New Frog Release, “Newton” coming

Sir_Isaac_Newton_by_Sir_Godfrey_Kneller,_BtNew reports and contextual data in Progress, loads of improvements to assignments, including integration with the student calendar, awesome (genuinely awesome) Google integration, and a whole set of learning content (videos) now in Frog Play, along with loads of other bits and pieces.

Click below to get a proper look at what’s coming:

Release Guide – Newton V7.1

Now Frog’s gone all Star Trek!

Simon Nicholas from Ralph Allen School has designed one of his Frog dashboards to look like the computers on Star Trek The Next Generation (apparently it’s called LCARS).  Simon has submitted this site to the FrogStore for those that want to grab it (just hit the FrogStore app inside Frog).  Thank you for sharing, Simon!

Our guys liked it an entirely unhealthy way in my opinion.  I’m told they’re now working on a theme to replicate the look.

Click the image below to see a video of how the animations work.

startrek_TNG_theme

 

For those interested in how he built this, it’s constructed entirely in a single site using a basic fullscreen theme and used Photoshop to create the buttons. The animations are .gifs in media widgets and the menu icons are pictures placed in a text widget. Simples… But very cool.

Mobile Responsive Themes

Our latest theme has been tweaked to make it mobile responsive, which means it changes what it looks like depending on what device it’s on.

We’ve been able to do this on any theme for a number of years now, but for some reason not done it on the one’s that come pre-installed with Frog.

“Why not, are you stupid?” you may ask.

“Yes.  It appears so.”

I wish I had a better answer…

Here’s an example on a normal browser:

fullscreen

And here’s what it looks like on an iPhone.  Note the little “burger” menu in the top right hand corner.

IMG_0001

Remember that you can build your own themes, what Frog looks like is completely up to you.  I believe there’s a bit of code that you can paste into any theme to make it do this.  To see more take a look at our Community Site – Mobile Themes.

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