Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Pinpoint

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Pinpoint

Article excerpt

Pinpoint

Located online at http://www.sage brushcorp.com/.

Source: Sagebrush, Inc., 3601 Minnesota Drive, Suite 550, Minneapolis, MN 55435; Phone: 800/328-2923; Fax: 952/656-2993; Internet: http:// www.sagebrushcorp.com/.

Access Fee: Pricing covers all students in a building; students in 3rd grade and up are included in the purchase price. License costs begin at $1.65 per student the first year and 33 cents per student each following year. Annual subscription pricing starts at 66 cents per student per year.

The minimum cost is $1,320. Discounts of 10 percent are available for district purchases. Volume pricing is also available.

Audience: Elementary through high school.

Format: Web site; browser-based.

Minimum System Requirements: Computer with an 800 MHz processor, 512 MB RAM, Internet access, and Internet Explorer 6.0 (Windows systems) or Netscape 7 (Win and Mac systems). Pinpoint connections to Novell require a TCP/IP connection (NetWare 5 or NetWare 6).

For Windows systems, the Pinpoint Citation plug-in is only accessible with Internet Explorer 6 or later. Variations regarding library automation systems and certain user functions affect system requirements. Contact Sagebrush at 800/533-5430 to discuss specific hardware needs.

Description: Pinpoint is a Web-based research utility tool for K-12 schools and libraries. The product allows users to simultaneously research school library resources, subscriptions, and Internet sites and harvest age-appropriate annotated resource lists.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: I reviewed Pinpoint using a 90 MHz PC with a Pentium processor, 12 MB RAM, 10 MB free hard disk space, running Windows, and using a T-1 line. I also used a Gateway 450 MHz computer with a Pentium III processor, 96 MB RAM, 9 GB hard drive, Windows 98, 6x DVD-ROM drive, 17-inch color monitor, Sound Blaster audio, Gateway mouse, and Epson Stylus 440 color printer with a cable modem.

The Pinpoint Citation plug-in is needed to save images and text to a permanent folder; the download is a simple point-and-click operation.

A user name and password is required to begin using Pinpoint. Installation/Access Rating:A

Content/Features: Sagebrush Pinpoint assists librarians, teachers, and students in conducting online searches in a productive manner. Too often students search broad topics and get lost in a host of inappropriate returns. Pinpoint allows the user to designate the type of material, the age level of the resources, and the number of returns allowed for a search. Pinpoint leads students away from general resources and helps them to refine their search.

Before students use Pinpoint, a school-based administrator makes decisions relative to the appropriateness of each resource and type of information and establishes priorities for each grade level. The librarian or teacher can limit student searches to a single school library or any combination of library, subscription, or Internet resources. This enhances the quality of research results, although it is a labor-intensive task.

When conducting a search, students must first select the type of information they will investigate. The choices include items cataloged in the school library or libraries within the school district, online reference sites and encyclopedias, Web pages, online magazine and journal articles, biographies, or a variety of information sources. Users may also choose to search all of these materials simultaneously.

Annotated search results are ranked by relevance to pre-set criteria. …

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