ActDEN at www.actden.com is a Canadian site with a wide range of online activities for all levels of learners. It
is a production of ACT3601/2 in Richmond, BC, and is provided through the Digital Education Network. The
site includes several 'DENS', each with a different focus, such as writing, math, news, graphics, tutorials,
quizzes, etc. Within each den there are lessons and activities for various stages of learning, while the Math and
News Den have a tracking feature to allow students to map their progress. Each den also has a Teacher's Guide,
for suggestions on use, activities and classroom projects. Users should register after entering the site to take
advantage of the tracking feature (registration is free). However, for a quick look at the site, or access without
tracking options, users can login by using the word "guest" as the login name and password, which allows entry
into all of the dens.
The WritingDEN offers a feature topic, and learners can choose modules with basic information with words and
explanations, or more challenging lessons with sentences or paragraphs. For those with RealAudio, there are
also sound clips to enhance the learning experience. This can be downloaded from the ActDEN site, but you
should do this first before trying to use the soundclips. After each lesson, there are quizzes to check
comprehension and retention. As well as the featured topic, there are a number of other topics ranging from
Canadian content to articles on health and safety or nature. Students can sign up to have a "Word-of-the-day"
emailed to them, and they can access the "Tips-o-matic" feature for tips on writing. There is a teacher's guide in
this 'den' for suggestions for use and lessons, and the students can make use of the "Speak Out" section to write
comments about the site.
The MathDEN offers lessons ranging from Stage One to Stage Four, with quizzes to determine the level of
comprehension and mastery. Other interesting activities include Math Tips, which teaches how to use basic
addition and multiplication tricks to improve math skills; Math on the Web, which has links to other math sites;
Math Quizzes, a series of logic problems and solutions; and Progress Report, a tracking feature which monitors
progress for registered students.
NewsDEN features local, national and international stories in its archives. Each story has an accompanying
map, a picture, a glossary of key words/ terms and a follow-up quiz. SkyDEN gives a basic introduction to the
universe, while SkillsDEN offers a primer for information technology. The site includes tutorials for using
email, the Internet, designing web pages using Front Page and putting on a show using PowerPoint. It is a
reliable and well-designed site with a variety of interesting lessons for different levels and learning styles, as
well as for Canadian content.