YikYak GeoFence

YikYak App

YikYak App

What is YikYak?

YikYak is a geographically localised anonymous twitter-like app gaining popularity. It allows users to post, without identifying themselves, to up to 500 users in the local area. It is quite easy for offensive and abusive messages to reach users quickly. The messages can contain inflammatory or personal references which can be disruptive to a local community. This poses many potential issues for schools across the UK. Also, be aware of the Yak game. Users post messages and exchange their beloved banter of all sorts, never knowing if the message is legit or spoof, or who posted it. The appeal of YikYak is that it plays no part in your digital footprint; no care is required in what you post. The police, apparently, can identify who posted an update, should things escalate sufficiently to get them involved.

What can you do about it?

When we first applied for a geofence, via the YikYak site, it became apparent they are USA-based and the geofence service seemed to serve the other side of the Atlantic only. We heard nothing back from YikYak, but had not seen any usage in our area. Upon further investigation (using the app) in the new term, activity had began and some of it was particularly unpleasant and identifiable to our school. However, a geofence had been initiated, but it failed to cover all areas of our school. So, I have sent another request including grid references and postcodes of our most peripheral pupil occupied locations. Fingers crossed.

The geofence makes the app do this:

YikYak GeoFence

YikYak GeoFence

To do this for your school, enter the postcode for the building into Google maps, and the grid reference appears in the address bar, so you can copy and paste it. Below is an example for 10 Downing Street.

Using Google maps to locate a grid reference

Using Google maps to locate a grid reference

Jigsaw24 Apple iPad Conference December 2013

Today I went to Prior Park College in Bath to attend the Jigsaw24 Apple Conference. They do iPads rather than tablets. And have some pretty cool ideas, offer schools excellent support, do great insurance that covers the gap when pupils don’t pay and sell iPad at the lowest cost I have seen. They genuinely seem to be a friendly and effective bunch of people. We have a contract with them, but I am not sure exactly what for as I write – they deal with our ICT Services Department.

It was few in number but interesting. There was no hashtag. These are just my notes lifted from evernote and edited a little. Please forgive the lack of detail in places and haphazard formatting. My thought on the matters arising will come later following an enlightening walk and a coffee with this lovely man I met there (but cannot remember his name; burning moment of shame) and I need to think about it all a bit more.

Source: http://eyedzard.deviantart.com/art/Need-To-Think-Outside-The-Box-202783112 (labelled for re-use on search)

Source: http://eyedzard.deviantart.com/art/Need-To-Think-Outside-The-Box-202783112 (labelled for re-use on search)

Lara Havord

  • Education manager, apple UK (now a team of 6 people – only 6??).
  • iPad can ignite hunger for learning.
  • Apple committed and passionate about education.
  • All about the teaching and learning and the good learning outcomes.
  • Lara ran (still runs??) Regional Training Centres.
  • They are there to provide advice and support to any school that wants it.
  • Close link to schools.
  • Always happy to talk.
  • Use resellers like jigsaw but can contact directly.
  • All about individuals. Learners. Solve problems. Create.
  • Apple Distinguished Educator programme.
  • Research. Looking at impact of tech in schools.
  • Apple.com uk site has evidence on it. (? https://www.apple.com/uk/education/)
  • Hull uni report on research in Scottish schools.
  • And Longfield iPad research report listed by NAACE.
  • ItunesU. Fantastic free resource. Rich store of material created by top educators in the globe.
  • iBooks Author.
  • Referencd SAMR & TPACK.
  • Free apps now include gband and iMovie.
  • But iCloud is the online access winner.
  • Apple TV. AirPlay.
  • Accessibility. Tools and features.
  • Why iPad in education? Lists apps listed above more or less. 95000+ educational apps.
  • But, identify key apps to realise your educational vision.
  • However, education collections exist to help you browse edu apps. iWork stuff.
  • Really about what you do with them and who supports you. RTCs. Apple Professional Development ADP. Resellers.
  • Encouraged to make the most of our apple technology. Get fee training from RTC. Consider ADP.
  • It is all about excellent teaching and learning.

Film. Apple promo for education. ContacT: havord.lara@apple.com

Mike and Paul

  • Flagship trainers. ADEs.
  • Certified APD specialists.Importance of vision and plan course in the apple catalogue.
  • SLT course.
  • Looking for transformational activities going on in case studies? In the evidence?
  • The course looks at how we are going to reach goals, what the goals are and how we might adapt existing plans.
  • Planning how to present those ideas to key stakeholders. Staff. Governors. Parents.

The plan:

  • The goal/aim is the third stage. Recommend 1-2-1 deployment. Evidence supports this.First stage. Where to start. (Class sets, cited as the most difficult way to use iPads in school – oh dear). Often felt to be deemed successful mainly because of novelty shiny value – everyone’s excited. There will be struggle. Mike and Paul are here to support us.The second stage can be hard. Difficult second album analogy overused.Discussion points:
  • Deployment model. Nigel (teacher presenting later) has done this. Splitting them into smaller groups might be better.
  • Technical support demands for class sets that aren’t there for 1-2-1.
  • Esafety.
  • Digital leaders. Staff – cascade existing skills. Largely experiential collaborative learning process. Access on personal basis and in school preferably before using in school.
  • Apps. Paid? Which ones and why? Training plan targeting specific departments and apps.
  • Road ahead vision. Strategy. Tablets around for a while. We can/should plan their use.


  • Course provides opportunities to get hands on devices.
  • ItunesU. Looks like nice content for classics dept on there.
  • Also interesting resources on iPad in classroom. Subscribed to a couple.

Sarah Paddock. Teacher.

  • On twitter.
  • From prior Park Prep school. Trial for two months. 1-2-1.
  • Made sure infrastructure was good allowing movement between rooms etc.
  • Meraki with MDMA and light speed through jigsaw.
  • VPP.
  • Card free apple IDs for pupils and staff.
  • Apps made via requests.
  • Student workflow solution achieved via google apps.
  • Padagogy wheel mapped to blooms.
  • Pupil, teacher and parent surveys before and after trial.
  • Parent and pupil meeting before and after.
  • Updates throughout the trial.
  • Staff twilight training once a week. Including troubleshooting.
  • Pupil digital leaders meet once a week.

Ian Barker. Latin teacher

  • On twitter.
  • Socrative. Loves it for vocab testing.Digital leaders presenting. Helps with dyslexia because of changing text size. Mind maps like popplet. Apps: book creator. Send to iBooks. Showed his books. Signed contract beforehand. No games 12+. Teacher can look at iPad any time. Pic collage. Next DL. Y7. 2 month trial. Very happy at first. Teaching same material in a different way. Socrative again. Latin. Maths.Explain everything in art. Book creator. Complete topics quicker. Own pace. Prep fun.
  • The trial has been more successful than they had hoped. Jigsaw were a great support. Buying iPads for all staff in Jan 2014. And then think about pupils for next academic year.
  • Questions about Google Drive.sharing folders for each class with subjects in them. Student shares work with teacher which triggers email and prompts marking.Showbie for sharing. Edmodo do as well. Or paid for solutions that give access to network drives on iPads.

Notes from lunch

  • BYOD issues because range of devices meant that intimidation for teachers. Not knowing how to get things going/working. Not same apps etc.
  • Casper MDM. Great means of authentication. Meraki free but bought by Cisco for cloud security tools. MDM might not be sustained.
  • Parental purchase. Parents expect usage of device.
  • iOS7 seems to create issues with lag when streaming video. Jigsaw said this had never happened on previous OS.
  • Also an issue with Apple TVs requiring schools to group these dynamically via Bonjour so you only see those in immediate vicinity.

Lightspeed Systems

  • Est. 1999. In Europe since 2005. Protecting over one million students in UK.
  • Work with all the big players from technical side.
  • Three solutions make up mobile learning essentials…
  • Manage devices
  • Keep safe on internet on school owned devices at home
  • Collaborate with MyBigCampus

Selling points:

  • Commitment to education
  • Educational rich features
  • Comprehensive reporting
  • Focus on mobility, 1:1 or class sets
  • Easy admin, delegate admin down to classroom level.

Mobile device management:

  • Hierarchical design. Delegate admin to teachers in classroom to open or close access to resources, e.g. Turn off cameras.

My Big Campus

  • Learning platform. VLE but new generation.
  • Social networking approach. shared storage. Device apps for access. Public resources, once used on MBC, is categorised and made available through their search engine. Build community of users. Teachers can communicate on EduTalk feature. Linked with web filtering solution so that web access used on site applies. Teacher uses a resource and it’s auto unblocked on school network. Filter works at home as well. Policies granular. Redirects YouTube and Google to education versions. Strict safe search enforced, images blocked are blocked on websites as well. Lockouts for repeat offenders. Email notifications triggered. Overrides is a soft block e.g. Nudity in art will auto trigger reauthentication. Web zones controls what students do on internet in your classroom. White and black list sites possible.
  • Video. Samuel Lister Academy. On youtube.

Paul and Mike again

  • Accessibility features on iPad. Lots of great things for Progress Centre.
  • iBooks. Text book store. Hands on usage of all related features.


Nigel. Teacher.

  • Learning spaces. iPad trolley. Vision tables (flat projection). Idea paint on walls.
  • Showed iPad as chopping board video.
  • Class set in music.
  • Learning. Looking at other schools. Trial. Change perceptions.
  • Students. Enjoyed collaboration with google drive and calendar. Independence to get unstuck through web. Find info in seconds when I want it. No incidents of theft or damage, staff embraced project.
  • BYOD mainly web based research. Parental concerns around device liability. Teachers did not use them regularly. Not as well liked as iPads.
  • Geography stand out subject. More academic progress made compared to control group and Geography used the iPads the most.
  • Giving parents iPad options. iPad mini. Ipad2 and iPad air. Bought for FSM pupils.
  • Change team. Group of staff tasked with making his happen. Help to launch to parents and helping to develop pedagogy across subject areas. SAMR model wheel.
  • Video. Book as new technology.

Tablets 4 Schools 2013 Twitter notes on Storify

I didn’t attend this event. I was lucky enough to receive a personal invite but had already committed myself to another tablet event (much smaller scale) with a company called Jigsaw24 who have some innovative ideas on how to roll out iPad in schools. On the train home I read through the tweets and found Tony Parkin had impartially documented the gist of what was presented. I was going to write up the notes (they’re in my notebook) but time is against me, so here is a storify of the key tweets. All are worth reading from beginning to end, but it is long so I’ll say goodbye here… comments at the bottom should you feel the need!

PS: remember to click *Read next page* link at bottom of storify embed.


Frog4OS revisited


The updated version of Frog4 demo site was sent to me today. The update that makes sure it works on all devices. These first four images are taken on my Nexus4. It allows you to scroll around the web page now. In landscape mode as the first image implies.

The other images show the page using Firefox on android. As you can see, not a lot to see. I thought we were going to get a platform that reconfigured pages for smaller screens. This does not do that.




These images below are the same thing on the iPad mini. I’m pleased to report that everything works as you would expect. Except in portrait mode where you get the black screen of switch to landscape.






This post was written on Nexus4 and iPad mini wordpress apps. They take a little getting used to and there wasn’t much I could do about the different image sizes presented by the apps.

My journey from iOS to Android

I bought a Google Nexus 4 to replace my iPhone 4 which I have had for over a year beyond contract. Getting used to a new mobile OS is not an easy thing after 5 years locked into Apple (bar the jailbreaking years).

First of all I get twitchy as my muscle memory complains from absence of certain buttons in certain places; no home button to wake the screen and the power button is not top right but top side right. These small differences irritate beyond measure. Other irritations are the familiar things that have gone, e.g. notifications do not wake the screen. A widget has fixed that but rather annoying to have to find one. Also, there’s no hardware button to switch notifications sound off and you have to hold the decrease volume button.

These irritants were plenty soothed by the swipe down notification menu once the Android device is running. A quick and easy way of keeping up to speed with all your phone comms which I can Imagine android fans would consider a reason not to switch to iOS. It’s awesome.

Quickly I was plunged into my yesteryears unpleasant experience of using windows based XDAs. The tweaking to get it just so seems infinite; setting appearance and widgets and behaviour to suit your needs. This became a pet hate of mine in XDA days (and with Windows as well TBH) and the move to iOS some five years ago was welcome, like the de-cluttering feeling that minimalism brings. But all that is within the users control because you can set up your android just like iOS should you wish to. I liked less clutter on iOS too. Most time is spent in a handful of apps with others used once or twice a week. And then some less regular ones kept in quick reach. I’ll share my basic ios setup as a comparison.

iPhone setup. Four images: homescreen, most taskbar folder, next taskbar folder, and next screen full of folders

My iPhone setup. Four images: homescreen, most taskbar folder, next taskbar folder, and next screen full of folders


Another niggle is folders. When you open a folder on Android, you have to cross it off top right of the folder rather than click out of it. Alos, it might seem odd, but on iOS you can see micro icons of the apps contained in a folder without opening it, which you will see is really helpful for my iPhone setup. That is not on android. I’m sure there will be a folder pimping widget of some sort (there are many).

Keyboards. My brother raves about SwiftKey so I’m using a trial. Still I’m typing rather than swyping, but the predictive text puts likely words across the top of the keys which come in handy (interestingly allows for touch-touch-typing of sorts). Still the android kb looks too busy for my comfort; saying that it has nice press and hold features for numbers and punctuation that I foresee becoming well used.

So far so good on the app front because all my major apps are covered and I haven’t stumbled across a problem yet. Music was a concern but Google play music manager syncs iTunes to the cloud and then, from your device, you select music to store offline and mobile. Sorted.

Apps are fast and slick as you would expect from a new handset with the Nexus4 hardware.

The one app that has made a big difference is launcher pro plus. It allows me to drill into OS behaviour in a more granular way. Again I’m not sure I’ll keep using it but it has taught me more about how this system works. It’s continued use will depend on battery life and performance.

So here is my droid set up 48 hours after it arrived. I’m sure I will make many changes over the coming weeks but I will aim to get it sorted ASAP because otherwise I might drop it on something hard. There are so many possible variations that, in time, I imagine I will delete widgets that update automatically because they sap battery. I also have flipboard on another homescreen not included in this image.

Middle one is main one with apps and time and weather; Left is evernote widget, volume sliders and power management; right is twitter feed.

Middle is main screen with apps, time and weather; Left is evernote widget, volume sliders and power management; right is twitter.

There is much more I could say about all this. I am pleased to have made the transition because it will give me experience of what using Android – reportedly the most used mobile OS – is like. The Nexus4 seems really good but I am a little concerned about battery life; if it requires charging before bed I will be sad.

I would really like to hear any cool tips experienced droid users have to offer!