The Hodder amp; Stoughton stand at BETT is always full of interest as their list grows and as they continue to merge with, or acquire, other publishers. Their traditional strengths in History will only be enhanced by the addition of John Murray titles and by a significant new product, the Holocaust amp; Genocide CD-Rom (pound;146.88). The author Eleanor Williamson has worked with The Holocaust Centre in Nottingham to produce the mixed media content for key stage 3 history, citizenship and religious knowledge.
One key strength of the product is how the atrocities of the Holocaust are seen in relief against more recent events in the Balkans and Rwanda. Links take students to the noted Nottingham centre and video clips make this a powerful resource for any human rights education.
Moorhouse Black, at the Nelson Thornes stand, is a video conferencing and distance learning specialist. The company is increasingly able to plug a gap in ASA2 teaching in humanities. The deal is simple: you choose your subject, nominate your students, sign up and receive timetabled teaching and tutorials. The assigned tutors will not only work with students, but help with video linked parents' evenings and subject choice presentations.
Although geographers head the queue for Digital Worlds GIS (pound;495), the publishers claim it is suitable for history, citizenship and ICT - for primary through to FE! Bold claims, but it is a remarkable product. For your money you receive a digitised Ordnance Survey map resource, customised to 10km around your school. With the maps, both contemporary and historical, come census data and aerial photographs.
Those teaching geography at primary level may also enjoy (and get good value from) Primary Worksheets - Geography (pound;89.95) from Virtual Image Publishing. With interactivity a key ingredient, the CDs provide teaching notes, key facts, multiple choice and other worksheets as well as Worksheet Wizard - a nifty tool to help you make up your own multi-choice resources.
If you study the weather, the Advisory Unit's Weather Tracker (pound;330) is a great new toy (tool) to enable field recording of weather. You key in your requirements, hold the Tracker up in the elements and the details of a host of conditions are recorded. Simple-to-use software enables a download back at base. Ideal for Year 8 onwards.
While many technology products stretch the budget, Crown House Publishing's Cardit! software looks good value at pound;35. It's a simple concept but useful nonetheless. You enter your data in the form of fields on cards which can then be randomly scrambled or re-sorted. Why? It helps create a wide range of revision, logic and other interactive activities.
And where do you acquire the data in the first place? Carel Press has two new resources for secondary schools and FE colleges. The publications are Fact File 2004 and Key Organisations 2004 (both pound;35). Both are available as CD-Rom, book or online, providing masses of data for more than 3,000 organisations.
Finally, Citizenship has been taken into the school curriculum in numerous ways, with the subject proving a catalyst for debate on numerous topics.
Two new products from Information Plus in their Social Learning Software series are well worth a look, both for potential classroom use and as an introduction to the company's interesting backlist. Billy and the Break in is an interactive decision-making story where students have to make their own choices. There is no ducking the issues here. Contraception: The Computer Game is a computer implementation of an existing board game, again with plenty of important issues raised. The materials provide voices to supplement texts for those with reading difficulties. Both of these products are ideal for mid-to-late teens and both are as suited to mainstream education as they are to the other social learning environments in which they are used.
If you only look at three things ...
Digital Worlds GIS (pound;495 primary, pound;695 secondary and FE) Digital Worlds Stand SW146 www.digitalworlds.co.uk
Fact File 2004 and Key Organisations 2004. pound;39.55 and pound;35 for books. Carel Press PZ23 Tel: 01228 538928 www.carelpress.com
Weather Tracker, pound;330.00 The Advisory Unit G35 www.advisory-unit.org.uk
Crown House Publishing PZ25 Tel: 01267 211 345 www.crownhouse.co.uk
Hodder amp; Stoughton PZ16 www.hodderheadline.co.uk
Information Plus SN55 Tel: 01856 761 334 www.information-plus.co.uk Interactive Education Z90 Tel: 0870 043 4024 www.interactive-education.co.uk
Polyvision W30 Tel: 0800 587 3374 www.polyvision.comuk Virtual Image Publishing SW91 Tel: 0161 480 1915 www.virtualimage.co.uk