Frog shortlisted for 3 BETT awards again!

Bett Awards 2016

I believe there were more entries than ever before this year, so we feel really proud to have been shortlisted for all the categories that we entered.

Thank you to each and every one of you at Frog for your hard work again this year.  The vision we’ve held for the past few years is now starting to come to fruition and we have a few very exciting years ahead of us!

The awards we’ve been shortlisted for are:

  1. ICT Tools for Learning, Teaching and Assessment – Frog Progress
  2. Free Digital Content/Open Educational Resources – with our partners, The National Theatre
  3. ICT Company of the Year (over £3m turnover)

I’m really looking forward to the awards, and I hope that the fact we’ve won Company of the Year twice in the last three years isn’t held against us!

Schools racing ahead with Frog Code already!

We’ve spun a new Frog Forum up recently and I wanted to show you a link to one specific post where someone wanted to embed a PDF into a site and has received loads of responses of how to achieve this, many using Frog Code to achieve it.

Not suggesting you read it all but it’s worth a scroll down to see just how sophisticated some schools are already.

http://forum.froginfra.net/forum/froglearn-aa/technical-help-aa/4528-displaying-pdf

Thank you to John, Eric and everyone else that responded to this and many other posts

Personally, I’m really excited about this and can’t wait to see what you start doing once you start tinkering with the full Frog APIs, and the Frog Code IDE that’s nearly with you!

By ‘eck – Frog Code already !

I discovered last week that the guys and gals have already built a prototype IDE, the first part of which goes out in the next release !  How come I’m always the last to find out ?!

Who should read this?

This is for folks that know how to program, we’re thinking anyone from “enthusiastic amateur” to “professional programmer”.  This is not for teachers, and this is not for “Huggy”.

That said, if you don’t program it’s worth knowing that if someone in your school does then this gives them the freedom to do whatever they want using Frog. As far as I can tell, no limits. We’re also seeing schools sharing little snippets of stuff between themselves already that creates new functionality for your Frog, which is fantastic!

Here’s a few screen grabs:

Frog Code

A “snippet” is a single chunk of code that can be accessed from anywhere in the system, what might more usually be called an include file.  Scripts can be created in both JavaScript and Python.

Frog Code - Snippet

The Reports section shown below is the first bit out of the gate, available in the next release as a beta to anyone that wants to have a play!

This area has full access to the FDP (Frog Developer Platform) APIs. It also has a full set of APIs for grabbing the report parameters without you having to code loads of stuff, so if you want to choose a class of students, just tell it that and it’ll sort it out for you. Finally, there is a full set of graphing and charting APIs available so you can create all sorts of funky presentations.  We’re hoping that the first release in 2016 will also allow these reports to be embedded within a widget, so you’ll be able to build your own full dashboard, showing whatever you want however you want it.

Frog Code - Reports

If any errors exist in the code there’s also an error flag (red x) and a warning flag (yellow triangle) that show up as you’re typing.

It’s also possible to pop open a diagnostic panel where you can type commands directly, or even call individual Frog APIs and see the schema that comes back.  Below we are looking at the return for the getUser API.

Frog Code - Inline

So whether you want to extend Frog in some way with your own widgets, modify Frog (you could change the presentation of FrogOS itself using this if you really wanted to), bolt in third party systems including single sign on, or even give the children a safe sandbox to learn to program in, Frog Code will cover it.

Awesome?

Yes.  Opens the door to a whole new world of Frog…

Surprised it’s here already?

Me too…

Proper coding in Frog!

It’s taken longer than I hoped to get here, but we now have a proper code editor built inside Frog, and this is just the beginning of the next exciting stage of it’s evolution.

Although this is called a HTML Widget, it’s far more than that.  Frog is developed entirely using a combination of back end APIs and front end JavaScript, and given that this HTML Widget also allows you to write JavaScript that means you can build pretty much anything that WE can build here, right from within the Frog Site Editor!

So whether you want to build your own personalised dashboard widgets, data reporting, or integrations with third party products, now you can do it just by dragging a widget on the screen and (in my case) cutting and pasting some code!

Coding in Frog

If you’ve started using this and you’ve built anything cool then please let me know, especially if it’s okay to share it with other schools!

Why am I so excited?

Our previous product, Frog 3, wasn’t actually a learning platform.  It was a sophisticated content management system, one that was powerful enough to build your own tailored learning platform with.  But more importantly, many other things, too, from YouTube type systems, to social networks.

Frog Learn (based on our FrogOS technology) is way more than that, but in honesty it’s taken us far too long to get to the point where we can make this available to the schools properly.  Well now we’re there.  And this means that our customers now have bar none the most powerful and flexible system available.  And just like Frog 3, that means that this is no longer just a learning platform, it’s whatever you want it to be.

And this is just the beginning. The Frog system is about to take many leaps forward, I’m sure it doesn’t take a genius to work out where this is all going!

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)
MikeSteve

Our team can be reached directly on 01422-250800, or via their e-mail addresses (forename.surname@frogeducation.com)