Monday, January 26, 2015

South Dakota Library Challenge:  Electronic Resource Edition

Lesson 1  | World Book Online  |  January 26, 2015

*The South Dakota Library Challenge: Electronic Resources Edition was developed by the South Dakota State Library staff to introduce you to the statewide subscription electronic resources. The Electronic Resources Challenge encourages library staff to learn more about the resources that provide expanded access to information and research tools to all schools, libraries and citizens of South Dakota.

For Lesson 1 of the SD Library Challenge, we were asked to explore World Book Online which provides online encyclopedia access and much more for both children and adults.  For this Basic Challenge, I played around in each of the three online editions--school, public library, and foreign language.  

Lesson 1a:  World Book School Edition

There are four sections of World Book School Edition:  Kids (grades K-5), Student (grades 5-9), Advanced (grades 9-12+), and Discover (grades 4-adult).  

World Book Kids:

In this section of the online encyclopedia, I used the search box to find information about giraffes. The search results gave me 7 videos, 15 articles, and 4 pictures.  The information was very basic and easy to read.  The videos were short and to-the-point.  Of the 15 articles, I only found one to be very useful and to share the most information about the giraffe and it's habitat.  I liked that the information was easy to print and that there was a useful toolbar at the top of the article.  

World Book Students:

This section of the online encyclopedia is for students in middle grades, and the difference between the Kids "home page" and the Students "home page" was evident right way.  When I searched for giraffes in this version of the encyclopedia, I was given more information and more in-depth information.  The search results gave me 33 articles, 4 tables, 1 dictionary entry, 1 map, 9 pictures, and 7 videos.  Again, the information was easy to disseminate and easy to print, and there was a useful toolbar at the top of the article.  The 7 videos were the same videos that World Book Kids offered, but the other articles and resources had much more to offer than the Kids section.

World Book Advanced:

In this section of World Book, which is for students in upper grades, I used the search box to find information about the country of Kenya.  Of the three sections, World Book Advanced definitely provided the most information about my search term.  I was actually quite surprised by what it had to offer!  In the left sidebar of the screen, I was given a list of resources about Kenya, including: 92 articles, 35 presidential papers, 10 maps, 25 tables, 2 sound items, 19 pictures, 257 back in time pieces, 13 special reports, 5 websites, and 1 research guide.  I checked out several of these resources and was the most impressed with the research guide.  It is essentially a one-stop shop for finding information about a topic, providing information, a list of books to read, magazine articles, websites, and much more.  In the right sidebar, I was provided with a list of primary sources on Kenya.  I clicked on this and read one of these sources, which was a speech by President Clinton.  What a great resource for high school students.  When I opened an article about Kenya, I was given a plethora of information about the country's history, government, people, economy, land and climate, and more.  All of this information would be valuable to a student who was doing research on this country.  I liked how I was given the option to print the entire article or its subsections, and again, I found the toolbar at the top to be very useful.  

World Book Discover:

This section of World Book is aimed at differentiated learners (those with reading difficulties for various reasons).  When I did a search about American government, I found a few options that would make this version of the encyclopedia valuable for students who are not good readers of English.  First, for students who have English as their first language but have difficulties reading, there is a read-aloud option in the toolbar.  Second, for students who do not have English as their primary language, there is an option to translate the text into many different languages.  What a fantastic option!  I did try to click on a few of the different language options; however, my school district has WorldLingo blocked.  I will have to submit the site for review to have it un-blocked.  In this version, I liked the visual dictionary and the videos.  

Lesson 1b:  World Book Public Library Edition

World Book offers a Public Library Edition, and I was curious to see how it differs from the School Edition, so I performed the same set of searches that I did in the School Edition versions in World Book Online for Kids (grades k-5), World Book Online Info Finder (grades 5-9), and World Book Online Reference Center (grades 9-adult).  I found that all of my searches in the Public Library Edition offered the same results as my searches in the School Edition, which makes me wonder why there are two different versions.

Lesson 1c:  World Book Foreign Language Edition

This edition of World Book consists of a Spanish language version and a French language version.  Both versions are based on World Book's Student Discovery Encyclopedia.  I explored both of these versions and can see how they can be beneficial to both students who are native speakers of these languages and for students who are studying these languages as courses in school.    

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Mrs. Bruch! Thanks for your great comments! You are off to a wonderful start! As you noticed, the School edition and Public Library edition article content is the same in its parallel modules. Some of the features are different. Please note, if you didn't, that all World Book modules except French have the read-aloud feature. I hope you'll take a few minutes to look at the special features on the home pages of each School edition module and spread the word about World Book as a great place to begin research! Welcome aboard!