Someone rang me recently and asked if I thought J2E and JIT were worth paying for. Well, yes, is my simple response. I realise that it’s another ICT/eLearning expense in an already expensive area, but at £199 for J2E and £99 for JIT I think they’re well priced for primary schools.
So, why do I like them? Firstly, they can break down the home/school barrier of pupils not having the software available at home as both products are web-based. All you need is a connection. OK, not everyone has the internet at home, but most do and those that don’t have friends, relatives, libraries and after school clubs as possibilities.
JIT provides a core of tools that are suitable for FS and KS2 and J2E is probably best described as Textease online.
I could go on about the facilities of the programs, but follow the links above to see these, but one specific in J2E that I really find powerful is the fact that the software keeps revisions of pupils work as a matter of course, so teachers and pupils can see the work develop over time. Very handy.
Another useful feature is that teachers can also park pins and stickies on a pupils work to leave comments and it is also possible for a group of pupils to work together on the same document. Not tried that one yet!
I’ve seen work done by Y2 pupils in JIT, both in and out of school, and the feedback has been very positive from both them and their teachers.
I’ve wondered if in a few years time we won’t have curriculum servers full of software but schools will pay to access materials like J2E and JIT instead. Dangerous game predicting this ICT lark, but I wouldn’t be at all surprised of there was a move towards this way of working.