Jaime Friesen-Pankratz on Out & About in the World of Computers

OUT & ABOUT IN THE WORLD OF COMPUTERS“When I first saw the ALTA Publishers Out & About Computer Book series on a local adult learning centre’s webpage, I was excited about the potential that the resource might have for my beginner computer literacy class. I promptly downloaded the free instructor’s manual available online, and was extremely impressed by the depth of the content and the way that the resource was organized. I proceeded to order Out & About in the World of Computers and I can honestly say that it is, hands down, the best resource I have ever purchased for my class!

Before I purchased the Out & About book, planning for my beginner computer class (comprised of adult literacy learners with ESL needs, aged 22 to 52) was an extremely time-consuming process. Each week I would scour the Internet, and other text-based resources, searching for ideas and plans which I would later have to alter and adjust to fit the context of my class. Now that I have Out & About (which comes with an astounding succinct, FREE, downloadable teacher’s guide) those days are over!

The Out & About Computer Book is extremely well organized and easy for learners to follow. It covers all of the main topics needed for beginning computer learners, all the while keeping their language needs at the forefront. The format of each unit is structured in such a way that learners are constantly given the opportunity to review the skills they are learning without it appearing redundant. New material is introduced slowly with ample pictures to guide low literacy adults through a series of steps which may otherwise be confusing if only text was provided. I also appreciate the speaking, listening, and writing practice that learners are given through the assignments. This allows learners to partake in authentic tasks and to see how the computer has real-life applications.

Most exciting is how impressed and excited my students are about Out & About! Gone are the days of hearing my name shouted out frantically throughout the room as learners try and navigate the lesson! Because they find the instructions so easy to follow they now have the confidence to take risks with the computer and succeed in the process. The other day as I was circulating through a now quiet room (except for the clicking of keyboards) I heard a learner whisper to her neighbour, “I just love this book!” When I asked the learners for verbal feedback on the book they all chimed in about how much they loved it. When I asked them what they liked about it, the number one response was “because we can follow the instructions!”

Along with my obvious excitement about the Out & About resource, I am also very impressed with the service that I have received from ALTA Publishers. When I had trouble accessing the web site needed for Unit 4 of the book I wrote to the publisher through their contact link and received an immediate response. The response I received was not only extremely quick, but courteous and thoughtful as well. I was told in the emailed response (on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015) that the publisher was working to get the web site up and running again, and that it should be ready next week. Thus, I was beyond impressed when I check on the site last night (Sunday, Feb. 8) and found that it was now working. In a world where electronic communication makes promises easy to make (and hard to keep), I am heartened by the sincerity and integrity of ALTA Publishers. Thank you for your amazing publication and for your astounding customer service. I will continue to check your web site for other publications that might be useful in our classroom, and will whole-heartedly recommend your company to my colleagues.”


Jamie Friesen-Pankratz

Adult Literacy Facilitator. Pembina Valley Language and Education for Adults.

2-295 Perry Street. Winkler, Manitoba R6W 4A6 Canada

Email: jaimezambruce@hotmail.com

  • Posted by Hugo Loyola
  • on February 9, 2015
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  1. Amy Hemmert Reply

    Hi Jaime,

    Thanks so much for your glowing endorsement! When you write a book and send it out into the world, you do wonder from time to time whether people are using it and, if so, what they (and their students) think about it. Well, you’ve certainly answered those questions! Thanks so much for your kind words and for taking the time to write. It really means a lot to us! Just out of curiosity, is your program using the other components in the Out and About series, or are you using the book on its own?


  2. Hugo Loyola Reply

    Dear Jaime, thank you so much for the positive customer testimonial. Receiving feedback like this, is the fuel that drives us to keep moving forward. We really appreciate it.

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