Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978

Webber HearBuilder Auditory Memory - Strategic Memory Training for Listening - Home Edition

Webber HearBuilder Auditory Memory - Strategic Memory Training for Listening - Home Edition

Spring 2012 Software
Ages: 5 - 12 yrs.
Price: $69.95

Auditory memory is one of those learning niches that does not always get the attention it deserves when practicing memorization skills. This home edition of classroom software designed to exercise auditory memory skills tries to rectify that.

With the premise that players are secret agents whose mission is to save MemoryTown from the wacky schemes of the evil and annoying Dr. Forgetsit, the game and its five missions (categories) employ decent cartoon-style graphics and smooth enough animation to lure players into four difficulty levels. The missions: Numbers, Words, Details, Closure (sentence completion) and WH Information (comprehension memory of multiple sentences).

In the beginning level of the Numbers mission, players listen to a soothing female voice articulate three-digit codes and must remember them and key them in a calculator-style pad to unlock doors. At harder levels, players must remember the auditory code digits without looking at the keypad, or after having to wait seconds before keying in answers. At the expert level, the Words mission offers a list of three words with background sounds (like kids noise at a playground), and players must click image-word blocks in the same order as verbally listed.

A tutorial at the beginning is a welcome introduction, and players can click the Help button anytime during missions. They will receive specific strategy tips for remembering numbers, words, sentences and stories. Progress reports track how up to four players are doing in each mission.

It's nice to see (and hear!) that the designers of the Webber series have translated these auditory memory exercises effectively for home use. Still, while none of this is especially difficult, at times the mission challenges are a bit redundant and feel more like a test than fun. We recommend this software for parents looking to encourage memory skills specifically, as it will appeal to them most of all.

Don Oldenburg   ©2012 Parents' Choice
A former feature writer and consumer columnist at The Washington Post for 22 years, Don Oldenburg is the Director of Publications and Editor of the National Italian American Foundation, in Washington, D.C. He regularly reviews books for USA Today and is the coauthor of "The Washington DC-Baltimore Dog Lovers Companion" (Avalon Travel). The proud father of three sons, he lives with his journalist-author wife, Ann Oldenburg, in McLean, VA.

Look for this product at:
Super Duper Publications

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