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I launched my first websites in the year I officially began teaching - 1999. Very rapidly I discovered that the real benefits in the use of computers or ICT (Information Communication Technology as it is known in UK schools) was interactivity.

My first experiments were with an interactive quiz. As I could take students into a computer suite, or as many students had access to the internet at home, they could revise their knowledge and understanding by using the computer.

Soon after I launched my SchoolHistory.co.uk website, major areas of growth were the games and quizzes. I experimented and developed javascript-based games and quizzes with a great deal of success. I became certain that an additional level of challenge or interaction was needed. I was very pleased with what was possible, but I felt that javascript was a bit too limiting.

However, once I discovered Macromedia Flash I found an advanced technology that I could use to develop interactive games, quizzes and exercises that were specially tailored to my students. It was clear that while interactive quizzes were excellent, they lacked any real 'pull' or 'excitement' for the students.

This saw the development of my Penalty Shootout game - which has been marvellous successful and (incredibly) has now gone through seven different versions. Over the past few years I have developed lots of games for the games section of my SchoolHistory.co.uk website.

As each game was developed, I also created an online interface to allow other teachers to submit their own questions. Anyone could fill in the required 20 questions, which were then send to me via e-mail and I could put them into a new game.

This is really where the origins of ContentGenerator.net are. I have literally be overwhelmed with the demand for these games and activities. The 'create your own' interfaces became incredibly popular. Whilst I was able to spend a little time creating a game for a teacher every so often, 20-30 games were being submitted every day. I simply couldn't keep up.

Thus - I searched for a solution - something that would allow other teachers to develop their own versions without having to wait for me to wade through hundreds of e-mails. Through some extensive development I was able to come up with this solution - the method that each ContentGenerator.net program uses: A downloadable program that allows the user to enter their own questions and then instantly generate the Flash (.swf) file.

This is a fantastic solution for so many reasons. Students and teachers can generate their own versions of my ICT activities extremely easily. No in-depth computer understanding or knowledge is required. Anyone can generate customised Flash-based content for their class, intranet or website. The user doesn't need to purchase the expensive and difficult-to-learn Flash authoring program. The programs mean that a user types the questions in and can simply press a button to create the finished Flash game or activity.

This development took nearly a year and has involved a lot of time, energy and (unfortunately) financial cost. Whilst I initially planned to give the ContentGenerator.net programs away for free I have been forced to introduce a charge. Looking around I found a few basic quiz generator programs priced at £99 or more. I decided to make my more advanced generators affordably priced to try and make them available to as many people as possible. The details of the purchase packages can be found on the pricing and purchase page. The basic idea has been to make a really innovative and helpful teaching tool available to teachers as affordably as possible. A teacher can purchase a game generator for £24.99 and this enables them to generate an unlimited number of games.

As with my original intention though - with each 'ContentGenerator.net release' I will make at least one program available for free. Currently ContentGenerator.net release 1 is being rolled out and the final two parts of this release - a Multiple Choice generator and a Match-up generator will be made available for free.

Running our educational websites, which, at the time of writing (February 2005), get a combined total of over half a million unique visitors each month is something that costs money. We are totally against charging subscription charges as we believe online materials should be available to students for free. Any money made from ContentGenerator.net is used to support our freely available websites.

Andrew Field.

Please feel free to contact me either via the contact form or via e-mail.


Currently we are experimenting with a new payment system called 'e-junkie':

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As both my wife and I now do lots of consultancy work for many education companies and organisations we have formed a company. ContentGenerator.net is consequently part of FieldResources.co.uk ltd.

FieldResources.co.uk ltd