2000 Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia (Single CD version)
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The Grolier 2000 Multimedia Encyclopedia (GME) contains over 37,000 articles, and more if you take advantage of the online feature. Similar to previous versions of GME and to other CD-ROM encyclopedias, you perform a simple search by typing a key phrase or words into the search box (called a "Fast-Type Box" by GME). Using these terms, GME presents a list of articles and other forms of media, such as pictures, maps, movies, and fact sheets that meet your search criteria. If the Fast-Type Box d'es not provide what you are looking for, you can also browse the subject indexes.
Articles are written at a middle/high-school level and contain "hot spots" that, when clicked on, present you with similar articles and forms of media. A built-in dictionary lets students look up unfamiliar words, and online capabilities allow GME to expand its capabilities and information database. You can also configure GME to access your word processing program; this allows students to take notes or type a paper as they research.
New to GME is the Research Starters feature, which presents surveys of 50 topics in seven major subject areas. Students choose a topic, click on it, and are presented with a variety of articles and media information. This allows students to narrow down a research idea (for example, writing about "Early American Women" as opposed to "The Pioneer Days"), find articles related to a chosen topic (for example, "The 1920s"), and even create their own lists. The Research Starter option makes the research process less overwhelming and more enjoyable for students.
GME contains over 1,000 interactive maps that can be accessed using the Atlas feature. Geopolitical maps, historical maps, and thematic maps present students with a variety of information about selected countries and states. If a student is doing a report on Paris, France, he or she can view a street-level map of Paris, learn facts about the city (article links) and view point-of-interest photos by clicking on camera icons located on the Paris map. These links, all leading to related materials, allow students to become involved in the research process at a deeper and, hopefully, more thoughtful level.
The Media feature of GME contains 7,000 images, 1,200 maps, 14 hours of sound, and more than 150 videos. Most of the encyclopedia articles contain pictures or other forms of media that can be accessed and manipulated (enlarged, played, paused, stopped, printed, etc.) using the mouse.
GME is easily connected to the Internet using the Web browser of your choice. Rather than allowing students to search the Web at random, GME immediately connects to the online Grolier Internet Index. This connection, according to Grolier, makes GME a "living document." Information is constantly changing and being updated, as the online connection allows GME content to remain current. It also allows students access to accurate and reliable information. The GME, regardless of edition (2000 or 2001) or version (one-CD or two-CD), is an excellent research tool that both students and teachers will benefit from using.
Matthew E. C'enen
Special Education, Gifted & Talented, and Computer Teacher
Nathan Weeks Middle School