Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Students Use Disc to Practice Life Decisions

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Students Use Disc to Practice Life Decisions

Article excerpt

Richardson High School in Richardson, Texas was one of only six high schools chosen last spring as a test site for Choices & Decisions: Taking Charge of Your Life, a computer-based, interactive videodisc. One of the reasons Richardson was chosen was its diverse socioeconomic population. The school's students represent over 40 ethnicities.

* Reaching Goals

Designed and produced for Visa U.S.A., Inc. by LucasArts Learning in San Rafael, Calif., the disc teaches students financial management and consumer life skills.

Students help the four characters, portrayed by Alfonso Ribeiro of the TV show "Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and Tracy Gold, an actress on "Growing Pains," make important decisions to reach specific goalsmoving out of their parents' house, buying a car, going to college and others. The disc's activities span a four-month period. At the end of each exercise, students can take a look into the future to see hypothetical outcomes of their choices.

A 12-chapter curricular component features a comprehensive lesson plan with written materials and suggested exercises. Topics covered are making decisions, making money, creating a budget, living on your own, banking services, credit and credit cards, cars and car loans, the influence of advertising, consumer awareness, saving and investing, and solving financial problems.

* In Home Economics

Choices & Decisions is integrated into Richardson's home economics department. Pam DeVoll, who teaches a class on resource management, has been using the disc since the fall of 1991. She uses a DOS computer and a videodisc player, both of which are placed on a cart and wheeled into the room.

DeVoll starts out with the budgeting section and continues on through each unit, using the disc as an impetus to generate class discussion. …

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