Chris Drage looks at a hardware and software package that provides a secure learning environment
RM Window Box computers have always offered a secure learning environment, providing pupils with a whole range of educational software, pre-installed and ready to run. The latest version, Window Box 8, is no exception.
It features Windows 98, RM ClassMate 42 (with Windows 98 security) and Internet Explorer 4, plus an updated version of RM SchoolShare for sharing printers, modems and suchlike. There is also a new "My Work" folder for each student, providing file security and easy management for teachers. Like its predecessors, Window Box 8 contains a wide range of specialised software. and features Internet and multimedia capabilities and comes with a choice of CD-Roms.
So what are the latest enhancements? They are quite numerous but, in a nutshell: ColourMagic 2 has been very much enhanced, there's a new HotDog Junior and new special needs tools (Concept Plus, Switch Clicker Plus, TextHelp 98, Point Driver, Dolphin Pointers, Screen Magnification). One aspect which many teachers will welcome is Sample Launcher, which enables teachers to save and launch sample lessons and activities based on the QCA scheme of work. Some are already preloaded but, more importantly, when Window Box On-Line is launched it will enable teachers to download lessons and activities specifically tailored for the Window Box. Now that's a feature I welcome.
RM has also made big improvements to the documentation. Out are the large ringbinders and in are small, easy-to-use-and-read manuals on all the important things teachers are likely to need straight away, plus a help CD containing all the important detail in a searchable form and a booklet on getting started and using the Window Box in the classroom. Sample files are provided containing classroom situations, lesson plans and ideas and a booklet on how to get the most of the special-needs access tools in the classroom.
Don't forget too, that RM also puts out termly booklets containing hints on the use of ICT in lessons, case studies and classroom activities. These generally correspond with the seminars run on the same topic.
The latest version of RM Window Box is available in a range of different versions: Infant; Junior; Compact; Super; and Cymraeg (Welsh). With each one you also receive a pound;75 voucher that teachers can redeem for training. Whichever version you purchase you can be sure that you have chosen the most powerful, yet flexible and secure computer in primary education.
RM Window Box Compact, pound;999; RM Infant Window Box, pound;1,399; RM Junior Window Box, pound;1,399; RM Super Window Box, pound;1,499.00; RM Window Box Cymraeg, pound;1,399; RM Infant Window Box Plus, pound;1,599; RM Junior Window Box Plus, pound;1,599.00; RM Super Window Box Plus, pound;1,699; RM Super Window Box NoteBook, pound;1,799; RM Super Window Box NoteBook Plus, pound;1,999 RM plc 01235 826000 www.eduweb.co.uk