Online Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom

Now Available on the LINCS Learning Portal --- The LINCS Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom Online Course

LINCS provides the opportunity for professional development for its members in the form of a series of optional online courses developed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’sLiteracy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Resource Collection initiative. These online courses are self-paced, freely available, and accessible 24 hours a day through the LINCS Learning Portal. The courses will enable users to work at their own pace, at a time that is most convenient to them.

 

Online Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom

Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom is designed for adult education instructors who are at the beginner/intermediate level of knowledge of technology tools and technology integration in the classroom. This course examines the why, how, and what questions for integrating technology in the adult education classroom:

  • Why is technology important for instruction and learning?
  • How do you approach integrating technology?
  • What tools can you use to integrate technology?

This course covers the purposes for integrating technology, explores guidelines for planning to integrate technology into instruction, and organizes thinking about the wide range of technology tools available. Examples of adult education practitioners’ experiences in integrating technology are incorporated throughout the course. In the culminating activity, participants create a Technology Integration Action Plan for a unit or lesson selected for use with adult learners.

 

Use this discussion thread to post your responses to questions below from the online course, Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom. Please share your comments to any of the following questions, or post a general comment or feedback on the course.

  • Introduce yourself.
  • What technology devices do your students have access to? What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devices to accomplish?
  • After reading the Let’s Become Chefs! final activity, what are some creative ways to integrate technology into the strategy for the final activity? List a couple of ways that you can integrate technology into this strategy.
  • What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom? What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another? What are some limitations of both tools?
  • How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?
  • After listening to the two teacher reflections from Cynthia Bell and Nell Eckersley, consider the following: How have you approached technology in the past? With the guidelines provided in this module, what new or additional considerations will you build into your unit or lesson planning process to more effectively integrate technology into your classroom?
  • After reviewing the printable table of categorized technology tools used in an educational context, reflect on the following: Were there tools that were mentioned that you would like to explore? Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need?
  • After listening to two adult education instructors reflect upon their experiences integrating a technology tool in their classroom instruction, share your responses to the following questions: (1) Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? If not, what was the instructor’s plan for understanding the tool? (2) Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool? (3) Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How? (4) Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use?
  • When you are finished redesigning your lesson plan, we invite you to share it with others here. Revisit this thread to reflect on your progress and the lesson effectiveness.

 

This online course was developed under the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Resource Collection initiative under Contract No. ED-VAE-11-C-0048.

 

The new LINCS Learning Portal offers adult educators free online professional development courses from a variety of OVAE initiatives. Join today at: https://courses.lincs.ed.gov.

Comments

All of my students have cell phones.  75% of those are smart phones.  Two of my students do not have text enabled phones, but use an Internet application to text.  My students use their phones mostly to stay in contact with their friends and family.  Parents respond to students text during school hours eventhough it is against school rules to use their phones (other than during lunch).  All students have access to computers and Internet at school, but only 5 have computers at home with internet access. One student shared with me, "YouTube is the best math teacher I've ever had."

Hello, I am an adult GED instructor.

Most of my students have smart phones.  A few have notebooks or tablets. They primarily use them for social networking, emails and text messaging.  Some use them for online searches.  If students don't have wifi at home, they go to their local library.  The elderly adults (50-60 years old) have difficulty with creating accounts, accessing them with user names, and creating passwords.  They also have difficulty with keyboarding skills.  The younger adults are more proficient with these skills.

Hi Patricia - 

Our town public library just initiated a program allowing library card holders to check out Verizon hotspots. You could inquire about the program from my contact there, if you're interested: Jordan Rich, jrich@tclib.org

My ESL students also have difficulty creating accounts, remembering passwords, etc. Since our college won't give adult ed email addresses because they don't pay tuition, what I've done for my Levels 1&2 ESL students is have them create a Google account during the first week of class which resembles a school account (ex. firstlast.cwc@gmail.com) and use their phone number as their password. Then, I become their IT contact person if they have problems logging into any of the apps we use in class. Many of the apps we use in class have Google sign-in capabilities, so it has GREATLY streamlined login issues. I also give them a technology help sheet with their email, password, apps we use, wifi access, etc. and print it on bright paper so they can find it quickly in their binder: Technology Help Sheet

Jacqueline Vulcano
@edtech4adultesl
www.facebook.com/groups/techtools4adultells/

I enjoy using Smartphones in the classroom. My classes are quite small, and has only one desk top computer. My students are adult ELL's and they all have smart phones and use them to communicate with their friends and family, but just having it in their pockets can make a class so much more interesting. Just today, I had several new students from another class. Their regular teacher is on vacation. We were talking about food, and an Indian woman brought up saffron. It was hard to explain, but easy with pictures, showing the flower it comes from, and the part of the flower used for cooking. Smart phones are also great for teaching simple email etiquette, and it is wonderful for maps. Most of my students use google maps to learn how to get around in Chicago. YouTube is awesome for showing anything... animal behavior is always funny.

During the covid-19 pandemic, District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund classes like many others across the US were held virtually. Most of my students were able to join classes on zoom. Most have a smartphone or IPad to access assignments in google classroom. All but one can turn in assignments most of the time. "Attending classes on zoom has opened up my eyes to see what else is out there," said one of my students. She's excited about online classes.

Bookemon.com is a fee $ service where you can develop and print a class book of recipes.  Teachers (usually on a restricted budget) may opt to set up a class wiki or blog and ask students to submit their recipes to that site.  Additionally, Google Drive may be a good option.  In my experience when working with a class or collaborating with peers, I prefer Google Drive as it can be modified in real-time; whereas a wiki can only save one editor at a time, and some posts may be lost. 

Hi, I'm an administrative assistant for a literacy non-profit.  We are thrilled when students have access to their own technologies, as we are not funded to support the latest and greatest advances in technology.

I also am and Adult Basic Education Instructional Aide, completely certified to be an ABE teacher.  There's just so much to learn with common core and new technology!  I must admit, I enjoy the one-to-one contact with our adult learners.  I also am a volunteer tutor in math, reading and ESL.

Most of our students have some kind of cell phone.  About half have smart phones.  Several have access to computers and the Internet, and we have three Internet-accessible computers in our study center for students who want to come in to learn about the Internet, email, word processing/writing skills, etc.

Students with cell phones regularly take calls and send texts.  Some are able to read and send email via smart phones.  There was one student who wanted to access PLATO Learning Environment, an online learning platform, via her cellphone, but in practice, the screen was too small to manipulate the tasks.

Students with computer access at home regularly access PLATO Learning Environment, send emails, and sometimes send in writing samples attached to emails.  Most popular, however, is the Google search.

We are so pleased with our students who are motivated to keep up with the changes in technology and use technology to communicate and learn independently.

Tried and true is Microsoft Word.  Depending upon the keyboarding skills of the participants, students can do this themselves.  Another idea might be Microsoft Publisher.  Because the lesson plan states students should know the two parts to the recipe: the ingredients and the process, students can draw two text boxes on the page to better visualize the two parts to the recipe.

Hi! I like your idea of using Publisher with the two text boxes.  Graphic Organizers are always well received in my classroom.  However, some students may not have Microsoft on their computers as Publisher has a cost.  I found Google Drive -> Draw allows students to add 2 text boxes for free.  If students do not have computers at home, they can also use Google at the public library.  Thanks for sharing your idea; it helped me expand my scope on this project.

Hi Trudy and Carrie,

The use of graphic organizers is a very helpful addition to the recipe lesson and Google Drive -> Draw a great tip for creating them.  For folks new to Google Drive drawing tools, here is a link to a short video on creating a venn diagram using the drawing tools in Google Drive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTR3G-ZzyCg which covers the basics you would need to create the two text boxes for the recipe lesson.  And here is a blog post on using Google Drive and Draw for graphic organizers http://www.speechtechie.com/2010/02/another-approach-to-graphic-organizers.html.

 

best,

Nell

Hi Carrie,

What would be the first google tool you would liek to know more about?  I'm finishing up a serieis of webinars on social media tools and I think the next series will be on google tools--so you could help me identify which ones to concentrate on.

 

best,

Nell

I suppose the first things I'd like to implement/integrate involves how I can compare and contrast easily things like Google Hangouts, vs. Facebook Groups, and how can I get www.polleverywhere.com to post to our organization's Facebook page?  There is just so much out there!  I'm beyond getting new and exciting ideas, I'm getting overwhelmed, honestly.

I'm interested in Google, primarily because I pay $99 a year for Windows Microsoft 365 service to connect home activities with work activities.  I'd like to have an inexpensive way I can combine my professional development at home and with practical elements at work, and access documents, ideas, contacts, etc., at work.  However, it sounds like Google has it all.  Microsoft Windows Office 365, seems to do the same things that Google apps do for free. I find I'm making more and more work for myself, the more I learn about the available technologies.

 

  • What technology devices do your students have access to?

All of my students (right now) have cell phones. Most of them are smart phones. Most of them have computers with internet access at home. Access for half of them is via laptop. None have tablets.

 

  • What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devices to accomplish?

Text, calls, Facebook access, some research and GPs. Probably more, though every time I try to answer this questions it's a snow day and I've forgotten to survey them.

  • What technology devices do your learners have access to?  I have a few individual students.  I do not teach in a classroom, but one-on-one in a tutoring situation.  Two of my three learners have smartphones, one ( Mrs. A) is proficient in its use.  Two of my three learners have laptops, the same learner (Mrs. A) that is proficient with the smartphone (and her tablet) is fairly proficient in managing searches and maneuvering the Internet on her laptop or other desktop computer.
  • What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devises to accomplish?  Two of three learners (Mrs. A and Mr. B) are using the online learning platforms such as PLATO and TASC Academy to enhance their one-on-one learning.  Mrs. A loves to search the Internet for information related to her Indian heritage.  Mrs. A likes to use the word processor to write papers in practice for her High School Equivalency exam.  She also enjoys our yearly Page to Stage project, using the word processor to create plays for performance by a professional theatre company at our organizations winter/holiday event.  Mrs. A is an avid Facebook user.  Mr. C is technology averse, but owns a laptop.  He uses it in his home, and is slowly working towards, but has not yet accomplished the goals he set at the beginning of 2015.

 

 

I think that eventually smart phones and other mobile devices will be used all the time in schools, replacing textbooks and dictionaries. I once saw a four year old girl showing her two year old sister a video of a cartoon lesson on the alphabet!!!

This video attached shows several schools where smart phones are utilized in classes effectively....https://es-us.screen.yahoo.com/schools-yes-cellphones-classrooms-051705442.html

Paul

I have heard about a few really interesting ideas here in this course. I signed up for the website in which I can create a newspaper with my class, so I want to get started on that asap. I also like the idea about putting up autobiographies on Pinterest. The classroom in which I teach has computers at each desk, so the students are able to access technology, and now I have some really creative ideas to use with them. I can't can't wait to get started.  

All of my students have a cell phone, 50% are smartphones.   They use their devices for texting and facebook. 

Most students have a computer, but internet access is sketchy.  Many do not have an updated format for word, instead

use the notepad or a free trial to write documents. Many students will do job search, look up directions, phone numbers and doctor's offices.  Some students will look up coupons, store ads and specials online.  Students can have access to a computer and internet while here in class. 

I've got the POST Method Technology Integration Plan for Let's Become Chefs! printed out.  It looks like Cynthia tried email, DropBox, the Internet and Wordpress Blog with her students.  Because I work in literacy, we have many students who do not even have email addresses.  I do not have experience as an instructor using DropBox with my students, although I've had opportunity in professional development to use it as a learner.  I've tried blogging too, and believe I could probably, with some preparation, walk students through how to post an entry to a blog.

I see the benefits of each type of technology as bringing students into the 21st century, using 21st century learning skills and tools.  The drawbacks I see are the limited exposure and steep learning curve some students (especially lower SES groups and literacy students) might experience when these types of technologies are used.  That having been written, I'm all for using technology in the classroom, with the understanding that each student brings a different level of experience and understanding with him or her to the table. 

I see that in my response above, I did not use the proper frame of reference to answer the question.  That explains why I had such a hard time with my response making sense.

Cynthia tried an online platform for writing in order to prepare her students for the writing portion of the GED examination.  She found that many students did not visit the site.  However, with eighty-some percent of her students on Facebook, she managed to create a Facebook page for her class and all the students fulfilled all the writing and responding requirements.

Cynthia achieved several goals.  She was able to use Facebook as an online community, as a writing requirement, and as a method for providing feedback for students' submissions.

The drawback is researching all the ins and outs of Facebook privacy settings and policies, which are constantly changing.  I do admire that she was able to come up with such an innovative solution to her situation, and make a success out of it.

Nell Eckersley is an ESOL teacher.  Her students are mostly adults, from what I remember.  Each comes from a different country, and has a different level of English language skills.  She had used magazine pictures in the past as prompts for writing. 

She was introduced to Pinterest and quickly adapted the technology to an older assignment she had been using. 

Students learned not only about Pinterest, but about privacy and creating usernames and passwords.  Hopefully they were able to transfer that knowledge to other types of technology, programs and platforms.

Students' learning was enhanced by the use of the computer, which I gather she and the students had access to in the classroom or building.  Additionally, she was able to pique the students' interest and widen the availability of images available for the assignment with which she had previously been using magazine pictures.  Student had a greater range of images to choose from, but were still required to write in English about a topic she had assigned.

Oh, I have really been down the wrong path with technology.  I find it so difficult to keep up, that I spend any time with a student (in literacy), teaching the technology instead of the desired outcome.  I need to focus more on how technology can help a student get to where he or she wants to go, instead of teaching the technology as an end in itself.

I am still digesting many of the suggestions in this presentation. I am offering a GED preparation class in a VERY rural area. The community is only about 1700 population. I currently only have 3 students. All have cell phones, but use only for talk and text. 1 student understands computers for email and playing games. I will continue to review this material as we progress through class.

I'd certainly like to use the podcasts with ESL students (I work in literacy).  I'd like to learn how to create a podcast a student can record, for example, speaking pronunciation pairs with a focus on long and short vowel sounds.  Hopefully, I'd be able to access such a podcast and be able to review the activity with my one student, and teach other tutors of ESL how to use podcasts with their ESL students as well.

Honestly I haven't checked the links to all the Tech Tools in Educational Context, but hope to examine at least half of them.  I'd like to learn how to use Facebook as a Learning Management System, and perhaps use Facebook in its original intent to be "repurposed" from a learning management system to how online collaboration can create community among our adult learners, who do not attend a class together, but have similar experiences.

.  I'd like to explore the use of podcasts to have my online students explain their take on some of the math concepts that present problems for them. I can then respond, hopefully, in king.  I also think that PollEverywhere is a tool that students can access on their mobile devices to take weekly quizzes to be graded.

Nell integrated the use of email in a traditional lesson of writing a letter to the mayor.  She had to teach students how to sign up for email, which is something I'm hoping to get our literacy students to do.  Nell seemed more comfortable using the tool than teaching how to use it (oh, I can relate), and the second time around found the core lessons that needed to be taught in order to come up with email addresses and good passwords.  Students were able to use the email for varying purposes, it built family community, teacher/student communication, and connection with the online community.  I think teching about email addresses turned out to be an essential lesson plan for Nell, as I think it is for my literacy students.  Perhaps Nell could have used Google Docs to write one letter from the class (and I feel like I'm reaching here), to use collaborative writing and language negotiating skills for her ESL students.  I also think that my suggestion would be difficult to monitor and manage in the classroom.  I really like Nell's idea.

Cynthia used a URL shortener and QR codes to direct students to a You Tube Video on living in a home versus living in an apartment.  She utilized many types of technology and learned about them and added them as needed to her lesson.  The technology used exceeded most of her students' present understanding of using smartphones; however, it made the world more understandable as QR codes are being used at bus stops, etc. around the city.  I think the bitly service and the QR codes were the best way to introduce students to multiple means of technology use in their daily lives, and achieve the desired purpose of the lesson.  I cannot think of another way that would have been more effective or direct as those means used by Cynthia.

I am a returning teacher, who has been away from teaching for more than 10 years. With the new curriculum at my school, we are required to integrate technology into our language teaching. This is something I need to learn more about. I believe that once students have their own email address and learn how to use it in their daily lives, they will feel get ahead in their lives.

Cynthia utilized technology to encourage her students to be actively engaged in their learning. When she realized that the URL was probably too long for students to remember or get it correct, she tried the Bit.ly which was another tool for shortening the URL.  Even still, that URL was too long for students to utilize without being frustrated. They were so excited as I would be in creating the QR Code and being able to scan the code and see the video instantly.  How cool was that? Students shared the new tool with their family and friends.  A simple lesson that could have been done on a traditional platform of textbooks and reading came to life as students scanned and watched the video with others. They could compare purchasing homes with the value of renting housing, and share their new technology skill at the same time.  I can't wait to make my own QR Codes!     Thanks so much for sharing new technology tools.

All of my students have a cellphone only 25% of them have a smartphone, and all of them text. In class they have access to the internet using desktop and laptop computers and ipads.  They use technology to communicate with family and friends, pay bills and apply for jobs.  Some are using either PLATO, WIN or GED Academy to prepare for the TASC.

I had my students look for thier favorite recipe on the internet to see if they could find a healthier version to compare to their traditional recipe.  They could create a short movie using movie maker on how to make thier recipe or a podcast.

List a couple of ways that you can integrate technology into this strategy.

Google Drive

Microsoft word

Movie maker by microsoft

Ipad to take pictures or videos

What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom? She had tried a leaning management system and Facebook

What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another?

The first tool students didn't use so it wasn't a benefit. Facebook, the students were already using so it worked better.

What are some limitations of both tools?

If students don't use the lms they won't benefit from the experience.  Facebook was a good idea and was managed well. My limitation with Facebook would be the simple fact that it is not accessable at school and the majority of my students don't have internet or a computer at home. 

Cynthia was smart in utilizing the learning tool that her students were already comfortable with.  Students used Facebook and were familiar with that platform rather than a learning management system they were not familiar with.  Guidelines for the safe and effective utilization of this tool by creating a private  Facebook Group enhances its use.

 

How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?

The student's were able to create an account in Pinterest which gave them the oppurtunity to learn more about the possiblitilies of the internet and using different websites. They learned computer skills that they could transfer to a job situation.  I like the Pinterest lesson, unfortunately we can't access Pinterest at school.

I liked Cynthia and Neils lesson ideas and the approaches they took to achieve the lessons goals.  I use technology tools in my lessons already. My challenge has been internet access to Facebook and Pinterest. I have adult students but we are in a technical center that uses the department of ed internet that is highly filtered and blocks numerous pages on the internet.  I think that it's important to teach students how to use the internet and technology appropriately, I am not sure blocking it is the answer for adults.  We discuss technology responsibilites often.   I think that making sure you are using technology that the student have access to is extremely important. Eventhough my student's don't have access at home they learn the skills in the classroom that they can transfer to a job or their lives. 

Were there tools that were mentioned that you would like to explore? I would like to do more with podcast, viewing and creating.

 Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? I was interested in Viemo and Pinterest, they are blocked.  I already use TeacherTube and YouTube.

How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need? I like repurposing social media to be used as a learning or business tool so that they can be more productive.

I have never used podcasts in my class, but after reviewing them, feel they would be an enhancement for learning.  My goal is to learn more about integrating podcasts into my lessons.

Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? I believe both instructors understood and were confident using email, computer, smartphone and QR codes.

  • Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? The first class teacher backed up to teach the technology skill that some of the students didn't have and had the other students who were familar with email to help, great idea.  The second class had students share the smartphones because the class didn't have technology available, very resourceful. 
  • Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? Yes, the technology tools selected taught the students skills like emailing and using the smartphone apps in their daily lives.  It also taught them that technology can be used for more than socail needs.
  • Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use? Using the computer and internet to email was a very effective unit, I like how the teacher adjusted the lesson the second time she taught them to email.  I think that sharing the smartphones might be risking for the students who own the phones, do they have unlimited data etc. is it an added expense for the students.  Watching Khan Academy videos is a wonderful idea and very useful, I think watching them on a smartphone may be dificult for more than one person.  I think using the computer or tablet may have been easier perhaps at a library or school that would allow the class to use a lab.
  • Introduce yourself.
  • What technology devices do your students have access to? What are some of the everyday tasks your students are using these technology devices to accomplish?

I teach Adult Basic Education for GED preparation and most my students have cell phones (smartphones) but their access to internet is limited to when there is free wireless connection available. The classroom has computers available with cable (DSL) internet access, and my students use GED Academy website for GED. My supervisor encourages all students to have an account, since GED is now all computer-based. I have created a Facebook page for my students to post written assignments such as extended response questions from practice GED texts and answer journal questions when not in class.

  • After reading the Let’s Become Chefs! final activity, what are some creative ways to integrate technology into the strategy for the final activity? List a couple of ways that you can integrate technology into this strategy.

They can use a common-access website that uploads documents (google documents or windows 365). I would create a Facebook page to let students post on each their own recipe (and pictures of their recipes or videos of them preparing the recipes). The class would then choose which recipes would be posted on the recipe book online. This way the interaction is always dynamic via feedback from other students and make a more interactive recipe book that can always accommodate new recipes.

  • What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom? What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another? What are some limitations of both tools?

The online platform, which the students did not use; and Facebook (which as she pointed out some of the students were always using). The first platform is seems to be more focused on the task; Facebook has more distractions available (online chat, advsertisements, notifications, candy crush…) because all are available right on the same screen.

  • How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?

By individualizing the project by asking what are the specific interests of each student, via photographs. There is a vast amount of resources that the students can seek online and post into their pinterst account so the task becomes a lot more enjoyable for the student. They may not even have realized they were writing an autobiography!

  • After listening to the two teacher reflections from Cynthia Bell and Nell Eckersley, consider the following: How have you approached technology in the past? With the guidelines provided in this module, what new or additional considerations will you build into your unit or lesson planning process to more effectively integrate technology into your classroom?

Yes, as I posted earlier, I have a Facebook account for which my students can post online tasks, make comments, ask questions and bring subjects to be discussed next class. I have also implemented GED Academy accounts for the students. If a student repeatedly doesn’t show up for class it becomes easy to track them down via FB. I like to use the multi-modal tools. For example, I can  sometimes assign students to watch some of the “Khan Academy math classes” on YouTube since some YouTube instructions are quite good. I would like to add Google drive for sharing and storing student’s assignments using it as part of the materials in the lesson plan.

  • After reviewing the printable table of categorized technology tools used in an educational context, reflect on the following: Were there tools that were mentioned that you would like to explore? Did you learn about new ways of using existing tools? How can one tool be repurposed to meet another need?

I would like to explore Google Documents for storing documents; and teacher tube, which I did not know existed. I would like to use more of my favorite tool Facebook to explore multi-modality teaching through videos and Skype.

 

  • After listening to two adult education instructors reflect upon their experiences integrating a technology tool in their classroom instruction, share your responses to the following questions: (1) Identify the technology tool the instructor used. Was the instructor comfortable using the tool? If not, what was the instructor’s plan for understanding the tool? (2) Did the tool selected meet the students’ existing technology skills? If not, what was the plan for teaching the students how to use the technology tool? (3) Did the technology tool selected improve instruction and/or deepen student learning? How? (4) Was this technology tool the best choice to implement the teaching strategies of the unit or lesson? What other technology tools could the instructor have selected to use?

E-mailing lessons seems that the instructor was very comfortable with this technology, however the problem was that a significant portion of the students did not know or even had an e-mail account before. The creation of an account for some students was a significant change in their lives not just learning but communicating with long distance family and friends. The instructor could have used google shared documents but it would also mean they would have to create a g-mail account for access however it would be more directed towards document sharing instead of communication.

The second instructor seemed more uncomfortable since it is a much newer technology and therefore more difficult finding resources easily. I believe her pool of students were younger and more adapted to the new technologies. The real advantage is that it emulated reality since she was assigning tasks such as seeking apartments to rent and calculating costs with that so the

I teach advanced level ESL at a community college.  Most of the students have cell phones/smart phones, and like having technology in the classroom.  We have access to a computer lab at least one day per week.  We use edmodo, quizlet.com, livebinders, youtube, newsela.com and other sites.  I've seen a dramatic change in students' available technology, from almost no cell phones or computers 10 years ago to almost all students having smart phones and being connected today.  For "Let's Become Chefs," a class/group project could be to make a video or animated video of a recipe being made. 

It was very interesting to me how Cynthia realized that her initial plan didn't work well, until she re-did the planning process and applied the POST method.  This is a helpful insight for me.  She also said something that many of us experience - students who are busy with jobs, family, school.  It's hard to get them to participate in some things outside of the classroom, but Cynthia did it right. 

I could relate to Nell's initial nervousness about using technology, but she jumped right in and leaned about Pinterest and used it in her classroom in a very interesting way.  It inspired me! 

I just checked out Teachertube, which I had never heard of.  I will go back to that site to explore more. 

Nell used email for her lesson, and seemed comfortable with it.  It enabled students without email addresses to set them up so was very helpful for them.  It seemed to be a very positive experience for the students, and taught them to engage with local government using email.  It seemed a good choice.  They could have also used the local government website as an alternative way to communicate with the mayor. 

Cynthia used smart phones and bit.ly.  It was a good way to demonstrate to students that smart phones can be used for learning.  Using bit.ly was a good way to make url's more accessible.  One drawback could be that the students who don't have smartphones might be excluded, but given the increasing number of people with smart phones, it was a good activity.

Both instructors were knowledgeable about their student academic needs, and identified clear goals/objectives about the learning needed to address those needs.  Both wanted to find a way to integrate technology with the least amount of restriction and maybe the lowest learning curve for their students:  Nell's students were intermediate ESL, she had access to computers due to a financial gift for technology from the NYC mayor, and she wanted students to write a thank you and commentary letter using email.  Part of the planning for this lesson was to make sure everyone had an email from which to send their letters, and the teacher did well to anticipate some snafus:  Not everyone knew how to create and use email, and others were very adept already. Those who knew how to use email may have started their writing while other were getting help on setting up emails, understanding the concept hands-on of what this entailed.  I wonder if those adept students were able to help those who had little to no experience?  To then discover that students who had email addresses didn't know how to access from public computers was a compounded concern, and a plan was created for this. On top of this, using Gmail to create email accounts became limiting within a given IP address.  How could a teacher have anticipated all of these barriers?  The teacher was not inexperienced in any of the tech requirements needed to execute toward the objectives; however, the students may have written letters by hand in the class and through instruction but presented different and varying barriers to typing and emailing their letters.  This may have taken a little longer than Nell anticipated.  Eventually, students appreciated the experience, learned much more about emails, and are now able to access from public computers, create emails and secure passwords, and can communicate and share attachments and photos with family, friends,a nd colleagues/peers.

With Cynthia's group, there was no computer lab but she did survey her learners to find that more than half had smart phones.  She wanted to proced through her plan to show a Khan video on YouTube but realized that if she did this, the URL could be too long for the smart phone, and so she used a tool, Bitly, to shorten it, and from that to create a QR/scan code.  She tested it, and continued with her class plan, allowing students to show, experiment and talk about apps and QR codes and how to D/L and where they find them in the environment.  She created sheets with the QR code for students to scan once they understood the concept, and they shared phones watching YouTube.  Like Nell's students, Cynthia's were happy and proud to share what they had learned about the QR code, and demonstrated to their families, proving they had actually learned to use this bit of technology.

What I am learning from the experiences of both women is that: (1) I have to know what the learning needs are of my students/colleagues (2) I have to identify what my specific focus/objective is going to be toward that learning (3) I have to plan for what the outcomes should be as a result of the objective-focused tasks, and (4) I have to consider if there is a technology that will help me and/or my learners/colleagues get the task completed in a more efficient, potentially collaborative way?  It is important that I consider first MY existing technological skills and hardware, and then consider my learners/colleagues by asking/surveying each person, and consider the greatest common denominator (!) of most!!  I have to give time to planning what I will need to do to plan stepwise lessons even at the risk of boring some students---who may/may not want to help others--to get to the objective.  What I will also have to consider is what steps toward technology are worth leaving out or doing myself first as background planning, and which steps can be kept for the general learning good of the student.  This is not easy, and so I appreciate these shared experiences.

Hello!

My name is Kristi Reyes, and I have taught noncredit ESL at MiraCosta College in California almost 18 years (work anniversary on Jan. 26), first as an associate faculty for seven years.  During that time, I also taught in all kinds of adult ESL programs (college credit ESL, IEPs, vacation ESL, workplace ESL, refugee/resettlement) - what any PT teacher needs to do to cobble together an income.  I have been integrating technology for quite a while now and am a tech trainer for OTAN (Outreach and Technical Assistance Network), also writing articles on Web-based class activities and contributing to the teaching with technology repository.  Despite that, I am self-taught and lack a bit of the theoretical foundation about technology integration, so I am delighted to join this group and peruse the online modules, especially now that I'm on sabbatical and have some time to devote to learning. I look forward to reading all the posts that I see here!

As for technology accessibility of my students, I believe that due to the high cost of living in the area where I teach (coastal Southern California), the folks (including immigrants) who can afford to live here have the means to acquire tech gadgets. Compared to what I discovered through discussions with ESL teachers from the Los Angeles area in a professional development Community of Practice (CALPRO's Evidence-Based Writing Instruction) I recently participated in, my students not only have greater access but are relatively much more tech-savvy than their peers in other areas of this part of the state. 

I used Survey Monkey to find out about technology access of students in our program's level 5 - 7 classes a few months ago: Results:

Level 5 AM - 78% have computers with internet access, 65% have cell phones with internet access

Level 5 PM - 62% have computers with internet access, 68% have cell phones with internet access

Level 6 AM - 65% have computers with internet access, 90% have cell phones with internet access

Level 6 PM - 29% have computers with internet access, 76% have cell phones with internet access

Level 7 PM - 78% have computers with internet access, 67% have cell phones with internet access

The morning Level 7 class was unable to participate.

I teach at the noon time, and in my most recent class (while I didn't formally survey the students, most of whom have finished high school in their native countries, and several of whom had bachelor - PhDs), a Vocational ESL class, many of the students had computers, tablets, AND cell phones.  Anyway, that's not the norm, but it definitely made for interesting and valuable technology-integration possibilities in the class.

Shortly after I surveyed students (the purposes were to gather updated information to support our recently-approved hybrid classes and to update data I had originally supplied in my sabbatical leave application), the students in these levels had to take the WIA/EL Civics Tech Survey.  Here are some of those results (132 students surveyed), on the first post of my sabbatical blog.  The results indicated that 73% of (129) students surveyed have smartphones.  Obviously, as we include more tech integration, blended and online learning, we need to consider that students will more likely be doing this coursework on the tiny screens of their cellphones.

Some of the everyday tasks students are doing with their tech devices are the following (according to the WIA/EL Civics Tech survey for our agency) are the following:

  • text 83%
  • get information/do research 76%
  • learn in (42%) and outside (39%) of class
  • apply for jobs 18%
  • work 8%
  • pay bills 28%
  • e-mail 66%
  • shop 27%
  • use social media 60%
  • access entertainment 50%

It is interesting to note that using the internet in and outside of class to learn is not a common use.  Obviously as educators, we need to do a better job os what is being advocated in the modules of this course: Use the tools that are used in everyday life in the real world – use the same tools to provide academic success and bring education into the realm of the real world.

 

Hello Kristi, and others,

Thanks, Kristi, for joining this group and posting such an engaging introduction! Lots to chew on here. Reading about what you have learned from surveying your students reminds me of a couple of things:

  • Teachers looking for a quick and easy written survey (perhaps it could be an oral survey) of adult ed students' access to and use of mobile/cell phones (plain feature phones as well as smart phones) might want to take a look at a cell phone survey that was originally developed by Santa Ana College (Southern California) ESL professor, Susan Gaer, and which I added to and edited. You'll find it at https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fe86-aAowyHQ6u8eXg2LIgIeGogRYxTldbaiuJzvPjI/edit

Incidentally, this is just one resource listed in the Mlearning in Adult Ed Web page, http://mlearninginadulted.wikispaces.com/, which other adult education practitioners are welcome to read and add to.

  • Participants in the Technology and Learning CoP might benefit from seeing the results of other teachers' surveys of their students. Do their results look like Kristi's? Let's find out.

For example, Kristi, could you share a copy of your SurveyMonkey survey form? Could someone here develop it as two online survey instruments, one for adult ESL/ESOL students, another for ABE/ASE students, that any adult education teacher (with access to Survey Monkey or another online survey app) could use with her/his students? Teachers who use the survey could post their results here by class type/location and level, and we might see some interesting patterns emerge. 

"It is interesting to note that using the internet in and outside of class to learn is not a common use." Thanks for this observation, Kristi. You have identified a major need in adult basic education (including ESL/ESOL) that we need to explicitly address in both classes and computer labs: how students can become expert in using computers (and tablets, smartphones and other portable web-accessing digital devices) for online learning. While many adult education teachers now include basic digital literacy/digital readiness skills or more advanced ITC skills, and some integrate online learning skills as they teach students how to use a particular online platform such as Schoology, Edmodo, Blackboard, Moodle, or even an online learning filing system such as Evernote, Pinterest or Dropbox, I wonder how many adult education teachers have defined a set of transferable online learning skills or competencies and made them into explict learning objectives for the online component of their blended (hybrid, face-to-face and online) learning model. Online learning competencies is a set of "teaching people how to fish" skills that adult learners -- and others -- will need to survive and thrive in the 21st century.

Anyone: are you teaching these skills, and if so, how are you doing it?

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

Thanks for your reply to my post, Dr. Rosen.

These are the two questions I posed on the Survey Monkey surveys, one for each class, to get an overall idea about students' tech accessibility (i.e., internet access).  The WIA Tech Plan Learner Survey is much more comprehensive. 

In the noncredit ESL program in which I teach, we just finished piloting our first-ever hybrid courses, two sections (one an intermediate/advanced VESL class and the other a level 6/low advanced ESL class).  The results were promising in that all but one student indicated that they would consider online/hybrid classes in the future, and the persistence/retention rates for both classes were high.  The classes were taught by two instructors skilled at integrating technology who had been using the CMS (Blackboard) for the main delivery platform for years in a blended learning format.  However, not a lot of consideration was given to what David Rosen mentions: having "a set of transferable online learning skills or competencies and made them into explicit learning objectives for the online component of their blended (hybrid, face-to-face and online) learning model" until one of the teachers mentioned proposing a new course on "how to take online classes."  The focus of such a course may be too narrow to gain support by the college we work for, so we may propose a computers for ESL course which would be delivered as a hybrid class so that students would learn to do online learning implicitly, but with a module on taking online classes, we would explicitly teach to the types of objectives Dr. Rosen mentions... I just don't know what those particular objectives are, though, so I'll be searching but would be appreciative if anyone in this group could 1) share anecdotal or quantitative data on best practices for hybrid or fully online courses they have offered, 2) share sources/resources/or just a brainstorm of ideas of learning objectives described above. 

For the instructional side, there is the International Association for K-12 Online Learning National Standards for Quality Online Teaching and in California for Community College instructors there is the brief @ONE Standards for Quality Online Teaching. Does anyone else know of particular standards such as these to guide new online teachers and/or for evaluation of online/hybrid courses?

Has anyone read this text?  Collins, Allan (2009).  Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology: The Digital Revolution and Schooling in America. Teachers College Press. It's an interesting read, and even though the publish date is not that current, there is definite support in the author's vision of the future of education that we need to teach not just digital literacy but also how to be an online student.  See my blog post with a brief summary.

Enjoy the holidays!

Here are a couple of ideas for how I may integrate technology with the following assignment:

As a final activity, create a class book of favorite recipes. Have students select a favorite recipe they use at home and write it down. Have them revise their recipes with their group members or a partner, using the recipe writing rubric as a guide for revision. Collect final drafts of recipes into a class recipe book.

1.  My first idea was a class blog with students posting photos to accompany the recipe, but since I see that this was already mentioned in another post, it's obviously not the most creative idea, so I kept thinking...

2. My second idea would be something I may do if I were teaching an intermediate level class, which is set up a class wiki, which allows for easy online revisions / editing and reversions to past versions for comparison.  I would group students by countries and have them create a wiki page with one or two recipes, photos, a map showing where the recipe comes from, and as time permitted, they could even create a how-to video or slides with photos (they take using their cellphone cameras or digital cameras) showing how to put together the dish(es) they are writing recipes for.  That way, the spoken skills are also part of the lesson, in addition to the fact that they'll be working on teams and will need to use workplace skills to get the project done.  I would also include in the assignment that the students create a shopping list with prices (within a given budget) and stores in the local area or online (What use would the assignment be if the ingredients cannot be bought in the USA?) where they can purchase the ingredients and costs for the items.  They could do this in Excel to learn some basic features of spreadsheets. 

3. My third idea is to extend/modify the assignment for my Vocational ESL class.  In that case, my students generally have higher-level English and technology skills, so I would put the students in teams and give the task of a business start-up for a restaurant: do online research to find out what sort of restaurant would be successful in our area, find a location, write a brief/simplified business plan using a Word template, create a menu (also a Word template) and price list based on recipes for one house-specialty appetizer, drink, soup/salad, entrée, and dessert. They would create a PowerPoint slideshow or a Web page for the restaurant and present their restaurant proposals to the class. I have assigned this type of project before a couple of different times in the Vocational ESL class I teach, but the groups were free to choose any type of business and had to create promotional materials and business cards using templates from MS Office.  The results were amazing - everything from internet cafes to combo old folks homes/child care centers.  The students were so proud of their products they created on their teams.  Once we had a contest in which other classes visited, and the groups "sold" their business ideas, with students from other classes voting on the best projects.

What two technology tools did Cynthia try to implement with her students in the classroom?

The instructor says that she first tried an online platform but doesn't specific which or exactly how she tried to implement it.  I think just telling students to "go onto X platform" is ineffective.  The benefits of using the platform -- with demos and print materials on how to get on and how to navigate -- and a requirement to post (such as part of a grade) need to be explicitly explained to students.  Also, the instructor realized that students didn't need "one more place ... to go."

What were the observed benefits of using one tool over another? What are some limitations of both tools?

She indicated that she knew that 85% of her students were already on Facebook, so using if for class would not include a learning curve for them.  I would personally be reluctant for students to share their written work, especially if any of the content is of a personal nature, online via a social networking site, even if the students are part of a "private group."  The obvious benefits of having students share their writing online, no matter the site / platform, are the following:  having an audience of peers, the opportunity to read others' work and comment on it at a time when it is convenient for the student, fewer time constraints for reading and replying, and a chance for students to view the various ways their peers may have approached the assignment and/or may have expressed different viewpoints. 

With social networking, the audience can be very wide, so even with a private group, content could be shared.

With a password-protected CMS (Blackboard/Moodle), there is more of a seriousness to the educational task (in my opinion).

First of all, I have to say that I am addicted to Pinterest, too.  I don't post - I'm just a lurker who finds recipes, new hairstyles, and home decorating ideas -- and occasionally some good teaching ideas -- by perusing the site.  I absolutely love Nell's class project:  Pinterest for a collaborative board on what a new immigrant needs to know when they arrive in the United States.

How did Nell’s use of Pinterest in the lesson on autobiographies enhance and extend student learning?

A few brief comments: 

1) First, I think how she paired a student who was comfortable with computers with a novice is a very effective way of breaking in technology integration for students and setting up a comfort zone.  I typically do this, too, by having the very first class project (some sort of partner presentation or introduction) a pair project. 

2) When students are excited about something in class, they are more motivated and will spend more time on the task, which was obviously the case with the autobiographies, as Nell said: "All the students did their homework and some did much more than was assigned."

3) Finally, not only did students express themselves with technology as the medium, they also learned new tech jargon (pin, post, etc.) and skills.  They had a wide audience by sharing their work online with the world. It would be incredibly boring to read or listen to someone talk about themselves without images, and the students learned various ways to find/use images, which enhanced their digital literacy. 

Creative, awesome project idea!