Educational Software Reviews
Helps users, esp. beginners, learn to type through a series of increasingly difficult drills and one minute “fluency” tests. Designed for students with learning disabilities, but usable by anyone.
Volume 1: Basic Vocabulary and Fingerspelling
Teaches over 450 vocabulary words in American Sign Language, using a combination of video demonstration, and illustrations. Good for anyone interested in expanding their ASL vocabulary.
It's the Big Game Charlie Brown!
A quasi-adventure/life-simulation game centered on the user helping Charlie Brown recruit and play a baseball game. Best for patient young children learning to play baseball.
Leapster Pet Pals
Features a wide range of age- and skill-level-appropriate games for its young players. Good entertainment value, and a fun way for kids to do a little brainwork. As a purely educational tool, it is probably best for the pre-school set.
The Eency Weency Spider
Beautifully illustrated and clearly narrated, with English subtitle and Spanish narration options. Lack of interactivity limits educational value. Best as a travel distraction for young non-readers.
A program for solving a large range of math equations frequently covered in algebra classes. Best for students with a good understanding of math principles, but need some help, or wish to check their answers.
Study anything. This program allows you to create your own digital and printable flashcards, study sheets, multiple choice and fill-in-the-blank tests. Best for students who like to create their own study and review materials.
Reading Detective Beginning
One of the best programs we have seen for teaching reading comprehension skills. But successful completion will require adult authority for all but the most driven young students.
DreamBox Learning K-2 Math
A web-based, self-paced, adaptive, interactive program. Appropriate for extra practice at home or school, or as the basis for a homeschooling class.
Language Arts Review 3a - Advanced Level with Sports
Study Word Families and Patterns, Syllables, Antonyms and Synonyms, Homophones and Homographs, Classifying and Sorting, Prefixes, Root Words, Suffixes, Reading Comprehension Strategies, and Spelling -- all in a sports game theme.
Mia's Reading Adventure: Bugaboo Bugs
A wide variety of reading skills exercises, in a fun, adventure story format.
My Electric Guitar
A great way to learn electric guitar, with 60 lessons focused on rock music.
Provides a surprisingly effective way to learn acoustic guitar, and manages to make learning and practicing fun.
Crazy Machines 2
A puzzle game taken to the extreme. For parents looking for a challenge that they can share with their kids, this may be it.
Sight Words with Samson
Teaches kids to recognize 224 of the most common words in the English language without sounding them out... to recognize them by sight.
Professor Finkle's Basic Division
Successfully teaches introductory division through lesson videos, games, and printable worksheets, making the topic as fun as possible.
Focuses on the dynamics of music, and how different styles of play produce different results. Best for those who really enjoy music and want to understand it better.
Crazy Machines 1.5
A puzzle game in which players are presented with objectives and parts. The parts must be placed/arranged in constructed formations that accomplish the objective. Younger players may need parental support.
Tooning Up - the C Major Scale
Teaches the notes of the C major scale through lessons and games. Best for young kids still learning music notation.
Travel back in time to see and recreate historical examples of civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering at work, like catapults, pyramids, submarines and radar. Use the math, or click-and-guess to find optimal solutions.
Leapster: Scholastic Clifford The Big Red Dog Reading
A fun and captivating way to learn basic reading and writing skills, and build some vocabulary for preschoolers.
A surprisingly engaging learning skills program that provides instruction in simple skills and tools designed to help improve school performance.
What Smart Kids Know About Endangered Species
Introduces the causes of animal endangerment using an interactive book format. Best for young creative children.
Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa
A simulation game where players learn the importance of a balanced ecosystem. Best for patient kids who like to play - not shoot - animals!
Nancy Drew: The Creature of Kapu Cave
A mystery and clue-finding program that requires attention to detail and mental focus.
A strong drill and test vocabulary/spelling/grammar program, hidden in a modest search game. The educational component will be attractive to parents and teachers, as well as to those students who want to learn or challenge themselves.
Joe Rock and Friends
Three fun stories, in three languages each, offer reading, listening, and speaking practice. Best for young, learning to read, native speakers in English, French or Spanish. Also good for early new language learners.
Hooked on Spanish
Does a reasonable job in introducing and providing practice opportunities for some basic Spanish vocabulary. Unfortunately, our reviewers felt that the range of material presented was too limited.
Bridge Construction Set
A cross between a civil engineering tool and a virtual erector set, with a touch of demolition derby thrown in for fun.