Lollipop Dragon Explores Communities
##AUTHORSPLIT##<--->Lollipop Dragon Explores Communities is an educational CD-RO
M produced by SVE & Churchill Media. This program is targeted at an audience of kindergartners through 6th grade students, and teaches the basic types of communities.
The main characters, Lollipop and Apple Blossom, introduce us to the concepts of communities as they try to entice Bitty, a young dragon who is afraid to leave his cave, to come out into the world. The program is set up like a storyboard, with the script at the bottom and corresponding pictures, illustrations and video clips at the top. The script is read aloud, so if you wish to use it in a classroom or lab situation, I recommended headphones. Many of the graphics are cartoon images of the characters and are not very interesting. There are, however, a number of good video clips used in the program to help make the types of communities more real for the students.
One nice feature of Lollipop Dragon Explores Communities is its basic setup. Each type of community urban, suburban and rural is set up as an independent section that can be used to teach individual class sessions. Each section has a quiz. The questions are multiple choice and can either be saved or immediately sent to the printer for a record of a students progress.
As many older children who use the Internet are aware, colored words often link them to some other information or sites. Lollipop Dragon Explores Communities provides this type of link within the text of the script. These colored words link you to a glossary (green) and an encyclopedia entry (blue). The program d'es a nice job linking its key words to these sources, but unfortunately, the definitions are somewhat advanced for the younger members of the target audience.
Controlling the program was not difficult, but did take some getting used to. The controls are located at the bottom of the screen and are different from any other program that I have used. (It would have been nice to have scrolling arrows on the side of the screen to continue down the page, especially on longer definitions or encyclopedia entries.)
Personally, I found the story to be less than exciting. When tested with third and sixth graders, they quickly lost interest. Although the information presented did directly relate to the material that is studied in the third grade curriculum, this would not be my first choice to use as a supplement to their communities unit. If you are going to use this as a supplement to your classroom presentation, I would recommend the following: use it with a projection device, review a section each day, and utilize the quiz feature, as a written quiz, to check your students knowledge.
SVE & Churchill Media
Lisa M. Taylor
Computer Resource Specialist
Parkway School District
Wren Hollow Elementary School
Platform: Macintosh or Windows
Price: single $69.95
Lab pack (5): $209.85
Site pack (30): $839.40
This article originally appeared in the 10/01/2000 issue of THE Journal.