While exploring the New Georgia Encyclopedia, the top of the page caught my eye, there is a section for educators in which content is related to Georgia Performance Standards. The search will be updated for the Georgia Standards of Excellence beginning with the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers can search by standards or browse by content through this search section. I believe teachers will find this tool extremely practical for lesson planning. At first, I was extremely excited about this aspect of the website, but then I saw the small print stating this feature is only available for 8th grade Georgia Studies. This is disappointing and I hope they consider adding more grade levels and subject areas.
It is imperative I mention how this encyclopedia is different from most. Everything in this encyclopedia relates to Georgia. If you search basketball, you will find articles relating to basketball at the University of Georgia, Georgia Southern and the Atlanta Hawks. If you want to write an informational report with facts about tigers, this is not the encyclopedia for you. Since tigers are not native to Georgia. It is very specific to Georgia and you will find an abundance of information about Georgia history, geography, sports, and science in the state.
The information on the homepage is extremely current and interesting. I noticed that there is an article about the Falcons written in 2004, and edited in 2016. The information is now current when explaining who the coach is and the stadium scheduled to be built by 2017. I appreciate that this site has articles on the homepage displaying timely topics, like Falcons football now that it is football season. When I scrolled to the bottom of an article, the site shows other topics that are trending and recent updates to articles on the website. This makes the website enjoyable to visit regularly and has the feel of a news website as well as an encyclopedia.
I was excited about the aspect of the blog section of the encyclopedia. I read a few posts about common sayings and where the phrases originated from. I believe the blog has a lot of potential, but I couldn’t help but notice that the most recent blog post was from 2013. This makes me wonder if they are no longer putting time and effort into this section of their website.
I enjoyed this encyclopedia personally, but have trouble imagining my students or teachers at my school using this encyclopedia. It is not very user friendly for elementary students. They are lacking options to level the text, as I saw from other encyclopedias. Third grade students learn about the regions of Georgia and I found many articles about this topic. However, I am not sure how much third grade could use these articles, because of the text difficulty and lack of options to lower the reading level. The content is great, but I can see where there would be issues with third graders being able to read and understand at the higher lexile levels. The entire interface is aimed at an older audience in my opinion. I work with kindergarten to fifth grade teachers. If this website had the Georgia Standards search available for the grades they teach, they may consider using this website to aid in their teaching, but at the moment that option is only available for eighth grade.
Grades: 6th and up. Subject(s): Everything pertaining to Georgia. Overall rating: 6.
Atlanta Falcons. (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2016, from http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/sports-outdoor- recreation/atlanta-falcons Geographic Regions of Georgia: Overview. (n.d.). Retrieved September 4, 2016, from http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/geography-environment/geographic-regions-georgia-overview
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