History is a pretty broad topic, typically covered by books. What advantages does a computerized approach bring? In the case of these programs, it is the incorporation of visual and audio multimedia components that are absent from conventional books.
The Charles W. Morgan [for ages 10 to adult] from Mystic Seaport (the Museum of America and the Sea), is an interactive, multimedia lesson on the history of whaling, through the perspective of a single ship. That ship, the Charles W. Morgan, is the sole surviving wooden whaling ship in the world.
The Ellis Island Experience [for ages 11 to adult] from SouthPeak Interactive, weaves a wealth of information and presents it to the viewer in a compelling format using oral histories, quotes, and photographs to supplement its factual presentations. Parents, teachers, homeschoolers will find this fascinating and useful.
Talking Walls [for ages 8 to 14] from Edmark, is an excellent literature-based software program that exposes children to various cultures from around the world.
Lionel Trains Presents: Trans-Con! [for ages 7 to 12] from Knowledge Adventure, is an excellent program that involves students in one of the most exciting times in American History. It offers an interactive glimpse into the building of the Transcontinental Railroad, hands-on geography, problem-solving experience and even a little arcade-like fun.
The Civil War Experience [for ages 11 to adult] from SouthPeak Interactive, contains a wealth of factual information in a polished, coordinated format that has visual and auditory appeal. Parents, teachers, homeschoolers, and Civil War buffs will find this a comprehensive reference and resource tool.
The Complete National Geogaphic [for ages 5 to adult] from Mindscape, is an ambitious attempt to free up acres of wall shelf space in homes and libraries. Unfortunately, technical decisions made in the CD collection's design limit its searchability.
Virtual Safari [for ages 10 to 14] from Fujitsu Interactive includes plenty of action, information and authentic sights and sounds to intrigue and enthuse young animal lovers.
Oregon Trail Classic [for grades 5 and up] from The Learning Company, is the descendent of one of the earliest educational software programs. Users are challenged to make a series of decisions to guide their party from Independence, Missouri to Oregon's Willamette Valley, by covered wagon.
Breaking the Code [for ages 10+], from Lerner Educational Software, teaches students how to read simple hieroglyphics, then uses them to tell stories about Egyptian gods and goddesses. Best suited for those with an intense interest in the subject.