[TitleWatch] [MultiMedia Schools]
May/June 2001
Copyright © Information Today, Inc.
by Kathie Felix, News/Reviews Editor 
TitleWatch lists recently released educational software products that relate to the K-12 curriculum. This list is primarily but not exclusively comprised of CD-ROM products; other formats (diskettes, videodiscs) are noted in the text. Suggestions for entries and press releases should be addressed to Kathie Felix at 5746 Union Mill Rd., PMB 605, Clifton, VA 20124 or to kfelix@infotoday.com.

(All titles are CD-ROM unless otherwise noted.)


The Excel@ Series for grades 7-12 is designed to help students pass state exams. Each program includes lesson plans backed by detailed scope and sequence specifications to help learners meet state and national educational standards. Excel@ Middle School, a six-CD-ROM set, offers more than 330 interactive lessons and 12 complete cross-curriculum subjects. The package covers U.S. History, Ancient Civilizations, Geography, Life Science, Earth Science, Algebra, Geometry, Grammar, Reading Comprehension, and Vocabulary. Excel@ High School, a six-CD-ROM set, includes more than 259 interactive lessons, a study planner, and nine complete cross-curriculum subjects. The package covers Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, Science, andGrammar & Vocabulary. Both sets include customizable lesson plans, animated video tutors, and a bonus multimedia encyclopedia. $20—hybrid PMac/Win95 CD-ROM set, single user. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.

*Early Learning

Franklin the Turtle Goes to School covers curriculum skills for K-1 students, including phonics and rhyming, early reading and vocabulary, numbers, sorting and patterning, measurement and spatial sense, colors and shapes, and listening. The two-CD set offers eight activities and multiple levels of exploration. Students experience open-ended, goal-oriented activities that encourage them to explore, create, question, predict, attempt, and analyze. The series also includes Franklin the Turtle: Clubhouse Adventures. $30—Franklin the Turtle Goes to School, hybrid PMac/Win98 CD-ROM, single copy. $20—Franklin the Turtle: Clubhouse Adventures, hybrid PMac/Win98 CD-ROM, single copy. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.

*Language Arts

The latest edition of My Reading Coach, designed for ages 7 and up, provides interactive reading instruction with 47 lessons offering a variety of learning modalities and customized navigation paths. The program evaluates student performance and provides instruction specific tostudent needs. The new version emphasizes Administrator and Teacher Management tools to increase student performance. The management system tracks student work, allowing teachers to see progress and view student mistake reports. Students can access their own performance report from any lesson. $99—single student edition. $99—initial student; $89 each additional student. PMac/Win 95. Mindplay, 800/221-7911 or http://www.mindplay.com/.


Excel@ Mathematics for grades 7-12 provides a four-CD-ROM set with more than 200 interactive lessons on six complete subjects. The covered curriculum areas include Pre-Algebra, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Trigonometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus, and Advanced Placement Statistics. The program, designed to help students pass state exams, features lesson plans backed by detailed scope and sequence specifications. $20—hybrid PMac/Win95 CD-ROM set, single user. Knowledge Adventure, 800/545-7677 or http://www.KnowledgeAdventure.com/.

Advanced Whole Numbers is the latest offering in the Math Mysteries series for grades 4-7. The mystery unfolds as students investigate the Casa Loca mansion to learn its age-old secrets and determine if it's haunted. The program teaches skills for solving word problems, covering basic operations and complex, multi-step problems. The package includes a teacher's guide, whole class CD-ROM, and a student mystery CD. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $80—single computer license. $250—license, five computers. $500—license, 10 computers. $800—site license, 20 CDs. Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

The Tangible MATH series for grades 6-12 presents key concepts in pre-algebra and algebra, geometry, statistics, and pre-calculus. Students can model, collect and analyze data, create symbolic representations, and work with graphical representations. Customized activities can be created using the program's simulations, models, and authoring tools. Titles in the series include Algebra Animator, Function Investigator, Geometry Inventor, Mathematics Toolbox, Matrix Analyzer, Probability Constructor, and Stats!. Mac/Win CD-ROM. $99—each title, single user. $200—complete series of seven courses, single user. Riverdeep Interactive Learning, 800/362-2890 or http://www.edmark.com/.


The Digital Field Trip to the Desert, for grades K and up, takes students on a virtual journey to five North American desert locations—the relatively lush Sonoran Desert, the barren playa at Black Rock Desert, the brightly colored Painted Desert, an oasis in Big Bend National Park, and a salt flat in Death Valley. Students learn what makes a desert, see the processes that form and shape deserts, examine the world's major desert regions, and study the ways plants and animals adapt to survive the challenges of living in arid regions. The program includes QuickTime virtual reality panoramas, an interactive map, definitions of every word, pronunciations of scientific words, bookmark ability, online updates, and a Build-a-Desert game. The education version includes a student workbook and teacher's guide. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $99—education version, single copy. $249—lab pack, five users. $399—lab pack, 10 users. $499—lab pack, 15 users. $699—lab pack, 30 users. $399—network, 10 users. $699—building site license. $45—home version, CD-ROM only. $59—home schooling edition with workbook. Digital Frog International, 800/621-FROG or http://www.digitalfrog.com/.

The Logal Science Gateways Series allows students in grades 6-10 to work with key concepts covered in high school biology and chemistry classrooms and laboratories. The program's computer simulations and interactive investigations are correlated to state and national standards. Titles in the Biology Gateways series includeDNA, RNA, and Proteins; Exploring Populations; Human Circulatory System; Human Respiratory System; Principles of Genetics; and Understanding Photosynthesis. Titles inthe Chemistry Gateways series include Chemistry Toolbox, Exploring Gas Laws, Principles of Electrochemistry, Reaction Rates and Chemical Kinetics, Structure of the Atom, and Understanding of Chemical Equilibrium. All titles are available on hybrid Mac/Win CD-ROM and online. $99—each title, single user CD-ROM. $200—entire Biology Gateways or Chemistry Gateways series of six titles, single user CD-ROM. Riverdeep Interactive Learning, 800/362-2890 or http://www.edmark.com/.

The Logal Science Explorers Series for grades 10-12 simulates scientific occurrences to show real-life connections. Students work with computer simulations to manipulate variables and observe results, collect data, analyze relationships, develop and test hypotheses, and draw conclusions. Three levels of activities provide options that suit curriculum needs, student learning styles, and ability levels. Titles in the Biology Explorer series include Cardiovascular System, Genetics, Molecular Biology, Photosynthesis, Population Ecology, and Respiratory System. Titles in the Chemistry Explorer series include The Atom, Chemical Equilibrium, Chemical Kinetics, Chemistry Tools, Electrochemistry, and Gas Laws. Titles in the Physics Explorer series include AC/DC Circuits, Diffraction and Interference, Electrodynamics, Geometric Optics, Mechanics of Motion, Ripple Tank, and Waves. All titles are available on hybrid Mac/Win CD-ROM and online. $99—each title, single user CD-ROM. $200—entire Biology Explorer, Chemistry Explorer, or Physics Explorer series of titles, single user CD-ROM. Riverdeep Interactive Learning, 800/362-2890 or http://www.edmark.com/.

Telling Our Stories: Women in Science examines the personal stories of eight women scientists and their work. The program includes more than 3 hours of audio and video, a database of 130 past and present women scientists, virtual field trips, interactive experiments, and Women in Science links related to gender equity, role models and careers, women and technology, and software for girls. Designed for ages 10-14, the program also appeals to older teens and adults. $50—Mac/Win CD-ROM, single user. $30—program guide for educators, 126 pages with 26 reproducible activity sheets with keys. $200—lab pack, five discs with one program guide. $300—lab pack, 10 discs with one program guide. McLean Media, 888/4ASTORY, or http://www.storyline.com/.

*Social Studies/History

Bodie, California: Life In an 1880s Mining Townfor grades 4-8 explores the preserved ghost town and California State Historic Park on the eastern side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The program features 10 interactive environments, including a mine, hotel, school, Indian camp, store, jail, post office, and cemetery. The program presents more than 140 current and archival photos, 20 video clips, and a 19-site navigation map. The supporting 20-page program guide provides teaching tips, references, a map line drawing, and reproducible activity worksheets and keys. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $35—single copy. McLean Media, 888/4ASTORY, or http://www.storyline.com/.

The War Collection Media Packs bundle print and CD-ROM resources for American History research for grades 6-12. Each pack includes an in-depth print edition and a companion interactive CD-ROM featuring custom maps, primary source documents, and entries written by top history scholars. Features include timelines, biographies, customizable electronic files for presentations, and searching by glossary, type of media, and theme. The Encyclopedia of the American Civil War (five volumes) covers the 1861 attack on Fort Sumter to the 1865 Confederate surrender, showcasing more than 500 illustrations and photographs. The Encyclopedia of the War of 1812 examines hundreds of topics including the Battle of Tippecanoe, the role of John Quincy Adams, and star naval warships. The Encyclopediaof American Indian Wars, 1492-1890 highlights leaders, strategic alliances, and battles. The Encyclopedia of the Mexican-American War examines the heroes, villains, and skirmishes of this complex conflict from differing viewpoints. The Encyclopedia of the Korean War (two volumes) presents more than 350 images to illustrate the "forgotten war" that claimed 37,000 American lives in 3 years. The Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War (three volumes) covers the conflict's key personalities, events, and places, including Ho Chi Minh, the Tonkin Gulf incident, and the antiwar movement. The Encyclopedia of the Persian Gulf War reviews the UN coalition military action with more than 250 images highlighting cutting-edge military technology. Media packs range in price from $85 for the Encyclopedia of the American Indian Wars to $445 for the Encyclopedia of the Civil War. Print titles can be ordered separately. ABC-CLIO, 800/368-6868 or http://www.abc-clio.com/schools/.

*Special Needs

The Autism/PDD Package is now available in two levels for children in all stages of oral language development, from emerging vocabulary comprehension to basic syntax mastery. Level I: Emerging Vocabulary to Two-Word Combinations, a 13-CD set, covers cause and effect training, early vocabulary development, emerging syntax, category concepts, and expressive language. Level 2: Early Syntax to Basic Language Mastery, a 16-CD set, includes programs for cause and awareness, discrimination and processing, following directions, syntax mastery, vocabulary and concept development, irregular verb use, and narrative development. $1,175—Level 1, single package. $1,350—Level 2, single package. $2,275—Levels 1 & 2, single package. Lab packs and network licenses are available. Laureate Learning Systems, 800/562-6801 or http://www.LaureateLearning.com/.


The Excel Workshop for Teachers provides a 200-page workbook and companion template CD-ROM designed to demystify the process of working with data to create gradebooks, graph and analyze data, chart science experiments, and more. The package includes lesson ideas and templates developed to meet curriculum objectives and extend the use of Excel across the curriculum. Customizable student project ideas are featured. Mac/Win hybrid CD-ROM. $30—single computer. $350—license, 30 computers (includes 30 CDs, one bound book, and one unbound book with permission for unlimited copying for one school). Tom Snyder Productions, 800/342-0236 or http://www.tomsnyder.com/.

SynchronEyes 2.0, computer lab instruction software, uses a TCP/IP network to create a focused learning environment that allows teachers to monitor and control up to 80 workstations from a single computer. The latest edition of the software package allows the teacher to view and respond to student questions from her/his desktop, creates shortcuts to commonly used applications, and allows the teacher to customize thumbnail images. Mac or Win. $999—per classroom or computer lab, up to 80 connections per room. SMARTer Kids Foundation grants worth 50percent of the list price are available to qualifying educational institutions. $199—upgrade cost for SynchronEyes customers. A free 30-day evaluation is available online. SMART Technologies Inc., 888/42-SMART or http://www.SynchronEyes.com/.

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