Reviews related to : Education

With notebooks and tablets being the in thing from pre teenage years younger siblings will want their own and something like this is ideal even from pre school time. So what exactly does the LeapPad2 have to offer your child?
It is 17x13x2cm and weights 412grams. The screen is 11x6cm while the layout appears portrait as soon as you switch on its landscape. There are four buttons on the face as well as the ubiquitous five position joystick. The right side has a stylus tethered on a 30cm piece of cord which may keep it with the unit for a few days, maybe. The top has a 3.5mm jack for earphones, a cartridge slot (for some extra items not included) and a mini USB port.
Again looking towards Christmas two items to give as ideal presents, the first for someone with an urge to learn and the second for some who just wants to play, but even playing with this helicopter uses and improves dexterity skills.
A little like the Airfix kits I remember as a child this box has all the bits required to build six different items that all work using solar power. Perhaps a strange thing to promote as a Christmas gift but during the dark days you can build and then when the lighter days arrive the unit is ready to be used, all the best things are worth waiting for. The six items that you can build are a Revolving Plane, Windmill, Plane, Airboat, Puppy and Car all take advantage of the solar unit provided.
This product concentrates on the Driving Theory Test. It is a product that runs on the Nintendo DS Lite. Some readers may know that many years ago – before the theory test – I used to be a driving instructor. Then of course all this was the ‘Highway Code’ section after the practical test.
As with most Nintendo DS products you get a 13x12x2cm case with in this case the module that fits in your DS Lite and some documentation. This includes a sixteen page manual and a proof of purchase leaflet that entitles you to your first driving lesson free via Insert the 2.5x2cm module and switch your DS Lite on.
This console is a mine of information, putting the Oxford Dictionaries of English, Quotations and Modern Slang, along with the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, Oxford Thesaurus of English and Fowler's Modern English Usage into a pocket sized unit.
Seiko have teamed up with Oxford University Press and Encyclopedia Britannica to put their weighty publications into a handheld console similar in size to the Nintendo DS. It's quite amazing to think that a good sized bookshelf's worth of knowledge has been squeezed into this little handy unit. This console would be handy for anyone interested in words and their meanings. Equally useful for crossword fanatics, quiz lovers and students of English.
Here I am looking at a rather nice first telescope that comes complete with a fabric bag to carry it around, sort of edutainment. Second sometime that is high on the government agenda recycling and a Paper Recycling product.
It is up to 43cm long and around 8cm across at the receiving end. There is a (detachable) tripod whose legs stray to 30cm. This can lift the telescope up to 45cm above whatever you are resting it on. The eyepiece has four positions twisting through 180 degrees. There are three others lens that can be attached. I would assume this comes in a box (mine only came in the case) and no doubt the box has all the instructions.
The Franklin 12 Language speaking global translator is a small easy to carry tool for those who want to travel extensively and lightly. It comes with lots of other handy features including calculator, MP3 player, currency converter and address book - so may be the only gadgetry you need to carry with you.
This product is ideal if you travel often on business or for leisure but don't have time to learn the language. The Franklin 12 Language speaking global translator will translate to and from 12 languages in any combination.  You choose the Source and Target language from:  English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Polish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.  So not only can you translate from English to French and so on.
Leapfrog have long been in the world of teaching kids to read. Here they use some of the latest page reading technology with their Tag system to make reading interactive and fun. The Leapfrog Tag Reading System is one of the Dream Toys 2008 top 12 pre-school winners.
Leapfrog make reading interactive with the use of a Tag pen to help read the book and play games. Your child can hold the pen and touch a symbol on the page to read the story to them by the characters in the book, with a signalling sound to tell them when to turn the page. Alternatively they can touch another symbol to have just that page read to them.
If you love the type of games and brain teasers you get in newspapers, but can't be bothered with all the high- tech fast paced video games, then this could be the games console for you.
The Brain Partnering Collection from Franklin is a hand held games unit. Very portable and easy to use. If you love the type of games and brain teasers that you get in the newspapers then this game console could be the one for you. It's obviously not aimed at the teenage market for high visual, mega exciting and interactive games.
Normally you would get my opinion as an experienced computer user but a very basic musician. Here something different the view of a very experienced musician but almost a computer novice.
My friend Don has been a semi pro musician (keyboard player) for more than forty years. He has only a few years computing knowledge and only a few months with Broadband. He had some software by Finale -Print Music- but he always wanted more than it could give, and Sibelius will import Print Music files. So around five months ago I gave him Sibelius 5.
Ever wondered if mind mapping techniques can help you get better organised at work or at home? We review two fo the leading products.
The human mind is a wonderful thing but it can become too easily confused; it can forget things and it is selective about what it remembers.  Ask any group of people that have just come out of a meeting or a brainstorm and you would be amazed at what they remember.
My first experience of touch typing was way back at school at the behest of our computer science teacher insisting that in order to write software one must know the correct way to type. The three students on our A level course were duly enrolled into a 6 week course with those studying secretarial skills.
Over a quarter of a century has passed during which I've written more software than I care to think about and I still have all the bad habits I started out with before that course. Nessy Fingers aims to get hold of kids they've learnt the wrong way to type and instil in them typing skills that are virtually a dying art. before With the prevalence of computers of course you have to get them very young, Nessy Fingers is aimed at 8+ years group.
My school days were an awful long time ago and almost the only thing I remember about French is that the teacher had the most terrible case of halitosis I have ever come across.
French words are also in everyday use over here so they don't seem strange at all. I have quite enjoyed using this French 'Beginners' course, it is certainly my level, it appears easy and yet you are learning. It consists of a plastic case like an oversized DVD one that has two CD's on the left inside cover and a 212 page paperback book inside the right cover.
Ever wondered what a brain trainer has to offer you, then this article will help you find the best trainer for you.
During January and February gyms are at their busiest all over the UK, but since the sweaty, testosterone-filled atmosphere doesn't appeal to me, I thought l would flex my mental muscles instead. Although brain trainers are getting a mixed press at the moment, keeping your brain active and agile seems to be acknowledged as a good idea. The products I were, on the whole, great fun however they are a relatively quick fix.
Autumn must be here as the round of ‘08’ releases start to rear their heads, the first this year goes to Britannica, certainly one up on Encarta that as yet I have not even heard whispers about.
The Encyclopaedia Britannica 2008 edition is available on CD or DVD, I got the latter and went for the complete install which means that you never need to insert the DVD to complete a search or project.
Whenever you feel competent with a software application, the developers come up with a new version and the learning process starts again. PC Tutor offers to help.
Once upon a time major applications, and even some minor ones, came with full printed documentation that included training exercises to help get you up to speed.  Nowadays the more popular option, as least with the software developers and marketing departments, is to provide documentation in the form of PDF (Portable Document File) and limit any training to opening tips and pointers towards the Help feature.
Rosetta Stone present an entirely new way to learn a new language, modelled closely on how children learn their native tongue.For some of us learning a new language is easy, for others tortuous. However, we over look the fact that we all learnt our native language without a textbook or translator in sight. Usually by about the age of 5 we have a large command of our mother tongue and a vast vocabulary without ever knowing about verbs, nouns, pronouns and tenses. Somehow we just get it. And that's the whole theory behind Rosetta Stone's language course.
This software, available to learn in 30 different languages,  throws you straight into your new language without a written or spoken word of your home language in sight.  The learning is based on seeing pictures and hearing and seeing words, just as if you were growing up with those words and images around you. I tried out , mainly because I don't speak a word of Italian and wanted to try it out as a complete beginner.
This PC Tutor package comes on four CD’s and takes you from the absolute beginning along a journey to understanding Microsoft Vista as well a Microsoft Office.
As stated it is four CD's and there is an awful lot of information on them. In total there is 2.3GB of information and while the majority is for the novice user it is not generic. By that I mean Office 2003 has totally different files to Office 2007. The installer is on the first CD and once installed (less than 13MB) it tells you which CD to insert for which course.
focus touchtyp

Touch Typing V2

With children learning to type at school I fear the market for typing tutors have reduced greatly and perhaps only those 30 plus today still have need of this tool.
A name that sticks in the mind from around twenty of so years ago was Mavis Beacon and her typing teaching was certainly what improved my two finger skills to just about being able to touch type. is designed to be used by several people as you need to enrol and enter certain basic information, age under 13, 13-20, 21-30 or over 30. You need to state your level, beginner, one or two finger typist, or a touch typist.
I reviewed another product in the same series from Focus five weeks ago ‘Secrets of the Mind’. That I seem to remember came of two CD’s this comes on one, does this mean we know more about the mind than the universe?
The bold statement on the front of the DVD box reads 'everything you need to know about The Big Bang, Astrophysics and Space'. The CD needs to be in the Rom whenever the product is used so only 34MB of hard disc space is taken by the installation and I suspect that a doctored copy of Quick Time is what takes most of that.

Secrets of the Mind

This product has the kiss of death attached to it by being called Educational. A few years ago there was a movement to call such things Edutainment, that, also seems to be no more.
This product comes on two CD's and to run it the CD always needs to be in the ROM. The install therefore is very quick (around a minute) and it takes only 40MB of hard disc space. You are met by a bewildering front screen shaped a little like a brain however despite a total of 20 items that look to be clickable most at this stage do nothing and only a small proportion flash red to mean they are part of a trail. To load a talk click once on a title.