Sounds familiar

Hugh John

Macs for Teachers by Michelle Robinette, Pounds 18.99, IDG Books - (ISBN 1-56884-601-0).

IDG Books publishes the highly successful "for Dummies" series, which have sold 20 million books worldwide. Macs for Teachers is the initial volume in a series intended to encompass, among other topics, the Internet and multimedia. The author, Michelle Robinette, after eight years at the chalkface, is now technology co-ordinator for an elementary school in Georgia, USA.

An accompanying disc includes computer graphics, databases and various ClarisWorks education templates which, with some modification, might help with end-of-term reports and assessments. In a possible nod to the future of education in Britain there is even a sponsor brochure template.

The book is written in the IDG house format, which means it over-uses top-ten-tip lists, sloganising, itemising and Never Uses Lower Case When Capitals Will Do. It deals first with the generalities of the Macintosh system and then with its application to education.

There are assessments of educational software, an introduction to the Internet and practical suggestions for using the Apple Macintosh in the classroom. There is also a comprehensive overview of ClarisWorks the integrated software package (see page 31).

Unfortunately the first half of the book is a virtual reprint of Macs for Dummies and many teachers will be loathe to pay nearly Pounds 18.99 for information they might already possess. If IDG persists in this dubious recycling policy it may find that the golden goose is going to up and stop laying.

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