Title: Life Story
Source: Apple Computer/Wings for Learning
Date: 1989 Apple Computer, Inc. 1993 Wings
Cost: $125 CD-ID
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Can
be set up using a laserdisc or CD
Subject Area: Science/History/English
Objectives: To learn about the men, the
research and the history of the discovery of DNA
Brief Description: It is divided
into three categories: Drama, People, and Science. You can find information
by watching small video clips found in the 60 pamphlets within the 3
backed up with summary information; or you can retrieve further information
on "cards" within the pamphlets.
Entry Capabilities Required:
Relevance to objectives: 5 - This
software offers multiple avenues for exploring about the scientists, from
a multifaceted point of view. Because you can choose your focus, it is
very versatile for a teacher to use for a combined project for science/english
classes, or history/english classes. These applications could be most
In addition, there are all sorts of teaching ideas included, should a teacher
be short on time for lesson plans.
Its versatility for use among different subjects and its comprehensive
and easy to use information on DNA.
Provides practice of relevant skills:
5 - Due to the versatility of revtreiving information from this software,
it offers practice in any number of venues: research, reports, writing,
journaling, even drama. The broad focus of Life Story span not only the
scientific discovery process, but the personalities and problems involved
Likely to arouse/maintain interest:
4 - It is highly interesting to someone interested in learning because
they can browse through so many differing areas related to the subject
of the discovery of DNA. It is not just a scientific, dry and boring fact
sheet. It involves people who are brought to life between the video clips
from the movie and the biographical and historical information on
the "cards". But there will always be those students who just don't care
to get that involved because it lacks a lot of action--it may be boring
Likely to be comprehended clearly:
5 - Everything is very clearly written out, with questions that may arise
listed so that the student can go in more depth if they desire.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
3 - The cards are open and clear to read. The small frame for the video
could be enlarged, and the sound was not very clear or easy to understand.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): This software is not a
game, but an instructional program.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 4 - The
small video clips from the movie are fine, just a little too small.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
Clear directions for play: 5 -The directions
for moving around within Life Story are very easy. You have three main
choices to begin with: Drama, People, and Science. From there you choose
your subject within that category, and you can get as in depth as you want.
There are summaries, questions and answers, exhibits and related topics.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
There was no debriefing. It is just an informational piece.
I ran out of memory 3x in class, and had to ask for help to add memory
to the Hypercard. We ended up adding 16,000/16,000. The next day I had
the same problem and added 20,000/20,000. Even then I halfway through the
People category into the "Links" looking at discussion questions when the
screen showed "Out of Memory". Again I had to ask for help because this
time I couldn't even exit the software. This time we added Memory to "Quick
Time", but that only helped for about as long as adding memory to Hypercard
did. I don't know what else to do as I hate to keep asking for help when
the person helping thought we had the problem fixed.
Reviewer: Laura Austin
Position: Student SUNY Potsdam,
Professor Betrusak's Class
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.