Online Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom

Now Available on the LINCS Learning Portal --- The LINCS Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom Online Course

LINCS provides the opportunity for professional development for its members in the form of a series of optional online courses developed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’sLiteracy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Resource Collection initiative. These online courses are self-paced, freely available, and accessible 24 hours a day through the LINCS Learning Portal. The courses will enable users to work at their own pace, at a time that is most convenient to them.


Online Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom

Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom is designed for adult education instructors who are at the beginner/intermediate level of knowledge of technology tools and technology integration in the classroom. This course examines the why, how, and what questions for integrating technology in the adult education classroom:

  • Why is technology important for instruction and learning?
  • How do you approach integrating technology?
  • What tools can you use to integrate technology?

This course covers the purposes for integrating technology, explores guidelines for planning to integrate technology into instruction, and organizes thinking about the wide range of technology tools available. Examples of adult education practitioners’ experiences in integrating technology are incorporated throughout the course. In the culminating activity, participants create a Technology Integration Action Plan for a unit or lesson selected for use with adult learners.


Use this discussion thread to post your responses to questions below from the online course, Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom. Please share your comments to any of the following questions, or post a general comment or feedback on the course.

  • Introduce yourself.
  • What technology devices do your students have access to? What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devices to accomplish?
  • After reading the Let’s Become Chefs! final activity, what are some creative ways to integrate technology into the strategy for the final activity? List a couple of ways that you can integrate technology into this strategy.
  • What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom? What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another? What are some limitations of both tools?
  • How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?
  • After listening to the two teacher reflections from Cynthia Bell and Nell Eckersley, consider the following: How have you approached technology in the past? With the guidelines provided in this module, what new or additional considerations will you build into your unit or lesson planning process to more effectively integrate technology into your classroom?
  • After reviewing the printable table of categorized technology tools used in an educational context, reflect on the following: Were there tools that were mentioned that you would like to explore? Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need?
  • After listening to two adult education instructors reflect upon their experiences integrating a technology tool in their classroom instruction, share your responses to the following questions: (1) Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? If not, what was the instructor’s plan for understanding the tool? (2) Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool? (3) Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How? (4) Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use?
  • When you are finished redesigning your lesson plan, we invite you to share it with others here. Revisit this thread to reflect on your progress and the lesson effectiveness.


This online course was developed under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Resource Collection initiative under Contract No. ED-VAE-11-C-0048.


The new LINCS Learning Portal offers adult educators free online professional development courses from a variety of OVAE initiatives. Join today at:


At least 90%, probably more, of my students have cell phones.  Many have tablets and/or laptops, as well.  I teach an online (hybrid) math course, and students often access the program on their cell phones or laptops even though we meet in a computer lab.  They are accustomed to using that small device when a much larger, easily accessible one is available.  They send texts, photos, etc. My students are working to attain degrees in creative areas, such as illustration, interior and fashion design, audio production, etc.  They use their laptops or school computers to access the necessary software programs for their areas of interest.  Collaboration through face-time or skype are also handy.  Students come up with math programs to find out the answers to problems without solving them.  They listen to and share music.

Hi, my name is Melissa and I am an adjunct faculty member at our local community college. I have my Masters degree in education and have been teaching at the local college for about 3 years now. I enjoy teaching my students and seeing them advance and/or meet their goals they set out to accomplish. Currently, I have 20 ESL students in my class. My students are adult learners ranging from their early twenties to early fifties. They all have a smartphone which they use in class and personally. None of them own a tablet/ipad/notebook but 4 of them own a laptop. Two of my students bought theirs used from their child's school for a discounted price. With their knowledge of the intranet I should only need to teach them a few skills that will help them with their final project.  I feel that this course is excellent for techers. There were other products out their to use that can help integrate technology in my class. After completing my assignment I feel that I would like to learn to create a classroom website using wordpress. This way I can further my students learning my assigning them to watch videos that may help them learn more English, activities that will challenge their skills, and allow them to communicate with each other when needed.

Hello Melissa, and others,

It's great that you found the LINCS Integrating Technology course worthwhile, Melissa, and that you now want to learn how to create a class website.  I like and often use Wordpress for my websites. For example, my Media Library of Teaching Skills professional development website, a "video window" into other adult adult education teachers' classrooms, and also a curated collection of other adult basic skills (including ESL/ESOL) classroom professional development videos, uses Wordpress and YouTube. Teachers have told me that the website is very easy to use. However, you might also consider other free class website design options, especially if your students are already using the platform, and/or if you think it can better meet your goals or objectives:

  • A free, private Facebook group (where the only people who see the content are the students in your class.) This might be especially appealing if most or all of your students already use Facebook. It's also smartphone-friendly.
  • Many adult education teachers build class websites using (a free version of) Weebly or Wix. It is possible to design any website, incidentally so that you can link free Google documents or Google forms on it, and very easily add or update those pages with new assignments, learning resources, readings, quizzes or other assessments, etc. Google forms are particularly helpful to teachers as they can easily be designed to auto-tally students' responses in quizzes and some other formative assessments.

Before you choose a website platform it would be especially useful, if you haven't already done so, to think through your goals or objectives for the website. Then you can evaluate your website platform choices against these goals or objectives.

Does anyone have recommendations for class website platforms, or lessons learned from designing and using class websites? Please share them with us!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP

As one might expect, I have had some success with Google Sites. It is free and integrates with the many Google products instantly. It automatically adjusts for Phone, Tablet and Computer as well. There are currently two versions of Google Sites available and I would suggest trying the new version because the old version will start phasing out by the end of the year (and it was much more clunky than the newer version). 

What I like most about Google Sites is that you don't have to deal with hosting set up at all. I have had many teachers make a wonderful website using other tools only to have headaches with having to upload changes, hosting sites being down and configuration issues with some hosting sites. Of course if you wish to pay for a hosting site, many of the challenges mentioned disappear. I am just happy I don't have to fiddle at all with the Google Sites in order to get them out to the public. 

NOTE: Google has a way of thinking about how all online products "should" work together. As I continue to learn their thought process I am shocked at how elegant many of their solutions are and how much easier they are to manage. That being said, so many of the other tools out there are still operating on principles established by major software vendors in the 80s and 90s. They are very familiar, but often feel so clunky once I "get it" in the Google tools. If you are looking for something that will be powerful and easy once you learn the thought process behind it, give Google Sites a try. If you are looking more for something familiar to "the way things are done", many of the products out there are very similar. Each offers different wrinkles and different price points. There are some free ones, but they often have some limitations that I have found annoying in the past. 

If any check out Sites and have questions, please share them as I am always looking to learn more and gather other perspectives on tools out there!


Hi Ed,

Thanks for mentioning Google Sites as an alternative platform for a class website. Can you share a link to the newer version of Google sites? You wrote,"Google has a way of thinking about how all online products "should" work together. As I continue to learn their thought process I am shocked at how elegant many of their solutions are and how much easier they are to manage."  Can you tell us what that thought process is, or perhaps point us to a document or video that explains it?



David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP

To get to Google Sites, there are many ways, but here are two:

1. Type in the address and if you are not signed in with your google account you will have to sign in. If you don't have a google or gmail account, you can make one... it is free. 
2. If you are logged into any google service (like Gmail for instance), you can click on the Google Apps icon in the top right of the screen (looks like a 3 x 3 array of squares). This opens up all of Google's goodies and if sites is not listed you can click at the bottom of that pop up screen to choose "More" and you should find Sites in that pallet.

No matter which way you try to get to Google Sites, you will be taken to the older version I think. It is hard to tell because I have used sites forever so it may just redirect me to the old sites first. When I go to Sites, I have to click on the left margin where it says" New Google Sites" to get to the newer sites I have been making. Again, new users may just get a pop up when logging in asking if they want to use the New version (say yes). 

As to the thought process ... this is a tough nut to crack, but I can try. First, I have not been able to find videos on Youtube that do a good job describing "The way of Google" in spite of so many videos on each individual application. The beauty of their system is the ways the applications blend and work together so elegantly and yet I have not been able to find any videos or documentation. I would write a book, but it would probably be outdated by the time it was published.

Often I discover things in a manner similar to the following two experiences I had these last few weeks:

A teacher wanted to do a collection of pictures on her school web page (Google Sites). She wanted the pictures to start flipping through the 500 pictures she had stored in a folder. I started out looking for slide show plugins, HTML5 code for automatic slideshows, and a number of other embedding solution with no luck. Almost all of the videos I did find addressing what I wanted were from older versions of Sites and those options are not even available on the current "old" version of sites available today. It was so frustrating because I had found almost half a dozen ways people used to do it and make it work, but none of them were working with the old or new version now. 

After days of this frustrating exploration, I started diving into all the Google Tools to see what I might be able to use. Google Photos seemed like a great place to start because I have all my pictures up there and I knew there was a way to make slide shows. Sure enough, I was able to get one of my albums to go into a slide show but I was not able to get that into my Google Site. I then remembered that the old version of Sites was able to integrate images stored in Google Slides (think Power Point). Sure enough, the methods to do this the old way did not work on the new sites. Instead I found this nifty little plug in that links Google Photos to Google Sheets (spreadsheet) to Google Sites. This awesome little plug in makes it so easy to add pictures and get things updated. I simply change the photos in the album I have in Google Photos, then I go into the spreadsheet and click "Update" and poof .. my website is now rocking the pictures I wanted in a slide show on the site. I would never have thought that it would be so efficient to go from picture storage to spreadsheet to slide show to website and yet the finished system is so awesome!

Another example: Microsoft Publisher / Apple Pages woes

I have had so many teachers complain that they WILL NOT go over to anything Google because they can't do things in Google Docs like they did in Publisher or Pages. In efforts to try to help them with this need, I dove into Google Docs and looked for days at plug ins and possible options. Nothing felt even close to me and I had to put this one off a number of times. Eventually it hit me, the solution seemed so simple! I had just done a professional development on the basic Google Tools (Docs, Sheets, Slides) and I remember sharing that Slides are super powerful for making classroom posters, study guides and many other print items teachers frequently need. I dove into Google Slides and found one little setting I needed to find and poof, I was able to easily make most anything I could imagine. The old school way of thinking is "I have a newsletter that has lots of text so I need a word processor with power" or "I need to buy another program that exclusively does what I need..." when the new reality includes powerful adaptation of technologies much better suited to performing the task in a way that the product can then be used in other tools. In Slides, you can click and drag any text, image, links, videos or any other component exactly where you want it and it will print that way. No fuss, not fancy fiddling, just move it and format it they way you like and poof it is ready for your website, print, youtube video, qr code, FB post, Tweet or any number of other ways you wish to share it. 

In the end, the final solutions were so elegant and simple to use, that I felt elated to have persisted to find such solutions. I find many cool combinations with the Google Tools and every time I have something figured out, it all makes so much sense and works so easy. 

The problem is that I still am not able to find any good videos or resources that helps to teach the awesome integration of tools possible. I wonder if it is some trade secret that consultants hide to keep their rates at a healthy level? Perhaps the feeling is that the general population is still so used to procedural walk through videos of basic functions that a series of integrating tools together would be too advanced or specialized? I have thought about trying to do a series of videos to share some discoveries, but I worry about the quickly changing face of technology and the Google Tools especially. I don't want people having to dig through my older videos that add to the glut of old videos that mire the Internet down when searching for anything Google. Seriously, if someone make a tutorial and the software or system changes, take down the video, please! When I do finally find a video on a current iteration, the video focuses on the description of the buttons/menus/interface and the procedures like save/export/load... Sigh, one might think that that people have been going File - Save for over 30 years now... do we really need videos that share how to use a menu drop down? The videos focus so much on "How to use it" rather than "What it can be used for" Every video I find is about specific procedures about a specific tool in isolation. I still continue to search for videos that help me learn about the many interesting integration of tools available. 

It would be cool if we could start a service up that would take "I need to be able to ..." and others could offer solutions. I know there are many Google forums that have this same service, but it does not seem open and friendly for the average user.  I still think we need an online program like Car Talk from National Public Radio. Doing an entertaining call in program in which options are shared in video format that can be reviewed and organized by end users would be great! I think such a program would be so fun to do as well. 

Does that help clarify what I meant by Google having a different way of thinking about things? The two examples I offered above are just two of the more recent things, there are many others. Sadly, I often forget them until I have that specific need again and have to re-discover the solution again. At least it comes to me much quicker the second and third time before I really start remembering it :) 


I have created a recipe book and found that it can be very fun to create with others. In my classroom I would utilize either Google Documents or Microsoft Publisher depending on how comfortable the students were with using those technologies to document their recipes. Since my students have smartphones I would ask them to  look up a recipe that they would like to try and then bring their favorite recipe from home. I would have the students assigned to certain food groups: appetizers, entrees, sides, and desserts to make sure there weren't too many of one kind.  As a bonus the students could make one of the recipes in the following groups so that we could have a full meal. From that meal we could take pictures of the finished product so that we can include it in our recipe book.



The recipe book sounds like a great learning project. The tools you chose, especially Google Documents, are easy for most students to learn to use. Can you share with us an example of a student recipe book? Do you have a description of this project that you could share?  And, btw, could you invite us all to your class ?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP


The tools mentioned in the educational context are some that I have used and some that I would like to learn how to use. I have used Youtube before to learn how to do things myself and feel that some of the Youtube classes can help my students. I have never heard of teacher tube and will explore that to see if that is something I would like to use in my classroom. I learned that I could create a Facebook page that would allow my students to form an online community to share their thoughts and ideas with each other. They can also use it for help with understanding a certain lesson or concepts.



Cynthia used Bitly and QR codes for the technology tool for her classroom to learn about renting versus buying. From her comments she seems to be comfortable with using Bitly and then the QR code so that her students could easily look up the website. The challenge that she had was having the students all use the QR code. Luckily some of her students already had the app downloaded to read QR codes so she only needed to get a small group of them to do that. She created a worksheet that had the QR code that she created and assisted in getting the students to have their smartphone read the code and then they were able to continue their lesson. It deepened their learning since they were able to watch the video and then work with the teacher to compare and contract the New York and California housing market and rental needs. I believe using Bitly and QR codes for her class was necessary. Since they don't have access to the compute lab it made it easier for them to look up the video on their smartphones so they can do the lesson. This also allowed the students to take this home and show their family how a QR code works. I can't think of another way she could have gotten the students to do the lesson with technology unless they went to Youtube and searched for a similar lesson.

Cynthia used an online platform first to have her students connect and conversate with each other. Unfortunately, she didn't have many students go there so she decided on creating a private Facebook page since many of the students were already a member. The one challenge that she faced was that not all the students had a Facebook profile so she had to assist in creating ones for them so that they were private. Since Facebook is a popular online forum she was able to get most students to participate. The limitations of both tools is basically do they have access to it and it is easy to find? Facebook requires individuals to have a profile to join their community. If a person doesn't have one then they cannot participate. Also is it easy to find? Some online platforms don't make it easy to find such forums, chat rooms, etc. which can deter students away.


Melissa, and others who use or are interested in using private Facebook Groups for your classes,

I want to let you know that our colleague, Susan Gaer, and I co-moderate a private adult educators who use (or want to use) Facebook for adult education (AEFE) group on Facebook. Email Susan or me if you would like an invitation to join.

David J. Rosen


Nell used Pinterest as a technology tool for her students to broaden the Biography project. I for one use Pinterest and find it quite fascinating. One can use it for almost anything. Pinterest allows you to explore one's interest and maybe find a new interest. Nell explained that, " All the students did their homework and some did much more than was assigned. On our next lab day the students chose one of the images and wrote a paragraph about how it connected to their lives that they then pasted into the description of the image on Pinterest."   The students were able to relate to some of the images, pins, and information and made a connection with it. This allowed them to express their thoughts that they might not have been able to relate without that image that they found on Pinterest.


In the past I have used the additional programming for the books that we used to bring additional resources to the class such as games that coordinate with the lesson, readings, and printable worksheets to do in the class. Depending on the class this may work or it may not work for them. I try to be flexible and try new things that can enhance my students learning. I have decided to try to create a classroom website via Wordpress that would allow my students to gather additional resources for the current lesson that I am teaching and conversate with each other. This resource could very much benefit them in the long run by having them access it during their current lesson to do the activity and then we can follow up with having them complete their coordinating worksheet. We can review it in class together afterwards. To make it easy for them to access my website  I would build a QR code for them to scan on the syllabus with their cell phone so that they can access at any time anywhere.


Hello, I'm taking this course as a way to refresh and potential up-skill my knowledge in technology integration in adult education. I have been a high school computing teacher and a university instructor in several teacher education degree programs. Technology has the potential to reach people who often face barriers to further education like lack of time, geographical location and personal circumstances. I look forward to participating in this course.

Teacher could create a class wiki or blog and post up the recipe's in categories and #tag them. The will enable media to be included.

I am the PD Coordinator for the Adult Education and Literacy program.  This is my third year so I do not work directly with the students but rather with the teachers.  As in many settings, there are teachers who are comfortable with technology and those that are not and require more use with it to feel at ease with incorporating it with their students.  The program is located within a two-year college and therefore, I also teach on campus part-time but in a different area, not in the AEL program.  With those students, I have them submit assignments online and submit their work using word documents or pdf.  They also use PowerPoints. 

Students in the  program use technology daily through the use of their phones.  Tasks include sending and receiving text messages which especially helps those who are limited in English to use more of their second language by practicing to read and write it.  Primary use overall is for developing and using communication skills.  Specifically in the class, phones can also be used for surveys and finding out pertinent information related to a topic of study for that day's lesson. 

Ways students can incorporate technology are by bringing their recipes to class and using a computer to type of the recipes into a PowerPoint presentation.  They can also include pictures along with their recipes. 

They can also create short videos while whipping up their favorite recipe but perhaps already having it premade but demonstrating or talking about all the ingredients to go into the recipe.  This could go on FB live or setting it up as a YouTube video that can also then be added as a link to their PowerPoint presentation. 

The two technology tools used by Cynthia were the online platform and Facebook.  Observed benefits included greater utilization of technology.  More writing was taking place by the students as they were submitting the required amount of work.  Also, they were able to read other classmates' work.  However, a limitation could be internet usage students have to actually use or be on Facebook, thereby possibly limiting some of the students' ability to be on as frequently as others.  In addition, knowing other students would be reading their work, they might be hesitant to post.

Nell used email and seemed comfortable in using this technology tool. Cynthia incorporated smart phones, YouTube videos, QR Code and Bitly. She seemed comfortable using the various forms of technology. In Nell’s and Cynthia’s classes, the technology tools selected met all the students’ needs for the particular assignments given to the students.  Regarding specifically technology skills, some student’s needed to learn how to use and access email in which students were assisted in doing that along with modifying some aspects of the lesson for future classes with Nell. Cynthia incorporated watching a YouTube video through smart phones.  She simplified the use of inputting a URL by using a QR Code.  The tools selected for Nell and Cynthia helped both of them improve instruction by incorporating more hands-on tools for students to be more up-to-date with technology and how to use it.  For some, it was their first time using or watching a YouTube video for instruction or for using email.

Yes, the tools were the best choices with resources that were available in Nell’s class whereas in Cynthia’s class, although appropriate technology tool used, perhaps finding other ways to watch the video would have been appropriate.  Some students without smart phones may have felt singled out if not able to afford a phone.  At the same when there are limitations to what is accessible within the classroom, you have to use what is at your fingertips.  If there a few tablets, or maybe if the teacher had one computer or tablet, the video could have been viewed by a few at a time while the others worked on math and the teacher walked around helping them.  Once the video was viewed by everyone, they could have then had a discussion about the math video.   


Learning was enhanced and extended by incorporating visuals into their autobiographies.  Additionally, the images gathered from the internet were more meaningful as they pertained specifically to areas they were from, foods they could relate to and so forth.  Students not only found this useful for this project but for projects done later in the class.  The use of technology in itself was a learning opportunity with internet and Pinterest.

In the past, I have used technology in the class based on how comfortable I am in using it.  If I know how to use it, I teach it to my students and have them learn as well.  To say I try to use or incorporate new or current technology such as Weebly, may not be as easy unless I have been using it for quite a while.  However, I know if I want my students to be exposed to more especially for those who tend to me a little more tech savvy, it would be important to teach them about more technology that is available to them if it is another way to be able to expand on a current lesson.  Applying the POST method and knowing where students are at each individual level is extremely important in making sure they are successful with the use of technology expecting them to use in the class.

Amy and others,

You wrote: "In the past, I have used technology in the class based on how comfortable I am in using it.  If I know how to use it, I teach it to my students and have them learn as well." I believe that describes how most adult basic skills education teachers integrate technology, what some have called a "Sage on the Stage" approach, where the teacher is an expert and presents information to students live or through videos..

Some teachers, however, use a different approach, sometimes called  "Guide on the Side", in which the teacher also is comfortable, an expert, in using the technology, but instead of presenting, sets the students a task that involves learning and using a tool or tools, and then is available to assist if they get stuck. For example, using a browser, the O*Net website, PowerPoint, and Google Slides or another slide-making tool the students, individually or in small groups, might be asked to research the education, experience and/or credential requirements for a particular job that interests them, and present these to the class using 3-6 slides they have created.

A third approach shifts the teaching paradigm/approach from teacher as tools expert, to teacher as learning expert. Sometimes called WAITT, an acronym for "We Are All In This Together", it begins with the teacher sharing with the students, that s/he is not a technology expert, or at least an expert on using the tool(s), that some of the students may know more about how to use the tool(s) than s/he. The teacher then models with the students how to go about learning the new tool or application. Using the above example, with the WAITT approach the teacher may know how to expertly use PowerPoint, but not Google Slides, may have only read about how to use Google Slides or used it once or twice. The teacher models for the class how to learn how to use a new tool. S/he may get stuck in the process, may ask if the students have any ideas about how to solve the problem, may have a web address handy for Google Slides instructional videos, or a Google Slides troubleshooting document. This is a great opportunity for peer-to-peer learning. Maybe some of the students will have good ideas about how to solve the problem.

Some teachers have trouble transitioning to the WAITT model. They have always been the subject matter expert for their students, but in this approach they are not a "technology" expert. It is helpful for them to explain to their students that for this task they are not an expert in the tool(s), and that this is a way for the teacher and the class, to learn something new together. Using the WAITT approach, the teacher is not only helping the students to learn how to use the particular tool(s) but, more important, to build the confidence and skills needed to learn other new technology applications too.

Everyone: Have you used a "Guide on the Side" or the "WAITT" approach? If so, please describe what you typically do when introducing the approach to your students, how a particular lesson went, and/or any tips you may have for others who are trying one of these approaches.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP




Several tools from the table are some I would like to explore further.  From existing tools I currently use or know about, I didn’t learn new ways to use them but still find them helpful. Since Pinterest has images, teachers could use these images to practice vocabulary words with non-English speakers.

Hello Winifred,

Some students might like to try using a (free) Google Doc to type up their recipes. It's a great way to Introduce Google Docs, and other free online integrated Google tools to adult learners. Pinterest or are widely used free tools for saving things online. Once a class has used one of these storage tools for recipes, and learned how to upload, download, and organize recipes on one storage site, it is much easier to use Pinterest,, livebinders, Dropbox or other free online storage tools for a class to store, add to, and easily retrieve online learning resources that are relevant to what the class is learning, that some students have found useful and want to share with other students. This is a greet strategy to encourage peer learning. With the proliferation of smartphones in the hands of adult learners, they are finding good online resources, and many want to share them. This could also lead to discussions in class about what makes a good learning resource, and the development of critical thinking and reflection skills.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP

I have always used a Ti graphing calculator in classes.  The kind of Ti Calculator depends on the level of the students and the math required, I've also used Plato and Blackboard to help my students learn at their pace. The idea of using other technology to help my students is great.  I especially like the idea of using a blog.

Hello Winifred,

Do you need help in creating a blog? What would you like to be able to do that you think a blog will help you accomplish?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology CoP





I teach adult ESL classes.  Most of my students have smartphones and some have computers; however, not all

have internet access on their computers.

Cynthia says she used an online platform.  She decided to use FB over the previous tool she used.  FB seemed to 

work well for her students and she was able to overcome hesitation that some students may have had.  I think

that it is important to "meet the students" where they are.  It is also important to review norms and etiquette of using

social media.  I have had a few students who do not use FB for a variety of personal reasons.  This would be a limitation for sure.


Pinterest is an engaging platform. Once students overcome privacy concerns, and they begin to peruse the site and see what it entails, it can become addicting. There are a variety of interests/boards so the learning experience becomes authentic and relevant. The way Pinterest was used in her classroom was great, because the students also were able to learn about each other as well. As students learn about each other, the class becomes more of a community.

I teach at an off site so the use of technology is a bit more limited.  I do have access to a computer lab.  In the past, my students have used computers to practice English.  They have used cites that coincide with the textbook they use.  They have also used their phones for translating.  I am looking forward to using technology in a more meaningful and authentic manner.

The instructor used computers that her agency had received.  Overall, it seems that the instructor was comfortable with computers; however, it seems that as

the students were trying to set up their emails, they came across a few glitches with gmail.  Although there were some minor glitches, the instructor paired the experts with those that need extra assistance.  The next time the instructor implemented the lesson a bit differently allowing for extra time and discussing passwords and emails (what makes a good password).  Overall, the students enjoyed the activity.  Although it may have felt like it was time consuming, the students were able to complete the task, but they were also able to use email in their own personal lives.  The students could have used a Google Doc to write the thank yous and then mailed hard copies, but I think the email experience was more valuable since this is how much of our communication is today.

The instructor had limited accessibility (or so she thought), until she met the students where they were at- they had smartphones.  She wanted to use this tool for viewing You tube, but needed to find a way to shorten the link.  Even through bitly it would be too long so she decided to use QR codes.  This brought her lesson to apps and where students may have seen QR codes.  This brought a real life learning experience for the students.  Some thought they would be charged if they used a QR code.  Although the lesson could have been done with just a handout, using technology was more engaging.  Students were excited about the lesson and shared what they learned about QR codes with their friends and family.  The instructor could have just provided the link for you tube, but I think it would have been more difficult.  Sometimes students have trouble typing in a long url.  Using QR codes allowed for discussion about apps, which are commonly used today.

My students have access to smartphones.  About half off my students have a computer, but in that number not everyone has access to the internet.  I have 3 students who absolutely do not like to use computers and avoid going to the computer lab.  They do not believe that computers are beneficial to them or their learning; however, they do use cell phones.  They use cell phones mainly for calling, texting, or FB.  I am off site, so I have limited access to a computer lab.  When I have taught at the actual campus, I have used a document camera, computers, and projector to project You tube clips.




What technology devices do your students have access to? What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devices to accomplish?

Most of my students have cellphones/smartphones and some have tablets or home computers. I have 1:1 Chromebooks in my classroom and all students have access to the computer lab at our center. They use their devices for internet (research, notices, scheduling, etc.), email, social media, maps/directions, banking, job searches, etc. while others use their devices for minimal activities.

Let’s Become Chefs!  Lesson Plan

What are some creative ways to integrate technology in implementing this strategy? List a couple of ways that you can integrate technology into this strategy.

Students could use technology to:

Research the nutritional value of their recipes.

Find substitutes for certain ingredients

Make recipe healthy for certain allergies

Design, outline, and format as an actual cookbook

Research and find the background, history, origin of their recipe (e.g. country)

Email other friends/family for different versions of their recipe

What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom? What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another? What are some limitations of both tools?

First she tried an online platform but that failed, so then she used Facebook.


-Creating a space where the students could become confident readers and writers

-FB provide a common space for all to meet without being intrusive

-FB provided a way to share, upload, and respond to documents and assignments

-FB allowed students to “like” of comment on each other’s works

-FB also offered students who were less likely to use online media a safe and secure opportunity to experience social media with friends and educators


-Finding the appropriate platform

-Not all students were familiar with social media

-Persuading students to write online

-Educating students on how to provide acceptable feedback to peers

How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?

-Using Pinterest made the assignment more fun and interesting for the students

- Allowed students to work/learn at their own pace

-It gave the students valuable tools that they can use in everyday life

-Provided an opportunity for students to work individually and learn to problem solve

-Enabled students to build their own understanding of the content by discovering online resources

-Increased student engagement

-Addressed the diverse learning needs of the students

-Facilitated peer collaboration

After reviewing the printable table of categorized technology tools used in an educational context, reflect on the following: Were there tools that were mentioned that you would like to explore? Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need?

I am fortunate to have 1:1 Chromebooks for my students so I  want to expand my current practices to include these sources. I like the QR codes for sharing information, homework, and lessons. I also want to set up an account for the Poll Everywhere- I have wanted to use something like this so I am really excited to try it out with my students. I definitely will expand my career pathways class to broaden the use of Google Docs and Pinterest.

Reflections from Adult Education Instructors

Now that you have explored how technology tools can be used in educational contexts, listen to two adult education instructors as they share how they have integrated technology tools in a classroom unit or lesson. As you listen, think about the following:  

Audio reflection from Cynthia Bell Nell Eckersley

·        Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? If not, what was the instructor’s plan for understanding the tool? The class used email to correspond with the mayor as a writing assignment- The instructor was well versed with the email process but had failed to assess her students (“People”).

·        Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool?  Not at first- she had various levels of computer competency within the class so not everyone was able to participate at first. She had to re-evaluate her lesson and add some instruction on how to create and use email.

·        Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How?  Definitely after she provided instruction on how to email- Once the students understood and learned how to email it provided lifelong lesson for students to use in their academic, career, and personal lives.

·        Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use? I think using email was a great choice after everyone learned the process- emailing is such a crucial tool that teaching everyone is so important. Using email opens the world up because it is used worldwide and provides an opportunity for unlimited communication.

Reflection from an Adult Basic Education (ABE) Instructor

Now, listen to an audio reflection from Cynthia Bell about how she incorporated technology into her math instruction.

Again, as you listen, think and jot down your thoughts about the following:

·        Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? If not, what was the instructor’s plan for understanding the tool? What a great idea to incorporate both QR and Bitly in the lesson. This instructor is very knowledgeable and creative.

·        Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool? Definitely- the students all had knowledge of how to use their Smartphones and using peers to help guide the few to explore the use of QR codes is very powerful.

·        Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How? Absolutely, this process kept the students engaged and again gave them a new tool that will be useful in the future.

·        Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use? Yes- since all the students had access to smartphones and were able to install the correct apps this was a great way for the class to watch the video and learn about several new tools available for their use. If the classroom was equipped with a Smart Board that would have been another way to show the video but the new skills and resources gained form the QR Code will be very valuable for the students in to the future.

I would like to explore  tools like Gmail and Goggle Docs, Pinterest and Weebly. My few questions to myself before i start planning a lesson is 'what do i want them to learn today? What are the objectives that i need to achieve in the limited time that i get with my students? I also have to think about the limited access to technology and com lab to my students. They all don't have smart phones and  few  of them don't have phones at all. I personally think that google Tools are the  best for my students with all these limitations. They also help to repurposed the same skills with other technology tools.

I would like to explore gmail and google tools in the classroom with my students. I am also interested in exploring Pinterest and Qr codes myself before i make my students aware of these tools. I am so glad that i registered for this course. There are so many technology tools out there which i had never known before. 

The technology tool that Nell Eckersley used was Gmail and who would think of any other tool when you have to write letters. It was a perfect plan on her side as she asked students to think about their email login credentials ahead of time. not only that she also paired the high facility students with the low to enhance self learning. It also met the students existing technology skills of texting on their phones most of the time. The tool not only solve the objective of writing email to the mayor but also gave them the opportunity to implement the knowledge in real life. 

I'd like to find a cohort of adult ESL instructors who are interested in finding digital solutions to tracking mastery on standards.

I work at a community college and we're supposed to be aligning our lessons with College & Career Readiness Standards and English Language Proficiency Standards. I'd like to track student progress digitally so that I can someday be able to show my director and state director our program's progress. We have little-to-no budget, so free apps are ideal. I've played around with many apps, websites, and learning management systems so I have quite a bit of experience, but haven't found a solid solution for our type of program. This is the Symbaloo mix that I currently use with my students (mostly the top left):

I work with our Levels 1&2 beginner ESL students. Our class meets three nights a week for 2 hours each. Many students have little technology skills, but they're quickly learning. But with irregular attendance and open enrollment for part of the semester, I struggle to keep afloat.

I've created a Facebook group to share ideas, if you're interested ( but chatting here would be good as well.

Hello Jacqueline,

This is a great idea, and perhaps something that many ESL/ESOL programs and teachers could benefit from. I suggest you also post your message to the LINCS CoP English Language Acquisition group asking if any other ESL/ESOL teachers or program managers are interested. It sounds like you have at least two goals for the system you have in mind: 1) producing a collection of good ESL/ESOL lesson plans, perhaps by level, that are aligned to English Language Proficiency and/or CCR standards, and 2) having a robust learning management system for it that would track learners' progress.

It looks like Symbaloo is a site where it is easy to store and access apps in one place, but I don't see a way to align instructional apps easily (and correctly) with ESL/ESOL or CCR standards, or to track learner progress on them. Have I missed it? 

I haven't seen a product that does what you need, and wonder if it exists. If it does, I doubt that it would be free or inexpensive. The closest thing to this I have seen is a system that Integrating Technology member, Ed Latham, has been working on to accomplish the first goal. I have sent you an email about that.

Does anyone know of an existing low-cost or free solution to the problem Jacqueline has posed? Is anyone else facing the same problem she has described, and perhaps interested in working on a new solution to it with other ESL teachers?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group


As the director and instructor of an adult education program, I see multiple ways to integrate technology. Students have access to computers in the classroom but reach for their phones readily as a first recourse.  Students use their phones for research, contact, organization, planning and calculating. I like the idea of meeting them where they are at and implementing technology in their arena. Facebook and Pinterest are two modes I had not considered, at least not in this way. The instructors in adult education use many online sources and staying current with new sources.