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: https://courses.lincs.ed.gov.
My Adult Ed students are upper level Algebra students who are preparing to take the Math GED test. They have computer access in the classroom, their own laptops at home, and smart phones. Students are proficient with multiple technological devises.
Understand solving two-step algebraic problems. Use Google Docs to access the lesson, take notes, and complete Two-Step Algebra worksheets.
Model how to use One-Step Algebra Goggle Docs lesson that include Power Point, instructional video, and worksheets.
Email students the Two-Step Algebra Google Docs so they can watch the Two-Step Algebra Power Point, instructional video, and then take notes.
Model and practice solving two-step algebra problem on white board.
Students complete worksheets.
Teaching students how to use Google Docs provides them the ability to work independently in the classroom and lets them access the lesson anytime from any device.
Where am I now?
I have used Google Docs and Google Sheets for four years now and I continue to learn new ways to use Google Drive. I feel comfortable with the lessons that I have created in Google Docs. I feel that students will benefit from working with lessons created in Google Docs.
Where do I want to be?
I want to be more proficient in using Google as a teaching tool. I am preparing to learn how to insert Google Docs lessons in Google School.
I have taught the lesson and it was successful with the students.
Through observation and seeing how well the student understands the lesson.
One student did very well working independently using the Google Docs lesson and taking notes.
However, another student needed me to go through the Power Point with her and add my instructional notes during the Power Point.
I think using the Google Docs algebra lesson was a great way for advanced math students to work ahead while allowing me time to teach other lower level math students.
I will make sure to be allow time for extra instruction for students working independently with Google Docs.
It sounds like you are integrating technology well in your algebra lessons. You are fortunate that your students are already comfortable using technology and have access to laptops and other digital devices at home, and that you have a whiteboard in your classroom.
I have a few questions:
1. Can you tell us more about your students' note-taking. How do you prepare them for note-taking? What do they take notes about? Do they use a Google Doc to take notes? If so, do they they take notes together on one Google Doc, or independent notes or both?
2. Did you develop the slides, instructional video and worksheets yourself? If not, do you use Open Education Resources (OERs) or other free resources, or commercial materials? Tell us about the materials you use and why you like them.
3. Have you experimented with using HyperDocs to make lesson plans for your algebra students? (For more about HyperDocs, built on Google docs, see a conversation in the Integrating Technology group that began in July, 2017 and still continues. There are some great resource links in several posts for learning how to make HyperDocs.)
Thanks for sharing your thoughtful comments on your math teaching strategies.
David J. Rosen
1. I prepare new students to my classes for taking notes by teaching a lesson on Note Taking using several Power Points and discussing different techniques in class.
2. I use free resources (at least I think that they are free). I just started taking the OERs class and will have to double check on a few of the items. I usually remix the Power Points to fit my students' needs.
3. I have not used HyperDocs but I am curious to lean more about it. Thank you for suggesting it.
What impact could OER have on your instructional practice.
I think that OER has helped me be more aware of licences policies as I prepare classroom and online lessons for the Adult Ed classes that I teach. I store my lesson materials (videos, Power Points, and worksheets) in google spread sheets for use in face to face classroom settings. I have also taken those material and added content (instructions and graphics) to the lessons and put them in Canvas (an online format that the college uses) and then put the same material in individual GoogleDocs as lessons.
Unfortunately, I don't think that I can openly share anything that I create, because it belongs to the college that I work for.
As I teach in a prison setting in Delaware, technology is limited to computer use and my students access to those are limited. What I have begun to learn is what I can advocate for those who are in education in incarcerated settings. There may in fact be a higher percentage of ESL and other under educated students in prison settings than in the general population.
Hello my name is Ruth and I am an ESOL teacher.
Based on my teaching experience, I realize all my low beginner students have smart an android phones. They use social networking, email and text messaging. What is the most interested part of using their phones is for job search, fill out job application on line and located addresses.The educated ones are more independent in using the apps than non educated ones.
Cynthia first tried an online platform to encourage the students to interact outside of class. This was not successful, and I totally understand. I have a large multi-level adult ESL class with some of the students working or mothers who are busy raising their children. I have difficulty getting them to find time to do homework. The next technology tool she used was Facebook, where she had better success. I think face book would work better in my situation with my students. The majority of them make use of Facebook already. I could see making a private group Facebook page and ask them to post their morning routine.
Hello Jeannie, and others,
You might be interested in the private Facebook group that Susan Gaer and I created and co-host for adult education teachers. You can read through the discussions we have had about using Facebook private groups with adult learners, and can join in the discussions to let your Facebook-using adult education colleagues know what you are trying and how it is working. If you would like to join this adult basic skills education (including ESL/ESOL) teachers group, send to Susan -- firstname.lastname@example.org -- a LINCS CoP member, or me, email@example.com , an email describing briefly how you (plan to) use Facebook with your adult basic skills learners, and we'll send you an invitation to join this free group.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
I liked how Neil approached her project. She needed to work through the whole process before leading her students through it. It was well thought out. She confronted her nervousness in using technology, by using technology. Yeah Nell. She took the biography project she was already working on as a class and broaden the project by showing her students how to use Pinterest.
I don't have much experience using technology in the classroom. So I would have to experiment using technology myself before introducing it to my students. At this point, we use the computer lab once a week for an hour. We have used You Tube to look up videos on whatever we are talking about in the classroom.
I have not used a lot of technology in my classroom. We do have access to computers, which I will be investigating how I can make better use out of them. I have used the site for the ESL curriculum we are using and YouTube. So, I do investigate what technology supports which ever theme we are studying in our class. I do like the POST method and I will be using it when making my lesson plans.
I will admit, I am hesitant to consider assigning my students assignments using technology outside of the classroom.
There were many technology tools that I have not heard of. I definitely will make use of the Teacher Tube. I am always looking for better ways to teach my ESL class. I am excited to see how I can get my students to use Podcasts.The more listening to English and pronunciation the better. I also will continue to use YouTube. I like to give my students some freedom to search for things that interest them. I think I would like to use Quizlet and Pinterest. I would use Pinterest with the Unit on Healthy eating. All the students will be able to redo one of their recipes (make it healthier) from their country and share it with other students.
Nell had her students write a letter to the Mayor using E-mail. The instructor was comfortable using the tool, it was the students that had problems. She had to teach her students how to sign up for e-mail. Some of the students had email accounts already, but did not remember their email addresses. I think Nell went into this project assuming it would be easy. I think she put the technology before the people. In the end, she felt the longer process of the project was worth it. For Nell to see some of her students happy that they had an email account set up for them to communicate with their family was well worth it.
Cynthia used URL shortener and QR codes to direct her students to use a You Tube Video on living in an apartment versus living in a home. I have to admit, I don't know what a QR code is, and it seems to me that Cynthia sure knew what she wanted to accomplish here. She had do research on different technology to get to what she wanted, Through the whole process the students did learn a lot about technology. Cynthia stated that she could have done the assignment without technology, but in the end, I think both the teacher and the students benefited from the process.
People: My students are High Beginning ESL students. They are adults of different ages, some working and some stay at home moms.
Their goals include: Learning new vocabulary for foods and restaurant. Learning how to write a menu, grocery list and ordering and taking orders in a restaurant.
All of my students have Smart phones and the majority are fairly computer literate.
Objectives: By the end of this unit the students will be able to: Recognize and write vocabulary for food items and restaurant. Write out a menu and grocery list, identify healthy and unhealthy foods, and order and take orders in a restaurant. They will also be able to calculate the total restaurant bill.
Strategy: The students will make flashcards using Quizlet. We will practice the Unit vocabulary as a class and then will pair off and practice one on one. The students will use online search to find their their favorite recipe and then revise it into a healthier version.Students will make out a menu for a week and also make out a grocery list. Students will watch a video on You Tube about how to order and take orders in a restaurant. Students will open up their own restaurant, make a menu with the prices. Students will be in groups of four and set up their own restaurant in class and then practice ordering and taking orders. Students will each take a turn individually and as a group to share their work in class.
Technology: Keyboard skills, how to us the Search Engine, Quizlet, and You Tube.
Where am I Now? I am very excited about the different Technology Tools I was not aware of, and am going to learn how to use those that are needed for my lesson plans. I am comfortable with You Tube, Gmail, Google Docs, Evernote, Quizlet, and Facebook. I think because of the different ages, and knowledge of the computer, I will be working with at least half my class individually in learning how to use the different technology tools.
Where do I want to be? I would like to learn more about how to teach the different technologies to an adult ESL class with different ages and different levels of education.
Timeline for Professional Development and Implementation: I will investigate further on how other teachers are teaching their students how to use technology in the classroom. I will then make out a step by step plan to teach my students how to use the tools that are needed for this lesson plan.
Assessment: We will be doing a lot of the activities as a class. I will be able to observe if the technology tools we used deepened student learning.
Student Technology Survey/Tech Discussion
I am an adult education teacher in a jail where my students are inmates and have extremely limited technology. Students are not allowed to access the internet, have cell phones, or even touch the SmartBoard while it is connect to the internet. My students access computers, without internet connection, to use interactive learning programs, Microsoft Office, and complete assignments. I am able to use the SmartBoard during lessons as long as my students remain 24 inches from the SmartBoard. It was a difficult transition for me to move from an adult education classroom with unlimited technology and internet access to a classroom with limited access for my students. I spoke with my students about what technology they use outside of the facility when they are home. Many stated Google and Youtube has taught them to do so much. One student stated he learned to cook from recipes he found online and another stated that you can learn to do anything on Youtube. Many of my students have children and suggested Youtube as a homework helper for their children. Many of my students are now learning algebra and trigonometry. Helping their child with homework has been a struggle in the past. The internet via computers, tablets, and cellphones made helping their children with homework a much easier task.
Students are interested in so many different forms of technology. Creating a cookbook is a great way to use Microsoft Office Word, Publisher, or Onenote, but you could also use Google Docs. Instead of creating a cookbook, the students could create a cooking show. They could write, design, record, and edit the show. As the teacher, you have to provide your students with choices for demonstration of their skills and knowledge. Why not provide 4 choices, let the students pick which project to complete, and then showcase the students work. 4 Choices: cookbook, food blog, cooking show, and food review articles in a student created newspaper.
Stop and Reflect: Cynthia
Cynthia tried using an online sharing platform, but it didn't really work for her students. After considering the POST method, she realized it was essential to use a platform the students were already familiar with using on a daily basis. Cynthia was able to use Facebook, a popular social media site, to create a group for students to write, share information, and participate outside of the classroom. When choosing a platform or any activity it is important to focus on the learners and not just the application. Facebook was a familiar site for most of the students and students were already comfort with the process of using the application. Relying on internet or technology can also have its downfalls. Sometimes students have no or limited access to data or Wi-Fi and technology sometimes fails. A small town here in West Virginia hasn't had internet access for a week due to the towers being down. Other places here in West Virginia do not have high speed internet and still uses dial up internet. The students circumstances also need to be considered when choosing technology applications.
Stop and Reflect: Nell
Nell was able to use Pinterest to help students become more engaged in the activity, but also learn to use the computer and technology to find information. Using Pinterest enhanced the lesson by providing knowledge students need to live in a 21st Century world. Students learned about creating accounts, privacy, and also where to find access to computers, tablets, or internet access.
Module 1: Session 2 Reflection
I have embraced technology in the past, but was also apprehensive at times. Technology is a great resource for teaching, activities, and practice, but it also requires more work when teaching the students additional skills. Technology skills are essential to live in today's world and using them in the classroom may take an extra lesson or step, but worth it in the long run. Listening to Cynthia and Nell reminded me that the P in POST needs to be considered when choosing a technology resource or activity for the students. The students abilities, knowledge, familiarity, "technology situation", and needs should be considered when deciding on what technology resources work best for the students.
Stop and Reflect: Tech Tools
I am interested in learning more about Paper.Li. I have not been able to access it in my classroom due to internet blocks with the site. I am curious if I could use it to make newspapers for my students incorporating academic subjects and then share a printed copy with them. Newspapers and reading materials are often hard to get in a correctional facility. The tools can be used across all all academic or workforce courses.
Module 3 Session 2: Teacher's Tech Tools
The teachers decided to use email and QR Codes to incorporate into their lessons. Most students are tech savvy in today's world, but some students lack in skill and would benefit from the knowledge. Both tools helped to deepen the lesson and provide students with knowledge they can use in daily living. Email is almost essential now and also makes communicating with far away loved ones easier. QR Codes are sometimes shown as coupons or seen in stores and restaurants.
Thanks for describing your current teaching setting and its technology limitations. SInce you do have and use a smartboard in the jail I wonder if you have some suggestions for another colleague who posted a question recently about how adult education teachers are using smartboards. https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/smart-boards
I also wonder if you have asked your students who have used YouTube or Google, what search strategies they use and how they evaluate the sites they find, what -- to them -- makes a helpful and worthwhile way to learn something new. This discussion could be a great learning experience for them, for you, and for other teachers here who would like to try that with their students. I hope you -- and others -- who might have that discussion share with us what you learn from your students and from holding that kind of discussion with them. Perhaps, of course, you have already done this. Let us know.
Since you are from West Virginia -- according to your LINCS profile -- I wonder if you have participated in any of the West Virginia adult education online professional development offered, I was told, through a Schoology platform. If so, have you found that helpful?
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
After I posted this reply, I had a niggling feeling that you might already have replied in that discussion thread, and indeed you had, and I had replied to you! In your reply you hoped others who have used smartboards in their classrooms might offer some help. So, I hope we hear from other smartboard users in that discussion thread. Everyone: If you use a smartboard in your classes, please share with Maria, Charity, and others what you have learned about how to use it effectively. Thanks!
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
During our discussion, my students' expressed learning videos or sites need to "make sense to them". A very basic builder needs to start with basic videos. They understood "scope and sequence" without knowing that exact terminology. It was interesting to hear their opinions about videos that were uploaded by people who didn't really understand what they were demonstrating and why.
WV AdultEd utilizes Schoology for groups and professional development. I am a state mentor training instructors to teach in DOC and regional jails. I participate as a learner and trainer. New teachers upload assignments and I grade them. We also use the platform to complete professional development assignments. It helps instructors and state staff stay connected even though we are located throughout the state. I work with new teachers face-to-face, but it provides them the opportunity to complete independent assignments and I can give prompt feedback.
Hi, I am an Adult Education Instructor. All of my students have smart phones and they usually use them for social media or texting. We have Ipads in our classroom. I try to use them for social study or science lessons. We also have our desktop computers the students use to get on TASC Academy or other online programs.
Welcome Trinity to the Integrating Technology group.
Since you use TASC Academy, it sounds like you teach adult secondary education/high school equivalency preparation. Do you use TASC Academy as the online part of a blended learning program, i.e. integrated with what you do face-to-face? Have you found apps to recommend for students to use on their smartphones? If so what ones have you/they found helpful?
When you can, please complete your LINCS profile telling a little about yourself and where you teach. Feel free to ask questions here, and perhaps others can respond.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
I am a GED Instructor with a variety of students. They include ESL and mixed level students. I think Google Docs and Tools are the some of the easiest tools for my students to have access to technology. Once students have this set up, they can take advantage of so much technology, However, this does take time to set up with a class of students, and of course some students will have more computer experience than others. I do agree that there is so much out there these days. Like it or not, the students can become overwhelmed with just a few options. I feel it is better to just focus on a little technology. Thus, students can gain confidence with technology skills and explore on their own.
Both Instructors really went out of their way to make sure students understood the purpose of the lesson. I can understand from experience how much time a (simple technology) lesson or task can take. This may seem like a hindrance sometimes when teachers have other objectives like teaching and prepping students to pass the GED. The students really learned a lot from the lessons and were even able to pass this new found information on to others. Great Successes!
I teach ABE/GED classes and have a wide variety of students, many who have English as their second language. Not all have access to a computer or a cell phone that can get on line. Not all use Facebook. None blog. I have access to computers during class one night a week and am planning to use them more often. The GED test is an online assessment, so they really need to learn that format. In addition, they must learn how to use the GED required calculator. Some have access to the calculator on their Smartphones, but that is not the same as the GED calculator. So a short term goal could be for students to learn basic skills using the calculator and then to progress to higher level skills as the need arises while learning higher level math.
I like the way the recipes could be shared and the Facebook method used in the video for students to practice writing the 5 paragraph essay. Reading the work of others helps students improve their own work. Embedded in that lesson were internet safety skills - always useful!
In addition to learning reading, math, science, and social studies, my students are required to take a Citizenship test. I am thinking that a PowerPoint presentation might be a helpful tool for reviewing the citizenship questions. Also, "Skills to Pay the Bills" lessons are required. Perhaps some of that content could be researched online instead of simply taught, maybe like a scavenger hunt done in pairs so that those with fewer computer skills can be partnered with more computer savvy students, learning by doing and feeling safer.
In the past, I have not taken an inventory of the technology skills my students bring to class. I will do this in the future. Also, I am understanding more about how to integrate technology into lessons, not using technology for its own sake, but rather to further the objectives of the lessons. Some activities lend themselves to technology integration more than others. Discussing plans with peers would be helpful.
One of the most widely-used ways to assess adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) students' technology skills is the (free to students) Northstar Digital Literacy assessment. It isn't the only way, of course; there are free assessments developed by adult basic skills teachers, and there are proprietary (commercial) assessments. You'll find a couple of these proprietary assessments listed on the Literacy List Computer and other Digital Literacy Assessments and Lessons page, as well as many free or OER digital literacy instruction sites.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
I have now listened to Nell's experience with using Pinterest with her students. A couple of things stand out for me. First, after the students wrote their autobiographies and shared them with Nell, the project continued. They found their countries and pinned them on a map, thus expanding what could have been done without the technology. Also, as was done in the last video, students learned about internet safety and privacy.
I am interested in how to set up a blogsite so that students who miss class can keep up. I'd just post what we did that evening, etc. I also plan to explore TeacherTube. Perhaps I could use links so that students could review math skills, because, often, processes are forgotten. We only meet twice a week and have 1 1/2 hours for math. Extra help at home would be great!
In the past we have used specific sites for specialized instruction. Perhaps they could be used as an introduction for the topic.
You may just want someplace to post what you did in class that day, and/or to put homework assignments and practice exercises, or to put up links to supplementary lessons or to helpful online learning resources such as free math skills websites, of which there are many. You may also be interested in doing something more ambitious, but not necessarily a great deal more work, such as video recording every class and uploading the videos to a cloud storage site like Dropbox (or any of many other cloud storage sites), or to a private YouTube channel just for your students. You would then copy a link to each archived video file to a simple website that your students can access and that has (a) separate page(s) for each of your classes. Free web page design and storage sites like Weebly.com or Wix.com are popular with many adult basic skills teachers, and of course there are many other possibilities. At the end of each day you could take a few minutes to upload class videos, get sharable links for them and post them to the class page on your website.
You might wonder what you need to video your classes: a digital camera or smartphone; smartphones that allow one hour or more for each video might do. You would aim the camera at yourself and basically stay in that well-lit spot when presenting or demonstrating. You would need a stand for the smartphone or digital camera. You can get a small camera stand that can be put on a table or desk for under $5 on Amazon or other website that sells digital camera stands, or in stores that sell digital cameras. You might want to buy a portable lapel Mic for yourself so that whatever you say is clear and loud in the video. For class video archiving, I recommend against trying to edit your video because this takes lots of time and editing skills; just upload it, as is, and link to it on your class website. Of course, for other reasons you might prefer to create a blog instead of a class website, although I think a website or a free online class shell program like Schoology or Edmodo might better meet your needs for helping students keep up when they miss a class. My preference for blog sites is for the free -- easy-to-use and excellent -- wordpress.com, but there are other choices such as blogspot.
It would be great to hear from other teachers who have found good web-based solutions to help their students keep up when they have missed classes!
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
It seemed that both instructors were comfortable with the technology used. Even with good planning, Nell ran into some unforeseen problems, but she and the students were flexible so it worked out. As she said, she would arrange the lesson differently the next time. Both lessons increased communication - Nell's between classmates and with family back in Pakistan and Cynthia's with classmates and family. Both taught skills that are transferable outside the classroom, so they did improve instruction and deepen understanding. I think they both used the best choices of technology to meet their objectives.
Hi, I currently teach in a Mass high school computer science and also evenings as a technologist for adult learners who are trying to pass the GED and ESOL. Both are very rewarding. My students in high school have their cell phones, access to a Windows based desk top computer, and they have school issued chrome books. My adult evening students have access to chrome books, cell phones, and ThinkPads. My adult students are using software apps from essentialed.com for GED and HiSET and ESOL uses Burlington English. It is my job to aid my students in learning how to find and use new digital tools to complete their tasks and to help in their learning. Our students learn how to navigate the digital world within browsers, how to type, and many other skills. So glad I found these online courses on Lincs for PD and self-growth. I have been reading other teachers posts and comments and appreciate all the resources and suggestions provided. Thank you!
Thanks James for introducing yourself. I am interested to hear more about how your adult learners are using their cell phones for GED or HiSET Prep, for ESOL or other purposes. Have you introduced them, for example to any of the prize-winning Adult Literacy XPRIZE apps? Do you know about "App to Speed" learning circles for introducing students who wish to use their smartphones for basic ESOL or basic literacy? Are your students using the Essential Ed apps on a computer, or on their smartphones, or both?
What are the tasks for which you are seeking digital tools for your students, and would you like recommendations from this group on what software tools you might consider? LINCS groups, including Integrating Technology are part of a community of practice where teachers and other adult basic skills practitioners are encouraged to post their questions and where they often get good suggestions from other adult basic skills educators and others.
BTW, I live in Boston, so we may be neighbors!
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
My name is Megan. I do tech support for an Adult Basic Education program in Webster, MA. I have found that most of our students have smart phones, though not all students have active phones. Most have access to some type of technology. They have tablets and computers or at least know where to find something of that nature to use. Our program uses Burlington English, Duolingo, and Typing.com for our English language learners. We use Essential Education for our GED/HiSet students. It is amazing to see how fast our students are making progress towards their goals!
Personally, I like to use Google Suite apps in all my teaching. I think for the cook book idea I would suggest something along the lines of a Google slides presentation. I think Google Sites could also be good. Creating a website that is easily editable and interactive would make for an interesting way to store recipes for a class project. Either Google Slides or Google Sites could utilize pictures taken from class of the recipes while they are actually being made and of the finished product. A smart phone or a digital camera could be used for this.
Cynthia tried to use on online commenting platform and Facebook. Facebook worked better because most students already had accounts and were familiar with how it worked. They were more comfortable writing in this format and knew what to do. A limitation of Facebook is that it is a public site. No matter how secure you try to make a public site, there are always ways around that. Personal information on the web doesn't always stay personal. As for the other online commenting platform, it is still out there on the web, but they are generally more private because they are usually used for the express purpose classes communicating with each other.
Nell's use of Pinterest allowed students to expand their search area from magazines to everything the internet has to offer. It opened up a lot of new opportunities for image searches for her students. It also allowed them to collaborate in a way that students not using technology rarely do. Pairing up students who are unfamiliar or uncomfortable with technology with those who are more comfortable/familiar is a great idea. It takes the fear out of trying something new that a lot of people who don't use technology on a regular basis have. I'm happy that Nell was able to overcome her own fear of trying some new technology tools.
After listening to the two teachers reflect, I realized that some of the technology I take for granted could be put to great use in a classroom. I would never think to use Facebook or Pinterest in a classroom, but both teachers made great cases for why they should be considered. I think that I tend to get bogged down with traditional technology styles and tools and need to explore more contemporary tools out there. I have taken trainings before that have opened my eyes to new tools. This has opened my eyes again.
Based on this, I think that I can use a tool that I found (flipgrid) that lets students record themselves speaking. This could be used to record their self-assessments instead of having them write them down. Flipgrid lets students record their responses on a computer with a camera or on a smart phone. It gives them the opportunity to rerecord if they choose and lets them add silly stickers and such to make the app more fun. The recordings are sent to a "flip code" that the teacher gives out. That way, only the people with the code can record and only the teacher can see the recordings. I can't wait to try it out.
After looking at the list of technology tools, I realized that there are a lot of tools out there that I never thought to employ in a classroom. I have never considered using podcasts in class before and now realize what a great tool it could be, for instance, for an English learner to listen to people speaking English about different topics. I have used Google products with classes before. I try to use them extensively. I have seen QR codes used before but have never used them myself. It is something I would like to explore.
The first teacher chose a technology tool to integrate that one would assume everyone would be somewhat skilled in using. Being the technologist assigned to helping students with email addresses, I'm not surprised so many people had trouble with it. I often find that people either have no idea how to create an email address or only use one on their phone and have no idea what their password is since they don't type it on a regular basis. I've had to help reset many a password. I think it was valuable that the teacher added technology to the letter writing lesson because the students came away from that lesson with a new skill. Even if they already knew how to do what was asked, those students were able to help others which is also an important skill.
As for the second teacher, QR codes are interesting. I know if a teacher came to one of my classes and showed us how to use a QR code it would have piqued my interest. I'm glad she was able to unwittingly extend her lesson for the students. It shows that that bit of technology can be utilized for so much because 1. it is easy to use 2. it is fun to use.
I teach a Low Intermediate ESL class at an off site location associated with Chicago City Colleges. The building is older, but I use a laptop and projector in the classroom for instruction. I also have access to a computer lab once a week for 2 hours. I have a variety of ages and computer literacy levels. I take the students each week to the lab. Sometimes I pair based on students abilities, sometimes to have the more savvy students help the less savvy. I have mostly used these sessions to reinforce what we've been practicing in class. I use the online tool that coordinates with our text and various websites to practice grammar and pronunciation mostly.
The individual time with the computer helps those who are not savvy become more savvy. It takes a lot of encouragement for these students who are, naturally, intimidated.
All of my students have cell phones, most of them are smart phones, but few have a lot of data. We talk about the fact that students can use the computers at our location or Chicago public libraries to practice, but few have the time to do this. Many do not have the confidence to use a computer on their own.
Some have access to a computer with internet at their home, but some don't know how to access it. It's an issue that I keep trying to address, but it's very rewarding to see the students who are able to improve their skills with the assistance of technology.
I have also tried using Google tools, having students use their smart phones to practice, but I haven't tried getting everyone to use a tool like Pinterest. I like that idea. I plan to try it.
The first instructor took the obstacles in her first attempt at an email to the mayor to develop a better plan. I don't think I've ever tried something with technology involved that worked without needing adjustment to improve it. I like how she broke up the lesson into pieces for success.
As far as the second instructor's lesson, Ididn't even imagine the possibilities of Bitly or QR codes until I read her account of using them. I will definitely explore these tools.
How would I use technology following a recipe lesson? The students could make a video of themselves making the dish. They could post a blog, do a powerpoint, send a link to a recipe's step by step instructions.
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? Cynthia tried an online platform at the beginning of her class. She said that was not a great choice because it was just another place and task her busy students had to go to do their work. So she came up with the idea of creating a facebook group just for the class members. Here they could write their assignments, read other students' work and upload documents. They could like and share links. This turned out to be a great way to use technology while showcasing the students' assignments.
How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning. Wow, what a great lesson and what a lot of learning went on in this lesson, even for Nell. Her students not only learned about each other by all the sharing they did on Pinterest they also learned about technology. How to search for images, how to move around the Pinterest site. I loved when she stated that the students felt so comfortable and enjoyed this site so much that they did over and above what the teacher had assigned. Now, they are using this site for other lessons.
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?
I really have not used technology other than testing and Word Documents. I have all ready created an account with a ReadWorks for my students so they can practice reading and answering short questions online at home or in the classroom. It has been a huge success, especially with the subjects of Social Studies and Science. I am definitely going to try the facebook account for my HiSET learners. I really think the "classroom" away from the classroom will be a great help for some of these students, especially when it comes to checking up on each other. Also, for highlighting celebrations and problems students may encounter on assignments. I am going to try assigning lessons and have them posted on this site, I can't wait to get started. After this class I feel like I have more confidence to try using more technology.
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? The repurposed site is the facebook site. I had never thought to use that and make a classroom group. Also, I guess I never thought to use Google Docs for my classroom. I use it with other teachers but not with my students. Also, I am going to check out the Weebly for education. I think that could be fun to create a HiSET website for our district. And the PollEverywhere site for students after they have completed program.
As you listen, think 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? The instructors used Khan Academy, URL Shortner-Bitley)this was new for instructor) and UR code( this was new for instructor) and email
- Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? Yes in both classes. If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool?
- Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How? Yes, in both classes. It made learning fun and it also encouraged the learning to go beyond the classroom and the lessons.
- Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? I think so. The email was so simple but had many parts to take of before it could be done completely. This was something the teacher really had to do once to understand so she tweaked her lesson the second time around. What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use? Nell could have used Word Doc to write the letters and then send, snail mail to the Mayor.
I am a new Learning Center Coordinator and have very little knowledge about using technology in the classroom. So this will be a super class for me to take. Looking forward to it.
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? Yes, I would like to explore the online networking tools and the Weebly for education, website and blog. Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? I did learn new ways of using existing tools. I love the idea of being able to shorten long videos I also like the Multimodal Communication tools. How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need? Facebook can be repurposed to meet the needs of a classroom and not just an individual.
Steps to completing the Technology Integration Action Plan:
- Select a unit/lesson that you currently use in your classroom - Setting Goals
- Complete Part 1 of the Technology Integration Action Plan on Applying the POST Method: My students are HiSET learners ranging between the ages of 18-55. Their goal is to create a resume. Included in this will be learning parts of a resume, vocabulary, peer editing and then finding three employers they could submit resume to. Objectives: Learn new vocabulary words that will be used while creating resume. Learn how to format resume, peer edit with at least one other, research places in area to apply, submit resume. Learn and become familiar with keyboard and resume building sites. Strategy and Technology: Brainstorm what will be included in resume. View resumes online. Type out resume on Word Doc. Enter resume parts on resume builder template. Peer edit with constructive and helpful ideas. Google jobs that are hiring. Submit resume when ready.
- Select a technology tool to explore and integrate into your unit/lesson Resume templates, Word Doc. Email and attachment
- Complete Part 2 of the Technology Integration Action Plan on Planning for Integrating Technology.Where Am I now. I am very good at searching the internet for sites and examples of product being produced. I am going to do my research to find the best Resume template site for my students and make sure I know my way around it before they get on it.
Challenge students to find fusion versions by searching the various recipe ingredients individually. Have students research the history and other uses of one of the spices in the chosen recipe. Find photos of the completed recipe and have students contrast those with their own idea of what the finished dish should look like. Have students explore adding a new ingredient to the dish.
I am the Adult Education Transition Services Coordinator for Illinois Eastern Community Colleges. I currently teach a Transition Skills class for our Adult Secondary Education students and recently graduated EDU students.
Technology and Tasks: The majority of my students have access to the internet at home, a few of them have computers that they can access outside of the classroom, however, and all of them have a smartphone. We do provide laptops in the classroom and present materials for our lessons through Smartboards. During each class, we have developed a routine that takes us into our Community College's Learn Management System, D2L, which is now switching over to Canvas. Within the LMS, the students can check on the assignment for the day, a brief synopsis of what the day will hold before they come into the class through the "News" and we access our discussion forum for the day to have an interactive activity at the onset of class. This was a learning curve for many at first, however, through repetition they have embraced this activity and seem to enjoy the discussion forum process.
Let's Become Chefs! final Activity: The reading/writing activity for "Let's Become Chefs" was no longer available. We went ahead and worked with a mac n cheese recipe from The Chunky Chef site (https://www.thechunkychef.com/family-favorite-baked-mac-and-cheese/). We discussed terminology, abbreviations of measurements, how to decipher the recipe, and then the proper way to construct a recipe for others to follow. We researched and discussed methods to share their recipes online such as https://www.mycookbook-online.net/en/home/ or Pinterest. We then discussed options to make a class cookbook! The students loved this idea.
Two tools Cynthia tried to implement with her students in the classroom | Observed benefits of one over the other | Limitations of both: To implement technology into her classroom, Cynthia had originally tried an online platform that her students did not use on a regular basis in their daily lives and were not familiar with. Even though the majority of her students were "technology savvy", this did not get the response she was looking for so she had to go back and reevaluate. Cynthia decided to try the POST method and looked at the dynamic of her students, their level of technical skills, their access to technology, and a platform that they were already engaged with, Facebook. She introduced a classroom Facebook account and implemented a weekly, interactive writing assignment. One limitation she did come across was that not all of her students had a Facebook account. Cynthia used this as an opportunity to share online and Facebook etiquette and safety. While she did have a few things she had to work through with her students, this proved to be a great success with her class and the students remained engaged with the Facebook group and realized that those who had the most hang-ups were the ones who chose to use this tool the most.
Nell's lesson on Autobiographies using Pinterest: Nell was not comfortable initially with implementing technology because of her own level of experience with technology. She knew that she needed to, however, to help her students gain confidence in this area as well. Nell introduced Pinterest as the technology tool of choice to work on student autobiographies. She encouraged them by sharing with them online safety measures when using a social media site such as Pinterest and shared terminology that they would encounter when creating their own Pinterest Boards. The students were able to explore other Pinterest boards for images that complemented their search on their home countries. Nell paired the more experienced technology users with the ones who were less experienced. They had opportunities to pull images from online Google searches and pin these images to their boards with a paragraph explaining what this image means to them. Many of her students like this project so much that they opted to continue using it for future projects such as creating a collaborative board on what immigrants need to know when arriving in the U.S.
After listening to teacher reflections from Cynthia Bell and Nell Eckersley: I have implemented the POST method because I now appreciate this formula that not all of my students will fit the mold of the new technologies that I want to incorporate into our lesson plans. I need to reach my students where they are. I want to work with their levels of technology skills and their levels of interest, whether or not they have access to the technology I am implementing, and look at whether or not the technology is enhancing the learning objectives for the academic lessons needed for completing their GED. Most of my students are at an ASE level and are needing Transition Skills instruction to help them with college and career readiness. In the past, I have incorporated our college's LMS to keep our students involved with technology and mapped my classes around assignments (discussion forums, interactive docs, dropbox usage, etc.) to meet the needs of the technology involvement within the classroom. However, after taking this course, I feel that it would be most beneficial for me to include social media and technology that they are already using or are familiar with using to encourage engagement, such as the Google platform and Youtube.
Technology tools that I would like to explore | New ways of using existing tools | Repurpose of tools to meet another need: The technology tools that I would like to incorporate would be the use of social media platforms such as Facebook for interactive and collaborative assignments as well as Twitter for educational research and to sync Twitter through relevant sites and blogs. We are currently using the Google platform as an online communication tool through Gmail and are going to continue to use Google technology through Google forms and slides through both group and individual projects. And we can use our Google classroom as an organizational tool and a collaborative tool for their assignments and for them to give and receive feedback from one another on group projects.
Instructor use of technology in the classroom from two of our instructors, Stacey and Vanessa: I have worked with two of our instructors to help them promote and incorporate Digital Literacy into their classrooms in a series of Workshops with the students. The technology tools that were introduced were Google suite and our Learning Management System, Canvas. While Vanessa was comfortable with using both technology tools because of her background teaching in middle school, Stacey was a little more hesitant. Stacey asked for more one-on-one training after the workshop series with the classroom were complete. The tool selected was meant for each student within both classes as an academic enhancement as well as something they can take with them outside of the classroom and on into the working world. The students were assessed with a survey for both basic computer and internet skills as well as some important information literacy and social media etiquette awareness. The students started with different levels of skills and knowledge allowing both instructors to provide instruction over the basics before actually integrating these tools into the classroom. Both instructors have since continued with the Google classroom and have had success with integrating the use of the Google technology with their lesson plans. Vanessa embraces the technology with ease because she has a familiarity with it that has already given her the confidence she needs to present it to her students with ease. Stacey struggled with the implementation of the technology tools initially but is coming around and sees the importance of sharing these opportunities with her students. She is learning while they are learning and her students are very supportive of her. Some of her students are very experienced with technology and comfortable and have actually stepped up to help guide the others that are not so tech savvy. I believe that using the Google suite was a good choice to implement into the basic academics and we are working on implementing this into this technology across the board in the program. The Learning Management System, Canvas, is going to be a great tool for the Transition Skills classes for sure. I can see the students and teachers benefiting from using both technology tools to help organize the assignments, quizzes, videos, etc. that goes into their lessons for the week. These tools also promote collaboration and better communication. I could definitely see the instructors incorporating social media tools to meet the students where their ultimate comfort levels are and use these tools as collaborative methods for assignments as well.