Monday, January 5, 2015

LINCS Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom

I completed the online LINCS (Literacy Information and Communication System) Self-Paced Online Course: Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom, which examines the why, how, and what questions for integrating technology in the adult education classroom:

o   Why is technology important for instruction and learning?

o   How do you approach integrating technology?

o   What tools can you use to integrate technology?

These are some of the take-aways I gained through taking the course:

  • Technology integration is not the goal of technology integration – competency development of students is.
  • Start with a goal and see what tool would be best for the job.  What competency am I helping students to develop with this lesson? 
  • Tech integration doesn’t always have to be a planned event. 
  • 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.
  • Technology, in and of itself, does not produce learning. However, many aspects of how specific technology tools and platforms can be integrated into instruction reflect the key teaching practices that support deeper learning, as described in a booklet also published by the NRC, Education for Life and Work: Guide for Practitioners (2012). Technology can and does amplify and extend instructional strategies and provides opportunities for repeated practice and feedback, which can lead to greater retention and application of new knowledge and skills. The benefits of integrating technology into instructional practices include the following:
o   Helps students develop 21st century employment skills

o   Makes learning tasks authentic and challenging

o   Makes challenging content more accessible

o   Makes learning relevant - more young people are entering adult education classes who are familiar with and use technology

o   Supports the diverse needs of adult learners

o   Helps students bring real life experiences into the classroom

o   Extends time devoted to a project

o   Supports collaborative work

o   Provides inexpensive, multiplatform accessibility to all learners

o   Helps break down the digital divide

Three Principles of UD in Education:
    • Principle 1: Provide Multiple Means of Representation

      • Example Technology Tool that Supports Principle 1: Multiple Means of Representation: Readability is a simple tool that makes reading on the web more enjoyable by eliminating the clutter around what you are reading and focusing on the text (new to me)

    • Principle 2: Provide Multiple Means of Action and Expression

      • Example Technology Tool that Supports Principle 2: Multiple Means of Action and Expression: VoiceThread (have used and trained teachers on before)
    • Principle 3: Provide Multiple Means of Engagement
    • Example Technology Tool that Supports Principle 3: Multiple Means of Engagement: Paper.Li is an online tool for creating an online magazine or newspaper which will automatically find, publish, and promote articles, videos, and photos across the web (have heard of it or something similar)
21st Century Skills: Information, Media, and Technology Skills (descriptors)

o   Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate, and communicate information

o   Use digital technologies (e.g., computers, PDAs, media players, GPS), communication/networking tools, and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy

o   Apply a fundamental understanding of the ethical/legal issues surrounding the access and use of information technologies

 Frameworks for technology integration:

o   SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification, Redefinition) Model, the TPACK (Technological, Pedagogical, Content, Knowledge) – new to me

o   POST (People, Objectives, Strategy, Technology) – new to me

o   TPACK (Technogical Pedagogical Content Knowledge) – very familiar with this model through my work with OTAN


The course focused on the POST method

P = People: Who are your students and what are their learning goals? What are your students’ existing technology skills, areas of challenge, and level of access to technology devices?

Rsources related to P:

·        Help students set goals for their learning so that they will be more motivated, and as a result, more likely to persist. To read the entire section on setting and monitoring student goals from TEAL

·        Assess students: Northstar Basic Computer Skills Assessment. Much like the Technology Integration Self-Assessment (TISA) for teachers, the Northstar Assessment enables students to demonstrate where they have strong skills and where they need additional skills and knowledge.

·        Gather information on what technology devices your students already have and use frequently.


O = Objectives: Tangible outcomes/observable behavior that result from student learning for the lesson or unit

Resources for O:

·        Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy (cool mouse-over tool that shows examples of each educational objective)

S = Strategy: Activities that lead to the outcomes; examples: presenting ideas using media; using online resources to search, evaluate, and organize information; and generating texts and multimedia documents.

Resources for S: Section on Literacy in a Digital Age on page 6 of Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Developing Reading and Writing.

T = Technology

Resources for T: Video sharing sites (YouTube, TeacherTube, Vimeo), Visual content (Flickr, Pinterest), Audio content (Podcasts, iPadio, iTunes U), Collaborative Writing Tools (Wordpress, Blogger, Tumblr, Google Docs/Google Drive), Productivity Tools (Evernote, Bitly), Online Networking Tools (FB, Twitter), 1:1 and Mobile Learning Tools (QR Codes, Weebly, PollEverywhere)
Useful Information / Resources:
In a 2013 study on Cell Phone Activities, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that – among a sample of 2,252 American adults age 18 and older - 91% owned a cell phone. Among those who owned a cell phone, 56% owned a smartphone, with the rise of smartphones contributing to the increase in overall cell phone usage.

Compare with NCESL Department’s WIA/EL Civics 2014 student survey data:


Educause, “Using Technology to Increase Quality Time on Task," Berlin Fang and James D. Dvorak (2013) discuss how the use of technology impacts student work.



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