Thursday, 30 of October of 2014

Category » Technology and Social Innovation

Adult Education: A Wise Investment

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Debra Jones

Adult education and career training programs play a vital role in America’s economic recovery. Investments in these programs are among the most cost-effective ways to improve economic conditions across the United States. Billions of dollars can be saved, earned, and pumped back into the struggling economy as a result of investments in effective and efficient workforce development programs. A preemptive focus on adult education actually saves governments money by reducing societal healthcare, public assistance,…

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Blending Social and Technology Support for Digital Literacy

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Stephen Reder

When we talk about digital literacy, we’re often referring to a range of capabilities ranging from use of cutting-edge technologies at one end of a continuum to basic digital access and inclusion at the other end. As adult educators, we want to support our students’ movement along this continuum. There is good reason for us to be concerned. A recent survey by the U.S. Census found, for example, that although 65% of Americans…

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Technology Innovations for Learning, Part II

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Anne Murr

“If I were in a wheelchair, you would do everything you could to help me.  But I can’t read.  For me, where’s the ramp?”  Norma has found her digital ramp:  Mac laptop with screen-reader built-in to the Mac operating system and with MacSpeech (Mac-compatible Dragon Naturally Speaking).

With these innovative technology tools, Norma now has much easier access to the written word.  She uses technology to read and communicate.  She has also achieved a…

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Technology Innovations for Learning, Part I

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—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Anne Murr

For the 43% of Americans who lack functional literacy, inability to read is a significant barrier to digital literacy.  While lack of access to or unfamiliarity with computers are also barriers, computer and digital device use can be difficult if you can’t read the print on the screen.  Functional literacy, then, is an essential component of digital literacy.

Before we discuss specific technology innovations for learning, let’s investigate data that supports…

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Adult Learners, Libraries, and Digital Literacy

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Elizabeth Friese

“I never thought I would say this, but I think I want one of those electronic readers.”

My father-in-law is a skilled and avid reader. However, over the past several years, his vision has changed. The primary reason my father-in-law asked for an e-reader was to take advantage of the ability to change the text size of whatever he chose to read.

My father-in-law’s experiences reminded me that each person’s literacy is…

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Beyond Foundational Literacy and Digital Literacy

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Bobbi Newman

Almost two years ago I came across the term transliteracy for the first time. I discovered it while reading up on the various names and formats of new and emerging 21st century literacies.  What is transliteracy? The working definition from Transliteracy Research Group:

Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through

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Libraries Embrace Digital Literacy Role

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Larra Clark and Marijke Visser

What does it mean to be literate in the digital age?  How is the preponderance of online-only resources affecting how people find and use information?  What do libraries think about all this?

These are the kinds of questions the American Library Association’s (ALA) newly formed Office for Information Technology Policy (OITP) Digital Literacy Task Force is asking as it works to identify the role…

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Digital Literacy: an opportunity for inclusion or a barrier to access?

—A Guest Blog Article in the Discussion Series on Social Innovations in Adult Education

Article by Dale Lipschultz

Last summer I acquired an e-reader for purely practical reasons. I could no longer carry a 600 page book in my briefcase―any more than could I leave it home. For me, the switch was neither problematic nor traumatic. A book is a book. How print is displayed is not an issue for me. It’s the reading that’s important.

My personal and pragmatic decision to go digital was greeted with alarm by friends and family members.…

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Guest Blog Discussion Schedule—Social Innovations in Adult Education

Social Innovations in Adult Education

—A Guest Blog Discussion Series on the Importance of Social Innovation for Adult Literacy

Technology innovations are changing our relationship with education and knowledge. These innovations (“social innovations”) can be used to advance social causes such as adult education and literacy by connecting users to technology tools for learning, building networks, and bridging the digital divide. How are weand how can weharness innovation to improve adult literacy in the United States? Join the National Coalition for Literacy for a guest blog discussion series that explores…

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Social Innovations in Adult Education

—A Guest Blog Discussion Series on the Importance of Social Innovation

for Adult Literacy

August 1 – September 16, 2011

Introduction by Heidi Silver-Pacuilla

Technology and social innovations are changing our relationship with education and knowledge. Schools and instructors are no longer the font of knowledge. Individuals can now ACCESS an ocean of educative experiences, CREATE them, and SHARE them with known and unknown colleagues. If you’ve ever contributed to Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, or the NCL blog, you’ve created new knowledge for the rest of us to…

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Adult Literacy Caucus and NCL Co-Host 1st Congressional Briefing on Adult Literacy

By Washington Partners and Jackie Taylor

The House Adult Literacy Caucus and the National Coalition for Literacy held a Congressional briefing May 12, 2011, highlighting 21st Century Approaches to Adult Literacy. Approximately 40 were in attendance, including adult education leaders, advocates, and legislative staffs.

The briefing followed the NCL Quarterly Meeting, where Congressman Bill Goodling made a surprise visit after recovering from a serious medical condition.

Heidi Silver-Pacuilla, President of the National Coalition for Literacy, opened the

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Where Is the Digital Divide Today?

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The new digital divide is about speed and affordabilitymaking clear connections to low income families and programs that serve them.

New analysis by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (see report) underscores what the difference high-speed service can mean for communities, businesses, and individuals. Here is an excerpt:

The nationwide trend toward widespread adoption of broadband Internet connections has occurred among virtually all demographic groups, with nearly universal year-over-year growth. Adoption and growth rates, however, are uneven among various demographic groups. Over the past year, gaps decreased

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NCL Launches Social Media Campaign, Grows Grassroots Advocacy for Adult Education & Family Literacy

By Jackie Taylor

The National Coalition for Literacy recently launched a social media campaign to grow the grassroots advocacy base for adult education and family literacy. On February 14, the Coalition began by launching a redesign of its main website, folding the Advocacy Clearinghouse and Toolkit and its blog under one umbrella web presence.

The website provides resources for the general public to quickly access in understanding why adult education is important and how to take action. It also provides a policy one-stop for legislative staff in locating critical public policy updates,…

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From Grassroots to Grasstops: Leveraging Social Media to Advocate for Adult Education

By Jackie Taylor

Today’s economic climate demands bold, innovative strategies to advance effective policies for adult education and literacy. Adult education advocates have historically relied on email as a mainstay communication vehicle for sending and receiving advocacy alerts and galvanizing action. However, research shows nationally that email open rates have declined 63% from 2004–2008. With the rise of social media, cell phones and Internet access, some would even argue that there is not a digital divide.

We must also look at the sheer volume of messages going in to Congress each day as a…

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National Education Technology Plan Includes Adult Education

By Heidi Silver-Pacuilla

The final version of the National Ed Technology Plan (NETP) was released November 9, 2010.

This spring, during the call for input, the National Coalition for Literacy coordinated an adult education response to the draft. That document attempted to articulate the role that technology could play in adult education for teaching, learning, and program infrastructure. The document was subsequently adopted by NCL as a policy position.

The final version of the NETP preserves the main categories presented in the draft version:…

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Fund and Improve the Use of Technology for Teaching and Learning Through Innovation Grants and Pilot Projects

An NCL WIA Reauthorization Priority

Article by Heidi Silver-Pacuilla

Consider these statistics about how U.S. adults are using technology in 2010 and whether adult education programs are prepared to take advantage of these trends:

Broadband. 74 % of adults have broadband access at home, and 67% consider themselves as users of that access in the home. The main dividing lines for access are along socioeconomic dimensions such as income and education:

46% of adults whose highest level of education is a high school degree are broadband users at home;

  • 82% of adults who have attended or graduated from college

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