Web bringing library to the living room Research: With help from educators and librarians, we offer a list of useful Web sites for scholars young and old.

September 07, 1998|By MICHAEL STROH | MICHAEL STROH,SUN STAFF

"School bells ringing, children singing. ... "

Yeah, right.

For most students, school bells mean the end of summer and the start of the homework season. Lugging books back and forth. Long evenings staring at impenetrable algebra problems. In short, pain.

But in the information age, young scholars have a valuable new tool, the Internet. The World Wide Web brings the library to the living room, putting the research and knowledge of thousands of experts at students' fingertips. Of course, not all parents are crazy about the Internet and many worry about its unsavory side. But educators say the Net has an underserved bad rap.

"The 'dark side' of the Internet comprises only 2 [percent] to 3 percent of it," says librarian Ann O'Neill of Franklin High School in Reisterstown. "That leaves an incredible amount of good stuff."

The problem is finding it quickly so students don't waste their study time surfing aimlessly.

To this end, we talked to educators and librarians and spent hours sifting though the digital flotsam on our own. The result is this list of great homework sites on the Web. Clip it, save it or look for it on SunSpot, The Sun's World Wide Web site (www.sunspot. net/homework).

If you're a student, give these sites a look. If you're a parent, tell your kids about them - and surf along - you might learn something.

Reference Desk

WWWebster

(www.m-w. com)

For wordsmiths, it doesn't get any better than this. Merriam Webster's Online Language Center has a great dictionary and ** thesaurus, plus entertaining and educational side trips.

OneLook Dictionaries

(www.onelook.com)

When Webster's won't do. OneLook quickly queries more than 345 online specialized dictionaries - everything from the Dictionary of Art Glass Terms to the Water Quality Dictionary - to track down the meaning of an odd word.

Roget's Thesaurus

(www.thesaurus.com)

Need to find that mot juste? The quickest, easiest way to dig up a synonym or antonym online.

Bartlett's Familiar

Quotations

(www.columbia.edu/acis/

bartleby/bartlett)

Find out what the famous really said. But beware: This edition is from 1901, so don't expect to find quotes from the recently deceased.

Encyclopedia.com

(www.encyclopedia.com)

A great free encyclopedia on the Web. More than 17,000 cross-linked articles from the Concise Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, Third Edition.

AJR NewsLink

(www.newslink.org/news.html)

Find all the news that fits at this directory of online newspapers, magazines, radio and television stations.

University of Michigan

Document Center

(www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/

Documents.center/stats.html)

Need facts? This site contains statistics on everything from agriculture to tourism.

Fedstats

(www.fedstats.gov)

A repository of statistics from more than 70 government agencies.

Scientific Calculator

(www.parallax.co.uk/rolf/

Calculator)

Leave your calculator at school? If the kid next door won't lend you one, try this virtual model. You'll need a Java-enabled browser.

Unit Converter

(www.webcom.com/legacysy/

convert2/convert2.html)

Quick: How many meters does 4 feet equal? Come here for all your conversion needs.

African-American studies

BCPL African-American

Center Homework Page

(www.bcplonline.org/centers/

aacenter/AA.homework.html)

The Baltimore County Public Library's online study guide to black history, politics and culture.

The arts

Art History Resources

(http://witcombe.bcpw.sbc.edu/

ARTHLinks.html)

This is the place on the Web to do art homework, with links to galleries, research sources and prints online.

Catalog of Classical Composers

(http://thanatos.uoregon.edu/

(tilde)lincicum/complst.html)

Bach rocks. And so does this online guide to classical composers and their music.

Biology

The Biology Project

(www.biology.arizona.edu)

A super interactive resource for learning biology.

The Electronic Zoo

(http://netvet.wustl.edu/

e-zoo.htm)

All animals, all the time.

Human Anatomy Online

(www.innerbody.com/htm/

body.html)

Explore your insides with beautifully rendered graphics.

Chemistry

General Chemistry Online!

(http://antoine.fsu.umd.edu/

chem/senese/101)

"Willy was a chemist. Willy is no more. Willy thought that H20 was H2SO4!" Don't get the joke? This informative site at Frostburg State University is the place to go.

Economics

Economics Education Web

(http://ecedweb.unomaha.edu)

This site built by the University of Nebraska at Omaha offers valuable economic education resources for all grade levels - even teachers.

English

The On-Line Books Page

(www.cs.cmu.edu/books.html)

Read 'em and keep 'em: the full text of more than 7,000 volumes, from Henry Adams to Emile Zola.

The Elements of Style

(www.columbia.edu/acis/

bartleby/strunk)

The classic guide to effective prose for writers of all ages.

Writing Research Papers

(http://owl.english.purdue.edu/

Files/Research-Papers.html)

Purdue University's Online Writing Lab has put together a step-by-step guide for writing research papers - from the outline to the index.

Foreign language

The Human Languages Page

(www.june29.com/HLP/

h-linfo.html)

Links to more than 1,800 resources covering more than 100 languages.

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