ago educational software was a luxury item which schools did not budget
for. Now it is just a familiar routine element of the learning resources
found in any school. Over the years a great number of children’s
educational software have been hailed as the next indispensable resource
for schools, only to disappear into oblivion within a couple of years.
Not many children's educational software packages have been found to have a
lasting applicability and usefulness, but Aspex has created
software which is still in daily use after ten or fifteen years! That is
because our software allows kids to enjoy themselves and at the same
time acquire and refine skills which are widely in demand in our
economy. Skills such as mouse control, moving and handling on-screen
graphics, budgeting money, and generating ideas for designs, all of
which are fast becoming essential abilities in making a living today.
Survival in a world which is constantly changing, at various periods
of history and in various 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 ones will kill you. But such knowledge
will not help you one bit when dining at the Savoy Grill, there you need
to know how to read the menu, which cutlery to use for each course and
how to handle it!
Children’s learning is at least in part about acquiring survival
skills, and at any single time and place people will generally agree on
what children should be taught. Thus, aristocratic young women in
Victorian England were taught to be refined, cultured and demure, and
encouraged to practise their skills in watercolour painting, playing an
instrument, singing, reciting and embroidery. These things were the
necessary accomplishments for finding a suitable husband eg ... RICH!
interested in science, Chemistry or Mathematics was considered quite
undesirable for a Lady and therefore these topics were most definitely
not on the curriculum.
My first experience of school was in the Dark Ages of the late
1950’s, and embroidery was still an important part of the curriculum for
girls. I can also remember using a chalkboard and a stick of chalk for
writing lessons when I attended, (and I haven’t got my bus pass yet!).
There have been vast technological changes in the classroom since then!
Nowadays the first thing a child encounters in the classroom is the ever
present school computer with all its potential for learning, kids
educational software programs, school websites and of course, games.
These days children don’t just learn to write, they become published
authors while they’re still at school!
The computer and its software are now a necessary part of our
children’s lives and learning both at school and at home. However what
they can learn by using the computer is heavily influenced by the
quality of the software and web-based content that the child encounters.