Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism and Practice


Brenda Matthis

Publication Date

Fall 1998


Designers of software programs provide their narratives, perspectives, and points of view through the software programs they develop, consciously and explicitly or not. As the providers of these narratives, the software designers are considered the authors of this medium. These authors' narratives contribute to the social construction of the users of the software as they gain cognitive instruction and entertainment. This is especially important to consider when it comes to educational software used by children in the classroom and in the home. The traditional process for the examination of narrative and content in a medium is a review. Narratives in software should be examined as other media, such as books, film, and music, are examined for their narratives -- but they are not. Assessments of current software review publications find their reviews of narrative incomplete or non-existent. Reviews of narratives are crucial in understanding the social construction children possibly could absorb from that software. Educators and parents are encouraged to design and use their own review criteria in selecting educational software for their classroom and children.