Marshall Adult Education


January 7, 2004
Hello Everyone,
These announcements are posted on the internet.  If you have trouble reading this email or cannot use the links, you may read them on the internet.
Here are the announcements.
1.  Consortium Staff Meeting - The meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 15th, starting at 9:00 a.m.  Please mark this on your calendars. RSVP (yes/no) no later than January 10th.  You may signup on the webpage here:
The Agenda is posted on the website:
BULLETIN:  Barry Shaffer, MN State ABE Director, will be attending this meeting along with Anne Marie Leland.
2.  Marshall  Staff - Looking ahead, the courthouse will be closed on Monday, January 17th - Martin Luther King Holiday.  There will be no classes in Marshall on that day.  Tuesday, the 18th is a workshop day at Marshall Public Schools - no school.  Teachers may hold or not hold classes at their discretion -- please advise the office as to what you are doing.
Also, remember that when you are sick or cancel/change class times for any reason, you must inform the office!!!  We often refer students to class -- if they come and class has been cancelled, they often are disappointed to say the least.
3.  Beginning Wednesday, January 12th, we will discontinue ESL classes in Tracy and begin them in Walnut Grove.   The location will be either at the Hmong center or History Room at the school building.   Classes will run Monday - Friday   8:30am to 11:30am.  Class hours may be expanded if this class is well attended.
4.  New Reading Skills stories have been posted on the Reading Skills page.  Use the link below, then click on the New Stories link near the top of the page.

5.  ABE/ESL professionals:

There are two opportunities to take part in an MLC On-line training session.  You can read about the opportunities at the link below.  If anyone is interested in doing either of these, I would be happy to help set you up a computer in the lab (or your own home computer).  These are unique opportunities to learn and share with fellow ABE/ESL professionals.  I have done several of these, including the 8 week on-line session - they are great - fun and informative.  Let me know if you are interested.  Charles

6.  The final report of the Building the New American Community initiative is now online at
This unique pilot project conducted in America’s small and medium-sized cities shows that broad-based community coalitions can proactively integrate the refugee and immigrant families who are increasingly transforming Main St., USA.  The report contains valuable project findings for policymakers, funders and organizations collectively approaching the challenge of helping newcomers adapt to their new communities and local communities welcome newcomers.
7.  The Bremer Update for Non-Profits is on-line.  Click on the link below.
8. The Student Lessons created with the MLC mini-grant have been completed.  Check them out at with your students and send me some feedback.
9.  The non-confidential job postings that Job Service shares with us are posted on the ABE Website each week.  Check them out here.

10.  TECH TIP – Alternate Web Browsers


The most common ways to get a virus or some other type of malicious software (malware), like adware, spyware, worms,  trojan horses, etc, is over the internet or through email.  And if you’ve contacted any of these malicious programs, you know the inconveniences you will experience, not to mention the expense if you have to take your computer to a technician to clean it up.


There is a lot of buzz about the insecurities of Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) and Microsoft Outlook Express which allow malware to infect your computer..  You no doubt have heard about this.  It’s gotten so bad that Penn State has recommended to its 80,000 students to stop using IE and use an alternative browser to surf the web.  Read this article:


There are many voices on the web warning of the dangers of using IE and Outlook Express.  Here’s one:


There are some alternatives to using IE and more safely browse the internet.  I will mention a few good ones here.


Mozilla Firefox and Mozilla are probably the best alternatives to IE. 


Firefox is a web browser similar to IE.  It is just a web browser. 


Mozilla contains the web browser Firefox, but also has other features, including an email program called Thunderbird (similar to Outlook Express), an IRC Client (an Internet Relay Chat program – to chat on-line – gotta have that), and an HTML editor (used to create web pages).


Firefox is a excellent web browser.  The download is only around 4 MB.  The installation is easy and quick.  Occassionally, you may find a page that may have features that are unique to Internet Explorer and do not work properly in Firefox.  In these cases, you may need to download a Pluggin for the page to work properly – or just use IE for that page.  Try this browser out – you’ll like how it works.


Mozilla is around an 11 MB download.  It contains Firefox as well as several other features, including the excellent email program, Thunderbird.  I have not downloaded this yet but plan to – I’ll report on this when install it on my computer.  I would be particularly interested in the HTML Editor (to create web pages) as well as the email program.


Another alternative web browser that has a lot of people talking about is a program called Opera.  It also gets good reviews.  This program has a FREE version which displays ads, and also a commercial version which you purchase which eliminates the ads ($39). Read about Opera here.


And don’t forget about the venerable Netscape.  The new version (Version 7.2) is supposed to be excellent (as opposed to the late version 6.0 which was pathetic). Read about Netscape here:


Here’s some final tips: 

I use both Firefox and IE browsers.  When I go to my favorite sites that I know are secure, I use Internet Explorer.  When I surf the net randomly visiting sites I have no first-hand knowledge of, I use Firefox.  If I had young kids, I would probably ask them to use Firefox (like Penn State U).  I am still using Outlook Express – but I NEVER click on an unknown link in my emails and I NEVER open an attachment from someone I do not know.  I will try Thunderbird someday.


Here’s some links:


Download Firefox here


Download Thunderbird Here


Download Mozilla Suite here


On each of the pages above, you should check out the operating system and minimum hardware requirements.  Do that before you download any of the programs to make sure your computer is capable of running the software – particular if you have an older computer.  If you have a newer computer, you would definitely would be able to run all of the above


There are over 150 alternative browsers listed here if you want a comprehensive list.


Thought for the week:  Ask students for their opinions - often! Students are often told; they are seldom asked.  They'll feel good that you cared what they think, and you'll pick up some valuable insights and ideas in the process.

    -from the book 501 Tips for Teachers by Robert D. Ramsey, ED.D.


That’s it for now,  Happy Virus-Free browsing!




Marshall ABE Links


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


Adult Learning Center Student Website - lots of student activities here.


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


Tech Tips - Read new and old Tech Tips here.


Reading Skils 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