Beginning on Monday May 18th, through Friday May 22nd, the LINCS Integrating Technology group will host an asynchronous discussion with instructors, a team leader and the director of the Illinois Digital Learning Lab, a year-long education professional development project for adult basic skills education practitioners from across the state of Illinois. More information about the invited presenters will be found below after a brief description of the project adapted from its Facebook page. We hope you will join in the discussion and ask questions of the participants.
The Illinois Digital Learning Lab is a community of adult educators teaching across ABE, ASE, ESL, and HSE programs in the state of Illinois. Their goal is to experiment with digital tools to serve the needs of their students. An estimated 2.2 million Illinois adults or 18% of the population have limited skills in reading, writing, math or English language proficiency. Digital tools offer the promise to improve the effectiveness and reach of adult education. The Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition (CCLC) has adopted the Illinois Digital Learning Lab (IDLL or "the lab") Launched by the New Ventures Fund in 2017. The Lab is a community of adult educators focused on integrating new technology into their classrooms. The explore a variety of topics and software/hardware including: personalized learning, digital literacy, blended learning, Chromebooks, and Google Suite. CCLC is undertaking this effort with generous support from the Grand Victoria Foundation.
Michael manages all of Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition’s education technology work, including the Illinois Digital Learning Lab (IDLL). He is currently the COABE Representative for Region 4 and on the IACEA Board as Director of Region 1. He is also an Adult Education Tutor Trainer for Literacy Works, a position he has held for over 16 years. Michael previously held several roles in adult education including Senior Director Adult Education, Employment and Training; Director Adult Education and Data; Computer Lab Director/Coordinator/Teacher; and ESL/ABE/ASE Teacher. Earlier in his career, Michael was a classroom teacher in Chicago public high schools, teaching CAD, Information Technology, Art, and Business classes.
Michael works in adult education to help instructors and students/clients succeed. He loves working to innovate education and educate for innovation.
Jenny is currently an adjunct faculty member in the Adult Education department at Waubonsee Community College in Illinois, a position she has held since 2005. She has taught adult ESL classes at all levels as well as ABE/ASE/High School Equivalency Language Arts classes. In 2019, she earned her MA in ESL from Hamline University. Her philosophy on incorporating technology has always been to jump in and try it, and participating in the Illinois Digital Learning Lab has helped her be more intentional about the technology she uses with students.
Laurice Hoffman is with Township High School District 214, Community Engagement and Outreach. She has been working in Adult Education for over 9 years as the Coordinator of Adult Literacy Volunteer Services with the Read to Learn Program, and as an ESL Instructor for low-intermediate adult learners. She is currently participating in a cohort through the Illinois Digital Learning Lab, which has afforded her the opportunity to collaborate with fellow educators throughout the state, as well as instructional designers at Google. She is passionate about experimenting with new digital tools and participating in rigorous analysis of the effectiveness of online and blended learning. She would like to share her experience as a participant in this lab, specifically, the advantages of having introduced technology in the classroom prior to the COVID 19 pandemic, and her use of the G-Suite products to create engaging lessons to measure learning. Digital literacy in adult education plays a vital role in developing self-directed learners, and impacts every aspect of life. By participating in the Integrating Technology group discussion, she hopes to gain insight into best teaching practices, and learn effective curriculum development and implementation methods.
Dawn Brill and Jenna Korenstra
Dawn is an ESL teacher at the YWCA Elgin, as well as the "DAISI person". Her students are Beginning Literacy (Level 1 out of 6 levels at the YWCA), and they are predominantly Spanish speakers. She had the opportunity to be involved with IDLL last year as they piloted it for the first time. The resources, both through equipment and networking, that IDLL provided for her program were invaluable to their students and teachers. It enabled them to share with their students the positive ways that digital technology is one more tool in their “toolbox” as they continue to learn and use English as their second language.
Jenna is an ESL teacher at the YWCA Elgin, and her students are Level two (out of six levels). Most of their students are Spanish speakers. They have 10 hours of scheduled class each week, and she dedicated two of those hours for technology use and instruction. She became interested in ESL learning when she taught Navajo students in New Mexico for ten years. She earned her TESOL graduate degree at UNM, and has taught in a variety of ESL settings since then. She has learned a great deal this year as part of the IDLL!
Anya Enright (Thursday, May 21st)
Anya was born and raised in Russia, in the Siberian city of Omsk. She was the first woman in her family with a University degree, and the first generation to immigrate to this country. Since the day of getting her degree, she has been involved in languages and adult education in Russia, Ireland, and now in the US. Building a highly rewarding career in Medical Remote Interpreting in the World for a leading American corporation, and being a speaker at many National venues, she saw that the key to success in life, especially being new in any country is education. So, she decided to transition full-time to Adult Education.
Now, a Cross Cultural Learning Leader, and an instructor with the ESL, Citizenship and College and Career Programs with Illinois Township High School District 214, the biggest in the Country, and a SMART Goal Trainer, she has the privilege of contributing to the success of others.
She says: “The past year was very tech-driven for me. Being part of the technology project with the Illinois Digital Learning Lab (IDLL) and being a GOOGLE Community College Board Member, has allowed me to integrate and experiment with technologies with my students in class, and remotely, and prove its efficiency in learning. I definitely was more prepared more than others with transitioning learning full-time online.”
Now, Anya, who is also a founder and host of the “My American Dream” podcast enjoys her residency in beautiful Chicago and has big plans to support others in their journey of building their American Dream with technologies.
Joy Klannukarn Pak (Thursday, May 21st)
Joy has been involved in almost all areas of adult education, from tutoring low literacy learners to ABE learners to teaching various levels of ESL students for almost 20 years. She is currently the ESL Program Coordinator for Chinese Mutual Aid Association in Elgin, Illinois. In addition to those responsibilities, She also teaches low beginners to high intermediate ESL students. She’s assisted instructors and administrators on integrating digital technology in their program and classrooms over the years. It was a perfect fit for her, she believes, to be a part of the Illinois Digital Learning Lab’s first year as a cohort member. This year she is honored to be a Subject Matter Expert for IDLL. She has an opportunity to assist a larger audience of adult educators and administrators with integrating digital tools.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group
I'm looking forward to this discussion, David!
The Illinois Digital Learning Lab (IDLL) project five-day asynchronous panel discussion begins today, Monday May 18th, in the LINCS Integrating Technology group. Join and invite your colleagues to join us at
Learn -- and ask about -- how teachers become technology leaders in their programs in community-based agencies, schools and colleges in a state-wide project that emphasizes teacher action research, peer learning through technology integration teams, and experimenting with new technologies.
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group