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Summary: This is first and foremost a single-volume world geography textbook that serves as a starting point for student research or discussion. The layout and graphics are eye-catching while access to website links, downloadable pictures and video clips provide the student with opportunities to enjoy learning by integrating available technologies into the learning process. This is a topically arranged atlas and encyclopedia on geography, physical science, and sociology.
Type of Reading: independent reading, interactive reading
Recommended Age: read together: 9 to 12; read yourself: 10 and up
Interest Level: 9 to 12
Young Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Adult Reader Reaction: The academic community has struggled to develop educational tools, materials, and strategies that genuinely integrate technology into the traditional classroom in a truly meaningful way. The team who developed this work has provided a prototype that should be helpful to educators who are responsible for developing curricula and learning tools in all academic disciplines. Wish I had this book when I was teaching.
Pros: This is a very worthwhile book. It genuinely attempts to integrate the computer, graphics, websites and other technologies into the traditional classroom. There have been myriads of attempts to do that but most have not fared well.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is an excellent resource for students and teachers alike. This book should be in classrooms wherever the subject is taught. It should also be of significant value to those who are involved with home schooling.
Educational Themes: This is a unique and authentic learning tool. Students raise a question or are assigned a topic to report upon. The text provides preliminary information on the topic. The student can then use the graphics, websites, photographic downloads etc. to find information that will help her/him to answer the question or complete the report.
Literary Categories: Nonfiction - geography, maps, cultures and tradition, atlas, middle grade, young adult