Math

   Table of Contents

Program Title Publisher Rating Instructional Area Operating System
Software Programs
Mastering Math Queue, Inc. 3.5 Math Macintosh
Cognitive Tutor Carnegie Learning 3.6 Math Windows

GEDonline

Diversfield Co.. Service

1.9

Science/Writing/ Reading/ Social Studies and Math

Windows

GED 2002 Teaching Strategies Steck-Vaughn 4

Social Studies/Science

Writing/Reading/Math

Windows

Macintosh

Plato Plato Learning Inc. 2.9 Reading/Writing/Math/Social Studies/ESL Windows
New Brunswick Community College New Brunswick Community College 3.3 Math/Reading/Writing/Social Studies/Science/Language Windows
Internet Sites 
Plato on-line Plato Learning Inc. 3.1 Reading/Writing/Math/Social Studies/ESL Internet 

Math Nerds

www.mathnerds.com

Internet Site 3.2 Math Internet

Math Max

http://www.mathmax.com

Bittner 3.8 Math Internet

Set Game

http://setgame.com

Set Enterprise 3.3

Math/ Spelling/

Vocabulary

Internet

Info Please

www.infoplease.com/homework

Internet Site

4

Math/English/Geography/
History
Internet

 

Program Title

Mastering Math

Publisher

Queue, Inc

Subject

Math

Level

Intermediate ABE - GED

Program features

Help screen – printable lesson results

Computer Requirements

Macintosh:                                 Windows:

   030 CPU 25 MHz or better        386 @ 33Mhz

   4 MB RAM                                8 MB RAM                                 

   256-color monitor                      256 Color Display

   2X CD-ROM                              2X CD-ROM

   System 7.x or higher          Printer (Optional)

Price

$145 Stand Alone - $435 Lab/5

Overall Rating

3.5  Good

 

 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

4

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

3.5

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Description of Content:    Mastering Math is an interactive instructional, practice and drill tutorial. This program includes: fraction, percent, decimal, and algebra word problems (grade 3-8); sports problems for the sports fans; business math for remedial readers entering the business world; the metric system; everyday life skill problems; powers, ratios, scientific notation and other topics. Even though the program lacks colored visuals, it does use a variety of different questions and answer format to maintain interest.

Navigation and Structure:    It is easy to navigate through the program in any order; however, it is suggested that students work through the levels sequentially. Students are given immediate feedback after each problem, hints and an opportunity to try again if in error, and a summary at the end of a lesson. A student can exit a lesson at any time. One weakness of the program is the lack of a management system, which makes it difficult to track the lessons and scores. 

Instructional Applications:    A teacher in an ABE classroom will find this program very useful as a tool for instruction, practice and drill. The Survival Math component is very good for helping students gain confidence in performing everyday tasks that require practical life skills. Mastering Math is designed for independent use and provides for student self-evaluation through the scoring of each lesson. 

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Program Title        

Mathnerds Website http://www.mathnerds.com

Publisher

Internet Site

Subject

Mathematics

Level

Low Adult – High Adult 

Program Features

Access 24/7

Archive of Frequently Ask Questions

Best of Question Section

24 Hour Response Time

Free Service

Computer Requirements

Internet Access

Price

Free

Overall Rating

3.2   Good

 

 Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

1

Ease of loading

4

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age Appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

3.2

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Description of Content:   Users can log on to this free website and ask questions on a variety of math problems from basic math to Calculus III.  Responses are given by experts from industrial and academic careers around the world that provide the student with the means to figure the math dilemma out for themselves.  They do not do the homework for the student.  A reply is usually given in about 24 hours.

This free website is a good tool for the student who needs a little extra guidance.   This site gives students suggestions that will help them find a solution to the math problem they are having troubles solving.

Navigation and Structure:   This website is quite self explanatory.   It contains links to a  message board that allows the student to see if their question may have already been answered.   A link to ask their question, and a resource page with links to other websites that may offer help or guidance. 

Instructional  Applications:    Instructors can offer this website to students who may want additional assistance to complete a math problem. 

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Program title

Cognitive Tutor

Publisher

Carnegie Learning

Subject

Introductory college mathematics

Level

Low and High Adult

Program features

Graphical interface

Student management

Teacher resources

Computer Requirements

Win: Win 98 or better,350MHz, 64Ram, 20x CD, sound card

Mac: G3, OS9 or better, 350MHz, 64Ram

Price

Price varies, call  888-851-7094

Overall Rating

3.6   Excellent

Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

?

Interesting Interface

3

Ease of loading software

?

Affordability

0

Content

4

Age appropriate

3.5

Sound

4

Average

3.6

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Description of Content:   Combines Worked examples, open-ended projects, discussion questions, reference materials and problem sets.  Focuses on problem solving and discussion.

This package would be good for the instructor who wants a complete package or system for teaching introductory college math.  It is probably less adaptable to an existing math instruction program. 

Navigation and Structure:  Couldn’t tell from demo

Instructional Applications:   Introductory college mathematic 

Note: This evaluation is based on review of a demo CD, not the actual software

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Program title

Math Max Web Site, http://www.mathmax.com

Publisher

Bittinger

Subject

Math

Level

Beginning ABE – High Adult

Program features

Web-based

Review sheets/Answers

Quizzes/Answers

Printed materials (if desired)

Computer Requirements

Internet

Price

Free

Overall Rating

3.8   Excellent

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

4

Content

3.9

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Navigation

3.5

Average

3.8

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Description of Content:

Provides support material for the Bittinger system of mathematics instruction, consisting of 8 books:

·          Basic mathematics

·          Introductory algebra

·          Intermediate algebra

·          Introductory and intermediate algebra

·          Fundamental mathematics

·          Prealgebra

·          Intermediate algebra, alternate version

·          Developmental mathematics

 

Navigation and Structure:   Click on any book to go to chapter reviews with answer sheets or chapter quizzes that are graded online. 

 

The Submit for grade button may be difficult to find if screen resolution is low (800x600) or less, because it is off to the side. 

Instructional Applications:   Excellent content regardless if using the accompanying books.

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Program title

 Setgame Web Site http://setgame.com

Publisher

Set Enterprises

Subject

Math, spelling, vocabulary

Level

Beginning ABE- High Adult

Program features

On-screen directions

Nice graphical interface

Computer Requirements

Internet access

Price

Free (although some software is commercially available through this site)

Overall Rating

3.3    Good

 

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

4

Content

2

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

3.3

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Description of Content:   This website offers daily puzzles for the games Set and Quiddler.

The object of the game Set is to identify "sets" of three cards, in which they either share varying attributes or are completely different.  SET is fun and easy to learn.  It has a simple point and click interface and variable degrees of challenge.  Each day there is a new puzzle posted at the web site.

Using special cards, Quiddler draws on the user’s ability to combine letters into words. Players must combine their entire hand into words trying to use the highest point value letters. Quiddler challenges you to do this first with three cards (round one), then with four, on up to ten cards in the last round. A bonus is given for both the longest word, and the most words made by a player in each round.  

Navigation and Structure:   Very simple to navigate.  No branching

Instructional Applications:   These are good exercises that combines math, spelling/vocabulary, problem solving, and pattern recognition.

 

Program Title        

Info Please http://www.infoplease.com/homework

Publisher

Internet Site

Subject

Math, English, Geography, History and weather

Level

Beginning Literacy - GED

Program Features

All in one reference site containing an Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Atlas, Almanac, and Searchable Database.  Contains a variety of tips from tips on searching to tips on study skills and listening and writing skills. 

Computer Requirements

Internet Access

Price

Free

Overall Rating

4   Excellent

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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

4

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age Appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

4

Description of Content:    This free website contains virtually any topic a student could possibly want.   It includes an Encyclopedia, Dictionary, Atlas, and an Almanac.   This site is an excellent resource tool that anyone can use.  It also contains other features like quizzes, crosswords, and a Frequently Asked Questions board. 

Navigation and Structure:     On the homepage, a student can choose from a host of options.  Topics like Maps can be found under the Atlas heading or U.S. History,  year by year, can be accessed through the Timelines section.  This site is very well planned out and provides the user with easy access to a variety of information.

Instructional  Applications:    Offering up to the minute information, instructors can offer this website to students who may want an additional resource for homework. 

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Program Title

GEDonline  www.gedonline.org

Publisher

Diversified Computer Services

Subject

GED 2002 training –Writing, Social, Studies, Science, Reading and Math

Level

Student needs to be computer literate and internet savvy or have access to someone who can help him/her install the program.

Program features

Drill and practice activities

Chat Room

Email

Computer Requirements

Software:  Windows 95, 98, 2000, ME, or NT; Internet Explorer 5.0 or above if using AOL access; Netscape Navigator 4.0 or above if accessing from other ISP; Web Player Plug-in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Hardware: No specs are given.  I would assume the minimum requirements for usage would be the following: Pentium I, 133 MHz,64 MB,56k mode

Previewing was done on a Pentium III 128 MB using Win 98

Price

Subscription rate:

·         $50 for 4 months

·         $10 per month for additional months

·         Practice test booklet PA $10

·         Practice test booklet PB $10

·         Practice test booklet PC $10

Overall Rating

1.9  Fair

 

Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

2

Interesting Interface

2

Ease of loading software

2

Affordability

2

Content

2

Age appropriate

2

Sound

1

Average

1.9

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Description of Content:  This online product is designed to give students practice before taking the GED tests.  It provides both an opportunity to practice for the tests and a diagnosis of how well a student might do on the tests.  Practice lessons provide little instruction and are brief.  The only feedback that is given in the language area if an error is made is, “No, the correct answer is #.”  No further instruction is given.  In order to have an essay scored, a student sends it by snail mail to the company for feedback.  The product does link to some interesting Internet sites in the Social Studies area but there are no questions.  The science area also does provide some visuals although there are times when one can go to a site and not be able to return by clicking the back arrow.  Comprehension questions range in number from two to ten depending upon the subject.  The reading area is limited in practice while the math area does appear to provide more instruction during a quiz.

Navigation and Structure:  Once the fee is paid, a student is mailed the GED online CD, username, password, and a set of Steck-Vaughn official GED practice tests.  The student then “takes” a GED practice test by inputting the answers online.  The test is then scored immediately and recommendations are made.  If a student does not do well, he/she is recommended to go to practice lessons based on the following categories:  comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis.  Navigation is not too difficult as long as a user has had some experience with Internet. 

Instructional Applications:  Higher-level students who want a real quick review and practice and who prefer using a computer should use this program.  Being comfortable using Internet is a must.  Visual effects can be very disconcerting for low-level readers.  Although the program says that there is a GED Chat room, this reviewer had difficulty accessing it, but when that was finally done, no one else was using it. 

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Program Title

Building Vocabulary Skills

Publisher

Queue

Subject

Vocabulary

Level

GED Level

Program features

Practice Vocabulary Computerized Tests

Computer Requirements

CD rom drive; Macintosh system 7.5 or higher

Price

$45; Lab pack of 5:  $135; Network:  $225

Overall Rating

2.2  Fair

 

Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

2

Interesting Interface

2

Ease of loading software

2

Affordability

3

Content

2

Age appropriate

2

Sound

0

Average

2.2

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Description of Content:    This program is designed to improve vocabulary skills and help students on standardized exams with vocabulary components.  It offers analogies, homonyms, antonyms, and synonyms.  The program reviews over 1,000 words and offers lessons on the fifty most frequently encountered prefixes and suffixes.  It also has a section on spelling.

Navigation and Structure:    This is an older program so it is slow but fairly easy to navigate from one menu to the next.   There is a report menu that students can access at any time to see how many correct they have and how much time they’ve spent on the program; however, there is no records management system on which to save scores.  There is a help menu available at all times and students can exit at any time.  Since this is an older program it does not have sound or graphics, so word pronunciation is not available.

Instructional Applications:    This program is suitable for students studying for NLN, ACT, SAT, or other tests which have a vocabulary component.  Though it has instructional parts, the level of reading is high school level so it would not be suitable for low-level readers.  Its most suitable application would be as a supplementary drill and practice for those needing a review of vocabulary skills for a standardized test.  The spelling component could be a supplement for a variety of students needing spelling rules review.  Because this program does not offer the graphic and sound extras, it may not appeal to students use to this type of presentation.  

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Program Title

Plato

Publisher

Plato Learning Inc.

Subject

Read, Write, Math, Social Studies, Life/Career, ESL

Level

Beginning Literacy – High Adult

Program features

Audio, Management system, Print rec, password, customize

Computer Requirements

Windows 95/98, Win NT 4.0/2000, CD-Rom

Price

Price varies, call 1-877-517-5280

Overall Rating

2.9   Good

 

Evaluation Scale

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

User Friendly

2

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

2

Affordability

2

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

2

Average

2.9

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Description of Content:    This software is designed to improve the knowledge and grade levels of students form K-Adult.  It covers a wide variety of subjects from ESL, Language, Math and Reading, to Social Studies, Science, Calculus, and Life and Career skills.  The program is knowledgeable and easy to read and use for the student.  There are tutorial sections that explain and apply basic concepts in addition to mastery tests.  If mastery tests are not passed, a new set of tutorial and mastery test questions are provided.

Navigation and Structure:    The structure is fairly easy for the learner to navigate.  The programs provide encouragement and “kudos” for success by literally placing gold stars by assignments successfully completed.  Both half and full shaded boxes are placed next to assignments to help students keep track of completed assignments.  Feedback and hints are provided immediately after each question in the assignment.

The management system is quite entailed and requires some study to implement.  Assignments can be as classes or individual and can be a whole curriculum or set-up as bits and pieces. The reports show current use, time on task, grades, and mastery levels. Programs can be designed based on TABE (and other) conversion scores to provide individualized study.

Instructional Applications:    This program can be used as a supplement for class instruction and is ideal for main study in a lab situation.  A program can be designed for each individual based on needs.  This is especially useful to an instructor with students at varying levels of proficiency.  This program is very conducive with students who prefer to use the computer.  This courseware will align with several standardized tests (i.e. TABE & others) so individual plans can be developed.

Notes of concern:

The beginning English curriculum has some assignments that are bothersome to students because the talking section is slow and they cannot move easily to the next screen.

The Trigonometry curriculum is not ideal for self-instruction, but would be good combined with class instruction.  

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Program Title

Plato - Online

Publisher

Plato Learning Inc. www.plato.com

Subject

Read, Write, Math, Social Studies, Life/Career, ESL

Level

Low ABE- College Prep.

Program features

Audio, Management system, Print rec, password, customize

Computer Requirements

Internet Access, Win 95/98/00, CD-ROM

Price

$300/per access computer, per year – existing customers

Overall Rating

3.1  Good

 

Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

2

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

2

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

2

Average

3.1

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Description of Content:   This program is designed the same as the Plato stand-alone and network systems, except you access the program through the Internet.  The software is designed to improve the knowledge and grade levels of students from K – Adult.  It covers a wide variety of subjects from ESL, Language, Math and Reading, to Social Studies, Science, Calculus, and Life and Career skills.  The program is knowledgeable and easy to read and use for the student.  There are tutorial sections that explain and apply basic concepts in addition to mastery tests.  If mastery tests are not passed, a new set of tutorial and mastery test questions are provided.

Navigation and Structure: The structure is fairly easy for the learner to navigate.  Assignments are chosen by the instructor and can be assigned as a class or individually.  Students would go through programs as they would regular Plato tutorial applications and mastery tests.  There is a status legend that lets students know if they have completed a section or if they have been locked out of a mastery test until they take the tutorial again.  The status legend also lets a student know if they have started a program or mastered it.  The status is located next to the assignments and is represented by an empty circle (not started), a half filled circle (in progress), a full circle (completed), a gold star (mastered), and a red lock (locked).

The management system is the same as for regular Plato. It is quite entailed and requires some study to implement. The reports show current use, time on task, grades, and mastery levels. Programs can be designed based on TABE (and other) conversion scores to provide individualized study.

Instructional Applications:   This program can be used as a supplement for class instruction and is ideal for main study in a lab situation.  A program can be designed for each individual based on needs.  This is especially useful to an instructor with students at varying levels of proficiency.  This program is very conducive with students who prefer to use the computer.  This courseware will align with several standardized tests (i.e. TABE & others) so individual plans can be developed.

Notes of concern:

The beginning English curriculum has some assignments that are bothersome to students because the talking section is slow and they cannot move easily to the next screen.

The Trigonometry curriculum is not ideal for self – instruction, but would be good combined with class instruction.

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Program Title

New Brunswick Community College - Saint John Distance Courses

Publisher

New Brunswick Community College  

www.saintjohn.nbcc.nb.ca

Subject

GED Preparation: Math, Reading, Writing, Science, Social Studies and Language

Level

Low and High Adult

Program features

Password security

Email help

Audio components

Video components

Print records mailed

Computer Requirements

Pentium II 266
56k modem
Windows 95, 98, 2000
Internet Explorer 5
Windows Media Player 6.4
Macromedia Flash Player 3
PowerPoint 97 or PowerPoint Viewer

Price

Cost for distance courses is per course and ranges from $25 – $60 for current courses. 

Overall Rating

3.3  Good

 

Evaluation Scale 

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

User Friendly

3.5

Interesting Interface

3.5

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

3

Content

3

Age appropriate

3.5

Sound

3

Average

3.3

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Description of Content:     This course gives an overview of the GED tests, some test-taking strategies, and the chance for students to evaluate their skills. Based on results of the Official GED Practice tests (which are sent out by mail), students discover approximately how they would score on the real tests and what things they need to study. This is only a preparation course. The course consists of 4 online lessons that introduce the various tests, online practice items, and the Official GED Practice tests.

Navigation and Structure:    It is easy to navigate and the feedback is appropriate.  The reading level of the directions is easily comprehended and assistance is available.

Instructional Applications:    This course is ideal for the self-motivated student who prefers to study and prepare at home in front of a computer rather than in a classroom setting.

Program Title

GED 2002 Teaching Strategies Online Course

Publisher

Steck-Vaughn  www.steck-vaughn.com

Subject

GED 2002  All Areas

Level

Low and High Adult GED

Program features

Visual – samples/charts

Auditory – video clips of experts giving advice

Kinesthetic-tactile – constant interaction with computer/tests and chat available

Computer Requirements

Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher Netscape is not supported
Windows 98 or higher
MacOS 9.0 or higher
Screen resolution 1024 X 768
266MHz or equivalent processor
16-bit Sound Card
Speakers or Headphones
Internet connection
Acrobat Reader 4.0 PDF Viewer
PC users: Windows Media Player
Mac users: QuickTime

Price

Subscription rate:

·          GED 2002 Teaching Strategies Online Course - Unlimited Access for 90 days     $60

·          GED 2002 Teaching Strategies Online Course - Unlimited Access for 180 days    $100

Overall Rating

4 excellent

 

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

User Friendly

4

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

4

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

4

Average

4

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Description of Content:   Steck-Vaughn has created this 16-hour online course to provide GED educators with key information, resources and teaching strategies to help them teach and prepare their students for the GED 2002 series of tests.  It includes an overview of the GED Tests, an explanation of the reason for changes, the history of the GED, and the changes made for the GED 2002.  The course then elaborates on all five tests specifically.  Finally, a section on “Teaching Across Content Areas” concludes the course.

Navigation and Structure:    Steck-Vaughn provides a very user friendly, professional product that may be ordered online.  Once the fee is paid, a teacher is emailed a registration notification with a user name and password.  The teacher works through a series of clearly explained activities, which involve excellent samples, video clips, and printable worksheets.  At the end of each unit, the teacher takes an online test to assess understanding.  Links are accessible to explanations for those who may need review.  Scheduled chats are also available plus the ability to email questions and share ideas.  Sections exist for note-taking and scheduling assignments.  Finally, the program provides a list of sites for more information, materials, new ideas for lesson plans, and GED test preparation.  The Help Desk offers a live person answering the telephone or email 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Questions answered by the Help Desk include technical questions about the software or about computers in general.

Instructional Applications:    This program is an excellent way to get ready to teach the GED 2002 whether one is a veteran GED teacher or a novice.  Teachers will find it a quick method for the following: Interpreting Visual Information; Decoding Edited American English; Demystifying Graphic Information; Teaching Higher Order Thinking Skills; Using the new 4-Point Essay Scoring Rubric

Even though it is good if the teacher is comfortable with the Internet, the course is so professionally done that there is little room for confusion. The GED 2002 Teaching Strategies Online Course is a great way to review and assess one’s knowledge.

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