Research shows that optimal technology integration into adult education classes is SAFE: Seamless, Appropriate, Facilitated, and Empowering. In this series of blog posts, I'll explore each of these characteristics in turn.
Right now I'm in the middle of preparing a workshop for the annual ABE Summer Institute. OK, I'm preparing 3 workshops and one discussion group, but there's one session in particular that I'm crunching away on more vigorously than the others. It's titled "Everything You Wanted to Know About Your PC, but were Afraid to Ask." It's targeted at the teachers in our field who have found themselves bypassed by the quickly moving world of computers.
Thanks to the brilliant technology of Google Alerts (which automatically sifts the web for any new content that matches your search terms and sends you a compilation of that material), I've now discovered two more adult literacy technology bloggers to read and share! I knew there had to be more birds in this flock out there somewhere.
Check out this blog post from chron.com called "Computer Literacy: See if you know the basics." I read this list and thought it was an excellent summary, and a great place to begin building a computer literacy curriculum.
ABE teachers often ask me if there is a particular textbook or curriculum that I can recommend for teaching basic computer skills to low-literate and/or non-native English speaking adults. While I'm not normally in the habit of pushing one publisher's content over another, here is one book that at least makes the attempt to serve this need - and there are very few that do, so it's probably worth taking a look.
Computer literacy is crucial in today's world. Whether you're developing a basic computer skills class or looking for tutoring tips, our Web site offers an array of information to support you as you plan activities tailored to the needs of your learners.
The first years I worked in ABE, I taught in an evening computer lab with students of all levels and backgrounds. Each class in the program had one time slot a week for computer time, rotating through for 45-60 minutes each. Most of the classes were English language classes, but there was also one basic skills class and one GED class. For whatever reason, most of the ABE and GED students (and their teachers) weren't really interested in learning computer skills, and made very little use of the computer time allotted to them.
Superpages.com has a free online course for adult learners (developed by Idearc Media and ProLiteracy Worldwide) that teaches the skills needed to navigate and make use of an informational website. Although the lessons are specific to Superpages, the skills are easily transferable to other sites.
Thanks to my ever-so-helpful husband for referring me to this interesting article from CNN.com about how Senator McCain (presumed Republican presidential candidate) compares to other seniors in his Internet use (or lack thereof).