David, Robert, et al:
An Assessment obviously is valuable, along the lines of what Robert wrote, but at the same time community based programs need a directory of model programs in all the adult literacy subject areas that people work on within the scope of these discussion groups.
In this respect, we could include a How To…on each and every program and problem.
The directory – or One Stop Shop – would also have to be multi-lingual to reach everyone.
To use Robert’s post as an example, I would recommend a few things immediately, depending on the population – Home language, age, level of education, etc. – and what types of programs are being run at this time – English literacy, ESL, Citizenship, GED, etc.
First, if there is no electricity or good Internet connection, then there are CDs, DVDs, and texts that can be used with a computer, including typing skills. These all can be loaned out just as a library book is loaned to patrons.
If there are no computers, then it is possible to start up a Refurbished Computer program.
In this case the local libraries and the non-profit educational agency can work together to write a grant to cover any expenses.
Smart phones – there are lots of programs and classes that can be accessed now via smart phones. Here the One Stop Shop would be very valuable.
Volunteer training – this is always a problem no matter where, and my own personal recommendation is to create classes that are based on student initiative, in which they form a 'buddy system' so that eventually some students emerge as tutors.
The information needed to support each of the above would be included in the One Stop Shop.
Basically someone from 'Program A' would contact a Liaison in the One Stop Shop to develop a plan and get appropriate assistance.
And a Community Based Group on these lists would serve as the main form of outreach and even recruitment.
In other words, there are many people in community groups working on adult education programs but are not part of or even cognizant of the work done here. We could find ways to generate their interest so that we could develop a wide network.
First, Paul, let me thank you for adding so much to our discussion in different CoP! Here, you have proposed ideas that I hope invite reflection and comments from our communities. What do others here think of one or more of the concepts proposed by PauL? Leecy
Leecy, I would like to thank you for your work here and for your support, which means a lot to me. For a long time I have been working on my own, and it is an enormous boost to become involved in discussions with like-minded people. The "students" we serve deserve all that we can do, and in the process we will build communities of learning that will be very beneficial. To me it is fascinating to imagine what can be done.
Si se puede...Yes we can!!!
I agree with you wholeheartedly on the need for some sort of one-stop shop. I would add to that a centralized, online library of multimedia instructional materials, created by local literacy organizations, and released under a Creative Commons license.
There is a difference between refurbished and reconditioned equipment. In consumer electronics, refurbished usually refers to a product that someone returned because they didn’t like it, not because it was defective. Because the box was opened, it’s sold at a discount after passing a factory inspection. I buy a lot of refurbished equipment for myself and have saved a lot of money by doing so.
Reconditioned equipment is used equipment. I was once asked to evaluate a so-called deal on computers that had been leased to businesses for several years and then marketed as “refurbished” when they could no longer be leased. This did not give me a warm and fuzzy feeling, especially when a program can buy a budget laptop with enough processing power to meet its needs for about $300. This is a kind of guidance a one-stop shop might be able to provide.
Last year, my program purchased 9 budget laptops, which I set up to compensate as much as possible for the lack of Internet access at most of our sites. For typing, I installed TIPP10. I installed free software tutors could use to create multimedia instructional videos and videos -- Audacity, PhotoScape, SoftMaker Office, and Windows Movie Maker -- using only a handful of basic features from each of these tools. I even figured out how to network the laptops through bluetooth and installed texting software for tutors and learners to use for practice. The continuing problem is getting more tutors trained in using them so we can take more advantage of their potential.
As another workaround, we recently purchased a number of inexpensive MP3 setups -- MP3 players, headphones, microSD cards, and USB wall chargers -- at less than $15 per setup. I am in the process of setting up training to teach tutors how to make an MP3 recording with Audacity and then copy the file to the MP3 player. The idea is to make a recording of texts covered in class and assign listening to the recordings as homework. It is also possible to put free English audio courses, such as Book2, on the devices.
Using learners’ own smart phones isn’t as easy as it sounds. I just evaluated the 7” Kindle Fire (I posted on this a few days agoe), and they look like another viable option for something we can loan to learners -- if we can find the money to buy them.
Robert, the Multi-media library you mention is just about what we need. I would add that it would be necessary to write up short explanations on each item and then how to use them for people who could use a tutorial, like me! I actually am not familiar with almost all of what you list.
But I am familiar with a few things.
My Multi-media program is designed for Spanish speaking students and consists of my website, PUMAROSA, lessons on Facebook, and two other site on WIX and WIKI SPACES FOR TEACHERS.
I have an old MacBook, with IMovie, which I use to make 5 minute videos, that I post to YouTube and then repost to my Facebook page. Here I have created 5 major groups of lessons, LECTURAS – READINGS, PRONUNCIATION, SONGS TO LEARN ENGLISH, PUMAROSA, and ASK PROFE PABLO.
The Songs group is the most popular with 1500 members, and here I put up songs from YouTube usually with the lyrics Karaoke style, often in Spanish and English. If there is something that needs explanation, I turn it into a lesson and attach it to the song.
The Readings group has over 1000 members, and consists of short stories, poems and articles that I either write or find.
The members are from all over the world, actually, mostly from Latin America.
I started concentrating on these group lessons about a year ago, and through word of mouth the membership grew.
A Smart phone can access most of these lessons, and I am ‘converting’ the lessons on Wix and Wiki spaces for Smart phone use.
PUMAROSA should be available via Smart Phone very soon.
Actually my Smart phone has an excellent audio recorder, so I have started making audios of various lessons.
You mention a few things such as the Creative Commons license. I am not familiar with this, but I do know that an author should state somewhere that the materials are “copy-right free”, etc.
The Reconditioned computers – many second-hand stores sell used computers for $50, and I can see a partnership between an adult ed program and these stores. Or the program itself can run a used, reconditioned computer “loan”.
But Smart phones are more important now, so it would probably be better to focus on them.
FUNDS-there are lots of grants out there for tech-based adult ed programs. Non-profit educational foundations are very interested in providing funding to “Bridge the digital divide”. AND if the grant seeker works in partnership with other agencies, such as libraries, community centers, etc., well – I think that it is much more likely to be funded.
In addition support from community businesses should be a priority, especially if those businesses are also nation-wide companies.
Once I attended a grant writing workshop and the organizer/speaker mentioned that the main reason agencies do not get grants is that they….do not apply! The idea is – if the program is good, write it up and apply. The worst that can happen is that you will get rejected, in which case you fix it up and send it in again in the next cycle, and see what happens. There are a number of people in these groups who have grant-writing experience, so we could add Grant-Writing to the Multi-Media library.
Well, onward and upward!
From Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Commons_license): “A Creative Commons (CC) license is one of several public copyright licenses that enable the free distribution of an otherwise copyrighted work. A CC license is used when an author wants to give people the right to share, use, and build upon a work that they have created. CC provides an author flexibility (for example, they might choose to allow only non-commercial uses of their own work) and protects the people who use or redistribute an author's work from concerns of copyright infringement as long as they abide by the conditions that are specified in the license by which the author distributes the work.”
You can find further information about the licenses at creativecommons.org (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/).
There is a wealth of resources on the Internet, and it is very easy to download most of them for offline use in an Internet-deprived area such as mine, but this comes with a serious risk, which makes doing so a very bad idea. If you read the article at this link -- http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2015/04/17/bloggers-beware-image-copyright-infringement-is-costly.aspx -- you will see what I mean. This is why it makes sense to have a public, open-source library of program-generated content (photos, videos, etc.) with release statements from everyone who appears in them, and released under a Creative Commons library for use by any educational program that has a use for them. Although these resources could contain complete lessons, they could also contain components that could be combined or enhanced to create lessons as needed.
I am at the end of a very long and busy day, and have reached the point of incoherence, so I will add more to this later.
Before 2007, when desktops and laptops were the only options, many people were purchasing processing processing power and capabilities that far exceeded their needs. Now, with mobile devices, people can find a better fit between their devices and their needs. And although you can do an amazing number of things with a smart phone, I can’t imagine using one to learn keyboarding skills or using presentation software to create a storyboard, for example. There will always be a need for desktops and laptop-like devices (i.e., traditional laptops and tablets with keyboards), but these will fill a niche instead of being a one-size-fits-all solution.
A few years back, someone in my program (not me) put out a call for used PCs and peripherals and accepted everything that came in. Almost all of it was unusable junk. Somebody else (me) ended up bringing it to the landfill. (We didn’t have recycling at that time.) Lesson learned:
I would have a lot of questions about a $50 used computer. What operating system is it using? Windows XP -- OK, as long as you don’t connect to the Internet. Does it have enough RAM? How old is the hard drive? Old-style hard drives are more likely to fail than newer ones, and, because they don’t make them anymore, they’re hard to replace. How old is the power supply? Power supplies are generally one of the first things to go on a desktop. The combined cost of labor and parts for upgrading any of these would be more than $50, which would make me wonder how much reconditioning actually went into them. Unless a shop would be willing to donate parts and labor, a program purchasing these would likely need a volunteer willing to be continually on call to repair them as they broke down.
This is why I feel a new or refurbished budget computer -- with a warranty -- is a better deal in the long run. Fewer headaches.
Robert and Paul, I am loving and learning a lot from this exchange on so many different aspects of delivering instruction!
I'm delighted that the reference to OER has come up. In fact, I'm in the process of opening a site, OERinadulted.org, to house OER that specifically supports ABE/ASE/ESL instruction among adults. It's not populated yet. I'll post that information later in the month, I hope.
In the meantime, for anyone interested in finding specific definitions for CC licensing, I created a quizlet some time ago for that purpose: https://quizlet.com/65193538/oer-training-flash-cards/
I will be opening a discussion on OER soon in both the Diversity and Literacy, and Reading and Writing communities this month, asking folks to contribute resources that have been useful to them among adults. Stay tuned! Leecy