Friday, May 29, 2009

education quotes flicker group

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Literacy Tribune

The Literacy Tribune is a newsletter for learners.

It is from the US.
There is a new Literacy Tribune every two months.

It has information about health, finance, education, and technology.

It also has a learner’s story that will encourage and inform learners on their journey to improving their literacy skills.

Here is the Call for Writers -->
Click on the link to find out if you would like to write for the Literacy Tribune.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

learning zen

LearningZen is a free, web-based e-learning service. Users can freely study, educate and collaborate. This video demonstrates the basics of LearningZen.

The course editor looks similar to the one in Moodle. I am going to try and make a course soon and see if the "exam" can be a demonstration as required by LBS -- if only could figure out what such a demonstration might be :P

I'll let you know how my experiment goes. Let us all know if you try any course making at LearningZen or anywhere else.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Resource to Review: Vocabgrabber

I just got this message from Ben Zimmer, executive producer of the Visual Thesaurus.
I wanted to tell you about a great new vocabulary tool that we just launched this week. It's called VocabGrabber, and it intelligently extracts key vocabulary from any text you're interested in, allowing you to sort, filter, and save the most relevant vocab words. We think it's a tremendous boon to teachers and students alike. Take a look at it here:
It looks pretty interesting. I had some fun trying it out.

It is not free*. I have not used this with students so cannot properly assess this resource. You can test it with students for a 14 day trial period. After that you have to pay $2.95 US a month or $19.95 US a year for individuals. There is a desktop edition that you can load on a computer and use without an internet connection that costs $39.95 US. There are site licenses available for schools.

If you try it out, let us know what you think and whether you would consider purchasing it for literacy students to use.

*Update: See Ben Zimmer's comment below. I am wrong. "VocabGrabber is being offered as a free resource from the Visual Thesaurus. Many additional benefits come with a subscription to the Visual Thesaurus, but VocabGrabber can be used without a subscription."

Monday, May 11, 2009

learning links website

Learning Links - Connecting Great Websites and Multimedia Activities to Learning

"Just point and click on Learning Links for terrific learning resources at your fingertips! Quickly and easily find interactive, printable activities on interesting topics without having to search through numerous sites: Multimedia resources, videos, puzzles, information, quizzes, interactive materials, references, lesson plans and games organized for easy use."

Friday, May 8, 2009

class blog

I was just reading through the Literacy Plus Spring newsletter and found their computer class blog linked. Thought it might interest you.
Terrie's computer students are getting experience navigating the Internet through “blogging” at the Eganville cyberclass blogspot. At the blog, students can try all kinds of activities. You can start by learning the elements of both an e-mail and an Internet address, how to read them aloud—and why it's important to get the details exactly right. You can learn how to build your family tree online, and invite friends and family to view and update your site.

In February, Terrie launched a Cyber Café in collaboration with two former students who are members of the Eganville Seniors Club. Other club members can log onto the site to post messages, use the links, and get help from Terrie if they need it. Students participated in a Valentine's Day Trivia Hunt and in the Movement for Canadian Literacy's Scavenger Hunt celebrating International Learners' Week.

Finally, the site has links to a number of interesting websites that will help you learn to type, improve your memory, start a business, create a book, and more.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

2.0 in NB

Wendell Dryden is
"a poet, painter, literacy worker, Star Trek TOS fan and older computer hobbiest living and writing in Saint John, New Brunswick."

He also publishes a beautiful blog about his literacy practice called qualities - communities - literacies. He describes his blog as
"me learning and sharing about supporting basic adult education and community literacies. If I'm stating the obvious, its because you already knew it, and I just figured it out."

I read Wendell's blog avidly. It is affirming and enlightening to read how another literacy worker greets the joys, questions and struggles of community work.

Wendell writes quite often about using computers with students. On Tuesday he wrote a post called Basic Adult Education 2.0 that I thought might interest you.

A short introduction to the concepts behind social networking websites. Shared on YouTube, dotSUB (translations) and TeacherTube. Need a transcript?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Remember those collaborative story games where one person starts a story and then passes it to the next person who adds the next bit. The group continues to pass the story from person to person, each one reading only the last entry and adding something new.

In the Frankenstory version you only get 40 words. You write the first part of a story. You send it on to your friend but they can only see the last few words you wrote. They write the next part in 40 words, send it back to you and you are done.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

sweet sweet math


"We've used regular sugar cubes (4 grams of sugar each) to show how the sugars in your favorite foods literally stack up, gram for gram. Compare foods, find out where sugar is hiding, and see how much of the sweet stuff you're really eating."

1 large apple (3.25"/223g - 10% waste)
Sugars, total: 23g
Calories, total: 132
Calories from sugar: 92

1 cup slices (109g)
Sugars, total: 11g
Calories, total: 57
Calories from sugar: 44

Mott's Applesauce (Sweetened)
1 cup (113g)
Sugars, total: 22g
Calories, total: 100
Calories from sugar: 88

Mott's Applesauce (Organic Unsweetened)
1 cup (113g)
Sugars, total: 211g
Calories, total: 50
Calories from sugar: 44

Monday, May 4, 2009

film shorts as text

From Bill Boyd @ the Literacy Advisor:

The short film is an ideal medium for developing the “traditional” literacies of reading, writing, talking and listening, a “short” film being a complete text lasting anything up to 30 minutes, but for our purposes ideally no more than ten or fifteen minutes, which means it can be shown two or three times in the course of a lesson if necessary. This is preferable to using an extract from a feature film as it doesn’t require an understanding of the whole work from which it has been taken, and there is a huge range of texts available, from animation to live action, fiction to documentary.

With a minimal understanding of the language of film, teachers can use short films to introduce and reinforce concepts related to reading and writing printed texts, such as narrative viewpoint, plot, characters and setting, as well as developing a greater understanding of the medium of film itself, the medium with which most of us engage most frequently. It is important to emphasise the similarities between printed and moving image texts, as well as the differences, since ultimately they are both about telling stories, and why we tell stories is arguably the reason for studying any kind of texts at all!

At the National Film Board site you can watch full-length NFB documentaries, animations and dramas online -