Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS


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Montana Information


1.    Montana Career Information:  PEP Talk and MCIS Training


Click here  to see if there is a training available near you!

2.    MAACE at MEA:  Dr. Susan Pimentel Presentation

PowerPoint coming soon!   

3.    HiSET Blast:  October Update

We are all eagerly awaiting the November HiSET update.  In the meantime, if you have not read through the October information, click here to access current HiSET Resources.


o   ETS Assurance:  HiSET Meets Federal Education Requirements


o   New Options Change Landscape for High School Equivalency Testing


Important Dates


November 1, 2013

 ·       Online HiSET store opens for ordering materials 

·       Test-taker registration opens


December 21, 2013

·       Last day for GED 2002 testing


January 2, 2014

·       HiSET testing begins


4.    Research Snippet:  Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, National Academy of Sciences, 2012

Technology to Promote Adult Literacy


According to Improving Adult Literacy Instruction, there are many ways that “technologies might enhance adult and adolescent literacy practice and acquisition”; however, once again there is little research in the adult literacy arena to substantiate this claim.  If you read through the possible technologies, you will soon see, though, that many Montana ABLE programs are implementing some of these technologies.  Are you one of them?


Group collaborative communication software


This kind of software is something that is seen in most businesses today.  It is one form that most educators are embracing. 


Other frequent forms of collaborative communication include electronic calendars, email, text messaging, Facebook, wikis, and collaboration portals.


Word processing software


Word processing appears to be a must-have tool for education today.  How many of your students have the skill to be able to take the HiSET via the computer?  Will most of your students take the writing portion of the test via paper/pencil?  Is that an option at the test center near you?


According to the research, … for most adults and adolescents who have limited literacy, the ability to get ideas on paper, read those of others, edit initial writing, and exchange ideas that sharpen comprehension and composition is dramatically enhanced by word processing tools and should therefore be encouraged (Bereiter and Scardamalia, 2003; Graham and Perin, 2007a).


Bulletin boards and discussion tools


Which programs are using discussion tools with their students?  We tend to think of these as a means for educators to interact; however, we may not be extending this tool to our students because it does require risk-taking and monitoring.  The tools are really just extensions of peer editing, right?


Students engage in multiple literacy activities that involve reading additional documents and peer comments and then preparing their own comments and posting them.


Commenting tools embedded in programs


Montana ABLE staff who attended the Susan Pimentel session in Belgrade learned about text complexity.  Could using the comment tools in Word, etc. be a method to get students to extend their thinking and use technology at the same time?


The use of commenting tools also mimics productive work, providing both motivation and practice in some of the 21st-century skills.


Virtual meeting tools


As educators in a rural state, we need to connect more frequently.  We can not drive across the state once a month to bond, to share ideas, but we can use virtual meeting tools to enhance our learning.  Recently, members of the SIA reading committee were able to employ the use of such an online tool, the Vyew.  Was it easier than having a conference call, exchanging documents via email?  Maybe not, but it was a start.  The process, however, did allow participants “to meet and share content in real-time or anytime.” 


In the education world, especially for adult learners, such tools can help in overcoming transportation issues,  increasing total engaged time beyond short class periods, and, for adolescents, better connecting home and after-school environments to school settings.


Speech-to-text and text-to-speech tools


Even though the use of Universal Design originated for free access to disabled people, UD levels the playing field for all of us at different times during our lives.  Do you have a phone that allows you to give voice commands?  A car that talks to you?  The possibilities for speech-to-text and text-to-speech are endless.


It is entirely possible to develop texts that read themselves to a student and also systems that listen to students reading texts aloud and give corrective assistance if they make errors in their reading (Cole et al., 2003; Johnson and Valente, 2008; Mostow, 2008). A number of intelligent tutoring systems allow spoken student input as an alternative to typed input (D’Mello et al.,2010; Litman et al., 2006).


Improving Adult Literacy Instruction – Options for Practice and Research, Page 186-188


Even though we may believe that we can more quickly “teach” our adult learners by using direct instruction with paper/pencil, are we doing a disservice to them by not employing technology as a tool?  According to Improving Adult Literacy Instruction, “digital technologies are important to incorporate into literacy instruction as the tools required for literacy in a digital age.”


Stay tuned for the next research snippet, for there are still seven categories to present from the “Technology to Promote Adult Literacy” section.  



National Information

5.  PIACC (Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies) Webinar:  November 2  

Taken from LINCS Notice

Dear Colleagues,


Please see the opportunity below to learn more about the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) survey, what the findings may mean for your program, and what to anticipate going forward.


Jackie Taylor

National Coalition for Literacy, PIAAC Campaign Manager


Register Today! PIAAC, What Now? Live Webcast


November 2, 2013, 12:30 PM Eastern Time
Register for the
live webcast here Register to attend in-person here.


In October, results from the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) study were released—the first seminal data about the literacy skills and competencies of adults in the U.S. in more than 10 years. How does this new information help further your day-to-day work and forward public policy favorable to the adult literacy and basic education field? Join us online via live webcast or in-person at the U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy to hear national presenters speak about the importance of the study. Receive tools, resources, tactics, and strategies for programs interested in using the PIAAC study as a way to advance your public policy agenda and to raise awareness.



·        Johan Uvin, U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Policy and Strategic Initiatives

·        Stephen Reder, professor of applied linguistics, Portland State University

·        Denine Torr, Dollar General Director of Community Initiatives

·        Jackie Taylor, NCL PIAAC Campaign Manager

Session Moderator: Peter Waite, ProLiteracy Executive Vice President

Q&A Moderator: Marsha L. Tait, NCL PIAAC Project Manager


What is PIAAC?

Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is the first survey of adult literacy impacting the United States in nearly a decade. PIAAC assesses key cognitive and workplace skills in twenty-four participating countries and regions, including the United States. It provides a new and rich international comparison of the adult workforce that will enable the United States to better understand its global competitiveness and benchmark how well education and training systems are meeting emerging skill demand.

6.  PIACC:  Reaction to PIACC – New York Times Opinion

Taken from National Center for Family Literacy

Click here  to access The United States, Falling Behind article.

Researchers have been warning for more than a decade that the United States was losing ground to its economic competitors abroad and would eventually fall behind them unless it provided more of its citizens with the high-level math, science and literacy skills necessary for the new economy. Naysayers dismissed this as alarmist …

… Some countries are making progress from generation to generation … Americans who are 55 to 65 perform about average in literacy skills, but young Americans rank the lowest among their peers in the countries surveyed …

Read more!  What implications are there for our nation’s literacy providers?

7.  Science LINCS Online Learning:  Scientific Practices in Context:  Curricular Planning and Lesson Development

Taken from LINCS Notices


Greetings LINCS Community!

We are excited to announce the launch of the second LINCS online course: Scientific Practices in Context: Curricular Planning and Lesson Development. This course is intended for instructors and practitioners in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and low Adult Secondary Education (ASE) programs. The course is available on the LINCS Learning Portal, along with free online courses from several other OVAE initiatives, in topics including Teaching English as a Second Language, Career Pathways, Learning to Achieve, and more.

Building on the first LINCS online course, Engaging Adult Learners in Science, which provided a rationale for teaching science in the ABE/ASE classroom, Scientific Practices in Context: Curricular Planning and Lesson Development provides an introduction to teaching science in context, and guidance on where teachers can find credible science resources. In addition, this course reviews the teaching and learning cycle, focusing on curriculum design including lesson planning and development within the context of an adult education science unit.

Throughout the course, you will explore a complete science unit with a series of lessons and participate in an activity to create a science lesson plan for use with your adult learners.


To join the LINCS Learning Portal and access its free online courses, follow the following steps:


1. Go to the log in page at:

2. Click the Create User / Sign up button in the Need to register? box. You will need to create a new account (separate from your LINCS Community account).

3. Complete the requested information to create your account. Check the box to accept the terms and conditions; and click Create an Account.

4. An email will be sent to you to confirm your email address. Click the link in your email to verify your email address and complete your account set up.

5. Within that email, click the Continue to LINCS Learning Online link and log in by entering your username (email address) and password.


We hope you enjoy this professional development opportunity and share it with your colleagues. Please use the Contact Us tab if you have any questions or concerns!


Best regards,

LINCS Community Team

8.  Technology:  The Flipped Classroom

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning


Needing to maximize students’ learning?  Recently, the Technology and Learning discussion group has been reviewing information about the Flipped Classroom where students watch video lessons at home and do the “homework” in the classroom.  Do your students have access to something like this?  Have you created videos for your students to watch but they do not have the technology to do it outside of the classroom?  Take a look at one educator is doing.

Click here to access the discussion.


Flipping the Classroom without Internet


I recently viewed a couple of good YouTube videos on flipping the classroom without the internet.  A teacher by the name of Shannon Holden has a two part series on how to download videos and either put them on a flash drive or on a DVD so that a student can take the instructional or "flipped" videos (instruction/Lectures) home for viewing on their TV sets. 


·        Part 1 Flipping without internet:

·        Part 2 Flipping without the internet -


This might be a good work around for students who have a TV/dvd system or a flat screen TV where a person can load from a flash drive.

~Michelle Kelley


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