Tuesday, September 27, 2005

ESL/ABE/GED: Grammar: Grammar Central


This page contains links to both notes on grammar lessons, as well as copies of the lessons themselves. Be sure to check the answer keys for the lessons. Quite a comprehensive list for basic grammar skills.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Family Tech--Andersen's Fairy Tales website

A fun website about a select few Hans Christian Andersersen's fairy tales can be found on www.AndersenFairyTales.com. You can read a fairy tale, and then do a fun game. I read about the Emperor's New Suit, and then I did the game where you get to pick out the clothing you want the king to wear. It was cute!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Commentary: Sotir

I started using computers in the late 80's. The changes within the last 25 years or so have been amazing. Who would have thought that those original Apples would lead to a revolution that has literally changed the world. We've moved from FTP Bulletin Boards to the World Wide Web and blogs and wikis and podcasts. We survived the dreaded Y2K crash of the Millennium (OK, it never happened, but we were really scared anyway...).

So what has this done to education in general? We have moved from a society of digital immigrants to a generation of digital natives. Kids of the new Millennnia have embraced this new technical world. I was thrilled to have a transistor radio that my parents hated, and I loved being able to take my music with me wherever I go. Now we have cell phones that play music and videos, take pictures, IM our friends and read our email. Apple has made a fortune on the tiny little iPods, that get tinier all the time...check out the Nano... The demand for technology in education has become the norm, no matter what the type of institution. The National Center for Education Statistics notes:

** in 2002 the average public school had 131 institutional computers
** from 1994 to 2002 the percentage of public schools with Internet access increased from 35% to 99%

For adult education, those statistics do not always apply. But you, as the instructor, need to help your students transition into the digital world. True, our students are not always at the forefront of technology. But just as you give them the skills to speak English or use math effectively, they need to learn technology. Give them the skills they need to be better parents, or more successful employees, or to simply adapt to the world around them. Adults will never be as savvy at computers as the children, but they can build a comfort zone. I've done some quick surveys of students in the AELC. About 75% of them either have computers at home, or have access to computers (families and friends). They need to know how to use them. Give them Websites to try at home. Show them how to access the Internet. Give them the tools to create their own success.

Monday, September 19, 2005

ESL/GED: Writing Portals

from a list by Carol S. Holzberg published in Technology and Learning (www.techlearning.com) September 2005:

Web portals provide convenient one-stop gateways to special interest topics. The world of writing and publishing is no exception, and student and teacher authors of all ages and abilities can find a host of resources online.
eTeachers Portal.comOffering practical advice to educators who teach literacy, writing, and English, eTeachers Portal also provides space at Kids on the Net where children can publish their writing; read book reviews and advice from established authors; and explore stories and poems written by peers.
Google Directory: Blog PublishingLearn virtually everything there is to know about blog publishing at Google's Blog Publishers directory.
My Paradigm: Online Writing CommunityThe Paradigm Online Writing Assistant provides writing help in the form of an interactive, menu-driven, everything-you-wanted-to-know free guide to writing.
Transitions AbroadAt this portal you'll find helpful tips about travel writing from folks who write while they travel. There is also information about working, studying, and living abroad; general book publishing and marketing information; press trip resources; and sample writer's guidelines for print and digital travel magazines.
Writing-Portal.com DirectoryAt this no frills directory of nearly 3,000 sites geared toward writing and publishing, you'll find a list of resources organized alphabetically into 26 categories.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005


Gasoline Prices
Get involved in scouting out cheap gasoline with this web site. Students can type their zip code and the distance you're willing to travel ("radius" - use a map and a compass to explain how the term "radius" is the same one they've learned for the distance from the center of the circle to the outside) and get a list of stations with the lowest prices in your area. If there are savings a few miles away, have the students figure out how much you'd save on a whole tank by paying, say, five cents less per gallon. Figure out how much gas you'd use to drive to the far station, and whether or not you'd actually save enough to make it worth the trip.