Title: Mammals: A Multimedia Encyclopedia
Source: National Geographic Society
Playing Time: Variable- Just exploring
all features, 1 hour;
- Completing all missions, several hours for young students.
Cost: $ ? 1-800-342-4460
Number of Players: One- would be hard
for more than one student to use controls, game is designed for one player
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: Color
capable Mac with 4MB of RAM, system 6.0.8, 7.0 or higher, color/gray-scale
monitor, Mac-compatible CD-ROM drive, printer(optional).
Subject Area: Life Science; Representative
mammals of world ecosystems
Objectives: To present the taxonomy,
and behavioral features, and environment of various mammals from each
Brief Description: Mammals is a
multimedia approach to presenting the representative groups of the Class
Mammalia. It allows the student to control how he wishes to search
for information and learn about animals by presenting information on animals
by name, taxonomy, habitat, photos, sounds, movies, and more. A guided
tour is provided to start the students, an interactive glossary explains
key terms, and an animal investigation game encourages independent
of all aspects of the program is required to beat the hardest levels).
The program is presented on a one-window, browser-type format, that requires
little set up.
Entry Capabilities Required: Moderate
reading skills, use of mouse and windows-type programs.
Relevance to objectives: 4 - All features,
including game, encourage students to learn important ideas about mammals.
Attractive, easy to use, addresses multiple learning styles, encourages
Provides practice of relevant skills:
5 - Interactive "safari" defintely encourages learning computer skills;
glossary provides definition and audio pronunciation.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 4
- Abundance of game missions will keep students busy for a while; If there
was an abundance of information available for each feature for every animal,
tool would be used more often.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 5 -
Controls are simple, tour ensures rapid entry, glossary ensures comprehension
by average grammar school reader.
Technical quality (durable, attractive):
4 - This is one of the better titles from National Geographic; was good
for 1993, has a solid premise, but could use (and deserves) a 1999 upgrade.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather
than chance): 4 - Winning is
definitely dependent on player's actions; Actually hard to "lose",
but hard enough for elementary school students.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic,
accurate depiction): 5 - Game
is realistic because it provides a mock "research" experience for students
that is appropriate for age.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test
Only evidence is reputation of National Geographic Society, and educational
value of observed features.
Clear directions for play: 5 - With guided
tour, guidebook almost not needed.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
Somewhat outdated for 1999 as far as technology(quality of graphics, movies,
Reviewer: Steve Williams
Computer System Reviewed on: Macintosh
PowerPC 6500/250, 32mb ram.