Primary concerns;Hands on

15th October 1999 at 01:00
George Cole takes a look at some innovative new CD-Roms.

Computer Kids, the Merseyside-based company that teaches young children to use information and communications technology (ICT), has launched its first CD-Rom titles.

It hopes its Word Processing Tasks And Templates, Pictorial Databases and Spreadsheets Through Time CDs will encourage the use of ICT across the primary curriculum - and the good news for primary teachers is that they don't need to be computer experts to use them.

All disks offer files that will run on two or three computer platforms and each one works with a range of application software; the files on Pictorial Databases can be used with Junior Pinpoint, ClarisWorks, Access and other popular programs, for example. Designed with ease of use in mind, the disks allow teachers to select files they want, then download them to a hard disk or server.

Downloading couldn't be easier - simply hit the large, on-screen "copy" button - and printable worksheets and teachers' notes will help the program integrate smoothly with classwork. And if this wasn't enough, the disks automatically start running when placed in a CD-Rom drive.

Each title is a rich resource of activities that encourages both staff and pupils to use ICT. The Word Processing Tasks And Templates disk contains 70 data files and clip art that covers a number of generic topics, such as myself, senses and history, while Pictorial Databases topics include emergency rescue, people of Rome and Victorian vehicles.

Spreadsheets Through Time has 22 datafiles, including Aztec trade, Tudor monarchs and Victorian wages, and includes fun activities such as working out how long each wife was married to Henry VIII.

The screen interface, designed by John Moores University, looks like stacked filing cards, each with a headed tab, and allows easy access and negotiation of the content.

Few people will take long to master these titles so if you think ICT is difficult, this series of disks should change your mind. Highly recommended.

Word Processing Tasks And Templates, Pictorial Databases, and Spreadsheets Through Time

Each CD-Rom priced at pound;50+VAT from Computer Kids Tel: 0151 638 1296 www.compkids.com

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