ABC-CLIO History Hub
[ABC-CLIO (800) 368-6868] - Website
For over sixty years, ABC-CLIO has been involved in developing rich, comprehensive social studies courseware with the objective that students have the resources necessary to do research in a vetted, always-current environment. These resources are designed to build core subject knowledge, promote analysis of key debates, and support deeper investigation.
The ComputED Gazette recognized ABC-CLIO's valuable contributions back in 2016 (see review). Since then, the collection has grown, and there are now 16 such courses (Research and Curriculum Databases) grouped together as ABC-CLIO Solutions: American Government, American History, World History: Ancient & Medieval, World History: The Modern Era, Daily Life Through History, World Religions, Issues, Pop Culture Universe, World Geography, United States Geography, The African American Experience, The American Indian Experience, The Latino American Experience, Health and Wellness Issues, World at War, and Modern Genocide.
What has evolved naturally is ABC-CLIO's creation of a free educator support site, History Hub, which equips social studies teachers and librarians with a variety of free resources for implementing ABC-CLIO Solutions databases. The site supports curriculum integration with standards and textbook alignment; professional development; and provides Getting Started training videos, ready-to-use lesson plans, and additional research lists and activities.
History Hub is the ideal free training option for subscribers looking to quickly get acquainted with ABC-CLIO Solutions resources and seamlessly align content to instructional needs. It is customizable and on-demand. ABC-CLIO Solutions subscribers can currently access History Hub through the Educator Edition view of any database, or go directly to www.historyhub.abc-clio.com.
[LiteracyPlanet (815) 991-0330] - Website
Fun literacy programs are few and far between these days, but LiteracyPlanet brings it. Its 'gamified' learning platform offers more than 15,000 interactive exercises and game format drills which cover pre-reading, phonics, sight words, reading, spelling, comprehension, grammar and punctuation. Designed to remediate, support, or accelerate English language skills, the age-range is 3 to adult, and while the graphics are cartoony, LiteracyPlanet is not too cute for older students. Marketed to schools and/or districts, the curriculum is evidenced-based, and aligned to all major US states' guidelines. A rigorous, thorough approach to delivering a strong literacy foundation to all classrooms, one of its major benefits is complete home access to all students.
The program offers seven areas of practice: Quest, which is composed of a reading comprehension segment, followed by exercises in vocabulary and spelling drills in game format; Academy, which has instruction in Free Reading and Sight Words; Tasks, where teachers can make assignments and assess progress; Stories which consists of, at least, a dozen stories for free reading; Arcade, which offers pure gaming for points earned; and finally, Avatar where students may customize their own screen appearance.
Quibbles: LiteracyPlanet was developed, and is based primarily, in Australia. The country's slang could cause problems for American students, e.g., 'mozzies' for mosquitos; and 'programme' for program (British spelling). Perhaps some additional attention could be given to the US edition. That being said, LiteracyPlanet, winner in the 2019 BESSIES for Upper Elementary Online Literacy Solution, deserves a place in every school - it could be a major game changer!