Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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1.   Montana Meetings

·      GED Annual Conference:  October 5

·      ABLE Data Quality:  October 6 & 7

Qualified ABLE programs eligible.  Contact Carol Flynn at OPI for more information. 


2.   Distance Learning Discussion:  Project IDEAL Support Center


During the week of October 4, I am pleased to host Dr. Jerome Johnston and Dr. Leslie Isler Petty of the Project IDEAL Support Center at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor.  The Project IDEAL Support Center has played a key role in the growth of distance education for adult basic learners across the country.  This discussion will focus on what works in assessment in distance learning, what the challenges are, and recommendations/directions for the future.  Drs. Johnston and Petty will discuss their work and answer your questions. 

Stay tuned for more information! 


3.   ESL and Learning Disabilities Discussion - Adult ESOL Learners who Struggle: Is it REALLY Learning Disabilities?


Click here  to read some of the interesting points made by expert Robin Lovrien Schwarz.  Here’s just a snippet from her newest post:


Another way to prevent failure in adult ELLs is to make sure to the greatest extent possible that they are placed well.  Using the intake information, take a good look at the literacy skills as well as the oral skills. In most programs I have visited or coached, placement is ultimately done by oral skills.  This means that students who have studied English in the traditional way—translation and grammar in workbooks—are obliged to be in class with students who have no skills in English at all. 
       The converse is also a problem: a student who has great oral skills but very low literacy skills.  These are the two placement mistakes that cause many dropouts and cause students to look as if they have LD.  The student with great literacy skills may look very poor in the class for those with low oral skills because the literate student really understands a great deal and has a sense of grammar and so on, which the low educated students generally lack …


4.   Reading Online Mini-course:  Building Reading fluency with Adult Developing Readers  


Building Reading Fluency with Adult Developing Readers

This focused, practical course  contains immediately applicable techniques and resources to improve your adult learners’ reading fluency and comprehension skills! 


Course Dates:  October 18th  -  November 1st, 2010  (with a 15 minute “Tech Check” of your computer during the  week of October 11th –15th)


Course length/style: 10 hours independent and self-paced work, with facilitator support.


Cost:  only $189/person   check/money order/purchase order only


Please review our Course Policies and Technical Requirements before registering!


Register online at:

Register by September 27th  – class is limited to 20 participants! Registrants will be invoiced at time of e-mail confirmation.


Course Content - Building Reading Fluency with Adult Developing Readers

This mini-course will introduce you to reading fluency and its importance in the skilled reading process. You will examine concrete assessment and instructional methods that can assist you in improving students’ reading fluency and reading comprehension. By the end of the course, you should be able to:

• Define fluency and discuss how it supports students’ reading with understanding.

• Informally assess students’ fluency to determine their instructional needs.

• Incorporate fluency activities into your everyday quality reading instruction.

• Target different aspects of fluency with specific instructional techniques.


Course Facilitator: Peggy McGuire - an expert in the field of reading and writing in adult education. 


For additional information or questions about EFF online courses please contact or 865-974-4109.


5.   Technology:  I Live in the Future and Here’s How It Works


Click here  to access the article, “A Tech World That Centers on the User.

An interesting think about was presented by Nell Eckersley on the NIFL Technology Discussion List.  What do you think?  Where do you see your adult learners in this process?

This article (the one above) was adapted from the book I Live in the Future & Here’s How It Works by Nick Bilton, the lead writer for The New York Times technology blog Bits. The book, published on Tuesday by Crown Business, examines the impact of technology on our lives.

In the article the author, Nick Bilton, gives various examples of how the “digital world follows you, not the other way around.”  This is empowering but it also can make our horizons rather narrow.  Bilton gives an example of a teenager who gets her news from Facebook.  How wonderful that more and more people can now access information that is important to us, especially for marginalized folks who often have had a public voice, but what are we missing when the content is so filtered that it gives us only what we’ve previously wanted or picked out for ourselves?  We’ve always found ways to filter the information that we receive -whether it be by choosing what television channels to watch and which magazines and newspapers to buy, but now the filtering is much more ubiquitous and done for us by search engine algorithms and statistical analyses of our prior behaviors.  As a consequence it is harder for us to accidentally bump into something new and possibly outside our comfort zone.

What are the implications of this on teaching and learning?  How does this fit into digital citizenship and media literacy? 


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