CTR: Editor’s Choice Award

Know Your USA was awarded the highly respected Editor’s Choice for the month of July by the Children’s Technology Review magazine. We our honored to receive such an award from one of the most respected educational review magazines in the world.

Review from the July issue:
It provides a straightforward and effective way to practice geography facts by way of a series of lessons and timed quizzes. For example, in the State Capitals section, students can explore the answers by simply rolling the mouse around the screen which, it turn, pops-up the name of each state’s capitol city. In the Quickfire quiz, a capital is named, and students must select the right answer. Unfortunately, the interaction is clunky–students must click “OK” to continue to the next question, which gets repetitive.

The next step is Exam, where they must type the name of the capital. Individual student progress is stored on your hard drive, providing students sign in. There is no use limit as to the number of students, making this a viable consideration for elementary or middle school classroom use.

Other topics include regions, states, state capitals, major cities, rivers, mountains and lakes. There is also a states jigsaw puzzle. If you are looking for clean, affordable geography practice, this is a good choice. Note that the developer’s previous titles include Know Your Ireland and Know Your Europe. A “Know Your Earth” is planned. You can download a seven-day trial version, and purchase a download key if you like the program.

Know Your USA was awarded 4.4 stars out of 5 stars.

Know Your USA – Editor’s Choice Award July 2006

Inexpensive School Website

This blog was published in 2006 and the service Hosting365 is no longer available.

Setting up a school website is now inexpensive and quick to setup, and it’s now even cheaper since Hosting365 offer a free blog host option. A blog is the easiest method of setting up a website that all members of staff can update easily and post photos and events. Updating the site is as easy as writing an email.

So what’s the procedure, first go to Hosting365 and sign up for a free blog hosting, once that is done you’ll receive a username and password in your email from Hosting365.

You must now decide if you want a domain name and what you want this to be. A domain name is the name of your website, so if you school is St. Marys BNS you might want stmarysbns.com, or something similar or a .ie address. If you want a domain which will also come with a email address you need to got to purchase one. .com, .net are about €11 and .ie is more expensive and cost €70.

Once your domain is purchased log into your Hosting365 control panel and add the domain to your package. Support staff of Hosting365 will help you with this if you are experiencing difficulties, you must also install the Blog script and set that up. Hosting365 have guideline for this and will be happy to help.

Once all that is done you will have a WordPress blogging website, which can be easily updated.

Know Your USA, available today.

Today EdWare is pleased to announce Know Your USA which is available immediately on CD-Rom and as a web download. Both single user and site licenses are available to purchase via or online store. Try our free 14 day trial today.

Know Your USA presents users with high quality maps of the USA which they interact with to complete quizzes and games. The software is ideal for anyone who wishes to learn more about United States.

The Education Show Ireland. RDS: 6-8 April, 2006

Come visit us, Stand 13 at the Education Show Ireland in the Main Hall of the RDS from the 6-8 April, 2006.

For the duration of the show we are offering a 15% discount for Know Your Ireland and Know Your Europe when purchased together.

Opening Times:
Thursday 6th April, 2pm – 9pm
Friday 7th April, 11am – 6pm
Saturday 8th April, 11am – 6pm

Now in its eleventh year The Education Show Ireland is the largest educational event in the country, attracting over 4,000 educational professionals. The Education Show offers visitors the chance to compare, test and experience all the latest products and services from over 100 Exhibitors.

Admission is free, visit the Education Show (www.educationshowireland.com) website to register for free and for further details.

RDS Floor Plan

School Computer Use

The Irish Times reports today that the percentage of children in Ireland who frequently use computers at school is the second-lowest of all industrialised states, according to a new report. The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that in 2003 — the last year for which data is available — only 24 percent of 15-year-olds in Ireland frequently used computers at school.

This is a worrying report for the Irish educational system and the hope for Ireland to move to a knowledge economy. The lack of technology funding to schools by the government is largely to blame. It’s been three years since money was made available to schools to purchase equipment. The recent broadband for schools investment was very welcome but many school computers are now over four years old so their use on broadband is limited. I hope that there will be a large injection of cash into technology for schools and most importantly training for teachers so they can get the most from technology.

Seachtain na Gaeilge (4-17 Márta 2006)


This week is of course Seachtain na Gaeilge (Irish Week) here in Ireland. I’ve noticed a lack of media coverage of Seachtain na Gaeilge this year, but now that the 2006 Oscars are over maybe it’ll kick-in.

As current users already know our two flagship products which are developed here in Ireland include both English and Irish versions, Know Your Ireland & Know Your Europe. This week is a very good oppertunity for schools who normally only use the English version to introduce the Irish version to their students. The Irish versions are installed as default and can be accessed via the start menu, Irish worksheets are also included.

I also want to inform Irish schools that there is an Irish version of Windows XP and Microsoft Office available from Microsoft Ireland.
Slán go fóill.

Picasa – Useful Software

There is loads of free software available which are ideal for school and home use. Over the coming months I will introduce many of these titles to you. The first I must recommend is Picasa, which is part of the Google company and most importantly is free.

Picasa is the ideal companion to your digital camera, it allows you to easily import your photos and it will than place them in a virtual photo album where you can edit them. This lets you remove red eye, crop, rotate, brighten and apply special effects. Printing, emailing or uploading your photos to a school blog or website is also very easy.

Picasa is a small download and easy to install, just go to www.picasa.com and click Free Download.

Our Software Products

Our flagship products here at EdWare are Know Your Ireland and Know Your Europe both have been hugely successful and aid the teaching of Irish and European geography throughout schools in the Republic of Ireland. Maps are used extensively to help the user learn about key features of each country/county, cities/towns, mountains and rivers. We are currently at the late stage of developing Know Your USA which will be the most advance K-School targeted geography software package available in the USA. The title will include extensive teaching resources including worksheets and quizzes which can be modified to suit the class needs.

At EdWare our software is designed for teaching geography, currently both products target the educational school sector but we recently introduced a consumer version of Know Your Ireland for the USA market.

EdWare visit BETT 2006

EdWare visited BETT 2006 at the Olympia in London yesterday to check out what’s new for ICT and Education. The show was very interesting and massive when compared to similar shows here in Ireland. We came away with a lot of new ideas and contacts which we hope to put to use over the coming months and launch some new products to the Irish market.

Whiteboards and digital projectors were the big attraction with many companies demonstrating new products and more importantly educational uses for the technology. Voting handheld systems were also present for every day use in the classroom. More software designed for this technology is needed before it will really take off. Also the handheld controls which are wireless were not entirely kiddie proof, they resembled a mobile phone/calculator but ideally it should represent the PlayStation Buzz game controller to make it truly user friendly for children Buzz – Relentless Software. The costs is also very high, but in time it could be very useful. Although teachers must remember that classroom activities need to encourage children to speak up and learn to present their ideas to audiences.

BETT 2006 11th -14th January. Olympia, London
BETT is the world’s leading educational information and communications technologies (ICT) event, attracting over 600 educational suppliers and 27000 visitors, and bringing together the global teaching and learning community for four days of innovations and inspirations. http://www.bettshow.com.