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Evaluating Software for Young Learners

Software Title:
Publisher: Price:
Telephone: Web:

This program is primarily for: Education Entertainment

Point-&-Click Exploration (e.g. Bailey’s) Visual Organizer (e.g. Inspiration)

Animated Books (e.g. Living Books, Theme Weavers) Kids’ Authoring & Creativity Tool (e.g. Kid
Q&A / Tutorials (e.g. Reader Rabbit) Pix, BuildAbility, Imagination Express)
Simulation (e.g. Oregon Trail) Teachers’ Authoring & Creativity Tool (e.g.
Word Processing (e.g. IntelliTalk II, Write Outloud) IntelliPics Studio, HyperStudio)
Writing Aid (e.g CoWriter, DraftBuilder) Other:

Addressing & Accommodating Diverse Learning Styles:

E = Encourages these learning stylesS = Supports students who struggle with these learning styles (circle)

& Linguistic E S : Mathematical/Logical E S ^ Interpersonal E S

N Visual E S ¯ Musical-Rhythmic E S [ Intrapersonal E S
O Auditory E S I Hands on E S ü Naturalist E S

Ease of Use: Portfolio and Assessment Options:

Clear instructions & objectives Student log-in
Easy navigation within program Adjusts difficulty level automatically
Feedback is clear & appropriate (see below) Saves student work
Uncluttered screen Allows teacher to track student progress
Clear audio Allows teacher to adjust student skill levels
Talking dialogs option Allows teacher to keep portfolio notes
Text-to-speech options Other:
On-screen buttons (vs. menus)
Open & Save dialogs simplified
Automatically adjusts difficulty Access Features Supported:
Limits access to hard drive Adjustable text q size &/or q style
Other: Text-to-speech (highlighting? q yes q no)
Captioning (for those with hearing problems)
Computer Skills Required: Screen images clear and easy to see
Click on screen Clickable targets in consistent locations
Click and drag mouse Clickable targets at least 1” by 1/2”
Type on keyboard IntelliKeys (keyboard shortcuts for all menus &
Open menus dialogs?)
Select pop-up items TouchWindow (large target areas?)
Other: Single switch scanning built -in

Prompts: Feedback if Correct: Error Feedback:

(check all that apply) change in activity change in activity
auditory auditory try again (# )
visual visual loud or obnoxious
text text auditory

©2001 by K. Haugen, Kids Can! Eugene, OR. Permission to copy for non-commercial classroom use only.
Evaluating Software for Young Learners
Software Title:

Educational Value:
Program has more than one use or purpose
Program has “room to grow” as students learn
Content matches one or more standards area(s)
Support materials demonstrate correlations with standards or frameworks

Messages About Community & Learning:

What values do the graphics, sounds, & structure of the program convey?
Consider images of gender, culture, disability, age, appearance:
Diversity 5 4 3 2 1 Stereotypes
Inclusivity 5 4 3 2 1 Exclusivity

Consider rules, procedures & rewards:

Peace 5 4 3 2 1 Violence
Planning 5 4 3 2 1 Speed
Cooperation 5 4 3 2 1 Competition
Diverse Strategies 5 4 3 2 1 Single Solution
Building Knowledge 5 4 3 2 1 Obtaining Knowledge
Learning 5 4 3 2 1 Winning

Consider content & commercial tie-ins:

Concepts 5 4 3 2 1 Products
Creativity 5 4 3 2 1 Consumption

Training Needed: beyond expected modeling & supervision

For staff
For volunteers
For students

Overall Comments:

Buy this software?

Must have! Tell others! Review / get demo
Get 2nd opinion Never!

©2001 by K. Haugen, Kids Can! Eugene, OR. Permission to copy for non-commercial classroom use only.