Magazine article Teach

New Teaching Tools

Magazine article Teach

New Teaching Tools

Article excerpt

When McClelland and Stewart took on The Canadian Encyclopedia, it committed itself to enlarging and updating the encyclopedia while at the same time maintain the focus on Canada -- its people, its history, its politics, its art, its diversity, its geography, its plant and animal life. James Marsh has remained at the helm as Editor-in-Chief with an impressive editorial board and contributing consultants, experts within their fields, to contribute and update articles.

The scope of the encyclopedia has been expanded and The 1999 Canadian Encyclopedia World Edition is a two disk, CD-ROM set. Disk one contains the Canadian Encyclopedia (c1998) the Gage Canadian Dictionary (c1997), the Columbia Encyclopedia, 5th edition (1995,) the Enhanced Roget's US Electronic Thesaurus (1995), the Concise French-English and English-French Dictionary (Larousse, 1994), a selection of Madean's articles from 1995 -- 1998, a Quiz and a Canadian Timeline. Disk two is a lively reference work with press clippings and video files on the Lives and Times of the Prime Ministers. The 1999 Canadian Encyclopedia Student Edition is the first electronic edition of the Junior Encyclopedia. It comes with the Gage Canadian Dictionary as its add-on.

The Student Encyclopedia has not lost any of its accessibility to young readers in the language and readability of its texts. In instances where currency of information is unimportant, the 1990 text has been kept. (There are 4,000 articles, 2000 articles have been revised and updated.) The entry for "Beaver," for example, is the same in both versions of the Student and Junior encyclopedia. New illustrations and a video clip of a beaver dragging a stick in the winter to build a dam augment the earlier edition's article. Currency of information comes largely through photographs and videoclips that bring events to life: Donovan Bailey's 9.84 second, 100 m. race at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996; a video of the 1998 Ice Storm in Quebec showing people skidding down pavements, ice damaged cars and homes, helicopters trying to fix wires and spontaneous fires on hydro-wires.

The Student Encyclopedia is easy to navigate. Students can choose to search all of the encyclopedia or a specific part such as the Dictionary, the Media files or the Quiz. Then there is a choice of filters -- all articles or only those that have diagrams or perhaps videoclips. Students can do "Boolean" searches or use the "Smart Search" engine which allows students to input a series of keywords. The engine will attempt to correct misspellings, and once it finds a series of articles will rank them according to degree of relevance. Each article is linked to related articles and subjects within the Encyclopedia, allowing students to browse with ease. The interface is compatible with word processing packages and the WWW. The Canadian World Encyclopedia can be updated on a monthly basis through the Web, and many articles have URL links to relevant web sites. It is easy to create folders and bookmarks to articles, and similarly it is very easy to print out and copy articles.

Canadianists come into their own with the Canadian World Encyclopedia. The articles are much more in-depth and varied. Search for Elyis Stojko and you will find nineteen entries -- many of them Maclean's articles. Students of native studies will be overwhelmed by the breadth of coverage. Articles are signed, and often there are references to published work on the topic. The Internet sites are generally fairly sound, if not especially obscure. …

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