7th January 2000 at 00:00
"Research has shown that a visitor to BETT 2000 will cover a distance approaching five miles during the course of a visit." So says the press release. OK for the PE department, but maybe not for the humanities teacher loaded down with exhibition goodies.

Perhaps break yourself in gently with a look at some classic new media publishingI the CD-Rom. Logotron sets high standards in this area and will feature new materials for use with PinPoint and Junior PinPoint. Among them will be the excellent Landmarks: Looking at the World and, representing a hard-to-beat quality standard, Maps and Mapping. These are for primaries and feature many highly refined and easy-to-use features. For secondaries - across the humanities - take a few moments to test-drive Europe in the Round, a CD-Rom from Vocational Technologies that appears to offer an incredible wealth of information. This is what CD-Rom publishing is all about.

While PinPoint concerns itself with datahandling. Black Cat offers an interesting alternative in Information Workshop 2000 - an affordable and versatile classroom tool. And as both teachers and students increasingly employ electronic presentation of information (projects, field study reports, assignments etc), a look at some new software and hardware might also pay dividends.

QED previews Fathom, a new "dynamic statistics package" and Softease takes this one step further with Textease, a multimedia package including word processing, DTP and textaudio combinations. The latter may suit language teachers best but geographers, historians and others will enjoy its creative potential. And TAG is presenting a new and robust digital camera, Jam C@m (pound;59.95), ideal for in and out of school, perfect for a range of uses. Insist you try it out on the stand!

As we know, students increasingly draw on the Internet as a source of information. Accordingly several software publishers (Matrix Multimedia to name one) are drawing back on CD-Roms and placing more reliance on the Web. As a result, schools need to rly more heavily on secure Internet connections and a visit to The Fantastic Corporation might be of value, but make you less than popular when it comes to school funding negotiations.

BETT 2000 is about technology, but books never go away. There is a "Book Zone" so, if you fancy curling up, try using Two-Can Publishing's stand. Its library and information titles just get better and better. In terms of interactivity the pages of the new Atlas series could act as a benchmark for both book and digital publishers.

And if keeping apace with everything gets a bit daunting, try this policy. Just skip the present and look at tomorrow - you are instantly transformed from a Luddite to a visionary. Two interesting developments might be worth looking at. The digital television revolution (every home will have one) may well breathe new life into Teletext, Ceefax etc. On digital televisions these products can be virtually instantaneous and much more flexible than at present. Hodder amp; Stoughton may be a little ahead of the game with some new booktv publications.

More ambitiously you might want to attend Dr Malcolm Herbert's talk on Internet Services for Schools (Friday January 14, Theatre B10, 12.15pm) and listen for mention of ASP (Application Service Provision). ASP is attracting huge investment from the City as businesses cease running their own software and hire big packages from the providers. It means more complex software becomes affordable, costs are more tightly controlled and users benefit from constant upgrading and problem solvingI all ideal for education.

Logotron Stand: F30www.logo.comVocational Technologies Stand: SW29www.gesvt.comBlack Cat Stand: F70www.blackcatsoftware.comQED Stand: P38Tel: 01494 772 973Softease Stand: M22www.textease.comTAGDevelopments Stand: Multimedia Stand: Corporation Stand: L4www.fantastic.comTwo-Can Publishing Stand: SW58Tel: 0171 664 1649Hodder amp; Stoughton Stand: P1Tel: 0171 873 6250

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