Marshall Adult Education


December 15, 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

  • 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.  ALL Classes will resume on January 2nd; If you are planning to be on vacation, you will need to find a sub for your class.

2.  Effective January 1, 2007, there will be a change in the fees associated with GED testing administered by the Marshall GED Test Center.  Fees will be as follows:


·         Total fee for testing all 5 subtests is $ 90.00

·         Agency payment is $ 90.00

·         Student payment is $ 70.00 with MN GED paying $ 20.00

·         Retests are $ 15.00

·         Partial tests are $ 15.00 per subtest for transfer students


3.  Time Sheets - The time sheets for December 1st - 15th, are due December 18th.  Remember, time sheets may also be emailed or faxed




4.  Consider sharing your expertise and resources with fellow colleagues from around the state at the annual English as a Second Language, Bilingual, and Migrant Education Conference on May 3-4, 2007, at the RiverCentre in St. Paul, Minnesota.  Submit a presentation proposal by January 26 at: 
For additional information, contact:  Leigh Schleicher, Minnesota Department of Education. ELL Education Specialist, phone 651-582-8326  fax 651-582-8727, web:



5.  IBM MN is pleased to announce that  Marshall ABE has been selected to participate in IBM's Reading Companion grant program.  Congratulations!  The Marshall ABE is in great company with more than 180 schools and nonprofit organizations around the world that are part of this $2 million IBM grant initiative.   The Reading Companion program is the web version of the IBM Adult Literacy Reading Recognition grant program of which Marshall ABE was a participant.  This exciting new program will present the Reading Recognition series of stories over the web.  You can read more about the Reading Recognition program here.  This new grant is the same program except that it is now offered on-line.


6.  Barry Shaffer has sent us information Verizon Literacy Foundation website.  There are some very neat resources at this website.  Check out Barry's suggestions and read what is available at the website here.
7.  From Jenny Schlukebier, Technology Services Manager, Minnesota Literacy Council
Dear Minnesota ABE Educators,
     We need your help to better understand educator use of educational technology as well as feedback from students about their access to and desire to learn through educational technology. We will use the information we gather to develop appropriate professional development efforts in the areas of educational technology.
     We are asking you and your students to complete a short survey (either online or on paper).  Surveys take less than 5 minutes to complete online and can be easily accessed through this website  Initial participants in this survey report that it is a great classroom exercise with your students!
     Surveys can also be distributed in print form to teachers or presented to students in the classroom and then faxed or mailed to us at the Minnesota Literacy Council (see contact info below). Forms can be printed out from the above website or we can mail you printed forms with return envelopes upon request.
     Once you have taken the survey, you can view survey results online. This can help you in determining how you’d like to integrate educational technology into your ABE curriculum and how to develop additional teacher training for your programs.
     Thank you for contributing to the development of curriculum and training for ABE programs in Minnesota.

NOTE:  This survey is still available online.  This survey is available for students or staff.  To date, 3 educators from Marshall that have taken the survey and 6 students from Marshall have taken the survey.  How do I know that?  You can also see which ABEs are participating in the survey and read the results of the surveys - the student survey and the educator survey - they are very interesting.  This would be a great project for your students to complete.  And a great way for educators to give some input into technology.  And it is an anonymous survey.  Go for it!  CC

8.  From Barry Shaffer:

Dear Discussion Group Participants:
     Please hold the date of Friday, January 19th for our American Indian ABE Discussion Group meeting. The meeting will be in St. Cloud – probably at the Holiday Inn on Division St., but we haven't confirmed that yet.  When we do I will send a notice with directions.
     The meeting will begin at 10:00 am and end by 3:30 pm.  Lunch will be provided as well as mileage costs connected to the meeting. 

     As an fyi, I have 26 individuals on my discussion list – an excellent representation from those ABE consortia that serve American Indian ABE students.
     If you know now that you won't be able to attend, please let me know – so, regrets only.  Otherwise I will include you in the meal count.


9.  Be sure you check out the research briefs sent to us from Bella Hanson.  We receive a new one each week.  This week it is on Program Participation and Self-Directed Learning to Improve Basic Skills.




10.  Western Community Action recruiting volunteers to be trained to provide Income Tax preparation assistance.  Read more about this here (PDF File).



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

12.  Do you use AVG antivirus software (from Grisoft).  It is a free antivirus software that does an excellent job protecting your computer form viruses.  Now there were some questions about whether AVG will remain free because people have been getting popups that it will no longer be free as of January, 2007.  Not True!  It will remain free.  So why the popups?  Well, like any good commercial company, they want to sell you their commercial version of the software.  You can buy it if you want, but the free version offers as much antivirus protection as you will ever need.  There is, however, a new version of AVG Antivirus software - Version 7.5.  Grisoft will no longer support the older versions.  So if you are using this excellent software, do get the updated version - and it will still be free.   If you want the update, or if you don't have virus protection, get the AVG software FREE at 


13.  Windows Vista is almost here!.  Windows Vista is the long anticipated PC operating system.  If you buy a computer after January 30, you will get Windows Vista installed on your computer.  So...want to learn more about this new operating system?  My friend, David Pogue, has an excellent article and review of Windows vista - read it - and then go buy your new computer! 

See a picture of me and "my friend," David Pogue taken at MacWorld last year.



14.  From the Trivia Department:   Still one more shopping site - 9 days before ChristmasMy Simon is a comparison shopping site.  You search for a product and they will list stores and their prices for that product.  It's similar to the site   Give it a whirl!

15.  Thought for the week:  Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.  ~Jonathan Kozol


16.  Tech Tip:  Bookmark Your Favorite Websites


The Favorites Menu in Internet Explorer is a great way to save and organize webpages.  The most common way to add a website to your Favorites Menu is to click on Favorites in the menu bar and click on Add to Favorites


The problem with working with the Favorites Menu is that it gets it gets bloated with websites.  Of course, you can organize your websites by creating folders.  But, then your Favorites menu gets bloated with folders.


I have dozens of folders, and dozens of folders in folders, and dozens of folders in folders in folders.  And then there are all the websites that I didn’t want to take the time to place in a folder and they are just sitting there in the root directory (that means they aren’t in any folder).  And then when I want to find a website I have bookmarked some months earlier, it takes me hours looking through all those folders trying to find it,


OK – there are some other neat ways to bookmark websites than using the cumbersome Favorites Menu.  The Links Bar is a great way to bookmark websites that you use frequently (or even not so frequently).  The Links Bar is built into Internet Explorer.  If you aren’t using the Links bar, you should be.  It will revolutionize your usage of the internet.  I have written a Tech Tip on how to set up the Links Bar and use it.  Read this Tech Tip here:


Another way to save a website for quick and easy access is to save a shortcut to the website on your desktop.  There are actually 3 different ways to do this.


Way #1

Go to the website in Internet Explorer and right-click on the website in any empty part of the page.  A popup menu will appear.  Click on Create Shortcut.  The short cut to the website will be created on the desktop - complete with a neat little custom icon if the website developer created one.  Whenever you want to visit that website, just double-click on the icon on your Desktop.


Way #2

Another way to add a website to your desktop is to simply right-click on the Desktop in an empty area.  A popup menu will appear.  Point to New and then click on Shortcut.  Now type the URL (the website address) in the blank.  (Example:  Click on Finish.  You can change the name from the generic name, New Internet Shortcut, to the actual name of the website.


Way #3

And still another way to create a shortcut to a website on your Desktop is to use the Drag and Drop method.  Go to the website and make the Internet Explorer window smaller by clicking on the Restore button (the one next to the red X in the upper right-hand corner).  You need to see part of the Desktop behind the Explorer window.  Click on the icon in the Address Bar next to the word Address and drag it to the Desktop.  A shortcut to the website will be created on the website.


You can create a folder on the Desktop and put your favorite links in that folder for easy access.  Try creating some shortcuts on your Desktop for quick an easy access to some of your favorite websites.



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.




Back to Announcements Page

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

E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education