Marshall Adult Education


February 25, 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's the announcements:
1.  Time sheets are due in the office by noon on Monday, February 28th.
2.  Student Attendance Sheets, February intakes and CASAS information is due to Barb by Wednesday, March 2nd.
3.  Thanks to everyone who has returned their Exit information and Missing Data information. -Barb
4.  There are 3 computerized forms on the website that some of you may be interested in using (a new one has been added).  They are Client Progress Report Form, ABE Student Exit Form, and Assessment Information Form.  You can fill out these forms right on the computer using Word.  If you haven't used them, give them a try - they work pretty neat.
5.  A new set of stories has been posted on the Reading Skills for Today's Adults webpage.  Set 3 consists of 10 new stories.  You can download the stories here:
6.  ABE Needs Your Help!!!  The following statements are from the Multi-Cultural Educational Services website ( 
President Bush wants to cut funding for ABE by 66%.
This could be the end of ABE/ESL and GED classes in your state!
They have set up a couple of links that make it very easy for you to contact your congressman and senators to tell them of the urgency to support continued funding of Adult Basic Education.  It's easy to do.  (I have already done it!).  And it's critical that you do it!!!  Just click on the MCES website (below) and click on the link, "Click here to learn more, find contacts, and see sample messages."  Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see 2 links - one to your representative and one to your senators.  You do not have to know your district or their names or addresses - they will supply that information for you. 
Here is the MCES website:
There is a sample letter just above the 2 links that you can copy and paste into the form - use the sample letter or you can be creative and compose your own.  Copy the letter (drag over the letter to highlight it and press Ctrl-C) before you click on the links - then paste it in the form.  Fill out the rest of the information (name, address, etc...) and click on Submit.  What could be easier?
This email you are reading reaches over 70 people - some are directly involved in ABE and others are not.  But just imagine if each person who receives this sends an email to their representatives.  It will have a great impact on future legislation!  Please do it!
Barry Shaffer has forwarded some talking points from the National Adult Education Professional Development Consortium) related to the proposed federal cuts to ABE.  Click on the link below for more information and to read the talking points .
7.  The 2005 Technology in Adult Literacy Conference is on Friday, June 24th in St. Paul.  This conference is for all teachers, volunteers, librarians, community personnel, and administrators.  The program committee is seeking proposals for presentations.  If anyone is interested in presenting, click on the link below to read the Call for Presentations document.  More information for attendees will be forthcoming.  (I presented last year and will present again this year.  If you want more information about this conference, let me know).
8.  Award nominations for volunteers, learners, and community partners are being taken for the Minnesota Literacy Council Award Program.  Click here to read about the nominating process. 
9.  A presentation on immigration policies and procedures will take place on Friday, March 18 in  St. Paul.  Click on the link below to read about the presentation.
10.  A workshop about Advancing the Civil and Human rights of People with Disabilities and People from Diverse Cultures will take place on March 3, 2005.  You can read the brochure about the workshop here. This link is an Acrobat Reader (pdf) document.
11.  The non-confidential job postings that Job Service shares with us are posted on the ABE Website each week.  Check them out here.
12.  From the Trivia Department:  Anybody ever teach about conversion tables?  (I did a lesson on one - see: )
Well, here's a "Conversion Table for 2005" - it's humorous.
13.  Thought for the week:  Sandwich every bit of criticism between two layers of praise  -Mary Kay Ash
14.  TECH TIP:   All About CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs

How’s your CD-IQ?  No – it’s not a new kind of CD – just wondering if you know these facts about CDs, CD-Rs and CD-RWs.


1.  There is no significant difference between Music CDs and Data CDs.  Music CDs were created for stand-alone audio CD recorders (which practically no one has).   But when used with CD burners on a computer, Music CDs and Data CDs are exactly the same.


2.  Music CDs are more expensive than Data CDs – don’t buy them (unless you have a stand-alone audio CD recorder – or unless you have money to burn).


3.  The difference between CD-R (CD Recordable and CD-RW (CD Re-writable) is that you can completely erase a CD-RW and start over.  You have to have a CD-RW burner to use CD-RWs.


4.  Be Careful!  If you burn music or data on a CD-RW, you may not be able to read the information on other computers.  You won’t be able to play the music on regular CD players like boom boxes, etc.


5.  It takes 20 minutes to an hour to erase a CD-RW, depending on the speed of your drive and the speed of the CD - that’s a pain.  I have a CD-RW burner – I rarely use it.  CD-Rs are so cheap – about 25 cents each, that I just use those.


6.  You can erase a CD-RW at least 1000 times - that’s the industry benchmark.  But some CD-RW manufacturers claim you can erase them 100,000 times. 


7.  Most CDs hold from 650 to 700 MB – that’s 74 to 80 minutes of music.  You can also buy mini-CD-Rs that hold around 200 MB (some hold a little more, some hold a little less).   These mini-CDs are a great way to transport files or music because the mini-CD fits in your shirt pocket (right behind your pocket protector). 



8.  What’s the best brand to buy?  Well, only a handful of companies actually make CD-Rs and CD-RWs.  These companies then put brand name labels on them, like Maxell, Sony, Fuji, Memorex, etc. Sometimes a certain brand doesn’t work very with some burners.  So find a brand that works well with your burner and stick with it.  I use Fuji CD-Rs – I very rarely burn a bad CD.  I don’t use Memorex – I have a large failure rate with those CD-Rs.  Your burner is probably different than mine.


9.  You can use a CD-R just like a floppy.  That means, you can copy files to it many times – until you fill it up – 700 MB.  So everyday, you can add files to the CD-R.  You need special software to do this.  Usually this software comes with your CD burner or your computer.  I use a program called Direct CD by Roxio.  You can also erase individual files on a CD-R, but you can’t use those sectors (tracks) from the erased files over again.


10.  Burned CD-Rs supposedly last from 75 years to 200 years according to the CD manufacturers.  CD-RWs don’t last quite that long – they lose some of their lifespan every time they are re-written.


11.  CDs are sturdy.  But you need to handle them carefully.  And, you need to protect both sides of the CD.  On the bottom side - the “read” side, don’t get fingerprints, smudge marks, or dust on it.  Also don’t allow it to get scratched.  Using a soft lint-free clothe or tissue, gently wipe the CD from the center toward the outer edge in a straight line.  Do not wipe in a circular motion.  You can also use water or even mild soap.  Gently dab dry it with a lint free soft clothe


12.  Handle the top side – the label side – of the CD carefully also.  If you scratch it, the scratch could penetrate the very thin top layer and destroy the data right under it.  Use only soft felt tip markers to label a CD.  A Sharpie pen works well.  Use only good quality paper CD labels if you want to label your CD in that manner.  Never peel a label off a CD – you will surely peel off the top layer and destroy some of the data just under it.


A really cool site to find out how stuff works is

You can find out how just about anything works at this site.


This is the link to “How CDs Work.”


And this is the link to How CD Burners Work.”


Here are 2 sites that have more information than you can ever imagine about CD-R technology.


That's it for this week.


Have a great weekend!








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


E-Mail:Marshall Adult Education