Frog 15

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It’s that time of year when the whole office gears up for our annual get together – Frog 15. It’s our biggest customer event and it’s a brilliant way to bring the Frog Family together. It’s also a great time to invite all the schools that are thinking about joining Frog to see what we are made of, warts and all.

While it might not feel like it, the removal of national attainment levels provides schools with a once in a generation opportunity to change the shape of our assessment – to focus more on the children, on teaching and learning. We also believe that it provides the opportunity for teachers to take back control of your profession, to put you in the driving seat instead of Whitehall.

Will you be one of those brave enough to stand up and make this change?

Because we think the opportunity for UK education is so great we’re focusing this year on life after levels and supporting schools with the assessment changes. Our life after levels events with the NAHT have been massively popular over the past few months, in fact we’re running more of them because they’ve been hugely oversubscribed, and some with more than 150 people at them.

Mick Walker will be joining me on the main stage to share his views on life after levels – Mick is probably the UK’s foremost assessment expert, and hearing what he has to say will both invigorate you with possibilities and take away a number of worries we know you’ll currently have around the changes. And for all the Mick Walker groupies out there the team here tell me they’re considering making some ‘I heart Mick Walker t-shirts’ so get your pre orders in now! Really??

We will of course be doing all the usual Froggy things, we have a whole host of teachers lined up ready to share their successes and failures, and following last years success there’ll be some Digital Leaders sharing their stories, too.

Alistair Smith will be closing the show with some words of wisdom focusing on the holistic child with his 4H model, “Head, Heart, Health and Heroics”. We tend to focus almost exclusively on a child’s knowledge and skills, but what about their character, happiness, self esteem, and what about their health?

NAHT Edge will be hosting a session in the morning along with the National Theatre in the afternoon. As always we’ll be having a very tasty lunch, this year though we will be mixing it up a bit and hosting a TeachMeet at the same time. This is a chance for schools to swap ideas, share best practice and learn from each other. I can’t wait to hear more inventive ways that our schools are using Frog.

I’m hoping everyone is feeling as excited as I am and that you all get the answers you need to help you during these uncertain times. I’m also going to make life a little bit easier for you by giving our latest Curriculum Manager software for FREE to everyone that attends Frog 15!

Also you might want to dust off your sombrero and Dame Edna glasses….. I say no more…

We all have a fantastic opportunity over the next couple of years. Come along to Frog 15 to find out how you can make a difference, and how you can take control back and for those that have forgotten, maybe even remember why you started teaching in the first place.

You can sign up for FREE here – http://www.frogeducation.com/frog15

The Danish Adventure continues…

We went to see our friends at MV Nordic in Denmark yesterday. The final paperwork is coming together for our Joint Venture, Frog Nordic, and everything should be sorted within the next few weeks.  We have a team of developers dedicated to the Danish project – their first project was to translate all of Frog into Danish, and to add the Danish curriculum – and obviously add some Lego background images!  They’re now moving on to some new funky stuff around planning.

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MV Nordic Office – awesome staircase…

There are two ways that we could approach Denmark.

1. We could make the price really low, provide little in the way of support and sell as many little Frogs as possible, making a good lump of money straight away. Many of the companies in Denmark are taking this approach. This is a short term, market grabbing strategy, but it makes building longer term relationships difficult because there isn’t enough money to pay for making sure that it works. Think of it as paying £50 a year for someone to maintain your car for you. They might win a lot of business initially, but you aren’t likely to see them on your drive very often.

2. The other way of doing it is to charge enough to allow us to spend the time making sure it works in the schools. Obviously having a higher price would likely mean that we would attract less schools.  Later sales would come ONLY AFTER we’ve proved that it’s worth paying the extra for Frog. This is the strategy we took in England. Think of it as paying £300 a year for someone to maintain your car for you. They’ll find it harder to get people to pay that at first, but if they do a great job, you’ll tell your friends about them and slowly they’ll end up on everyone’s driveway. But if they don’t do a great job, they’ll end up with nothing.

Which would you do?

Awesome christmas card came into Frog today…

Thank you Simon, from the Radclyffe School, this is awesome !

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Can you please circulate amongst all of your wonderful colleagues at Frog HQ – Some of whom we work with on a regular basis but don’t have an email address for!

Thank you all for your wonderful help, advice and continued support! Oh and all the awesome freebies too!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Simon and the VTLE Team @ The Radclyffe School J

Meet your Product Managers

With a 74 strong development team, we’ve found it increasingly difficult to keep this animal fed with the right things.  So we’ve made a significant investment into a dedicated product management team of 5 people.

These people are the link between you and the software development team.  More than that, we now no longer have an overall development manager, the development team has been broken in to 7 separate teams and these teams now report directly into the product managers.  We’ve essentially built 7 small, nimble development teams instead of one big and unwieldy one.  Many of you may have already noticed the benefits of this, we certainly have, we’re building things loads faster!

Graham Thorpe (Frog Learn and Frog Developer Platform)
Graham

Graham was a customer of Frog before he joined us and so his approach is very much based on the schools point of view. He regularly meets customers through our Meet, Share and learn events to keep himself abreast of what the teachers, techies and partner need from Frog.

Askhar Ali (Frog Learn)
Askhar

Ashkar works alongside Graham on Frog Learn, with a particular focus around the modules within Frog Learn, such as Frog Feedback and Frog Parent.

Ramsey Al-Chalaby (Frog Progress)
RamseyRamsey is currently looking after the new Frog Progress product, a brand new development set to launch in early 2015.

All these gentlemen are managed by our two Product Directors, Mike Wilkinson and Steve Holt, who both have a very hands on role, working directly with customers and defining the products that we build.  Both Mike and Steve are members of the Frog Board and have a huge amount of influence over the business.

Mike Wilkinson (Frog Learn) and Steve Holt (Frog Play and Frog Progress)
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Our team can be reached directly on 01422-250800, or via their e-mail addresses (forename.surname@frogeducation.com)

Frog Juice…

Someone sent me this the other day…

LIMA, Peru — Frogs from Peru’s Lake Titicaca are the main ingredient in a juice blend that some Andean cultures believe has the power to cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive.

Frog JuiceTo make the mix, which is sold in Peru’s Andes and also at some stands in its capital Lima, vendor Maria Elena Cruz grabs a frog from a small aquarium then kills it by beating it on the counter of her stand.

She peels off the skin and drops it into a blender with carrots, the Peruvian maca root and honey.

Full article here: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/offbeat/blended-frog-juice-a-popular-peru-elixir/ar-BBesuHV?ocid=UP94DHP

On the first day of Christmas Frog sent to me…

Every day for the next 12 days will be giving away a free classroom resource or piece of content to schools as early Christmas gifts. We are working alongside some amazing partners including Education City, Britannica and Night Zoo Keeper to name a few.

The link to keep an eye on is – http://www.frogeducation.buzz/AdventCalendar.html

On the first day of Christmas, Frog sent to me...