by Jonathan Boyle
14th March 2011
Daydream Education now develop exciting interactive titles for schools that really impress. Yes, they still produce a multitude of wall charts that made them famous. You know the ones. They add glamour to the news when a politician appears at a school to discuss, ahem, league tables!
Having watched Daydream Education secure a significant part of the interactive whiteboard market has been masterful. They have a format of presentation that is quite distinctive and easy to digest. Suitable for a range of learners and underpin knowledge where topics have been met with before. They have developed a polished product that encourages the user to have a go.
On firing up just one of the extensive curriculum resources, you are met with clear instructions that indicate that this is tailor made for an interactive whiteboard. In practice it works a treat. I have been using these resources with my students at school for over a year now and have been delighted in how they complement what has been taught. With frequency in teaching it is repetition that 'hammers home' a learning point and these interactive resources can be used to revisit what has been learned previously or indeed Daydream Education resources can be used as a significant chunk of a topic. The Interactive Wall Charts sit happily on our school network and can be called on to blend with and enhance our existing online curriculum.
Students are drawn to getting their hands on the whiteboard and get excited when they are able to tackle one of the simple, but effective games. The fun activities are short at about one and a half minutes per game on average and plenty of students get to have a go which is important.
Don't begin to think that this is just a set of slides as there is breadth and depth to this product! The user can select a topic to match the work that is being done and also follow up with interactive quizzes, tests and worksheets. The worksheets are particularly useful for homework and whilst saving preparation time actually relate directly to the unit of work.
Having immersed myself in Music, English, ICT and D & T for some time I can say that the novelty does not wear off. I like the real photographs that that enhance the interactive wall charts and in Design and Technology, this is a real bonus.
If you are lucky enough to have access to a suite of computers at school then students can engage in more independent learning. Additional features enhance the depth to which students can write an assignment or do some research.
The tweaking of a Daydream Education product is minimal apart from deciding how you want the onscreen information to be relayed to your students. Text and graphics are either on or off to start, you decide.
In summary, this is a recommended product. It is a most comprehensive resource for work at Key Stage 3 and plenty of relevance to what I teach at KS4 too. On visiting the Daydream website, you can download over £130 worth of software from a range of subjects. A generous offering indeed and will get the juices flowing to get your hands on more. At £299 per subject, it is one of those purchases that you should feel proud of. I do!