For many years before I became the moderator of the Integrating Technology group, which was originally called Technology and Learning, it had been one of my favorite LINCS Community of Practice groups. I have worked for several decades in the field of adult basic education (defined broadly, from basic literacy through transition to post-secondary education and including English language learning) as a teacher, program manager, curriculum developer, professional developer, program evaluator, researcher, advocate, consultant and advisor. Throughout my career, a major theme of interest has been how teachers and learners can use digital technology well for teaching and learning. For me, this began with an Apple IIe personal computer (for those who remember them), and now includes not only a range of computers and the Internet, but also an expanding use of portable digital devices such as feature phones, smart phones, tablets, and e-readers, as well as multi-media projectors, document readers, electronic whiteboards, and more. I have helped organizations turn face-to-face courses and workshops into online courses, and also have worked with online adult education course developers to create strategies for an online professional development course for face-to-face teachers who are newly interested in developing online teaching skills.
I have a persistent interest in using free online digital video in face-to-face and online instruction, for example for teaching math, science and writing. With a videographer colleague, I have created a free adult education professional development website of short, authentic classroom videos, what I often describe as a video window on other adult education teachers’ classes. I have written a guide to blended learning for adult educators that is available online for free. I also have a persistent interest in competency-based education and mastery learning that I see fitting very well with blended learning in a set of strategies aimed to significantly improve adult learning outcomes in this era of rising education standards. I am also interested in digital badges, also known as micro-credentials, and portfolios.
I also have a persistent interest in nonformal education, especially adult basic skills and language learning that is not part of the formal (WIOA Title II-funded) education system. A recent example is Learning Circles. These are typically 4 - 12 weeks, have an online course or online learning resources combined with a weekly face-to-face meeting, and are led by a trained facilitator who supports those enrolled in the same online course or using the same online learning resources. The idea is to help people who otherwise might not benefit from an online course without a face-to-face facilitator and peer support. It is also used by adult English language programs to support the learning of those who are on long waiting lists for English classes.
I am also a co-moderator for a FaceBook group for adult educators who (want to) use Facebook private groups with their students, a Flipped Learning Network adult basic education group, and a co-moderator for an online competency-based/proficiency-based adult educators group.
Although I often like technology, I have experienced my share of frustrations with it. I don’t consider myself a technology booster or a technology expert, but rather an adult educator who sees many ways in which digital technology can help teachers and adult learners. I love being part of an active community of practitioners where discussion is lively, information is useful, and where we all feel connected with, and well informed about, our mutual interest: how to use technology well to help adults learn.
Whether you are new to the Integrating Technology or not, please feel free to introduce yourself, and tell us about your current technology and learning interests; for those of us reading those introductions, let’s reply indicating how our interests may intersect with theirs. if you are interested in something I mentioned in this introduction and want to know more, please post a reply to ask about it.
David J. Rosen
Moderator, Technology and Learning CoP