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Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
ENCARTA REFERENCE LIBRARY PREMIUM 2005 includes more than 68,000 articles, 26,000 photos and illustrations, 400 videos, 3000 sound and music clips, and 1.8 million map locations. What's more, this version adds a new component, Encarta Kids, as well as two other new family-friendly features: Online Math Homework Help and a special search bar to the Windows taskbar.
In addition to the traditional search bar at the top of the page, in Encarta Kids, kids also find 10 categories boldly displayed on the main Encarta Kids page. Clicking a category leads to subcategories, which in turn leads to thumbnail graphics presenting more options. The thumbnails introduce child-appropriate articles or games. In Online Math Homework Help, kids can find step-by-step solutions to problems similar to those in their homework. Teens find their textbook and then select the page and problem number with which they are having difficulty. The site offers similar problems and solutions so that teenagers can learn how to do their specific homework problems. Finally, with the addition of a special search bar to the Windows taskbar in Encarta Reference Library Premium 2005, anytime kids need to research, all they have to do is type in a word or phrase on the ever-present Encarta Search Bar.
Is it any good?
With more than 500 articles written especially for kids ages 7-12 and more than 2500 pieces of age-appropriate multimedia accompanying the articles, Encarta Kids is an exciting addition to an already outstanding encyclopedia suite. However, it could have been better. Since it is for young children, it should have more content that can be read out loud. Also, while the articles are easier to read than those found in Encarta Encyclopedia, they contain words that some kids don't know.
On the plus side, Encarta Kids features extra large type sizes, bright colors, and loads of multimedia. It anticipates children's misspellings in helping to guide them to the desired content, and the games are fun and informative. And older kids and teens will find Online Math Homework Help -- the result of a content partnership with the excellent Hotmath.com Web site -- a useful resource.
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