Scroll down to review a complete list of the articles - Click on the blue-coloured text! August Homework assignments are the bane of most students I know not to mention their hard-pressed and nescient parents. This is mainly because of the tedious and mind-numbing chores of data mining and composition. Additionally, as knowledge multiplies every years, few parents and teachers are able to keep up. Enter Microsoft Student and Encarta Premium MS Student comes replete with the entire Encarta Premium encyclopedia and its dynamic atlas and provides online access to the feature-rich MSN Encarta Premium through October There is little need to introduce the Encarta Encyclopedia: Last year, Encarta released only 15 updates compared to almost 50 the year before.
This year started more auspiciously, with 3 updates and corrected or new articles added to the Encyclopedia in its first two months since its release in June. The previous versions of Encarta comprised a host of homework tools. Three years ago, these have evolved into a separate product called Microsoft Student. Since then, it has been gainfully repackaged and very much enhanced.
This year, MS Student can only be downloaded from the Web. It is no longer available as a standalone, packaged product. Among the new or revamped features: MS Student's templates are actually clever adaptations of the popular Office suite of products: Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
They help the student produce homework plans and schedules, science projects, book reports, presentations, research reports, charts, and analyses of problems in math, physics, and chemistry. Detailed step-by-step tutorials, Quick Starters, and pop-up toolbars menus guide the student along the way in a friendly, non-intrusive manner. It incorporates a step-by-step math solutions calculator, math textbook solutions, Triangle Solver, Equations Library, tutorials, and foreign language help.
Microsoft Math is a seemingly endless anthology of tools, tutorials and instruction sheets on how to grasp mathematical concepts and solve math problems, from the most basic e. And if this is not enough, there's free access to HotMath, an online collection of math study aides and problem solvers. The graphing calculator is a wonder. It has both 2-D and 3-D capabilities and makes use of the full screen. Aided by a library of more than equations and formulas, it does everything except cook: And everything in full color!
Triangles get special treatment in the Triangle Solver. The most vexing trilateral relationships and rules are rendered simple through the use of enhanced graphics.
A Unit Conversion Tool converts units of measure including length, area, volume, weight, temperature, pressure, energy, power, velocity, and time. It helps the student to translate and conjugate verbs. The synergy between this product and the impressive foreign language capabilities of MS Word creates an effective language laboratory which allows the user to study the languages up to the point of completing assignments using specialized foreign-language templates.
For the student keen on the liberal arts and the humanities, Student provides detailed Book Summaries of more than classic works.
Besides plot synopses, the student gets acquainted with the author's life, themes and characters in the tomes, and ideas for book reports. Similar to the Encarta, MS Student's Web Companion obtains search results from all the major search engines without launching any additional applications such as a browser. Content from both the Encyclopedia and the Web is presented side by side.
I am not sure how Microsoft solves the weighty and interesting issues of intellectual property that the Web Companion raises, though.
Copyright-holders of Web content may feel that they have the right to be compensated by Microsoft for the use it makes of their wares in its commercial products. MS Student would do well to also integrate with desktop search tools from Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others. Students will benefit from seamless access to content from all over - their desktop, their encyclopedias, and the Web - using a single, intuitive interface.
Microsoft would do well to incorporate collaborative and Web publishing tools in this product. MS Student does not equip and empower the student to collaborate with teachers and classmates on class projects and to seamlessly publish his or her results and work on the Web. All in all, MS Student is a great contribution to learning. Inevitably, it has a few flaws and glitches. Start with the price. As productivity suites go, it is reasonably priced had its target population been adult professional users.
Fully installed on the hard disk, MS Student , like its predecessors, gobbles up a whopping Gb. That's a lot - even in an age of ever cheaper storage. Most homesteads still sport PCs with Gb hard disks.
The Equation Library is disappointing, as it holds only equations and calculus is sorely neglected throughout. Finally, there is the question of personal creativity and originality. Luckily, MS Student does not spoon-feed its users. It does not substitute for thinking or for study. On the contrary, by providing structured stimuli, it encourages the student to express his or her ideas. It does not do the homework assignments for the student - it merely helps rid them of time-consuming and machine-like functions.
And it opens up to both student and family the wonderful twin universes of knowledge: Also Read:
Microsoft Encarta was a digital multi media encyclopedia released by Microsoft Business from to As of , the complete Language edition, Encarta Top quality, contains more than 62, articles, numerous photos and designs, music segments, videos, entertaining items, timeframes, charts and atlas, and groundwork tools, and was available on the World Wide Web by annual ongoing or by purchase on DVD or multiple CDs. Many articles could also be viewed free on the internet of charge, a service reinforced by commercials. Microsoft released similar encyclopedias under the Encarta signature in various languages, including In in german, France, Spanish, Nederlander, German, Colonial and Western. Nearby editions may contain items certified from available national sources and may contain more or less articles than the full Language edition.