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The Chicago Computer Society -- Users Helping Users

1995 Midwest Regional Conference

Kid's Computer Learning Days

Lynda Orban, Director of Corporate Communications, Knowledge Adventure Software -- (Workshop Description)

Three years ago, Knowledge Adventure began to co sponsor Kid's Computer Learning Days with user groups. User groups who have co sponsored Kid's Computer Learning Days include the Fox Valley PC Users Group, Detroit Area Network Users Group, the Cajun Clickers, East Tennessee PC Users Group, Central Kentucky PC Users Group, Upstate IBM PC Users Group, Orange Coast IBM PC Users Group, and the Boston Computer Society. These Kid's Computer Learning Days allow parents and kids to try out the latest in educational software at a local facility. Co sponsored by the local user group, the Kid's Computer Learning Days also allows experts from the user group to present seminars in computer basics such as what to look for in buying your first computer, how to upgrade your computer and review of the latest in software for general business use (word processing, graphics, or spreadsheets).

In addition to learning about the latest in educational software and information gleaned from the seminars, attendees also learn about the benefits offered by the local user group. Many of the user groups who have participated in Kid's Computer Learning Days were able to gain new members as a result of the membership drives conducted at the Kid's Computer Learning Days. The user group was also positioned to new computer users within the community as a resource for their computer questions.

Several different formats have been utilized by various groups for their Kid's Computer Learning Days. Some groups have worked with local universities and colleges using their computer centers as the basis for their kid's day. In order for this format to work, a member of the group must be well connected to the university or college. The Fox Valley PC Users Group in Appleton, Wisconsin, conducted their Kid's Day at Fox Valley Technical College. In this situation, a format is used with classrooms containing several titles with one classroom used for seminars. The kids flock to the classrooms to try out the latest software while their parents attended the seminars.

Some groups (East Tennessee PC Users Group and the Detroit Area Network Users Group) have worked with local computer training centers that provide a location already outfitted with the latest computer hardware. Using this format, different programs are set up in the various classrooms with seminars conducted on an ongoing basis in one of the classrooms.

Another format for kid's days does not require a location to be outfitted with computers. The Cajun Clickers in Baton Rouge conducted their kid's day at the State Police Technical College. In this case, the Cajun Clickers used the main auditorium for their presentations and held a mini trade show featuring educational software in one of the school's meeting rooms. The attendees found the seminars to be very helpful as well as being able to try out the latest in educational software at the mini trade show. The group recruited new members at the event and raised money for their scholarship fund.

Background on Knowledge Adventure

Knowledge Adventure, Inc., headquartered in La Crescenta, California, was founded by Bill Gross in 1991. Knowledge Adventure is a leading producer of interactive multimedia products that combine rich content and unmatched technology in innovative and compelling exploratory formats. The company's products include its Adventure Series (3 D Body Adventure, 3 D Dinosaur Adventure, Science Adventure II, Space Adventure II and Undersea Adventure); a series of reference titles including Random House Kid's Encyclopedia; a series of creativity products including Magic Theatre and the Spider Man Cartoon Maker;and curriculum and skills products including JumpStart Kindergarten and JumpStart First Grade.

The company's mission is to challenge the boundaries of electronic exploration by delivering products that foster a highly interactive, multi sensory learning experience. Knowledge Adventure's products encourage exploratory learning by tapping the innate sense of interest and curiosity that people of all ages have about things new and different. Through sophisticated digital technology, the company deconstructs formal teaching methods and brings knowledge to life. The company has pioneered several new technologies that provide customers with unique experiences that support and enhance these educational objectives.


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