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Science

     Table of Contents

Program Title

Publisher

Rating

Instructional Area

Operating System

Software        

GEDonline

Diversfield Comp. Ser.

1.9

Science/Writing/ Reading/ Social Studies and Math

Windows

Plato CyberEd

Cyber Ed.

3.4

Biology/Chemistry

Window

Macintosh

GED 2002 Teaching Strategies

Steck-Vaughn

4

Social Studies/Science Writing/Reading/Math

Windows

Macintosh

Inspiration

Inspiration Software

4

Reading/Science/Social Studies

Windows

New Brunswick Comm. College

New Brunswick Community College

3.3

Math/Reading/Writing/Social Studies/Science/Language

Windows

Internet Sites

 

 

 

 

Steck –Vaughn GED Practice.com

Steck-Vaughn

3

Science

Internet

LongTerm Ecological Research

Susan Crowles

4

Science /Reading

Internet

GED Pre-testing

4tests.com

2.6

Science

Internet

Natural History Museum Dino Dir.

The Natural Museum

4

Science/Reading

Internet

EBSCO learn

EBSCO

3.3

Science/Reading/Social Studies

Internet

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Program Title

GED Pre-Testing

Publisher

4tests.com        http://www.4tests.com

Subject

Science

Level

Intermediate ABE

Program features

Provides performance feedback for students by giving sample questions related to the GED test.

Computer Requirements

IE or Netscape Navigator Browser.

Price

Free

Overall Rating

2.6  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

0

Affordability

4

Content

1

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

Average

2.6

Description of Content:   Sample test questions based on actual GED test.  Test questions seem quite appropriate and applicable to current GED standards.  If students are unsure of a question, they can mark it for review.  

Navigation and Structure:    Navigation is simple.  Negligible computer skills needed for this review.  You must register at this site and although registration is easy, you will compromise your privacy with a barrage of cookies and disclosure of personal information. 

Instructional Applications:   Adult Education/GED

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Program Title

Natural History Museum Dino Directory

Publisher

The Natural History Museum  

http://flood.nhm.ac.uk/cgi-bin/dino

Subject

Reading and Science

Level

Low ABE – GED

Program features

The Home Page has the six different time periods of dinosaur existence and each time period allows the user investigate the dinosaurs that ruled the world for that period of time.

Computer Requirements

Any computer with access to the Internet

Price

Free

Overall Rating

4  Excellent

 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

0

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

4

 

Description of Content:    The Natural History Museum Dino Directory is a link that is a part of the Natural History Museum.  There are a number of links available for a number of scientific explorations including the Museum Dino Directory.  The Education and Technology links provide materials, and programs that utilize the museum’s resources to connect people of all ages with “real” science.  There is also a specific link for Adult education.  The activities generated for learners is not free, but there is a snail address for purchasing them. 

Navigation and Structure:   Typical web site navigation in a well-structured layout that features several links to further scientific investigations.  Structured very well and is easy to use. 

Instructional Applications:   Excellent source for generating student interest in Reading, Science, Geography, and History.  The web site can be used for Internet projects and online research, with online activities to support the information. 

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Program Title

EBSCOlearn

Publisher

EBSCO Publishing  

Contact for Adult Literacy providers:

Kali Reynolds @ KReynolds@epnet.com

Subject

Reading in the Content Areas

Level

Low ABE - GED

Program features

Visual: Graphic illustrations in some of the reading activities

Kinesthetic/tactile and web activities via manipulation of keyboard and mouse

Computer Requirements

EBSCOhost's browser requirements:

If you are using Lynx the minimum browser requirement is Lynx 2.6 and you must use the no frames version of EBSCOhost.

Price

Yearly subscription fee for adult literacy providers = $295

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

3

Content

3

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

3.3

Description of Content:   EBSCOlearn is an online service that students may access via the Internet.  The Online Reader is a reading comprehension program designed to improve students' standardized test scores.  This program uses a variety of magazine articles, each accompanied by a test, to help students demonstrate literal or initial understanding, interpret passages, apply critical analysis, and utilize reading strategies.  Teachers assign topics based on grade level and content area. 

The EBSCOlearn package provides 3,600 reading assignments from all curriculum areas.  These assignments come from the Learning Online Package!  The articles are from outstanding resources:  News and World Report, Ranger Rick, Scientific American, Biography, and National Wildlife.  The product is a great way to provide teaching across the curriculum. 

Besides the EBSCOlearn package, the service also offers The Curriculum Reference Product Line.   This database gives a teacher access to over 38,300 articles in numerous areas:  Civics Collection, 7,500 full text articles; Earth & Space Science Database, over 7,700 full text articles; Language Arts Collection, over 6,100 full text articles; Physical Science Collection, over 7,000 full text articles; and World History Database, over 9,200 full text articles.  It appears that these articles are not ones that are assigned via Internet, but they can be accessed by the teacher, printed, and used in class.  It is a library at your fingertips.   

Navigation and Structure:  Teachers access the Internet via a teacher management site.  There they may search the database for articles based on specific grade level or content area.  Students may then, in turn, access these assignments via the Internet at school, home, the library, or even the South Pole!  A step-by-step sheet of directions needs to be provided to the student for easy access.  Tech support has been good since the service is interested in getting feedback from adult literacy personnel. 

Instructional Applications:   Although the lexile range is from 250 to 1300 (grade level 1 to 12), it appears that most articles begin at 520 (level 3) and above.  This program is a great way to introduce students to the Internet.  Students may work in pairs or individually if they are in the classroom.   Many ESL students enjoy the product because the Internet is the way in which they communicate with those in their homeland, so some are quite comfortable with it.  Once again the product engages the student in many forms of learning.  They become much more active learners.   

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Program Title

http://www.steck-vaughn.com

Publisher

STECK-VAUGHN

Subject

SCIENCE

Level

GED

Program features

Bookmark

Computer Requirements

Internet Explorer 4.0 or higher OR

Netscape Navigator 3.0

Price

Free

Overall Rating

3  Good

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

User Friendly

2.5

Interesting Interface

2.5

Ease of loading software

0

Affordability

4

Content

3

Age appropriate

3

Sound

0

Average

3

Description of Content:   This on-line program has between 15 to 18 questions per content area, so the Science section has the four content areas of biology, physics, chemistry, and earth science.  The questions within the content areas require the thinking skills of comprehension, application, analysis, and evaluation and are reflective of a typical pre or post-test. 

Navigation and Structure:   Navigation of the site was somewhat frustrating in that you had to answer a question, check your answer, go to summary and then go back in order to answer another question.  Sometimes you could go to answer a question after simply checking it, but this was not the norm.  The on-screen help of checking the answers is valuable, and the explanations were at a level appropriate to the skills level of the student. 

Instructional Applications:   This site could be used with students who are at the tail end of their studies.   It would be good for students who like answering questions that are reflective of GED content and knowledge and who like getting immediate feedback.  It could be used to reinforce prior knowledge of a student and to improve self-confidence at the end of their studies if they have mastered a subject.  

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Program Title

GEDonline

Publisher

Diversified Computer Services www.gedonline.org

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 modem

  • 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

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

Long-Term Ecological Research Project at Palmer Station Antarctic

Publisher

Susan Cowles www.literacynet.org/polar/pop/html/home.html

Subject

Science, Reading

Level

GED

Program features

Web site is well marked and features several links

Computer Requirements

Any computer with access to the Internet

Price

Free

Overall Rating

4  Excellent

 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

0

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

0

Average

4

Description of Content:    The question to the project that Susan Cowles is doing: “What is the role of air-borne organic pollutants in Antarctic coastal seas?"  She is a part of the Palmer Long-Term Ecological Research project.  The research project is investigating the effects of sea-ice changes on the Antarctic marine ecosystem.  If you want to find out more about this subject you can go to the web site, “POP Goes Antarctica?”

 

Navigation and Structure:    Typical web site navigation in a well structured layout that features several links to her journals, lesson plans, electronic field trips, and pictures of people from previous expeditions to the research station.    

Instructional applications:    Excellent source for generating student interest of the Antarctic.  The web site can be used for internet projects and online research information. 

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Program Title

CyberEd Biology & Chemistry

Publisher

CyberEd Inc, a Plato Learning Company

Subject

Biology & Chemistry

Level

GED

Program features

Interactive CDRom, Audio, Tests

Computer Requirements

Win 95/Mac, Pentium, 16MB avail mem, CDRom, Audio

Price

$400 per work station

Overall Rating

3.4  Good

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

User Friendly

3

Interesting Interface

4

Ease of loading software

3

Affordability

3

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

3

Average

3.4

 

Description of Content:    This software is designed for secondary and beginning college level Biology and Chemistry subjects.  There are two and three dimensional graphics, photographs, audio narratives, and interactive lessons that provide hands on learning and instant feedback.  There are pre and post tests, interactive lessons, a glossary, sound on/off option, and a “Jump” button – this shows an outline version of the lessons and allows the user to “jump” to any lesson in the outline.  The lessons are very in-depth and cover the main topics of the most popular biology and chemistry textbooks. 

Navigation and Structure:   This program is very easy to navigate.  Students can enter where they left off or they can use the “jump” function and start anywhere in the program outline.  The demo program reviewed did not specify if there was a management system, if the teacher could modify the lessons or if the teacher had to use the outline given.  

Instructional Applications:   This program would be ideal for high school programs and some college courses.  The program is really in-depth and may be too detailed for GED applications.  Some GED students may not have the time for such an in-depth study of one subject area and might prefer a more generalized study of the sciences.  

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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

 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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Program Title

Inspiration

Publisher

Inspiration Software

Subject

Reading, Science and Social Studies

Level

Beginning Literacy – High Adult

Program features

Inspiration is ideal for use in language arts, science and social studies, or anytime your students need to structure research or other thought processes.

Computer Requirements

Windows 95,98,NT, 2000, XP/8 MB RAM/20MB hard drive space for all components/CD ROM/ Not necessary but recommended: Windows compatible printer and Browser

Price

$69

Overall Rating

4   Excellent

 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

4

Affordability

4

Content

4

Age appropriate

4

Sound

4

Average

4

Description of Content:     Content includes providing visual aid for students to Brainstorm, Plan, Organize, Outline, Pre-write, Diagram, Concept Mapping and Webbing.  The Content Covers many areas for students however helps give structure and organization for projects. 

Navigation and Structure:    Inspiration has made navigation simple.  The student can either start with an idea and diagram it down to focus on key points or the program will help the student brainstorm ideas starting simple with a subject such as vacation.  It can also show relations to other ideas.  The program makes the concepts visual to the student helping them put their thoughts together and produce essays and book reports with ease.  This is a great program. 

Instructional Applications:    This program would be great at providing instructional help for students.  I think that many times good ideas and concepts get lost in the process.  This is one of the best learning and organizing pieces of software. 

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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

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.

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