Marshall Adult Education


October 7, 2005
1.  I want to thank all my co-workers for the great 3 years I have spent working with you here at Marshall ABE.  You are the best - there are none better!  As you know, I am moving on to take a job with SMAHC (Southwest Arts and Humanities Council.  Most of you know my 2 loves are the arts (I was a music teacher for 31 years) and technology (I have been involved in educational technology for 21 of those 31 years).  So I move on to this new challenge.  I am not moving far though - I will continue to work on the ABE website and send you these announcements.  I may not see you as much, so from time to time, send me a note - let me know how things are going with you.  I'll really miss this place, Charles.

2.  The Human Rights Commission, W.R.A.P. and others are bringing in a speaker on domestic abuse awareness next week.  Next Wednesday, Oct. 12 at 7:00 pm in the sanctuary of Christ United Presbyterian Church in Marshall retired Ramsey County judge, Mary Louise Klas is doing a presentation on domestic abuse awareness.  Hot cider and cookies served afterwards. Sponsored by the Marshall Human Rights Commission, W.R.A.P. and others.  Cheryl


3.  The Marshall Consortium Fall Staff Meeting is on Saturday, October 8th.  An agenda has been posted on the website.  Click on the link below.




4.  The Minnesota Literacy Council is offering some educational technology professional development opportunities in October.  Descriptions, dates and times can be found on the MLC website.   

CEUs are available.

5.  Are you interested in the use of phonics in the ABE/ESL classroom?  There is a small group of teachers which is planning to do some action research (practitioner research) on the use of phonics in the classroom with literacy-level, low-literacy level, and/or low-level adult ESL learners.  If you are interested in being part of this group and doing this type of research in your classroom, please contact Andrea Poulos at, or 612-871-6350, ext 11.    Please forward this message to anyone else who might be interested.  ~Andrea Poulos


6.  The Office of Refuge Resettlement (ORR) has sent a letter for circulation among the refugee network regarding the Avian Flu.  Click on the link below to read the letter.

7.  There are now 7 lending sites with useful materials that may be borrowed by districts near the sites. These lending sites have large print and taped GED practice tests, large print and talking calculators, hand held magnifiers and a CCTV to enlarge text in a classroom.  The lending sites also have a wonderful short film entitled "What To Do If You Meet a Blind Person." I also have 2 braille copies of the TABE which you may borrow from St. Paul by contacting me at The lending sites and contacts are:
   •  Duluth: Beth Tamminen
   •  Alexandria: Katy Mohabir
   •  Rochester: Julie Nigon
   •  Minneapolis: Mary Lou Williams
   •  St. Paul: Betty Roth
   •  Robbinsdale: Lori Leininger
   •  Grand Forkes: Ellen Anton or Carol Gregerson

If you or your staff would like any assistence serving a blind or vision impaired learner and have not been able to obtain help through State Services for the Blind or Vision Loss Resources, please feel free to e-mail me and I will work with you to assure that the learner is served. Or you may call me at 651-290-4729.   ~ Betty Roth
8.  The 4th Annual Hmong Resource Fair is on Saturday, October 22, 2005, 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at Arlington Senior High School 1495 Rice Street, St. Paul, MN 55117

You may download a flyer in English or in Hmong - use the links below
English Version:
Hmong Version:

9.  Reminder for those who haven't registered for Follow the Dollars:  A guided tour through the state’s budget process is coming to Redwood Falls on October 12.  Information about this opportunity is on the website. Click on the link below.
10.  The non-confidential job postings that Job Service shares with us are posted on the ABE Website each week.  Check them out here.

11.  From the Trivia Department:  Yahoo has a great TV listings site. Just put in your Zip Code, choose your cable provider and check out the evening's programming.

12.  Thought for the week:   Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet. ~Roger Miller
13.  TECH TIP:  Improve Your Computer’s Performance – Part 2

Is your computer running sluggishly lately?  Here is part 2 -  tips on how to improve your computer’s performance.  Here are the next five tips - most are free – some will cost you a few bucks.


6.  Update Your Operating System Regularly

If you use Microsoft’s operating system (Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, etc), you should regularly get the free updates that are available for your computer.  These updates, sometimes called patches, help seal security leaks that can put your computer in danger of getting a virus.  You can update your computer by going to the Windows Update website.


You can also set your computer to automatically check for updates on a schedule that you specify. (Start -> Settings -> Control Panels -> Automatic Updates)


Here’s an article that tells you that you can get a virus in an unpatched computer in just 18 minutes.


And here is a neat video that shows just exactly how it works - how you get a virus in an unpatched computer.  You need QuickTime to watch this video.


7.  Don’t upgrade if you don’t have to.

Every software company comes out with upgrades for their software.  The problem is, the upgrades always require more memory and more hard drive space.  Do a little research – find out if the upgrades have significant improvements to justify the increased memory and space requirements.  Here’s an example:  Microsoft Office 2002 (sometimes called Microsoft Office XP) is a significant improvement over Microsoft Office 2000 – go for it.  Microsoft Office 2003 is not a significant improvement over Office 2002.  There is no reason to upgrade to this version for the average consumer.  I’ve used both – I wouldn’t upgrade.


8.  Reduce the Size of Your Temporary Files in Internet Explorer

Every time you visit a website, everything on that webpage – text and graphics, is saved (stored) on your hard drive.  Your computer allots 10% of your hard drive space by default to temporary internet files.  If you have a 40GB hard drive, that’s 400 MB of temp files that may be stored on your hard drive.  (80 GB hard drive – 800 MB)  Wow!  Your poor CPU has to keep up with all these files – index them and maintain them.  So here’s what to do.  First, dump those temp files you currently have on your hard drive.  Second, reduce the amount of space your computer allots to internet temp files.  Here’s how:


Step 1

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click on the Tools menu
  3. Click on Internet Options
  4. Click on the General tab
  5. Click on Delete Files
  6. Click on Delete all offline content
  7. Click OK
  8. If you have never done this before, go get a cup of coffee, read a book, and call you mother.  It’s going take a while to dump 400 MB of temp files.

Step 2

  1. Click on the Settings button (it’s right next to the Delete Files button).
  2. Set the “amount of disk space to use” to around 30 MB (drag the slide to the left or just type it in the box).  A little more or less won’t hurt.
  3. Click OK
  4. Click OK again.

That’s it – you freed up your computer from a load of pretty useless files.


(Here’s a trick – you can get to that Internet Options window by clicking on Start, then Settings, then Control Panel, then click on Internet Options – this is a cool tip for dial-up people).


9.  Use anti-virus software

You wouldn’t dare run your computer without antivirus software – would you?  I didn’t think so.   I like Norton Antivirus.  If you are into FREE, Grisoft AVG is excellent.  Without antivirus software, the average surfer will very quickly pick up a virus, spyware, adware, or other malware.  It doesn’t do you any good to have antivirus software and not update your virus definitions.  You should update at least weekly. 


10.  Trivial enhancements

Ah, those cute screen savers and wallpapers that change hourly or cute little cursors – they eat up your system resources and slow down your computer to do the real tasks that you need to do. So does that Weather Bug that sits in the Startup items of your taskbar.  I did a Google search for “free cursors” and came up with 231,000 websites.  Yes – there’s lots of tempting fun things to do.  Weigh those cool enhancements against improving system performance – which one will you choose?


OK – that’s it – get your computer running at peak efficiency so you have more time to do drink coffee and read books – and call your mother!



That's it for this week!





Marshall ABE Links


Southwest ABE - home page for Granite Falls, Jackson, Marshall, and Worthington consortiums.


Marshall ABE Bookmarks - tons of cool bookmarks - educational and non-educational


Tech Tips - Read new and old Tech Tips here.


Reading Skills for Today's Adults - new stories posted regularly


Announcements - Weekly announcements are posted here each week on Friday.

Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046


E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education