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Review CornerSoftware
Away We Go! - Professional Version
Rating: Rating
The Bottom Line
A simple yet powerful skill-building software program that has been designed with the latest brain development research in mind, Away We Go! presents some well thought out activities and games. This professional version has more customizing options than the home version.
 
Ages: 4-7  Subject: Early Learning  Brand: Scientific Learning Company
Review Sections: Product Overview  Entertainment Value  Technically Speaking  Design  Skills Covered  Replayability  Educational Value  Dollar Value
 
 
image Product Overview
Using adaptive training technologies, Away We Go! Professional Version aims to present children with skill-building activities that adapt to the skill levels and performance of each young player. This program is designed for kids from preschool to grade 1 and contains 7 games, as follows:

  • Flying Saucer requires kids to click on flying saucers that are associated with sounds in the correct order.
  • Inside the Tummy involves matching colorful shapes to their outlines.
  • In Hungry Tummy, (pictured at right) kids follow verbal instructions to work with differently colored and sized shapes.
  • Kids work on improving their auditory and memory skills in Drag Racer.
  • In Packing Pig Goes to Work, kids click on letters of the alphabet according to verbal cues, and learn both upper- and lower-case letters.
  • Packing Pig Has Lunch involves matching letters and increasing phonological awareness skills.
  • Kids improve phonological awareness skills in Dog Deals the Deck as they identify the card that has a different word sound than the others (pictured below).
This professional version contains 3 CDs, and can be run on up to 3 computers simultaneously. It accomodates up to 35 children. Other things that set the professional version apart from the home version are printable progress reports that identify students' strengths and weaknesses, the ability to select difficulty levels for each child, and the ability to select desired skills to practice and repeat.

Children testers ranged in age from 3 to 7 years of age, and each seemed to benefit from the activities at their own level of development. There were times when children didn't want to wait through the animations and instructions, and they were unable to "click through".

Technically Speaking
Minimum requirements are Windows 95/98 or NT 4.0, a Pentium 100 processor, 16 Mb RAM (24 Mb RAM for Windows NT), and 4X CD ROM. Mac users require a Power PC 601 processor with 24 Mb RAM, System 7.5.5 or higher, and at least 4X CD ROM.

Skills Covered
eye-hand coordination, pattern recognition, auditory perception, fine motor development, colors and shapes, size, following directions, memory, sustained auditory attention, event sequencing, phonological awareness, lowercase and uppercase letters, letter-name knowledge, visual-spatial memory, letter name-symbol association, letter-sound correspondence

Educational Value
There is a good range of educational activities in this program, with emphasis on auditory and visual skill-building.

Entertainment Value
The activities provide quiet and enjoyable edutainment for preschoolers.

Design
The program is very straightforward to use with clear options and navigation. This professional version allows for difficulty levels to be adjusted for up to 35 students. Skill levels are also automatically adapted according to a child's performance — so that children will not advance to a level that is beyond their abilities, and kids will work through increasingly difficult concepts rather quickly when they are not making any mistakes.

Replayability
Children who enjoy quiet computer games will return to this game often. There is a good amount of content to go through.

Dollar Value
The professional version is $249 US. Please see our review of the home version if this will suit your needs better.

Released: 1999