Title: Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia
99 Home Edition
Overall Rating: A
Playing Time: N/A
Software Release Date: 1999
Cost $19.95 2004 Encarta Standard Version with 1
At this link you will find the updated version of the home edition, now called
Encarta Standard 2004
Operating System: Windows
Number of Players: 1
Special Equipment/Facilities Needed: CD Rom
Subject Area: History, Life Science, Geography, Physical
Science + Technology, Sports, Hobbies + Pets, Performing Arts/ Language, Literature,
Religion, Philosophy, Social Science
Objectives: This is a research tool used to help
in research and learning through a multimedia encyclopedia.
Brief Description: This is an interactive encyclopedia
that provides the user with many different resources. It provides articles, maps,
a dictionary, timelines, video clips, sound bites, links to the WWW, an atlas,
charts and tables, images, and even 360 degree views of certain landmarks and
Entry Capabilities Required: Users should have basic
computer skills with the use of a mouse, basic reading ability, and the ability
to follow basic directions.
Relevance to objectives: 5 It is very helpful in
finding information for research.
Strong Points: The images
are great and the tremendous amount of information given. It has 35,000 articles
for the edition I viewed. The updated version will have thousands more articles.
It is linked to 13,545 web sites.
Provides practice of relevant skills: 4 The user
will need to rely on their reading abilities, and following directions.
Likely to arouse/maintain interest: 5 Encarta has
the ability to keep the user interested in searching for information because
it is so easy to search. It presents information in several different interactive
ways such as through video clips, sound bites, and simulations. It is interesting
being able to hear John F. Kennedy’s voice speaking at his inauguration,
or watching Apollo 11 splash down in the ocean returning from the moon. These
are just two examples of what can be seen and heard.
Likely to be comprehended clearly: 3 This software
would be easy enough for adults, high school students and older elementary students
to comprehend. Younger students might need assistance in navigating through
and reading the information given.
Technical quality (durable, attractive): 5 Students
should find the images, videos, animations interesting to view. The images are
real, vivid, and colorful. The 360 degree pictures are quite interesting for
everyone to view. A 360 degree view of the Grand Canyon will be spectacular
for those users who might never have the chance to visit it otherwise.
Game: Winning dependent on player actions (rather than
chance): Winning isn’t really applicable
with the Encarta Encyclopedia. There are short activities where the user can
test their knowledge about a topic.
Simulation: Validity of game model (realistic, accurate
depiction): 4 Encarta gives real and accurate
images, simulations, video, and sounds.
Evidence of effectiveness (e.g. field-test results):
5 Encarta has received several awards which include Best Educational Software
Awards, Parents Guide to Children’s Media Award, Smart Choice Award. It
has also been praised by several media outlets which include the Washington
post, Boston Herald, Children’s Software, and New Media Review.
Clear directions for play: 4 There are directions
on how to use Encarta but for some of the short activities, there might not
be clear directions.
Effectiveness of debriefing:
4 The user will definitely acquire some knowledge from using Encarta whether
it is about the topic they research or something else.
Weak Points: The only
weak point is that it might be a little difficult for younger students to manage
by themselves. Newer versions might have more than one CD and that might be bothersome
changing disks at times.
Reviewer: Michele Volz
Position: Graduate student / Elementary Education
Date Reviewed: 6/4/2004
Computer System Reviewed on: HP Pavilion 6535 64