Goodbye, little red schoolhouse; educational software graduates to new levels at school, home, and business. Carol A. Crowell.
Amercian Educational Computer, Inc.
Basing its marketing approach on teacher-designed, curriculum-based programs, AEC uses a three-level approach in its software. Students must first complete an objective assignment and then can proceed to an action game using the information gained in the first stage. Finally, parents and teachers can add more advanced lessons geared to the child's abilities. AEC Spelling for grades two to eight features a basic 4233-word vocabulary which can be expanded as required. Basic grammar, vocabulary, geography, and Spanish skills are taught with AEC MatchMaker, which combines sound, interactive lessons, and graphics for all age ranges. EasyReader program topics include basic phonics, word structure, and comprehension skills and are organized to coincide with the regular grade school curriculum. Interactive procedures tailor the lessons to the individual student with the software keeping track of the users by name and progresss level. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari Address: 2450 Embarcadero Way Palo Alto, CA 94303 (415) 494-2021 Artworx Software Company, Inc.
Filling in the missing link and introducing a monkey to educational software define the two distinctive product categories of Artworx. Three individual programs, Math Factory, MonkeyNews, and MonkeyBuilder, make up the Monkey Series for grades one to six, using Marc the Monkey to teach basic learning skills in arithmetic, reading, and spelling. MonkeyBuilder, a vocabulary building program, uses a heuristic design which automatically adjusts the difficulty level by evaluating the student's responses for accuracy and speed. Incorporating a memory device that associates a word with a vivid visual image, the Linkword foreign language series is designed to impart a conversational vocabulary of 400 words along with the basic rules of grammer in about 10 hours in Spanish, French, German, or Italian. System: Apple II, C64, Atari Address: 150 North Main St. Fairport, NY 14450 (716) 425-2833 Ascension Designs A.D. 1984
Promoting the philosophy that the home computer is a useful tool for teaching Christian values and Bible-based principles, Ascension is marketing what it says are "non-denominational, nondoctrinarie educational programs designed to teach, reinforce and uphold spiritually enriching, life-building principles." Using graphics and animation, Right Again! is a game-tutorial program that employs an electronic angel to guide children ages 8 to 12 through Biblical history, stories, regions, and values. A book of Bible stories and geography also is included. Other Bible-based programs are planned both for additional age groups and as family-oriented activities. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64 Address: 6108 N. Western Oklahoma City, OK 73118 (405) 848-5773 Avant Garde Publishing Corp.
A combination of error anlaysis and step-by-step demonstration that mirrors the actual teaching/learning process between teacher and student is the basis for four new programs in math and logic. Introductory and Intermediate Algebra programs provide progressive difficulty levels for grades eight through 12 with automatic timing and scoring so that students can compete against each other or the clock. Logic Workout introduces intermediate and high school students to classical logic and syllogisms with proof patterns and random combinations. The Magic Cash Register for younger chilren sets up a store with products, pricing and simulated purchases. System: Apple II, C64 Address: 1907 Garden Ave. Eugene, OR 97403 (503) 345-3043 Bantam Electronic Publishing
Following the trend of large book publishing houses entering the educational software field, Bantam Books is preparing to issue three lines of specialty programs after almost two years of development. The series are Selfware, a line of self-improvement software for adults; Micro Workshop, learning games for children; and Living Literature, interactive fiction for all ages. Colorfully illustrated and generally based upon best-selling books, the software is designed to teach self-expression and deductive reasoning as well as self-improvement. Fantastic Animals is a learning game, for ages 4 to 9, that teaches animal and body part recognition and animal habitat identification. Creative Contraptions, for ages 7 and up, encourages children to create clever, humorous, and zany machines to accomplish everyday tasks. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64 Address: 666 Fifth Ave. New York, NY 10103 (212) 765-6500 Batteries Included
Based upon traditional typing school methods, the Keys to Typing instructional software is a 32-lesson, six-week course for students from intermediate levels through high school that produces an average 40 words per minute typing proficiency. Featuring an error-proof, cursor-controlled menu, the program provides more than 400 individual exercises ranging from key introduction to specially designed typing games for reinforcing previous lessons and increasing speed. System: C64 Address: 30 Mural St. Richmond Hill, ON L4B 1B5 (416) 881-9941 Baudville
Making the computer scene with color graphics, animation, and courseware designed to illuminate the visual media, Baudville shapes interactive educational programs and companion libraries to a wide variety of age groups and applications. Take 1 sets the stage with full color movie and cartoon capabilities, while the animation libraries allow the user to develop plots and characterization. Heroes & Villains and Actors & Actions provide an assortment of fully developed actors, actions, and scenes, allowing the user to become writer, director, and temperamental artist. The Shape libraries are electronic stencils and templates with text fonts and shape tables for astronomy, botany, chemistry, anatomy, and math. System: Apple, C64 Address: 1001 Medical Park Dr., S.E. Grand Rapids, MI 49506 (616) 957-3036 Brainworks, Inc.
Using a concept of discovery learning that incorporates fundamental intellectual skills such as logic, memory, and problem-solving, this company claims that its software helps people learn how to learn. Its latest product, Chipwits, uses principles of artificial intelligence to teach robots to think for themselves while familiarizing the user with hundreds of behavioral combinations that could apply to real people in "real-life adventure situations." No programming knowledge is required; programming of the robots is accomplished with illustrated chips, or icons, that give the robots an almost unlimited variety of people-like qualities and behavior patterns. Robots are sent on a variety of dangerous missions of increasing difficulty, and in the event of failure, are brought back to the workshop for brain draining and re-chipping. Another mind challenging program is BrainTrain, which is designed to improve memory, to determine right or left brain dominancy, and to measure the improvement, if any, in both hemispheres. System: Apple II and Macintosh Address: 24009 Ventura Blvd. Calabasas, CA 91302 (818) 884-6911 Broderbund Software
Mystery, muppets, and modules introduce a new Explorations series of "educationally entertaining software" for elementary and intermediate levels. The S.S. Microship sets sail in Welcome Aboard, A Muppet Cruise to Computer Literacy with passengers programming the vessel's course, glamorizing Miss Piggy with computer-aided designs, using word processing and electronic mail, and managing ship's comedian Fozzie Bear's database of truly terrible jokes. Castaways can find out where they are with Where in the World is Carmen Sandeigo?, an international mystery that comes with a 1985 World Almanac and Book of Facts and a map of the world, and uses full-color animation and sound effects to teach geography and problem solving. Science Toolkit is a combination software and hardware package that turns the computer into a real science lab. Temperature-and light-sensing probes connect to the joystick port while on-screen instruments include a light meter, thermometer, timer, ohmmeter, and strip-chart recorder. System: Apple II Address: 17 Paul Dr. San Rafael, CA 940903 (415) 479-1170 CBS Software
Time and the cycles of life have been preempted by CBS in its schedule of educational programs targeted for specific periods. The range of software and defined times include preschool, fun and learning, school, career, and leisure. Ages 3 to 6 can visit Sesame Street with Big Bird's Special Delivery, an object recognition and classification game. Turning 7 means turning on Webster: the Word Game to learn spelling at progressive speeds and levels of difficulty. Success with Math covers number manipulation from basic arithmetic to quadratic equations, and every level from elementary to geriatric. Mastering the SAT and Mastering the College Boards: English Composition are self-paced, comprehensive programs for review and preparation. Adult education includes Personal Development and Managing for Success, self-paced, interactive programs that utilize case studies and simulations of day-to-day situations for practice and evaluation. Adults and older students can increase their leisure time by completing Micro SpeedRead. Twelve tangled webs of crime and puzzlement put powers of logic and deduction to the test with Mystery Master: Murder by the Dozen. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari Address: One Fawcett Pl. Greenwich, CT 06386 (203) 622-2525 Commodore Business Machines, Inc.
Open-ended programs that run differently for each player, and differently each time they are used, is the goal of Commodore, a company that says its educational software can be used for a wide range of educational levels without becoming stale. For example, its Just Imagine program, which technically is for an age range of 4 to 14, can be used at the kindergarten level as well as for older children since the basic program can be altered to suit the differing needs of these groups. A creative writing program, this software contains a library of scenes and objects which can be combined to form pictures on the scene. The user then writes an imaginary story describing the activity. When the program is operated, the objects and people in the foreground are animated to form a continuous motion picture effect. The Reading Professor, for ages 12 to adult, is designed to increase reading speed and comprehension either as part of a school program or in independent study. The program consists of 10 lessons at four difficulty levels. System: C64, Plus 4 Address: 1200 Wilson Dr. West Chester, PA 19380 (215) 431-9100 Compu-Teach
Introducing a curriculum of integrated educational software, Compu-Teach says it is basing its instructional concept on providing children with a sense of control over the computer in order to create a feeling that the computer is responding to them. For young children beginning at age 2, Sign Play is an interactive program designed around the prevalence of signs, such as "Walk" and "Stop," in the every day world. The object is to teach the child first to make the connection between words and signs with distinctive shapes and then to comprehend the letters on the signs as parts of a word independent of the shape and color of the sign. Word Pieces continues the process with drills to familiarize the child with the letters of the alphabet, provide ways of distinguishing between the letters, and then build the child's vocabulary.
System: IBM PC, Apple II Address: 240 Bradley St. New Haven, CT 06511 (203) 777-7738 Data Processing Educational Corp.
Students and business people can learn computer literacy with Instant Tutor, a training series which currently includes tutorials covering how to use the IBM PC and DOS, WordStar, dBase II, and SuperCalc on the IBM PC and compatibles. Designed for computer novices, each program features eight to 10 self-paced, individual lessons with instructions, review sections, optional quizzes, and explanatory simulations. Users can follow the scan option for a quick overview of major topics or the study option for in-depth instruction. A reference guide includes additional practice exercises.
System: IBM PC Address: 4588 Kenny Rd. Columbus, OH 43220: (614) 457-0577: Davidson & Associates
Stressing motivation as the primary factor in encouraging students to increase basic skills in spelling, reading, vocabulary, and math, Davidson says its programs turn educational drudgery into educational fun. Animation, color, and optional sound effects enhance Spell It, a progressive spelling tutor and game combination that starts with 1000 of the most commonly misspelled words and incorporates spelling rules for ages 10 to adult. Word Attack is a vocabulry building system with words and sentences illustrating usage presented on nine different levels for ages 8 to adult. With more than 600 problems in basic arithmetic, including decimals and fractions, Math Blaster is targeted for ages 6 through 12 and allows parents and teachers to add additional problems. Speed Reader II is a reading development course professionally designed to increase speed and comprehension with 30 minutes of daily practice while providing a grade level analyzer to determine reading level and progress.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, and C64 Address: 6069 Grove Oak Place #12 Rancho Palos Verdes, CA 90274 (213) 373-0971 DCH Education Software
In business for just under a century, D.C. Heath feels it knows enough about educational standards and requirements to offer a full 30-day trial on any of its classroom software products that cover grades K-12 in a wide variety of subjects. Computer aided instruction programs include graphics, tutorials, assignment and review capabilities, and interaction with managerial systems for tracking student progress and generating class lists and test results, as well as individual and class diagnostic reports. Among the products offered is Quill, a four-module software program that teaches writing skills and reinforces the importance of planning, drafting, revising, and sharing writing with the help of a computer. The study of earth, life, and physical sciences is provided in the company's series of nine interactive programs that allow students to test ideas, work with simulations, and formulate hypotheses. Enns Mathematics Software consists of 19, test-independent programs grouped into course packages with color graphics, tutorials, and drill and practice activities.
System: IBM PC, Apple, C64, TRS-80 Address: 125 Spring St. Lexington, MA 02173 (800) 428-8071 Design Ware
Coming to the aid of parents who need to encourage their children to do homework, DesignWare has developed a series of interactive educational programs that blend teaching with entertainment. Easily customized to supplement current school assignments, the programs cover core subjects and basic skills at several difficulty levels for students ages 5 to 18. As a reporter on The Grammar Examiner, children learn grammar skills by editing hundreds of humorous news stories. Family history can be added to States & Traits, a course in U.S. geography that discusses land forms, trivia, and locations of historic events. Solving groups of equations in Mission: Algebra helps rescue a stricken space ship while the computer monitors the student's progress.
System: IBM PC, Apple, C64, Atari Address: 185 Berry St. San Francisco, CA 94107 (415) 546-1866 EduWare
A comprehensive line of tutorial and simulation software that emphasizes a one-on-one learning situation between an enthusiastic student and the undivided attention of a very smart, endlessly patient instructor is the special pervue of this company with programs for pre-teens to adult. Typical of this approach is Wilderness, a survival simulation that draws upon interrelated databases dealing with weather, topography, animal and plant life, and health conditions specific to particular geographic areas of the world. Using a graphics generating system that creates three-dimensional panoramas which change depending upon the player's point of view, the game provides two survival scenarios for players trekking through the unknown. There are 10 levels of difficulty and an assortment of toxic plants, inclement weather, and agitated wildlife.
System: Apple II, C64 Address: 28035 Dorothy Dr. Agoura Hills, CA 91301 (818) 706-0661 Electronic Courseware Systems, Inc.
While extensive music software is the keynote of ECS, managing a classroom learning environment is the hallmark of the company's educational philosophy. Three Midi-Musicware programs using an interface board, synthesizer, and the computer are designed to teach basic skills in music. Keyboard Note Drill increases speed in identifying notes randomly placed on the bass and treble staves with response time adjusted to the level of difficulty. Increasing tonal memory of a series of pitches played by the computer is the goal of Super Challenger, an aural-visual game. Keyboard Jazz Harmonies is a six-part program developed to teach chord symbols, 7thchord recognition, and chord spelling. Practical Music Theory, Music Terminology, and Early Music Skills are designed to educate music students of all ages and maintain records of progress. The company also offers some programs in math and English grammar.
Systems: IBM PC, Apple II, C64 Address: 309 Windsor Rd. Champaign, IL 61820 (217) 359-7099 Epcot Educational Media
In keeping with Epcot's science and technology theme, Disney's Epcot Educational Media has introduced three programs in science and business for junior high school students and older. Internal Journey uses an interactive format, color graphics, animation, and music to teact nutrition and the process of food digestion and conversion in humans. As energy scientists in Galactic Prospector, students conduct geological and meteorological tests and evaluate data to find available energy sources on a new planet. A simulated amusement park in Cosmic Carnival is the setting for students to learn about the energy costs and operating expenses of managing a business.
System: Apple II Address: 500 South Buena Vista St. Burbank, CA 91521 (818) 840-5290 Epyx Computer Software
Gearing its software products to strategic thinking and adventure-role playing, this company strives for what it feels is the optimum balance between educational material and entertainment in its Learning Fun series for 6- to 12-year-olds, with typing and logic programs for ages 6 to 60. Based upon the movie of the same name, Epyx's 9-5 Typing program combines seven basic typing skills and 49 drill swith animated sequences from the motion picture. Players can increase speed by taking potshots at Hart in a shooting gallery or learn key locations by helping Doralee escape from Hart. Epyx also is releasing its own version of Chipwits.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, Atari, C64 Address: 1043 Kiel Ct. Sunnyvale, CA 94089 (408) 745-0700 Fisher-Price
The 12 and under class is a special prerogative of this company that specializes in tot to pre-teen educational games designed to make computer literacy and basic learning skills fun. Movie Creator is a new product that teaches children 6 to 10 to create colorful, fully animated movies complete with a music sound-track and a script. SongMaker lets children play or modify 15 traditional songs or create their own musical compositions. Auditory and visual cues, along with animated animals, introduce the child to concepts of musical pitch. Up & Add 'Em helps children from 3 to 7 learn basic counting, addition and subtraction. Logic Levels encourages logical thinking and helps children 7 to 12 learn to predict the outcome of a series of actions. A complete catalog of educational games is available from the company.
System: Apple II, C64 Address: P.O. Box 1327 Cambridge, MA 02238 (617) 494-1222 FlipTrack Learning Systems
With a variety of training courses on microcomputer operations and software, FlipTrack teacher cassettes put a personal tutor into the classroom or office. Nothing is simulated in these hands-on, user-paced courses that provide about two hours of instruction per cassette. A clear, concise index and special formatting system allow the user to select specific topics for study or review without going through the entire tape. Cassettes are available for both professional and home computers, word processing software, including Apple Writer, EasyWriter II, and WordStar; spreadsheets, including Multiplan, Supercalc, and Visicalc; and the integrated packages Framework and Lotus 1-2-3.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, Atari, C64, Vice-20, Coleco Address: 999 Main, Suite 200 Glen Ellyn, IL 60137 (312) 790-1117 Grolier Electronic Publishing, Inc.
It should be no surprise that the world's largest publisher and distributor of encyclopedias would introduce a line of educational software designed not only to encourage reading but also to develop "essential information literacy" skills. The Adventures in Knowledge series integrates books and software in Secrets of Science Island which uses adventure to explain science facts. Using an authoritative reference book about explorers, Treasure Hunters promotes reading in history and geography through a global quest for buried treasure. A resource book offering additional learning activities for use by instructors, parents, and students is included with each software package. Step One for beginners and computer novices is an interactive program which uses nine learning modules for developing skills ranging from writing and editing to using the computer as a fully functioning, simulated piano.
System: Apple II C64 Address: 95 Madison Ave. New York, NY 10016 (212) 696-9750 Hartley Courseware, Inc.
Composed of colorful, interactive computer readiness games, Hartley's Early Discovery series for pre-schoolers uses sound and animation to encourage interest and concentration through increasing difficulty levels. Color and Shapes combines discrimination of the title elements with reinforcement of top-to-bottom and left-to-right eye movements that will be required in future reading. Patterns and Sequence begins with matching single objects and progresses through abstract patterns in series to filling in the parts of missing letters. For high school students, the company produces Intellectual Pursuits with questions from English and American literature as well as mythology. Deductive reasoning to promote logical thinking is the goal of Perplexing Puzzles, a program that helps the beginning fourth to tenth grade student, but leaves advanced students on their own. Kittens, Kids, and a Frog for first and second graders is designed to develop inferential and factual comprehension. For children in grades three and four, the company offers Reading for Meaning II with Mother Goose.
System: Apple II Address: 133 Bridge St. Dimondale, MI 48821 (517) 646-6458 Howard W. Sams & Co., Inc
Believing that computer literacy also requires that ability to read and comprehend rpinted media, this company takes the approach that an educational package consists of a full-length book supplemented with a disk or tape cassette containing program material the reader would otherwise need to enter by hand. Among the offerings is the Trivia Data Base series which uses the popular trivia motif as the method of teaching database program structure. This "Combo Pack" contains two separate programs, the first a database management system, and the second a game for one to four players which accesses that data and scores points for prompt and correct responses. Ages child to adult can learn structured programming and Logo syntax with 88 Apple Logo Programs which contains ready-to-run database and graphing packages for home, business, and school. Other programs are designed for ages 10 to 14. system: Apple II, C64, Atari Address: 4300 W. 62nd St. Indianapolis, IN 46206 (317)298-5566 (800)428-SAMS Human Engineered Software
HES's human engineers are promoting the spread of disease among microcomputers, but the epidemic can be brought under control by 10-year-olds using Cell Defense, a biology program that simulates the effects to virus, age, stress, drugs, and alcohol on individual cells. Users control the body's defense system to ward off infections and tissue damage by choosing from a variety of defenses including interferon, macraphages and antibodies. Another interactive, simulation program, Ocean Quest, challenges players to roam the seven seas in a research submarine, collecting data on marine life while searching for shipwrecks, sunken treasure, and lost torpedos. System: Apple II, C64 Address: 150 North Hill Dr. Brisbane, CA 94005 (415)468-4111 IBM
With programs developed specifically for the IBM PCjr ranging from an earth science series to games that build logic skills, Big Blue is offering special school prices to introduce its products to teachers and other fulltime faculty members. Its Writing to Read system is a complete language laboratory for teaching kindergarten and first grade children to read and write. Prior to the introduction of the program, more than 22,000 children participated in a full scale testing and evaluation of the system. IBM also produces an Electric Literature series that includes the Electric Poet, a program of animation and musical lessons created for language arts, social studies, science, and math. In conjunction with the Poet, Comma Cat uses poetry, color, animation, and music to teach the appearance and use of punctuation marks. Dictionary Dog teaches children how to alphabetize words and to use the dictionary. System: IBM PC, PCjr. Address: P.O. Box 1328 Boca Raton, FL 33432 (305)982-3474 Imagic
An enterprising crook could chat with his computer, repair his car on the way to a heist and preside at his own trial with this company's line of software. Speak and Seek is a vocabulary building program for children 2 to 7 years old that uses speech synthesis programming instead of specialized hardware to create talkative, animated letters. Injured Engine takes older children and their computers under the hood of a car to learn about operation and maintenance. Crime and Punishment draws on actual case histories to present criminal trials, examine evidence and testimony, analyze defendants' records of arrests and convictions, and determine sentences. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64 Address: 981 University Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030 (408) 399-2200 Krell Software Corporation
For career-oriented adults who need to review grammar and English usage, and students who are preparing for junior high, high school, and college entrance exams, Krell offers Grammar, What Big Teeth You Have, a diagnostic and instructional program that covers grammar, style, punctuation, and spelling. A complementary package, The Devil and Mr. Webster, uses a tutoring and game format to teach roots, prefixes, foreign words, and 9000 essential vocabulary words. Krell also produces preparation packages for the SAT, ACT, GMAT, LSAT, and NTE, with SAT and ACT programs offering a moneyback guarantee of an 80-point SAT score increase and a 10% ACT score increases. For young learners, Kinderlogo introduces Logo programming language for teaching computer literacy. System: IBM PC, Apple, C64, Atari, TRS-80 Address: 1320 Stony Brook Rd. Stony Brook, NY 11790 (516)751-5139 (800)245-7355 The Learning Company
Designing programs in series so students progress from one to the next, TLC produces a wide range of educational software in logic and thinking skills, reading, math, and art and creativity. An electronic erector set that builds logic machines and simulated computer circuits, Rocky's Boots for ages 9 and up is an introductory logic course in which the player becomes a builder and inventor, tinkering and experimenting in an interactive environment. Teenagers and young adults can build a robot, design integrated circuitry and microchips and learn the applications of Boolean logic in Robot Odyssey I, an adventure game that combines action and education. Players develop problem-solving skills, including analysis of information, hypothesis formulation, and logical thinking. Other TLC software includes reading programs for ages 3 to 10, math for ages 4 to 13, and art and creativity for ages 3 to 6. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari Address: 545 Middlefield R., Suite 170 Menlo Park, CA 94025 (415)328-5410 MECA
An interactive, self-paced tutorial designed to introduce novices 12 to adult to Basic programming, Basic Building Blocks demonstrates Basic commands, including disk access, sound, and graphics. More than 60 programs are executed for study to teach program structure and flow of control. In addition, users can write and test their own programs, tracing the flow one line at a time to detect errors. Values for up to 16 variables can be displayed and breakpoints set by line number or variable number. System: Apple, Atari, IBM PC Address: 285 Riverside Dr. Westport, CT06880 (203)222-1000 Methods & Solutions, Inc.
Based on the theory that children view school as a job and reject tutorial educational programs for use at home as being part of the workday even when presented on a computer, the Mindplay series incorporates learning into a variety of information-laden games to attract and maintain interest and enthusiasm. The software also is adjustable by teacher or parent according to the motor skills and educational progress of the individual child. Race the Clock, for age 5 to 12, is designed to sharpen memory and thinking skills as the user races against time to match pictures, words, and word-picture combinations. Children aged 4 to 9 can knock down walls and slay an assortment of monsters in the addition and subtraction game, Math Magic, which includes performance summaries and customizing features. Story and coloring books can be created by children ages 4 and up with Picture Perfect. For children 7 to 11 who would like to eat their words, the diet can be made palatable with Bake & Taste,a program that teaches how to measure and follow directions. System: IBM PC, Apple II Address: 82 Montvale Ave. Stoneham, MA 02180 (617)438-5454 Micro Lab
The Micro Learn Tutorial Series uses two basic modes in its educational programs, a tutorial mode in which answers to questions are explained immediately after a choice is made, and a test mode in which questions are answered without help and then scored on the basis of the percentage of correct answers. Missed questions are regiven after scoring. American History, ages 7 to adult, covers 1865-1912 with topics including reconstruction, industrial growth, urban growth, and foreign policy. seventh through twelfth graders explore exponents, scientific notation, and problem solving in More Power to You. Stories of monsters, superstitions, and magical happenings develop comprehensive reading skills in Myths, Magic and Monsters for grades 5 to 8. System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari Address: 2699 Skokie Valley Rd. Highland Park, IL 60035 (312)433-7550 Mindscape, Inc.
A new series for young children and a real-time space program are the newest entries in this company's line of educational and entertaining games. The Halley Project: A Mission in Our Solar System is a solar system simulation that takes teen to adult players through a series of tests and obstacles while imparting information on gravity, orbital motions, and sizes and positions of planets, comets and moons; location of constellations; and how eclipses occur. Children 4 to 8 years old help Tonk search for robot parts in Buddy-Bot land in Tonk in the Land of Buddy-Bots, one of five educational games in the Tink! Tonk! series designed to develop concentration, visual discrimination, and critical thinking skills over a range of five difficulty levels.
Systems: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari
Address: 3444 Dundee Rd. Northbrook, IL 60062 (312) 480-7667 Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation
With more than 300 software programs listed in its 94-page catalog, MECC is one of the industry leaders in developing a wide variety of educational materials for home and school use. A new science package, Discovery Lab introduces students to science processes by predicting, observing, and collecting information. For grades five to nine, two interactive tutorials, Diagonals and Squares in the Problem-Solving Strategies series, detail the strategies of trial and error, exhaustive listing, and simplification of the posed problem. Students collect data, create charts, find patterns, and make generalizations as the strategies are applied to graphically presented puzzle problems. Young Commodore 64 tyros can learn the ins and outs of the system with The Friendly Computer and the Term Worm, a program that graphically displays the major components of the computer innards. Many MECC software packages are also available directly from Radio Shack.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, TRS-80, Atari
Address: 3490 Lexington Ave. N. St. Paul, MN 55112 (612)481-3500 Muse Software
Muse is a company that actually says it wants to turn children into addicts--education addicts who enjoy the experience of learning. Taking its lead from the news headlines, the company puts young players into the middle of a nuclear power plant with Three Mile Island, where the general manager must supply electricity to customers while preventing radiation leaks, interruption of service, and most important, a melt-down. More cerebral is Intellectual Decathalon, an Olympic brain-against-the-clock race designed to stimulate powers of observation, memorization and competition for ages 6 to adult. Mathematical functions over a wide range of variables in alegbra and calculus are presented in The Functional Game which explores the association between graphs of functions and their mathematical equations for high school and college level students. Losers here can always refresh their knowledge of Elementary Math in a program of basic arithmetic for 6- to 13-year olds designed to supplement homework assignments.
System: Apple II
Address: 347 Charles St. Baltimore, MD 21201 (301)659-7212 Olympus Educational Software
Featuring color and graphics capabilities, Infinite Math Workbook Series offers 14 programs covering three years of high school math curriculum, including functions and graphing, geometry, linear equations, and statistics. Each program provides instruction, review, examples, and scoring. After a user's third unsuccessful attempt to solve a problem, the program provides both the solution and detailed explanations of the mathematical process. Highly tutorial, these programs may be used in classrooms as supplements to the on-going curriculum or as reviews in independent study. Accompanying booklets act as mini-textbooks, each providing a discussion of a specific area of mathematics.
System: Apple II, C64
Address: 1660 North Hotel Circle Dr. Suite 310 San Diego, CA 92108 (619)296-8475 Prentice-Hall
Developed by Arrakis Advantage for Prentice-Hall, Algebra I, Geometry, and Chemistry are the first in a series of interactive math and science programs that eventual will include volumes of biology, physics, and statistics. Students are allowed to interrup to ask questions, request examples, or review material and can use two different testing techniques to prepare for classroom exams. Each program covers a specific set of key topics: sets and their notation, types, operations, and relationships in Algebra I, Volume 1; applications, measure, basics of geometry, relations, and transformations in Geometry, Volume 1; and atomic models, Dalton's atomic theory, and electron configurations in Chemistry, Volume 1. Animated color graphics, simulations, and sound are designed to create interest and enthusiasm in high school students.
System: IBM PC, PCjr, Apple IIe, Atari, C64
Address: Englewood Cliffs, NJ07632 (800)624-0024 Quality Educational Designs (QED)
Self-paced tutoring and game-explorations are combined in four interactive programs that introduce, instruct, reinforce, and then extend basic mathematical concepts for students in grades two through nine. Beginning with trial and error, Arith-Magic II uses concrete examples in length, area, and volume to develop abstract concepts. Four levels of difficulty challenge individual ability. Factoring Whole Numbers is an interactive tutorial and activity package requiring students to give problems to the computer which then requires students to solve those problems. Fractions and Decimals are progressive programs refquiring constant interaction with decision making, questions and answers, and concept demonstration.
Systems: Apple, TRS-80, C64, Pet
Address: P.O. Box 12486 Portland, OR 97212 (503) 287-8137 Rand McNally Educational Publishing
For a company that made its name in cartography, it seems natural to chart a geographic course in educational software with four programs that explore the land and its relationship to society, history, and the elements. Choice or Chance? helps intermediate students understand the cause and effect of historical happenings as they relate to geography with interactive lessons in exploration, colonization, expansion, and industrialization. Time and Seasons for grades seven to nine, demonstrates how time is measured and regulated, seasonal differences between hemispheres, and longitude and time lines. Unlocking the Map Code deciphers topograhic symbols, scales and color theory. Basic concepts, terminology, and the use of barometers, thermometers, and hydrometers are taught in Weather or Not, a meteorological study of world climatic conditions.
System: Apple II
Address: 8255 N. Central Park Ave. Skokie, IL 60076 (312)673-9100 Random House
Vivid color graphics and lifelike animation put the Peanuts characters to work in a series of family-based educational programs developed by one of the leading publishers of children's books. Special activities and color cards are designed to allow children ages 3 to 7 to share the learning experience with their parents in Charlie Brown's ABC's, which uses humorous situations to introduce the alphabet. The letters become building blocks in word families generated by Snoopy's Reading Machine, a program that rewards correct answers with an action sequence and advancement to the next skill level. Logic and coordination skills are developed as children ages 4 to 8 help the Peanuts gang find the way out of the Maze Marathon. This program draws new mazes each time with the puzzles gradually growing more difficult. The flying ace is back in Snoopy's Sky-writer Scrambler, an action game for ages 8 to adult that tests wits and skill with word puzzles. When Woodstock is birdnapped, Snoopy the super sleuth involves children ages 8 and up in a mathematical game, Snoopy to the Rescue, that uses addition to accomplish the rescue.
System: Apple II, IBM PCjr, C64
Address: 201 East 50th St. New York, NY 10022 (212)872-8035 Scarborough Systems, Inc.
Blending educational elements with practical home applications and entertainment, The Scarborough System manufactures a range of instructional software for students and their families. Teens and adults are confronted by the economics and managerial challenges of building a successful manufacturing enterprise in Tom Snyder's Make Millions, which casts the user as a chief executive officer faced with problems of inventory control, research, productivity, pricing, competition, and advertising. Children ages 2 to 12 become the central character in the interactive Build a Book program that weaves friends, family, and pets into a personalized story that can be printed out and bound into a durable, professional quality, four-color book. Other programs include Songwriter, which comes with connector cables to couple the computer with a home stereo and reproduce the musical compositions of child adult, and Master Type's Figures + Formulas, a weights and measures conversion program so complete it will convert hogsheads to liters and the speed of light to furlongs per fortnight.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64
Address: 25 N. Broadway Tarrytown, NY 10591 (800) 882-8222 Scholastic, Inc.
Using a combination of interactive techniques and simulated life experiences, the Scholastic Software series provides graphic and challenging learning opportunities in science, math, language arts, and computer literacy. Users can perform a simulated dissection of a frog, complete with scissors other tools for cutting out the proper organs, animated sequences of organ functions such as the beating of the heart, and discussions of biology and anatomy, in Operation: Frog. Children ages 8 and up can write and illustrate their own stories with Story Maker: A Fact & Fiction Tool Kit that combines reading readiness and comprehension with the fundamentals of computer graphics, or uncover parts of Mystery Sentences, in a home and classroom program that sharpens verbal and analytical skills.
Address: 730 Broadway New York, NY 10003 (212)505-3000 Sierra On-Line, Inc. Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Winnie-the Pooh have been enlisted in Sierra's "child-friendly" software designed to provide a learning environment rich in entertaining and educational experiences. Designed for children ages 7 and up, Winnie-the-Pooh in the Hundred-Acre Wood develops mapping and reading skills as the child has to map a path through woods to find several groups of lost objects. Donald Duck's Playground, for ages 7 to 11, promotes money-handling skills along with shape, color, and letter pattern recognition. America's favorite rodent takes the 8-year-old player in a journey through the solar system in Mickey's Space Adventure, developing problem-solving skills, logical thinking and mapping ability as the child pilots the spaceship among the planets in a search for fragments of a lost memory crystal.
System: IBM PC, PCjr, Apple II, C64
Address: Sierra On-Line Building Coarsegold, CA 93614 (209)683-6858 Simon & Schuster
Not content with being a power in book publishing, or maybe because of that, Simon & Schuster has developed an educational software program that allows students to mix, heat, and combine chemicals on the screen. Putting young chemists, ages 9 to 13, in charge of a computerized chemical laboratory, Chem Lab comes equipped with two robot arms for handling chemicals and equipment, three Bunsen burners and separate dispensers for gases, liquids, and solids. If the computer survives all this, younger children, ages 4 and up, can wreak havoc with The Great Gonzo in Wordrider and Kermit's Electronic Storymaker. These Muppet Institute of Technology programs are designed to develop reading, writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills. The company also produces Typing Tutor III and Lovejoy's Preparation for the SAT.
System: IBM PC, Apple, C64
Address: 1230 Avenue of the Americas New York, NY 10020 (212)398-0820 SofTech Microsystems
SofTech has developed a number of products to meet classroom instruction requirements for UCSD Pascal and Fortran-77. The UCSD Pascal Learning Environment includes a completely integrated, student-friendly operating system, an editor that doubles as a sophisticated text processor, and screen formatting routines, graphics, sound and color capabilities. The compiler allows students to create programs of up to 2000 line of code using up to six units. The UCSD Pascal Development Environment provides instruction for beginning classes through advanced operating system architecture courses.
System: IBM PC, Apple, DEC Rainbow, Sperry, Mitsubishi
Address: 16875 W. Bernardo Dr. San Diego, CA 92127 (619)451-1230 Spinnaker Software
Fast-paced adventure games are the framework this company uses in its educational software offerings for ages 3 to adult. Math Busters, which concentrates on the four basic arithmetic processes, and Counting Parade, which uses a colorful parade of animals to identify numerals and number values, are new products in the Early Learning and Learning Discovery series. Early Learning Skills, for the 3 to 6 age range, is more ambitious with problems in pattern recognition: shape, color and size identification; routing and planning; partwhole relationships; and problem solving. Pre-teens and teens can share Rock 'N' Rhythm with their parents to develop a sense of rhythm, tempo, and melody while composing, recording, and playing original music.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64
Address: 215 First St. Cambridge, MA 02142 (617)868-4700 Springboard
Users can design, produce, and print out their own newspaper complete with banners, borders, Headlines, and art with The Newsroom, a software program designed to stimulate creativity in journalists of all ages. With a modem, text and pictures can be transmitted between previously incompatible computers, including the IBM PC, Apple II, and Commodore 64. Suggested applications range from school and club newsletters to church bulletins and business announcements. Mask Parade is a creative design program that allows children ages 4 to 12 to design and then print out, color, and wear masks, hats, jewelry and badges. Enhancement of fine motor skills is the object of Rainbow Painter for ages 4 to 10, a program which teaches color coordination and creative drawing.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari
Address: 7807 Creekridge Circle Minneapolis, MN 55435 (612)944-3912 Sterling Swift Publishing Company
Math Worlds: Exploring Mathematics with Computers is a 14-week, classroom-based curriculum for grades six to nine using what the authors term a capture-student, student-learn approach. This begins with the use of a symbolic language, Easy Speak, which prepares students to use algebra to express numerical ideas and provides motivation to create input/output functions based upon the control the language gives the user over the computer. Students learn to use algebra as a tool in a world where things happen only if they can express themselves using algebra-like language to tell the computer what to do. In addition, complex formulas are related to day-to-day activities and concepts of imagination or adventure.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Pet
Address: 7901 South I-35 Austin, TX 78744 (512)282-6840 Sunburst Communications, Inc.
Buckling up for safety is not the only object of Make It Click: Seatbelt Safety, a preventive health and safety program addition to Sunburst's extensive line of software designed for use in school systems. The purpose of the program is to demonstrate to students the importance of careful decision making in life-threatening situations. Beginning with background information and statistics, players are confronted with a series of incremental choices leading to a final decision as to whether or not to wear seatbelts. The Factory is a problem solving program that uses color graphics and animation to develop inductive thinking in students grade four and up, integrating skills in visual discrimination, spatial perception, understanding sequence, logic, and efficiency.
system: IBM PC, Apple II, C64, Atari
Address: 39 Washington Ave. Pleasant, NY 10570 (914)769-5030 (800)431-6616 Tandy
The student is an explorer on a journey of learning according to Tandy's philosophy. Educational programs include both fully developed software and authoring systems which allow teachers and curriculum designers to develop microcomputer-based lessons in any subject area. The Author I system is a screen-oriented process which provides for both text and graphic entries in exactly the format that the instructor wants for the particular course or material. No programming experience is required to use the menu-driven format, and there is a choice between non-interactive and interactive frames. For young students, two classroom packages have been developed by the Children's Television Workshop. Hands On is an introductory computer literacy course with two learning modules, Blackboard and Color It. Three language arts modules develop progressive linguistic abilities in Play with Language, a learning manager program that allows teachers to customize lessons, assign students to different levels of play, and to save a student's work on disk. Super Logo continues the student as explorer theme with multiple turtles, animation, and line-editing capabilities. Solar Exploration offers a scenic cruise through the solar system, providing data on the planets, moons, and interstellar discoveries. In addition, many MECC software products are marketed by Tandy.
System: TRS-80, Models I and III, and Color Computer
Address: 1400 One Tandy Center Fort Worth, TX 76102-2805 (817)390-3832 Telarium Corp.
Popular science fiction novels have been adapted into this series of interactive educational games that features state-of-the-art graphics, original music, mouse compatibility, and full-text menus. Incorporating an advanced text parser system, the games understand a vocabulary of several hundred common English words, and come with both a hint book and a word list. In Michael Crichton's Amazon, players become agents for a high-tech research firm in a search for lost emeralds in the Amazon. Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 thrusts the player into a society whose government controls the populace by destroying all literature.
System: IBM PC, Apple II and Macintosh, C64
Address: One Kendall Sq. Cambridge, MA 02139 (617)494-1200 Weekly Reader Family Software
Family fun and education is the goal of this Xerox Education Publications division that is bearing the burden of education software for children 3 to 6 years old with its Stickybear series. First appearing in Stickybear Numbers and Stickybear ABC software, the colorful, animated character was created by children's book author Richard Hefter and was designed to develop pre-school learning skills. The series was expanded with Shapes and Opposites which promote pattern recognition, reasoning skills, and understanding of basic concepts. For early grade school children, the bear introduces Reading, a word and sentence comprehension program with vocabulary building and instruction on subjects, objects, and verbs, and Math, a basic math teacher with 20 levels of difficulty that can be used simultaneously with as many as 25 children.
System: Apple II, C64
Address: 245 Long Hill Rd. Middletown, CT 06457 (203)347-7251 Windham Classics
Players take the role of the main character in well-known literary classics in this series of interactive adventures that teach creativity, common sense, and resourcefulness while building an appreciation of English literature. In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the player, alias Jim Hawkins, must outwit Long John Silver in the search for the gold. As Alice in Windham's adaptations of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, the player encounters the March Hare, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, the Chesire Cat, and other whimsical creatures in trying to escape Wonderland. Also published are Below the Root, based upon Zilpha Snyder's Green Sky Trilogy, and the Swiss Family Robinson.
System: IBM PC, Apple II, C64
Address: One Kendall Sq. Cambridge, MA 02139 (617)494-1200