The winners of the prestigious BETT Awards 2006 were announced on 11 January at the BETT Awards dinner held in London. Simulation Explorer was the winner of the award in the Science Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 category. Sixty-eight judges reviewed the BETT Award entries on many different criteria, including design and cost-effectiveness, as well as the support of effective learning and teaching styles.
Designed to introduce children to computer simulations, Simulation Explorer follows the criteria set in QCA ICT Unit 3D (Exploring Simulations) and allows children to explore situations that would be difficult or impossible to in practice. It proves especially valuable for real-life activities that are difficult to mimic or take a long time to complete. The exploration aspect encourages children to collaborate with each other, investigate different outcomes, develop discussion skills and progress their high order thinking skills.
The quest for a solution that would help children learn – while having fun – began two years ago, when Granada Learning commissioned TIS to design and develop Simulation Explorer. Working with Granada Learning, TIS designed six activities catering for the needs of upper and lower KS2 children via two differentiated levels. Children can explore the simulations, make changes to the conditions and observe the results.
Jenny Darby, Primary Publisher at Granada Learning, said: “The look and feel of any educational software has to balance the educational values it is presenting with an intuitive and visually appealing interface. TIS managed to capture they very look I wanted and the design was ideal for the target audience. They fed into the creative process and we worked together on every detail of the program. This attention to detail ultimately contributed to the program’s success.”
Extensive user testing was an integral part of the development process, and TIS received extremely positive feedback on the program.
Notes for editors
About the BETT Awards
The BETT Awards are an important way of identifying and recognising high-quality ICT products for the benefit of both developers and educational practitioners. The 70 practitioners and ICT experts involved in applying appropriate quality criteria to the entries brought considerable, up-to-date knowledge of what works on the ground. Judges included specialists from the Subject Associations. Several quality criteria were used by the judges to guide them in the evaluation of the fitness-for-purpose of the software, content, or tools. The entries were examined to check whether they were:
• Aligned to UK curricula
• Supported inclusive practice
• Had clear learning objectives and intended outcomes
• Enabled high level of engagement and motivation
• Supported effective learning styles
• Supported effective teaching styles
• Supported higher order thinking skills
• Facilitated innovative use
• Promoted creativity
About Granada Learning
Granada Learning provides resources for the full spectrum of teaching and learning. It develops and publishes curriculum software, resources for children with special educational needs, revision guides and home learning materials, assessments, school management tools, learning platforms and professional development materials. These are used in all sectors of the market from nurseries, primary and secondary schools through to colleges and universities.
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS) is a global pioneer in e-learning, with more than 15 years of experience in designing and developing innovative and cutting-edge e-learning solutions. TIS is a part of the $18 billion Tata Group – one of the largest and most trusted business conglomerates in India.
TIS employs a global team of over 900 multi-disciplinary specialists – a unique mix of project managers, software engineers, instructional designers, content developers, visual designers and animators. Its service bouquet includes Simulations, Systems Training, New Hire Training, Business Processes and Skills Training, Regulatory and Compliance Training, Sales and Customer Service Training, Adaptive Assessments, Story-based Learning Objects, M-Learning and EPSS. TIS also has a K12 math practice and a K12 content practice, as well as having substantial experience in developing learning content and tools across keystages and subject areas.
Powered by creative talent, sound processes and technological excellence, TIS has developed e-learning solutions for more than 300 clients – including 50 Fortune 500 companies – across the US, the UK, Australia, Mainland Europe, Japan, UAE and India. Its client roster includes leading corporations, renowned educational institutions and government bodies such as American Airlines, British Airways, Citibank, Colgate-Palmolive, ExxonMobil, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, HP, McGraw-Hill, ntl, Orange, Pearson Education, Qantas, Qwest, Royal Mail, Swiss Re, UNICEF, University of Phoenix, University of Maryland and Vodafone, along with Hodder, Oxford University Press, Granada Learning, Nelson Thornes, Research Machines PLC, Compass Learning, Florida Virtual School, Harcourt, Prentice Hall and, in the government sector, BECTA, UFI and DODEA.
Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver - Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX 2005 Award of Excellence, BETT 2004 Best Product Award, and 2 Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.
About the Tata Group
The Tata Group, established in 1904 by the great visionary Jamsetji Tata, is one of India’s largest and most trusted business houses. The group pioneered the industrial revolution in India by founding the first steel plant, power plant and chain of luxury hotels, to name a few.
The Group employs more than 220,000 people in 93 companies across diversified industry sectors including steel, automobiles, cement, telecom and IT. Generating revenues to the tune of $18 billion per year – 2.9 % of India’s total GDP – it is recognized as a leader in several industry segments such as such as steel, power, software exports and chemicals. It is also the parent company to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software producer.
Further information from:
Alan Samuel, Tata Interactive Systems, 020 7905 0156
Danielle Morgan, PR Manager, Granada Learning, 020 8996 3632