Helping Learners Problem Solve Using Technology-Rich Environments, the 80-minute webinar made available by World Education on 5/21/2015, was supported by the U.S. Department of Education’s OCTAE-sponsored LINCS service. The webinar is archived online. Designed primarily for technology coordinators, computer teachers and lab assistants, it is also relevant for teachers and professional developers who integrate technology in instruction.
I enjoyed the presentation of Tech Goes Home, a project that I have been familiar with for some time. I was interested to learn that the program has expanded to support early childhood development, people with special needs, English language learners, micro-business entrepreneurs, and veterans. I was also interested in Dan Noyes’ thoughts about how to help adults who don’t think the Internet is important in their lives to see that it is, that it opens opportunities for them for:
Part two of the webinar focused on project-based learning vs. skills-based learning. Steve Quann offered helpful slides and examples that summarize the important differences. He described what he referred to as the 4C’s of project-based learning: collaboration, critical thinking, creation and communication, and he suggested steps for project-based learning (from a Bernie Dodge paradigm, originally based on Webquests.)
Kenny describes the differences between skills-based and project-based learning using this slide and by providing examples of the differences.
Kenny crystalizes the difference between skills-based and project-based learning with an example from teaching carpentry. A carpentry instructor doesn’t say, “Today we’re going to learn how to use a hammer, next week a screwdriver.” S/he says “Today we’re going to build a table, and we’ll learn how to use the needed tools in the process.”
Questions I asked (which were answered in the webinar) included:
- Does Tech Goes Home recommend refurbished computers from computer recycling centers?
- Who are the Tech Goes Home trainers? Are any of them former program participants?
- Do we still have a digital divide and, if so, what is it? (Dan said he has heard this recently referred to as the “app gap”.)
- Is one of the aspects of the digital divide now using technology for personal or work-related digital learning?
Tech Goes Home
Tech Tips for Teachers
- Making Skills Everyone's Business: A Call to Transform Adult Learning in the United States
- How to Write a Resume
- Consumer Financial Protection
- Money As You Grow
- SNAP - Apply Online
- Khan Academy
- Digital Learn
- College for Adults
- College Board
- EveryoneOn: http://everyoneon.org/adulted
- Tech Soup
- WebQuests – For Adult Learners
- Computer Assessment Rubric
- Sacramento County Office of Education's survey of adult ed students in CA, sampling 10% of students in each CA adult ed program. The n = 33,000. This dataset that reveals how much tech and Internet access adult students have and what they are using it for.
For me, the most interesting parts of the webinar are:
- The California in-progress survey of adult ed students’ access to and use of technology (described at the end of the webinar, last link in the list above)
- Dan Noyes’ description of the unevenness of participants’ skills as a “technology tunnel vision” phenomenon
- Steve Quann’s introduction of project-based learning and related teaching strategies
- Kenny Tamarkin’s description and examples of a project-based learning approach to help adult learners acquire digital literacy and problem solving skills for their everyday lives, and
- Several of the presenters’ responses to my question of whether a digital divide still exists and, if so, how they would describe it.