ideal resources

Independent Reviews

 

NSW Teachers Federation Education Journal of NSW - March 2012

Review By Rosemary McDowall and Bill Gillespie for Computer Corner

 

With the Australian Curriculum about to be launched, companies are scrambling to provide new resources for schools to use to support the curriculum and it is nice to see an Australian company leading the way. Ideal Resources have developed a number of web-based interactive whiteboard activities, worksheets and games that teachers may use to make the new curriculum accessible to students. Currently there are literacy and numeracy resources from Foundation to Year 7; however, Simon Walsh from Ideal Resources informed us that this will continue to grow in the near future.


How does this work? Firstly there are three levels of access: administrator, teacher and student. As the administrator you have the responsibility to create your own individual teacher login as well as add additional teachers at your school. To create teacher logins select the 'Add' button on the left hand side of the screen and fill in the required teacher details. Only one teacher login can be made per email address. Teacher login and password details will be emailed to them in unencrypted plain text.


Once the teacher has their own login they have full access to all the online resources. They also have the capacity to make numerous folders to store any combination of activities and create students’ login password.


Once a student logs in they can access resources that the teacher has specifically put in the folders or they can also access all the other resources on the site. This means that if a child finishes a set activity they can move on at their own pace.


So what are the resources like? Three literacy activities we looked at in detail for Year 7 were Cloze Activity, Word Exchange and Text Bank.  All three are interactive whiteboard resources.

 

The cloze activity allows students to drag the words into the text to complete the sentences. Students choose from eight pre-set texts or enter their own text.  In the Word Exchange, students substitute words in the text with those from the word bank. They find similar words, or change the genre completely by selecting different ones. They can choose from six pre-set texts or enter their own text. Using Text Bank students can quickly access and interact with over thirty texts. They can highlight scene setting, events, past tense or specific language – or change to the highlight of their choice.

 
Overall we were quite taken by the learning activities that Ideal Resources have developed.


Review by Bill Gillespie and Rosemary McDowall; Bill teaches at Elanora Heights PS and Rosemary teaches at The Forest HS.

 


 

 

Broulee Primary School

Review by Dave Hounsell

Deputy Principal, Broulee Public School, NSW

 

Broulee Public School, a government school on the south coast of New South Wales. Of note, Broulee is an all Apple school and as such its observations relate to the Mac version of the software.

 

"Our Primary School Loves Ideal Resources Software!"

 

 

 

 

 

Ideal Resources have produced some great software that the teachers at our school have taken to like ducks to water.

 

Why is this so?


This is software designed for effective explicit teaching of concepts, as well as whole class fun or individual, practice of the learned concepts.

There are other similarly themed software packages around, many web freeware - but in my opinion, the Ideal Resources stuff is significantly better and well worth the investment. The strength of the software is that it engages the students with well thought out visuals and allows for explicit teaching to occur. The activities are designed around eye pleasing graphics with simple, logical navigation menus.

The software works equally well using an IWB pen or finger, or a computer track pad or mouse. While the software is enhanced by the IWBs in our school, some of our teachers are experiencing great success using the software with a projector only in the Primary grades.

 

 


 

NSWTF  Education Journal of NSW

Review By Rosemary McDowall and Bill Gillespie for Computer Corner

 

Software for Interactive Whiteboards.

It seems only a short time ago that the time honoured, not to mention dusty and dirty, Blackboard was beginning to be replaced in classrooms by the cleaner Whiteboard. We’re sure that many of our readers still don’t have access to a Whiteboards and are still using the Blackboard just like teachers did decades ago. Now both are being replaced by the Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs).

The introduction of the IWB demands a change in the manner that a teacher interacts with the students. The use of wireless tablets, in conjunction with the IWB, increases the amount of interaction in the classroom and students become more active participants in the leaning process.

With the increasing number of IWBs in classrooms we decided to investigate software for IWBs and came across the range of interactive software from Ideal Resources. Ideal Resources has an extensive range of software that has been designed to bridge the gap between computer based software and Interactive Whiteboard software. We found that the excellent software was equally suitable for both applications. It was just as easy to drag and drop an item with a mouse as it was with a finger on an IWB.

Ideal Resources software includes Maths Packs (1, 2 & 3), Primary Games (Volumes 1- 6) and Teaching Series (Time, Measures, Money, Fractions and Tables).


All of the software has been produced by Ideal Resources in Australia in association with UK based compay Primary Games Ltd. The Maths Pack Series was the winner of the BETT awards ‘Best Educational - Primary.

The software has been used extensively in classrooms in the USA and UK and, unlike some other software we have seen, most of the activities will be relevant to students in New South Wales schools.


The CD-ROMs contain a huge range of activities and hundreds of practical examples and all have thousands of worksheets that can be generated to support the students learning.


For example, Primary Games Volume 4 contains Balloon Burst, Balloon Burst Negative, Difference Pyramid, Divipods, Ghostbusters – The Return, Multipods, Random Stop 1000, Reflect-a-Sketch, Sequence Square, Skill Stop 1000, Swimming Pool Sid, Symmetrical Patterns 1 & 2, Translation Station, Treasure Island as well as a huge number of Worksheets.

Another thing we liked about the software was the fact that a site licence was supplied the purchase of each CD-ROM. All of the software we looked at was Windows based and teachers can evaluate the effectiveness of the software and whether it is suitable for their school by going to Ideal Resource’s web site and trying examples online.

Software supplied for review by Ideal Resources. Software reviewed by Rosemary McDowall and Bill Gillespie. Bill teaches at Kanwal PS while Rosemary teaches at Mosman HS.


Published in the Journal of NSW Teachers Federation. Vol 87 No 2 March 2006

 


 

School Zone                      

School Zone  evaluations

School Zone is an independent review service offered by UK teachers.

 

Early Years Maths Pack  evaluation

This title offers an interactive resource that can be used effectively on either individual computers or an interactive whiteboard. All the key concepts of the numeracy areas for the infant stage documentation can be covered using the activities on offer, either as a primary or secondary source.

The program has been used to great effect to introduce Kindergarten children to the basic properties of the interactive whiteboard, where program applications have proved very effective and successful. The pages/screens are well set out and the clickable areas are within reach of Reception age children.

The Early Years Maths Pack is invaluable in variety of teaching situations, from one to one correspondence, through number recognition, to shape recognition and pattern making.

 

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Teaching Money  evaluation

This is an Interactive Whiteboard title that provides clear on-screen resources to aid the teaching of money. Differentiated activities allow primary year groups to benefit from this resource. From coin recognition screens to shopping activities where the child has to select the right coins to match the price of an item, there are plenty of opportunities for children to familiarise themselves with the different denominations and understand the concept of buying and receiving change.

 

Read More >>

 

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Teaching Measures  evaluation

This is an interactive Whiteboard title that provides clear on-screen resources to aid the teaching of measurement. It covers many of the resources required for this numeracy module. There are enough activities to keep the children interested, the graphics and instructions are clear and unfussy and although clearly designed to be used on an IWB it can easily be adapted to an ICT suite with either Class Demo for class-work or for individual use.

 

Read More >>

 

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Primary Games Vol 3  evaluation

Primary Games Vol.3 provides a wide range of highly engaging and enjoyable mathematical games which allow children to learn whilst having fun.

 

Read More >>

 

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Primary Games Vol 4  evaluation

With 12 different activities on the main menu page, expanding to 27 variations, most activities can be customised according to the age and/or needs of the pupils. This differentiation within the activities allows specific needs to be easily met. Also included within the software are customisable worksheets which can be printed off for classroom use. These worksheets can be customised almost infinitely, giving different combinations each time.

 

Primary Games Volume 4 provides a wide range of highly motivational and enjoyable mathematical games, which allow children to learn whilst having fun.

 

Providing on-screen resources, the software supports the teaching of various numeracy topics. Differentiated activities allow KS1, 2 and 3 pupils to benefit from this resource, with activities ranging from ‘space invaders’ style activities to animated screens with ghosts and authentic looking treasure maps. Great fun and engaging for children!

 

 

Volume 4 looks predominantly like an interactive whiteboard title, although it can be used with equal ease on standalone or networked classroom machines; for use as class demonstration or for individual pupil use. This is ideal for using mainly with the whole class in an ICT suite – demonstrating and allowing pupils to interact and discuss the concepts being covered, but also suitable for pupils working in pairs or individually later in the lesson or back in the classroom.

 

 

With 12 different activities on the main menu page, expanding to 27 variations, most activities can be customised according to the age and/or needs of the pupils. This differentiation within the activities allows specific needs to be easily met. Also included within the software are customisable worksheets which can be printed off for classroom use. These worksheets can be customised almost infinitely, giving different combinations each time.

 

 

Each activity is presented in a lively visual style, based on a mathematical concept, for example translation, reflection and symmetry, with easy to read graphics and instructions enabling pupils to interact with the problems on the screen. These can either be used as a standalone resource or can be integrated into maths lessons.

 

 

Challenges can be in-built into the activities in the form of speed trials, or time penalties, which make it more exciting for the pupils and introduce a competitive aspect across the class, if required.

 

In each activity there is the facility to use whichever numbers/levels the teacher feels are relevant for each age group and instant feedback is given to children in the form of text, animations, graphics and sounds, to let them know whether their answers are correct or need to be checked.

 

 

Although they are not explicitly listed on the CD-ROM, links to the NNS can be easily identified and the teacher is able to easily identify when the activities would fit into their planning.

 


Overall, this is an extremely well-presented piece of software, without any un-necessary frills or gimmicks, which fulfils clearly what it sets out to achieve.

 

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Maths Pack Three evaluation

Interactive Resources have produced a Maths Pack Three program; an integrated learning system of activities to provide interactive opportunities for pupils to consolidate and practise mathematical skills relating to the objectives in the Primary curriculum.

 

Read More >>

Head of eLearning - VIC

Carey Grammar School We use your resources every day.

          The Ideal Resources online program has been a huge hit with the staff at Carey Grammar. Fantastic visual manipulatives we can use every day.

Mr Nathan Jones - Year 6 Teacher / Head of eLearning

Carey Grammar School, VIC

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