The Beehive is an information resource provided by the One Economy Corporation, a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. The Beehive focuses on life events, and gives basic information on topics such as money, health, jobs, school and family. Some of the specific information is applicable only in the U.S., but there is a great deal of general information that could be useful to Canadian literacy practitioners and learners. Headings make it easy to select the subtopic of interest. The explanations are clear and use simple language, and there’s an option to make the screen text larger. Some sections have games and quizzes. The topics I have chosen to focus on are money and jobs.
The Money section provides elementary banking information such as how to get a chequing account and how to write cheques and use an ATM card. ATM machines can be intimidating, especially to those with literacy issues. There is an excellent demonstration, with step-by-step instructions accompanying each screen of a virtual ATM. Another topic is Budget Basics, where the user is able to create an on-screen budget. There are tips and advice, as well as instructions about what information to put in each box. When completed, the budget can be printed. There is detailed information about how to fill out tax forms, but some of the information wouldn’t apply to Canadian tax returns.
The Jobs section gives information on how to write an effective cover letter and resume. There are tips on how to have a good interview, how to provide references, and a sample thank-you letter. The section on Planning a Career is excellent. There is a link to a site called CareerKey, which has an online questionnaire. By identifying interests, abilities and personality traits, the user can see which types of jobs he or she would be suited for. Another link to CareerZone provides detailed information about many kinds of jobs.
of the variety of useful information which is presented in a well-organized
manner, the Beehive is definitely worth exploring as a literacy resource.
Teachers wanting to upgrade their computer skills in order to better integrate computer activities into their curriculum should investigate the online Professional Development material designed for Memphis City Schools. This site contains online computer modules utilizing software such as Windows, the Mac Operating System, Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the Internet. Instructors learn computer skills while completing computer tasks related directly or indirectly to the classroom environment. Instruction in the computer skills required to complete the tasks is available through links. This layout allows instructors to progress through the material sequentially or focus only on their weaknesses. Some of the modules make use of material from a third internet 4 Classrooms. This layout can make the sequence of the modules difficult to follow at times. Generally the material from both sites is simply written and contains lots of graphics, many of which could be used with learners. The modules are available to teachers as self-paced professional development activities. Each module comes with assessment forms that can be used to document achievement.
Canada Post website has potential to provide authentic Internet activities.
This site contains a variety of resources that could be used for practice
with writing addresses and basic math skills. The site includes a Postal
Outlet Guide and Postal Code Look-up and Rate Calculation tools. An
instructor could develop a short game in which learners must find the
postal codes for several addresses. Learners could use this information
to practise typing addresses correctly and submitting forms. Learners
could also measure envelopes and packages and then enter that information
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