Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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1.   Distance Learning Research #8:  Can Research Keep Up?


We are continually reminded how important research is in our field.  We go forth, refer to the research, and then say, “Hey, that’s what we have been doing.”  One of the key findings in Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning states the following:     


Programs’ efforts to implement supplemental and alternative learning options with online content are being documented.  Yet technology trends, access patterns among American adults and delivery platform options develop and change ahead of the pace of data collection, published evaluations, and program planning.  Although not all of the findings below are wholly new to the field, finding them again as the result of a systematic investigation adds credibility to commonly known realities in adult literacy and language learning, such as the importance of work-related skills. 


Silver-Pecuilla, Heidi and Reder, Stephen, "Investigating the Language and Literacy Skills Required for Independent Online Learning."  NIFL, October 2009, p.32.


Since we all need affirmation for what we are doing, the research provides us with that.  We always like to know that we are on the right track and that the light we see is not another train headed our way.


If you could share one thing you have been doing with Distance Learning that has worked out well for you, what would it be?  Please take a moment and share your success with your Montana colleagues!   

Any thoughts? 

·       Email:  Click here to email MTLINCS.  OR

·       Blog:  Click here to post on the DL Blog.


2.   Microsoft Digital Literacy – Exciting website!


Are you needing some computer curriculum for your students and don’t have the time or expertise to create it? 

Check out Microsoft Digital Literacy.  Learn Essential Skills with the Microsoft Digital Literacy Curriculum.


The goal of Microsoft Digital Literacy is to teach and assess basic computer concepts and skills so that people can use computer technology in everyday life to develop new social and economic opportunities for themselves, their families, and their communities.  Whether you are entirely new to computing or have some experience, this curriculum will help you develop a fundamental understanding of computers. From using the Internet to sending e-mail or creating a résumé, the Digital Literacy Curriculum helps you develop the essential skills you need to begin computing with confidence.

Microsoft is now offering a curriculum for students that consists of five modules on the topic of digital literacy.  The modules are:

1. Computer Basics
2. The Internet and the World Wide Web
3. Productivity Programs
4. Computer Security and Privacy
5. Digital Lifestyles

Once completed, participants may take a test and, upon passing, receive a Digital Literacy Certificate.

This resource is offered for free and there is also an instructor section if you would like to use the curriculum for a whole class.

The curriculum is available in English and 30 other languages.

To learn more, go to:


Taken from NIFL Tech and DL Discussion List

3.   ESL:  Online Courses – Managing Multilevel and Using Computers


ProLiteracy is pleased to offer two online professional development courses for ESL instructors the spring. Please share this information with colleagues who may be interested. Additional course information can be found at


Managing the Multilevel ESL Classroom

March 1 to April 90

Instructor: Erik Jacobson

Course Description: The demand for ESL instruction continues to challenge teachers, particularly in the area of managing the multilevel classroom. Can you meet the needs of students whose skills and needs are so different? Yes! This course guides you in creating a classroom environment that supports ALL students.


Using a virtual multilevel ESL classroom as a backdrop, the course leads you through practical strategies for understanding your students' unique needs and managing your own classroom. You'll have ample opportunities to apply the strategies, share ideas with a course partner, and solidify your learning. When you complete the course, you'll have a firm grasp of assessment, lesson planning, materials selection, and structure for the multilevel ESL classroom.


Course information and registration:


Creating Engaging ESOL Activities Using Computers

April 12 to May 21

Instructor: Diana Satin

Course Description: Research shows that interesting, engaging learning activities using productivity software increase students' motivation and help them learn English for all the reasons they come to your classes. In addition, more and more jobs require computer skills. Students who can use computers effectively expand their career options in countless ways.


Through this course, you will integrate computer software into your ESOL instruction. You'll identify the steps necessary to incorporate computer software applications into lesson plans, including analyzing specific language and computer skills. You will finish the course having developed, tested, and refined a learning activity for your own classroom.


Course information and registration:


Questions? Please contact us at

Jane Greiner

Professional Development Coordinator


315.422.9121 ext. 283


4.  Research:  Early Language Problems May Hinder Adult Literacy

Below is a link to an article about a UK study that may be of interest. Here is an excerpt below:

UK researchers found that among more than 11,000 34-year-olds followed since childhood, those who had shown "very limited" language development at age 5 were at increased risk of low literacy. As adults, one-third still showed a "poor grasp" of reading and writing skills, the researchers report in the journal Pediatrics. Still, the researchers say, the flip side of that finding is that two-thirds of children with significant language problems went on to develop competent literacy. And certain characteristics of children's home life seemed to make a difference in whether early language problems persisted. [bolding of text added]

One of those was whether parents read to their children on a regular basis.

Interested in the research?  Go to

David J. Rosen


5.  Transitions Webcast Available


Achieving Student Success: Transitions to Post-secondary Education 


Transitioning students through their educational experience and on to post-secondary education can be a challenging process.  Learn what local programs, in partnership with colleges, are doing to ensure that students are ready to move from adult literacy classes to post-secondary education and beyond. In this Webcast, designed for program administrators, experts explore successful student transitions as well as discuss current research, state office technical assistance, and adult education program perspectives.


Click here  to register and watch the webcast for free! 


P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!


Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101