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Educational CyberPlayGround

Review By Judith Bernstein http://www.optonline.com/

Click on the globe of the world on The Educational CyberPlayground home page, and you open up a pathway to educational resources for students, parents, teachers and other educators. Created by Karen Ellis -- a BS in education graduate of Temple University who has worked as a teacher and in music therapy and looks to have been bitten by the Internet bug, judging by her online resume -- this portal aims to help educators find and use technology in their daily work and to assist businesses in helping that process along.

Ellis has thoughtfully created three ways to view the CyberPlayground's home page -- intuitive, logical and visual. You can choose the method that helps you find the plethora of uniquely compiled information she's packed into her site in the way that's easiest for you.

Trekking through the visual view, for instance, you're presented with a spate of drop-down menus under topics such as The Arts, Music, Technology, Dialect Speakers, Teachers, The Education Vendor Directory, Literacy and more. Under Arts, you can hopscotch to Curriculum, where you'll find links labeled Articles, Sites, Curriculum, Jobs and Art Database.

In the Cul de Sac, Ellis is building a safe haven for youngsters, where they can play and learn uninterrupted by some of the sometimes inappropriate traffic that traverses the Web. It's a subscription-only area of the site that's in the works; if you're interested, you can click on a link to get more information.

Using the Teachers category, you can List Yourself, Find a Partner or Post a Newsletter. You can also peruse Interdisciplinary Resources, Teach to Standards info and check out the Bulletin Board.

The Education Cyberplayground is a brand-new take on the portal idea, which often ends up looking like warmed-over Yahoo. It may take a bit of getting used to, but the information that Ellis has packed in here makes it worth that effort. Take a look, explore and see what you can find.

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