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 */
}

 

 

Getting Started with your realsmartcloud wordpress site

This post is made to compliment the day 1 training session on your realsmartcloud site.

The outcomes of this session are: (video tutorials for each can be found below)

Creating Posts and Pages
Editing Posts and Adding Media
Creating Post Categories
Adding Items to the Main Menu
Adding your Own Branding to the Site
SmartNotices
Changing User Roles
Creating Links and Adding them to the Control Panel
Embedding Youtube Videos in Posts and Pages

Continue reading

User Specific Content in BossaNova

Earlier this term we released our new Cloudsite theme ‘BossaNova’.  If you are using this theme you can now create posts and pages with content that is displayed depending on the logged-in user type. So different content can be displayed for learners or mentors.

All you need do are use these shortcodes :



How the page looks when not logged in (public)

How the page looks when not logged in (public)

A practical example

Here we are advertising our school Disco :

We want everyone to be able to see the general information so we add that as normal but we also want to be able to push different information to Staff and Students.

To do this we simply wrap the information for each user type in the

I’ve highlighted to messages in the images below (click to enlarge):

school-disco-2

When logged in as a student (learner)

school-disco-3

When logged in as a staff member (mentor)

smartstuff and Google Drive working together

smartstuff will soon pull content from your Google Drive making it really easy to add into your learning portfolio.

Whether your content is in Google Drive, uploaded directly or added via a mobile device, smartstuff is now the home for all your content in 1 single place. Coming September 2013.

We’re currently rolling out a BETA version so please contact our support team if you would like this feature activated NOW!

Learn more about smartstuff, your realsmart content manager.

Link to Make a copy of a Google Doc

Did you know you can force a fellow user of Gmail / Google Apps to make a copy when sharing a Google Spreadsheet? You can do this by adding a short amount of text to your document’s unique URL.

1.) Click the blue Share button at the top right corner of your Google Spreadsheet’s screen.

2.) Copy the URL within the window that appears.

3.) Paste this URL in an email to whomever you want to share it with.

4.) Add “&newcopy=true” to the end of the URL (remove the ” “)

Draft, Redraft and Critique…

Thank you for attending the inspirational session with Ron Berger at Campsmount School recently. The video below demonstrates how realsmartcloud provides the perfect tools for Project-Based Expeditionary Learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about the delivery model for PBL at XP School then please complete the form below.

CPD Hangouts – Series 1

Joining the hangouts

System Requirements:

  • A computer with a webcam, microphone, and the following plugin installed: https://www.google.com/chat/video. If you are a network administrator you can download an MSI here.
  • A mobile device with the hangouts app installed.

If you join with a mobile device please let us know so that any collaborative documents can be presented to you via a screenshare. If we share our screen in mobile you will be able to see it, if we need to shared a collaborative document we will do this through sharing the desktop.

Checklist for joining our hangouts!

  1. Google+ must be enabled for the domain – find out how
  2. Google hangouts must be enabled in the “talk” settings for the domain – find out how
  3. Users must be signed up for Google+ and have a completed profile
  4. Members must first be a member of the community before being sent an invite to the event which they should accept. Go to the community and request to join here – https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/113858573704952618421

We will organise a Google hangout health check with emma@realsmart.co.uk. Following this we will then invite you to join our CPD community and events.

The event can be joined by either:

  • Selecting the notification that the event is starting via the app, browser app or chat popup
  • Selecting the “join hangout” link in the event page
  • Selecting the “join hangout” link via their calendar.

 If more than 10 users try to connect users will receive a notification informing them the hangout was full. The event creator can eject people and edit the guest list prior to the event.

Google Hangouts

Hangout Series 1 – Synopsis of Sessions

Quick Wins

Class Blogs

Learning Outcomes
Discover the benefits of running a class blog – either as a means of distributing class resources, or setting up a discussion forum to harness and build knowledge and understanding.

Presentation of Learning
Look at a homework blog about the Feudal System. This will cover the quality of content (what to include and what not to include), the benefits of collaboration, and the quality of the contributions, as well as looking at the functionality of rcast.

Activity
Create a one post blog.

Consolidate
Share this blog with a class. Look at other blogs available in the community area.

Structured Learning Journeys in rafl

Learning Outcomes
Be able to create structured learning journeys in rafl and share them with your learners

Presentation of Learning
Presentation of demonstration materials and creation and sharing of items

Activity
Build your item with support

Consolidate
Share and feedback with your learners


Simple Solutions to Big Problems

Digital Leaders

Utilise your students to support the launch and implementation of realsmartcloud in your school.

Learning Outcomes
An understanding of the digital leaders initiative, the materials to launch and run the program in your school.

Presentation of Learning
Present and Share the Digital Leaders Launch Presentation

Activity
Access the digital leaders Passport from the Community Area

Consolidate – what would this look like? Next steps? Homework?
Launch the digital leaders programme in your school and feedback to the community the outcomes of this.

Staff CPD

realsmartcloud Competencies Passport

Learning Outcomes
Be able to adopt a mechanism of managing staff competence with realsmartcloud and be able to roll out as a performance management target.

Presentation of Learning
Overview of passport presentation and demo of exemplar content

Activity
Access the presentation and passport from the community and share with your own staff.

Consolidate
Roll out the programme in your school


Technical

Pimp My Website

One of our in house designers will coach you through creating your own bespoke style and theme alterations using CSS

Learning Outcomes
Learn to edit the style of your website with CSS

Presentation of Learning
Demonstration of FIrebug or Inspecting Elements and using the CSS editor on your cloud site

Activity
Change header size, font, background image

Consolidate
Share your favourite updates via the community

Getting more from Google Apps with Apps Scripts

There are a world of upgrades and add ons for Google Apps out there waiting for you to use in the classroom.

Learning Outcomes
Be able to install and run a selection of google apps scripts on your domain

Presentation of Learning
Introduction to Flubaroo – self marking forms in Google Forms

Activity
Create your own self marking quiz

Consolidate
Access the list of other recommended apps scripts and test on your domain

User management across realsmartcloud

Understanding provision, creating ad hoc users and groups.

Learning Outcomes
Be able to create new users and groups across the platform

Presentation of Learning
Demonstration of the realsmart admin pages and the Google Apps control panel

Activity
Create groups for SLT, non MIS users (ie Student Teachers)

Consolidate
Create other groups within your domain