INDEX BY: Edition / Title
Geography
KS3 Scotland P7-S1

PC and Acorn versions available. The PC version requires the following specifications: a 486 based IBM PC compatible computer, 4 megabytes of RAM, SVGA Graphics, MS-DOS 5.0 or higher, Microsoft Windows 3.1, a CD-ROM drive, mouse and sound card.

World: Geography Interactive CD-ROM
Published in 1996 by Granada Learning Ltd
Price 49 single user - multi licence available

World: Geography Interactive

This software allows pupils to investigate and learn about our planet. It explains the earth's surface features (Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere and Lithosphere) and processes that have formed them, looks at the effects of natural disasters (earthquakes, mud slides, storm surges, volcanic activity, hurricanes, floods) and examines relationships between people and their physical environment (ranging from Amazonia, Bagladesh, California through to the River Tees and Snowdonia). It is recommended in England and Wales for Geography National Curriculum Key Stage 3 and in Scotland 5-14 (P7-S1), although this is only mentioned on the back cover of the box and is not discussed in the teacher's guide. It draws on the outstanding learning materials prepared by David Waugh and does bring to life in an exciting and innovative manner these resources through a range of multimedia.

The disc is divided into three sections: a) Features and processes: which is a large database describing geographical features and processes in the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. It has a rich photography collection which is supplemented by animations, maps and video footage. b) People and their environment: which describes nine world case studies which focus on one or more aspects of physical geography. Each explains the landscape origin and the interaction of people with the environment c) Natural hazards: which describes 15 world case studies, illustrated by photos, maps, animations and news footage from ITN News. These sections are supported by a number of useful tools which help navigate around the disc and make the most effective use of the information. There is a comprehensive index, Related Topics allows access to associated topics and there is a comprehensive glossary. When entering a topic section Checklist presents a summary of key points that are going to be found and Compare allows you to place the text and images from two different topics side by side on the screen. Consolidation of knowledge is achieved through sets of questions for selected topics. Trailsave allows you to bring together information from anywhere on the disc and rearrange it to create your own presentation and can be used to make study notes and revision aids. Photos, text, video and animations can be saved for later viewing through the Trailsaver Viewer. Finally the independent Scrapbook application enables you to view, select and save data to your own file and the selections can be previewed and edited as you like. The file can be accessed at any time, which allows editing and the addition of your own text and audio recordings.

Although this CD-ROM is now five years old it uses many case studies that were up to date and topical in the early nineties. It still has not lost its relevance, although in the past six years natural disasters for example have not lessened and it is likely that other more recent case studies might have been used if it was being produced today. Overall this is a useful addition to the resources available to enhance the geography curriculum in schools and it can be recommended as a varied, exciting use of multimedia. In a vast compendium of information that is collated in a disc of this kind there are always examples of peculiar choices of information to illustrate a particular point. This is no exception and it is strange to illustrate hydrothermal activity with a photo of an albeit, artistic frozen, rather than active, geyser and slides of the Krakatoa eruption appear to have been taken beforehand and not afterwards which again is strange. However, the disc is accurate and well illustrated and can be a valuable addition to the teacher's resources.

David Huddart
Liverpool John Moores University