One of the major advantages of having a Windows PC is the number and variety of applications available. There’s something for everyone, including your children. Here is just a short overview of the types of educational software that you and your family can use to make learning easier and more fun.
Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition - £85
Starting with one of the most popular software packages on the planet Microsoft Office Home and Student Edition. This bundle of software includes all the applications your child needs to get their schoolwork done. With Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote, Office has all the tools to help your children create great looking reports and essays, research and analyse data, and make the best presentations. OneNote will help them take notes and sort and share research materials too.
Best of all the Home and Student edition is available for around £85, which is a great price considering the quality of the software included. The licence terms for the Home and Student edition make it even better value as you can install it on up to three computers at once. Microsoft Office really is the industry standard too so having the skills to use the Office suite really will make things easier in the workplace too.
Berlitz French Premier Version 2 - £20
Learning another language is all about practice and Berlitz French Premier is perfect for helping you and your children keep up and use French (other languages are available). Suitable for all levels, from beginner to advanced, this is perfect for those just getting started or preparing to embark on a GCSE or A Level course. As you might expect it uses a range of tools such as games, video and interactive conversations to make learning a bit more fun.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 - £80
Getting creative with your pictures is one of the main benefits of digital photography. Let your child’s imaginations run wild with this excellent photo editing software. They can use it to do simple edits and improve overall image quality or use some of the filters and tools to make some more abstract artworks. You can also use PhotoShop Elements to tag and share photographs more easily on Facebook and there are improved templates built-in to make personal online albums look even more polished. Use the software to cut unwanted distractions from images or to simply improve the colour, brightness or contrast. With the photo merge tool you’re almost guaranteed a perfect shot every time as the software can take the best elements of a number of pictures and stitch them all together.
Letts GCSE Maths and English - £11 each
These applications help your child get to grips with the GCSE course and improve their confidence with the subject. The software uses content from all the exam boards and has animations and other aids to help make the subjects that little bit more fun and engrossing. Each subject comes with a foundation and higher mock exam paper to help you asses the progress that’s being made.
Pinnacle Studio 16 video editing £50
Video editing has come a long way and even with simple software you can achieve incredible results. Given that many mobile phones are now capable of recording high definition video footage, being able to edit it will add that extra layer of quality. Add transitions and titles and make a movie fit for Hollywood with the easy to learn yet incredibly powerful Pinnacle Studio 16.
Skype - free
Skype is a great tool that allows you to communicate with voice, text or even video completely for free. This will save fortunes on mobile phone bills and let your children stay in touch with their friends. It’s also a good way of having them get together and work on projects without having to let a gaggle of teenagers descend on your house.
MAGIX Music Maker MX - £35
This music creation software lets you create professional sounding music easily. With a host of built-in loops and easy-to-use instruments your child will be able to mix and share tracks in no time at all. This is a great introduction to the world of making music and can even be used by those who don’t have that much musical experience.
Typing Instructor for Kids 5 Platinum - £15
For those with younger kids just getting the hang of using the PC this software will have them up and typing in no time. The software takes your children through keyboard basics and helps them to improve their speed and accuracy through fun interactive typing challenges.
Wallace & Gromit Curse of the Were-Rabbit Print Studio - £10
Featuring official images from the movie this package lets your children create fun greetings cards, calendars, posters and more for you to print out at home. There are hundreds of designs to choose from.
eMedia Guitar Method v5 5.0b - £40
Help your kids learn how to play the guitar with this comprehensive teaching tool. There are over 180 lessons covering everything from the very basics with interactive feedback and quizzes to help your child pick up on the whole process. There are 70 songs to master and 50 videos to help with all aspects of learning to play the guitar. You can speed up or slow down section to aid practice and there’s a split screen mode so you can see what both hands are doing close up.
DK World Atlas CC3 Starter Pack - £20
A fully updated and comprehensive map of the world including every single country in detail. Packed with photographs and video the atlas really helps to illustrate the countries and geographical make-up of the planet. There are video flyovers of impressive and important landscapes and links to further information that you can find online.