'Learning with Mobile...' book has won 'Teach Secondary' award. Chris Abbott's review explains why
Teach Secondary book awardLearning with Mobile and Handheld Technologies, written by John Galloway, Merlin John (owner of this site) and Maureen McTaggart, has picked up the ‘Best Book’ prize in this year’s Technology & Innovation Awards run by Teach Secondary magazine in association with Sahara.

The Award judges highlighted the fact that the authors, whose research involved visiting several schools, were sharing the stories of teachers that they felt would help “others recognise and avoid unnecessary mistakes”. They also complimented the reportage style of the book and said it “will not only make lives easier, and learning more effective, but it will also undoubtedly save schools a significant amount of money”.

Students and teachers qualify for free 'Office365' – families can benefit too
Office 365At around £80 a year, Microsoft’s Office 365 service offers great value for home users for the online storage alone. The better news is that it is now free for millions of students and teachers worldwide as long as their schools are licensed for Office 365.

In the UK that's thought to be around 13 million eligible students and teachers from around 20,000 eligible institutions (more than 90 universities, 300-plus colleges 17,000 schools and academies). They just need a valid school email address to complete the sign-up. 

Read More

Dressing up iPad is a popular pursuit. Hugh John tries an STM Dux for size
STM DuxHow many cases? The first iPad came out in April 2010 and since then it’s anyone’s guess how many different cases have been manufactured, many of them based on Apple’s own Origami design. To mention but a few, we’ve had the Octa suction cup, the Mophie rigid aluminium, the waterproof, the built in bluetooth keyboard, ruggedised... you can spend from under a fiver to, wait for it, more than £4,000!

Now STM, well regarded maker of laptop bags has weighed in with its Dux range of cases for iPads (pictured right). There’s a Dux case for all but the original iPad.

Drew Buddie had been trying to get a grip of his iPad. He finally achieved it with the Octa Monkey Tail
Octa Monkey TailiPads have become almost omnipresent in school classrooms. From running apps to recording video and audio, they are used by teachers in a plethora of ways in order to aid teaching and learning.

However, I have often felt that there is an largely underused feature of an iPad that could make it even more indispensable to teachers: the built-in camera means that under the proper circumstances it could easily be used as a visualiser. But that needs a good grip or stand.

'PowerDVD' is much more than a free, bundled video player, and now it's helping users into the cloud. Hugh John reports
We’re all pleased to find free, bundled software, and the rise of the internet, tablets and apps has conditioned us to expect something for nothing. A huge number of free apps on the Android, Windows and iOS platforms perform exceptionally well. There is, however, a down side.

Few question the worth of large market leading programs – take a bow Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative Suite – but there’s a reluctance to shell out for applications that come in the middle price range. For graphics and media editing this would include companies like Corel and Cyberlink, both of whom produce excellent software but somehow exist in the shadows cast by the giants. So why not step out from the shadows and into the cloud?