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Base Station Safari invites the user aboard an ocean-going vessel for a trip into the open sea -- a journey as new and diverse as stepping onto another planet. Aided by an information-packed PDA (Personal Digital Assistant), the user tackles a variety of exploration and learning tasks. Successful completion of these tasks, or missions, allows the user to advance in rank from lowly Cadet, through increasingly prestigious levels, to Base Station Commander.
Missions are selected from the Mission Control room, where a list of directives is obtained. The user must then travel to many locations on the boat, undertaking activities aimed at teaching specific information or skills. For example, as a Cadet the user must visit:
Information, graphics and video encountered can also be added to each user’s “personal pouch” for later use in creating reports and multimedia projects.
Our teacher consultants were highly impressed with the content, and agreed that it would work well in a classroom setting as an accompaniment to textbook learning or as an extra-credit project. Although our marine biology expert found parts of the virtual activities to be “hokey” he also noted that the information provided was accurate and plentiful.
Despite the publisher’s obvious attempts to make program navigation easily accomplished, it is an initially confusing and difficult task, especially for younger users. Furthermore, in order to truly benefit from the program’s impressive store of information the user must be a motivated learner, able to read and digest large amounts of text at a time.
PC: Windows 3.1/95/98, 486/25 or better, 2 MB hard drive space, 8 MB RAM, 256-color monitor, Double-speed or faster CD-ROM.return to top of page
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