This, I hope, will be one in a small series of blog entries on things to look out for @ BETT.
Around about this time last year I attend an advisers day at 2simple, where we were treated to a first viewing of their new products. Alongside a look at 2Control NXT and the LEGO Mindstorms NXT and examples of good work done with 2Create, I remember feeling very excited that the tools from 2Paint (from the Infant Video Toolkit) had been upgraded to include a far greater range of tools than the original felt pen strip on the side. This product was the brand new 2Paint a Picture and it has proven to be very versatile and hugely accessible by both pupils and teachers in foundation to Year 6. For me in training sessions it was and is one of those “ahh” applications, which is normally followed by a “have we got this?”
And now it seems there is another bumper upgrade about to be released. Sitting within the Infant Video Toolkit is 2Publish, an accessible word processor for Foundation, and Keys Stage 1. 2Publish was released 7 years ago and although still highly popular, children are now more at ease with technology and are able to push its limitations. Time for something new! Though it is simple to use, it has suffered from some limitations, for example text can not be positioned exactly where you want it and the range of templates could be wider, adding large amounts of text was also an issue. But now we have (soon to be released) 2Publish+, with a far wider range of tools, templates, flexibility and possibilities.
In 2Publish+ children are now given tools that will ease them from Foundation to Key Stage 2. These tools will allow them to create documents that previously were the elite of Microsoft Publisher or Word. For example tables can easily be created and filled with text, pictures or images from file or directly from web cam. Improved text editing means that larger chunks of text can be added and amended, making this ideal for Year 3 QCA units, and an engaging alternative to those tiresome inserting a picture into a word document lessons, that seemed to take an hour, produced a limited outcome and was often age inappropriate.
Another great feature of the software is the interface, so that when creating a postcard, a leaflet or a birthday card, an animated arrow allows the flipping of the document so that young minds can keep track of where they are in their work.
Alongside creating cards and postcards, the software allows the easy creation of comics, newspapers together with a feature that will facilitate the production of a page of tickets, tokens or play money.
2Paint A Picture means children have no excuse to create the electronic equivalent of the paint splodge, without the need for importing or (dare I say it) stamping clip art they can easily create a meaningful work of art. I am sure that those children who use 2Publish + will be able to move beyond their age related expectations and produce certificates, comics, newspapers cards and other documents, without the need to click through cluttered toolbars or follow complicated processes to tabulate or insert graphics.
Look out for this @ BETT
and no I am not on commission, I just really like this product.