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The Unstoppable Rise of Children’s Educational Software!
Two decades ago educational software was a luxury item which most schools did not want to incur the cost of. In the twenty-first century it is just an normal routine element of the teaching resources encountered in all schools. In those years many new packages of children’s educational software have been introduced as the next indispensable resource for schools, only to disappear into oblivion within a couple of years.
A minute proportion of education software packages have been successfully integrated into the classroom in the longer term, but Aspex has created educational software which is still in daily use after ten or fifteen years! That is because our software helps pupils to enjoy themselves and at the same time acquire and improve skills which are vital in the twenty-first century. Skills such as controlling a mouse, moving and handling on-screen graphics, budgeting money, and generating ideas for designs, all of which are fast becoming essential abilities in everyday life today.
Survival in this ever changing world, at various historical times and in diverse cultural settings, requires vastly different sets of skills and knowledge. Survival in the wilderness, as Bear Grylls regularly shows us on TV, requires abilities such as rubbing sticks together to create a spark and start a fire, and knowing which plants have roots you can eat and which roots are poisonous. But such knowledge is utterly irrelevant if you are having dinner at the Savoy Grill, for that the required knowledge is how to read the menu, which knives and forks to use for which course and how to employ them!
Children’s learning is at least to some degree a process of acquiring survival skills, and at any single time and place there is a consensus on what children should be taught. Thus, well-born young women in Victorian England were taught to be lady-like, and encouraged to practise their skills in watercolour painting, playing an instrument, singing, reciting and embroidery. These were what they needed to know to acquire a husband of the right type eg RICH!
To be interested in science, Chemistry or Mathematics was regarded as quite unseemly for a Lady and therefore girls were never taught these subjects. My school life started in the late 1950’s, when most cars were still painted black, and instead of having fun with woodwork girls had to sit quietly and do needlework. I can also remember we were given a chalkboard and a stick of chalk for writing lessons when I attended, (and I haven’t got my bus pass yet!). What a massive technological jump has happened in the classroom since then! In the twenty-first century the first thing a child is faced with in the classroom is the omnipresent school computer with all its possibilities, kids educational software programs, school websites and a plethora of resources.
These days children don’t just learn to write, they even publish their own books! Computers and IT have become foundational to our children’s lives and learning whether they are at school or at home. However what they can learn by using the computer is dependent on good quality software and web-based content. Much research and consideration have gone into our Kids educational software products which has resulted in four genuinely content-free, open ended, cross-curricular design software packages for children, Spex for designing rooms in a house, Spexworlds! which is a dream to design a house and other places, tabs for 3D shapes, nets and modeling, and Shapes and Nets a program for children to investigate 2D shapes and 3D shapes.
Our educational software programs inspire children to use their own creativity to make a personal and unique design, perhaps a kitchen layout or a model of a rocket. Meanwhile the learning element just happens while children are having fun! All the educational software mentioned in this article can be found at http://www.aspexsoftware.com
About the Author
Aspex Software develops children’s educational software and has been supplying to schools and home users since 1994. We design our software so that the learning element just happens while children are having fun! http://www.aspexsoftware.com
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