Where can I find quality computer software?
I just got a mini-grant, what software should I buy?
What are the best software packages at my grade level?
There's lots of educational software on the market. How do you choose the best software for your needs? There are many websites that can help you find good computer software. In addition, Children's Software Revue is a popular periodical available on paper and the web. Reviews can also be found in educational and library journals such as School Library Journal and Technology & Learning.
Read The State of Children's Software Evaluation - Yesterday, Today, and in the 21st Century by Warren Buckleitner. Although a few years old, this article is useful in understanding the history of children's software.
If you'd like to find an award winner, check out the Codie Computer Software Awards, BESSIE Awards, and the Webby Awards. Although you can find many reviews on the Internet and in magazines, it's best if you can borrow the software and try it out before buying. Some publishers provide demonstration disks and preview copies.
The following sites contain software reviews. Before you read a review, determine who published the review and what criteria were used for evaluation.
Software Review Sources
- California Learning Resources
- Children's Software Revue
- Codie Awards
- Discovery Channel Reviews
- Education Software Review - BESSIE Awards
- ENC Curriculum Resources
- Kid's Domain Review
- Review Zone
- Schoolhouse Software Reviews
If you can't find a software package to fit your needs or you seek ideas to go with your software, try using the search engines to locate software reviews. Do a search for the title of the software plus "reviews", "tips", or "techniques".
If you've got a question about a piece of software, consider using a listserv or discussion group. For example, Proteacher is a website with a number of different discussion areas for teachers.