Tutor Activity 12 Writing with Computers in adult literacies
Alphabet Activity to choose the best format to suit individual learning needs
This activity is designed to let learners experiment with Font styles, size and colour to see which formats suit them best.
Introduce a new tool which will aid spelling and writing Support individual’s particular learning needs Build discussion skills
Information Technology Outcomes
Show the benefit of changing font size, colour and style Practice typing, selecting, inserting, editing, cutting and pasting Practice saving as template
Through experimenting with Font styles, size and colour, some useful written materials can be created by learners which they can then refer to in future work. Alphabet Activity To Choose the Best Font, Size and Colour 1. Ask learners to open a new word file. Ask them to change the orientation of the paper by clicking on File then Page Setup then clicking on the Paper Size and choosing Landscape. 2. Ask learners to type in the alphabet in a single line.
3. Then ask learners to click on the start of the alphabet and slide their mouse over what they have typed so that it is all selected. Ask them to then click on the Copy Icon and then click on the page where they want the copy to go. Click Paste and a copy of the alphabet should appear below their original. 4. Ask learners to select the alphabet again but this time go up to Format then select Font from the drop down menu. Ask them to choose another style of text. Get learners to repeat this process, experimenting with Font style, size and colour so that they have about six different examples of the alphabet. 5. Background colour can influence how some learners, particularly those with dyslexia, are able to read text. Tell learners to go to Insert then select Text Box then draw a text box on their page. Ask them to paste a copy of the alphabet into the Text box. Then get them to click on the Paint Pot in the drawing toolbar to change the background colour of the text box. Encourage learners to experiment with background colours. Using ICT in adult literacies learning 105
6. Ask all learners to print out what they have done. (You will need to check that colour printing is available id you wish to discuss the colour options in printed form.) In a group look at the different examples of text and discuss which styles, colours and sizes are clearer. Discuss with learners that this means they can select their own particular favourite font style, size and colour when using the computer. There is also the opportunity to bring into the discussion how advertisers use colour, style and text size to influence our choices, and avoid us reading the small print.
Individual Templates: For some learners, it may be useful to save their chosen alphabet at the top of their page as a template. In this way every time they create a new file they can use this format where they can refer to the alphabet at the top if necessary. Personalised Dictionary: If there are certain words that a learner struggles to remember or may use frequently it is useful to make a personalised dictionary. This can be done by inserting the alphabet at the top and then inserting a simple table. A12SMb is one example where learners can add words they find hard to spell and insert the meaning. This file can be used frequently for reference and be added to as required. It gives learners good experience of flicking between open files while they work. Colour Coding To Dictionary: For learners who struggle to look up a dictionary it is possible to section the dictionary by colour codes at the top of the page. Then link this to a colour-coded alphabet where the letters are split up into blocks of colour. For example:
If a learner looks at their alphabet and can identify the first letter of the word they want to spell it is much easier for them to look up that section of the dictionary rather than the whole dictionary. (The colours should be chosen depending on the individual’s preference.) Note that word prediction software programs are also available which will allow learners to type in the first letter(s) of their word and a window will pop up with a number of words the program thinks you might be going to type.
Using ICT in adult literacies learning