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Grolier Online

By Charles G. Doe - Posted Nov 1, 2011
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Company: Scholastic, Inc., 557 Broadway, New York, NY 10012, (212) 343-6100, http://teacher.scholastic.com/products/grolier

Price: Pricing for Grolier Online is determined on a case-by-case basis, based on the number of databases desired and the student population. For a price quote, contact sales at (800) 387-1437.

Audience: Grolier Online was developed for grades 3 and up, with separate interfaces or portals for elementary, middle school, high school, and college students as well as teachers and librarians and adult public library users.

Format: Grolier Online is an online, subscription encyclopedia with extensive online content. It incorporates articles, videos, vetted web links, international newspapers, clickable maps, and more.

System Requirements: Grolier Online streaming video and animations require a T1 connection or higher and Macromedia Flash Player 9 or higher (a free download is available at www.adobe.com).

PCs require a minimum of a Pentium II processor with 128MB of RAM with Windows 98, Windows 2000, or Windows XP operating system. Web browsers need to be IE 6.0 (7.0 for Windows XP) and Firefox 2.x or higher. A 15" or larger monitor with the resolution set at 1024x768 with 16-bit colors or higher selected is best.

Macs require OS X or higher with browsers Safari 1.0 or higher and Firefox 2.x. A monitor with the same settings as a PC monitor is required. Both Macs and PCS require speakers or headsets to take full advantage of audio features.

Grolier Online has several other settings, port, bandwidth, etc. Part of the setup includes visiting a Browser Technical Check page that helps users check to see that each computer using Grolier Online is set up correctly.

Description: Grolier Online is a re-engineered, redesigned version of this web-based, subscription with new content and digital research tools. It tailors content for each user with an enhanced search engine that enables access to articles, maps, and videos that are adjustable to various reading levels.

REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:4 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Reviewer Comments:

Installation: Installation is a matter of arranging subscriptions and being sure that all computers are equipped with proper supporting programs and settings. Installation Rating: A

Content/Features: The new Grolier Online offers access to a few or to all, depending on the subscriber’s preference, of eight databases, three general reference encyclopedias, four specialty encyclopedias, and one Spanish-language encyclopedia. The large collection of multimedia content is updated daily by a team of editors.

The new Grolier Online has an updated collection of more than 120,000 articles arranged by reading level, which are aligned to national and state standards. The search engine enables searching for articles by Lexile or reading level. Editors have vetted the more than 340,000 web links.

It includes a database of more than 1,100 newspapers in 73 languages, representing 195 countries. More than 1,200 clickable maps are linked to in-depth articles. Grolier Online also has a collection of debate questions and current event topics.

All in all, Grolier Online is an outstanding collection of carefully developed resources for student research. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: This site is easy to use, with clear instructions and intuitive navigation. However, students, especially younger ones, will need help and instruction to take full advantage. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: Technical support can be contacted at (888) 326-6546 or through an online contact form. Also, GO University, a series of internet-based monthly training sessions, is available free to new and existing subscribers. Product Support Rating: A

Recommendation: Grolier Online is a wonderful online resource with a number of exciting features. I highly recommend it for use in all K–12, college, and public libraries at the least. Availability in school computer labs would be useful as well. Recommended.

Reviewer: Charles Doe (charliegd@sbcglobal.net) is a 39-year teacher, including 10 years as elementary media specialist in Hastings Area Schools in Hastings, Mich. For the past 12 years, he has written articles and reviews for Internet@Schools.


 
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