by Staff Writers

n this year's EDDIE Awards, two outstanding website entries from Capstone Digital were selected by our staff writers for the Awards Showcase.

Capstone Interactive Library (Middle School)

         Capstone's books are familiar to every Language Arts teacher: They are colorful, interesting and fun, and have to be purchased again and again at the start of a new school year. Kids will pick them up first, and love them until nothing remains but shreds of paper; or walk out the door with them.  Now,
Capstone Interactive Library offers such a simple and elegant solution to a perennial classroom (and home) problem, we wonder why more publishers haven't stepped up.
         The Capstone Digital Library website consists of 246 titles, nine in Spanish, four in Somali, and four in Hmong.  The interactive books are easy to use and maintain, and are designed to resemble 'graphic novels.' Engaging and inspiring, the titles specifically target emergent, struggling and reluctant readers in grades K-8. And each book is also available in dead tree or CD versions.
         Winner of the EDDIES
Middle School Language Arts Website, Capstone Interactive Library will be heartily welcomed in classrooms everywhere.

PebbleGo (Early Elementary)

PebbleGo, winner in the Early Elementary Reading and Science Website category, proves emphatically why it is "The Emergent Reader Research Solution."
         This elegant and intuitive program will delight kids in the K-3 age group, providing memorable learning experiences with the inclusion of videos/live footage of animals in their natural habitat. The interface uses large buttons, adorned with pictures and sound, to help the nonreader navigate the site; and text can be read aloud as the child reads along.
         In the summer of 2009, our writers reviewed the
Animals component of PebbleGo. This year, an Earth And Science database has been added which gives the program a whole new dimension. Correlated to National and State Standards, PebbleGo Earth and Science teaches children essential facts about Earth Science, Seasons, Space, and Weather. We choose one example - the lesson on Exploring Space - to show why the program excels:  The child learns about Astronauts, the First Moon Landing, and Space Shuttles by listening and reading; but extraordinary learning takes place, and children get first-hand knowledge, when videos can be easily launched showing live footage of Neil Armstrong taking his first step on the moon, and conversing with the ground crew as it happens.
PebbleGo is always a pleasure to review. A free demonstration is available at the website, and lesson plans and reproducibles are available for teachers who are subscribed.

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