NECC 2005 — Research

More than 500 ed-tech companies exhibited at this year’s National Educational Computing Conference in Philadelphia. Here’s a sampling of news from the exhibitors offering research products and services:

GuruNet Corp., creator of the answer-based search engine, announced the launch of a citations tool as part of its web site. This new feature enables researchers to effortlessly cite the information they find at, by automatically producing bibliography entries for the site’s collection of more than a million topics. This new feature consists of a “Cite” button next to each copyright notice at the bottom of each page. Users can choose the sources they have used in their work, click on the button, and they are directed to a page with the fully formatted citation, ready for copying. Users even can choose from the MLA, Chicago, and “simple” styles.

Questia Media Inc., owner of what it calls the world’s largest online academic library, showcased new titles at this year’s NECC. Questia has added more than 3,500 titles from the Taylor & Francis Group to its extensive online collection of more than 50,000 academically vetted, full-text books and 900,000 journal, magazine, and newspaper articles. The agreement adds a variety of humanities and social sciences books to Questia’s collection. Questia also has partnered with Transaction Publishers, an independent publisher of social scientific books, periodicals, and serials, to license nearly 1,000 books on international social science. Nearly 700 of these titles are new to the Questia collection, while the others previously had been licensed to Questia by Aldine de Gruyter, which Transaction purchased in 2004. The online library also recently licensed more than 1,300 books and 30 journals from John Wiley & Sons Inc., a publisher of scientific, technical, and medical journals, encyclopedias, and books. Questia offers individual subscriptions at monthly, quarterly, or yearly rates ranging from $19.95 to $99.95. The company offers special subscription packages for secondary schools, universities, private groups, and libraries.

Thinkronize Inc., creator of the award-winning netTrekker academic search engine, unveiled a new internet search tool that allows educators to more easily differentiate their instruction for each student. netTrekker d.i. is a new school-specific search engine that matches educator-selected, standards-based online resources to individual students’ learning needs, the company said.

The product delivers more than 180,000 online resources that align with each state’s academic standards and support the complete K-12 curriculum to every desktop, the company said. Each of the search engine’s 180,000 resources has been assigned a readability measure based on Lexile ratings and eight other popular methods, allowing educators to target search results to find grade-level content at an appropriate reading level for every child. The new product also incorporates several features that address pressing issues in education. Educators are directed to sites in multiple languages, where they can use the new dictionary/translation hotkey to find the definition or translation for any word selected on a web site. Plus, a new multicultural pavilion contains resources for teaching about the many backgrounds that compose a school community. Need an image for a school project? Try the d.i. image database, which provides copyright-approved, school-friendly images for use in multimedia projects or classroom presentations.

Districts using the netTrekker Classic search engine already want the new learning possibilities that exist with the netTrekker d.i. upgrade, the company told eSchool News: More than 90 percent of current netTrekker Classic customers who have previewed netTrekker d.i. reportedly have upgraded before seeing the final product. Introductory pricing for netTrekker d.i.–starting at 86 cents per student annually–is available now through Oct. 15.

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