Evaluation of an Australian-made Piece of Software
|TITLE||Maths Goes Mental (Capacity - 15.0MB)|
|PUBLISHER||Dataworks (Creative Educational Software)|
|AUTHOR||Micheal McLean, award winning educational author; Australian teacher|
|SYSTEM REQ.||486 or Pentium|
Windows 3.1, Windows 95 or later
$39.95 straight from manufacturer
No registration fees
Extremely simple and fast to install. Installation instructions are on cover and operating instructions are straightforward and shown on screen as CD Rom starts. Instructions are also audible when certain places are clicked.
In my opinion, it is worth every cent as it is all Australian including the children's voices, it is practical, it stretches learning development with harder examples - not just drill, and contains humour such as throwing pies at the teacher. It tests memory, enables racing against time in some areas and records individual student performances (even prints out certificates!).
There is no documentation other than a brief screen when the CD Rom is beginning and this tells us it is made with Macromedia and Copyright is 1994. The program does not need a help system as it is self-explanatory and the instructions are written on screen (simply) and are also audible when the child’s mouth is clicked.
The content can be altered to any primary school level, from 5 years to 12 years of age. The child or teacher can choose what it is they want to practice, whether it is their 5 times table, division by 3 or practice of the number 9034 (or computer will choose if you want). The speed can also be changed.
OPERATION OF SOFTWARE
Uses bright eye-catching graphics with Australian children's voices to guide the child to the maths process or game he wants to use. There are numerous games and the four maths processes of division, addition, subtraction or multiplication can be practiced. It is extemely simple to follow on screen even for younger grades but challenging enough and humorous enough for older children. It is just a case of selecting subtraction for example, then the game you would like to use and then playing!
Here are some screen shots from the CD ROM:-
I was amazed at how well a grade 3 girl was able to comprehend the whole idea of the software so quickly. She really enjoyed the memory matching game and found it quite challenging, and liked to race the clock (and the machine throwing pies) while answering maths problems. She said she even enjoyed the times tables practice! Her response outweighed my expectations as even though the program has been made interesting, it is still maths, and I thought she may become bored with it after a while but she loved it. She easily understood what to do without instruction from me.
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