Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS 

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Montana Information

1.     HiSET Blast

Update Directly from ETS

HiSET® eUpdate | May 2014

Practice Tests Delivered Whenever and Wherever Your Students Are — Official Computer-Based Practice Tests

For more than 35 years, Aztec Software® has been in the business of improving the lives of adults and young adults through computerized academic skills remediation. With the release of its newest suite of high-tech educational solutions, the ETS/Aztec partnership reinvents the student-teacher relationship by creating the most student-centric learning environment ever. Starting this month, Aztec has made available to the HiSET® student both the FREE and FEE-based versions of the Official Practice Test in computer- and mobile-based delivery. These practice exams create the perfect opportunity for students to experience the test in digital format.

Special Message from ETS

We have seen a recent increase in "HiSET" materials being offered by various publishers. ETS recommends only HiSET Approved or HiSET Official preparation materials. Materials without ETS approval have not been reviewed or endorsed by our HiSET test developers and may not be appropriately aligned to HiSET content. ETS is currently working with a variety of publishers, and once materials are released they will be announced on our informational website at

Save the Date — ETS HiSET First Annual Conference


December 1–4, 2014


The Venetian Las Vegas
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

More information will be available soon.


Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

Remember:  The resources below are teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created or found any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

Share your HiSET success and graduation stories!

Do you have any graduation or celebration information and/or photos you would like to share?  If so, please send them to Margaret Bowles at mbowles@mt.govShe, in turn, with share these with ETS so that others may learn about Montana success!  Time to share!  Your successes will also be posted at

 2.  PEP Talk Updated and MCIS:  Did you miss the webinar?

Attention Montana ABLE Programs!

Were you unable to participate in the PEP Talk/MCIS webinar and have questions about the MCIS?  Contact Pam Boggs at .  She is the expert and can answer any your questions!

Do you have any PEP Talk questions?  Contact Annette Miller, Information Resources Supervisor at .

Click here to preview updated PEP Talk.  All material is linked from Career Resources Network at .

Message from Margaret Bowles:  PEP Talk Books Ready to Order

The new PEP Talk books are ready to order. The interest in the new PEP Talk was very evident in our recent Webinar, and I know your teachers are eager to get workbooks!

The new PEP Talk truly supports integration of career planning into existing daily practice. At the national state director conference this week, I worked briefly with the new Montana Career Pathway coach. Over the next two years, we will have intense technical assistance supported by OCTAE to help us in endeavor. PEP Talk will be an important part of this work, so these books are timely!

Please email to order PEP Talk books!

3.  Montana ABLE Meetings

Montana ABLE will be hosting a variety of meetings within the next two months.  Click here on the calendar to view dates.

                               Information from the meetings will be posted on MTLINCS!  Stay tuned!

4.  PIACC Resources:  Have you read this information yet?  PIACC was quoted frequently at National Directors’ Meeting!

Check out Posting #8  below to access snapshot PIACC resources.

                              Check out Posting #12 to read tweets from National Directors’ Meeting.

National Information

5.  Career Pathways Webinar:  Advancing System Alignment and Career Pathways Innovations

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

June 4, 2014

2:00pm ET (1:00pm/Central, 12:00pm/Mountain, 11:00am/Pacific)

Join us for the second installment of the Eye On the Workforce Innovation Fund Stakeholder Engagement Series. This national webinar examines Workforce Innovation Fund (WIF) grantees' emerging system alignment and career pathways innovations.

Join ETA Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Seleznow, other national policy experts, and several featured WIF grantees: City and County of Los Angeles Workforce Investment Boards, Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, and Workforce Central of Washington State. 

6.  ESL:  Listening Resources

Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

Listening is huge! We listen more than we speak, read, or write, every day. Some resources to get started on include the following:

1. For background on listening skills - the LINCS reviewed resource Facilitating Adult English Language Learners' Listening and Speaking Skills: reviewed at :

download it at :

2. For more background: Applying Research Findings to Instruction for Adult English Language Students: reviewed at

download at   Of special interest is the section on the value of pair work to improve both listening and speaking skills, discussed on page 3:

""Students seem to enjoy pair work more on their own. It offered the most opportunity for off-task conversation and led them into broader topics. It gave them problem-solving opportunities with their peers because I was not interfering. Students helped each other with pronunciation, word meaning, and questions for clarification. It gave them active listening practice"

3. Another resource in the LINCS Portal is Evidence-based Student-Centered Instructional Practices. Briefly, speaking of strategies to teach, it says

"Skilled listeners make predictions while listening; listen selectively for particular words, phrases, or idea units; monitor their comprehension; and use a variety of clues to infer the meaning of unknown words"

download the brief at review is at

4. Finally, I would check out LINCs resource Promoting Learner Engagement When Working with Adult English Language Learners. This resource talks about the value of doing projects and having the students solve problems to build their listening skills.


7.  LINCS Learner Web-based Professional Development Reminder

Taken from LINCS Announcement

Click here to access Literacyworks. 

I want to call your attention to a free LINCS Learner Web professional development portal sponsored by Literacyworks. The site includes Learning Plans (individually-paced curricula) that in this case focus on adult literacy education professional development. Each Learning Plan is driven by a learning goal. Current goals include:


·        English Language Learning University (ELL-U )

o   ELL-U Emergent Readers: Introduction

o   ELL-U Vocabulary Club: Introduction

Teaching Reading

·        Teaching Reading Alphabetics

·        Teaching Reading Comprehension

·        Teaching Reading Fluency

·        Teaching Reading Vocabulary

·        Using the Assessment Strategies and Reading Profiles Website

New Learning Plans being developed for adult literacy tutors: Learner-centered Resources for Tutoring: Making Resources Tutor-ready

  These will be based on LINCS' Teaching Adults to Read courses and will include:

·        Learner-centered resources as needed

·        Practical research-based materials

·        Learner-based tutoring logs

Go to the LINCS Learner Web Portal at Click on upper right hand corner: Create an Account and follow the steps.

David J. Rosen and Paul Heavenridge

8.  PIACC Resources

Taken from LINCS Evidence-based Professional Development

Need a snapshot of PIACC?  AIR and the National Coalition for Literacy have published new resources on PIAAC.

·        PIAAC Overview Brochure

·        PIAAC: What the Data Say About the Skills of U.S. Adults

·        Adult Education Pays for Safer and Healthier Communities

9.  OER Discussion

Taken from LINCS Notice

Click here to view comments about OER. 

Snippet #1

There is confusion around the definitions of OER and what exactly qualifies a resource to be called open. OER Commons defines OERs as resources that can freely used without charge; this is slightly different than the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Technology, definition found on page 56 of the 2010 National Education Technology Plan.  Within this definition are the 4 Rs, which simplify the definition of “open” to include those educational resources for which the license allows for free use, distribution, remixing, and revising.  However, OER Commons  identifies the various types of licenses OER creators use to allow others to share, reuse, and revise their work; the rights attached to a specific resource are indicated on the site.

Follow these directions to learn more about how OER Commons alerts users of licensing:

1.     Go to

2.     Select any topic from the home page

3.     You will be redirected to a list of OERs

4.     On the left side of the screen, you will see an option labeled "Conditions of Use" - click on this tab

5.     Using your mouse, hover over each option and a clarifying statement will appear, letting you know exactly what each mean

Not all educational resources on OER Commons meet the definition of “open” so it is important to look at the level of licensing.  For an object to be a true OER, it must be fully open (all 4Rs) … 

Snippet #2

It’s important to note that OER is part of a global movement towards open education that seeks to make education available at no cost and increase unfettered sharing and access to learning materials and tools for everyone.   OER are created in this spirit, so I like to equate OER with freedom …

10.  Reading Discussion Continuation:  Which of the five reading components is most closely associated with learners’ reading comprehension?

 Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing 

Click here to read colleagues’ opinions about reading comprehension.

More Snippets

… I have found, however, that even after they become more effect decoders and good at phonetics and sight words (or maybe because of that), the strength in fluency is what ultimately determines how well they actually comprehend and retain  what they are reading. Unfortunately, after readers become more adept at  things like sounds and decoding, they think they have "mastered" reading and that they are now good readers. The trick is convincing them they still need to work on reading without undermining their confidence that they are good reader...

… I'm going to step out on a limb here. I know expert readers, with great vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency, who have phenomenal reading speed as well, who cannot decode. What, you might be thinking, how is this possible? These are bright, determined, people who are also severely dyslexic. Oh, you might be thinking, so they cannot read? They can, that is, if by reading we mean getting meaning from text. They "aud" text. That is, they have text read aloud, and most often now they have speech synthesizers read digital text aloud to them, and they control the speed at which it is read …

11.  Technology:  SlideShare

Taken from LINCS Technology and Learning 

Click here to access SlideShare. SlideShare is a website where you can upload and share your own PowerPoints and see PowerPoints shared by other people. 

I upload most of my presentations to SlideShare and then I have a link I can share, or I can make a QR Code that sends people to the link, so people can get to my presentation while they are sitting in my session.  

SlideShare also allows me to upload a sound file to go along with my presentation.  So teachers or students could use SlideShare as a place to share a narrated lesson or presentation.

The benefits of using SlideShare include:

·        Saving your presentation online so it can be accessed from any device that has internet access

·        Being able to research a topic by reviewing other peoples' presentations

·        Connect SlideShare to your Linked In account so that your presentations show up on your Linked In profile, demonstrating your skills (or your students can demonstrate their skills)

·        SlideShare also has an app available for Android and iPhone/iPads which makes viewing presentations on small screens very user friendly (read more about this )

Nell Eckersly 

12.  Technology:  Tweets from National Adult Education Directors Meeting

Taken from @LINCS_ED

Not following LINCS on Twitter?  Here are some snippets from the recent National Directors’ Meeting:

 ·        "Your work makes our country stronger by helping our adult learners reach their full potential." #adulted @arneduncan

·        @OECD report showed that the plight of millions of low-skilled adults is everyone's business." #adulted @usedgov @arneduncan

·        "Having a high school diploma is a starting point. The goal is some form of postsecondary ed for every young person." @arneduncan @usedgov

·        We need more people in Congress looking at education as an investment rather than an expense, & we don't want to pit #adulted against K-12.

·        1/3 of low-skilled adults are under age 35. 1/3 are immigrants. More than 50% are black or Hispanic. #adulted @usedgov @USDOL

·        1 in 6 U.S. adults have low literacy skills, 1 in 3 have low numeracy skills. Low skills are just as prevalent now as 20 years ago. #adulted

·        @usedgov is working w/ many stakeholders to widely mobilize the whole nation to work toward improving the skills of U.S. adults. #adulted

·        @SkylabLearning developed pilot program in Boston public libraries to help adults improve their English language skills. #adulted

·        #PIAAC is a once in a decade opportunity; take that data & knock on doors to create partnerships. Departing Asst. Secretary B. Dann-Messier.

·        Here's the overview of Making Skills Everyone's Business that was shared at the #adulted state directors mtg: #PIAAC

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