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Writing

   Table of Contents

   

Program Title

Publisher

Rating

Instructional Area

Computer Requirements

Education 4 Kids  

Web-based

Education 4 Kids

3.5

Math, Social Studies, Writing, Science

Windows 95, 98, or 2000

Guide to Grammar & Writing  

Web-based

Capital Community College

4.0

Writing

Windows 98 or MacOS 9.0 or higher, Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF viewer

The Writer by Keyboard Instructor  

Software

AKT – Advanced Keyboard Tech. Inc.

3.3

Computer, Writing, ESL

Unk

U of R Writer’s Web  

Web-based

University of Richmond

3.0

Writing

Internet,

Windows 95, 98, or 2000,

Internet Explorer

Writing Process Workshop Bundle  

Software

Siboney Learning Group

3.5

Writing

Windows 95, Windows 98

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Program Title

Education 4 Kids

Publisher

Education 4 Kids 

http://www.edu4kids.com/math/ and NetQuest.net

Subject Math, English, Science, Social Studies
Level ABE 101 to GED
Program features

Immediate feedback on answers

Choice of complexity, number size, scoring, and timer

Computer Requirements

Internet connection

56k modem

Windows 95, 98, 2000

Internet Explorer

Price Free (donations welcomed)
Overall Rating 3.7

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

User Friendly 3.5
Interesting Interface 3.0
Ease of loading software 0
Affordability 4
Content 4
Age appropriate 4
Sound 0
   
Average 3.7

 

Description of Content

This website is designed to assist students in developing their math, social studies, and science and language skills.  The content is presented in drill games, so the knowledge that is being taught is very concrete and specific.  It offers everything from an alphabet drill to the table of elements to United States presidents to math flashcards.

 

Navigation and Structure

This is an easy site to navigate with a very simple structure.  Site is not juvenile.

 

Instructional Applications

This site is a good resource for instructors who have students who need develop their math, social studies, science and language skills and knowledge.  It is a very simple site, so students could easily use it on their own or outside of class time to develop their skills.  In addition, instructors will quickly be able to ascertain its applicability to individual students.

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Program Title

Guide to Grammar & Writing

Publisher

Capital Community College 

http://www.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar

Subject

Writing, ESL

Level

ABE

Program features

PowerPoint Presentations

Self-grading Quizzes

On-screen help

Index

Computer Requirements

Internet connection

56k modem

Internet Explorer or Netscape Navigator 6.0+

Java-enabled browser

Windows 98 or higher, or MacOS 9.0 or higher

Screen resolution set at 1024 X 768

266 MHz Pentium or equivalent processor

16-bit Sound Card

Speakers or Headphones

Adobe Acrobat 4.0 PDF Viewer

Price

Free

Overall Rating

4.0

 

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

 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

 

 

Average

4.0

 

Description of Content

This website is designed to assist college level students and staff in understanding grammar and the principles of composition.  It provides detailed explanations and examples of the complexities of the English language.  In addition, in provides PowerPoint presentations of the general conventions of the English language, as well as interactive self-grading quizzes.

 

Navigation and Structure

It is exceptionally easy to navigate and users can exit at any point.  There is on-screen help as well as links to additional instructional materials in each of the subject areas

 

Instructional Applications

This site is an excellent resource and tool for any ABE or ESL instructor teaching principles of composition or grammar.  It is simple and straightforward and provides excellent explanations, materials, and tools that instructors can use.

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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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Program Title

University of Richmond Writer’s Web

Publisher

University of Richmond Writer’s Web http://writing.richmond.edu/writing/wweb.html

Subject

Writing process stages

Level

GED

Program features

Rough drafts, brainstorming and peer editing suggestions

Computer Requirements

Internet connection

56k modem

Windows 95, 98, 2000

Internet Explorer

Price

Free

Overall Rating

3.5

 

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

 

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

2.5

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

 

 

Average

3.5

 

Description of Content

This website is designed to assist college level students in gaining knowledge of the writing process.  It provides rather complex explanations and overviews of the steps involved in writing an essay.  It also endeavors to simplify the complexities of English language usage and style. 

 

Navigation and Structure

It is easy to navigate.  

 

Instructional Applications

This site is a good resource for instructors who are new to teaching the writing process or who have exceptionally high-level English students who are interested in continuing into college and are interested in greatly expanding their knowledge of the writing process in different subject areas.  Although the content is rather complex, the writers have tried to simplify it.  This web-site sight may be a useful tool for instructors to use with their students.

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Program Title

Writing Process Workshop Bundle

Publisher

Siboney Learning Group 

http://www.siboneylearninggroup.com

Subject

Writing

Level

Adult - Intermediate

Program features

Instructional Writing Bundle (4 modules)

Computer Requirements

  • Windows 95/98

  • Pentium 200 MHz or higher

  • 4 MB of free RAM

  • Color monitor (set at 256 colors)

  • CD-ROM drive

  • Printer (optional)
    (Also compatible with Macintosh)

Price

Contact Dealer 800-351-1404

Overall Rating

3.5

 

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

 

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

0

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

3

 

 

Average

3.5

 

Description of Content

The program contains 4 modules that have to be installed separately.  The workshop shortcuts are placed in Start\Programs\Educational Activities.  Each of the modules has lessons and practices based on the lessons. 

 

They are:

Navigation and Structure

The installation can be run from D:\WPW\SETUP.EXE.  After the programs have been installed, each module runs separately from the others with most of it running from the CD (unless the CD contents are copied to the hard drive first and the software set up from there). 

 

The screens show friendly characters that make the view a little more fun.  Each module runs lessons from “Skills” and gives hands-on practice in the “Workshops.”  The instructions are easy to follow and the text files can be saved to a folder on the C: drive or to a floppy.  

 

Instructional Applications

To provide a basic introduction in writing skills to help students communicate efficiently.  It provides exercises to improve logical thinking and persuasive writing.

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