TITLE: Education World

ACCESS: http://www.educationworld.com/

Education World is a free portal site developed to help educators to more easily incorporate the Web into their classrooms, and to share information amongst professionals. The site includes lesson plans, articles on current issues, Web site reviews and a search engine oriented to educational sites on the Internet.

On the positive side, the page contains a number of helpful sections for educators -- lesson plans, school issues, professional development, technology in the classroom, administrator's desk, site reviews and classroom management. The information is timely and useful to teachers and education majors. The teacher-submitted lesson plans provide clearly structured tasks and activities. "Technology in the Classroom" offers detailed lessons using the Internet as a resource. Advertisements, while present, are grouped together on the side and top of the page providing little interference with the content.

On the negative side, the homepage is confusing with an overwhelming amount of information presented in distracting neon blues, reds and greens and no sidebar frame to help navigate, so the reader is forced to identify the columns headings before proceeding. The search engine, while identified as a safe search of 500,000 Web resources, comes with no indication of how these resources are chosen and the searches are for the entire Web. Mysterious as the search is, it is appropriate. A trial search for "spanking" yielded only the results that one would want to see on such a site.

The site can ease a teacher's life. There is financial advice, mailing lists for humor and jobs, and templates for nametags. Areas include the "Sub Station" (an area for substitute teachers with advice on lessons and difficult children), classroom management advice, "Reference Library," and national standards information. There is a great deal of useful information, but finding much of it is a time-consuming activity.

There is a subject index at the bottom of the homepage that also appears as a sidebar once you enter the site. Articles are archived and retrieved through these subjects. The articles are dated, but some sections are not as up to date as others.

In general, the site provides excellent information for teachers and prospective teachers in grades K-8, offering a plethora of lesson plans, handouts and templates. After using the site, experienced users can manage to locate what they need. First timers, however, may find it tedious and difficult.

Sheila Beck
Queensborough Community College

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