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Adult Literacy and New Technologies - Federation of American ...

Adult Literacy and New Technologies - Federation of American ...

8 I

8 I Adult Literacy and New Technologies: Tools for a Lifetime Box I-B-Advantages of Technology for Adult Learners Reaching Learners Outside of Classrooms ● With portable technology, adults can learn almost anywhere, any time, and can use Small parcels of time more . efficiency ● Technology can carry instruction to nonschool settings-workplaces, homes, prisons, or the ~ @ * ● Adults can be served who would otherwise be left out because of barriers such as inconvenient class ● . scheduling or lack of childcare or transportation . Learning at home convenient and private for those who would feel stigmatizeda attending a P m - Using Learning Time Efficiently . Learners can move at their own pace, have greater control over their own learning, and make better use of their learning time. ● Leaners can handle some routine tasks more quickly through such processes as computer spell checking. ● Many lcamers advance more quickly with computers or Interactive videodiscs than with conventional teaching methods. Sustaining Motivation ● Novelty factor cam be a drawing card." ● Technology can be more engaging,can add interest to - - - ● Importance of computers in society can enhance the status of literacy instruction. ● Privacy and confidentiality are added to the learning environment reducing embarrassment adults often experience. ● Technology-based learning ~ do “ not resemble those of past school failures. ● Intense,non judgmental drill-and-practice is available for those who need it. ✩ ■ ✩ ■ assessmetnropmvidcd lndividualizing Instruction ● Computers can serve as "personal tutors’’-instruction and scheduling can be individualized with without Ore-on-one staffing; Suitable for open-entry, open-exit programs. ● Materialspresentation formats can be customized to suit diferrrentleamingstyles, ● interests,or workplace needs. ● Images and sound can help some adults learn better, especially those who cannot lead text well. ● Computers with digitized and synthesized speech can help with pronunciation and vocabulary. ● Adults with learning disabilities and certain ● physical disabilities Can be accommodate Providing Access to Information Tools . Adults need to learn to use today’s electronic tools for accessing “information. ● Adults believe familiarity with computers will make them mole employable. SOURCE: office ofmchdOgy ASScSq 1993. ences, and learning disabilities can easily deter all deliver services and support learning are all but the most motivated learners. harriers may necessary if we are to improve the system. need social and emotional support as well as Technology has the potential to eliminate some flexible systems that match their schedules, pace, barriers to participation and address some of the and learning style. Finding better ways to match unique needs of adult learners (see box l-B), but adult learners to services, removing barriers to the current uses of technology in adult literacy participation, creating incentives for attending programs have barely scratched the surface. programs, and designing new strategies to

Figure 1-2—Adult Literacy Programs, I What Programs Are Offered? ● ● ● ■ ● ● m 9 Adult basic education Adult secondary education GED preparation English as a second language Workplace literacy and skills Computer skills Family literacy Combinations of the above What Are the Funding Sources? Federal Government _ State governments ■ Local governments ● Foundations ● Business and industry ● Unions ● Professional organizations ■ Participants SOURCE: Office of Technology Assessment, 1993. Who Is Being Served? ● High school dropouts ● Immigrants and refugees . Job training clients ● Families ● Welfare clients = Adults in the workplace ~ Displaced workers ■ Displaced homemakers ● Incarcerated teens and adults ● Retirees WHAT PROBLEMS DO LITERACY PROGRAMS AND PROVIDERS FACE? The numbers of adult literacy programs and providers are growing, prompted by increased Federal, State, community, and philanthropic awareness of literacy as an economic and social issue. Public programs are the largest sector, serving an estimated 80 to 90 percent of those who sign up for adult literacy instruction. Although data on total funding for literacy are not available, statistics from the U.S. Department of Education indicate that State and local support for adult literacy has grown more than eightfold since 1980, and Federal funding has doubled. 8 These 8 See chs. 4 and 5 for further &tails. Chapter l-Summary and Policy Options | 9 Providers, and People Who Are the Providers? ● Local school districts ● Community colleges ● Community-based organizations ● Libraries ~ Literacy volunteer organizations ● Prisons D Labor unions ■ Business/industry ● Preschool and Head Start programs = Coalitions of the above I What Technologies Are Used? Stand-alone and networked computers Integrated learning systems Multimedia systems Videotape, videodisc Hand-held and portable devices Consumer electronics Broadcast and cable television Closed captioning Distance learning networks increases have spurred the expansion of programs and services. But despite this growth, adult literacy education operates at the margin. Unlike elementary and secondary education, with a clearly defined and long-established tradition of control by State departments of education and local school districts, adult education has no ‘‘system. ” A patchwork of adult literacy services is provided in schools, community colleges, libraries, community centers, churches, housing projects, workplaces, and prisons (see figure 1-2). Although local school districts continue to be primary providers of adult literacy education, programs operated by community-based organi-

  • Page 1 and 2: Adult Literacy and New Technologies
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    population has remained relatively

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    Learning and going to school have m

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    Some studies have used ethnographic

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    ii I New immigrants may often find

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    e-reading the material, and their j

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    T he literacy service delivery ‘

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    400 350 300 250 20O ‘ >“1 \ I [

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    Bell Atlantic Black and Decker Stan

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    Chapter 4-The Literacy System: A Pa

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    s ince the mid- 1960s, the Federal

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    Although promising, these efforts c

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    War on Poverty program overseen by

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    Chapter &The Federal Role in Adult

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    somewhat contemporaneously, so it c

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    there is overlap. Both ED and the D

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    Chapter &The Federal Role in Adult

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    to 70 percent) or Head Start childr

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    Chapter 5-The Federal Role in Adult

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    Highly defined subcategories of new

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    set of service delivery issues: how

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    esponding to public concerns about

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    Chapter 5-The Federal Role in Adult

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    experimental funds to promote use o

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    must coordinate or consult; most fr

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    eral agencies to undertake joint ve

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    in Federal law by providing some in

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    Educational gains Support services

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    Advances in technology have “uppe

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    Computer-Based Technologies Chapter

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    Chapter 7-Technology Today: Practic

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    Chapter 7-Technology Today: Practic

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    Chapter 7-Technology Today: Practic

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    ecorders (VCRS), 27 and61 percent h

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    Many adults use computers in the LA

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    Chapter 7-Technology Today: Practic

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    specialized personnel to evaluate h

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    — that provides information criti

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    Chapter 7-Technology Today: Practic

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    notes, sounds, graphics, movies, an

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    T oday’s literacy programs are un

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    verify the owner’s request, relay

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    charge, Dave’s mother refused to

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    Guatemala to marry Eduardo when she

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    Through her ESL, parenting, job pre

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    Chapter 8-Looking Ahead to a Future

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    Chapter 8-Looking Ahead to a Future

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    munications capabilities. Ultimatel

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    Issues of Access and Equity These t

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    Chapter 8-Looking Ahead to a Future

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    Boxes Appendix A: List of Boxes, Fi

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    Appendix A-List of Boxes, Figures,

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    Appendix B-Major Federal Adult Lite

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    R = required; E = encouraged; O = o

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    Appendix C-Key Coordination Provisi

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    only discs, new data cannot be stor

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    Tablet or graphics tablet: A comput

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    PBS PIC PLUS R&D SBIR SCANS SDA SEA

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    Appendix F—Workshop Participants,

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    Rob Foshay TRO barring, Inc. Michae

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    Dennis Poe U.S. Department of Healt

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    Appendix G: Contributing Sites Thro

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    Northwest Tri-County Intermediate U

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    ABE. See Adult basic education ACCE

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    technological applications, 120-121

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    National Workplace Literacy Partner

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    workplace literacy, 102, 117-119 Te

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