by Lois Mason

SUBJECT AREA: Science or Health

PUBLISHER: Broderbund

COST: $199.95 List Price (School version)

INTENDED AUDIENCE: Grades 9 through 12

REQUIRED HARDWARE: Macintosh 68030 processor/16 Mhz or greater, System 7.1 or later, 8 MB RAM, hard disk with 40 MB available, 9" color monitor displaying 256 colors, double speed CD-ROM drive, and mouse. IBM version also available.

OPTIONAL HARDWARE: A 14" color monitor displaying 256 colors, additional hard drive memory space, and a faster processor will improve performance. A TouchWindow can provide alternative input for children with disabilities.

EDUCATIONAL GOALS: To develop an understanding of the human body - both structurally and functionally.

DESCRIPTION: The A.D.A.M. (Animated Dissection of Anatomy for Medicine) Scholar Series lets students perform "virtual dissections" on the human body. A.D.A.M. Essentials, the high school version in the series, is a multimedia CD-ROM that offers a unique way to learn about human anatomy. This easy to use program contains a lot of information. A simple mouse click gains detailed, exploratory access to the human body's structures, systems, and functions. Male or female gender can be selected, and by using an on-screen pointer as a "scalpel," the user can choose from a variety of options including: skin tone, anterior or posterior view, full view or sectional view (upper, middle or lower), and a magnifier to enlarge a particular structure.
A Depth Bar dissects a full anatomy image. Dissection is layer by layer, from skin to bone. The image can also be restored layer by layer back to the skin. Animations provide narrated, multimedia presentations regarding selested system functions or body structures.

STRENGTHS: A.D.A.M. Essentials is an easy to use, detailed, visually and auditorily engaging program. The user can thoroughly probe, discover, question, and understand the structures and functions of the human body. An extensive, accessible help menu offers on-screen support.

WEAKNESSES: The "Magnify" tool may enlarge some of the structures to the point of graininess. However, the value of this tool far outweighs its weakness.
Installation of this program into older model computers still in use in many classrooms may be prohibitive due to memory requirements.

SUMMARY: A.D.A.M. Essentials is an engaging, easy-to-use multimedia exploration of the human anatomy. It is the next best option to hands-on dissection.
Lois Mason is a graduate student in the Department of Special Education at Trenton State College.

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