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Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo is a nicely animated adventure program, leveraging the setting and characters from the popular movie. In this adventure, the user is invited to help Nemo and Dory play a scavenger game, collecting periwinkles to gain points. Clicking on many of the other colorful underwater objects leads to simple learning points, or funny animated actions. After the periwinkles in a given location are all collected, the gang moves on to a learning game. These involve basic preschool skills, like object counting, shape recognition, pattern matching, and simple addition.
Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo incorporates a collection of basic preschool learning exercises: color, shape, and pattern recognition; number and letter identification; counting skills; and simple math. These exercises provide practice opportunities for the young user, without the potential boredom-inducing repetition sometimes found in simple drill-only programs. However, this comes at the cost of less practice, and no real instruction.
In our testing, older children in the target range generally enjoyed Learning with Nemo. Four and five year-olds were both familiar with the characters, and had some experience with using a computer and similar 'click-and-explore' types of programs. Younger children, and those with no familiarity with Nemo, or with a computer, needed more care-giver guidance.
Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo installed without much difficulty on our test machine, after going through an interesting automated test of the computer's capabilities. The software requires that the computer have sound and video card drivers that have been updated to the latest DirectX-compatible versions prior to installing the software. A scary warning is displayed on-screen, stating that "...Microsoft DirectX 9.0c requires that you have installed the latest available DirectX-compatible sound and video drivers or your system may not restart properly." Luckily, our computer already had the requisite verison of DirectX installed.
Navigation within the program is intuitive for even moderately experienced users. Toddlers and preschoolers, however, will need some guidance to follow the directions and progress through the adventure.
Finding Nemo: Learning with Nemo is a fun preschool skills practice program for four and five year-olds. Younger children may need additional support to use and enjoy the program.
PC: Windows 98SE/Me/XP, 450 MHz or faster cpu, 150 MB hard drive space, 64 MB RAM, 24-bit color DirectX 9 compatible video card, 8X or faster CD-ROM drive, 16-bit DirectX 9 compatible sound card, DirectX 9.0c - included.return to top of page
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