[Technology 954] Re: Technologies for Adult Literacy

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Marilyn Williams williams_ma at 4j.lane.edu
Thu Apr 19 16:47:40 EDT 2007

Amazingly, many of these are still great ideas! I especially like the idea of making sure students
are comfortable!

Marilyn Williams
6th Grade Language Arts/Social Studies
Kennedy Middle School
Eugene, OR

----- Original Message -----
From: Mariann Fedele <MariannF at lacnyc.org>
Date: Thursday, April 19, 2007 12:14 pm
Subject: [Technology 949] Technologies for Adult Literacy
To: The Technology and Literacy Discussion List <technology at nifl.gov>

> The following message is posted on behalf of Tom Sticht:



> April 19, 2007


> Technologies for the Adult Literacy Classroom


> Tom Sticht

> International Consultant in Adult Education


> Nowadays a number of adults are coming to classes to learn to read and

> write. There are several technologies that the teacher may use to help

> these pupils learn. Here are a few.


> 1. Chalkboards. These are more and more familiar to teachers. They are

> large

> black slates (sometimes now in green) on which teachers may write with

> chalk. For instance, a pupil may give his or her name and the teacher

> can

> write it on the chalkboard and show the pupil and class how to spell,

> write, and read the pupil's name. This can be done with lots of other

> words, or even sentences, too. Be sure not to stand with one's back to

> the

> class for long, as this is not interesting to the pupils. At the end of

> class, some of the adults may be called upon to help clean the

> chalkboard

> and erasers. This can promote friendships in the class! [NOTE: Some

> progressive teachers are now using different colored chalks to highlight

> important information.]


> 2. Newspaper print. Sometimes the local newspaper will have some

> newspaper

> print left on the end of a role after printing the newspaper. Teachers

> can

> ask for this newsprint paper, which comes in a large role. It can be cut

> up

> into sheets that can be taped to the walls of the classroom (not on

> wallpaper however!) and written upon to record the words and sentences

> that

> pupils will want to study as they walk around the room and look at the

> paper

> hanging on the walls. [NOTE: Some progressive teachers are now using

> different colored ink pens to highlight important information.]


> 3. Overhead projectors. These audio-visual tools let the teacher write

> on

> transparent film and project the writing onto a light-colored wall or

> movie

> screen. With a newer device, the Xerox machine, the teacher can make

> photocopies of pages of books, photos, charts and other materials and

> project them on the wall. This can be used to illustrate various aspects

> of

> writing and reading to pupils. [NOTE: Make certain to have one or two

> extra

> bulbs for the projector in case one burns out!]


> 4. Filmstrips. There are now strips of photo film that can be projected

> one

> frame at a time onto a wall or screen and the information on the film

> frames can be used to teach reading. The Army made extensive use of

> filmstrip materials in World War II and proved the usefulness of this

> technology in the classroom for illiterate adults. There are educational

> filmstrips available from supply houses so make sure your superintendent

> places funds in the budget to purchase both filmstrips and projectors

> as

> well as the other electronic technologies discussed below.


> 5. Photo novels. The Army also used photo novels to make stories

> starring

> real people that illiterate soldiers could use to learn to read.

> Teachers

> can use a Kodak to take photographs and make up these types of photo

> novels

> for classroom use. The pupils themselves may also take photographs and

> make

> their own photo novels for their own and their classmate's use.


> 6. Tape recorders and playback machines. Some teachers are now reading

> books

> onto audio tapes so that their adult pupils can listen to stories before

> trying to read them. Sometimes the pupil can listen and read at the same

> time to build up speed in reading while comprehension is maintained by

> listening to the spoken words. [NOTE: Sometimes a radio can be used in

> the

> classroom so that teachers and pupils can listen to an important

> broadcast

> and then discuss it to build knowledge of current events.]


> 7. Television. Cassette players are now available to let teachers play

> TV

> shows in the classroom. Indeed, there are now many educational

> cassettes,

> including those for teaching various aspects of reading, that teachers

> can

> use. Many times pupils enjoy these TV materials better than typical

> classroom lectures or demonstrations.


> 8. The 'Binocular Organizer Of Knowledge" or BOOK! I once read this

> amusing

> name for the old technology that forms the basis for teaching reading.

> Of

> course, books remain the foundation technology for teaching in our

> classrooms. I once read an amusing story by Isaac Asimov, the famous

> writer, in which he espoused the wonders of the book: Once printed it

> does

> not consume any more energy, unlike audio tapes or TV cassettes. It

> starts

> when looked at and stops when the reader looks away. It stores speech

> like

> the electronic devices, but lets the reader create his or her own

> internal

> voice or voices. It lets readers produce their own internal images. It

> can

> be produced to be carried in the hip pocket and taken to the beach, on

> the

> train or bus, and so forth to be used without fear of breaking it or

> producing any noise to bother others.


> 9. Finally, we can't forget those old reliable friends, paper and

> pencils!

> All students should get paper and pencils to be used to learn to write

> their names and all the other ideas that are provided in the class by

> the

> teacher and other pupils.


> 10. Always maintain a well-lighted classroom, with good ventilation,

> warm in

> the winter and cool in the summer. Teachers should dress conservatively,

> wear a smile and maintain a pleasant disposition. Be friendly, but

> professional, with your pupils and conduct activities to bring about a

> welcoming atmosphere. An occasional social activity, perhaps with

> refreshments such as lemonade and cookies, can help the adults, who may

> be

> shy about returning to school after a long period, to overcome what

> anxieties they may feel and develop a high level of class morale that

> can

> help all achieve well!


> Resource: Asimov, I. (1974, February). The Ancient and the Ultimate.

> Journal

> of Reading, 17, 264-271.


> Thomas G. Sticht

> International Consultant in Adult Education

> 2062 Valley View Blvd.

> El Cajon, CA 92019-2059

> Tel/fax: (619) 444-9133

> Email: tsticht at aznet.net




> Mariann Fedele

> Associate Director,

> NYC Regional Adult Education Network

> Literacy Assistance Center

> Moderator,

> NIFL Technology and Literacy Discussion List

> 32 Broadway 10th Floor

> New York, New York 10004

> 212-803-3325

> mariannf at lacnyc.org

> www.lacnyc.org

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