Design software that's easy to use

11th April 1997 at 01:00
David Maddison, deputy head and junior class teacher at St Peter's Church of England Primary School, Plymouth, talks to Chris Abbott

Which information technology product - software or hardware - makes all the difference?

My World 2 - movable pictures and text with a wide range of support packs.


It's very easy for children to use. There are no problems loading or getting to where they need to go. Once they're in its familiar territory. even if it's a brand new support pack, they know how to use it. SEMERC, the publisher, targets curriculum areas that you want to cover, and I like the diversity of what's available.What do you like or dislike about it?

The front end (the way you start out)is always the same; but after that there is plenty of choice. The childrenlike that, and the fact that whatever they do, it's their choice. They can put images in places that won't be the same for anyone else using the program. It's reasonably priced and the support packs are good value.

When did you start using it?

I started using it in my last school when the Acorn A4000 came out, about six years ago. There is a much broader selection of software now with the updated version of the program.

Who decided to buy it and were you involved in the choice?

I'm not the IT co-ordinator - the head is but each curriculum co-ordinator is responsible for IT so I did decide to buy it.

I think it's best that way: an IT co-ordinator might not know where the curriculum gaps are. We had basic My World before but Version 2 is more suitable. I'm responsible for design and technology, science and assessment, and I saw some gaps there and filled them with My World.

How does it compare with other ways of tackling the same tasks?

There are 3D modelling programs but they are not integrated into a simple structure. Each format will be different and they're often quite expensive. Something like Spex would be a step forward but it's more expensive.

How do you think it could be improved?

Some of the middle mouse-button directories are a little difficult for the children because of the words used and the need to click on the right part of the screen. It's sometimes too rigid, but for something like human biology that's OK.

If you had more funding, what would you invest in?

I can always get more support packs, but generally I'm quite happy with what I've got. We're beginning to get PCs, so it would be nice to get the PC version of the program, My World for Windows.

My World 2 (Pounds 39 for site licence) is available from SEMERC 1

Broadbent Road, Watersheddings Oldham OL1 4LB Tel: 0161 627 4469 Fax: 0161 627 2381Email:

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