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Education show

As pampered pooches strut their stuff in the cavernous halls of the National Exhibition Centre, educational suppliers will be putting on their own show next door. Both Crufts and the Education Show start next Thursday in Birmingham.

Although many ICT suppliers wait for Bett in January to unveil new products, the Education Show also acts as a launchpad for many ICT resources. The National Trust, for example, will be showing off its new schools' website - Learning and Discovery. The interactive section of the site features the game Pest Detective, where players discover the hidden beasties that threaten the trust's antiquities.

The dental care project Teethwise started as a card and video resource, but the latest spin-offs include a book and website. Information on teeth structure, dental health and diet is available in the form of games.

Training consultancy Literacy Matters has created a planning resource website for time-poor primary teachers and parents looking for constructive ways to support their child's learning. Literacy Matters online contains ideas for literacy hour, lesson plans, planning schedules, resource suggestions and a literacy agony aunt - literacy and educational consultant Janet Evans, senior lecturer at Liverpool Hope University.

Downloadable lesson plans for Years 1 to 7 and special needs are available in Word or PDF files. The site's backers hope teachers will get into the spirit of sharing, and submit any good ideas. Support materials, activities and ideas are also available for pre-school and early years.

The Literacy Matters website isn't big on the hard sell, but there is a discreet section on the courses and CD-Roms the organisation offers schools.

ICT co-ordinators and systems managers should head for the ictnet stand, where staff will be demonstrating the Self Healing Desktop. The blurb says that whatever children do to it, "the system can rebuild itself at the end of the school day". While the Cambridge-based consultancy admits that there are similar products on the market, it claims that the Self Healing Desktop is not only targeted at schools but priced for them.

Another management tool that might reduce the headaches is the Kat Timetabler, which has been nominated in the innovation category for the Education Resources Awards. School schedulers input information on teachers, times, subjects and classes and Kat does the rest to produce a "conflict-free" timetable. Demonstrations and CD-Rom demos will be available to visitors at the stand.

Most specialist ICT companies will be clustered in the Software Centre, but visit the website www.education-show.com for full details on resources, exhibitors, seminars and special events.

And see Resources 2002, free with this week's TES, for a complete show guide.

yolanda.brooks@tes.co.ukwww.nationaltrust.org.uklearninganddiscovery; stand: SJ3www.teethwise.org; stand: A570www.literacymatters.com; stand: PV374www.ictnet.co.uk; stand: C348www.scisoft-kat.com; stand: A431

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