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A real page turner

Helen Yewlett discovers an exciting resource that will encourage her pupils' word-processing skills to soar

Advanced ECDL AM3 Word Processing Using Office 2000 By Christine Blackham Heinemann Education pound;17.99

If I tell you I have been trying to get permission from Heinemann to put some of the resources offered in one of their books on my school website, you know it has to be good. I want to upload some of the tasks and make them Year 7 lessons.

The book is Advanced ECDL AM3 Word Processing Using Office 2000 by Christine Blackham. It comes with a CD with the sort of tasks I dream of.

All I have to do is click on them, then follow the instructions in the book and the magic happens.

I have learned so much that my new Year 7 will be producing booklets, not only with pagination, headers and footers, but also tables of contents and indexes. They may even have watermarks and columns. It's an exciting prospect.

My A-level computing students should up their presentation game too. Table of contents and index? Definitely, now that I have shown them how easy it is. But how about an electronic questionnaire they can email to employees of the company they are analysing, with drop-down boxes and tick boxes, as well as space for comments?

Then there are the sections in their projects. Imagine having a long thin pale-shaded text-box on the outer edge of each page with the key word for that section written vertically in it. Then, as the examiner flicks through their work, it will be instantly obvious whether he or she is reading the analysis section, the design section, or the feedback. It may not gain them extra marks at A-level, but it will certainly mean they will have shown key skills level 3 work within their project.

My GCSE pupils are producing a report on input devices for their portfolio.

This time they will have used style and columns and table of contents, as well as the usual word-processing features we all use. Already I'm looking forward to seeing the end result. Extra marks here? Again, probably not, but it will have prepared them better for key skills the following year.

Have I been through everything Christine Blackham offers in this book? Not yet, but I am working on it. I have learned how to track changes and compare documents, and maybe tomorrow I'll find out how to produce a collaborative document.

This is a book that will definitely raise your word-processing standards.

Having read it, I am keen to read the other book Heinemann publishes on Advanced ECDL AM3 Spreadsheets for Office 2000 (pound;17.99). Although they have been specifically produced for ECDL Advanced Modules, the skills they promote should be taught to every student taking key skills level 3.

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