Can't find the educational software you are looking for?
Aspex Software develops within a
vastly broader industry that produces educational software for every
curriculum area you care to think of, whether it be animation
software, data, music or special needs software, and much more.
Take a look at these UK
companies who have built distinguished reputations in their fields over
many years and supply educational software to schools and for home
learning in the UK and all over the world.
As an introduction to educational software this page focuses on technology and manufacturing and on the specific curriculum area of Design and Technology in
order to highlight the more general argument for investing in quality educational software as an essential component of
children's education in
The good old days
At any time and place there is usually a consensus of opinion about the areas of
study that should be covered in the education of children. For well bred young
ladies in nineteenth century England, watercolour painting, music, French and
needlework were considered to be highly desirable accomplishments, whereas a
knowledge of mathematics and science was quite unsuitable, and therefore
unattainable for most girls. The notion of a computer kitted out with education software in the classroom would have been the stuff of science
fiction. Ha ha.
Things had changed by the time I went to school in the 1950’s. But not that
much! In those days there was no such subject as Design and Technology as far as
I knew. Well, those things did exist but they were called by other names. They
came in the guise of craftwork, woodwork and technical drawing for boys, cooking
and needlework for girls. Just the sight of a raffia mat or basket can transport
me back to my infant classroom! But at this time these were considered to be
unimportant subjects, and not academically rigorous.
The rise and rise of Children’s Educational Software
Evidently things have changed more than a little since then. Design and
Technology and Information Technology have gained recognition as important
elements of the curriculum, and are now taught to children of all ages and
abilities as a matter of course. A great deal of time and money is now devoted
to these areas, including sizeable investments in kids educational software.
This represents a major shift in emphasis at school and perhaps in our
perception of what we as a society hope to achieve in our children’s education.
If we want to prepare children for the outside world of technology, we need to
introduce them to the methods of design and production currently used in
industry. Information Technology has revolutionised both design and production
methods in industry and we’ve had to find ways of exposing children to this
technology as well as to other better known
applications of computers such as wordprocessors, spreadsheets and databases. In fact software for Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided
Manufacturing specially designed for children has gained wide acceptance as a
useful tool in the teaching of Design Technology to children at all levels.
Design Software for Kids
Design Technology teachers are trying to encourage kids to be more aware of
design from early on in their education, and to give them experience of and
insight into the world of technology. Even more than most other areas of the
curriculum, this is a group of subjects best learned by the practical experience
of making, investigating and doing. The use of a computer and appropriate
educational software for children can open up areas that they simply did not
have the dexterity, resources or patience to explore before. It can enable them
to produce results which are far more polished and accurate than their current
ability as a draughtsman would allow. And of course it is very fast and gives
them almost instant results, which helps to reduce the boredom factor. Children
who have little drawing ability but who nevertheless have good design ideas will
no longer be at a disadvantage. All in all, using educational software is a
satisfying experience, likely to foster a child’s interest in the subject.
Appropriate design education software encourages children to think in a more
critical and analytical way about the everyday artefacts around them.
For instance, how are the simple shapes like boxes or cylinders used as packaging,
actually constructed? Take a set of simple shapes like a cuboid, a cone, a prism
or a cylinder for example, everyday shapes that commonly surround us all. Using
kids educational software like ‘FabLab ModelMaker’, or ‘Shapes and Nets’, these common
3D shapes can be drawn in 2D then viewed in 3D. They can also be ‘undone’,
flattened out, and viewed as ‘nets of the shapes’ which can be printed out and
put together again. The secrets of a simple cube, not-so-simple really, are
instantly revealed! …Hurrah!
Children can go on to use this kind of software to generate and manufacture a
large number of 3D shapes and Nets
in a variety of shapes and sizes, which would otherwise have been very
time-consuming and tedious for them to
try and generate by hand. They could then investigate the various shapes commonly used for
packaging for example by constructing and testing different shaped boxes,
perhaps with a particular product, like soap, a chocolate box or a tissue box to
take home for Mother’s Day. Well designed educational software isn’t dull, it is
captivating, creative and fun to play with!
The parlous state of our economy over the past year has led society to examine
the possible reasons why we are not as competitive in manufacturing as we used
to be. Our recent economy has been based on wealth created by the service and
financial industry rather than by the traditional trade and manufacturing
industry of our past and since we cannot hope to compete with the wage costs of
countries like China we must rely upon technological advances, superior design
and more efficient production methods to give us the ’edge’ and make us
profitable. This leads to the conclusion that we can only hope to retain this
‘edge’ in the future if our children receive an education which equips them as
fully as possible to live and work in the worlds of science, business and
ever-changing technology. Equally each individual leaving school and looking for
a career in the current very harsh climate should be much better equipped for
having received a comprehensive grounding in Design Technology and information
Children’s Educational software such as Spex, SpexWorlds, Shapes and Nets, and
FabLab ModelMaker used on the computer go a long way to addressing this challenge in
schools, helping to make essential subjects more entertaining and enabling
children to develop vital skills and produce professional looking results.
Aspex Software develops content free and cross curricular educational software for children and has been supplying to schools and home
users since the early 1990's.
Our software is all about simple 3D design, we produce Spex, a package used
for designing rooms and places which employs pre-made 3D shapes, and another, FabLab ModelMaker
for designing 3D models using basic 3D shapes.
With Spex you can design and plan a kitchen, living room, bedroom or bathroom.
Spex contains libraries of 3D furniture and fittings which are placed into the room,
and the room design is visible in the plan view and in 3D. A mathematical element is
present in the form of a budget,
spreadsheet, bar graphs and a pie chart. Although Spex is an open ended
educational software, lots of children regard it more like a kids
Spex has thrived on the PC in schools to become one of the most
popular educational software programs around, alongside other successful
programs from the UK's original developers like
Topologika, Kudlian and
4Mation between them creating
software for a broad spectrum of curriculum areas from music through to Maths,
Literacy, animation and data programs. All of these educational software
companies continue to grow their range of products today, after nearly
Our 3D modeling software, FabLab ModelMaker, includes 3D shapes, cuboids, cones, prisms, platonic solid shapes and more. The
3D shapes can be scaled and rotated and unfolded to reveal their nets which can be built into
paper models. To make a building, combine the folded
net of a cuboid with a
folded net of a prism. Or to build a Saturn rocket, fold the net of a cylinder together with the net of a cone. FabLab ModelMaker will also display the
Orthographic Projection of a model, including both the 1st angle projection and 3rd angle projection.
'Shapes and Nets' is an education software enabling children to investigate 2D shapes and
3D shapes and nets, rotate and stretch
and unfold them into the nets of the shapes.
Images can be placed on the faces of shapes, so you can print out the
net of a cuboid, or some other 3D shape, with images on, cut it out and glue
it together to make a paper model. In this way children can design and make
boxes and other 3D shapes for packaging.
Aspex educational software programs for children are a popular choice to use in schools and
also by parents for their children to use at home because they are
stimulating, relevant, simple to use, and fun!
Our most recent software release is called SpexWorlds!and here is what Poppleton Primary School has to say about it:
"It is such fantastic
software and as I stated I use it throughout the school from foundation
stage to KS2"
Mrs C. Pallister Poppleton Pri Sch.
Suitability of Aspex Educational Software.
Spex: 2D and 3D Children's Design software. For kids aged 4-14 plus. Design and
SpexWorlds: 2D and 3D Children's Design software. For kids aged 6 - 99! Design and printout.
Shapes & Nets: Activities for investigating 2D and 3D Shapes and their Nets For
kids aged 5 – 11. Investigate, printout and make.
FabLab ModelMaker: 3D Shape and Modeling software with ‘texture’ rendering. For kids aged
7-16 plus. Design it, Print it, Make It.
aspexDraw: 2D Vector Drawing program developed for primary and
Aspex Software looks after its customers
"I cover seven schools on my patch for IT services and
often need to talk to educational software companies like yours when glitches happen. You
know the score, loads of software on biggish networks, you get problems
from time to time.
It was so refreshing to get straight through to someone who was prepared
to listen and then put into place some direct help. Usually after ten to
fifteen minutes being transferred round the world, I get someone who is
not that customer focussed. The school I was at, at my request had a
phone put in the IT suite - there's no mobile signal in most of the
schools, rural Somerset.......you showed how effective telephone support
can be. My most favourable comment is that you listened to what I had to
say and responded with support AND encouragement.