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Educational Software Thread, Alternative to RM Talking First Word for Office 2007 in Technical; We wanted to upgrade to Office 2007 last Summer, but our Junior Dept are holding us back as they are ...
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    Biker's Avatar
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    Alternative to RM Talking First Word for Office 2007

    We wanted to upgrade to Office 2007 last Summer, but our Junior Dept are holding us back as they are using RM Talking First Word. RM state that they are not going to do a version for Office 2007.

    Does anyone know of any alternative so that we can keep our Junior Staff Happy without having to keep Office 2003.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    That's interesting.. sounds like they may be dropping the product then. I'm surprised as it's ok when it works. I've had problems with it too.

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    eean's Avatar
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    I dropped Talking First Word about 5 years ago. Although I liked the idea, I didn't like that it was slow and unreliable, seemed to mess up features in Word that worked perfectly well and you had to pay per computer licences. It's site licences or nothing here (except M$ of course).

    I found that that talking feature was never actually used - so it might be worth checking that. The nice thing about Talking First Word is the differentiated levels. I just set up customised templates for each age group, so reception had nice big icons and none of the clomplex stuff, moving gradually up to year 6. As each year group has it's own logon and roaming profile it was just a case of changing the normal.dot file.

    For the talking feature I got Text Help Read & Write . It's quite expensive - about 500 I think. However, it is better than Talking first word because it can read from any application (e.g. internet explorer) has a talking dictionary etc... On a similar theme, you might want to check out Oxford Dictiosaurus, which is a child friendly talking dictionary and thesaurs add-in for word.

    You may find that staff use Clicker anyway, which does the talking stuff far better.

    People initially said that they couldn't possibly do without Talking first word, but when I set it up they were fine with it and had no complaints.

    UPDATE: Yikes! I just checked the prices and they are looking for over a thousand for the new version. The product's not that good!
    For FS/Y1 there are far more creative products for writing e.g 2Create a story. Those sorts of things might be enough to keep them happy until they are ready for word!

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    Biker (14th March 2009)

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