Thursday, March 29, 2007

Commentary: Sotir: Schools 2.0

We're all used to upgrades...the 2.0 concept that encompasses our technological society. Whatever is good can be improved in the upgraded version...2.0 and beyond. I've written before about Web 2.0, which is the Google-ized version of an Internet upgrade (see "Commentary: Web 2.0: Here We Go Again" 2/22 on the Instructor Blog ( . We've upgraded almost everything, but for some reason, schools lag behind, not necessarily in having technology, but in using that technology effectively.

I have to admit, even I get overwhelmed sometimes when I start reading my fav academic blogs and wikis about all the new technologies out there. It's relentless, and certainly taxpayers cannot afford to provide every new technology out there. However, as educators, we can, and should, make sure that whatever we do have is explored and processed and utitlized. Of course it all comes down to time. We have extraordinary time saving devices that our ancestors did not even dream of, and yet, we still complain of not enough hours in the day. Instructors, who deal with all the issues of the classroom, often find new technologies taxing and overwhelming. We're switching to Vista? But we've only just figured out the old operating system. Grades are now recorded on the computers? How much training does that require? Think about how many instructors still use overhead projectors, rather than transferring data to PowerPoint. Are both effective uses of technologies? Yes, but one is newer, and for instructors, newer is not necessarily better. The question is, what is better for our students? How do today's students learn best?

The idea for the Schools 2.0 project is to rethink how schools use technology to define the schools of the future, and more importantly, the education of the future. We also need to determine how we use that education as we continue our move from an industrial to an information economy. I've written about the movement towards online learning, free and open source software, Websites and streaming videos and podcasting. Check out the recent commentary I did on colleges and universities posting their curriculum online, free and available to anyone with a Web browser, anywhere in the world. We are, like it or not, a 24/7 society. We never close, and we never stop learning. The old education freight train, quietly chugging along has been replaced by a high speed bullet train, and if you don't get on board quickly, you will be left at the station.
What's an instructor to do? How do we add more hours to the workday to learn how to use the new technologies? Do we need to incorporate the new tech, or can we just teach? The answer is, yes, we can just teach, but we need to figure out how to teach today, and how to reach the students we have today.

I recently went out to dinner with friends. We decided to go to a movie after dinner. One person said OK, so stop at the convenience store and get a newspaper to get movie times. Another said no, I'll call my son and have him get that info off of his computer. I said, don't most of you have a cell phone or Blackberry with you? They said of course, we should just call the movie theater and get the showtimes. I then said there were 5 showtimes for the movie we wanted, and listed them off. Did I call the theater? No. I hit the browser button on my cellphone, went into the Yahoo portal, hit 'movies' and instantly had a list of all the the theaters near our zipcode that showed the movie we wanted, and listed the showtimes. Total time...about 30 seconds. I also read a review of the movie to make sure that it was the one we wanted to see. The same portal can get driving directions to those theaters. Instantly. Am I smarter than my friends? No (OK, maybe a few of them), but the point is that I do know how to access information from my cell phone. They all had the same technology, but only I knew how to access it. Having it is not the same as being able to use it.

Think about kids today. The old joke about hiring a 3 year old to set your VCR clock has been updated to hiring a 3 year old to figure out how your cell phone works. Same issues, different year. Kids instinctively know how to use the tools that surround them. They are natives, and the adults are immigrants. Teens can instantly access any information they need. Just in time. They also can get that information when they need it, via their cell phone or i-Pod or wi-fi handheld. They 'Twitter' and "Jaiku'. To teach them, we need to get them information just as quickly.

The theory behind the AELC has always been 'just in time' information, and upgrading is a constant for us. We all work hard to make sure that every student who walks into the Center has access to the information they need, instantly. All new programs are assimilated into the AELC whole, perhaps not instantly, but quickly. Tell us your class level and chapter that you are studying and any AELC specialist will be able to give you software or Websites that address the skills you are studying. Specialists know which applications fit by checking the cross-referenced IEP, know how to use those applications by reading the QuickNotes, and know they exist because they regularly access the Blog. Yes, we have expanded and refined the tools we use through the years, but the bottom line has always been the same. We give students the information they need, and we do it efficiently. The model we used has been upgraded, but it still delivers.

I realize that I am always pushing the technology envelope, and sometimes I drag you into the newest Blogosphere, like it or not. I just wanted to say thanks for allowing yourselves to be 'upgraded' regularly.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Commentary: Web 2.0...Here We Go Again...

I was discussing technology changes with colleagues the other day, and one asked me about Web 2.0, which came up during a conference presentation. I was asked, as computer person and charter member of the Blogosphere, if I knew anything about it. I did, in general terms, but Wikipedia gives this as a definition:

Web 2.0 is a category of new Internet tools and technologies created around the idea that the people who consume media, access the Internet, and use the Web shouldn't passively absorb what's available; rather, they should be active contributors, helping customize media and technology for their own purposes, as well as those of their communities.
But Web 2.0 isn't just the latest set of toys for geeks, it's the beginning of a new era in technology — one that promises to help nonprofits operate more efficiently, generate more funding, and affect more lives.
These new tools include, but are by no means limited to, blogs, social networking applications, RSS, social networking tools, and wikis.

Web 2.0 is not a new 'thing' but more of a re-purpose of the WWW (world wide web). As usual, there is a flurry of new terms to deal with, including what I consider the underlying definitions of Web 2.0. We have all gotten used to the idea of updated versions of previous computer applications. If there is a software application version 1.0, 1.3 or 2.0 is not usually far behind. In Web 2.0, it is not a new Web that is referenced, but rather a taxonomy or classification for the Web. The newly-coined word that I prefer is actually 'folksonomies', which are defined by Wikipedia as:

"A folksonomy is a user generated taxonomy used to categorize and retrieve Web pages, photographs, Web links and other web content using open ended labels called tags. Typically, folksonomies are Internet-based, but their use may occur in other contexts as well. The process of folksonomic tagging is intended to make a body of information increasingly easier to search, discover, and navigate over time. A well-developed folksonomy is ideally accessible as a shared vocabulary that is both originated by, and familiar to, its primary users.
Folksonomy creation and searching tools are not part of the underlying World Wide Web protocols. Folksonomies arise in Web-based communities where special provisions are made at the site level for creating and using tags. These communities are established to enable Web users to label and share user-generated content, such as photographs, or to collaboratively label existing content, such as Web sites, books, works in the scientific and scholarly literatures, and blog entries."

Finding the correct words to conduct a search can be difficult. Folksonomies would be things like the labels attached to blog posts, archived posts, or the tags added to Wiki pages. These searching tools are a necessary add-on to making the overwhelming amount of information on the WWW useful. A Blog such as this one, which pulls targeted sites from the Web, helps to harness the information to allow users to find it more quickly and easily, and also fits the folksonomy definition.

As with most things tech related, there is a question of definition. Every dictionary in the world is outdated within hours of publication, because our language is even more fluid now than when dictionaries were developed. We not only have languages, but also what can be called sub-languages, such as text messaging formats. Most people have probably heard someone use 'SWAK' (sealed with a kiss) or TGIF (thank goodness it's Friday) or even ASAP (as soon as possible), but now there is an entire communication form called text messaging that has brought us things such as LOL (laugh out loud) and BTW (by the way) If you are a true TM (text message) afficionado, you might also know that @TEOTD is at the end of the day, or 2G2BT is too good to be true. And if you have kids, you should also know that PRW means parents are watching.

So if you don't know about all things techie, you can either rent a teen or read this Blog...I'll do what I can to keep you updated PDQ (pretty darn quick). And YW (you're welcome).

"I Blog...therefore I Web 2.0" : updated Descartes 'Discourse on Method'

Commentary: Emotive Software

One of the biggest criticisms of email is that you can't tell what the writer really means just by the words alone. 'I'm leaving you' might simply mean that you are running out to a meeting, or it might mean you are heading for a divorce. It's hard to tell. Yes, you could throw a smiley face in, but is that enough to let your reader know your true emotions? Hardly. Wouldn't it be better if you could simply get a wonderful voice to read your words, adding the true emotions that you are feeling? Enter the world of emotive software: (

"The Interactive TTS Demo enables you to use Loquendo TTS to create and listen to your own synthetic messages. Scroll the list of Loquendo languages to find the persona of your choice, type in a text in your chosen language and have Loquendo TTS read it to you. You can choose between .WAV and .MP3 formats."

Yes, you could say I am leaving you, but have Susan (in a very clear American accent) say your words and add a giggle afterwards. Or if it's a divorce you want, have Kate (in an equally clear British accent) cry a little, while still keeping a stiff upper lip. Or perhaps you are feeling saucy, and would prefer from Juliette, in a very fetching French accent. Just laying down the options? Try for Ulrike to give it the German no nonsense accent. I think you get the drift. I remember when Apple came out with computer voices to read your words. It was nice to have a voice read your letter outloud to you before you sent it, but the robotic sound was quite annoying. I-am-leav-ing yo-u. The new generation sounds like your best friend, no matter where they come from. Clear, easy to understand and quite fun to do. Check out the Loquendo Web site to give it a try.
Now, wasn't that fun? Of course. However, this is an academic blog, so what is it that you could do with the Kate and Simon, and Susan and Kenneth? Well, imagine typing what you want students to learn, and then having an American accented reading of your words, complete with the emotions you want to express. If you were commenting on a student writing assignment, for example, you could say 'Interesting piece, Elizabeth \_ sigh, but I have to tell you that you will not pass \_ cry-big'. You might want Simon to read it...his smooth British accent can ease the blow. Or, perhaps not. All are much better than the old robotic voices. At any rate, it is rather interesting, and might have some academic applications. Worth a peek \_ giggle.

Or consider Auto Tutor:

"AutoTutor is a web-based intelligent tutoring system developed by an interdisciplinary research team. This team is currently funded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation and is is comprised of approximately 35 researchers from psychology, computer sciene, linguistics, physics, engineering, and education. The Tutoring Research Group (TRG) has conducted extensive analyses of human-to-human tutoring, pedagogical strategies, and conversational discourse. This research has provided the empirical and theoretical foundations for developing intelligent tutoring systems that help the students learn by engaging them in a natural language conversation about a particular subject matter. Currently AutoTutor comes in two forms: The computer literacy version is designed to help students learn basic computer literacy topics covered in an introductory course (e.g., hardware, operating systems, and the Internet). The conceptual physics version is designed to help students learn Newtonian physics. AutoTutor can also be adapted for use in a variety of other content domains.
AutoTutor works by having a conversation with the learner. AutoTutor appears as an animated agent that acts as a dialog partner with the learner. The animated agent delivers AutoTutor's dialog moves with synthesized speech, intonation, facial expressions, and gestures. Students are encouraged to articulate lengthy answers that exhibit deep reasoning, rather than to recite small bits of shallow knowledge. For some topics, there are graphical displays and animations. "

This could be used for adaptive students who need special tools. It's all interesting, and worth viewing.

New Technology: Cubicle 2.0

Ever want to stay in touch with co-workers who are in different offices or sites? Well of course, who doesn't need even more connectivity to work?? Employees can work together, wherever they are, by creating virtual rooms and using simple avatars (cartoon like characters that represent you), and talk via voice or IM (instant messaging). You can pull up applications to share information. It's still in beta phase, but will get better as time works out the kinks in the programming. The real issue is that we barely have time to get work done in the real world, and now we have to work in the virtual realm as well. Maybe you can pick a better looking avatar, and go out after work to a virtual party, and have some real virtual fun.

New Technology: Course Curriculum Online

MIT plans to make its entire 1800 course curriculum available online by the end of the year on the MIT OpenCourseWare site:

Welcome to MIT's OpenCourseWare:
a free and open educational resource (OER) for educators, students, and self-learners around the world.
Is a publication of MIT course materials
Does not require any registration
Is not a degree-granting or certificate-granting activity
Does not provide access to MIT faculty

Over 100 other universities have done the same thing. Courses are free, but no credit is granted. You have access to things like course materials, reading lists, homework (and sometimes the solutions), and even textbooks, streaming video lectures and lecture notes. You can find similar sites from Harvard Law School, Michigan State University, University of Notre Dame and University of California at Irvine, to name a few. Education is indeed changing, and so is the information that previously could only be accessed behind the walls of academia. This really shows the directional change towards lifelong learning.

TechTool of the Day: Mashup

Nope, no potatoes, just GoogleMaps. The word 'mashup' applies to using Web 2.0 and Google maps to create a location mashup, or map that locates certain information. Realtors and home builders have used these liberally to indicate where the homes for sale are located. If you do Mapquest, you will see little pointers that you can click on to tell you where the nearest hotels or restaurants are located. They are not done with a lot of coding, since they are assemblages of existing data and services, and are like interactive pushpins in a map. Click on the little house, and see general information about price, size, address etc. You can get an example of one at the top of this page: the map telling you where this site has been accessed. These are even used for keeping track of celebrity sightings... such as Big Brother is there, and he is not only looking over your shoulder, he's telling EVERYbody where you are. TMI...TOO much information!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

New Technology Commentary: The Newest New Thing: Twitter

PC's have been here for only a quarter of a century, but the changes made to the language landscape are mind-boggling. We have all blogged and wiki-ed and podcasted (or at least have a sense of what all these things are), but along with these more middle of the road ideas, we've also become familiar with things like My Space and Facebook and You Tube. It's enough to Google your brain.
One of the newest concepts is a cross between text messaging (TM) and a refinement of IM (Instant Messaging, for those locked away in a cave for the past few years). It's called Twitter ( and basically allows you to be tracked wherever you are, and what ever you are doing. Sort of a personal GPS system that you activate whenever you feel the need to be found. Basically, you update your whereabouts (in 140 characters or less) answering the question "Where are you?". You can have your whereabouts checked via Twitters Web site, email, text messaging on your mobile phone, or via IM (through services such as AIM, gtalk, .Mac, LiveJournal or Jabber). You can set up a network of friends who, if they sign on, can find out where you are as well as letting you know where THEY are. So who is this aimed at? Why kids, of course. Where's my boyfriend or girlfriend? Yes, this will keep you right there with them. Virtually, of course. As a parent, this would make an interesting view into where their kids are... "I'm in the library, studying hard." would of course be code for " I'm anywhere EXCEPT the library" and a reason to panic. Pass notes to each other in class? So 20th century. Can this newest system set us all a twitter? Remains to be seen, but I don't see this as much more than a new way for Millennials (the 77 million born between 1982 and 2002, and yes, including those precocious 5 year olds) to keep in touch. This is a generation that absolutely needs to know where everyone else is on the planet, and to have instant access to them. Boomers and Gen-Xers just need to adapt. It's all about where you are, baby.

Similar technology: Jaiku can also share your calendar with selected people.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Commentary: Sotir: Podcasts

The one constant about technology is that it is always changing. One of the newer tools is podcasting. Sure, it's been around for a while, but nonetheless, academia is now getting on board in a big way. So what is a podcast? According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Podcasting is the method of distributing multimedia files, such as audio or video programs, over the Internet using syndication feeds, for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. The term gained wide popularity as a portmanteau of iPod and broadcasting, but was seen before that as an acronym for "portable on demand". The term podcast, like 'radio', can mean both the content and the method of delivery. The host or author of a podcast is often called a podcaster. Though podcasters' web sites may also offer direct download or streaming of their content, a podcast is distinguished from other formats by its ability to be downloaded automatically using software capable of reading feeds like RSS or Atom.

So what does that mean, especially to educators? It means the availability of on-demand video on your computer, web-enabled cell phone and Bluetooth technology, iPod or other MP3 players etc. MP3's and iPods are among the hottest tools for teenagers (and adults), and, in an average 2 minute period 2,100 new cell phones are added across the world. The newest cell phones can do video, text, music (many are MP3's too) and have browsers that can rival many computers. This ain't your grandparent's telephone...and they are used all day, every day.

To access, you view and subscribe to a series of podcasts using RSS or Atom feeds. These can be lecture notes made with PowerPoint or Keynote, video science experiments, seminars, conference information, orientation information and basically, anything your mind can create as a video. You can use programs such as Garage Band (Apple) or Quick Time to add things such as music or audio cues and data, animations, PDF files (for adding worksheets etc. to the podcast) and of course, videos. You can have a conversation with people who are in different places, and have the information presented through the podcast. Other high end programs such as Final Cut can bring multidimension tools to easily create the podcast itself. Photos? Sure, as well as diagrams, drawings and other printable resources can be added to the final product. Museums are using them to do the exhibit tours formerly done on audio tapes. It's as easy as plugging in a firewire or USB connection for simple transfer of data between the computer and the mp3 player. However, you need video capabilites like those on an iPod to store video. This could really revolutionize the presentation of 'What I did on my summer vacation.'

Since 80% of learners are auditory learners, this is a great tool for motivating students, and having it on a platform that most students have readily available is also a plus. For Adult Ed students, the concept of listening/practice and repetition is tailor made to this medium. Imagine ESL instructors creating specialized vocabulary lists. Duke University gives free iPods to each of their incoming freshman students so they can see how they will be used for coursework and lectures. Students given the lecture notes in the classroom ahead of the lecture can change the entire dynamic of the lecture: less time spent note-taking and more time spent interacting with the lecturer. Some colleges and universities are even giving i-Pods to parents with a pre-programmed orientation to the campus and other vital information. The beauty is that the podcasts can be updated quickly, so getting new information to those students or their parents is relatively easy.

I see this as a great tool for keeping boards and committees on track, and for students to access data with or without computer access. There are over 3500 free educational podcasts available, but the cost for subscribing to a podcast series is relatively inexpensive. Creating the podcast is simple. Write a script, create video/audio/pdf etc. content, publish the content to a webserver and make an RSS/Atom file to provide subscription to the podcast series. The application programs range in price from free to a few hundred dollars, depending on how sophisticated you need (or want) to be. Check out the following sites for more information and ideas: iTunes from Apple Yahoo podcast listing from across the Web, where you can find, listen and publish podcasts A directory of podcasts available on the Internet Podcast and Vidcast community. Daily picks, forum, and Top 100. (Requires a free sign-up). Use Podcast Alley to find all your Podcasts, podcast feeds, podcast ... Pick a Podcast Genre AOL's free podcasting site. Check out Podcasting 101.

That should get you started on understanding and using podcasts. Let me know how you are using them, and add new resources to the list. For a good educational program see Robin's suggestion for podcasts for ESL students (posted below).

Commentary: Sotir: No One’s Gonna Start a Revolution *

History is always good for looking back to where we were, and determining when we got there, but not until it’s all gone. This poignant seeking of paradise lost was lamented by Joni Mitchell when she sang Big Yellow Taxi in 1970, but Bob Dylan felt it too, and so did Pinhead Gunpowder and even the Counting Crows…
‘Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you got 'til it's gone
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot’ **

Education in general has never been the bellwether for the development of our societal structure, even though many people fervently believe it should be. It has also historically been a parking lot, or a means to an end. Other forces tend to take the lead, and education follows meekly behind whatever ‘revolution’ develops. Whether it’s the Industrial Revolution or the Technology Revolution, the changes occur well before educators try to adapt curriculum to meet the new standards. Part of the problem is that all real revolutions take time, and by nature are multi-generational. Each generation adapts the changes to meet their comfort zone. President Bush might own and enjoy an i-Pod but I doubt his playlist would include Gnarls Barkley or the Arctic Monkeys. We seek our own level of comfort.

The changes sometimes seem subtle. Parents rarely understand what their children are doing or even understand why. They struggle to adapt, and succeed only on minimal levels. It’s a game of balance where the elders attempt to impart their catalog of knowledge and experience to those who rarely see the need for such information until they find themselves in trouble.

The problem with the current technological revolution is that unlike the plodding revolutions of the past, this one is blazingly fast. It took months or even years for someone to develop the means to move off the farm and into a big city, get a job and change society. Now, the changes can occur quite literally at the drop of a finger to keyboard. If you want to move to the city today, you can go to the Internet to find a job, an apartment, the plane to take you to there and the nearest take out pizza place to feed you when you arrive. You can even reserve a speed dating event once you get there so you don’t have to go it alone. Not years or even months, but minutes. Instant gratification.

What’s changing is not the ‘what’ but the ‘how’. We think differently today, and we need to teach differently today as well. What the kids inherently know is how to gather information and process it to meet their end goals. Curriculum has historically been developed by instructors who organize the information for students to process. Get a text, follow the text, discuss the information it contains and test to see that the information has been retained.

Kids today don’t think in the same way. They are group problem solvers…if you don’t know the answer, text the problem to a group of your friends and resolve it together. r u ready? Most educators are not. Developing curriculum under the old standards almost guarantees failure. The Internet has empowered the new generation to get information they need when they need it. We used to get an assignment, go to the library, try to figure out what we needed to look for in the card catalog, and pray that the book had the information we needed in it somewhere and that it was still on the shelf. Now, a few keywords will bring us millions of resources, and we don’t have to leave the house.

Educators are trying to come to grip with the changes. We are almost obsessed with ‘accountability’, yet few know what we need to make education really accountable. Tests have always been the standard for performance, but what do we test? And what will the results prove? Providing information is not as important as providing the tools, the environment and the inspiration to help students learn. Information is all around us. It is our job to show students how to use it effectively to make the process work. Educators need to lead the new revolution. We can’t just settle for the draw.

For another perspective, view Converge online article of a survey on the impact of technology for K-12 educators:
* Settle for a Draw: Arctic Monkeys
”No one's gonna start a revolution So you better leave it well alone…”*
** Big Yellow Taxi: Joni Mitchell

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

ESL, General: Writing a Resume for ESL

Writing Your Resume Writing a successful resume depends on many factors. Here is a simple guide to the basics of writing a good resume including an example resume.
Writing a Cover Letter The cover letter should always be included when sending your resume or CV for a possible job interview. This letter of application serves the purpose or introducing you and asking for an interview. Here is an outline to writing a successful cover letter.

Both of the above cover the variety of experience, or sometimes lack of experience, that many ESL students find difficult to quantify. The tips, and samples of good resumes and cover letters, are especially helpful.

English for Business, Work and Other Special Purposes

Using the Internet to teach English for Special Purposes (ESP)

One of the best methods of teaching is to combine a skill within a usable context. For example, writing skills can be taught by teaching them in a business context. Other skills, such as vocabulary, can be taught by giving appropriate language used to actively participate in business meetings or develop core vocabulary such as 150 key words and phrases used for writing business and commercial letters.

Adult ESL Lesson Plans

This is another site that really has too many aspects to adequately describe. It is developed for Adult ESOL students, and is well designed to determine the skill levels from Literacy to Advanced , along with specific topic areas such as Workforce Development, Consumer Ed, Grammar, Listening, Speaking, Reading and Writing etc. I like that it is developed by classroom instructors, and that topics such as Life Skills are incorporated into the context.

PIZZAZ! Writing
PIZZAZ! is dedicated to providing simple creative writing and oral storytelling activities with copyable (yes, copyable!) handouts for use with students of all ages. Permission is given to use these resources for in-class, non-profit use only.
An interest in using English in fun, dynamic ways!
ESOL Student Level:
Beginner through Advanced "

Whether through poetry or fiction, there are lots of ideas for developing student writing skills here.

Adult Ed Writing Lesson Plans Thirteen Ed Online

Covers Adult Ed lesson plans for GED subjects, ESL and Workforce Development. They are broken down by grade level, which is useful information. Some highlight a particular subject, such as writing:
Getting Started: Pre-Writing Techniques ( or
Freewriting: Developing Fluency in Student Writing

and others incorporate the skill within subject areas:
Cancer: A Crisis of the Cells

Most of these ideas are adaptable for a variety of student levels.

Writing Lesson Plans

Outta Ray's Head is a good source of writing ideas for classes. Includes exercises and information developed by instructors, for teaching writing. As with a lot of the compendiums, it takes time to review the material, but many of these are excellent springboards.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Using English

Interesting site that is set up for teachers and students alike. One of the best areas is a forum site (free registration required), which opens up a forum on a variety of topics. Students might like the 'Ask a Teacher' forum. There are also areas on the site for an English Language Blog, ESL Resources (including grammar and idioms), language tests, quizzes and reading comprehension and also PDF lesson plans and worksheets for teachers. Quite a lot of sites to get through, but worth the trip.

Career Passport: Building a Portfolio

Excellent site for developing a Career Passport or portfolio. Good assessment of skills areas.

Myers-Briggs Personality Test
Holland Career Test
Princeton Review Career Quiz
Suggested Careers
Career Map: Get There
Short Term Calendar
Preparing - Building My Portfolio
Basic Arithmetic
Pre-Algebra Skills
Reading Competency
Writing Assessment
Writing Competency
Interviewing Competency
Basic Computer Skills
Desktop Publishing
Internet Skills

How to Find a Job
These instructions can help you apply and get that job. Print those you might want to take with you.
Helpful hints about the job search
How to fill out job applications
Examples of job applications
How to write a good resume
How to write a cover letter
Do's and don'ts during a job interview
Frequently asked interview questions
Sample thank you letter

Civics Website
This is an interesting site that would be excellent for ESL Civics. It uses a 'twon square' theme to offer a compendium of websites that relate to each of the 'storefronts'. This was done for Massachusetts but outside of the state specific information, there is a wealth of good websites that can be used for ESL civics classes. The focus is on 'plain english' sites.