Front page > Speak Out > Reviews > Velsoft Creates Computer Manuals for Kids
October 7, 1999

Velsoft describes their downloadable products as "Computer Manuals for Kids", so be prepared to cast aside your usual concept of a manual. The version we previewed is a robust 70 page Adobe Acrobat .PDF file designed for children five to seven years of age. Letter size page formats are largely in a coloring book line-drawing format, interspersed with teacher pages, crosswords, picture and word matching, word jumbles and mazes. All of this is tied together well with a story line taking the reader through a beginner's course on what a computer is and how it works. Illustrations are well done, and while the text may appear wordy for this age group, it probably is necessary given the subject matter and would likely be read to younger children by an adult anyway.

All of Velsoft's E-Books are purchased and downloaded from their website; free samples are available there for you to test. Both PC and Mac platforms are supported, and they use the Adobe Acrobat file format. The .PDF file format has been aggressively developed by Adobe to be a cross-platform publishing tool, and the ubiquitous Acrobat Reader is likely already on your computer. If not, it is available for free at the Adobe website. This file format works flawlessly and is a logical choice for the Velsoft books.

Overall, we are impressed with the professional quality of Velsoft's efforts, and see these e-books as good tools for classroom teachers and computer labs. In fact, although they are designed for the K-2 grade levels, they actually have value for older children who are being exposed to the computer for the first time. We are anxious to see what grade level Velsoft will develop next, and hope they can round out their offerings soon with a wide variety of products.

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