Learning grid for screen literacy;Software

14th May 1999 at 01:00
Gary is a young man with a lot to say. He grasps ideas quickly and is very articulate, but his writing is often incomprehensible because most of the words he uses are misspelt. He is interested in science, but much of the specialist terminology is beyond his spelling skills. Wordbar, a new product from Crick Software, gives him easy access to vocabulary such as "intestine", "metabolism" and "enzyme". It lets him write what he knows about the digestive system, for instance.

Word Bar is essentially a very simple idea. It is a series of grids containing words or phrases, including personal dictionaries. Users click on cells to insert text and to hear words. John and Ann Crick are particularly proud of Wordbar. "What we wanted was to produce a package which would help those working in the secondary or adult sector," says John. With grids on Vietnam, Dickens and the Cold War, these materials look and feel quite different from Clicker.

Ann Crick is the author of the files. She teaches children with moderate learning difficulties and has been impressed by the work done both in Britain and Australia on writing frames. "There has been a shortage of software to support the work done by classroom teachers," she says. "Too often writing can be unrelated to other areas of the curriculum and is seen as something that English teachers do."

The frames cover a range of genres including narrative, persuasive writing and formulating arguments. The "useful phrases" encourage fluency and also act as a memory prompt. They help students to develop more sophisticated, structured writing, with a range of syntax.

Sally McKeown Wordbar CD-Rom for Windows PCs pound;50 (single-user); pound;75 (five-user); pound;125 (10-user); pound;175 (15-user); pound;225, (20-user); pound;475, (50-user).

Site licence (pound;875) Crick Software 01604 671691 www.cricksoft.com

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now