netTrekker d.i.
[Thinkronize (877) 517-1125, K-12]

netTrekker d.i. has been a valuable online resource for teachers, parents, librarians, and K-12 students for many years now, and just keeps getting better. Its slogan is, "America's #1 Educational Search Engine," and justifiably so - this search engine allows one to quickly target trusted educational sources on the web.

     The user will find links to over 180,000 valuable online resources, aligned with state standards and organized by readability and grade level.  New are
21st Century Skills Resources, and a Customized ELL/ESL Content and Dictionary/Translation Hot Key that defines or translates any word on selected websites.

netTrekker's home page is straightforward and well-designed, offering several choices for navigating: Tabs at the top offer links to Elementary, Middle, High, and Standards; links below allow searching by category (Science, Social Studies, Mathematics, Language Arts, World Languages, Health, Physical Education, Philosophy & Religion, The Arts, Technology, Career and Technical Ed., Current Events, and Reference Tools); or the user can search using keywords. Subcategories are comprehensive, e.g., "Science" links to Biology, Chemistry, Earth Science, Space Science, Physics, Nature of Science, Science Fair Projects, and Agriculture websites. Best yet, netTrekker evaluates sites using a five-check rating, and includes a short description of what to expect.

     Educators are invited to sign up for a free 14 day trial before subscribing, or take a Flash tour. We are pleased to award this entry in our 2008 BESSIES.

Braintastic! Reading Success
[EdAlive 61-2-6776-0200, Grades 3-5]

     Braintastic! Reading Success, from Australia's EdAlive, is jammed-packed with high-quality educational activities and reward games that will appeal to children in the upper elementary age group.  Offered on six consecutive CD-ROM discs (Win/Mac), levels move up from Beginning Readers, Emerging Readers, Struggling Readers, to Power Readers - and all levels feature terrific graphics, comprehensive content, and satisfying games.

     Discs are self-contained units that will work alone, but are programmed to expand as other titles are added.
Braintastic! provides diagnostic and reporting sections to help each child focus on needed skills.  Over 400 reading activities are included in each level.

     EdAlive's engaging content continues to get better and better, and we are pleased that they have been awarded a BESSIE for Upper Elementary Language Arts.

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