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The Virtual Textbook

Michael Bawtree created The Virtual Textbook for teachers to use in class, rather than for independent use by pupils, although he says students could find it useful for independent revision.

TVT is designed to be projected on to a standard whiteboard, from a computer that runs Microsoft Excel. The software is supplied in two volumes, each CD-Rom priced from pound;199. The Homework Suite, pound;59, includes assignments in number, measurement, shape and space, algebra, and data handling. Tel: 01483 826040. Samples are on the website: In association with Dragonfly Training, Michael spends one day a week running courses for teachers around the country. The original aim was to give TVT tutorials, but he is now also encouraging teachers to write their own programs in Excel.

"Being mathematicians, they wanted to find out how TVT worked on the inside, and so I began going into the programming more deeply," he says.

"Now people are writing their own lessons, and schools are delaying expenditure of many hundreds of pounds on heavy textbooks."

He is currently working on an A-level volume of the software, which took up much of his summer holiday. One program takes about a week to write. He gets up at around 5.30am to put in an hour's work before school, then continues in the evenings and at weekends. And more hard work is on the horizon: "Teachers are now asking, 'What about key stage 2?' My experience is all in secondary and sixth-form, so I will have to find key stage 2 teachers to work with."

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