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A program called a 'branching database program' allows you to make a identification 'key'. Our Internet animal game is a taster of how using a key gets people thinking. You might use such a database to sort out plants, trees, fruits, animals, elements or household chemicals. It's a 'collaborative' exercise and the pupils' discussions are good to hear. We'd recommend you use one. 

Primary schools might appreciate this note on how to run the activity. See also the worked examples on branching database programs in IT in Primary Science and IT in Secondary Science.    

Software

The favourite is: 

Flexitree - branching database program for the PC you can use for sorting out. It comes from Flexible software www.flexible.co.uk
   
 

The branching database programs that were available in the UK are:

  • Flexitree for the PC still comes from Flexible software www.flexible.co.uk 
  • For Mac/Acorn RISCOS/PC - Retreeval (Kudlian)
  • For PC / Mac - Ask Oscar (Kudlian)
  • For PC - Decisions3 (BlackCat Software)
  • For PC - Granada Branch from (Granada Learning Price £39)
  • For DOS PC/Nimbus 186 - Branch (Price £22, £44 for 16, £66 site licence from Oxford Computer Education Unit, Wheatley Centre, Littleworth Road, Wheatley, Oxford OX33 1PH
  • For RM Window Box - Decision Tree (RM) which is less good but adequate.
  • For PC Windows - Information Tree (SEMERC). This is dire, be warned
  • Sorting Game for RISCOS (MAPE). This is alright 

These will no longer be available 

  • For Nimbus PC186: Idelta (n/a)  was supplied by ILECC and is no longer available. London primary schools will surely find it in a floppy disk box somewhere. 
  • Sorting Game for Windows (MAPE Micros in Primary Education, Newman College, Bartley Green, Birmingham, B32 3NT. Tel 0121 476 1181 x 271)
  • Window Tree for PC (SITSS, Shropshire IT support service, Bourne House, Radbrook, Shrewsbury, SY3 9BJ. Telephone: 01743 246043 Fax: 01743 368481)

 

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