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New Era Reviewed By: - Hazel Pritchard
There are so many different, excellent resources out there on the market that it can be difficult to know where to start.
The DB Learning Library from the highly regarded New Era Education, is a vibrant, eye-catching piece of educational software that has been designed to aid schools in the smooth implementation of the new curriculum. There is a wide range of ready-made content that covers a huge range of subjects and mapped to the 2014 curriculum, which is something that will make most teachers beam with delight. The resources have been designed to work on a range of devices, including desktop computers, interactive whiteboards and iPads, which makes the inclusion of the resource within a classroom setting a doddle. It even works well on an iPhone, making learning on the go for some children effortless and highly accessible for the smartphone generation.
Having used various learning library’s in the past I have experienced ones that some teachers have been reluctant to use as they found them too confusing and ones that haven’t particularly inspired the children, so I was delighted when, on introducing this product to my class and a few colleagues, that they were all instantly enamoured by it and found it a doddle to work with.
DB Learning Library has a lovely, bright and appealing design and once set up for your school, consists of both teacher and student accounts. New Era Education have a support package that comes as part of the product which consists of initial training and refresher sessions, along with free and unlimited online and telephone support for teaching staff if they need some advice. Teachers are able to gain information about new content and there are daily webinars to enable staff to access more focused training. This is a fantastic support system that will allay the fears of even the most IT-phobic staff members!
Accessing the content contained with the resource is quick, effortless and instant. The homepage of the DB Learning Library is divided into four main areas: Maths, Computing, Spelling and Topics. Within each section is a plethora of both teaching tools for use on the IWB and pupil activities, which can be used both within class or as independent home-learning activities. The Maths and Computing sections are especially comprehensive at this stage of development, with the full PoS for Mathematics covered and an excellent sequence of programming activities to cover the new requirements within the computing curriculum. In Spelling, there is a huge bank of ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ activities and within the Topic section there are an enormous range of activities, stories, fact-files, quizzes and other resources that cover many curriculum areas, including English, Science, History, Religion & Culture, Famous People and PSHE. My class were captivated by the Christmas content and particularly enjoyed the illustrated Nativity storybook and the downloadable ‘Cut & Match’ Christmas around the world activities.
Teachers can allocate children, or groups, specific tasks which can be set at three differentiated levels. Finding tasks is made simple by the use of the search tool and can be filtered in a variety of ways. This learning library has a fantastic organisational tool called Pathways, where you can link multiple resources together to create a sequence. This can be for a lesson so that the teacher has everything together in one place, or to aid when planning lessons. I found this the most exciting part of the learning library, as it was so simple to use and ensured that everything I needed was just at my fingertips, rather than having to open up a range of windows, which can always be fiddly!
The DB Learning Library also includes an online marking tool which enables teachers to open up a markbook to see how children have performed. The information can be exported to a spreadsheet if a hard copy is required.
This is a fantastic piece of educational software that is easy and intuitive to use for both teachers and children. It enables children to learn within a safe and controlled online environment and gives teachers engaging, bright and vibrant content to use within the classroom.
Issue 8.8 of Teach Primary is out now!
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