Please think about teaching, learning, or programmatic challenges you experience as an adult education professional, and respond to these two conversation prompts:
- Describe 1 or 2 of these challenges. Please be specific.
- What kind of support can the LINCS platform help provide you to address these challenges?
Thanks. We look forward to reading and commenting on your response!
My biggest challenge / frustration at this point is how we treat adult educators. We don't respect them as professional. Community colleges here offer "19-hour" job so that they don't have to pay benefits. As a result, teachers have to work 2 or 3 part-time job without benefits in order to make a living. The fact that they are committed enough to adult education to do this is amazing, but we lose a lot of talent and innovation because some of our most talented folks have to choose between their own needs and their students' needs.
My second challenge is related. Because we hire predominantly part-time teachers, we get a lot of retired folks who are digitally illiterate or almost illiterate, and for the most part unwilling or unable to integrate technology, which is absolutely required for 21st century jobs, even at the "unskilled labor" level,'
If anyone has a suggestion for how to move programs out of the thinking that high-turnover of part-time teachers is better than hiring full-time teachers with benefits who will stay, I would love to hear it.
I totally agree with Glenda. Unless our field becomes more legitimate with more full-time positions, it is hard to make the changes that must come in our field. Faculty and students must use technology as the jobs in this world demand it. Our culture is going through robotization- any job that can be done by a robot will in the very near future. The only jobs that will be left for people will be jobs that require creativity and higher level thinking skills. Therefore it is imperative that we have the faculty we need to train adults how to create and find those new jobs.
I agree with Glenda in that adult educators are relegated to the fringes of learning, much like our learners are marginalized by life. I believe that part time employees = part time loyalty. The ever fluctuating funding doesn't lend itself to program stability. What supports can be implemented to stabilize the monies needed to support even a small full time staff?
Another challenge is getting employers to the planning table. What recommendations can LINCS (or anyone else) make to secure employer presence to inform workplace integration?
David Rosen recapped this comment for the group. He shared that California has had a model called Adult Schools - they are adult education schools but operate as schools. Another model that is new to our field is adult public charter schools. Many are in California. Most are for out-of-school young adults, but there are some for adults -- including two in Washington, DC (Academy of Hope Public Charter School and Carlos Rosario Adult Public Charter School).
Another challenge that David shared is around bringing employers to the table.
In correctional education, one of my biggest frustrations is teaching technology without the internet. I would love to hear ideas that people use to bring in resources for stand along computers etc. I would also love to hear from correctional teachers using tablets in corrections. How does it work out? Problems? Great resources?
I would recommend software for corrections based learners. I know: where is the budget for that?! I agree that software costs, but with the Internet restrictions in that type of location, this is the only way I've ever heard about people using. Tablet use would present the same lack of Internet access as desktops, and then there is a portability issue too.
Hi my #notatCOABE17 colleagues,
I am in the room here today with the group attending the session and there is a great discussion going on.
I think there is a variety of valuable resources by LINCS and by other #AdultEdu entities. One constant challenge I see is that most of us in the field, full-tme or part-time, are struggling to carve out or make time to participate in all the great PD opportunities that are available to us. I don't have any good solutions for that.
We'd love to hear from the field about ways that we can make it easier to participate in our activities, since we know time is short. Are there formats or time periods that would be better than others?
Webinars seem a good approach. I get email blasts from COABE and IPDAE, among others, often. If I have time, I attend. If it's a topic that's a priority, I make the time to attend. I can often multitask when I'm on a webinar, which makes them more attractive too.
For the LINCS site itself, maybe the navigation troubles could be solved by having easy pull down menus for each tab. For example, under 'Groups', maybe there could be a pull down if we hover our mouse over it. Right now, it's a tab that has to be clicked, and then it's easy to get lost inside. -Peg
I often have problems finding information on LINCS. I know it's there but navigating can be confusing. I want to be able to show my instructors this website but if I can't figure it out then I won't be able to help them. I need more information and resources that help instructors with the integration of career pathways into the curriculum.
I think navigating this site is also confusing
Can you share specific things that you find difficult? We're always trying to make navigation easier, but we'd love to have your thoughts about what specifically is confusing or difficulty. Thank you!
Hi DaniB and Susan, thanks so much for speaking up about this. We'd love to improve our site (and actually there's some ongoing work to make navigation less confusing), but in the meantime please don't hesitate to reach out to our Help Desk via the contact form or email@example.com any time you have a question. I'm always happy to help, and do my best to respond to every message right away.
LINCS Help Desk Support
Hi, DaniB -
Thanks for joining us! Speaking as the moderator for the Career Pathways community, we have some pretty good resource in the Resource Collection that address integration of career pathways into the curriculum, and David Rosen and I are working on an event for career pathways in ABE programs for later this year.
Send me an e-mail, or drop me a note in the Career Pathways community, if you'd like to talk more about curriculum integration. I'm happy to go through the resources with you!
Members joining us online, please share what kind of support the LINCS platform can help provide you to address your professional challenges as an adult educator!
Resources to help teachers with the instructional design process and use informative assessments.
Hi, J Love -
Thanks for joining us! Can you tell me what content areas you're teaching, or looking for resources to help you prepare to teach? We have some resources on both ID and assessment in the Resource Collection. If you don't find what you're looking for, please reach out to one of the moderators, and we'll have you locate what you need.
- One professional developer shared that content knowledge for math instructors was important - how to deepen content knowledge for math and science. How do we support adult educators in doing that? Brooke shared that the professional developers should share their experience about how to do that on the COP. It is a joint effort - the COP can be a way that we can all support each other.
- Susan shared that professional developers run into this issue all the time and one challenge in this field is constant turn-over and there is a need to constantly train and re-train. Part of the way LINCS can be effective is LINCS can offer different events, activities, etc. If we know what the field needs, we can plan activities around that topic (special guests, micro groups, etc.). We know that job-embedded activities are important, so the COP can be used as a place for reflection as well. Members should let moderators know what they need- so that LINCS can make COP activities more helpful to their teachers.
- David also shared that there is an OCTAE Power in Numbers initiative that is focused on using math and numeracy OERs. They are recruiting for a teacher user group. Chris Harper from that project shared information about the teacher user groups that they are currently recruiting for - teachers will test and review math OERs - stipends are available. The Power in Numbers will also be at the booth. Flyers are available at the LINCS Booth. Applications are due at the end of June and more details are available in the Math and Numeracy group.
Echoing this statement from the room; please share your needs with the moderators in your groups! Send us an e-mail, or post in the community. Chances are that you're not the only one with these needs.