Software savvy Computer Time

July 26, 1998

What should you expect from good educational software? Here are some ideas:

* Skills should be based on sound educational principles. (Check the company's Web site or literature to find out about the educational consultants.)

* Commands should be short and simple.

* Graphics (animation) should have auditory and visual appeal to engage your child.

* Sound should be clear and the words spoken by the computer easy to understand.

* Activities (scenes or adventures) should be varied to maintain interest, and should offer increasing levels of difficulty.

* Theme or story line that ties activities together, rather than isolated action, is the trend in newer programs.

* Extra features - such as keeping a record of the child's scores, books or activities that can be printed out or recording capability - can differentiate similar programs.

* Technical support, such as phone numbers and hours of service, is an important consideration.

Prepared by Susan Rapp, Village Reading Center

Pub Date: 7/26/98

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