Marshall Adult Education


November 10, 2006


These announcements are posted on the internet.  If you do not receive them or cannot open the links, go to the website and read the announcements on-line.



1.  Office Notes -
  • 11-23&24-2006:  Thanksgiving Break - The office will be closed and there will be NO classes.
  • 12-25 to 29 - 2006:  Christmas Break - No Classes - The office will be closed only on the 25th. 
  • 1-1-2007 - New Year's Day - The office will be closed & no classes.  Classes will resume on January 2nd


2.  Time Sheets - The next payroll will cover November 1st to November 15th.  Time sheets are due by noon on Thursday, November 16th.  Be sure that you are submitting time sheets on the 1st and 15th schedule.  DO NOT hold on to your hours for an entire month.  Remember, you can submit time sheets via email and by fax.  Our fax number is 507-537-7047.


3.  Workforce is doing a training on November 27th from 9-12.   Training will be on how to use computer to get information that helps apply job market info to job development and career counseling.  If you have an interest in attending, please let me know.   ~Pat


4.  Here is a list of Allan Zimmerman CD's we have available from our office for your use.   These CD's can be used for CEU's.  Just let us know if you want one of CD's and we will get it out to you.   Click on the link below.  Pat


5.  Posted on the website is a chart that identifies the targeted goals for Level changes and the actual attained for each level for years 2003-2006.  It also gives the targets set for 2007.  Let me know if you have any questions regarding this. Pat

6.  Consortium Staff Meeting - The Fall Consortium Staff Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 14th.  The meal will begin at 4:30 p.m. with the meeting agenda to begin at 5:00 p.m.  We expect that all of the business will be completed by 8:00 p.m.  Click on the link below to download an agenda for the meeting (Acrobat Reader Format - PDF).

7.  CASAS & Exits - I have the October attendance  entered into the data system and hope to be hand out instructions on exiting students for the first quarter at the staff meeting on November 14th.  Please be sure to stay on top of your CASAS testing so when this time comes you will be able to give level change information/and entry level information.
8.  FYI - From GED Examiner Training - It appears a new test series will be out in 2011:)


9.  Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year Award - Presented by the National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and Toyota.  The Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year Award is given to educators who demonstrate exemplary efforts to help parents and children achieve their academic and non-academic goals.

     - The 2007 Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year will receive a $5,000 award for his/her program, courtesy of Toyota. He/she also will receive a trip to the 16th Annual National Conference on Family Literacy in Orlando, Florida, March 2007, where he/she will be recognized as the "Toyota Family Literacy Teacher of the Year."

     - Several finalists also will be selected and will receive free registration to the 16th Annual National Conference on Family Literacy plus hotel and travel expenses.


Download the nomination guidelines at and submit your nomination by December 1, 2006, to:

National Center for Family Literacy
Attn: TOY
325 West Main Street, Suite 300
Louisville, KY 40202-4237




10.  Southwest Minnesota State University invites you to be our guest for an informative video conference November 15.  Spirituality and Religion in the Workplace:   Creating a Compatible Environment for Spiritual and Religious Values and Practices.  Details are on the available on the RCDC website (Regional Cultural Diversity Coalition).


11. Here are details on a Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) workshop coming to our area on Wednesday, December 6.  "Follow the Federal Dollars - A guided tour through the Federal budget process" will take place at Bremer Bank, Marshall, lower level conference room;  12:30 - 3:30 p.m.  The workshop will be led by Steve Francisco, Federal Policy Director for the Minnesota Budget Project of MCN.  Registration can be made directly to MCN - $35 members/ $50 nonmembers, and includes lunch.  Click on the link below to download more information.

12.  From Lois Schmidt - Several of you received this notice via University of MN Extension list; so you're in the know about this upcoming program;  I want to send it out also to inform others as well.  See attached news release on the Tuesday, November 14 Community Networking Program.  Lynn Schultz from Schwan's University will be presenting:  "It's About Time....Management."  The program will be at Schwan's University; 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m.  WELCOME!


13.  If you've missed an announcement from a previous week, you can always find it on the Announcements page.  All announcements are archived at:

14.  From the Trivia Department:   Looking for a way to view and edit your digital photos.  Well, You could spring 400 bucks and buy Photoshop or you can download the FREEWARE program IrfanView.  It's a great FREE program that works with just about any image format.  Check it out here and download it for FREE.
15.  Thought for the week:  Knowledge advances by steps and not by leaps  ~Thomas Macaulay

16.  Tech Tip:  Steps to protecting your computer, Step 4  Protection Against Malware 

We are on Step 4 – Protecting your computer – and we will deal with such tantalizing topics like spyware, adware, hijackers, toolbars, and dialers.  We have a word for these things – it is malware


First a brief description of the above mentioned malware.

Spyware - Software that sends information about your Web surfing habits to its Web site. Spyware is often installed without the user’s knowledge or explicit permission in combination with a free download.



Adware - a slightly less malicious form of Spyware which usually displays unwanted pop-up advertisements.



Hijackers - Homepage hijack is a term describing one's homepage being changed without one's will and despite attempts to change it back, it's some strange website.



Toolbars - Toolbars are applications installed into a user's Internet browser. Under most circumstances Toolbars are not hidden from plain view. Toolbars are often installed to augment the capabilities of a Internet browsing software. Toolbars are offered by many legitimate companies for harmless reasons; often allowing easier or faster access to content. This may take the form of offering such things as a search box, or perhaps buttons allowing access to oft-visited websites. Toolbars can however be used to cause undesired browser behavior. Some Toolbars work with Adware (see description for Adware above.) Still others, like BHOs, may re-direct search results, or send personally identifying data or user browsing habits to a third party.



Dialers - A dialer is a type of software used by pornographic vendors. Once dialer software is downloaded the user is disconnected from their modem's usual Internet service provider and another phone number and the user is billed. While dialers do not spy on users they are malevolent in nature because they can cause huge financial harm to the victim.



And finally…


Malware - "Malware" is short for 'malicious software' and is usually used as a catch-all term to refer to any software which causes damage to a single computer, server, or computer network.



You can read more about malware here.


So, how do you get this malicious software installed on your computer?  You get it primarily by clicking on ads – banner ads, pop-up ads, and enticing ads telling you that you just won a million dollars.  You are unlikely to get malicious software if you are at a reputable site and click on an ad – like CNN or WCCO.  But if you are randomly surfing and you are at a site you are not familiar with, DO NOT click on any ads.  The same goes for email – do not click on any links in an email unless you are positive it is a legitimate link.


You can also install malicious software sometimes by downloading and installing shareware or freeware software.  Do not download any freeware unless you are sure it is reputable.  Check it out before you download it.


OK – you are saying, “Won’t my antivirus software take care of these malware programs?”


In a word, NO!  Antivirus protection has largely ignored the types of malware mentioned above.  You need to attack malware with a different set of tools.  And there are many FREE and low cost tools.  As you look at these various anti-malware programs, keep in mind that one program is not necessarily better than another.  They are all different and what one will do, another may not be able to do – and vice versa.  So you may want to consider using several of these tools to help keep your computer clean of malware.


Windows Defender – Microsoft has there own FREE program that will help protect your computer from a variety of malware.  It is excellent software and it provides “Real-Time Protection,” a monitoring system that works quietly in the background.  Go to the Microsoft website and read more about it and download it here.


SpywareBlaster – This FREE program that does not run in the background.  You simply click on it once a week or so and it will scan your computer and clean up any malware you have contracted.


2 venerable FREE programs have been around for a long time still do an effective job in keeping or ridding your computer from malware.  They are:



SpyBot S&D (Search and Destroy)


WinPatrol – There is a FREE version of this program and a commercial version (around 30 bucks) which offers even more options and protection.  Again, this is an excellent program.  If you want to get a bit more protection, including protection for your startup items tray (the lower right hand corner of your screen), it’s probably worth the 30 bucks.


One last program that is not really a malware fighter in the strict sense of the word, but it is a very cool program – and it is FREE,

StartupMonitor.  This program does what was mentioned above – protects your system tray from have needless startup files from being installed.  It’s neat – I wish I’d had it before I installed my printing software, my Reader software, my QuickTime software – and a  ton of other stuff I have installed that automatically installed the startup icon in the system tray.  Read more about it here.


One last thing – most of the programs mentioned above require you to run the program periodically – every week of more often if you wish, to scan your computer for malware.  It doesn’t take long to scan your computer and it will help your computer stay protect from malicious software.


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.


Back to Announcements Page

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

E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education