Discover the World Beneath Your Skin.
Cambridge, Massachussetts, 1995: SoftKey International Inc. Mac/Windows CD ROM, $49.95 U.S.
Grades 5 - 8 / Ages 10 - 13.
EDUCATIONAL CD-ROMs are considered essential to modern school libraries, and companies are issuing CD ROMs on every topic. BodyWorks is, as the name describes, an elaboration of how the body works. It is well organized, user-friendly, and informative for upper elementary and junior high students.
The program analyzes all of the body systems of the body, and their component parts. A menu of icons at the top of each screen takes the user quickly to a picture and information. Above the information is a list of component parts (for example, femur or fingernail). A click gets an arrow pointing to the appropriate spot on the organ. A double click brings up further information about the part. The information section has highlighted words that give the user the pronunciation with one click, more information with two.
The picture of the organ may include a video. The videos have useful pictures and include appropriate data, such as basic health statistics and disease prevention tips. Another icon takes you to see "Dr. Bodyworks," who appears as an animated figure offering a lecture on the topic the user selects from a menu. The body part being discussed is animated and moves to show all angles.
The drawings and photos are clear and labelled well. The movement of the different body parts is well illustrated and the information sections are useful and plainly written. The program responds quickly to the clicking of the mouse. When Dr. Bodyworks lectures, however, the user gets too much information to absorb unless they are already knowledgeable about the topic. A slight glitch in the program occurs in the Dr. Bodyworks section: occasionally the good doctor's speech is interrupted for brief moments.
This CD ROM would be a useful research tool for school libraries.
Harriet Zaidman is a teacher-librarian in Winnipeg.
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Copyright © 1996 the Manitoba Library Association.
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