Magazine article Technology & Learning

S.M.A.R.T Choices

Magazine article Technology & Learning

S.M.A.R.T Choices

Article excerpt

S.M.A.R.T. Choices

Overall Rating: ****

Hardware: IBM PC or PS/2, Tandy 1000, and compatibles (256K); Apple II family (64K) * . Emphasis: Social studies (substance abuse, critical thinking). Grade level: 5-12. Publisher: Tom Snyder Productions, 90 Sherman Street, Cambridge, MA 02140; (80) 342-0236. Package includes: 3.5-inch or 5.25-inch disk, teacher's guide, 30 student reference books. Price: $119.95.

S.M.A.R.T. Choices is a simulation program that deals with critical thinking and group decision making within the context of substance abuse. It is meant to be played by an entire class in a "one-computer-classroom" situation, and employs the same basic interface and approach introduced by Tom Snyder Productions in the Decisions Decisions series.

The simulation, which contains approximately 300 different paths, begins with the class taking on the identity of a boy at school who discovers a female friend buying drugs from another boy in the hall. As the first boy approaches, a teacher appears and the other two students run off, dropping the drugs at the boy's feet. The teacher continues to approach. What should the boy do?

At this point, prompted by the computer, the class must put in order four goals : a) Help your friend; b) Stay out of trouble; c) Keep respect of others; and d) Keep self-respect. Then the class works through five decisions, each determined by the program based on the cumulative effect of previous decisions. At each decision-making point, the program provides a message from a "mysterious friend" who keeps the class on track by reminding them of their goal priorities. …

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