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NBC Learn
[NBC Learn (212)  664-2131]

         In 2007, NBC launched its educational arm, the NBC Learn website. This fascinating resource contains thousands of newsreels dating back to the 1930s, including footage of historic events, current news, and mini-documentaries as they were originally recorded. Materials are arranged into collections or categories for ease of access: Archives on Demand (K-12), which aligns with state curriculum standards in the sciences, social studies, language arts, health and business; and Archives on Demand (Higher Education), where post-secondary material can be found.

         The website sports a revolutionary 'cue card media player' which launches images, videos and documents on a simulated television screen, and allows the user to rewind or fast-forward via a progress bar. The dynamic, movable cue cards load quickly, and are embellished with useful functions, such as save, print, download, standards, notes, transcript - and an animated flip feature which shows bibliographic data and hyperlinked keywords on the back.

         Logging on as a guest is free, but videos are limited to a 15 second preview. A free 30-day trial is highly recommended, as all subscriber features are turned on (except 'download videos'). Subscribers have complete access to all functions: Watch Videos, State Standards, Create Playlists, Transcripts and Download Videos. Our only concern involves the search feature: While a search for 'Obama' returned 856 items/videos, a search for 'Tiger Woods' returned one video clip of Hillary Clinton. Nevertheless, the merits of the Browse Collections feature cannot be overstated.

         The website lives up to its motto, "Tools for Teachers. Inspiration for Students." We recommend
NBC Learn as a valuable supplemental resource to augment the classroom curriculum.

Inspiration 9
[Inspiration (800) 877-4292]

              For many years,
Inspiration has been one of the most important digital tools used by educators to promote thinking skills. Inspiration 9 continues that legacy. Designed to help students improve writing, comprehension and communication skills, Inspiration 9 is adaptable cross-curriculum in grades 6 through 12.

              New to
Inspiration 9 are a visual view for mind maps, increased writing, organizing and outlining capabilities, a Presentation Manager, and improved ways to share projects.

              Always a winner, this year
Inspiration 9 won the 2010 BESSIE Award for High School/Secondary Thinking Skills - well deserved!

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