INDEX BY: Edition / Title
Information and Communications Technology in Primary Schools
by Richard Agar
published in 1998 by David Fulton Publishers
150pp ISBN 1 85346 543 7 15

Talking about Information and Communication Technology in Subject Teaching
by Phil Poole (Ed)
published in 1998 by Canterbury Christ Church University College (01227 767700)
96pp ISBN 1 899 253 408 (KS1/2) or 1 899 253 459 (KS3/4) 12.50 (bulk discounts)

Information and Communications Technology in Primary Schools and Subject Teaching

The changes made to the curriculum for both intending teachers and those already in the classroom will no doubt bring forth a spate of useful books. Agar's book is targeted at such an audience. Chapter titles include - Why all this concern about ICT? - Teaching and Learning with ICT - Assessment, reporting and recording - Children in control of the computer - The computer in control of the child - ICT and SEN. The strength of this book is its platform independence; it sets out to provide information to support the debate of whether and when ICT is appropriate to a pupils learning. It is this aspect of the new learner-teacher curriculum that will be the hardest to drive forward (computer skills being in comparison a much easier target).

There is a need to provide inspiration, as to what might be done, followed up with pragmatism, to show how that might be done in practice; using the software and systems that are available to the real users. At the first stage in the confidence building exercise the need to closely match the familiar is critical. This book really focuses on the inspirational component - but that does mean that other support will be necessary to those using this book to support their studies.

I enjoyed reading this book and it will provide good source for learner debate; had I been running a primary 10-day GEST course this year it would have made an excellent text, as it would for final year primary education undergraduates.

The other two books form a matched pair for 'student teachers, mentors, tutors' in primary or secondary education. They are designed to form a key text to support the application of ICT in the specified phase in a manner that will map easily onto the new requirements for intending teachers. Although only printed in yellow and blue, with black and white graphics, these books look vibrant and should prove an attractive purchase.

Both books divide into three sections, Planning the delivery, Teaching with ICT and Using ICT. These are further subdivided including a section on the viewpoint of members of the intended audience. In 'Planning' we are we are taken through the resource audit, lesson planning and classroom management. In the 'Teaching' section the benefits are discussed followed by ideas and checklists for each subject area. Finally in 'Using ICT' the topics covered range from evaluating software through to Health and Safety, and ethics. This book certainly provides a toolkit approach to the problems associated with introducing ICT into the classroom and should be popular with all of the target audience.

Both of these formats have a role, with Agar being more academic in approach and Poole providing a comfortable read closely aligned with the new QTS standards.

Neil Stanley
Reviews Editor