Tourism is another good teaching aid from Andrea Tapsfield and Nelson CAL.
The programs are backed up by a clearly organised set of notes illustrating all the basic steps plus running hints and instructions for a printer link up.
Some very useful students' materials are included in the notes as a basis for a number of interesting lessons.
The first of the two programs includes a number of important skills and ideas central to much of geography teaching. It simulates the general development of tourism on a tropical island.
The main idea is to select suitable sites for holiday activities bearing in mind some of the economic and physical factors affecting development.
Initially a choice has to be made on the type of holiday (beach, scenery/wildlife or historical) and then the type of accommodation (self-catering chalets, package tour hotels, luxury hotels and camping sites).
Using physical and economic weightings entered from the keyboard a survey of the island is undertaken and a map produced for the particular activity chosen.
Accompanying this is a list of the suggested sites with a grid reference location, a score count based on the weightings and suggested development costs - high, medium or low.
The program lends itself to various uses. For example: varying the weightings and assessing development locations, studying the optimum locations for different holiday types and comparing class maps with those produced by the micro.
It is in this type of work that the micro can make a very useful contribution to the subject area by allowing a variety of alternatives to be rapidly produced.
Program Two allows the student to manage a tourist business on the same island over a period of two years. There are three decisions to be made each year - the number of tourist places, the amount of money spent on advertising and the number of people to employ.
It is possible for various groups to try to develop different sites at the same time and take their turn at typing in their decisions. This could be particularly useful in a classroom with only one micro available.
At the end of the year, a balance sheet is given along with the percentage changes in the types of accommodation. It is something of a pity that summary graphs could not be provided to vary the screen presentations but this does not detract from the overall usefulness.
The programs are well constructed and easy to use. They allow the development of various ideas related to tourism such as earning foreign income, developing employment and making profits.
This is a package that could result in much useful discussion with enough interaction to hold students' attention.