Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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1.   Distance Learning Research #9:  Is Distance Learning a Culture or a Tool?


Recently, participants of the Leadership Academy were asked to read the article “Creating a Learning Culture” by Marcia L. Conner and James G. Clawson.  Certainly the article was in reference to leadership; however, the following statement regarding technology was made in the article:


If leaders want to create adaptive organizations, capable of getting better at getting better, they must first look at two fundamental issues: how people learn in the workplace and how to create a learning culture in which technology plays an appropriate supporting role. p.1


Computers, the Internet, e-mail, cell phones, e-learning, and the myriad technologies that will be sold as “the next killer application” can enhance our learning, but in a culture that does not allow people to learn in context, technology adds nothing. Technology doesn’t replace a learning culture; it is one and only one tool to use in the community of learning. The use of technology does not stimulate more learning, but it does reflect how active a learning culture might be. In this way, distance learning technology is a mirror of an organization’s culture with regard to learning, not a stimulus for reshaping it. p.2


Conner, Marcia L. and Clawson, James G.  “Creating a Learning Culture.”  p.1-2.



Many ABLE students have not been a part of an academic learning culture for a very long time.  Some have not even been exposed to that type of learning.  They may enter programs and review skills that are not contextual.  Does Distance Learning make learning contextual? 



Reflecting upon the above statement, do you believe that Distance Learning can be successful with ABLE students?  If so, must they first experience a “learning culture”?  How?  Please take a moment and share your thoughts with your Montana colleagues!  Don’t worry.  There are no wrong answers!   


Any thoughts? 

·       Email:  Click here to email MTLINCS.  OR

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


2.   Content Standards:  ABE Technology Standards


Since the Distance Learning research involves technology, you may be interested in the following post on the Professional Development Discussion list:

North Carolina has developed ABE Technology Content Standards. They can be found at the North Carolina Basic Skills Online Resource Center:  


3.   Dyslexia:  A Message from NIFL


The discussion of dyslexia has been a hot topic on the Learning Disabilities Discussion List recently. You can search the LD List Archives to catch up on this conversation. Or learn more about dyslexia in this Focus on Basics article: The Neurobiology of Reading and Dyslexia The article summarizes the research on dyslexia in a user-friendly manner and talks about potential implications for adults with dyslexia.


4.   ESL Conference for Montana ABLE Participants


May 20-21

Red Lion Colonial Hotel, Helena

Contact Carol Flynn at for more information.


5.   ESL Resources


USA Learns

Have you not even looked at USA Learns?  Do you need an overview of just what it is?  Check out the introductory webcast by John Flieschman and Evelyn Fella at .


Speak, Listen, Learn English

Click here to check out current topics, i.e. Winter Olympics.


Portal for a Variety of ESL Websites

This portal is still being developed for esl students to use from home; however, in the meantime, click here to check it out.


6.   Math Vocabulary


Yes, for many students math is a foreign language.  Check out the following Math Vocabulary sites listed from easy (with visuals) to more difficult.







7.   Reading

Recently, on the Transition Discussion List, the following files were shared by Florida Adult Literacy Specialist, Jan Lichtenwalter.  She has given permission to MTLINCS to share them with all of you. Click here  to download JumpStart. 

A few years ago, I worked with a college instructor who had taught at-risk high school students for many years.  Together, we developed a packet of 10 high interest 300-word readings we called the “JumpStart” project, to be used in a variety of settings—while students are waiting for their registration paperwork to be completed, in a counselor’s office to learn a new student’s interests, or in a reading class.  (Sample topics:  bounty hunting, fuel-efficient vehicles, video games, counterfeit bills, etc.) I would be glad to share these files on request, which we presented last year at the Florida Literacy Conference.


Jan Lichtenwalter, Adult Education Learning Specialist


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