DAVIDSON & ASSOCIATES INC. BEGINS SHIPPING 'THE CRUNCHER,' A SPREADSHEET EASY ENOUGH FOR KIDS, POWERFUL ENOUGH FOR ADULTS
Tutorials, Projects and a Full-Featured Spreadsheet are Combined With Graphics, Animation and Text-to-Speech to Teach Spreadsheet and Math Skills TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Davidson & Associates Inc.
(NASDAQ: DAVD) has begun shipping new software called "The Cruncher," an easy-to-use, talking, animated spreadsheet targeted to ages 10 and up. Using step-by-step tutorials, "The Cruncher" teaches spreadsheet and math fundamentals. Then, by using real-world examples such as party planning, family budgeting and baseball statistics tracking, it illustrates how to use math and spreadsheets in everyday life.
"The Cruncher" is immediately available in Macintosh format at most major computer and software retail chains nationwide for a suggested retail price of $59.95. The software is also available in teacher packs, lab packs, network versions and site licenses through Educational Resources, Learning Services, Fas-Track and other educational software resellers. A Windows version will be available next month. Says Jan Davidson, president and founder of Davidson & Associates Inc., "Everyone knows what a spreadsheet is, and many adults use them every day. But never before has a spreadsheet been designed specifically for students -- one that helps them understand how a spreadsheet works, how it can be useful in their lives, and how it can be fun to use. 'The Cruncher' does just that, and it teaches math concepts at the same time." Adds Joyce Hakansson of Berkeley Learning Technologies Inc., a nationally recognized software designer who developed Edmark's "Millie's Math House" and also co-developed "The Cruncher" with Davidson, "We developed "The Cruncher" for children to explore and think about math in ways they never have before. The addition of sound and graphics to a powerful spreadsheet makes it interesting, approachable and relevant to their needs. 'The Cruncher' empowers children and helps prepare them for a future where being comfortable with technology is critical." Product Overview "The Cruncher" has three components: tutorials, projects and spreadsheets. Each has been designed to be easy enough for beginners yet powerful enough for adults. These components cover subjects that appeal to both groups, including family trips, party planning and organizing all kinds of mathematical information. This approach also means that users won't outgrow "The Cruncher" -- the tutorials and projects address a range of experience levels. In addition, "The Cruncher" features an on-line help system that is easy to use for beginners, but extensive enough for more advanced users. Tutorials In the tutorials section, six examples teach topics starting with basic spreadsheet operations and progressing to the use of advanced spreadsheet features. The simplest one, "Fish Out of Water," uses pictures instead of numbers to manipulate data. Students combine a fish, a fish bowl, water and other items in spreadsheet cells; they must do this correctly for the fish to live. This demonstrates the basics of spreadsheets in a friendly and non-intimidating way. More advanced tutorials include "Making Cookies" and "Racing Slugs," where students learn how to set up math functions (to halve a recipe, for example), and how to find averages (when tracking scores for slug races). Projects Ten different projects and templates provide real-life examples of how spreadsheets can be useful in everyday life. For example, the "Basketball" project teaches students how to calculate shooting percentages, total points and overall percentages for their favorite basketball players. "I Want a Walkman!(TM)" teaches students how to use a spreadsheet to manage a budget. Students can track their income and expenses to show how much money they save, and how much time it will take to save the money needed for a desired purchase such as a Walkman. Spreadsheet "The Cruncher's" spreadsheet offers features included in most business spreadsheet software, including charting and graphing capabilities with pie charts, bar and line graphs, and scatter charts; complex cell calculations; and advanced trigonometry functions. "The Cruncher" also offers four unique features that make it ideal for beginners: -- A "notebook" attached to each spreadsheet This includes a simple word processor where users can keep notes on their spreadsheets, explain formulas or write a detailed report. -- The "sticker picker" A library of 100 illustrations, 13 sound effects and 20 animations can be included anywhere in spreadsheets, charts, graphs or the notebook. Users can also record their own sound effects or up to 20 seconds of spoken text. In addition, they can create their own stickers by importing art from other Macintosh programs. -- A "show" function By clicking on any cell with a formula in a spreadsheet, users can see a window that shows a breakdown of each step in an equation. This helps them understand how results are derived and is a useful math teaching tool. -- Text-to-speech capabilities Users can select any words or numbers in a spreadsheet or the notebook, and "The Cruncher" will read them aloud. This helps double check data. System Requirements, Pricing "The Cruncher" requires a Macintosh Classic or higher with system 7.0 or higher, 2.5 MB of available RAM and a high-density disk drive. The software has a suggested retail price of $59.95; teacher editions are priced at $99.95, lab packs at $219.95, network versions at $699.95; and site licenses at $899.95. Davidson & Associates Inc. is a leading publisher of educational software for the home and school markets. Founded in 1982 by educator Dr. Jan Davidson, the company has won national acclaim for teacher- designed, student-tested software such as the "Math Blaster" series, "Kid Works 2" and "Kid CAD" in the home market, and "English Express" and "Story Club" in schools. Davidson & Associates Inc. was recently selected by Forbes magazine as one of "The Best Small Companies in the World." -0- 1/3/94 /CONTACT: Linda Duttenhaver of Davidson & Associates, 310-793-0600, ext. 230/ (DAVD)
CO: Davidson & Associates Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: PDT
MF-JB -- LA001 -- 8404 01/03/94 09:04 EST
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|Date:||Jan 3, 1994|
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