Get Creative With J2Easy and the J2 Tool Suite

(*This includes some recent updates made within J2 Tool Suite*)

 

In my opinion, if you haven’t done so previously, you really should find some “spare” (ahem) time to explore the J2Toolsuite on LGfL. It brings you award winning software tools designed for education. You can explore the creativity tools, apps and games for Maths, English, Computing and cross curricular creative activities in a completely personalised learning experience and there are even guided lesson plans included for the less confident amongst you.

Below is an overiew of many of the features J2Toolsuite has to offer to you and your pupils:

Don’t delay; get exploring and get creative today (or when you next have some elusive spare time; shall we say September?!)

J2Launch:

Your School’s own Virtual Desktop – Included in the Tool Suite is a secure online file store, desktop publishing tool, stop frame animation, voting, e-safe blogging, website and file distribution system, available to everyone at home and at school using your LGfL USO. (Get in contact with J2Easy on support@j2e.com.)

A Content Management System – J2Launch allows you to manage and distribute any digital resource including web applications, content and resources created in the Tool Suite. You can use the Launch Library to create a launch button for any web application or site from the list of existing buttons or by creating a new one.

J2e Infant Tools (JIT):

J2e Infant Tools (JIT5) is a set of online educational tools specifically designed for younger learners, but should not be ignored further up the school. It has a colourful and friendly feel which appeals to reception and KS1, but tools such as chart are useful well in to KS2.

There JIT tools are outlined below:

Write:

A simple to use writing tool, ideal for stories. A choice of word banks are available to help support the younger pupils and pupils with SEND. Children will enjoy experimenting with presentation and style and different coloured backgrounds can be chosen to aid learning.

Paint:

Paint is an easy to use creative tool. Children can paint freely with different sizes and colours. Shapes and stamps are easily selected, as well as colourful template backgrounds, and pictures from a picture bank.

Turtle:

Turtle teaches children the initial concepts of direction and simple programming. Children can design their own ‘turtle’ and plan a route for it to follow. Fantastic nursery rhyme and adventure templates are also included, so for example the Big Bad Wolf has to be directed to the first, second and finallt the third of the three Little Pigs’ houses.

Chart:

Chart gives the simplest introduction to line, block, pie, and bar charts. Simply mix one or more chart type together on the page. You will see the charts update instantly as the numbers in the table are changed.

Pictogram:

A fun introduction to data handling. Pick from a range of topics such as colours, pets or favourite fruits then click the buttons to add or take away the relevant pictures. Draw your own pictures or select from the picture bank.

Animate:

Animate is a tool for creating simple but exciting animations. It is a natural progression for children to draw a picture in paint, then use animate to make part of it move. Make snowflakes fall, crabs scuttle, and cars race.

Branch:

Branch brings sorting and sequencing to life by making it very simple for pupils to create their own branching database. Select a group of images or words and use yes/no questions to sort them and create a branching database.

Mix (e-portfolio):

Blend together any of the other tools into a mini e-portfolio. Add a picture to some text on one page, then move on to an animated story on the next, for example.

************ Recent Update ************

The Just2Easy Team have just further updated J2Toolsuite. They have improved the use of images from online within their package. J2e images now have pre cut out shapes so the the images can more successfully be applied into the JIT and J2e Tool Suite. There is a new line art feature as well, increasing the range of creative options.

Watch this video below to see how this has been improved:

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J2Blast:

Spell Blast:

Spell Blast encourages pupils to learn spellings while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the words automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult.

Already listed are the statutory word lists for Year 1-2, 3-4 and 5-6 as well as Letters and Sounds Phase 2-6 but you have an additional function to add your own word lists. These can be sent out as a weekly spelling list for your pupils to practise using their LGfL USOs (if you are a two form or more entry school, the list can be shared across multiple classes and staff).

Tt Blast:

Tt Blast encourages pupils to learn maths while they do what comes naturally; play and compete against each other. As they progress through the levels, the questions automatically adjust to the pupils’ ability so that they never find them too easy or too difficult.

SATs Blast:

SATs Blast encourages pupils to learn the maths elements of the mental arithmetic SATs test for KS1 and KS2 in a games based context.

This was recently extended to include a KS3 SATs blast – you can find this addition in the tab called “LondonMaths Week”.

J2Measure:

J2measure includes a ruler, calliper, protractor, angle measurer, and scaling tools. Students can calculate the length, angle, and area of any objects on the screen.

J2Code:

The coding resource offers differentiated platforms. Following the national curriculum, it encourages students’ creativity and helps teachers fulfil the requirements of computing in the curriculum for pupils in KS1, KS2 and KS3.

JIT Turtle:

Use lesson plans from Y1-2. JIT Turtle is aimed at the youngest learners and starts to introduce all of the important concepts of programming.

Visual:

Use lesson plans from Y3-6; The Visual programming engine is a familiar, block based programming tool which works on any modern computer or tablet. 

Logo:

Use lesson plans from Y3-6, The Logo programming engine enables pupils to build varied and mathematically challenging scripts.

J2Data:

Includes detailed lesson plans, examples and videos, to help you get started with using the tools in your class. 

J2Whiteboard and J2e:

The new J2Whiteboard cloud software has been introduced for your classroom screens/IWB. It works with existing files such as word or pdf, includes whiteboard specific tools such as the screen shade and works on any device(s).

Below Jimmy Jenkins from Ranelagh Primary school explains why he finds the unique features within the J2e platform so useful at school:

J2Bloggy:

Allows students or teachers to create as many websites as they wish.

J2Webby:

J2webby is a creative platform that encourages pupils to be at the heart of the learning experience. It’s easy to use with minimal training, any member of staff can add or make changes to the site’s content with our one click publishing.

You can also find neighbouring schools who are using this already and perhaps get together to exchange advice and learn from each other’s experiences. Click here to be taken to a map of all the schools that use the software for blogging (you can hover over the pins to find the name of the school).

David Mitchell, the founder of Quadblogging, explains the importance of blogging and the impact it can have on literacy in schools in the video below (*note he makes reference to “levels” as clip pre-dates the move to assessment without levels):

J2Review:

With a renewed focus on the wider curriculum, J2review could help make formative assessment of computing easy, using any progression framework and enabling teachers to give informative feedback quickly and effectively.

Further reasons to find some precious spare time to explore the J2 Tool Suite can be seen through these videos hosted on LGfL TV:

LGfL Award Winner 2019 – Trafalgar Infants for their Use of J2e:

LGfL Awards 2019 J2e Highly Commended:

Please do share and let us know if you are making use of the J2 Tool Suite. We would especially love to hear about the impact it is having on your class/school. Do this by posting on LGfL’s Twitter or Facebook.

 

 

 

 

It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content 2018

It’s that time of the year when like or not we are all exposed to Christmas media campaigns, be it advertising for a toy, a movie or supermarket. Over the past months you would have been exposed to a deluge of media campaigns, but the one advert which continues to stick in my mind is one that hasn’t been on TV, a billboard, or on a bus but has instead been banned, it’s this year’s Iceland advert. So, how can an advert for a supermarket be linked to LGfL curriculum content? Read on:

The advert, which highlights the impact of palm oil on rainforests and the affect it has on orang-utans, was banned but has gone viral. The advert, which was released on social media 2 weeks ago, now has had five million views on Iceland’s YouTube channel, 16 million views on its Facebook page and more than 92,000 retweets from its Twitter handle and has inspired many people to learn more about the anti-palm oil movement.

Lee Parkinson(@ICT_MrP ) in his keynote speech at our LGfL conference 2018, shared how powerful it was to explore the idea of using media to foster engagement and create and inspire students to start campaigning and how it can be used to increase the scale of aspiration, audience and outcomes for all learners.

In the edited clip of his keynote above, (watch here for the full-length video) Mr P speaks of the 3 key points to encourage writing

  • Use an exciting stimulus
  • Don’t leave writing useless on a page
  • Let them write for the world

Mr P also mentions Ron Berger’s Hierarchy of Audience, the idea that introducing an authentic audience changes the perception of the work for the student and this affects the amount of effort they put into the final outcome.

LGfL have a range of resources to support you in creating digital content as well giving you the tools to share your students work with the world!

Growing up around the world aims to help children in the UK understand the realities of childhood in the different contexts and follows the lives of 11 children in 10 different countries for more than 20 years in the wake of the Rio Earth Summit. The films in this resource provide a unique insight into growing up around the world; the challenges, hopes and dreams of these children. They also show how the world around them has changed and the impact that this has had, it also has a fantastic page which offers tips on how children can take action and some suggestions to get children started, here are just a few examples:

  • Write a blog
  • Organise an event
  • Write to decision makers and influential people
  • Organise a debate – invite people (parents, community, etc.) to be an audience. Choose an issue you are passionate about and research it. Prepare arguments for and against. Keep in mind that the issue you are debating could be controversial or personal for some people so be sensitive to other people’s opinions and feelings.
  • Make a film
  • Design posters
  • Make a calendar – highlighting issues each month raises awareness and you could also sell your calendar to raise funds
  • Hand out leaflets
  • Make a comic book
  • Create a magazine or newspaper on the issue

Why not start by resourcing Palm oil by using this website created by Iceland here, using the powerful resource j2e5 you can share a j2e5 file with the Iceland site already embedded, so that children access the key facts and then re-write them and use the j2e inbuilt safe search feature to find images to show/share the facts.

From researching and showcasing their knowledge, your students could use Busy Things which has a simple but powerful range of publishing templates within Busy Publisher to make their own newspapers headlines or leaflets to hand out to raise awareness of the topic.

Also within Busy Publisher why not get your students to use the postcard template, you could get your students to design, make and send postcards to local shops which might stock palm oil telling them all about the dangers of palm oil within the environment.

Your students could also make posters, with either j2e5 or jit5 paint, with the latest updates within jit5  you can create amazing posters with text and textures all within the paint app.

You can also get your students to create their own animations using the jit5 animate app, using their own drawing or using clipart from safe search, remember you use the microphone to add audio to your animations, and now with the option of being able to export the file as a gif it is easier than ever to share the animations.

You could also use the jit5 tools to make your own comic-book using the mix app, or to how about making a “no palm-oil cook book” highlighting how you can use countless other ingredients instead of Palm-oil within cooking.

 

Once you created all of your work within j2e Toolsuite your students can publish their work using j2webby, within this platform you can view & manage the blog site including previewing, publishing, and approving posts and comments. It’s best to start using the j2e software tools first and wait until children have saved several pieces of work. They can then choose the piece of work they consider their best to blog to the school blog site. All work within j2e Toolsuite can be posted with a simple click of a button to j2webby, with this simple click your students can have the whole world as an audience!

If you want more support with Blogging and understanding how it can improve writing, we have Blog Central explaining the techniques of blogging and the rationale behind blogging for literacy, again it talks about the audience being key, for a quick introduction here is David Mitchell, the founder of Quadblogging, explaining the importance of blogging and the impact it can have on literacy in schools (the video mentions levels but you can see the idea of the improvements it gives)

Why not video your students campaigning, you can store and share the videos safely within Video Central HD, because VCHD automatically generates HTML code, you can embed the video into your schools website and share your campaign within your school community.

Writing for a purpose provides the students with an audience and therefore a REAL purpose to write. Knowing their work would be shared outside of a book or class, that their work will be read and seen by different people adds a real incentive to create a high standard of work, so go start your campaign it doesn’t have to be about palm oil but it’s a great one to start, perhaps it be about Christmas food waste? Or plastic use, just ask your children how they want to change the world!

I couldn’t end this blog post without mentioning at least one other of the ‘other’ Christmas adverts, did you know that researchers have already said that there will be a record number of pianos and musical instruments being bought this year (I I wonder why?) why not share with you students the Gigajam resource when they get back in the new year? Within this resource students can learn to play keyboard, guitar, bass or drums  with award winning video play along tracks and automated feedback.

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook