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History Channel: The Ellis Island Experience

Platform : Windows 98, Windows Me, Windows 95
5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

List Price: $39.99
Price: $32.99 + $5.99 shipping
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Product Description


This interactive documentary integrates extensive archival footage, original documents and artifacts, glorious photographs, poignant remembrances of people who passed through Ellis Island, and interactive video vignettes that allow users to experience first-hand the trials and triumphs of immigration. The only production of its kind ever authorized by the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, The Ellis Island Experience captures the drama of the greatest migration in human history.


You can only imagine what it was like to be one of the 15 million people who came through the noisy, confusing place known as Ellis Island. Though we can't go back in time, the rich mixture of interviews, still photos and simulations found on this nicely designed CD/web site provide us a glimpse of what it was like. There are five fascinating chapters to explore: The Peopling of America, The Old World, The Voyage, The Golden Door and The Land of Dreams. Each chapter contains as many as 40 sections, consisting mostly of narrated slide shows, videotaped first hand accounts of immigrants and digitized images of historic memorabilia. The content and overall presentation is accurate, well-balanced from an editorial perspective and professionally done. The four simulations are great, putting you in the shoes of an immigrant who is being questioned by an officer. If you don't provide the right answers, you risk being delayed, or possibly deported. Features include the ability to search by keyword, a glossary of terms and access to a special web site that includes a chat room and occasional web casts of historians. Drawbacks are few and insignificant. They include a small screen size (640 by 480) and the need to register in order to access the web site. At press time, several parts of the site were still not functional, including the ability to look up relatives who came through the port. All in all, this is an outstanding reference on the topic of immigration. You might also be interested in visiting the Ellis Island web site: www.ellisisland.org (no formal connection to this CD).
Teaches: history of the United States (1892 to 1954), immigration
Age Range: 12-up Copyright © 2000 Children's Software Revue -- From Children's Software Revue® -- "Subscribe Now!"

Product Details

  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • ASIN: B00004TJP0
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: May 8, 2000
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,640 in Software (See Top 100 in Software)
  • Product Warranty: For warranty information about this product, please click here
  • Discontinued by manufacturer: Yes
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Top Customer Reviews

The Ellis Island Experience is an amazing, informative and fun educational software developed by SouthPeak Interactive in collaboration with The State of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc. and The History Channel. This comprehensive, interactive, 365-year chronicle of American immigration offers a wealth of information and images that take full advantage of the Windows 95/98 formatted CD-ROM, including interactive video segments allowing users to undergo the immigration experience for themselves!. Hosted by Robert Siegel, the web-enabled CD-ROM also connects to a website available only to users of The Ellis Island Experience and offers Search and Print capabilities for text, images, and transcripts. The Ellis Island Experience is ideal for classroom and homeschool use, and would make an invaluable, popular addition to personal and community library educational software collections as well.
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Times sure have changed. When I was growing up we could read a book, or see a film or listen to a teacher explain something. Now, however, in addition to all these ways of learning, CD-Roms have been added to the mix. Not as a substitute, of course, but as an enhancement. This kind of software makes an excellent gift for children, for families, and for history buffs who just can't get enough. It's fun to just click a mouse and hear the sights and sounds of the experience of the millions of people who arrived America through Ellis Island from 1892 to 1954.
It takes a full two hours to view this CD if a person would view it all at once, but of course it can be returned to again and again. There's a lot of information here, but, more than that, it is an experience. We hear the sound of the steamship whistles, we see rare films and photos of the immigrants, we listen to oral histories, learn about the Old World and its political upheavals, the challenges the immigrants faced, the whole story of immigration.
Perhaps it was the intent of the program, but I found it impossible to view this in a logical order. I just clicked away in a variety of areas which kept opening up to deeper and deeper layers of historical fact and insight. Some of it could be absorbed quickly, such as the wonderfully interactive portion where a short re-enacted film shows immigrants walking up to inspectors. The viewer can vote "yes" or "no" and then see what the actual outcome would likely be. There are other parts though that require a lot of reading and patience.
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This movie was a great purchase for my husband's history class. It was very informative and educational while keeping the students attention!
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