Work-out for cub reporters;Software

14th May 1999 at 01:00
Granada Learning's Writers' Workshop is the first truly European CD-Rom, including resources from the Internet, to provide key stage 3 and 4 (GCSE) students with the opportunity to develop the wide range of writing styles necessary for examinations at 16 (Scottish 5-14, levels D to E).

The forms of writing are based around newspaper reporting, scripting and imaginative writing. The CD includes an electronic newsroom using video, in which students are able to create television, radio and newspaper reports. By offering a variety of topics, the newsroom provides a rich environment for factual and descriptive writing. And a scripting studio also offers the opportunity to create storyboards, radio scripting and biographical profiles.

What makes Writers' Workshop unique in its class is its multilingual approach, enabling students to work in English, French, German or Spanish at the touch of a button. It also comes complete with an HTML editor so that students can publish their work on the school website - another unique feature.

The software also allows pupils to use a range of linguistic and ICT skills to develop their competence and creativity. And while news reporting and scripting are located on the CD-Rom, imaginative writing is the focus of the curriculum website. But whatever the context, this CD provides pupils with advice, guidance and a library of study points which provide key information on various writing styles.

A Scripting Studio also presents a range of activities calling for fictional writing: these include creating storyboards, biographical profiles and radio scripting. While working in both of these areas, students have access to a comprehensive library of study points which provide key information on writing skills.

We hear a lot today about the value of children writing in different genres. With Writers' Workshop, they are not only getting the stimulus and means for writing, but developing and practising a great many ICT skills in the process.

As with all new Granada Learning titles, Writers' Workshop is network- ready with a five-user licence, Odyssey Scrapbook, and the facility to purchase multi-user discs and student versions.

Chris Drage

Writers' Workshop CD-Rom for Windows PCs pound;79 ex VAT (includes a five user licence)

Granada Learning 0161 8272927

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