Main Purpose: Homework Help and General Knowledge
This site offers searching capabilities, but also categories of facts presented in easy to read tables, with many words hyperlinked to definitions. The main categories listed directly on the homepage are World, United States, People, Sports, Science, Math & Money, Word Wise, Cool Stuff, Homework Center, and Games & Quizzes.
Below these main categories is a broken out Reference Desk, with direct links to the Homework Center, Timelines, Almanac, Atlas, Dictionary, and Encyclopedia. There is also a portion of the screen that cycles through highlighted categories and features on the site to suggest timely materials to the site visitor (While reading this in late November, some of the highlighted categories here were Hanukkah, 2012 Current Events, a selection of popular games like Hangman and featured quizzes). Finally, there’s a Features section that offers the most timely information: the day’s featured quiz, a poll, a vocabulary word that is updated daily, an analogy of the day, a spelling bee challenge, and Today in History and a famous birthday of the day.
Each link has a seemingly endless amount of resources, making this site a very tempting black hole for clicking links and learning more at each turn. The timeline function is my favorite so far. It offers existing timelines on specific topics in a wide range of categories or gives you the ability to search year by year for specific events. You can even take quizzes on each decade of the 1900s up through 2009.
The Homework Center offers lots of resources to students with just a few clicks of the mouse. There are search functions for Almanacs, Atlases, Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Biographies, and a link to a Kids Q&A search engine called Answerplease. Students can also go to pages for different subjects or skills for more specific help. Plus there is a link to online tutors that are available for real-time help with math and science. There are also lots of quizzes and online games available for breaks from the studying process when needed.
This website would be great both for tweens working on homework and for those students who love to read fact books like the Guinness Book of World Records.