The Earth Explorer
CD-Rom received very favorable reviews
from educators at the Software Review held in October 1995. Spring
helps us remember we celebrate Earth Day all year long and can
incorporate environmental and STS (Science-Technology-Society)
issues into a number of units.
The Earth Explorer
integrates articles, data sets of graphs,
tables, timelines and maps within twenty-one hot topics. Samples
of topics include Population, Biodiversity, Energy-Renewable,
Land Use, Wetlands, Ozones, etc. Within these topics students
can read the basics of the environmental concepts and then go
on to hear both sides of controversial issues. When you go into
a topic you'll see sixteen people. As you click on each one you'll
hear their argument for or against the issue. The users decides
whether the argument is for or against and whether it is a strong
or weak argument. Promoting higher order thinking skills, this
educational tool will allow for students to work together in groups
on a variety of environmental issues.
Classroom management might take the form of grouping students
into four to six topics while students take on various roles within
the groups such as collaborators, leaders, writers, data collectors,
etc. Other multimedia stations might be made available in the
classroom or library and print materials should also be suggested.
Telecommunication sources to news items might include some of
the sites mentioned in the "Bookmarks +" section. Students
may get so involved in their explorations that they may want to
interview (e-mail) scientists or policymakers regarding some of
the hot topics. They may also want to publish their own opinions.
The software is easy to use and install. Icons change to words
so there is no misunderstanding about where the icon will lead
a user. Introductions and instructions are available at all levels
of the program. Characters represent people from a variety of
groups representing diverse viewpoints. The data section includes
a great deal of information and is nicely laid out. The only drawback
was that in some of the levels the text is included in a small
window. It would be nice to be able to expand this window.
is available for the Macintosh or Windows
and can be used for grades 4-high school. Developed by Enteractive,
Inc., 110 W. 40th St., Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018. 202-333-1063.
Cost is: $56.00. Teacher's edition (Mac only) $99.00.