Published by Social Issues Resources Series, Inc. This CD-ROM is an index and fulltext database. Highly recommended for grades 1-8. $650.00 for two discs the first year. Windows and Mac.
There is also a special section of articles written by young people 18 years and under. Symbols are used to indicate if the article is fiction, has graphics, or includes activity ideas. Articles are color coded by reading level, which aids both teachers and students in article selection.
Added features and accompanying materials make SIRS
Discoverer extremely desirable for school use. The disk
contains a wordprocessing program onto which sections of an article
may be copied and incorporated into a document. The complete
American Heritage Dictionary is included on the disk!
Entry information is extensive with multiple meanings,
syllabication, part of speech, and origin given for each word.
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Ease of Use
The interface is attractive and user friendly. Categories in the
menu are represented graphically. The different options and
features, such as the dictionary, the map list, and the
wordprocessing function, can be chosen by clicking on the icons.
The disk's non-intimidating interface combined with its different
search capabilities will enable students to move through the
program with ease.
Two student workbooks come with the disk; one is for elementary
grades and the other is for middle school. The workbooks focus on
teaching the student search strategies such as subject tree search,
keyword search, Boolean searching, and the use of truncation. An
easy to understand user's manual and a book of article summaries is
provided for the educator. [Top of Page]
The disk has great potential for educational use. SIRS
Discoverer could be used for research, creative writing,
language arts enrichment, reading comprehension activities,
dictionary skills, and for developing search strategy. Though
SIRS Discoverer is recommended for elementary and
middle school grades, first graders, who cannot read, will not be
able to use it. [Top of Page]
System Requirements & Installation
For Windows: a 386 or faster IBM PC or compatible
computer with at least 4MB of RAM, PC or MS-DOS Version 3.30 or
higher, Microsoft Windows 3.1, Times Roman Font (a TrueType font),
hard disk drive with at least 6MB of available space, an SVGA or
VGA color monitor capable of 16 colors (256 colors recommended),
For Macintosh: Apple Macintosh computer with at least 10MB of available space, color monitor capable of 256 colors recommended, CD-ROM hard drive.
Installation: requires the use of a 3.5" install
diskette; this makes installation different but not difficult. The
manual is excellent. [Top of Page]
Morris, Bonnie. "Electronically Seeking: SIRS Discoverer."
Wilson Library Bulletin. January, 1995. Page
"The editors at SIRS have managed to make research fun in this fantastic new product."