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NW LINCS  Technology Issues In Adult basic Education Workshop



Karen Brees Email


1.       Does technology mean just computers?

·         Definition The ideas and machines that people use to meet their goals.

·         A manner of accomplishing a task especially using technical processes, methods, or knowledge

·         The body of knowledge available to a society that is of use in fashioning implements, practicing manual arts and skills, and extracting or collecting materials.

To put it plainly…a rock 20,000 years ago was actually considered top technology of the year.

2.       What does it mean to use computers in a basic skills program? 
  •  Using Computer training as the curriculum

  •  Using the computer as a delivery system

  • Using the computer as a tool

  • Using the computer to complement instruction

NW LINCS Integration Training Site

3.       What about distance education?
  • Kentucky Virtual Library

  • Washington Online

  • Free-Ed Helper/Online Classes

NW LINCS Online Classroom Guides

4.       What about communications with students?
  • Nothing will ever take the place of face to face instruction

  • Electronic communication actually increases the communication by:

  • Allowing shy or quiet students to communicate on their terms

  • Questions can be asked anytime/anyplace

  •  Increases the amount of time that can be spent answering and communicating

  • Students who feel inferior can post questions w/o fear of face to face inferiority??

  • Research shows this to be true.

NW LINCS Learning Communities

5.       What about accessing teacher resources?

Internet Resources are many:

  • National LINCS, 5 regional Sites

National/Regional System map

  • Each state has resources online on their own systems.

NW LINCS Partners States

  • Non-profit agencies online

PBS Online Sites

  • Resource Center are now becoming virtual

ABLE Network Resource Center

6.       What about technology competencies? How to teach and assess?
  • NW LINCS – Computer Assessment Software from Idaho

NW LINCS Instructor Software

  • Several sites online now offer hints and assessment for first time students

NW LINCS Computer Online Classroom Guide

  • Many states now have competencies in the computer area

West Virginia Computer Curriculum


7.       How can a teacher/program integrate technologies with other instruction?
  • NETC Grant 2000 by the NWRLRC

Publication List ABLE Network Resource Center

“Models for Integrating Technology”

  • National/NW LINCS Project this year is Integration of Technology

NW LINCS Services

  • Only the instructor can assess the best way to integrate technology in a classroom, as each is different.

8.       What innovative models have you seen where technology is really being used to solve a problem or overcome a barrier?

·         Students with physical impairments

·         Retention problem in reading

·         Different learning styles

·         Remote areas with lack of trained teachers

NW LINCS Teacher Page – Learning Styles – Western Pacific LINCS

9.       Do you have any data to show whether using technology impacts student learning, retention, recruitment or anything else?

·         See Research handout.

Research Handout

10.    What is being done at the state or national level to encourage support the use of technology in adult basic skills?

·         Professional development workshops

Florida Online Professional Development

·         National LINCS/NW LINCS offers technology training and mini-grants for integration of technology

11.     Are there populations for whom using technology as a part of instruction is particularly appropriate? 

·         All populations it’s the variables to each population that decide the appropriateness of it all.

12.    Are there any populations with whom it is not effective? 

·         More a set of variables: Teacher training, time, equipment, purpose of the class, student attitudes.

Three questions always asked at conferences/training sessions:

·         Serve the student better

·         Save Time

·         Save money

How can LINCS Help?

Technology in Tough Times


Thank You!! :) 

Other issues: Digital Divide – What is it?

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College Level Students

This article reviews the literature on computer uses in second language and foreign language learning from 1990 to 2000 inclusive.

Journal of Research on Technology in Education

In reading and writing and on overall achievement tests, students with technology-enhanced language learning out- performed those who were in a traditional learning environment.

 Student response:

·         Students enjoyed learning with computers. They found lab environment more relaxed than learning in traditional classrooms.

·         Increased student participation, especially from those traditionally marginalized, including women and shy students

·         Computer activities lead to increased collaborative interaction among participants

·         Students’ response showed excitement; overall improvement in language skills

·         The use of e-mail encouraged greater communicative use of the second language.

·         Students still need teacher s feedback and support

·         Positive attitudes of students; significant gains in writing, but no significant differences in oral discussions

·         More equal participation in the electronic discussion



·         Gains in learning in multimedia environment were reported

·         Online students outperformed students who were enrolled in traditional classroom-based sections

·         No significant difference between the two was found Chang & Smith (1991)

·         Greater amount of language production and language functions and higher level of accuracy in discourse of e-mail

·         Significant advantages of using e-mail over the paper-and-pencil dialogue journal in terms of quantity of language, but no advantages in lexical and grammatical accuracy.

·         Computer-assisted reading is more effective in improving students’ second language learning than conventional reading methods.

·         Improved long-term vocabulary retention

·         Computer users outperformed students in other ESL classes

·         Dramatic improvement in writing

·         Positive results and improved learning

·         Participants preferred interacting with real people in real situations. They needed feedback.

·         Great enthusiasm and increased learning


Miscellaneous Issues with Technology

·         Speech recognition software is not feasible for foreign language students, because it recognizes only a low percentage of nonnative speaker utterances

·         Students with different learning styles used different learning strategies and hypermedia can accommodate students’ needs through its rich environments

·         Achievement scores increased significantly from pre-to post treatment, across all learning style groups. Computer anxiety was reduced and attitudes increased significantly

·         Computer-based grammar instruction was reported to be effective and in some cases more effective than teacher instruction

·         Freedom to work at the computer did not lead to gains in language learning


Research on Family Literacy

Caskey studied the differences in student and adult learning when parents and students were taught to use the Internet together and separately. Students seemed to learn the same in both treatments, but parents seemed more comfortable with their and their children's Internet use when they learned alongside their children.

What Teachers believe:

  • Support thinking processes

  • Stimulate motivation and self-esteem

  • Promote equity

  • Prepare students for the future

  • Support changes in school structure

  • Explore technology capabilities


Summative Research Report

Computers have been shown to be effective teaching and learning tools. In over a dozen summaries of the research on computer-assisted instruction (CAI), involving hundreds of studies with students of all ages, the following has been found (Kulik, 1994, p. 11).

·         Students usually learn more when they receive computer-assisted instruction.

·         Computer-assisted instruction is more efficient (reducing instructional time from one-quarter to one-third).

·         The most effective type of computer-assisted instruction for elementary and high school students is computer tutoring, where the computer presents material to the student, evaluates the student's response, uses this information to determine what to present next, and keeps track of student progress.

·         Students like their classes more when they receive computer-assisted instruction.

·         Students like computers more when they receive computer-assisted instruction.

·         However, students do not like the subject matter in their courses more when they receive computer-assisted instruction.

Results from a summary of the research focusing on adult learners are also positive. Computer-assisted instruction is effective with adults in non-traditional (non-school) settings such as adult basic education programs and job training programs. It is more effective than comparable non-computer-based instruction and is also more efficient. Computer-assisted instruction can be 30% faster than non-computer-based instruction (Kulik, Kulik, & Shwalb 1986).


From an Instructor:

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