Schoolzone evaluation of Espresso Primary - classroom use

Espresso Primary

classroom use

Context
My school has used Espresso from its introduction on both a peer to peer network system and more recently on a client server network. The service is updated weekly. Initially, because we were using an ISDN2 line, we recieved updates via a satelitte dish on the roof. This was prone to vandalism as we had a flat roof. However, we now have a broadband connection and updates are received via this line and the satellite dish has been disconnected.

Espresso has been used throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 in my school and is now being used on Interactive Whiteboards in the classroom as all Key Stage 2 classes and Year 2 classes have them fitted. Espresso can be used as a stimulus/demonstration to the children or can be easily accessed by children as part of a class activity in our two computer suites. Our Year 5 pupils have particularly enjoyed using the number games as a Maths warm-up.

Labour saving aspects
There is nothing to 'set up' in Espresso it is there at the click of a button. However there is a 'Staffroom' area within Espresso. This facility is the one which teachers can access from home (Espresso is not available from a teachers own computer at home, only in the school where the software is installed). The Staffroom gives the teacher support information and features lesson plans which can be used to meet National Curriculum needs and gives links to national frameworks for Literacy, Numeracy and QCA schemes.
Learning outcomes
When using Espresso the teacher will decide on the learning objectives and use Espresso to help deliver them. Espresso also has learning objectives in mind when the units are presented to the child although these may not always be as apparent as writing them on the board. However each area has a purpose and a learning objective in mind, be it and understanding of shape or to gain an appreciation of sculpture.

In terms of feedback for the teacher there is no method of recording the progress of individual children within Espresso and the teacher will have to rely on observation of the children at work to gain feedback.

Feedback for the user, the pupil, is instant and when a series of questions are asked it will give the child a score at the end. Often the facility to answer the questions again is given.

To make sure the pupil is working at the correct level there has to be an element of teacher choice in guiding the child to the correct area. It is possible for a KS1 child to easily access the KS2 areas if not carefully instructed.
Student Response
The children love Espresso as it is so interactive and it caters for them at their own level of understanding. As my school has been using Espresso for a three years I think it came to prominance when the speed of access meant that the children could access the preview of the first Harry Potter film and for some time this was the most popular area of Espresso!

Part of the appeal of Espresso is that the children do not have to search the INternet and come up with thousands of search results and then try to sort out which are useful and which can be disguarded so using Espresso for research leads to less wasted time and therefore more productive learning.
Special Needs
The service offers text to speech on all key stage one pages and, following demand by teachers, is introducing this to key stage two; particularly with SEN in mind.

I have used many of the key stage one literacy and numeracy resources in lessons that cater specfically for dyslexic pupils.
Assessment and pupil tracking opportunities
There is no assessment package built into Espresso as it is a learning resource rather than an assessment package. I have assessed the children when using Espresso by watching their success in finding information or in the score they have achieved in the question sessions, or by reveiewing what they have cut and paste into their own research work. The printable worksheets and support materials do allow a degree of assessment in the classroom without the need to have access to a computer. In addition the fact that Espresso is available for the whole class through the Interactive whiteboard means that a degree of whole class understanding can be gained by doing some of the activities within the class teaching.

 


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Publisher
Espresso Education Ltd
Subject
Leadership
Key Stage
Foundation / Reception
Key Stage 1
Key Stage 2

Product Type
Interactive Videos, Assesment Software, Simulation, Games/Quiz, Hypothesis testing
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