Title Métro Electro 3
Author Rosi McNab
Publisher Heinemann
ISBN 0 435 38248 9
Reviewer D. J. Colwell
   

Métro Electro is slowly but surely catching up with its counterpart, the highly successful Métro course book written by Rosi McNab and published by Heinemann. The latest offering off the production line is Métro Electro 3, and like parts 1 and 2, offers a varied and stimulating addition to the course. Like the book, the ICT components are divided into two parts, ‘rouge’ and ‘vert’ to cater for pupils of differing abilities. One of the initial menus on the CD allows the teacher – or pupil – to find the appropriate level immediately. Once the exercises have been accessed, the most striking aspect of the CD is the sheer volume and variety of the tasks. They mirror the modules of the course-book, so that they can be usefully be employed at any stage of the teaching of a module, and the integration of graphics and sound means that pupils are effectively practising several skills simultaneously, rather than moving from one skill to another. Pupils can work at their own pace, and the soundtracks can be paused and rewound to give the pupils more opportunity to listen. For a generation of children brought up on Playstation, the attractions of the activities are obvious, even if the graphics are, inevitably, rather less sophisticated. The exercises can be used in a ready-made sequence, or in a sequence customised by a teacher with specific objectives or limited time to spend in the computer room. Navigation is straightforward, and pupils have the option of checking their own work at the end of each exercise. Record keeping can also be done electronically, matching marks against the register of pupils: marks are available to teacher and pupils alike.

The user manual is clearly written and contains details of the various ways in which the modules may be used. It is written with teachers in mind, and technical information is kept to a minimum. There is also a Métro Electro help desk which can be reached by telephone or email. Colleagues who have already used Parts 1 and 2 will want the third part as quickly as possible. I am already looking forward to the fourth and final part for use with GCSE candidates.