By Kurtz, Alice
Multimedia & Internet@Schools , Vol. 16, No. 2
Company: World Book, Inc., 223 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60601. Phone: (800) 975-3250; internet: www.worldbook.com.
Price: World Book Student is included with World Book Web, School and Library Edition or Complete Reference Suite. Pricing is based on the selected materials and number of users.
Audience: Grades 5-9
Format: Online multimedia encyclopedia and research database with teacher tools.
Minimum System Requirements: A computer with a modem and high speed internet access.
Description: World Book Student is the new name for the redesigned and upgraded version of the World Book Online Reference Center. The site offers all of the articles from the print version of the World Book Encyclopedia, a Biography Center, a dictionary, an atlas, an extensive multimedia collection, links to thousands of editor-selected websites, interactive features, and new and enhanced research capabilities. The online teacher resources include correlations to curriculum standards and assistance for lesson planning and designing research projects for students.
Installation: Users log on with an ID and password. There was no difficulty accessing the site. Installation Rating: A
Content/Features: The newly configured World Book Student homepage is colorful and appealing to students. The page links to more than 40,000 articles, videos, and photos. Content updates occur every 2-4 weeks.
The new features in World Book Student include research tools such as a timeline builder and individual student research accounts, a Biography Center, hundreds of videos, and thousands of pictures and illustrations.
The Search feature located at the top of the homepage offers the option to search among articles from World Book Student or World Book Student and World Book Kids simultaneously. Content searches can be conducted by subject or alphabetical listing. Media-only searches can be performed. Advanced search options, browse options, and Boolean search features are available.
When a search is undertaken, the search return page shows the top 15 articles. In a sidebar on the left of the screen, the type and amount of other related content is displayed. The located content may include encyclopedia articles, maps, tables, dictionary entries, audio files, pictures, images, videos, Back in Time material (historical articles), special reports, website links, research guides, and timelines.
When World Book Student and World Book Kids are selected for simultaneous searching, both sets of results are posted in columns at the center of the page. The sidebar appears here as well and contains information about additional content available on the searched topic.
The encyclopedia articles are written in the familiar World Book layout. Multimedia (video, sound, maps, photos, and more) is embedded in many of the articles.
Students can choose to read the full article, or, by using the sidebar subheadings, they can skip to the portion of the article that is pertinent to their research. While using a selected article, students can print, save, email, or send the article to their Backpack accounts. Each content link can be saved in the My Backpack section by clicking a check box preceding the link.
The unique Back in Time feature provides more than 13,000 historical articles about people, places, and events from the past. The articles are written from the perspective of the time period under study, allowing the student to examine the thinking and style of writing from that time. World War II articles, for example, are written without information on the eventual outcomes.
The new Biography Center offers 10,000 biographies that can be accessed by a subject's name, area of work or interest, gender, nationality and ethnicity, and time period. Students can choose a biography by exploring occupational categories including inventors, explorers, artists, world leaders, authors, and sports figures. …