Fisher-Price Computer Cool School is a keyboard and software package. The Computer Cool School keyboard is a brightly-colored, kid-friendly qwerty keyboard with attached writing and drawing tablet and stylus pen. Also housed on the keyboard are five buttons to launch five learning centers that are featured in the software. In addition, there is a separate globe-like button that takes kids on a field trip within the software. The "Computer Cool School" keyboard can be plugged in beside your regular keyboard and both will work. It comes packaged with the Leo's Classroom software.
By plugging in the Computer Cool School keyboard via an USB port and installing the CD, parents can turn their computer into an interactive classroom for kids ages 3 to 6. Kids navigate within the software, using the special keyboard and stylus, or your traditional mouse.
When setting up this software, parents have an option of making it dependent on their entering a password. By selecting this password option, parents can keep their own computer files safe from kids, because the program won't activate without a parent entering his or her password. And once in the program, kids can't exit until the parent once again enters that same password. With this password option, children have no way to click out of the program and into other files on the computer.
Kids play Computer Cool School by joining Leo the Leopard in an interactive classroom. Leo suggests activities, and clicking on anything in the room will trigger an animation or response. To access the five learning centers of reading and writing, math, science, music, and art, kids push illuminated buttons located on the special keyboard.
In the reading and writing center, kids help to create an alphabet book which they can print. They will also practice writing the letters of the alphabet and numbers, using the tablet and stylus plus special cards to do tracing. Their writing shows up on the screen.
In the science center, kids explore five habitats and learn facts about animals that live there. They will also play a hide-and-seek game about finding animals and sort them into habitats.
With the music center, kids can explore the sounds of different instruments. Counting and math games appear in the math center; and kids can produce art creations to print in the art center.
The keyboard's field trip button transports kids to an interactive farm. If they click on the sun, it changes to nighttime. Click on a turtle, and a matching game launches, involving different patterned turtle shells.
Computer Cool School is a peripheral system that is expandable by purchasing additional software for $16 each, including ones that feature Scooby Doo!, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Sesame Street, and other children's favorites. You can choose add-on software titles that are appropriate for ages 3 to 5, or for ages 4 to 6. Each software title follows the same format of making use of the five learning centers buttons.
In the Scooby Doo add-on software, the writing center contains an excellent book about Scooby and Shaggy solving a mystery of a haunted school. Kids can add animations to the story's pictures. The science center's activities continue this mystery theme, and cleverly involve kids in looking for clues as to who broke into the science lab.
Fisher-Price Computer Cool School is a fabulous way to introduce young kids to the PC without risking your personal files or ruining your keyboard.
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