Novices do well to begin here

20th June 1997 at 01:00
IT SUPPORT FOR ALL. Pack, Pounds 12.50, National Council for Educational Technology, Milburn Hill Road, Science Park, Coventry CV4 7JJ. Tel: 01203 416994

IT Support for All is a wallet of about 20 "pamphlets" that average eight pages in length. Grouped under the five headings - Using multimedia, Speech, Frameworks for curriculum access, Communication, and Management issues - they act as a resource for IT centres, IT co-ordinators, and Sencos (special needs co-ordinators and teachers). They are intended to encourage and develop the use of IT across the curriculum, and explore ways of improving access and learning for all pupils.

Each aspect is usefully outlined then goes into detail about how IT can help in that area, how teachers and pupils have used it, and finishes with pertinent resources and contacts and suppliers mentioned in the texts. To give an example: "Using IT to improve spelling" tells us how a talking word processor and spell checker can help, and goes on to a case study in an infant and junior school. It then suggests activities for you to do, such as using an overlay keyboard as an aid to spelling, or the use of a talking word processor in simultaneous oral spelling, redrafting or constructing words. On the last page it mentions a range of software for Acorn, PC and Mac, the suppliers of hardware, and the schools contacts.

The resources cover a wide range of issues, and could be used as introductory sheets, to stimulate discussion, provide in-service activities or classroom ideas. Information on CD-Roms and multimedia, how to measure progression and record achievement, looking at writing skills, and how to develop policy from the code of practice, are just parts of this collection. If you are a novitiate in any of these areas then the pack is a good mixture of introduction, starting points and useful ideas.

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