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GridClub brings online fun to 7-11s

A new online service that promises to make learning fun for seven to 11-year-olds has been launched by the Department for Education and Employment (DFEE).

GridClub is primarily focused on a website developed by Channel 4, Oracle and Intuitive Media but will also include a 10-part television series from September.

One of the site's major components is the club, a safe, free online community offering a range of communication tools.

The club is based on Oracle's Think.com technology, which has been used extensively at Netherhall School in Cambridge. Alastair Wells, the head of ICT, said it has "dramatically changed the way we work at Netherhall and facilitated methods of teaching and learning that would have been unimaginable a few years ago."

Launching the initiative at the BETT ehibition last month, learning and technology minister Michael Wills said GridClub would let teachers and parents see what children do on the site.

The site's users will belong to the GridClub and their own school communities and can also join special-interest discussion groups, about pets or sport, for example.

The Virtual Library is a separate site, open to all, with a range of stimulating, fun educational activities and resources in words, pictures, audio, video and animated forms.

Content is commissioned by 4Learning for a wide range of abilities and interests. There is a range of reference resources and interactive games to make learning fun.

Schools need to register with Think.com before pupils can use GridClub.

Chris Johnston

GridClub www.gridclub.com

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