Huge Frog upgrade coming soon !

As some of you know over the past year or so we’ve been naming our versions of Frog after cool people from history.  The next version of Frog is called the Whittle release, after Sir Frank Whittle.

Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS (1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was a English Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer air officer. He is credited with single handedly inventing the turbojet engine.


Air Commodore Sir Frank Whittle, OM, KBE, CB, FRS, Hon FRAeS
(1 June 1907 – 9 August 1996) was an English Royal Air Force (RAF) engineer air officer.
He is credited with single handedly inventing the turbojet engine.

Our last release was in July of this year, and you should see how much we’ve done since then!  We have more than 70 people in our software development team, and for the last couple of years they’ve spent much of their time putting the “foundations” in to Frog.  While I won’t bore you with the details, as many of you know Frog’s product design mentality, what you can see on the surface is only a fraction of what’s possible once you understand what’s going on underneath the skin (two cars might look the same from the outside, but under the skin one happens to be a World Rally Car, while the other might just be a normal road car, with an oil leak… ;0)

All this inner magic is now mostly completed, and this means that we’ve now started to be able to use the huge development resources we have to focus entirely on things you can see rather than the hidden magic under the hood.  The Whittle release will give you an idea of just how far forward we can go now in a short space of time.  As you can tell, I’m dead excited about the speed and momentum that Frog have at the moment!

I’ll drop a few screenshots on here over the coming days, but here’s a small taster:

  • completely rebuilt assignment manager (for issuing work, marking work, communicating with the students and giving formative feedback)
  • a brand new mark book (for assessing performance and progress)
  • new apps in both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store (giving you access to EVERYTHING in the Frog system from tablet devices)
  • a brand new Frog Snap mobile application for both iOS and Android devices (now records video, allows live editing of images, and also provides tools for annotating feedback on work instantly)
  • huge improvements to the text widget in the site editor (allowing you to create sophisticated web sites, or even build your own learning platform within a site!)
  • massive improvements to sites (particularly around using sites as publicly facing websites and portals)
  • huge improvements to Frog Drive (enabling shared workspaces, collaboration, a funky new interface and loads more)
  • ability to mass import data from other systems (zip up your existing document structure and fire it straight in to Frog in one go!)
  • Whole new Frog Parent product now available for Frog Learn
  • Whole new Frog Secure Gateway product now available for Frog Learn
  • And the FDP (Frog Developer Platform) has finally been launched and training has started, enabling you to get under the hood of Frog yourself and bend it and shape it any way that you want, including integrating or even building your own applications and mobile apps!

Is that everything?  Nope…there’s loads more stuff in this release

Is this what we’ll be showing at the Bett show?  Nah, there’ll be another release nearing completion by then!

Am I excited at how quickly things are being developed right now?  Damn right !  Are you?

Frog Finalists in 3 (yes 3!) Bett 2015 awards

Bett Awards 2015 FinalistI’m thrilled to say that Frog (and co) have been nominated for three BETT awards this year!

The I Am Learning product is a finalist for Secondary Digital Content, Frog Learn is a finalist for ICT Tools for Learning and Teaching – web based, and Frog Education is again a finalist for ICT Company of the Year – Between £1m and £10m turnover

Well done to everyone at both Frog and I Am Learning, I know you’ve all worked really hard this year.

We’ve rebuilt and significantly grown all of our services teams this year to help the ever increasing number of schools we work with, and the results of that have been nothing short of fantastic.

We’ve also surmounted some huge architectural challenges with technology this past couple of years, and now everything is finally in place we’re about to start really wowing our Frog schools, starting with the phenomenal release in a few weeks.  This is where the magic starts to happen!  Congratulations everyone!

And of course, a huge thank you to all of our customers, most of whom are already transitioning to the new Frog Learn system.  Given what happens when most companies ask their customers to move to entirely new products we are extremely proud of the success we’ve had doing this and we are hugely grateful to you for continuing to take your journey in to the future with Frog.  Thank you.

Gareth

Frog FDP Workshop a success

The development team hosted a FDP Workshop last week, showing the more technically inclined Frog users how to bend and shape Frog themselves.

They happened to record the whole thing live using Frog Snap, so I’ve knicked a couple of pictures of the day for you.

FDP Workshop

Frog is an open platform with APIs for pretty much everything in the system becoming available, meaning you can build your own widgets, applications, or even mobile apps for Frog.

A few random comments captured during the day:

“So….if I try this, then it should….” . . . “It does!”

“The documentation is actually really good…”

“….Amazing. Amazing….”

and just to be balanced: “Yaaaay! Oh. No.”

(thanks to Graham for collecting the comments)

Adam doing his thing

Frog Team go to HackManchester

Some of our developers headed off to HackManchester this weekend.  Starting at 12 noon on Saturday a small team were building a project start to finish over 24 hours finishing mid-day on Sunday.

Team Frog
Team Frogheart, Victoria Baron, Sam Warren, Lee Mills (in spirit) and Luke Bonaccorsi

I’m led to believe that Lee Mills didn’t make it because he needed to come in to Frog over the weekend to deal with the release we’re preparing, and Sam spent until 3am on Sunday trying to sort out the server, which was playing up.  And they arrived with two broken laptops and had to nip in to work to borrow a couple of working PCs. So all in all, a total disaster.

There’s a video of this total sham below: