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April 25, 2001     Beverly Hills Weekly
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April 25, 2001
 

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as an The Web Can Be An Invaluable, Time-Saving Tool For Students, Educators and Researchers. By Michael Tanenbaum Once upon a time, writing your 10th grade term paper meant a trip to the Beverly Hills Public Library, the stacks at UCLA, or your parents' Encyclopedia Britannicas from the 1950s. Part of the experience was interacting with knowl- edgeable and dedicated librarians, mining through bulky card catalogs one card at a time, and then hunting down your books. With the advent of the World Wide Web, finding reams of information suddenly became as simple as turning on your com- puter and researching term paper topics in the comfort of your own home. Unfortunately, much of that information is typically unreliable, outdated, misleading or unauthenticated. Much website content is authored by amateurs who post their own misspelling-laced, grammatically incorrect opinions on every conceivable subject. Still more is outdated material culled from newspapers, magazines or search engines. Some websitcs deliberately entice students and young children merely as a front to populate their minds with misleading knowledge, The vast majority, though, are written by well-intentioned folks whose work simply cannot be authenticated through traditional scholastic peer review. The challenge to the Internet researcher lies in finding research quality information in a sate and nurturing environment. The Web is really big, and thus presents two additional problems when doing research. First, finding what you want (or need) is a mammoth task when you have no focal point. Second, searching for a website with educational content that is relevant and meaningful to your purposes can be extremely time-consuming. In order to facilitate Internet research that is both fea- sible and efficient, a website called StudyWeb (www.studyweb.com) was developed. StudyWeb is an easy-to-use web portal, or gateway, that enables students of all grade levels to efficiently locate websites with relevant'content for homework, reports and projects. The websites in the StudyWeb database have been hand-picked and reviewed by a research staff of schol- ars, teachers, professionals, parents, and even other students. They have been reviewed based on their relevance toward specific goals and objectives, and then hier- archically organized according to curricu- lum and by grade level. The goal of the website is to facilitate Internet learning through recommendation of "useful, rele- vant, and credible educational websites." Michael Tanenbaum is the technical director reached at michael @clockworkwebsites, com. 8 Beverly Hills Weekly StudyWeb, with its links to educational institutions, non-profit organizations and other education-related sites, provides fast and easy access to a wealth of authenticat- ed, research-quality content. For example, suppose you are looking for reference guides to help you develop your term paper's structure. A quick search under the "Writing" directory on the homepage leads, within three clicks, to links on language style and usage, including the pcrcnnial "Chicago Manual of Style" and William Strunk Jr.'s 1918 classic, "The Elements of Style." Other reference searches include links to sites ranging from scientific calcu- lators to periodic tables. As another example, suppose I were an cighth gradcr writing a U.S. History paper on the origins of American democracy, and I needed some examples of Revolutionary rhetoric from the Founding Fathers. Individually searching for primary or sec- ondary sources would consume a vast amount of time, either at a library or on the Internet. Similarly, many of the materials that I could find would likely be over my head. On StudyWeb, each entry has a description of its contents, whether or not the site is augmented by visual aides, and the recommended grade levels for the information. This way, I could determine whether or not the contents of the linked site are worth checking out. Finally, at the bottom of each subject's page is a "Site of the Month" link, which highlights particularly valuable or notewor- thy sites. So, to do research on my topic, I chose the subject of "Social Studies: Government and Politics," and followed the "Site of the Month" link to an online American Government and Politics guide called ThisNation.com. On this website I easily found a section on speeches given by the Founding Fathers, including Patrick Henry's famous 1775 speech, "The War Inevitable," in which he proclaims, "...give me liberty or give me death!" I found all of this in under five minutes! The main goal of Internet learning web- sites such as StudyWeb is to reduce the time spent on looking for material and to increase the time spent on learning and absorbing it. Similar, thoroughly researched destinations on the Web are Infoplease.com and StartSpot.com (http://startspot.com/network/). Both focus on topics that inform and educate, while safely allowing students and educators to easily discover the best knowledge the Web has to offer, i at Clockwork Websites, LLC. He can be COMPUTER DIGITAL IMAGING, PHOTO RESTORATION MAC or IBM READ & WRITE 2nd set FREE at the time of purchase MON-FRI 8 AM.-6 PM SAT 10 AM-5 PM. WWW.Goldencolor.Com In Studio includes 2 - 8x10 B/W or Z poses 2 - 8x10 i;:i: Plus yOU keep the negatives Shoot film, Print Digital In Studio SnSsiun I1: J B/W You :Session keep the $ 75 $100 negatives