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Vol January


  • pg 1
     Canada's National Newsletter on Technology & Adult Literacy
             Volume #3 Issue 5                                                           February 2000

A Directory of Canadian Adult
Literacy Research Now Online
       The Directory of                           those in remote areas. It is
Canadian Adult Literacy                           hoped that the directory will
Research in English was                           encourage further research and
recently launched by the Centre                   collaboration amongst those in
for Research on Literacy at the                   the literacy community.             year, title, subject, keyword,
University of Alberta. The                               Completed and ongoing        context or location. Research
directory is funded by the                        literacy research conducted in      on technology and adult literacy
National Literacy Secretariat                     Canada since 1994 has been          can be found using the
and is being hosted by NALD.                      compiled. A description of each     following subject words:
It will help to make adult                        project and its findings is         computers, computer software,
literacy research accessible to                   included along with a 500 word      and technology.
researchers and practitioners                     annotation. In some instances a            Répertoire canadien des
throughout Canada including                       full-text version can also be       recherches sur
                                                  downloaded.                         l’alphabétisation des adultes en
    Inside this issue..                                  The directory can be         français est dans le
VolNet facilite le branchment                     found at http://www.nald.ca/        déroulement de développer par
du secteur du bénévolat .......... 2              crd/start.htm. It contains a very   CDEACF et sera disponible en
                                                  easy to use search tool similar     automne 2000. Pour plus
Creating Your Own Software .. 3                   to those found in library           d’information communiquer
                                                  databases. You can search for       par courrier électronique
Software Reviews: The 2000                        research by author, publication     ReCRAF@CDEACF.ca.
Canadian Encyclopedia, Colin
Edmonds' Freeware .............. 4, 5
                                                     VOLNet helps Volunteer
Navigating the Web ............... 6, 7            Organizations Get Connected
Lesson Plans: Writing Cheques,                       The Voluntary Sector             and training. Organizations
Tongue Twisters ..................... 8-11        Network Support Program             which meet eligibility
                                                  (VolNet) is part of the Federal     requirements receive a VolNet
Reports from Learners ............. 11
                                                  Government’s Connecting             Service Package which includes
Technical Tips: Extensions,                       Canadians initiative which aims     computer equipment at a
Cleaning a Mouse ............... 12, 13           to make the Internet accessible     subsidized price, free Internet
                                                  to all Canadians in the new         service for one year and training
Coming Events ........................... 15      millennium. VolNet provides         in basic Internet features such as
                                                  volunteer organizations with        email and browsing the Web.
Subscription and Submission                       Internet connectivity, including    Discussion groups, Internet
Information ................................ 16   computer equipment, support                Continued on page 2
            VolNet facilite le branchement
               du secteur du bénévolat
    Le programme d’aide au         base d’utilisation de l’Internet     • adhérer à des principes
réseau du secteur du bénévolat     (utiliser le courrier électronique      démocratiques; et
(VolNet) fait partie de            et effectuer une recherche.) Des     • disposer de revenus annuels
l’initiative du gouvernement       ateliers Internet, des groupes de       ne dépassant pas $500 000.
fédéral Un Canada Branché, qui     discussion et des services de           Les individus, les
rendra l’autoroute de              soutien en ligne sont également      associations commerciales et de
l’information accessible à toute   prévus.                              travailleurs, les municipalités,
la population canadienne au            Le programme a été créé en       les universités, les hôpitaux et
prochain millénaive. VolNet        1998 et vise à aider 10 000          les écoles ainsi que les syndicats
aide les organismes bénévoles à    organismes bénévoles à se            ne sont pas admissibles.
accéder aux technologies           brancher d’ici au 30 mars 2001.         Les organismes qui
Internet, qu’il s’agisse de            Afin d’être admissible au        s’intéressent au Programme
services de branchement de         programme, un organisme doit:        peuvent obtenir le nom de
base, de matériel informatique,    • être incorporé comme               l’organisme d’exécution de
de soutien ou de formation. Les        organisme sans but lucratif;     VolNet le plus prés en
organismes qui satisfont aux           ou être un organisme de          composant 1-800-575-9200.
critères d’admissibilité               bienfaisance ou une              Les organismes d’exécution
recevront les services de base         association d’athlètes           VolNet sont chargés de recenser
VolNet, soit une subvention du         amateurs reconnu(e) par          les bénéficiaires et de leur
coût pour le matériel                  Revenue Canada;                  fournir les services de base
informatique, l’accès gratuit à    • avoir un conseil exécutif          VolNet. De plus amples
un compte Internet pendant un          formé de bénévoles;              renseignements sont disponibles
au ainsi qu’un apprentissage de    • desservir l’intérêt public;        au site Web: www.volnet.org

VOLNET Helps Volunteer Organisations Get Connected, cont'd from page 1

workshops and online technical     • serve the public interest;
assistance are also planned. The   • operate democratically; and
program was established in         • have annual revenues of less
1998 and has a goal of helping        than $500,000.
10,000 voluntary organizations        Individuals, industry and
to get online by March 31,         trade associations,
2001.                              municipalities, universities,
   To qualify for the program      hospitals, schools, and labour
organizations must:                unions are not eligible.
• be incorporated as a not-for-       Interested volunteer
   profit corporation or be        organizations can call 1-800-        services to organizations
   registered with Revenue         575-9200 to find the name of         eligible to receive the Volnet
   Canada as a charity or an       the nearest VolNet delivery          Service Package. More
   amateur athletic association;   agency. VolNet delivery              information about VolNet can
• have a voluntary board of        agencies are responsible for         be found on the Web at: http://
   directors;                      identifying and delivering           www.volnet.org

CONNECT                                           2                                         February 2000
 Create Your Own Educational Software
BY   DI A N E MC C A R G A R       questions, matching, etc.; and      students. (See Volume 1, Issue
                                   sample graphics, sounds, and        1 for more information about
       Have you found that even    videos. Hyperstudio is one such     Perfect Copy.) Because the
after discovering a good piece     program that was created by         authoring tool comes with the
of software, material is never     Robert Wagner, a former             program, no extra costs are
presented exactly the way you      teacher. (For more information      involved. It also does not
would like? If you have an         about this software visit http://   require as much time as
interest in computers and a        www.hyperstudio.com or call 1-      creating your own software
desire to tailor software          800-545-7677.) Hotpotatoes,         from scratch. You should
specifically to what you are       referred to in Volume 3, Issue 5,   realize though, that if you are
teaching in the classroom, here    is a similar program that helps     working with software that is
are some options available to      people create educational           installed on several computers
you.                               activities for the Web. Pierian     in a lab, you will need to add
Multimedia Authoring               Springs Software Co. produces       your material to each computer.
Programs                           Digital Chisel 3.0, another Web     If the program is running from
      Multimedia authoring         authoring tool for educators.       a server then you will only
programs allow people who          Digital Chisel 2.0 by the same      need to do this once.
aren’t computer programmers to     company is a general                Creating Your Own
create multimedia programs or      educational authoring tool for      Activities Using Common
presentations that run on a        Macintosh users. (Pierian           Applications
computer. Authoring programs       Springs Software Co. can be                If you don’t have a large
are not for the faint of heart     contacted at 1-800-472-8578 or      selection of educational
though; a high level of comfort    http://www.pierian.com.)            programs, there are many
with computers and a large time    Adding Your Exercises to            things you can do with
commitment are required. You       Existing Educational Software       common applications that come
also need to have fairly deep             If creating your own         with most new computers.
pockets. One of the most           software from scratch is more       Presentation programs,
popular multimedia authoring       than you would like to tackle,      database programs and word
program, Macromedia Director,      consider adding your own            processing programs can be
costs approximately $900.          material to your favourite          used to create activities that
      Now before you scrap this    educational computer program.       look a lot like those found in
option altogether, some            Many educational programs           educational software. For
software companies have            come with an authoring tool that    example, you can use a word
recognized a niche market          allows you to add your own          processing program or a
among educators and they have      content. This authoring tool        database program to create a
started developing authoring       may be part of the main program     spelling dictation on the
software specifically geared to    or come as an accompanying          computer. You can also use
this market. These authoring       program. For example, an            macros in word processing
programs are not as complex        editing program called Perfect      programs to create automated
nor as costly as high end          Copy comes with a management        writing activities and you can
authoring programs. They also      program that allows you to add      use presentation programs to
often include templates for        your own articles for students to   create interactive slide show
different educational activities   edit. This way you can tailor the   presentations. These
such as multiple choice            types of errors and the reading     presentations can act like
questions, fill in the blank       level of the articles to your            Continued on page 14

February 2000                                       3                                        CONNECT
     THE 2000 CANADIAN               ways to search for information.       get access to a collection of
        ENCYLCOPEDIA                 A search by Title seemed to           graphs and quizzes. The graphs
                                     provide the simplest results.         contain interesting information
                                     While reading an article you’ll       about cities across Canada but
                                     often have the chance to look at      the quizzes seem to be short on
      Using encyclopedias with       pictures or other media.              practical content.
literacy students is often           Articles also occasionally                 If you’re looking for an
difficult because of the language    contain links to Web sites that       easy-to-read, general content
used in the articles, so when I      contain related information. If       encyclopedia, then this may not
first noticed that The 2000          you have beginner readers, you        be the software for you. But if
Canadian Encyclopedia had a          may want to restrict your search      you’d like to have a Canadian
Student Edition I had great          to the Gallery of media. Here         reference source for your
hopes. They hadn’t used the          you can search for animations,        students, you should consider
word children in the title, yet      graphs, maps, photos, sounds          The 2000 Canadian
the software claimed to be for       and videos, the majority of           Encyclopedia Student Edition.
students up to grade 9 and to        which are Canadian in content.
contain 5000 articles written in     For example, you can listen to        COLIN EDMONDS ENGLISH
“easy-to-understand” English. I      the national anthem. You can
guess easy-to-understand is all      also look at street maps for
                                                                              FREEWARE SERIES
relative. Although the               several major Canadian cities.        BY   SH E R I MA N K A L
encyclopedia doesn’t contain         Although the Canadian content               Colin Edmonds has created
articles written at a beginner or    is great, broad general content is    a series of DOS based software
intermediate level, it does          slim. The Explore area of the         that is excellent for students
contain tons of information          program, contains a collection        who have little or no mouse
about Canada.                        of interactive multimedia. The        control. They are very simply
      The encyclopedia is            Retrospectives chronicle              laid out and clear. There are
divided into two areas: places       Canadian events over the past         thirteen components in this
to find information and things to    100 years. Here you can also          series, each of which focuses on
explore. In the Find section
students have access to The                     FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
Canadian Encyclopedia, The
Gage Canadian Dictionary and             The 2000 Canadian Encyclopedia Student Edition
The Gage Thesaurus. The page
is divided into two areas. On                   USER LEVEL                           SPECIFICATIONS
                                                Intermediate/Advanced                Pentium, Windows
the left you see the information                                                     95/98, CD Drive,
about your search. On the right                 CONTENT                              32 MB RAM,
you see the article you have                    General Content: Limited             150 MB Hard Disk
chosen to look at. Because the                  Canadian Content: Excellent
search results remain visible at                                                     Power Macintosh
                                                ORDERING INFORMATION                 System 7.5.5
the left, it is easy to jump                    Most Software Stores                 CD Drive, 32 MB RAM
between several articles to                     or Educational Resources:            150 MB Hard Disk
determine which one contains                    East: 1-800-565-5198
the information you are looking                 West: 1-800-220-0521                 FEATURES
for. As with most software,                                                          Links to Web sites
                                                C O S T : approx. $34.99             Interactive Media
they do tend to fall into the trap
of providing too many different
CONNECT                                             4                                             February 2000
a specific area of language         included in Punctuation 2.          difficult paragraphs in which the
learning. One of the                Paragraph and Word Order 1          lines are mixed up. The
components, Two-Shot Multiple       and 2                               students must put the paragraph
Choice (GUNEX), was                       This is an excellent          back in order by looking for
reviewed in Volume 3, Issue 3.      program for all levels of           context clues.
A brief description and review      learners. Because of the range            If you like what you’ve
of two of my favourite              of difficulty within the lessons,   seen here, be sure to check out
components follow.                  each student can work               Colin Edmonds’ Web site at
      Although DOS based            independently at a level            http://ourworld.
programs such as these are not      appropriate for them. The           compuserve.com/homepages/
as flashy as multimedia             alphabetical order lessons are      cedmonds/, where you will find
software, I have found that for     great for low level learners and    three pages of downloadable
beginning students this type of     the paragraphs are challenging      software including these titles:
software often works better         enough even for more advanced       Plurals 1 and 2, Verbs 1 and
because of the lack of              students. The computer offers       2, Suffix, Punctuation 1 and 2,
distractions. Another great         continuous feedback by telling      Concentration 1, Adjectives,
feature is the student tracking.    the learner what lines have         Let (vocabulary), Paragraph
Most components in this series      mistakes as well as how many        and Word Order 1 and 2 and
offer immediate feedback for        tries it takes to successfully      GUNEX (multiple choice).
the students as well as record      complete the lesson. In level
keeping. These programs were        one of this program a list of             Sheri Mankal has been a
developed by Colin Edmonds,         words is given in random order.     literacy, ESL and computer
who is an English teacher in        The students are asked to put       instructor with The Ottawa-
Istanbul, Turkey. This series can   them into alphabetical order.       Carleton District School Board
be accessed through Colin           There are also a few basic          for the past 11 years. She will
Edmonds’ Web site. If you           paragraphs in level one for         be the Acting Assistant Editor of
wish to see detailed reviews of     students to reorder. In level       CONNECT during Connie
the other titles offered by Colin   two, the students are given more    Belanger's leave of absence.
Edmonds, be sure to check out
the Annotated Bibliography of
ESL/LINC Software Resources                   FEATURES & SPECIFICATIONS
at http://sppro.ocdsb.edu.on.ca/               Colin Edmonds English Freeware Series
Punctuation 1 and 2                            USER LEVEL                        SPECIFICATIONS
      In this component a                      Very User Friendly                33 - 49KB disk
                                                                                 space, DOS, runs ok
paragraph is given with capital                CONTENT                           in Win95
letter and punctuation errors.                 Canadian Content: Excellent
The computer tells the student                                                   FEATURES
exactly how many mistakes                      General Content: Excellent        Tracks Progress
there are to find and it reduces                                                 DOS based - no
                                               COST                              mouse
this number as the corrections                 free - download from Internet
are made. The texts are at a                                                     PRODUCT TYPE
fairly low level in Punctuation 1                                                Freeware
and at a slightly higher level in              ORDERING INFORMATION
Punctuation 2. Abbreviations                   http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/
and apostrophes are also
February 2000                                        5                                         CONNECT
CLTA Web Site - A Goldmine includes all necessary mouse                  more about this CD and the
of Literacty Activities at functions such as clicking,                   other activities mentioned above
                           dragging and scrolling.                       visit http://www.clta.on.ca or
                                           Once your students are        call 1-905-949-0049.
                                     comfortable with the mouse,
      The CLTA Web site is a         you may want to move on to
goldmine of activities for the       some of the other lessons
Literacy classroom. CLTA             available on the CLTA Web
stands for the Centre for            site. These areas include
Language Training and                Canadian Corner, Grammar
Assessment, which is a program       Central, Crazy English,
that runs out of Brampton and        Terrible Teacher, Shocked           PuzzleMaker - http://
Mississauga. At this site you        ESL, Flashed ESL and
can find activities to suit every    American Stories.
level of user.                             Canadian Corner offers        discovery.com
      Note: You must have            12 Canadian stories and             BY   DI A N E MC C A R G A R
Shockwave to use many of the         American Stories includes six              If you’re someone who
activities offered here, including   stories. Each story begins with a   likes to use puzzles with your
Mouse Master, one of my              prereading vocabulary exercise      students, you should definetly
personal favourites. There are       and is followed by                  take a look at Discovery
links to download Shockwave          comprehension questions.            Channel’s online PuzzleMaker.
right on the CLTA site and           Students can choose to print the    This Web site allows you to
although it doesn’t take long to     story and questions to work on      create and print over 10
download, depending on your          paper or they can complete the      different types of puzzles
system, I would recommend that       exercises on the computer and       including word searches,
you download Shockwave               submit their answers to be          crossword puzzles, math
before you use these activities      checked.                            puzzles and cryptograms. You
with your students.                        Grammar Central, Crazy        create the puzzle on the Internet
      Mouse Master is an             English, Terrible Teacher,          by following clearly defined
indispensable part of my             Shocked ESL and Flashed             steps. You can enter your own
computer lab as it teaches           ESL are all grammar related         vocabulary and specifications
novice computer users how to         activities. These lessons           such as size. The PuzzleMaker
become comfortable using the         include such things as              not only creates the puzzle, but
mouse in a very stress free, fun     contractions, parts of speech,      it also creates a solution sheet
and interesting manner. In           tenses, plurals, correct the        for those of us who like to have
Mouse Master the students are        mistakes, confusing words and       the answers close at hand.
presented with activities that       run on sentences.                          Because the site is so easy
slowly increase their comfort in           The most recent addition to   to use, you may want to have
using a mouse. First they are        the CLTA activities is a            students create their own
asked simply to point to various     Literacy Software CD that is        puzzles and share them with
circles with the mouse. In stage     available to purchase. The          others in the class. This tool is
two they learn to click on the       activities on this CD are geared    part of the Discovery Channel
circles. In stage three they are     toward low level learners and       School Web site and can be
taught how to double click.          would be a great addition to any    found at: http://puzzlemaker.
This progression continues and       literacy classroom. To find out     school.discovery.com

CONNECT                                             6                                           February 2000
Practice Your Literacy                 opportunity to create JavaScript     States, it has attracted
Skills and Create Your Own             Quizzes, Crossword Puzzles,          participants from Canada and
                                       Word Searches, Flashcards,           elsewhere.
Lessons at http://
                                       Hangman Games, Pop Up                      Participants have an
www.quia.com                           Quizzes and Multiple Choice          opportunity to share information
BY   SH E R I MA N K A L               Quizzes. Once you have created       about innovative uses of
       If you’ve been searching        an exercise, you are given an        technology, conferences and
for a Web site that will allow         address to access your lesson.       other resources relevant to
even a novice computer user the        You also have the option of          technology and adult literacy.
ability to create sensational          submitting your lesson to the        They also have an opportunity
lessons, then this site is for you!    QUIA homepage and you can            to ask for technical assistance.
The only requirements are an           return to edit your work at                The listserv is moderated
email address and an active            anytime. You can even email          by Emily Hacker, Director of
imagination. If you are hesitant       your lesson to other users,          Instructional Technology at the
to create your own activities,         which would be great for             Literacy Assistance Center in
you can access hundreds of             distance education teachers.         New York.
ready-made activities from                   In my opinion, QUIA is               Archives of previous
QUIA’s homepage. Multiple              one of the best sites available      discussions can be view online
topics are covered, including          for creating and using your own      at http://www.nifl.gov/lincs/
English, French and                    material on the web. For further     discussions/nifl-technology/
Mathematics. One of the                information or to start using this   technology_literacy.html.
newest additions to this site is a     incredible site, be sure to visit:         You can subscribe to the
“Math Journey” where students          www.quia.com                         listserv at the same Web site.
must correctly answer                                                       Before subscribing, you should
mathematical questions in order                                             realize that a listserv takes place
to board a virtual plane and                                                through the exchange of email.
travel around the world. The                                                If someone sends an email to
questions are based on the level                                            the listserv, then every
of difficulty chosen by the user.                                           subscriber is emailed a copy of
       If you are feeling more                                              the message. Because this is an
creative, you can become a                                                  active listserv, be prepared to
member of QUIA and create                                                   receive from 5 to 10 emails a
your own exercises and class           NIFL Technology and                  week. You can always try it out
pages. Creating lessons                Literacy Listserv - http://          and “unsubscribe” if at any time
couldn’t be any easier as this         www.nifl.gov/lincs/                  you decide you no longer want
site guides you step by step                                                to participate. You unsubscribe
                                       discussions/nifl-technology          by visiting the Web site
with extremely clear
instructions and additional help       /technology_literacy.html            mentioned above.
pages if required. This site is        BY   DI A N E MC C A R G A R
great for anyone wishing to                  The American National
quickly create games and               Institute for Literacy (NIFL)
quizzes for their students, but is     hosts a very active email
exceptionally wonderful for            discussion group on technology
first time users.                      and literacy. Although this
       This site offers the user the   listserv originates in the United

February 2000                                              7                                        CONNECT

Writing Cheques

Literacy Objective: Students will learn to correctly fill out a cheque.
Computer Objective: Students will learn to type and edit text in a database.
Materials: a database program preferably ClarisWorks or FileMaker Pro
     Before attempting this lesson students should practice writing the date and different amounts of
money. They should also have some experience writing cheques on paper before trying a lesson on the
     Ahead of time the instructor will need to create a cheque database. It should contain the following
fields: cheque number, date, pay to the order of, amount, amount words, cents and memo.

     The fields should be arranged in the database, the same way they would be arranged on a cheque.
A name and address should be typed at the top. A line should be added for the signature and a box
placed around the outside. Borders could be placed along the bottoms of the field boxes to create the
other lines on a cheque.

     For those of you who think this is too much to tackle, check and see if the database program you
are using already has a cheque template. ClarisWorks comes with a Checkbook and Ledger that
appears under All Stationery when you start a new document. The only thing you have to do with this
checkbook is add a field for the amount in words and a field for cents.

1.   Provide each student with a copy of the database and a sheet that contains details for several
CONNECT                                           8                                        February 2000
      For example:
      a)    On January 1, 2000, Lorna wrote a cheque to Bell Canada. Her telephone bill was
      b) Lorna bought a microwave oven at Zellers on January 12th. It cost her $123.54.
      c)    On January 30, 2000, Lorna paid her rent. Her rent is $350.00. She lives in a building
            owned by Fran Wilson.
      d) On February 1, 2000, Lorna paid you back the money she owed you.

2.    Ask students to write a cheque for each of the situations described on the paper. If the
      students are not familiar with writing cheques or using a database you can always do one or
      two together first. (Tip: If you make sure the database already contains enough records for
      the cheques you want them to write, then students will not need to be shown how to create
      new records.)
3.    If the records are displayed as a list, then the student could print their work after they are
      finished. Remember that they must print “all records” not “current record” in order to get a copy
      of all of their cheques. If the cheques are viewed as separate forms then it is not wise to ask
      students to print, because they may end up printing one page for each cheque.

      Students who have experience checking their spelling on the computer could do this at the end to
check that they have spelled the amounts of money correctly.
      Another way to make the lesson more challenging is to define the fields to only accept data
written in a certain format. For example, if you define the date field as a date, not text, then the
computer will only let the student continue if they have type the date in the correct format. Also if you
define the amount as a number, then the computer will only accept the amount if it is written correctly.
For example, if they put a comma instead of a point this won’t be accepted. All the fields should be
left as text fields if the students don’t have a high comfort level with computers, otherwise it becomes
an exercise in frustration instead of an exercise about writing cheques.
February 2000                                         9                                        CONNECT

Tongue Twisters                       or with some of your own.            immediately, to
BY   CO N N I E BE L A N G E R        Students can either create them      type a dash (-)
                                      directly on the computer, or         and come back
      One way to get your             prepare them in class and take       to it later.
students interested in reading        them to the computer lab to type     1. Write your
and writing is to make it fun,        and format. Use the following            full name:
and what is more fun than             instructions, and have them              Example:
trying to read “tongue                work either alone or in pairs at         Maria
twisters”? They are also good         the computer. (It is also fun to         Elizabeth Harriet
for developing pronunciation,         have them switch computers               Joaquim
enunciation and concentration         with other students part way         2. Choose one of your names to
skills. There are several sites       through to let them finish               use in this tongue twister.
online to find tongue twisters,       another student’s work, but only         Example: Maria
and a good one to try is              use this if your students can            (Hint: Names or words that
www.geocities.com/Athens/             read each other’s writing. It can        begin with b, d, l, m. p, s or t
8136/tonguetwisters.html.             be very frustrating to complete          are easiest to make tongue
Note: Some of the tongue              another person’s sentence if             twisters with.)
twisters at this site don’t print     their spelling is so bad you can’t   3. Write one answer for each of
out well because of the               figure out what they are saying.)        the next four questions using
background colour and colour          Instructions:                            as many words as you can
of the text, so if you want to               A tongue twister is a             that begin with the same
print some of them out, you will      series of words or a phrase              sound as the name in answer
have to copy and paste them           which you find difficult to say,         #2 (Maria = m). If you can’t
into your word processing             especially if you try to repeat it       think of an answer, go on to
program.                              quickly. Almost every language           the next question and come
      It is also lots of fun to get   has some form of tongue                  back to the difficult one
your students to create their         twisters, both for fun and for           when you are finished.
own tongue twisters, and the          developing language skills.              Maybe you will think of
following lesson can be used as             To have your students              something to fit the sentence
a simple writing exercise, while      create a tongue twister, you can         later.
teaching your students some           either give them these               4 What did he or she do?
basic computer skills.                instructions in writing or call          Example: met a monkey,
Preparation:                          them out as the students type the        made money, moved a
       Students should have           answers, depending on their              mountain, munched melons,
some familiarity with                 writing/listening/comprehension          married a millionaire, etc.
computers, and should have            skills. Lower levels do better       5. Where did he or she do it?
used the "Save" and "Print"           with some practice first,                Example: in Montreal, on a
functions at least once before        especially if they require help          mountain, in Manitoba, at a
doing this. There is very little      with the vocabulary and                  movie
preparation time for this lesson,     spelling. Higher levels like the     6. When did he or she do it?
but students must be familiar         challenge of doing it from               Example: in the month of
with the concept of tongue            dictation, and most word                 May, in the morning
twisters for it to be successful.     processing programs help with        7. Why did he or she do it?
Introduce students to tongue          the spelling. Tell the students          Because…
twisters, either via the Internet     that if they can’t think of a word       Example: because her
CONNECT                                              10                                          February 2000
    mother made her, because she
    made a mistake, because                                   The 1999 Annotated
    Maria mixed up her messages,                           Bibliography of ESL/LINC
    because she was messy,
                                                             Computer Resources
    because …
8. Now take your answers and try                           is now available online!
    to make a tongue twister.
    Example:                                               Visit us at:
    Maria married a man in                 http://sppro.ocdsb.edu.on.ca/orlac
    Montreal in May because she            for an extensive database of computer
    made a mistake.                         resources suitable for teaching adults
    Maria munched melons on a                 in literacy and ESL/LINC programs.
    mountain in Manitoba in the                       No Internet access?
    month of May because she was             Order a print copy & CD-ROM version.
    messy.                                        For more information, email
Note: If students have difficult         irene_blayney@ocdsb.edu.on.ca or call the
names, such as Zoe, they can              Ottawa-Carleton District School Board at
always use words that have those           (613) 239-2656 or fax: (613) 239-2324.
letters, even if they don’t appear
at the beginning of the word,             Correction: Please note that the email address provided
although first sounds do work             in the last issue was incorrect. For more information
better. For example: Zoe dazzled          contact: irene_blayney@ocdsb.edu.on.ca
a zombie zebra at the zoo in New
Zealand because Zoe was dizzy.

    Do you think it is important for literacy programs to have computers? Do you like using
computers? What do you like about them?

      I think it is very important to learn something about computers, because we can learn so many
things that will help us in the future and because there are so many jobs out there that require computer
skills. I like using computers because it makes your work easier and faster to be done. Another thing I
like is when we make mistakes we can simply fix the mistakes without starting again. I think
computers are part of life. We should all be interested to learn about them. This is something
important in daily life.

     Yes I do think computers are important for literacy because you can use all kinds of programs
such as reading, writing and math.
     I do like using the computers in school. It's pretty easy to use and you can learn a lot from them
and you can look up anything you want to know.
     Today the more you know about computers the better off you are. They make life easy and if you
are really good at it you can get a better job and more money for knowing how to use one.

  Yngrid and Richard are students in the Literacy and Basic Skills Program at the Ottawa-Carleton
District School Board.
February 2000                                        11                                        CONNECT
                            Extensions: What’s in a Name?
B Y DI A N E MC C A R G A R           Rich Text Format (RTF) is            viewed and printed the same
       The next time you look at      similar to text only, but it also    way on any computer using
a file on your computer and           includes some simple                 Adobe Acrobat Reader.
wonder what it is and where it        formatting information such as       Anyone can download Adobe
came from, try looking for an         fonts and margins. Most word         Acrobat Reader free of charge
extension. Many file names end        processing programs allow you        from Adobe’s Web site: http://
with an extension, a dot              to view documents saved in           www.adobe.com. Additional
followed by 2 to 4 letters (e.g.      RTF format.                          software from Adobe is needed
letter.doc). Most Windows             Formatted Files                      to create and edit PDF files.
programs automatically add                   Files that contain text and   PDF is now becoming the
extensions to file names. These       formatting are normally given        standard format for posting
letters can tell you the type of      an extension unique to the           document files on the Internet.
data contained in a file and          program that was used to create      Executable Files
sometimes they identify what          the document. For example,                  Executable files are
program was used to create it.        Microsoft Word documents             program files that end in the
They may also tell you the            usually end with .doc and            extension .exe. When you
version of the program. If you        WordPerfect documents usually        double-click on an .exe file this
know what software was used to        end with .wpd. To view these         automatically starts a program.
create a file and your computer       documents, you must have the         These files only work on
has this software, then viewing       same software or a similar           computers running DOS or
its contents becomes very             program that is able to translate    Windows.
simple -- run the program and         files of that format.                Web Page Files
then open the file. If your           (Remember, a program is                     Web pages are created in
computer doesn’t contain the          unlikely to be able to translate a   a language called HTML and
software or you don’t know            file created using newer             have .html or .htm as their
what software was used, then          software.)                           extension.
double-click on the file and see             Email and the Internet        Graphics Files
what happens. If the computer         have made it common place for               There are many different
can’t find or doesn’t recognize       people to share documents. If        types of graphic file formats.
what program the file came            you have tried to do this in the     Graphics Interchange Format
from, then it will ask you to         past, you probably realize how       (.gif) is one of the most
choose from a list of software        many problems can occur.             common graphics file formats.
installed on your computer.           Maybe, you weren’t able to           JPEG (.jpg) is a compression
Extensions can help you choose        view something because you           format often used for photos.
the most appropriate software to      didn’t have the same software        TIFF (.tif) is a high-resolution
view a file. Here are some            or you had an older version of       image format. These images
common file extensions:               the software. Maybe you could        can be viewed on a Mac using
Text Files                            view it, but the text and            programs such as JPEGView.
       Files that contain only text   graphics weren’t formatted the       On a Windows PC you could
often end in the extension .txt.      way they should be. A new file       use LviewPro. Commercial
These documents can be viewed         type called Portable Document        graphics programs such as
by any word processing                Format (PDF) tries to overcome       Photoshop can also be used to
program such as WordPerfect,          this problem. PDF files are          view, create and edit these types
Word, SimpleText or WritePad.         formatted so that they can be        of files.
CONNECT                                              12                                        February 2000
Video and Sound Files                  Macintosh computers. These            you first have to “unzip” or
      Two sound file formats           files end in the extension .qt or     “unstuff” them. Stuffit
mainly used on Macs are .au            .mov. QuickTime for Windows           Expander, WinZip, of
and .aiff. To play these files on      is now also available. MPEG           PKUNZIP are the respective
a Mac you can use Sound App.           (.mpg) is the standard                programs needed to do this.
You can use Waveform Hold to           compression format for movies         Occasionally people will want
play these files on a Windows          on the Internet. There are a          to store, or send several files
PC. The most popular file              variety of MPEG Players. For          together. This is called
format for distributing music is       more information visit the Web        archiving. This can also be
.mp3. This type of file requires       site mentioned at the end of the      done using the compression
an MP3 Player. Sound files             article.                              programs mentioned above. If
created in RealAudio by                Compressed, Archived and              the file has been compressed
RealNetworks are identified by         Encoded Files                         and saved as a self-extracting
the extension .ra. You need                   When a file becomes too        file, then you won’t need any
Real Player to hear these real-        large to fit on a disk or to send     program to decompress it. Just
time sound files over the              over a network, then a                double-click. SEA files are
Internet. On a Windows PC              compression program is used to        Macintosh self-extracting
you may come across .wav               reduce the amount of memory           archive files.
sound files which can also be          required to store the file. Stuffit          For more information
played using Waveform Hold.            (Mac), WinZip (Windows) and           about file formats, extensions
      AVI is the standard video        PKZip (DOS) are three                 and the programs mentioned
format for Windows. To view            commonly used compression             above visit http://
these files you need an AVI            programs. Stuffit files end in        www.learnthenet.com and click
Video for Windows Player.              .sit. Winzip and PKZip files          on Download Files. Then click
QuickTime has long been used           end in the extension .zip. To         on File Formats and
to create and view movies on           view the contents of these files      Extensions.

                                         Cleaning a Mouse
       The next time one of your          are at right angles to each
students has difficulty using a           other and only rotate. If
mouse, consider the possibility           either of these rollers are
that the mouse might need to be           wobbly then the mouse may
cleaned. Mice can quickly                 be broken and need to be
become clogged with dust and              replace. The third roller is
dirt and stop working properly.           narrower and spring-loaded.           and continue scraping.
Because this can be extremely             This third roller will give        5. You may also need to pull
frustrating for the students, it’s a      slightly when you press it.           out lint from around the ends
good idea to clean your mice on        4. Dirt can be removed from the          of the rollers and clean the
a regular basis. Here are some            rollers by carefully scraping         mouse ball itself.
instructions to help you do this.         them with your fingernail or       6. While you're cleaning your
1. Turn the mouse on its back.            a piece of firm paper. The            mouse, you should also clean
2. Twist the ball cover on the            end of a plastic top from a           the mouse pad. Shake it out
   mouse until the cover                  pen works well also. Make             or wipe it if it is plastic.
   unlocks and then remove the            sure the dirt doesn’t fall into       Make sure to dry the mouse
   mouse ball.                            the mouse and be careful not          pad well. Never use liquids
3. Inside the mouse are three             to scratch the rollers. You           or cleaners in or near your
   rollers. Two of the rollers            will have to rotate the rollers       mouse or computer.
February 2000                                           13                                         CONNECT
Create Your Own Software,
continued from page 3
flashcards where the students
are presented with information
they can look at or listen to.
They can also become
interactive multiple choice
activities by creating a slide                                a b c d e f g h i j k
show that only progresses when                               l m n o p q r s t u v
the student clicks on the correct                                   w x y z
answer. The possibilities are
endless when you use
multimedia presentation
                                            In this project, students click on the speaker to hear a word. Then
programs like PowerPoint. In                they click on the first letter of the word. Only the correct letter
these programs the slides can               causes the project to switch to the next slide.
include text, pictures and sound.
       Here are step by step
instructions for creating an              c) Click on Apply to All                 this by underlining all the
interactive slide show using                  Slides.                              answers. You will also need
Microsoft PowerPoint. This           4.   This slide is now your                   to change the hyperlink
activity could also be created            master. Make as many                     colours to black or whatever
using other presentation                  copies of it as you need.                colour the other answers
programs such as WordPerfect              a) Go to the Insert menu and             appear in.
Presentations.                                choose Duplicate Slide.              a) Go to the Format menu
1. Start a new, blank                5.   Enter the pictures, sounds                  and choose Slide Colour
   PowerPoint presentation.               and text you want to appear                 Scheme.
2. Place buttons at the bottom            on the slide.                            b) Click on Custom, and
   of the slide to allow students    6.   If you have typed a question,               “hyperlink”.
   to navigate through the                you should provide students              c) Click on Change Colour
   presentation.                          with possible answers. You                  and choose black (or the
   a) Click on AutoShapes,                then should link the correct                colour of the other
       Action Buttons.                    answer to the next slide. The               answers).
   b) Draw a Next Slide button.           slide show will only advance             d) Repeat for “followed
   c) Choose Hyperlink to Next            if the student clicks on the                hyperlink”.
       Slide.                             correct answer. (If you are              e) Click on Apply to All.
   d) Repeat 1-3 for a Previous           going to do this you may              8. When you’re finished, save
       Slide button, a First Slide        want to remove the Next                  the presentation as a
       button and an End Show             Slide button from the bottom             PowerPoint Show.
       button.                            of the page.)                            a) Go to the File Menu and
3. Make sure the slide show               a) Highlight the correct                    choose Save.
   won’t advance if a student                 answer.                              b) Change the File Type to
   clicks anywhere on the                 b) Right click and click on                 PowerPoint Show.
   screen.                                    Action Settings.                     c) Change the name so it
   a) Go to the Slide Show                c) Choose Hyperlink to Next                 doesn’t overwrite the
       menu and click on Slide                Slide.                                  original presentation.
       Transition.                   7.   You’ll notice that the correct           d) Click on Save.
   b) Remove the checkmark                answer will appear                          When students double-
       beside Advance on Mouse            underlined and in a different               click on this file the slide
       click.                             colour. You can get around                  show will start.
CONNECT                                                14                                               February 2000
Education, Technology and Learning Disabilities:
A Look From the Inside
Patt Hatt, an adult literacy and LD specialist, will discuss some of the barriers to
technology for the learning disabled, as well as sharing her own experience with
using technology as a tool. Ms. Hatt, who has a Masters Degree in Adult Language and Learning
Problems, has worked in the field of Adults with Special Needs for over 25 years. The workshop will
be held at the Centre for Literacy at Dawson College on April 27, 2000. For more information, contact:
literacycntr@dawsoncollege.qc.ca or visit the Centre for Literacy Web site at: www.nald.ca/litcent.htm

Keeping IT Learner Centred: Is It Possible?
The 16th Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Distance Education explores the learner's
place in distance education today. The Conference takes place in Quebec City from May 3-6, 2000.
For more information, contact Agora Communication at (418) 658-6755 or dhoude@agoracom.qc.ca.
The official Web site of the conference can be found at: http://www.ulaval.ca/aced2000cade/

Adult Literacy and Television: An Untapped Resource?
The use of television as a teaching tool in adult literacy and basic skills will be a major focus of the
Summer Institute 2000 in Toronto, Ontario, from May 18 - 20th. The conference is being sponsored by
Frontier College, the Centre for Literacy and the Georgia Tech Lifelong Learning Network. Contact the
Centre for Literacy for more information, at: literacycntr@dawsoncollege.qc.ca or visit the Centre for
Literacy Web site at: www.nald.ca/litcent.htm

Learning Technologies: Practice and Promise
Interface 2000 is a conference for educators and support staff interested in how to best use technology
to meet the needs of their students. Alberta Distance Education and Training Association is one of the
groups hosting the event which is being held at Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, Alberta. The
conference runs from June 7th to June 9th. For more information visit http://www.interface2000.
gmcc.ab.ca or fax Clayton R. Wright, PhD at (780) 497-5425.

                                   ADVERTISING RATES
  CONNECT is published with a grant from the National Literacy Secretariat and the
  proceeds from subscriptions. However, to continue publishing into the year
  2000, we will offer advertising space to literacy and technology related
  organizations at the following rates:
      Business Card Size Ad     $75.00 first run, $50.00 thereafter
      Quarter Page              $250.00 first run, $200,00 thereafter
      Half Page                 $450.00 first run, $400.00 thereafter
      Full Page                 $800.00 first run, $700.00 thereafter

  To place your ad in CONNECT, contact Diane at (613) 239-2583, or fax: (613)
  239-2324. Contact us by email at: diane_mccargar@ocdsb.edu.on.ca.

February 2000                                       15                                        CONNECT
                                                  Subscribe to CONNECT
 CONNECT can be accessed through the World Wide Web at http://www.nald.ca/connect.htm or mailed to
 you at the annual subscription rate of $6.00. Enclose a cheque payable to the Ottawa-Carleton District School
 Board with your subscription form and mail it to CONNECT, c/o Diane McCargar, LBS/ESL/LINC
 Department, Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, 515 Cambridge St. S., Ottawa, Ontario, K1S 4H9, Fax:
 1-613-239-2324. CONNECT can be freely photocopied for distribution within your program. Back issues
 of CONNECT can be accessed through the NALD archives at: http://www.nald.ca/index.htm or ordered
 from the above address.

       I would like to subscribe to CONNECT - Volume 3.

       A cheque for $6.00 will follow this fax.                                   A cheque for $6.00 is attached.

 Name of Recipient: _______________________________________________________________________

 Name of Program: _______________________________________________________________________

 Mailing Address: ________________________________________________________________________

 Phone: _____________________ Fax: _____________________ Email: ___________________________

                           We welcome submissions on the following topics
                                                  Reviews:                                              Lesson Plans:
                                                  Write a review of a software program                  Describe a lesson or activity that
                                                  or Internet site.                                     you have used successfully in your
            PLEASE                                                                                      program.
                                                  Reports From Learners:
             WRITE                                Have students write about their                       Reports From the Field:
                                                  experiences using computers, and why                  Describe how computers are used
                                                  they think computers in literacy                      in your program.
                                                  programs are important.

      PHONE: 1-613-239-2583 FAX: 1-613-239-2324 EMAIL: diane_mccargar@ocdsb.edu.on.ca
              Acting Editor: Diane McCargar  Acting Assistant Editor: Sheri Mankal

 This publication of CONNECT has been made possible through support in the form of direct funding
 from the National Literacy Secretariat. We would also like to acknowledge services-in-kind from the
 Editing/Desktop Publishing ................................................................ Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
 Web Services ................................................................................ National Adult Literacy Database (NALD)
 Online Conferencing Services and Software Reviews ..................................................................... AlphaPlus
 Translation Services ........................................................................................................... Madeleine Pelletier
 Advisory Council Members & Editorial Review Committee...................Keith Anderson (Alberta Learning),
 Connie Belanger (Editor), Irene Blayney (Ottawa-Carleton District School Board), Thora Gislason
 (AlphaPlus), Mike Kelly, Sheri Mankal (Acting Assistant Editor), Diane McCargar (Acting Editor), Pauline
 McNaughton (Former Editor), Charles Ramsey (National Adult Literacy Database) and Linda Shohet (Center
 For Literacy, Dawson College).

CONNECT                                                                 16                                                          February 2000

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