Internet Connection, Hardware
The faster the better. Computer labs with T-1 connections will obviously have the best results, although using Sentence Sense over a phone line connection is possible. Cable modem or a DSL connection or at least a 56 kbps modem is recommended; a 28.8 connection can be frustratingly slow.
A 15-inch monitor is recommended. On monitors wider than fifteen inches, students may wish to modify the width of the browser's window to contain the top graphics of the Sentence Sense frame. At this time (fall 2000), neither a sound card nor a video display card is required for using Sentence Sense; this may change in later editions.
Sentence Sense was designed primarily on a Macintosh using a Netscape Navigator browser. It will work on all versions of Netscape Navigator 3.1 and later. It has been tested, also, on PC machines using Navigator 4.0 and Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 and later.
To print pages from Sentence Sense, use the Print icon or the Print option under the File menu. Where pages are divided into frames, you may have to click first somewhere within the frame you want to print (or the wrong frame might print). Printing sections of Sentence Sense, however, defeats one of the major purposes of putting the material online in the first placethe computer's ability to connect instantly (almost) with other parts of the text and with the computer's ability to provide immediate feedback on student responses. When a whole class is using Sentence Sense at the same time, printing out sections can be an enormous waste of paper and printer resources, and it is not educationally helpful. For review, students may find printing the Review and Practice pages adequate.
Usually a page from Sentence Sense will fit on a regular 8 1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper. Some pages with charts and tables, however, should be printed with a "landscape" orientation so they will fit. It is probably wise, also, to set your browser's "page setup" preferences so it will print backgrounds; otherwise, some of the reverse type and shaded areas will not show up properly in the printed document. Some pages with charts and tables will display a printing icon that will directly engage the printer dialog box.