This latest deluxe edition of an outstanding resource should not disappoint. Contained on two CD-ROMs, World Book 2002 Deluxe Editions rich multimedia content, as well as impressive articles and features, bring information to life and provide homework help for students.
The interface is very child-friendly. Pictorial icons run along the top of the screen, making it easy to access the encyclopedias many features. A drop-down tool kit menu provides readily available links to the programs handy tools. Large, readable text, handpicked Web links, and abundant media make the process of gathering information manageable.
Children can search the program for articles, maps, and media. The home screen divides features into the broad categories of Search and Browse. When users have specific information needs, they can search for topics or keywords, look for facts and maps in the Atlas, and find definitions in the Dictionary. As well, browsing for research ideas or just for the fun of it is an enjoyable experience with World Books special features and spotlights.
Special features in the program include:
At the top of the encyclopedias articles are clickable tabs for easy access to related information on the CD-ROMs and online. Review questions and/or related links may appear at the bottom of an article as well.
- Search Time Frame: When users have a specific year, decade, century, millennium, or even era in mind, Time Frame allows them to quickly find information in the program related to that period of time. Different categories to search include such things as Geography, Recreation, and Social Science.
- Whats Online: Here, students can download updates to articles and other parts of the encyclopedia from the Internet. A calendar for the current month with a chronology of daily events can be accessed, and a search can be generated in the programs handpicked Web-site database. Historical articles and special reports designed to supplement World Book articles can also be downloaded.
- Report Wizard: This special "wizard" is designed to help children write better reports and includes step-by-step instructions. Children can get help selecting a topic, making a schedule, taking notes, creating charts and timelines, and doing research.
- Quiz Wizard: Children can test themselves with quizzes they generate themselves.
- Web Page Wizard: This simple feature helps users plan and create a Web-page project.
- Atlas: Map searches and distance calculators are available in the programs Atlas. Students can zoom in and out on a selected map and explore different types of maps, such as political, climate, economy, and population density.
- Just Looking: This feature makes it easy to browse the content of World Book just for the fun of it. Random searches pull up a page of thumbnails of both text and media links, and any search can be refined to include more specific types of content and/or subject matter.
- Monthly Spotlight: This feature presents a unique method of getting to know and browse World Book. It takes the form of an article with links to highlights of the CD-ROM and topics specific to the current month.
In comparison with other electronic encyclopedias currently available, World Book has fewer articles overall. Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia Deluxe 2002 is a more sophisticated product. However, much of the World Books content is easy to read for children as young as nine years old, and its presentation is bright and well-organized. These features help make World Book an ideal resource for childrens first research efforts.