History Package

Duncan Bowen School

Status: No Download, Findability: 1/5

Our next entry is thanks to Gareth Pitchford, who spotted in issue 40 of Your Commodore magazine details of a History title that was being created in The Quill. It was mentioned in a small article on educational games.

The text was as follows:

The next offering comes courtesy of Duncan Bowen School, Ashford. This software uses the Quill adventure writer to create a novel approach to the teaching of History. History is usually a sure way to send pupils to sleep, as it is always full of dates, places and names and has as much life in it as a building brick.

The fact is that History is a living subject winch involves people of all walks of life. By involving the pupil in the subject, it becomes live and interesting, and software uses the adventure concept to achieve this goal.

The disk contains two packages covering different aspects of the same problem. The main portion relates to an investigation of the past. The pupil has to “travel” around seeking information which will help solve a Victorian murder.

To achieve this aim, you must examine a wide range of sources of information such as records, diaries, memorials in churches and listen to the gossip.

In the first part you have to compile the basic facts from archival material. You have access CO contempory material in the second part, and with this you attempt to form a case against the murderer. Two further parts provide further information and quiz your findings.

In the second package, the pupil has to explore a Kentish village and map it. The final aim is to compile as much information as possible about a family that lived there.

Overall, the main theme of the package is that there is a lot of material available which is used to explore the past and shows where it is found and how it can be used. The software is detailed and well thought out – the documentation is copious and extremely useful: providing teacher’s notes and help for the pupils.

The material is ideal for project work, both for groups of children and the individual. I believe that this software is free provided that a blank disk or tape is sent.

The School become no more in the early 1990s, but did anyone send off for the disk/tape and get a copy of it?

Thanks to Gareth’s investigational work, it seems that parts of the package were later redeveloped for the Atari ST as “The Search” and “History File”.

It is very much at large still and yet to be preserved, so it is unknown as of yet if it did see release. If you know anything more about it – then please do get in touch.

Contributions: Gareth Pitchford

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