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Subtitled "A Journey into the Miracle of Human Life", and containing 38 minutes of award-winning video footage, this information-filled CD-ROM offers an in-depth look into the ‘physiological processes involved in creating and maintaining human life.’ Topics are presented through illustrated screens, animations, slide shows, graphs, videos and a glossary of terms. The program is appropriate for use in schools and at home as a fact-based resource for parents and children who seek to understand human reproduction.
Life Begins includes six main sections including: the Human Body, Man, Woman, Pregnancy, Labor and Birth, and Life Choices. The first five of these sections are interconnected, so that a student beginning with the section entitled the "Human Body" can link from the sub-topic ‘DNA,’ through mitosis and meiosis, sperm and egg creation, fetal development and beyond.
The final section of the program, ‘Life Choices’, discusses the non-physiological issues involved in human reproduction, with topics ranging from self-esteem and goal-setting to intimacy and taking control of one’s life.
Before using the program, the installer must run a ‘lockout’ configuration. This requires setting up an administrator password, and then making a few decisions about what content will be available for the users of the program. Because the graphics content may be considered controversial--including video clips, animations, illustrations and photographs depicting such topics as female and male external reproductive organs, birthing scenes, etc., accessibility options allow parents and teachers to restrict access to these portions of the program. Limiting access to the graphics does not, however, limit access to the information available in these sections. When queried about these graphics our parent testers were quick to note that although they are indeed explicit, the graphics in question are always tasteful.
Life Begins program navigation is complex and may initially require adult assistance. Because of the interrelatedness of the many topics, it’s easy to get sidetracked and lose sight of the original topic being pursued. For this reason, the program includes a "Trail" option, which can be accessed from the Taskbar, and enables students to retrace their steps (much like the ‘history’ Internet browser option) and return to the point of divergence from the original topic being explored.
PC: Windows 3.1 and up, Pentium 75 or higher, 16 MB RAM, 640 x 480 x 65K color monitor display, 4x speed or faster CD-ROM.return to top of page
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