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data handling and word processing software

Discussion in 'Primary' started by puzzles, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. Hi am looking for suggestions for good software to bridge the gap we have at the moment between 2simple and word / excel - something for the KS2 children.
    There doesn't seem to be a lot out there that's new and was wondering if anyone had any good suggestions/recommendations?
    Thanks if you can help.

     
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    start simple with word, there's plenty of scope to introduce y2 children to it and then build on their skills. Excel is a bit more of a challenge, something like RMs Number Magic - but why bother with Spreadsheets until you need to focus on the maths rather than the arithmetic? For charting, use RM Starting Graph, I believe there are even some websites which can create graphs and charts?
    Data handling should also include databases of course and you can move from 2Investigate in KS1 to Junior Viewpoint in KS2
     
  3. For data handing, you can get up to ICT Level 5 with 2Investigate. It's actually a rather advanced bit of software if you use iit to its full extent. The other advantage of it is that it's multi-user, so you can very quickly generate large databases to search and graph from. Excel is not for data handling - it's for modelling, and Y5 upwards only.

    As for word processing, 2Simple 2Publish+ is a really good bridge between one of the simple 2Simple programs (eg Infant Video Toolkit or 2Create a Story) and Word, because children can copy/paste/import pictures and change font, style etc, but in simple-to-use templates which give structure. In our school, we introduce Word for straight word processing in Year 3, but keep to 2Publish+ until Year 4 for desktop publishing, after which they are able to develop their skills in Word.
     
  4. Thank you for your help and advice.

    We really want to move away from 2simple a bit - just feel that that's the only interface they see as most of our software is 2simple. Becktonboy's advice is helpful and I will look into those other sofware kits - we don't have any ks2 2simple products (but I have used them in my previous school) as we were a new school 3 years ago who only went up to year 2 - now we go up to year 4 but haven't bought software to suit the older children. Junior viewpoint looks good - I'll definitely look into that.
     
  5. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    Couldn't agree more......
    I'm intrigued, AnnaF. I can see how the ability to generate a multi-conditional search in 2Investigate (well bi-conditional to be accurate) might be seen as approaching level 5 but how could you then refine it within the database? don't you find the graphing tool a bit limited, especially when exporting via a 3rd party graphics app or wanting to graph a subset of records, especially alongside another subset - refining again? how does it display more than, say, 50 records on the main screen, does it automatically resize the thumbnail images? do oyu have to ignore the grouping feature and go straight to graphing?
    I haven't tried creating a large database since installing the last upgrade - did 2Simple extend the record limit beyond 40, which was the ceiling on the older version? does it involve setting up a multi-user virtual server for real time multi-user capability or is there a merge function?
    would have to disagree with that, it can do both.
     
  6. I'll concede some of what you say re Level 5. I'm just thinking about the sorts of activities most Y6 children get up to in data handling and thinking that 2Investigate can do them very well enough. But that's more likely Level 4, isn't it?

    And you're right too about Excel being possible for both - it's just not good enough to use as a database, and I know some schools use it instead of buying a proper database program. You can't filter and search with text-based entries, which massively limits what you can do. Some teachers seem to think that KS2 data handling involves making graphs and putting them into Word - which it certainly isn't.

    As for the multi-user database in 2Investigate, I've definitely gone above 40, though I can't remember how high I have gone. Probably about 90, thinking about each child making 3 entries. You don't need a special server: the teacher just sets up the blank database on the server, the children open it and start adding records. It means you can get straight down to analysing information without spending 4 lessons putting the data in!
     
  7. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

  8. I'm not sure that the children could achieve Level 5 with just 2Investigate. They really need to be able to select 2Investigate as the best tool for the job from a range of other programs to achieve L5. Although once they have selected it, they are able to achieve L5.
    Taken from our L5 descriptor for IH.


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    Children plan a structured approach when
    planning a line of enquiry. They can choose the most appropriate ICT tools and justifying
    their choice. They decide which information to collect and how to organize it
    for processing. They recognise anomalies in the data and take steps to rectify
    them. They test hypothesis by creating
    their own complex searches. They evaluate the effectiveness of
    their database and present their findings.


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    I think you could achieve all of this using 2Investigate once you have chosen it as an appropriate tool.
     
  9. Apologies for the mess!

     

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