadow Digital Leaders at BETT 2015

As part of their continued efforts to promote educational technologies and ICT based learning Kingsmeadow school students from the school were  given the opportunity to visit the Bett Show 2015 in London in January.

During the show Digital Leaders Lewis and Laura delivered a 20 minute presentation to delegates about their Digital Leaders programme and how they have utilised it in school to promote Digital Literacy to staff and students.

Well done Lewis and Laura! Have a look at their presentation below. 

Google Analytics

Google-Analytics-icon

Google Analytics allows you to track and view key stats relating to your realsmartcloud site. Not only is this hugely beneficial as you can track how, where and why people are accessing your site, it’s also easy to set up.

  1. Sign in to your realsmartcloud site.
  2. Open Google Drive.
  3. Open a new tab / window and go to http://www.google.com/analytics/
  4. Click ‘sign up’ and complete the information form.
  5. Once you’ve done this you’ll be presented with a ‘tracking code’. Copy this.
  6. Navigate to your realsmartcloud site, click the ‘WordPress’ icon in the toolbar and select ‘Dashboard’. You will need to be a wordpress admin.
  7. Select ‘smartOptions’ from the menu.
  8. Open ‘analytics’ and paste the ‘tracking code’ in here. Then click ‘save changes’.

Google Analytics is now set up on your realsmartcloud site. Simply go to http://www.google.com/analytics/  sign in and click ‘reporting’ and then select the relevant criteria.

Embedding a Google Drive Folder in a Post or Page

A great way to organise and store resources is to put them all into a Google Drive folder. Here we show you how to embed the contents of a Drive folder into a post or page of your website.

Embedding a Google Drive folder is nice and easy. Just follow the steps below:

1.) Open up Google Drive and find the folder you want to use. Make sure the folder is shared correctly otherwise people won’t be able to view the contents when it’s embedded!

2.) Grab the ID of the folder. You can get this from the URL when you’re within the folder or from the folder sharing popup.

embedding_drive_folders_01

3.) Paste the embed code below into your post or page, replacing FOLDER-ID with the ID of your Drive folder. You can adjust the ‘height’ attribute to suit your needs.

<iframe src="https://drive.google.com/embeddedfolderview?id=FOLDER-ID#list" width="100%" height="400" frameborder="0"></iframe>

Here’s a working example: