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An Unbelievable Teacher and Student Assistant - Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2007
by Diane S. Kendall, 09/15/2006

To say that Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2007 is packed with a plethora of resources may well be an understatement. There's no way to describe this product fully, for it is extremely comprehensive in its coverage of curricular resources and tools for learning. In a nutshell, MS Student features an interactive, multimedia encyclopedia; a math center complete with graphing calculator, step-by-step help with equations, and assistance with actual textbook problems; and a Learning Essentials area with tutorials and templates that cross the curriculum.

If your school has licenses for Microsoft Office XP or Office 2003, free downloads are available for the Learning Essentials part of this product. MS Office is required for use with Learning Essentials because Word, PowerPoint, and Excel are used in the templates. When doing a spreadsheet template, for example, Excel will open on your computer. Many of the templates will require Word access.

The tutorials offer your students assistance with assignments such as writing papers and doing research. Students can learn, for example, about prewriting and graphic organization. There are different types of templates for writing narratives, literary analyses, outlines, science reports, summaries, character sketches, social studies reports, grade tracking, comparing colleges, writing resumes, scheduling homework-whatever you or your students need. Generating your own teaching materials with the templates should save you loads of time. Your students might use the templates to help them with ideas for their assignments.

To help you with assignment of standards to the content you teach, SCORM (Sharable Content Reference Model) Tools are part of the Learning Essentials section of MS Student. With them you can change your MS Office documents into standards-based materials and share these with other educators.

 For access to other parts of Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2007, your school will need to purchase the product. Volume licensing is available at 85% off the retail price. Retail prices generally range from $49.95-$69.95. Schools that license the product can offer the product at volume licensing rates to students for home use. If your school uses Microsoft Office, purchasing the entire package is a great deal, for the cost of the encyclopedia alone would run you about the same price.

Consider what you get in the Microsoft Math section. Here your students can enter equations and get step-by-step help solving them. Concepts are explained, and students can see their work come to life on the 2D and 3D graphing calculator. They'll enjoy changing the 'skins' on the calculator as they personalize it to styles such as hot rod, snow or techie. There's a link to Hot Math, where your students can get help with middle school math through calculus. At Hot Math, students select their textbook (over 100 textbooks are supported), then the page and problem, and proceed to get hints, steps, and answers.

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia, well known for its multimedia entries, contains over 66,000 articles. Searches are easy and safe using Encarta, and the links supplied enhance learning about the topics. Included are over 29,000 links that are age-appropriate to the level of the articles in the encyclopedia. No matter what type of report you assign, much of the information for that report will be found in Encarta.

Both you and your students will appreciate Encarta's Geography Tools: World Atlas, Statistics, Flags, Facts, Map Trek, and Climate. These are fun to use and encourage learning about the world and its people. Then there's the Encarta thesaurus and dictionary. The dictionary not only defines words, it pronounces them and will translate them into other languages. If you aren't exactly sure of the pronunciation of a word, just head to Encarta's dictionary, and you won't have to worry over mispronunciations. When working with younger students, you'll like Encarta Kids with its kid-friendly interface.

In the Foreign Language Help section, your students can click on Spanish, French, German, or Italian, and Microsoft Word will be ready for homework projects and school assignments in the target language, as many of the font tools available in Word come to the forefront. Included, are translation tools from the target language to English and English to the target language. Verb conjugations are provided for French, Spanish, and German.

Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2007 is an outstanding product. You'll find brief tours of it in the MS Student link below, but a quick look won't do justice to what this product can do to help you with your teaching and your students with their learning. It's like a school, a museum, a lab, and a library in your classroom. Very cool.

Additional Information

General System Requirements

  • Pentium 600-MHz processor or faster (1 GHz or higher recommended)
  • Windows XP SP2 or later
  • 256 MB of RAM (512 MB or more recommended)
  • 1.5 GB of available hard-disk space
  • DVD-ROM drive
  • High Color capable or better video card with a minimum 800x600 resolution (1024x768 recommended)
  • Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse® or compatible pointing device
  • 16-bit sound card and headphones or speakers
  • Learning Essentials Templates and Toolbars require Office XP or Office 2003
  • Windows Media Player 8.
  • Adobe Shockwave and Adobe Flash.
  • An Internet connection and MS .Net Passport

Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2007
Retail $49.95-$69.95
85% discount for schools

Learning Essentials
Free download for schools

Encarta 2007

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