Bridging Gaps in Adult Education Classrooms Through Digital Literacy Instructional Content Featuring Jamie Harris & Rachel Pleasants McDonnell

Join Digital Skills Senior Technical Advisor, U.S. at World Education, Jamie Harris, and Associate Director at Jobs for the Future, Rachel Pleasants McDonnell, for this discussion!

Jamie Harris is Digital Skills Senior Technical Advisor at the EdTEch Center of World Education. She works on national projects that draw on her strengths in digital literacy instruction, ESOL, and adult education teaching and PD, and immigrant integration. Ms. Harris, in her 14 years of experience in adult education, has worked in English as a Second Language, English as a Foreign Language, Adult Basic Education, Adult Secondary Education, and practitioner professional development and training, domestically and abroad. Jamie has completed a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies, a master’s degree in education, as well Nonprofit Leadership Programs.

Rachel Pleasants McDonnell is an Associate Director at JFF. She leads efforts to improve access to and success in postsecondary education, with an emphasis on underrepresented populations. She leads the development and deployment of tools, resources, and technical assistance across JFF’s postsecondary and adult education redesign efforts. She currently leads the JFF team for the Digital Resilience in the American Workforce initiative as well as the BOOST initiative, which seeks to increase family economic mobility through cross-sector partnerships.

With technology increasingly changing the way we work, learn, and connect, digital skills - from foundational to advanced - are becoming a prerequisite for full participation in the economy and society. An increased demand for digital skills requires modernization of the classroom including the materials and resources used to advance digital literacy skills and digital equity. We’ll explore a crowdsourced list of resources and identify gaps in instructional content for adult education programs through the lens of closing racial inequities and improving digital resilience for adult education learners.


Happy Monday! On behalf of the DRAW team (JFF, World Ed, and Safal Partners), we’re excited to spend this week sharing emerging learning from the Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) initiative. DRAW, which is supported by the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), is an initiative to better prepare adult education practitioners who support learners that struggle to fully engage in tasks that demand the use of digital technologies. This week we are talking about digital resilience, digital skills, instructional content, and instructional strategies. I’m Rachel McDonnell from JFF and I’m joined by Jamie Harris from World Ed as well as Ginette Chandler and Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt. 

Happy to see colleagues interested and chiming in already. In the Fall of 2021, the DRAW team conducted a wide-ranging landscape scan to identify existing resources and approaches for digital skills development, frameworks, assessment, instructional strategies and content, and professional development efforts. We explored how these resources are being used, with what adult learner populations, and by whom (e.g., instructors, advisors, and navigators). We also examined funding, staff positions or functions, tech tools, supports, and other resources and conditions required. This week’s discussion is part of a larger set of activities to share what we’ve learned with the field, and to learn more from you as you respond to these learnings and share perspectives and ideas from your work. Thank you in advance! Alison

Rachel and Alison, thank you for starting off this week’s discussion. 

I’m Jamie Harris, Digital Skills Senior Technical Advisor at the EdTech Center @ World Education, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the DRAW Team. You’ve probably noticed that the DRAW acronym stands for Digital Resilience in the American Workforce. It always helps to start with a definition to make sure we’re on the same page. Digital resilience, as defined by the Digital US Coalition, is the awareness, skills, agility, and confidence to be empowered users of new technologies and adapt to changing digital skill demands

Today, we are talking about what digital resilience is and what it looks like for adults. This week, we will continue the discussion by focusing on one theme, all focused on Building Skills and Literacy for Equitable Advancement, each day: 

Monday: Understanding Digital Resilience

Tuesday: Meeting learners & practitioners where they are

Wednesday: Discrete digital skills

Thursday: Transferable skills

Friday: Recap/highlights

So let's start the conversation with examples of how you had demonstrated or how you've seen your adult learners demonstrate digital resilience: Describe a time when you learned a new technology alongside your learners (such as learning Zoom in March 2020). What did you and your learners gain from that experience? What was challenging and how did you overcome it together with your learners?


In addition to Zoom, I was using WhatsApp for my Family Literacy class during the pandemic. Since my learners were more proficient with WhatsApp, using the texting platform to communicate with family members abroad, they were able to teach me a lot about it! They taught me how we could all get on the same call, and how to use some of the messaging features. 

Once I learned the basics of WhatsApp, I started thinking about how I could provide reading feedback and use more "advanced" features to support language learning. As I compare that experience with the experience with my other ESL classes adopting Zoom, I realize that the enthusiasm to learn those features was more pronounced. I attribute this to the fact that they saw immediate application in their personal lives to what they could do now. An example is the "markup" feature. When I used markup on photos of their notebooks to give writing feedback, they wanted to learn how! Then, they were thrilled to learn that that feature is available on other apps, too. 

I started incorporating WhatsApp in my Zoom classes, too, once another teacher taught me about their desktop app. Instead of having learners chat me files or use Google Classroom, they just sent me their work on WhatsApp. Then, I could display it and discuss it with them in real-time on my desktop. 

Lessons Learned: 
1. Collaborate with learners when it comes to WHAT technology to teach and learn, incorporating their existing knowledge and goals. 
2. Look for opportunities to make connections between familiar technology to new technology. 
3. Other teachers are great sources of ideas for innovative tech use. 

Probably more in there but that's all for now! It's great to revisit those memories as we transition (yet again) into another phase of this pandemic and how it has impacted adult education. 


WhatsApp is a great tool to use....especially for homework. You can post URL texts, voice to text, YouTube videos, songs with lyrics and also your own audios. 

I have a very good advanced WhatsApp group of students from Latin America, the US,  Egypt, India and Indonesia. It's fascinating and very enjoyable.

Lately they have been asking some great questions. Phrasal verbs and idioms have been popular this week and ....they are starting to drive me crazy!

Another favorite is pronunciation. Every now and then someone asks me about the different English accents. So I am compelled to record my interpretation of British, Irish, Scottish, Australian etc. accents. 

Anyway, in my opinion the use of WhatsApp  re-defines Distance Learning and can play a big part in revolutionizing how we teach ESFL. 


Paul Rogers 

WhatsApp: 805-258-3310 


Jamie, Ginette, Rachel, Susan, and others,

Anticipating Thursday's discussion, I am hoping some or all of you -- and others here - - can talk about 1) successful strategies you have used or seen others use to help adult learners move from learning discrete skills to gaining the competence, confidence, comfort and courage to transfer what they have learned in one context to a new context or contexts, and 2) the relationship to acquiring digital resilience of experiencing being able to transfer acquired digital skills to new contexts. I would think that this is central to building digital resilience, and needs to be experienced not just once or twice, but frequently, perhaps regularly, for learners to build the confidence and courage needed for resilience. Would you agree?

David J. Rosen

My name is Ginette Chandler, IDEAL Consortium member, State Advocate for Adult Education Fellowship (SAAEF) member, and Director of Professional Development Services for New Hampshire Adult Education.  I am honored to participate in this week's conversation about building Digital Resilience in the American Workforce.

Inspiring practitioners to embrace learning and teaching with technology starts with building a productive mindset, especially as the workforce rewards adaptability in today’s rapid and ever-changing world. According to Teaching the Skills that Matter in Adult Education project (TSTM), adaptability and willingness to learn are one of nine essential transferable skills that students need to thrive across multiple contexts. The TSTM definition of adaptability is the quality of being able to “roll with” new situations, such as a change in leadership, a revised work assignment, or an unexpected life event. Adaptability (or flexibility) is highly valued in the workplace and is a factor of emotional intelligence. Willingness to learn is often related to adaptability, especially when a new situation requires new skills. Demonstrating an interest in (and pursuing) continuing education and professional development is key to success in the technology-rich environments of the 21st century (

Resource for further exploration:   

Tomorrow, we’ll frame the conversation around meeting learners and practitioners where they are.  How have you supported the growth of a productive mindset in yourself as well as your learners? For example, when my state adopted a new learning management system, I didn’t know anything about the system, yet I chose to dive in to learn the system.  It took a bit of time to learn but in the end, it was rewarding to support colleagues and students with learning, adapting, and using the new system.  By demonstrating a willingness to learn and grow together, we built strong collegial relationships, and supported the growth of self-efficacy in both ourselves and our learners.

Ginette, you have asked "How have you supported the growth of a productive mindset in yourself as well as your learners?"

Many years ago when we were developing an ambitious state technology plan for Adult Foundational Education, in Massachusetts called Adult Basic Education,  my colleague Kenny Tamarkin suggested that for adult learners it was about the "2C's": technology competence and comfort. For that time and for now, competence/skills and comfort in using technology were/are important. In recent years, however, I have learned to expand that to the "5 C's": Competence, Comfort, Confidence Curiosity, and Courage. The last two C's are an attempt to capture more of the "non-cognitive" aspects of technology resilience.

A productive mindset could refer to an overall positive attitude about learning new things, learning from mistakes, being ready to tackle new challenges, being resourceful, and the like; or it could refer to a particular area of one's life where one has that attitude, for example as a parent, community or faith-based leader, proud and active member of a particular ethnic group, or as an athlete. I am interested in the question of transfer of a productive mindset acquired in one part of one's life to another part where it is less productive. Suppose, for example you have an older student who is a leader in her community, but has not had the benefit of using any digital technology, and it terrifies her. Could her productive mindset, her faith based determination as a community activist, her competence, comfort, and courage in that realm, be a useful model for her in acquiring that mindset in using technology?

David J. Rosen


Dr. Rosen,

I love your example of an older student who is a leader in parts of her life yet not in other areas.  Your question, “Could her productive mindset, her faith based determination as a community activist, her competence, comfort, and courage in that realm, be a useful model for her in acquiring that mindset in using technology?” immediately brings me back to the tenets of andragogy, specifically self-directed learning and Malcolm Knowles. 

As many are aware, much of adult education comes from the work of Malcolm Knowles.  We know that an individual’s level of comfort over any particular topic evolves as we gain learning experiences.  Adult Education students bring a variety of background and knowledge to the learning environment.  Getting to know and understand the motivations of our students helps practitioners connect learning to student’s needs, and when learners can make those connections and see value in what they are being asked to do, they more likely to persist, build confidence, and keep trying.  Students must feel safe to practice, fail, and try again.  This helps to build self-awareness and self-efficacy,

Using your sample student, I definitely believe her background knowledge, experiences, and skills can transfer to other areas of her life, including using technology.  Helping this student understand the value of joining and participating in professional learning networks can help this student experience positive interactions with the use of digital technology.  The student may want to practice in a closed network before she thought about expanding to a broader type of network.  Either way, with support and coaching, this student can learn the value of online digital presence, especially in the realm of practicing positive digital citizenship skills.  You mentioned being a community activist.  To motivate or engage an increased interest level in using technology, practitioners can help her understand how technology can be leveraged to make her community better, or use technology to make her voice heard by public leaders.

I love helping adult learners see value in learning new skills and make connections from one context to another.  Modeling how we overcome digital and technological challenges and allowing ourselves to co-learn with students allows students to build confidence, self-awareness and self-efficacy, and helping your student to see how her productive mindset in other contexts can be applied in new contexts will help her to make connections as she builds digital resilience skills.

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and questions,

Ginette Chandler

Hi Ginette,

TSTM is a fabulous resource! And the transferable skills of flexibility/adaptability are not to be underestimated.  Yet as educators, aren't we slow to adapt??? I often say if a car evolved as slowly as education, we'd be driving Model Ts! Do you think the pandemic heightened awareness that adult educators were not teaching as much technology or digital skills as they may have thought they were? Also, do you think inequitable access to technology for adult learners has as much of an impact on adult learners as low literacy or numeracy skills? Peg PS. SAAEF too from NJ, cohort 1! :)

Hi Peg,

You pose some great questions.  First, I think states, programs, and practitioners were at various stages of integrating technology and digital literacy skills, so when the pandemic hit and everyone had to pivot to remote learning, the immediate revelation we had was that our practitioners were not immediately prepared to provide remote learning opportunities. 

Building digital resilience in both ourselves as practitioners and in our students will help prepare us to be active digital and technological contributors, to fully engage in tasks that demand the use of digital technologies. The DRAW landscape scan also revealed a need to offer on-going support to complement digital literacy skill development to build digital autonomy, self-efficacy, and digital resilience, which is revealing in and of itself.

Using New Hampshire as an example, our state had worked for two years on supporting programs with building local distance education programs to support the growth of year-round education, in the hopes that increased instructional hours would help improve overall MSG’s.  The unanticipated consequence of this step allowed NH programs to pivot to remote learning, but there were still hiccups.  The pandemic highlighted the fact that some our programs did not have the equipment needed to provide continuity of adult education remote offerings.  We also quickly realized that our practitioners were not prepared to move to a remote setting because we had not given them the tools, resources, and training to be successful in a remote learning situation.  While I do believe that practitioners have room to integrate more digital literacy skills and education technology (EdTech) tools into everyday curricula, I firmly believe we have a responsibility to provide practitioners with the tools and resources they need so that they can continue to have the capacity to meet the digital and technological needs of today’s students.  When it comes to building digital resilience, we must model what we wish to see our practitioners achieve with their students.  Adult Education practitioners are life-long learners and as such, we must remain cognizant of how we act and react to situations, especially as our colleagues, as well as our students are watching, learning, and growing.  I try to always remember that how I react to a challenge is more important than the challenge itself, because how I navigate through the challenge helps those observing build self-awareness and self-efficacy, as well as feel empowered to keep trying.

Using the pandemic as an example to answer your question about the significance of inequitable access to technology for adult learners, I do believe this gap to be as impactful as low literacy or numeracy skills.  The needs of employers demand digital skills development, yet not all students have equitable access to technology.  Inequitable access to technology and technology-related experiences leaves students at a disadvantage, compared to those who have access and are afforded opportunities to practice honing digital literacy skill development. The pandemic highlighted that practitioners and learners alike experienced inequitable access to technology, as well as learning opportunities, leading to changes that would diminish the gap.  NH was awarded a grant to expand internet access throughout the state.  Prior to the pandemic, a significant portion of rural areas in the state experienced little to no internet access, let alone access to technology. 

Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and questions,


Hello Jamie, Rachel, Ginette and others,

I've been looking forward to this discussion.

In particular, I'm interested in which aspects of digital resilience: awareness, skills, agility, and/or confidence, you believe can be taught and, if so, if you and possibly other participants in this discussion could provide specific strategies for teaching these aspects that you believe are effective.

I also wonder if there is evidence, from studies or from systematic efforts by teachers such as classroom research/ teacher research/action research, or other kinds of teacher/instructor systematic professional wisdom, that these strategies are effective, that they can be taught and learned by adults, and if this evidence helps us to understand under what conditions, and with which kinds and levels of students which strategies appear to be effective. I don't know if such evidence exists but, if so, I would like to know about it; if not, I think this would be an important area of research, possibly for the Ed Tech Center at World Education, for JFF, or for a partnership of research organizations.

Your thoughts?

David J. Rosen

Thanks everyone for joining in so far! David, one clear finding in our scan was the need for research on effective teaching strategies and instructional content. Your question about research and the focus on productive mindset both reminded me of research from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching on productive persistence in the college-level math classroom. While the context is different, I wonder how the strategies for shifting learner mindsets about their ability to learn math could be applied to learning digital skills. 


I'll respond with my thoughts in response to your first question. I think there are some promising practices that, if collectively adopted and implemented, could have an effect on how digital resilience is developed in adult education classrooms. One such promising practice is the strategic use of edtech, particularly edtech routines, to build awareness, skills, agility, and confidence. At the EdTech Center, we've created the EdTech Integration Strategy Toolkit for an easy way to cross-reference edtech tools, routines, and digital skills. 

Perhaps we could all agree that there is always going to be a need for explicit instruction of the discrete foundational skills one needs to "open the door" to digital resilience but, from there, contextualized instruction and repeated exposure, making connections to other areas of learning and life, might gradually build and underlying resilience. On Wednesday and Thursday, I know we'll be discussing discrete digital skills and transfer of digital skills to other areas, respectively. I'm really hoping more people will chime in with those strategies and ideas. Like I said above, I think we'll have to collectively implement these in order to make a significant impact, as we know that adult learners can have very short exposure to one specific classroom, teacher, tutor, or trainer. Anyway, those are my initial thoughts! 

Hello colleagues, This is such a valuable discussion. Thanks for bringing it to the community, Ashly. And thanks to all our invited guests for sharing their expertise.

Ginette, I appreciate your connecting us to Teaching Skills That Matter and particularly the central skill we refer to as Adaptability and Willingness to Learn.  As you suggest, given the circumstances we faced in March of 2020 with the pandemic, this skill turned out to be key for all of us -- practitioners and learners alike.

I am reminded of an analogy one of my colleagues shared. Before the pandemic, we teachers were expert ship captains who --with no notice-- needed to turn on a dime to fly an airplane with little or no experience. Being "willing to learn" new technologies has been essential for all of us!

Cheers, Susan Finn Miller

Moderator, English Language Acquisition CoP

Good morning, all.

Thank you to each of you who have engaged in the discussion so far. Yesterday, we provided an introduction to the Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) initiative, looked at the definition of digital resilience, gave a nod productive mindset and how it is addressed as the skill of adaptability and willingness to learn in Teaching Skills that Matter, and shared lessons learned from our experiences in the classroom. 

Today, we will focus on Meeting learners & practitioners where they are. We encourage you to engage and reply to messages from yesterday's as well as today's content. 

According to International Standards for Technology in Education (ISTE), educators collaborate and co-learn with students to discover and use new digital resources and diagnose and troubleshoot technology issues. Practitioners support digital resilience when they build safe places to try, fail, and learn from experiences.  Students and practitioners can use the benefit of a closed network or local professional learning network to strengthen digital citizenship skills. Practitioners can support building digital citizenship skills by actively demonstrating positive online language through collaborative activities, which can support expanding perspectives, developing greater empathy, and supporting a more inclusive and equitable workplace while using digital tools and resources.

But how do we get to a place where practitioners and students are comfortable with grappling with new information? 

Learning anything new can be hard for everyone.  Make sure you and your students understand that it's okay to struggle, take breaks, and feel frustrated as long as you don't give up. Remember, productive struggle allows the time and space for students to problem solve, make connections between new skills and contexts, and build self-efficacy. 

Make sure practitioners and students understand that it is OK to take it slow. It is important to realize that you don’t have to be a master before you introduce a new piece of technology, but make sure you have a basic understanding so that you can train students in how to use this tool in this way in this learning environment.  

When you have the opportunity to implement an EdTech tool, think first about what you need it to do, and then research the best option for your needs.

Remember.  Be kind to yourself.  When something doesn’t go according to plan, view it as an opportunity to learn and try again with more information.  Not a failure, but a graceful stumble. 

As you build your current skills and knowledge, how do you promote DR in your learning environment - for yourself, your learners, your staff, and/or your volunteers? How do you differentiate and target instruction to meet everyone’s digital needs?

Educators continually seek to improve their practice by learning from and with others and by exploring evidence-based practices that leverage technology to improve student learning. Problem solving is a skill applicable to everyone, from administrators to educators to students.  Students watch and learn from educators. Educators learn from their administrators and administrators learn from state and national leaders.  How we act and react to challenges goes a long way in building digital resilience.  Meet learners and practitioners where they are to build trust and strengthen self-efficacy.

Here are two Digital Skills Library resources you can use to meet learners where they are, and support building digital resilience and self-efficacy.

Adapting to Change: Reacting then Responding

What is the Internet of Things?

Happy Wednesday everyone,

We began the week with introducing Digital Resilience in the American Workforce (DRAW) initiative and sharing the definition of digital resilience, as defined by the Digital US Coalition. We discussed ways in which teaching digital resilience can be achieved and quickly moved into the importance of meetings learning and practitioners where they are.  We also discussed the importance of modeling, and helping students with making connections between their background knowledge and experience and the new technology or digital skills being taught.  Productive struggle can be challenging for everyone, but when learners feel safe and supported, they feel empowered to try, fail, and learn from the experience.  

This week’s conversations have been thought provoking, and we encourage you to continue sharing your thoughts, ideas, and questions around the DRAW initiative and building digital resilience. Let’s learn and co-learn as we explore ways to support practitioners and learners who may struggle to fully engage in tasks that demand the use of digital technologies.

Today’s conversation will focus on discrete digital skills. Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt will guide the conversation on what “using technology in the classroom” means.

Good morning everyone, and thank you to Ginette for getting us started today. My name is Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt, and I am the Senior Manager for Educational Technology and Digital Literacy at Literacy Minnesota, an IDEAL Consortium member, and leader of Minnesota’s statewide ABE Technology & Distance Learning support team. I am looking forward to a robust discussion today about the roles technology plays in adult education learning spaces.


The use of digital technology in the classroom has many similarities to the use of print/text in the classroom: it can be both a content subject to be learned, or a tool for learning other content. Adult educators are typically working with both modes, teaching how to read and how to use digital technologies as well as reading to learn and using digital technologies to learn. In the technology space, this duality is not always clear, and oftentimes both activities are simply lumped together under “using technology in the classroom.” But for adult educators to be successful teachers and users of technology, they must reflect on their purpose: Why are we using this technology? What are the learning objectives? If a teacher routinely uses a particular educational technology (such as Kahoot! or Quizziz) and learners have sufficient comfort with it to focus on the content of the lesson, then it is unlikely that the learning objective is a discrete digital skill. They are using the technology to learn, not learning to use the technology. Technology integration can enhance content instruction and learner engagement, but it is not likely to significantly increase learners’ digital skills. To do that, the teacher needs to introduce new digital skills that build on what the learners have already mastered. Just as with learning to read, while some individuals will learn new digital skills on their own simply through exposure, many will need explicit instruction. 


As an example, a math teacher who is using a new educational technology with her learners may choose to create standard usernames and passwords for all learners to ensure that everyone can access the content quickly and focus on learning new math concepts. (This is using technology to learn.) But if she has determined that password security is a discrete digital skill her learners need to develop, she may carve out time in her lesson for explicit instruction on what makes a strong password, why it’s important, and strategies to safely store or remember passwords. She may assign lessons such as these from Digital Learn and Google’s Applied Digital Skills, organized in the Digital Skills Library:

Accounts and Passwords:

Create and Safeguard Passwords:

How do you explicitly teach discrete digital skills in your content class?

I'm really excited to see that the Digital Skills Library has been mentioned already today. It's a flexible tool that will fit many approaches. 

As far as explicit instruction of discrete skills, there will be times that we find the WHOLE class in need of that to "unlock" the content learning that we're using (logging into Google Classroom, e.g.). Other times, we'll find that only one or a few learners need to explicitly learn a digital skill. In both scenarios, the Digital Skills Library would allow you to do an open search like "password" or search-by-domain like Susan mentioned "Gateway Skills". Then, you can filter so that, if you're teaching a whole class, you can find teacher-facing resources like lesson plans or videos to incorporate in the lesson. If it's for a single learner or group of learners, you might choose an emodule or course that they can complete independently. 

The Digital Skills Library also lends itself to contextualized instruction, in which teachers help learners see the utility of specific digital skills by making productive use of those skills in their own classroom or digital learning environment. Few adults learn new technology skills “just because.” We learn new skills because they are useful - they help us accomplish tasks that we otherwise would not be able to accomplish, they help us get things done more efficiently, conveniently or cheaply, or they give us new opportunities that we couldn’t access without the skills. For learners who are hesitant to use technology, making connections to practical uses both inside and outside the classroom is crucial to create buy-in and motivation. We're excited about how the Digital Skills Library can support this approach, as well. For example, I can go to the library and search "science", "health", or "write" to see where the resources connect to the content I'm teaching. Regardless of how you contextualize, we know that contextualized learning is highly effective and, at the risk of being too casual, it's a "TWO-FER!" (two for the price of one, that is). 

The Digital Skills Library was created BY educators FOR educators, so we're hoping everyone will see what a great, flexible tool it is an continue to add activities! You can add them effortlessly with the "Submit a Resource" button at the top of the page. 

In summary, I think explicit instruction of discrete skills and contextualized instruction both have their place, really depending on the learners, their level of buy-in with technology, and what skills they need in order to actively participate in school, work, family life, etc. No matter what approach we take, let's make it learner-centered! 


Good morning!

Ginette mentioned yesterday about digital skills assumes access to digital devices---glad to report the Universal Broadband Bill, while a bit parsed among different BBB areas, is coming! Computer assisted instruction is atypical of pre-pandemic, but I'm not sure learning technology/discrete skills is a priority.  For my programs at my location in NJ, we focus on using technology and the sites-passwords-access, etc.  I hope that someone will offer ideas for digital skill teaching at the most basic of levels.  We used to to use NorthStar but we couldn't manage the expense for the last 2 years.  Plus, my state doesn't accept MS certifications as viable cert options.  Eager for teaching ideas!!! Peg

Later today, Rachel will be posting a bit more about the Digital Skills Library, which has many resources for teaching discrete digital skills. If you are looking specifically for basic level technology teaching resources, look in the "Gateway Skills" domain. I hope we will also hear from teachers chiming in today about how they go about teaching digital skills, not just in technology classes but in all classes.

Hi Peg,

When I referenced digital skills and access to digital devices, I was referring to learning environments where practitioners have access and ability to integrate digital skill development into everyday curricula.

I love how you shared that you focus on supporting students using technology, along with visiting sites, passwords, and access.  It sounds like you are focusing on the discrete digital skills your learners need right now, which is about meeting your learners where they are.

Can you please elaborate on what you meant when you said you were “not sure learning technology/ discrete skills is a priority?”  Did you mean gateway skills or career pathways?

Have you had a chance to check out the Digital Skills Library yet?  There are several resources that we believe you may find helpful.  

Thank you,


Hi Ginette,

I was referring to learning technology, outside of accessing a website or LMS system, more along the lines of usage skills that are not related to computer assisted instruction, ie. IBM SkillsBuild or the Digital Skills Library that you mention above.  These two examples are not current priorities in my location's classes, even with returning to in person instruction.  Teachers are generally using websites and YouTube to enhance lessons.  But we need to give them digital skills so they can enter employment.  Peg 

I think everyone on the DRAW project would completely agree with you, Peg! Digital skills are critical for employment and we can't just assume that learners will pick them up on their own. Using technology like an LMS is a great place to start, especially if the teacher is making skillful use of a wide range of features in the LMS and explicitly teaching them - how to upload files for an assignment, complete online forms, contribute to a discussion forum, contribute to a publicly edited document like a Google Doc, etc. If teachers aren't ready to start implementing a curriculum like IBM SkillsBuild, meet them where they are and encourage a focus on teaching discrete skills in the context of tools they are already using.

Hi Peg, the importance of digital skills for employment came up frequently in the DRAW landscape scan, especially with such rapid digital transformation in the workplace. One thing we noted is specific skills for finding work (job search, online applications, gig economy platforms); maintaining work (HR systems), and of course performing the work itself. Digital problem solving and communication came up frequently as digital skills associated with career success. Many frameworks also included privacy/security/ethics as an important skill for employment. 

UpSkill America’s has used surveys and interviews to identify what skills employers are seeking:

  • Increased use of tablets and other devices for work tasks 
  • Comfort with digital communications and digital collaboration platforms 
  • Ability to use data management software
  • Ability to monitor, test, and work alongside robots
  • Flexibility and adaptability as businesses engage in digital transformation

They have a discussion guide for engaging with employers and gathering information on the ways that frontline workers may need to interact with technology in the workplace. Employers themselves - or workforce system partners that regularly engage employers - are often the best source of information on what skills are required to find and keep a job.

Amanda Bergson-Shilcock at National Skills Coalition has a lot of great resources on digital literacy in the workplace

This is a great article (youth focused) on teaching digital skills---not digital literacy skills.  Computer programming.  Peg

Hi Peg,

Thanks for posting the article. I look forward to checking it out.

In Minnesota there are several adult ed programs doing innovative work in the area of IT career pathways. In fact, we are hoping to hire some students from one of those programs to work as tech hosts for sessions at our statewide virtual conference this summer. It's exciting work, and I hope we will see more of it in the future.

But we also serve a large number of learners at the beginning of their digital learning journey, including many folks who came to this country with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) and are learning print literacy for the first time as well as digital literacy.

As Ginette said, we want to meet learners where they are at - sometimes that means gateway skills like managing passwords, and sometimes that means advanced skills training for a career in IT. We hope that the resources produced in the DRAW project will be inclusive of teachers and learners at all places along the continuum of digital skill development, so everyone can build their digital resilience, no matter where they are starting from.


Good morning Susan,

On Tuesday, we were giving an online pretest to our incoming ESL students.  One student especially had zero digital knowledge, pointedly to moving and using a mouse.  What can we do in situations like this to help the students? Model, guide, support.  Just like if it were a different learning experience in a lesson.  Our goal for students (there are more than just this 1) is meeting them where they're at, indeed.  Language acquisition? Digital skills at the most basic level? Welcome to adult education! Peg

Yesterday we spent time digging into the idea of teaching discrete digital skills, resources for doing so (especially the Digital Skills Library), and what that can look like at different places along the continuum of digital skills. Today's discussion led by Rachel Riggs will build on that idea and consider the question of what it means to teach digital skills as transferable skills.

If you are interested in continuing this conversation at COABE next week, please join us for the EdTech & Digital Literacy Strand meeting, which like much of the conference this year will be hybrid. The meeting will be April 11, 5:00-6:00 (PT).

David Rosen started us off on today’s conversation, asking us to discuss 

  1. Successful strategies you have used or seen others use to help adult learners move from learning discrete skills to transferring what they’ve learned to other contexts, and 
  2. The relationship between transferring digital skills and digital resilience 


Resilience itself is associated with this idea of flexibility or elasticity, the ability to “bounce-back”, stretch, and adapt. Transferring digital skills from one context (learning, e.g.) to another (family life, e.g.) lies at the core of such digital resilience. If learners can take the digital skills they’re acquiring, and see how they apply to other areas, they are empowered to make such connections in the future. 


So, how do you incorporate this in your practice? 

How do you ensure that your learners can take what they are learning and apply it to new contexts?


I think these strategies can range from something as consistent and effortless as orally drawing the connections to technology throughout a lesson. “Remember when we learned about being a good, online citizen? We’ll be learning more about that today as we use...” We could apply this same routine to everything we do in the classroom with whatever content area we’re focused on, embedding nudges to digital skills in goal-setting conversations, exit tickets, vocabulary building, and more. Furthermore, I think we set learners up for success when we provide them with authentic, real-life scenarios with which to practice their digital skills. I think of a lesson I did once teaching directions to beginner ESOL learners in which we used Google Maps rather than a printed map, knowing that that would be more authentic to how the learners would find a place in the future and would end up being a digital skill they can easily transfer to daily life. 


As I’ve written all of that, I’m realizing there’s a lot that teachers can do to ensure that what they’re teaching is transferable. I’m curious, though, in addition to using authentic tools and tasks to ensure transferability, how can we incorporate those underlying critical thinking and metacognitive strategies that will enable learners to transfer digital skills regardless of what specific technologies they’ve used in class? 

❓ Today's Big Question: What does it mean to teach digital skills as transferable skills?

Rachel, you asked, "What does it mean to teach digital skills as transferable skills?" I expect that there are many good answers to this question and I am eager to hear what you and others think. Here's how I look at it.

Some adult learners rely on public transportation. In Boston, where I live,  if you use public transportation you may have to transfer to a different bus or subway train to get where you are going. Someone who has never done this, for example immigrants or refugees learning English who are from countries that have no public transportation, or public transportation that does not require transferring, it can be an especially frightening the first few times, to transfer from one bus or train to another. After gaining competence, confidence, and courage from repeated successes, however, transferring becomes more comfortable and perhaps on some transportation routes, routine. It is not the skills alone in "transferable skills" that teachers must focus on, but also ways that students can gain confidence from repeated successful experiences transferring their newly acquired digital skills to new contexts. The repeated successful experiences, including failed attempts whose challenges have been overcome, lead to confidence and build courage. The frequent, regular practice of transfer of digital skills leads to the ability to transfer skills, which I believe is an important dimension of digital skills resilience.

In a teaching and learning environment, an important role for a teacher in this process is creating or finding skills transfer lessons or other learning activities that provide challenges, needed for growth, but that are not defeating. One of the ways I have seen this done is by providing a skills transfer challenge to small groups, where students can help each other, as a team, to learn how to transfer these skills. This kind of transferable digital skills challenge, incidentally, can be found on the PIAAC Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments assessment. It can also be found in many work settings where oneself, or one's team, has a work-related problem to solve and digital tools available to help solve it.

During the past two years, some people seeking jobs have found that employers not only expect them to apply online, but also, instead of an in-person or synchronous online interview, the prospective employer provides a set of questions that job applicants must answer in a video that they must make and upload. A fair amount of digital skills competence, confidence, and courage is needed to  solve that problem!

David J. Rosen

Hi David,

Transferrable skills as a challenge: absolutely!  I appreciate your bus story as an example of people gaining the ability to transfer skills. Do you have tips or lessons to help students with transferring digital skills? Do you believe transferring skills to different contexts is a higher level thinking skill? If it is, that could be a key to our understanding why transferring is difficult: maybe students don't have the critical thinking skills yet, but with support, students can gain the confidence to use skills in new contexts, as you say.  Peg

What can I say to that amazing analogy except, "YES!"? That really resonates. It also draws a connection I haven't seen before. We have been talking for a while about "reliable edtech routines" and the ways those support digital skill-building and strategic use of edtech. What I've never realized is the way that these routines are supporting the transfer, as well, for the exact reason that you laid out. The repeated successful experiences with technology in class, due to that built-in edtech routine, might be exactly what a learner needs to develop the confidence, and, thus, elasticity, to use technology in different contexts or in new ways. Which, is digital resilience. 

The "skills transfer challenge" is another great idea that I imagine isn't difficult to adopt. Can you describe a little more about that process?

Hello Rachel, and others,

Below is a long, but far from detailed enough, answer to your question. I hope it provides the general direction of my thinking. You wrote:

The "skills transfer challenge" is another great idea that I imagine isn't difficult to adopt. Can you describe a little more about that process?"

I think there are two kinds of skills transfer processes, the first of which fits instructional settings where the transferable skills can be practiced, and the second of which is a process one could learn through instruction, but must be practiced in new contexts in the learner’s life outside the classroom, in the world.

Teaching Transferable skills: Transferable skills are the kinds that are needed and used in many different contexts, for example, oral and written language skills needed to communicate clearly and fully with with a neighbor, child’s teacher or principal, merchant, supervisor, co-worker, etc. Granted, the vocabulary, register and tone in each of these kinds of communication may vary, but some skills for good oral and written communication are widely or universally transferable. They might include for example, the ability to:

  • Write complete sentences
  • Pronounce words correctly
  • Choose the clearest or most accurate word
  • Politely check someone’s understanding of what you have written or said, or
  • Paraphrase what someone has said to you.

These kinds of communication skills are best taught in a context, ideally one that is compelling for learners. Engaging contexts, for example, may be related to: work, personal medical care, navigating public transportation or digital map reading, responding to children’s teachers' or school administrators' emails, or dealing with other kinds of telephone calls received or to be made. To teach these as transferable skills, it is helpful for teachers and curriculum writers to provide several engaging applied language contexts, and perhaps to provide a set of questions or problems for each new context. The questions or problems should implicitly link skills learned in previous contexts to challenges in the new context. This could be done with a series of carefully constructed vignettes or case studies all built on the same set of transferable skills.

For example, in the digital skills context, suppose you have identified these as the five sets of transferable skills for work contexts your students need to learn:

  • Basic computer Skills
  • Basic Internet research skills
  • Oral work communication
  • Written work communication
  • Technology hardware and software problem-solving.

There are many examples of commercial, and perhaps also free and OER (Open Education Resources) work-contextualized English language curricula that a teacher could choose to provide students with repeated opportunities to use each set of digital skills in different work-related contexts (e.g. health care, transportation, manufacturing, hotels and hospitality) until they have achieved digital skills fluency with each set of skills.

Helping students transfer other skills. However, there are also other skills that are not used all the time, but that could be used in a new context that requires them.  Below is a world-outside-the-classroom problem solving process that could be created as a routine. It requires learning and then practicing the process, It might, for example, be a short set of questions for the problem solver to address, such as:  

1. What do I want to achieve? What is the task? What am I being asked to do, or do I think I need to do, in this new context or with this new situation, to respond to this emergency, to solve this problem or meet this challenge?

2. What tools, in this case digital tools, do I believe would be useful in helping me achieve this?  For examples:

  • Research tools e.g. how to search the Internet; perhaps how specifically to search YouTube for a video that shows you how a particular problem might be solved. Maybe some of the Digital Skills Library work-related “Search the Internet” transferable skills could be used for a quick review, some of the skills described in the “Search the Internet” activity, for example. The sections on “Credible Information” and “Effective Searching” come to mind.
  • Communication tools These might include: Written digital communication tools such as email, instant chat, digital memos; Oral digital communication tools such as leaving a phone message, or creating a short audio file; Visual communication tools that would help someone create a short video showing how to do something; or to find or draw an image, chart, or diagram to explain something.

Using the search feature with the word “communication” in the Digital Skills Library brings up three possibly relevant sets of skills for review: “Business Communication”,“Common Workplace Communication” and “Communication Skills”.

  • Information Organizing tools such as spreadsheets, for example, the Digital Skills Library’s “Google Sheets” activity; or tables, such as the Digital Skills Library’s “Working with Tables”; and others

3. Which specific digital tools that I have comfortably used before can help me achieve this or to complete this task?

4. How can I best use each of these tools? What is my plan for achieving this, or completing this task, using these tools?

David J. Rosen

I have to say that this discussion has offered wonderful perspectives, thoughtful questions and unique approaches on how to manage digital literacy in the classroom. Thank you for sharing this in this open discussion where we can all benefit and be part of this collaboration to approach this relevant factor that our agencies deal with each day.

I wanted to step back for a minute and discuss the relationship between technology and meeting students and practitioners where they are. While technology has been present in education for many years, many agencies did not rely on technology as the main driver to deliver instruction. We have increased our reliability in using the technology resources available to enhance learning, build skills and offer differentiation in order to reach our students (and many other ways). That being said, building digital skills in the classroom should be treated in a similar fashion as building writing skills. Learner's may know how to read an essay or write a sentence, but that doesn't mean that the learner can write an essay. 

Just as David was referring to in his previous post regarding the bus analogy, it is the routine that helps build that foundation for learners to gain confidence as well to provide the necessary practice to be familiarized with the skill. I believe it is at this point where a skill can be developed to the point where it can be transferable. The point when the learner gains the ability to free the cognitive demand by performing the skill with some level of autonomy.

I like to view the learner's cognitive demand to develop skills as a surface on top of a desk (you could also compare this to RAM on a computer if you would like a technology perspective). Learner's have different desk sizes that would determine how much the learner will be able to work at a given time. When the digital skill is being introduced, most of the desk is filled with items that are related to the skill: what is this skill? How do I use it? What would I use this for? Where do I go? How do I sign in? etc. A learner with a small desk already ran out of space and, in order to contextualize the skill, you would use something that the learner is already familiar with and can develop with some level of autonomy (describe your job or how you spend your afternoon). As an educator, we can facilitate in finding a balance by pairing the high cognitive demand skill (which is the digital skill in this scenario) to a low cognitive demand skill. As the learner begins to build autonomy on the skill, therefore lowering the cognitive demand on performing the skill, you can shift the scale to include more cognitive demanding contexts, in which learner’s would be ready to transfer their skills. This of course is an ideal scenario since we would likely encounter learner’s that come with already full desks before starting a lesson so to speak.

Rachel found a great opportunity to transfer the digital skills students use in What’s App and bring it to the classroom. Understanding the digital skills used across different apps can allow educators and practitioners to create aligned activities and lessons where they can balance the cognitive demand between the skills. This can set up the environment for students to transfer skills across different contexts. A great example on how to explore this is with the Social Media Test Drive website, which is one of many resources that can be found on the Digital Skills Library. As a class resource, teachers can run one of the module simulations to explore as a class the skills the students use when using social media. Ads in Social Media is a great starter for learners that are familiar with social media newsfeeds. This would also address the other underlying factor that learners have when transferring a skill, which is identifying what skill they can use at any given context.

Good morning, everyone. This week’s discussion has touched on so many areas of digital literacy, skills, and resilience - thank you to everyone who has participated, asked questions, provided examples, and read from afar. I’d like to take time today to synthesize some of the areas addressed during this week’s conversation and add some content from the landscape scan related to each topic. 

Defining and Teaching Digital Resilience

Explicit instruction in digital resilience is an essential component of foundational technology skills. Individuals of all ages need to feel confident in their abilities to effectively use technology; they need to understand factors that expose users to online risk and how to problem solve when something goes wrong, and they need to be able to weather the learning curve of using new technologies and adapt to change in today’s digital world. Questionnaire respondents frequently mentioned the need for resources that address troubleshooting, critical thinking and problem solving, and adaptability.

In addition to Teaching Skills that Matter, the Digital Skills Library, EdTech routines, and the EdTech Integration Strategy Toolkit, the following resources also provide content for addressing some aspects of digital resilience in the classroom:

  • Common Sense Media offers lesson plans for teachers on a range of topics that can be filtered by age. Topics include media balance and well-being, privacy and security, digital footprint and identity, relationships and communication, cyberbullying, digital drama and hate speech, and news and media literacy.
  • The Digital Resilience Framework by the UK Council for Internet Safety is designed to help organizations assess and support digital resilience for both individuals and groups. 
  • Mozilla has a Core Curriculum that includes a “Participate” module. The activities in the module provide opportunities for learners to explore a range of modes for communicating, sharing, and interacting with others online. Learners can explore visual communication on the web; learn how to curate, share, and comment on collections of media; and work in groups to use technology to solve a problem or make a discovery.
  • Digital Learn and GCF Learn Free/Edu Global have a small number of video-based lessons about internet privacy. 

An FYI: Later today, the DRAW Team will share a crowdsourced list of instructional content used by the field to teach digital skills. 

Modeling Resilience

Another approach instructors can take is modeling digital resilience. Instructors may not be confident in their own skills, but modeling how to identify digital literacy gaps, critically evaluate resources for addressing the gaps, ask for help, and continue to improve can show adult learners methods for their own skill development. 


Positive mindset was discussed and its connection to adaptability and willingness to learn. The 5 Cs, Competence, Comfort, Confidence, Curiosity, and Courage, were shared as a way to identify aspects of technology resilience. 

During the landscape scan, a flexible mindset, very linked to the topics mentioned during this discussion was highlighted. It is clear that digital tools, technologies, and practices are always changing. Practitioner Questionnaire respondents noted that, while instruction in basic literacy skills is important, it is also important to provide instruction that includes “the development of learner autonomy and agency” so that learners are “able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape of technology.” Digital literacy instruction needs to include strategies to adapt when a tool or practice has changed or a new tool is created, as well as when something goes wrong. Developing the confidence to deal with changes and problems requires a flexible mindset.

Self-Efficacy, Motivation, Contextualization, and Transferability 

During this week’s conversation, confidence, self-efficacy, awareness, motivation, “using the technology to learn, not learning to use the technology,” and productive struggle were discussed. 

As adult learners acquire digital literacies, they need opportunities to apply their emerging skills in personally meaningful contexts and practices (Bergson-Shilcock, 2021; Iñiguez-Berrozpe and Boeren, 2019; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2013; Reder et al., 2020). Applied practice, outside of the classroom, has shown to have a greater long-term impact on learning gains than time in class (Reder, 2012). Using skills outside of the classroom or work and for relevant and meaningful activities in one’s own life increases proficiency (OECD, 2013).

“Practice engagement theory says the skills people have is not the most important thing; it’s what they do with the skills that makes the difference. This is just as important with digital skills attainment. It’s important to engage people with the practical use of the skill” (S. Reder, personal communication, September 9, 2021). 

The wider the variety of contexts in which an adult encounters a digital skill, the easier it is to transfer that skill to additional contexts. Not all learners will recognize where a previously learned skill might be useful in a new context. For example, research in a digital literacy drop-in lab showed that learners who understand how to bold in a word processing platform did not transfer that skill when learning how to use email; indeed, they did not realize they could format email message text until the volunteer showed them (Vanek, 2017).

Learner-centered approaches to instruction allow students to practice digital skills in their regular lives. For instructors to change their learners’ behavior in terms of practicing digital skills outside of the classroom, they need a different approach to instruction and assessment focused on measuring confidence in using digital literacy skills outside of the class as well as an actual change in use. A Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) presentation by the EdTech Center @ World Education entitled “We Learn By Doing! Authentic Practice Outside of Class Through Technology shares instructional strategies for increasing practice of various adult basic skill areas.


Bergson-Shilcock, A. (2021). Digital Equity for an Inclusive Economic Recovery: Retail and Hospitality. National Skills Coalition.

Iñiguez-Berrozpe, T., & Boeren, E. (2019). “Twenty-First Century Skills for All: Adults and Problem-Solving in Technology-Rich Environments.” Technology, Knowledge and Learning 25, no. 4: 929–51.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). (2013). Skilled for life? Key Findings from the Survey of Adult Skills. OECD. Retrieved from

Reder, S., Gauly, B., & Lechner, C. (2020). Practice makes perfect: Practice engagement theory and the development of adult literacy and numeracy proficiency. International Review of Education, 66(2–3), 267–288.

Reder, S. (2012). The Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning: Challenging Assumptions. Montreal, QC: The Centre for Literacy. (Research Brief). 1-6.

Vanek, J. (2017). Migrant adult learners and digital literacy: Using DBR to support teaching and learning. University of Minnesota. Retrieved from

Peer Learning

According to Byfield et al. (2016), adult learners should have opportunities to develop their skills as contributors in learning communities. Instructors can create collaborative learning environments and facilitate activities that lend to peers supporting each other both inside and outside of digital literacy classes. Examples of peer-to-peer learning in digital literacy include:

  • The digital literacy labs coordinated by Mutual Housing California in which learners were supported by peer tutors who had completed the program before them. These peers were given a laptop as an incentive to complete the program and remain to support other students (Harris et al., 2018). 
  • The learner-advocate, a role used in labor-management training programs that could be described as “part student representative, part community liaison, and part peer tutor or coach,” with learner advocates sometimes receiving stipends for their role (Licht et al., 2004; A. Ascher-Webber, personal communication, August 23, 2021).

Learning Circles - An innovative model developed by Peer 2 Peer University and adapted by the EdTech Center @ World Education for use in ABE and workforce programs. Learning circles are peer-supported study groups that are lightly facilitated by a staff member, a Learning Circles participant, or a teacher. Learning Circles are unique in that the facilitator is a co-learner rather than an expert on the topic of study. The facilitator organizes logistics, communication, and onboarding to the digital literacy learning resources. The facilitator also helps establish a friendly, supportive learning community, prepares learning activities, and provides technical support when needed (EdTech Center staff, 2019).


Byfield, L., Shelby-Caffey, C., Bacon, H., Shen, X. (2016). Digital Literacy and Identity Formation in 21st Century Classrooms: Implications for Second Language Development. International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature 5(1). pp. 39-45.

Licht, E., Maher, B., & Ascher Webber, A. (2004). Teaching Workers: Learner-Centered Instruction for English Acquisition and Social Change. Retrieved December 20, 2021, from

EdTech Center Staff. (2019). 8 Tips for Implementing Learning Circles in Any Program. EdTech Center at World Ed Tech Tips Blog.



This last post that synthesizes what we’ve discussed this week. 

Contextualization and Discrete Skills

Practitioner experience and empirical evidence demonstrate that adults learn best when their learning experiences are embedded in a context that is relevant to their lives and goals, also called contextualized instruction (Bragg et al., 2019). Early theorizing in adult learning suggested that in effective learning environments, adults need to connect their learning to their prior knowledge, real-world problems, and life experiences, which is at the heart of contextualized learning (Cox, 2015; Knowles, 1978).  

Contextualization is critical for adults building digital literacies. Unfortunately, early digital literacy learning utilized rote, decontextualized materials, and strategies. Instead, instruction should define digital literacies broadly and not just in the context of careers and education, but also in the context of health, finance, civic engagement, and family life as well as interests specific to learners (Vanek and Harris, 2020).

A Quote that Summarizes findings

In a Distance Education Strategy Session in which Instructional Strategies were shared from the DRAW Landscape Scan, Monica Leong said this: “This conversation and presentation today is really helping me get a big picture view to share with practitioners - a framework to start to think about how effective instruction in digital skills (and resilience) involves a mind shift. It’s not about “adding discrete digital skills” to “regular instruction” but it’s more about seeing how digital resilience can be integrated into an intentional approach to foundational skills instruction that recognizes learners’ assets, in real-world contexts, and in ways that meet learners’ needs (both student learners AND practitioner learners), recognize their fears, encourage the mindset of being a lifelong learner, and celebrate their strengths. Well said, Monica. 


Bragg, D. D.,Endel, B., Anderson, N., Soricone, L., & Acevedo, E. (2019). What works for adult learners: Lessons from career pathway evaluations. JFF.

Cox, E. (2015). Coaching and Adult Learning: Theory and Practice. New Directions for Adult and Continuing Education,(148), 27-38.

Knowles, M. S. (1978). Andragogy: Adult Learning Theory in Perspective. Community College Review, 5(3), 9–20.

Vanek, J. & Harris, K. (2020). Digital Literacy and Technology Integration in Adult Basic Skills Education: A Review of the Research. Proliteracy.


On behalf of the DRAW team, I want to thank everyone who contributed to this week's discussion, and especially Ginette Chandler, Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt and Rachel Riggs for their planning and contributions. We hope the information shared has been both thought-provoking and practical. We have one last big question to conclude the week: How has your understanding of digital resilience changed as a result of this discussion? What will you do differently in your work to build digital resilience for yourself, your learners, your staff or your volunteers? 

As we look ahead to the next phase of the DRAW initiative, which includes resource development and professional development for instructors, we'd love to hear what resonated with you from this week's discussion. 

For everyone attending COABE next week, either virtually or in person, the DRAW team will be presenting on Wednesday, April 14th at 8am Pacific/11am Eastern. Our session is DRAW together: Research- and Practitioner-Informed Resources for Digital Literacy and Resilience, and we'll be sharing more of what we learned through the landscape scan, with an emphasis on instructional strategies. 

Meanwhile, stay tuned for additional blogs and briefs from DRAW on frameworks, the Digital Skills Library, assessment, and instructional strategies.

Thanks again for joining us for this week's discussion! And thank you to our partners at World Education (Jamie Harris, Alison Ascher Webber, Jen Vanek, Jeff Goumas, Rachel Riggs, and Annalisa Crowe) for all of your amazing work on DRAW. 

Happy Monday! We have one final resource to share - a compilation of instructional content resources used by adult educators to teach digital skills. The list was compiled as part of the DRAW landscape scan. We encourage you to take a look and share back your thoughts - did you discover something new you can use in your classroom? 

Rachel McDonnell