ULC logo ULC
Applying Technology to Learning
among adult learners served by the
Unlimited Learning Center (ULC)

Volume 3, Issue7 
November-December, 2012 
Unlimited Learning, Inc. 
640 East Second Street 
PO Box1273 
Cortez, CO 81321 

Learners at Early Stages

As we all know, there are very few resources out there for native learners in early stages of academic language development. I've found, however, that there are many resources listed for second language learners. Many of those serve native English speakers as well, who are in early stages of acquiring reading and writing skills.

http://www.rong-chang.com/ is full of activities for just about any language academic need you can imagine.

http://www.rong-chang.com/writing.htm - This page has numerous writing activities for developing writers. Check out the Typing Practice and other fun Writing exercises at many levels, all the way through Essay Topics and Research skills.

http://www.rong-chang.com/reading.htm - The reading activities on this site are superb. This page includes links to 365 short stories accompanied by sound clips to help new readers learn as the read and listen. It includes tips for college success, history and culture, quotes, books, jokes, puzzles and more.

Explore the links listed in the left column for a number of additional resources. This site is a welcome adventure. Don't be fooled by the ESL labels. Your native language learners will enjoy the activities, too!

http://www.eslwriting.net/ is another site for ESL learners with academic writing resources that will serve native speakers as well.

http://legacy.lclark.edu/~krauss/toppicks/reading.html categorizes the levels by ESL standards, but when you check the readings, you'll find that they are perfect for beginning native-language readers, too! For example, click on the first link, "Adult Learning Activities. Then choose a topic by clicking on the top menu images, and watch the links develop! Audio clips are a great boost.


Navigate through Microsoft's Educational Resources

http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/ - This site has a long list of free resources directed at teachers and the students they serve. The tabs will provide you links to help you travel through this fascinating world. Following are a few morsels from this service.

http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/plans/Pages/index.aspx - Find a long list of ready-made lesson plans. The plan is described to the left. Resources are linked on the right, in the green box. Don't worry about the age group defined. Most lessons are totally adaptable to our adults. Track the life of a legislative bill; or using a PC as a telescope, have students learn about the topographical features of Earth and other planets; or create a timeline of scientific experiments; or using Microsoft Excel, have students learn about geometry by analyzing and creating rectangular designs. It goes on and on.

http://www.microsoft.com/Education/en-us/teachers/how-to/Pages/index.aspx - Product How To's: "Get organized! Learn how to use Microsoft software in the classroom with tips and tricks for some of your most frequently used applications, like Microsoft PowerPoint, Word, OneNote, and Excel."

http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/guides/pages/index.aspx - Check out the teacher guides for some exciting tools! All for free? You bet!

http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/Pages/technical_educators.aspx - Teaching computer skills? Check out these fun resources.

http://www.microsoft.com/education/en-us/teachers/Pages/templates.aspx - And who doesn't like templates? These are school templates. We've used them for calendars, certificates, resumes, flyers, and budgets. But there are so many more. A template is an easy way to get started on a project. Students fill it in and then learn to create it themselves. If you want to select from a list of all MS templates, go to http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/templates/?CTT=97 and scroll through the entire page and click away.

http://www.microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/citizenship/giving/programs/up/digitalliteracy/default.mspx - You'll need Internet Explorer to have you or your students take these courses."Whether you are new to computing or have some experience, this curriculum will help you develop a fundamental understanding of computers. The courses help you learn the essential skills to begin computing with confidence, be more productive at home and at work, stay safe online, use technology to complement your lifestyle, and consider careers where you can put your skills to work."

Computer Tips and Tricks

Image Capture - Have you ever seen something on your screen that you would love to capture and feel that you can't? I am primarily a Mac user, but I keep my PC beside me. On my Mac, I use CaptureMe software to grab what I need. On a PC, you have a keyboard option. At the top of your keyboard, top row, third from the right, you'll see a key called Prnt Scrn, for Print Screen. When you see something you want to save as an image, get it on your screen. Press Prnt Scrn. You won't hear anything, but pressing that key copies everything you see on your whole screen onto the clipboard. Now go to Word or any other application of your choice, like PowerPoint or Excel, and simply Paste (Control+V). Bingo. The image will paste right into your program. Now you can enlarge it, crop it, and edit to your heart's content. Of course, if it's text that you want, and the screen allows you to highlight text, do so. Then copy/paste the text into Word or another program. What if you just want to capture the part of your screen that shows the active window? Press ALT+PRNT SCRN to capture an image of just the active window, instead of the entire screen. If you want to review uses for other keys, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Using-your-keyboard for a quick overview.

Function Keys - If you want to start using all Function Keys on the top row of your keyboard, review the use for each at http://www.computerhope.com/issues/ch000306.htm.

Find - Finally, I use Control+F (Find) all of the time both on my Mac and my PCs. That combination will open a "search" box where you can enter any text that you want to locate. It is an great tool for finding specific items in very long documents both online and offline. The box shows up at different places, depending on where you are. Online, it shows up at the bottom left of your screen. In Acrobat or editable files, you'll find it at the top right. The Find/Replace option in Word and other MS applications, is also very useful! Go to Edit-> Find, and choose an option from there. For example, if someone sends me an article to edit or print, I might want to remove all of the double spaces after periods to match current practices. In the Find box, I enter a period followed by two spaces (._ _ ). Then I go to Replace, which often opens with the Find command, and enter a period followed by only one space (._ ). I select Replace All, and it's a done deal. Or I've had people tell me that that the name I used for their agency is incorrect. I'll use the Find/Replace option the same way. The old name goes in the Find, the new name in the Replace All, and all corrections are made for me.



(You might want to post these on a wall for students to interpret! Encourage them to develop their critical-thinking skills. Post riddles and other puzzles on walls, too.)

What phrases do the images represent?

1. operate

2. grave

3. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries?

4. You throw away the outside and cook the inside. Then you eat the outside and throw away the inside. What did you eat?

5. I am weightless, but you can see me. Put me in a bucket, and I'll make it lighter. What am I?



May your holidays keep you and your students smiling into the new year!

happy holidays

Send us your ideas, contributions, and requests! We want to meet your "tech-knowledgy" needs! Use the Contact information below.