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AMEP Research Centre

Untangling the Web

Untangling the Web
by Pat Hazell
Published by NSW AMES, 2006

This is a very welcome teaching and self-access resource to help learners understand the Internet and how to use it.  It is suitable for CSWE 2 to CSWE 3 learners who have good reading skills and basic computer skills.

The information presented has been carefully sequenced, with a good variety of activities designed to test comprehension. This, together with the answer key and comprehensive glossary of terms at the back of the book, makes Untangling the Web an effective self-access resource.

However, a significant drawback of a book about the Internet is that the detailed content so quickly becomes outdated. For example, in the section on applying for a free email account, the screen grab graphic used to show the learner how to open the Mail page on the Yahoo site looks completely different from the current (time of writing this review!) Yahoo page.  While the basic principles are unlikely to change, the fact that internet sites regularly change their appearance and even disappear from the Web will cause problems for the learner using this resource for unguided self-access.

The book will be more useful as a resource for teachers, providing them with a rich source of activities to use in the general classroom as well as the computer classroom.  The activities particularly relate to CSWE II and III reading and formatted text learning outcomes, although they are not specifically identified as such. Untangling the Web will also provide teachers with a model for creating their own customised activities relevant to their learners.

Reviewed by Anna Kingston, TAFE Tasmania (AMES, Hobart)