Illinois Digital Learning Lab Field Report

Integrating Technology and Professional Development Colleagues,

In 2018 an innovative state integrating technology project, the Illinois Digital Literacy Lab, took seriously the needs that adult basic skills (including ESL/ESOL, ABE, and ASE) teachers have to learn about, purchase, test out, and evaluate the use of digital technology with their students. It provided a generous budget for purchasing hardware and software, provided teachers with stipends for their additional work, joined them together in small cohorts, provided subject matter experts to work with them (I was one), held frequent and regular cohort online meetings, began and ended the year with all-day face-to-face meetings, and has now published a field report that you may find of interest, .

I have three hopes, that the Digital Learning Lab project in Illinois will continue for at least a second year, that other states and charitable foundations will learn how this project supported adult basic skills teachers in their need to integrate technology, and that other states will emulate this promising professional development project.

David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group


Thank you for sharing this report. The initial learner outcomes are very promising. I'd love to hear more about how you supported your teachers as they explored various technologies. I presume the role of each subject matter expert helped the teachers develop lesson plans and instructional strategies with the various technology resources. Did the teachers have to learn the technology themselves? Did they share lesson plans with each other? 

How can teachers, not involved with the Illinois Learning Lab learn how to effectively use each of the tools listed? 

Thanks for any additional information on this project.