I was thrilled when I was offered the opportunity to try Microsoft Student With Encarta Premium 2008. I didn’t Microsoft had such a product out there, but let me tell you, we have been enjoying it tremendously now that we have it! I loaded it onto my son’s computer, and now I want to load it on my own! I also have been having a hard time getting Jack and Katrina to stop fiddling with it and do something else! Jack, 10, in particular has been enjoying it tremendously.
Let me start at the beginning and tell you a bit about Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008. This is a productivity suite of homework tools designed to help students excel. This version includes the following:
- Encarta Preumium 2008 – The #1 best-selling encyclopedia brand with content you can trust
- Learning Essentials – Complete with preformatted templates and tutorials designed for Microsoft Office (sold separately)
- Microsoft Math – which provides step-by-step help with math homework.
I installed this program easily (for me that is always a plus. I only had to click a few buttons (mostly next and okay) to get the program up and running.
Once the program was painlessly installed, Jack and I began looking around…well, okay, I began looking around (while holding him off while he said…come on, Mom, that’s for me!)
There were four new icons on the desktop. There was one option called Learning Essentials. This led us to templates for everything from science reports to writing tips to an Excel tutorial to book review templates to foreign language help! WOW! All there at the click of a button.
Then there was the Dictionaries icon. Click on that, type in the word that you want to know what it means and up pops the definition and other important information (like pronunciation and part of speech). Then you can click on thesaurus and get other words that mean the same thing. Or you can find out how the word is conjugated if it is a verb. The graphics are appealing and it is easy to use. We didn’t have to read any instructions at all. It was really self-explanatory.
Then there was a link that looked like a backpack. When we clicked there, it gave us an overview of the program. We found there were games we could play, videos we could watch…and it was educational! Jack and I played one world geography game where we matched landmarks to the proper countries. And if we guessed wrong, the picture would simply go back to the box of choices until we got it right. There are puzzles and other matching type games. Areas covered by the games are history, art, culture, geography and more!
Then there is the encarta section. Here you can find out just about anything you want to know! It is an encyclopedia after all! Type in words you want to get information on and start learning! Jack has checked out space (and marveled at all the sub-categories that came up). He has checked out the Swiss National Anthem (and listened to it play). He looked up neat statistical things like the biggest ocean, the deepest lake and the deepest spot on earth. He doesn’t want to go to bed, he doesn’t want to listen to stories, and he doesn’t want to eat (okay, maybe that’s not quite true, but you get the picture). Learning and having fun! Gotta love that!
I give this product a two thumbs and two big toes up!!!!
Of course, you should always check into the system requirements before purchasing such a program. You need to have Windows XP and Vista.
To use Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008, you also need:
- A personal computer with a Pentium 600-MHz processor or faster (1 GHz or faster recommended)
- Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) or later
- 256 MB of RAM (512 MB or more recommended)
- 1.5 GB of available hard-disk space
- Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 requires between 210 and 620 MB of hard-disk space (included on disc)
- DVD-ROM drive
- High Color capable or better video card with a minimum 800 x 600 resolution (1024 x 768 recommended)
- Microsoft Mouse, Microsoft IntelliMouse or compatible pointing device
- 16-bit sound card and headphones or speakers
Additional items or services required to use certain features:
- Encarta Kids requires an additional 430 MB of hard-disk space.
- Copy to Hard Drive requires an additional 1.8 GB of available hard-disk space.
- Learning Essentials Templates and Toolbars require Microsoft Office XP, Office 2003, or the 2007 Microsoft Office system, available separately.
To use Math Online Help, Update Encarta, Web Links, Weather and Radio Links, or Encarta Premium Online, you need:
- 28.8-Kbps or faster modem
- An Internet connection
- Internet functionality may require payment of a separate fee to an Internet service provider (ISP); local and/or long-distance telephone toll charges may apply.
- Up to 4 MB of additional hard-disk space required for each monthÃ•s installment
- Access to Encarta Premium Online requires a Microsoft .NET Passport (Microsoft Windows LiveTM ID)
And you can get this program at a very reasonable price of less than $30.00 (the link is below). I am pleased to have this program for my children and can see it being a staple program for us in the years to come!