The concept of computer control in schools has been revolutionised by the recent launch of Control Insight, a ground-breaking computer package, from the University of Leicester.
Recognising the link between physics and technology, Laurence T Rogers, from the University of Leicester School of Education, designed a comprehensive software package that facilitates the teaching of control technology and the active participation of pupils in solving control problems by computer.
His innovative development helps pupils fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Students are required to use ICT: ‘to measure, record, respond to and control events by planning, testing and modifying sequences of instructions’.
Control Insight is specifically designed to activate this kind of activity in secondary pupils, while Junior Control Insight caters for primary children. The range of ages it caters for, 8-15 years, makes this modern innovation a worthwhile investment.
One great advantage of Control Insight is its operational simplicity. No longer are teachers distracted from the actual problem solving activity by unrealistic technical skills.
All those who long for plain English to describe computer functions will welcome the ‘Insight Problem Solving Language’ (IPSL). Also, life-like pictures are used to represent the components, such as sensors, switches, motors and lights. All these details make it visually and verbally comprehendible.
Unusually, science and technology have been combined to produce an effective and easy-to-use school resource. Young students blinded by complicated instructions and a user-unfriendly layout in previous software packages not only struggled, but became unwilling even to try. The operational simplicity of Control Insight gives pupils the confidence needed to solve problems.
Control Insight (Junior) is genuinely a case of advanced technology making learning easier, allowing pupils to concentrate on completing tasks which could lead them to make their own practical inventions in the future.
Note to editors: Further information is available from Mr Laurence T Rogers, University of Leicester School of Education, on 0116 252 3715.
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