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Program Title

Publisher
Rating

Instructional Area

Computer Requirements

Community Corner  

Web-based

Computers for Youth

3.0

Life Skills, Computer

Internet Browser

Technology & Internet Assessment

Web-based

H & H Publishing

3.0

Computer Skills Assessment

Multimedia PC, 200 MHz or higher, printer, Internet

The Writer by Keyboard Instructor  

Software

AKT 

 Advanced Keyboard Tech. Inc.

3.3

Computer, Writing, ESL

Contact Dealer

 

 

Program Title

Community Corner

Publisher

 

http://www.communitycorner.org [English version]
http://www.communitycorner.org/indexSP.html [Spanish version]

Sponsored by Computers for Youth (CFY), a New York City organization that provides inner-city students and teachers with fully equipped home computers and training in how to use the computers effectively.

Subject

Computer, Life Skills

Level

Computer literate and internet savvy, must have reading skills at least at 6 to 8 level

Program features

Site is one place which connects user to a variety of other sites

Original site in both English and Spanish

Computer Requirements

Internet Browser (no specific browser is recommended)

Price

No cost other than access to internet

Overall Rating

3.0

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent)

User Friendly

2

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

3

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

 

 

Average

3

Description of Content

Community Corner is a bilingual site that highlights online content relevant to low-income, ethnically diverse populations of youth and families.  The site has carefully-chosen links and information that connect people to community, education and employment-related resources that can benefit the whole family.  In addition to links, each section of the site has a related featured interview.  The site is fully accessible in both English and Spanish.

 

Navigation and Structure

The Community Corner site consists of eight categories:  Money Center, Tech Support Center, Community, Health Center, Job Center, Safety, Playground, And School.  Each category provides several links to other Internet sites that are related.

 

Instructional Applications

This site may be a good one for students to access as a family.  The layout at first may be somewhat confusing because the user does not know what the site is really about until he/she has begun surfing.  Too much time may be wasted in trying to get the big picture of the site.  An overview would help plus a search selection that is specific just to this site.   

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Program Title

Technology and Internet Assessment

Publisher

H & H Publishing Company

http://www.hhpublishing.com/_assessments/TIA/index.html

Subject

Computer Skills Assessment

Level

Beginner to Intermediate level

Program features

A Web-based test to assess computer literacy level

Computer Requirements

A multimedia PC (MPC) with a Pentium processor: 200 MHz or higher, A printer, Internet Access

Price

 

1-99 Quantity = $3.00/each
Note: $4.50 shipping charge for Web TIA Instructions.

Overall Rating

3.0

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent)

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

2

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

 

 

Average

3.0

 Description of Content

The Technology and Internet Assessment (TIA) is a Web administered self-assessment of computer literacy skills.  The TIA is designed to determine strengths and weaknesses related to a basic understanding of computer, Internet, and information technology skills.  The TIA focuses on eight areas that may present barriers for individuals:

 

Use of Technology

Specific Computer Skills

Acquisition of Technical Knowledge

Basic Internet Knowledge

Internet Information Skills

Adapting to Technological change

Impact of Technology

Ethics in Technology

 

Navigation and Structure

The test is accessed through the Web.  It is given in survey-type format and the answer to each question is chosen from a drop-down menu.  Printable results are given right after the test is submitted and includes a line chart.  The pre/post test feature allows instructors and administrators to compare results and raw data.  Data may be requested from H & H Publishing for statistical purposes.

Instructional Applications

To evaluate computer literacy levels.

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Program Title

The Writer (portable word processor) by Keyboard Instructor

Publisher

 

AKT - Advanced Keyboard Technologies, Inc. http://www.keyboardinstructor.com

Subject

Computer, ESL, Writing

Level

Basic Keyboarding, GED Grammar

Program features

Keyboarding: 116 preprogrammed lessons, pre-set or customized WPM and Accuracy benchmarks, Technique Builder™ Home row and Shift Key reinforcement, Individualized Progress Report on Lesson Scores, Assessment Scores, and Technique Scores, and Power-skin overlay to prevent “peeking” at keys.
Writing: 16 personal Writing Folders, On-board Thesaurus, Spell Check, and the "Good Writing Checklist"
help students develop strong self-editing habits and skills.

Price

Individual unit $189.00 each.  Call AKT for more pricing.

Overall Rating

3.3

 Evaluation Scale (scale 0 = not applicable, 1= not recommended, 2 = fair, 3 = good and 4 = excellent) 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

3

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

Average

3.3

Description of Content

The Writer has been developed for those programs that may have limited computer lab space or for those who want to provide a take-home device on which students may practice their keyboarding.  The basic philosophy of this company is that keyboarding is a 21st century literacy skill, one according to studies that should be mastered by 3rd or 4th grade.  By using portables such as The Writer, then computer labs are freed up “for higher level application.”

 

AKT recommends that with a minimum of 4 days per week in 15-30 minute sessions, students may complete the keyboarding program within six to eight weeks, depending, of course, on the age and ability of the students.  Although the program minimizes teacher preparation and record keeping, the classroom instructor does need to “be engaged instructionally.”  Before students begin the program, they need to be instructed in the foundation of posture and technique.  The publisher states the following:  “The classroom teacher needn’t be an accomplished keyboardist.  Basic posture, positioning and technique are easy to understand, to teach and to monitor.  We recommend for those teachers who are not touch typists that they learn along with their students.”

 

Navigation and Structure

The reviewer of this tool was not a keyboarding instructor, but if the instructor is comfortable with computers, then the design and set-up of The Writer is easy and user friendly.  Access to the device was easily done by using the basic Preview Guide – a definite plus.

 

Instructional Applications

Although The Writer is marketed for elementary and middle school, it can be a great tool in small, rural ABE programs that may have limited resources.  Students can use The Writer to learn keyboarding while being able to use the computers for reading, math, social studies, and science instruction via other software or the Internet.  ESL students would enjoy building vocabulary by using the thesaurus.

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