There’s not been a great deal of software that has caught my eye or imagination recently, but J2E have released 2 new programmes that look very useful and are attractively priced. Spotlight is £99 pa for a school site license (tbc) and I think Vote is the same.
J2Spotlight is a piece of online animation software that provides users with a very simple, yet powerful, introduction to animation.
As it’s web driven, it requres no software on the PC, or Mac, of the user, which certainly ticks a box on the ‘breaking down home/schol barrier’ front. At the moment it is a standalone product, but, as with J2E, integration with its learning will happen and develop over time. There are free animation sites on the www, but the ones I’ve found so far offer you various scenes and characters to choose from. J2Spotlight is the only online one I’ve seen that allows you to plug in a webcam and use your own sets and characters. It does green screen too!
J2Vote is another online product that allows schools easily create polls and have pupils provide their responses. It provides the features that are found in voting systems (or Interactive Response Systems as they prefer to be known as) without the expense of purchasing a hardware-based solution at several hundred pounds, or more. Now, I have to confess that I’ve not used a modern IRS in any real depth, so can’t comment too deeply about the relative merits of J2Vote v an IRS, but J2Vote does seem to provide the facilities that I’ve had demonstrated to me at various education shows.
It would be really interesting to receive comments on the blog from a keen user of an IRS who has signed up for a trial account with J2Vote and can compare the two with some authority. Again, integration with its ( and other learning platforms, I assume) is in the development plan.
If a school is interested in a small pilot of either of the above, please email me and I’ll contact J2E to see what we can do,
RM’s Easiteach has been given a complete makeover and is now known as EasiTeach Next Generation. Gone are the subject specific toolbars in favour of pop up menu options depending on what task you’re doing. I thought it looked a vast improvement, though doubtless with such a major change, they’ll be some ‘unlearning’ to do. A 30 day trial is available from this link.
Updgrade prices are on the HGfL in most subject areas and the main staffroom until the end of Feb, when the existing customer discount upgrade offer ceases.