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spacer all reviews > > > social studies

The Ellis Island Experience

SouthPeak Interactive

ages 11 to adult

Rating Scale
5 = great,    1 = poor
Educational Value
5.0
Kid Appeal
5.0
Ease of Use
5.0

The Ellis Island Experience Box Shot System Requirements

PC / Mac Price Survey

Product Support

The Ellis Island Experience is a thoughtfully composed CD developed in conjunction with the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and the History Channel, by SouthPeak Interactive. This comprehensive treasure weaves a wealth of information and presents it to the viewer in a compelling format using oral histories, quotes, and photographs to supplement its factual presentations. It creates a sophisticated presentation style using a vintage look consistent with its subject matter.

The CD is divided into five modules: The Old World, the Journey, the Golden Door, The Land of Dreams, and the Peopling of America. Each section is organized into pertinent, detailed sections giving the reader an understanding of the numerous facets that influenced it. For example, the Old World details the conditions contributing to the plight of immigrants leading to their decision to flee their homeland -war, political conditions, economic conditions, religious persecution.

This program offers a comprehensive package and showcases it. It invites and captivates all the while imparting a tapestry of well-organized and carefully integrated information. The Ellis Island Experience is almost haunting at times -seeing the faces and scenes and listening to voices recount their experiences.

Included in the CD are several tools to help navigate through the different topics. The Researcher helps you locate material on the web related to the topic you are exploring. A Bibliography is also available. The Search tab allows for quick reference on the web site or CD using keywords. There is a Save/Print option, which allows you to save to a hard drive folder or print material from the page you are viewing. A glossary is available which defines terms used. Audio volume can be adjusted as well as background sound and music. Many pictures can be enlarged for better viewing. An Artifact Viewer allows you to zoom in and out and around the photos and documents using the Enlarge button. It is easy to jump around from section to section by clicking on the icon of interest. The adventuresome can connect to the website for updates, genealogy research, pertinent links, fun activity downloads like jigsaw puzzles and postcards.

Educational Value
Comprehensive, factual, compelling, organized, appealing. It doesn't get much better than this! The Ellis Island Experience sets a high standard for what can be achieved with educational software. It treats the subject matter with sensitivity and dignity.

Kid Appeal
The Ellis Island Experience is designed for all ages but the content and complexity of the subject is certainly aimed at the middle-school/high schooler-adult. It is presented in a visually lush style with abundant use of old black and white original photographs and rich personal oral stories, which engage on an emotional level. You can go through an immigrant interview similar to those given prior to booking passage for America. Select from a variety of questions to see what the possible outcomes might be. This CD is designed to capture the imagination in a variety of ways.

Ease of Use / Install
On our Windows ME, Pentium III, 128 MB RAM test machine, the installation was seamless and took approximately 10 minutes. Navigation through the different modules and tabs was fairly quick. Occasionally there would be short pauses while it loaded different audio or photographic profiles. Connecting to the website was without glitches.

Best for... / Bottom-Line
The Ellis Island Experience is a wonderful classroom supplement for those covering the immigration experience, American history, or events in Europe in the late 19th/early 20th century. Parents, teachers, homeschoolers will find this fascinating and useful. Adolescents (particularly teenagers) will find history captivating in this milieu.

See SuperKids' comparisons with other Social Studies software titles, and the Buyers Guide for current market prices of this PC-only program.

System Requirements
PC: Windows 95/98, Pentium 133 or faster cpu, MB hard drive space, 32 MB RAM, SVGA 640x480x256-color display, 4X CD-ROM drive, 16-bit Windows-compatible sound card, mouse or other pointing device.

Reviewed on:

  • PentiumIII-550 with 128MB and 32XCD
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