Title: Harry and the Haunted
by Mark Schlicting
Source: Living Books (a Random House /
Playing Time: Read to Me mode -
10 minutes, Let Me Play mode - 17 minutes (or More)
Cost: $ 19.95
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: a
Macintosh with 2500k+ memory (the CDROM requires a minimum of 2500k memorey),
CDROM, and a mouse
Subject Area: Reading (elementary and
up), English (can be used in secondary grades for creative writing and/or
unit on children's literature)
Objectives: Students will be able to practice
reading skills while using an entertaining software program.
Brief Description: Harry and his four
friends explore a "haunted house" while in search of Stinky's wayward baseball.
Entry Capabilities Required: Ability to
use a computer and mouse, reading, ability to follow the directions and
questions of the computer.
Relevance to objectives: (5) The
software gives ample opportunity to practice reading and computer skills.
I think that this particular piece of software would be helpful in most
elementary and in many secondary reading and English classrooms.
The software is entertaining, informative, and is useful for a variety
of ages, grade levels, and subjects. The piece would also be useful
fro students who have difficulties in attending to task because it is not
slow paced and does not last for a really long period of tiem.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
(5) This piece of software gives users the chance to practice and
improve upon his/her skills in reading, listening, creativity, and computer
usage. This software is particularly effective in that it can grow
with the user's expanding level of experience with reading and the use
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: (5)
I believe that this particular piece of software could arouse high interest
levels among a variety of age groups and skill levels. Though the
program was most likely intended for use with elementary students for help
in reading, it could also be used by other students. For example,
the program could also be used by students of all ages and abilities in
order to gain knowledge in reading (i.e. resource rooms in middle and high
schools, children's literature creative writing units in English classes,
adult literacy programs, etc.)
Likely to be comprehended clearly: (4)
This software can be comprehended fairly easily by listening to the audio
directions of the program. Unfortunately, it would not be very helpful
to indeividuals who possess little or no hearing.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
(5) It has been used rather frequently in a classroom this year and
has remained intact quite well, therefore, is rather durable. The
animation on this piece is quite attractive and, in my opinion, entertaining
and has the ability to capture the attention of the user.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): (5) The game
mode is somewhat of an opportunity to further explore the software.
It enables the user to see many different accoutrements than the standard
mode (i.e. the dancing catepillars).
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): (5)
The simulation aspect appears to follow the original format with only enhancing
the software rather than detracting from it.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
(5) The piece is popular in the classroom of the teacher from whom
I borrowed the software.
Clear directions for play: (5) The
software is self explainitory within itself, however, an instructional
booklet is available for additional assistance.
Effectiveness of debriefing:(5)
The software review gave me the opportunity to think about the manner in
which I could actually use this particular piece of software in the
The software might be considered too simplistic and boring to individuals
with high levels of computer skills or haters of animation.
Reviewer: Julie Chapman
Position: EDUC 410
Date: February 10, 1999
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.