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

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

242 I

242 I Adult Literacy and New Technologies: Tools for a Lifetime For meeting the widely disparate information needs of a large and heterogeneous population, the switching capability of a network is its single most important characteristic. . . . Once we are switched and connected to an information source, interactivity provides the means to further refine our choice of information. . . . Universal access implies overcoming not only the boundaries of poverty but geographical boundaries as well. . . . But offering services to rural users may be worthwhile for society as a whole where alternatives involving travel, ignorance, and economic underdevelopment are expensive. 17 CONCLUSIONS Technologies that expand literacy options in the directions suggested in the scenarios will require substantial investment by all segments of society. Businesses will need to commit resources for continuing education and training of personnel as jobs and skills change. Adult learners will be required to contribute the money, time, and effort necessary to learn. The technology industry will have to create hardware, courseware, and networks that serve a wide spectrum of learners. The public sector will need to underwrite the early development of technologies and materials, and test their use in literacy applications. 17 ~& pp. 132, 138. Motivated adults with appropriate materials learn faster, persevere longer, and retain more of what they learn. Many who are reluctant to enter formal programs could benefit from new models of customized personal instruction, guided by teachers and mentors but facilitated by portable learning technologies. Technologies could imrove motivation by providing immediate feedback and more opportunities to practice learning privately. Technology-based diagnostic aids and instructional management systems could ensure that learning tasks are well matched to learning needs. Finally, adults could learn new skills not even offered when they were in school. However, access and use of new information technologies are likely to be limited if current trends continue. Although there will be notable exceptions, the quality of most adult literacy courseware is likely to improve slowly. Moreover, many useful learning technologies, such as computers and online databases, are likely to remain too expensive for economically disadvantaged families. This forecast could be altered through Federal policies that encourage the development, access, and use of technologies to expand the quantity and quality of adult literacy options.

Boxes Appendix A: List of Boxes, Figures, and Tables Chapter 1 Page l-A—How Many Adults Have Literacy Needs? Estimating the Numbers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l-B—Advantages of Technology for Adult Learners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . I-C—Advantages of Technology for Literacy Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l-D-Distance Learning in Vermont ...., . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . l-E--Learn, Earn and Prosper: Mississippi’s Project LEAP..,.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 2 2-A—Life Skills and Competencies: Two Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-B—Family Literacy Skills: Some Examples . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2-C—The Future of Workplace Skills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 3 3-A—Literacy Needs Among Those Who Speak English as a Second Language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-B—Learning Disabilities Among Adults . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-C—Profile of Yuvette Evans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-D-Profile of Sokhhoeun . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-E-Profile of Tom Addington . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-F—Assessing Progress: harriers and Tests . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-G—Profile of Michela Stone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3-H—Television as Everyday Teacher: The Importance of Media Literacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chapter 4 4-A—Baltimore: The City That Reads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-B—Ford’s Skills Enhancement Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-C—Literacy Volunteer Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-D-New York Public Library Centers for Reading and Writing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-E-A Partnership for Literacy: Dalton, Georgia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4-F—Literacy in the Los Angeles County Jail System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 8 12 15 18 34 40 55 66 67 68 70 72 74 77 90 96 102 104 108 118 124

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