For me, a busy teacher working in a school for children with severe and complex learning difficulties, there are a number of X factors. Ease of use, relevance to the curriculum, clear and achievable outcomes, and accessibility to name just a few.
At the time of writing, Ian was a teacher at Priory Woods School.
Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes from Inclusive Technology is a really great program. It oozes X factor. Use your mouse, touch-screen, interactive whiteboard or switches to choose a nursery rhyme character and take them on an adventure. Not just any old adventure but a fun filled trip with monsters and treasure where the kids get to choose what happens next at every stage. Imagine the look on the kids faces when the realise that Baa Baa Blacksheep can ride a motor bike or pilot a spaceship. when they find treasure, real kids treasure. chips, chocolate or pizza. What will they do when a monster steals their treasure. how will they get it back?
Our children love Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes. It's one of their favourite programs. They love the well drawn, simply animated graphics and the comical situations the characters find themselves in. They love it because they can all use it. with switches, with touch-screens and pointing devices, but most of all, they love it because THEY get to decide what happens next. It's their story. They wrote it themselves!
Our teachers like Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes too! They like it because it's easy to set up, it doesn't crash, and it has lots of hidden options which enable them to tailor the program to meet the access needs of the children. They like it because they can use it on an interactive whiteboard and engage their whole class, and because they can print out all of the characters and props from the stories and use them to make stories or books away from the computer. They like it because it fits in with the way they like to teach. Most of all, they like it because the kids like it. They see their pupils learning and having fun, empowered and enabled, making decisions at each stage and writing their own stories independently!
Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes is a really great program because it has the X factor in abundance. It's accessible to a range of common access devices; it's intuitive, easy to use, and great fun. Printable characters and props make the possibilities for extension away from the computer almost endless.
I think the real strength of Choose and Tell is that it complements the way that I like to teach and the way that my pupils like to learn. The idea for this program must have come from the classroom, from real teachers teaching real children. It demonstrates good inclusive teaching practice, enriched, enhanced and made accessible to everyone through new technology.
So what is the difference between good software and really great software? Take a look at Choose and Tell Nursery Rhymes and see for yourself!Ian Bean