[Technology 1051] Re: Online learning comments

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Silver-Pacuilla, Heidi HSilver-Pacuilla at air.org
Mon Jun 11 22:26:17 EDT 2007

Thank you Wendy and Holly for posting such rich information about your programs. Typing skills is truly one of those hidden assets to technology use that you notice most in its absence. There are such usable practice sites and software (I like http://www.sense-lang.org/typing/ because you can paste in your own text and practice with it). It really is a pity that it is (I have found also) difficult to motivate students to invest time into improving their skills.

And Holly, you bring me back to reality with the adults who register but then cannot commit to regular attendance for all of the myriad reasons of modern adult life.

I think self-study and online delivery have potential to help these would-be students, but only if designers, developers, and intermediaries are realistic about equipment, skills, and adult interests.

Keep the comments coming! This is very very informative and helpful. Thanks - Heidi

-----Original Message-----
From: technology-bounces at nifl.gov [mailto:technology-bounces at nifl.gov] On Behalf Of Wendy Quinones
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 4:03 PM
To: The Technology and Literacy Discussion List
Subject: [Technology 1050] Re: Online learning for students AND teachers

Heidi and all,
I was not a little surprised to dicover that Heidi's five points applied
almost perfectly to the hybrid (f2f followed by online) PD course I just
facilitated. It makes me think that the online environment itself rather
than its users is what drives the design of best practice.

Having said that, I find that my ABE students are hampered by their low
typing skills (and their reluctance to spend time improving them) as much as
by low literacy, and that even when they have it, their equipment is likely
to be older and less reliable and they have fewer resources to call on if
something goes wrong. At higher levels, a generally low level of critical
thinking skills reduces their ability to understand what it is that they're
actually doing online -- the idea that all websites are not equal and that
they must be evaluated as to reliability, for example, is extremely
difficult to get across.

Still, students do enjoy working at computers. For many of them, it's a
reassurance that they are really part of the modern world. I have
primarily used them as in-class resources, although I do like to put
exercises and activities up on Quia for students to use both in and outside
of class. Whether they do use them outside is up for debate -- I think it
probably follows the same patterns as doing homework.

Wendy Quinones

----- Original Message -----
From: "Holly Dilatush-Guthrie" <Holly.Dilatush-Guthrie at ccs.k12.va.us>
To: <technology at nifl.gov>
Sent: Monday, June 11, 2007 1:57 PM
Subject: [Technology 1049] Re: online learning - brief note re:our program's

> Hello Heidi, Mariann, all,


> Heidi wrote: <<My charge from NIFL has been to investigate the

> literacy

> and language proficiency thresholds necessary for adults to

> participate

> in online learning successfully.>>


> ME: This is my #1 identified area of "NEEDS MORE RESEARCH" after

> nearly two years of coordinating a pilot ESL distance learning class

> at

> the Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center

> (Charlottesville

> VA).


> Logically, then, I'm energized by the focus of this week's

> discussion! I've been collecting comments from listserv postings,

> paragraphs from readings, references to resources, etc. for months -

> compiling them in a "when can THIS SUMMER" folder. I wish this

> discussion weren't this week - only because it's a very busy

> week

> for me already! I'll try to keep pace.


> But I wanted to at least submit my gratitude for the validation of

> "not being alone" in this challenge, for NIFL's exploration,

> and for your contributions.


> I do passionately believe that online learning and distance learning

> (particularly HYBRID/blended models) will have a meaningful, useful

> place in the near and long term future of ESOL.


> Additional FYI - our pilot program uses the Crossroads Café video

> series, with an additional interactive website component I've added,

> using a Moodle CMS (Course Management System). We use CASAS Reading

> (and sometimes Listening) for reporting placement and progress

> assessments.


> We're a relatively small program. We've had fair success, but too

> many

> learners register, show up one week, then drop before/without

> completing

> 12 hours/first episode. Follow-up (to attempt to determine WHY) has

> been challenging -- guesswork more than documented responses. There

> are SO many extenuating circumstances.


> The three main areas you mentioned (program implementation issues,

> evidence of improvements of basic literacy and language skills, and

> student skills and dispositions) are crucial - and, in my

> experience,

> somewhat elusive and ever-changing.


> I'm going to try to make time later today/tonight/tomorrow to use

> your list of five key findings as a rubric to re-evaluate and reflect

> upon our pilot program, and will try to post coherent thoughts

> afterward.


> Thank you - I'm HOPING many readers of this listserv including

> "UPOs" (Unseen Participants, Overwhelmed) will make time to post

> and share on this important, increasingly relevant topic.

> Thanks again,

> Holly



> "No matter what our attempts to inform, it is our ability to inspire

> that will turn the tides."

> Holly Dilatush

> ESL distance learning, Dialogue Cafe, Volunteer coordinator

> Charlottesville City Schools Adult Learning Center

> 1000 Preston Ave., Suite D

> Charlottesville VA 22903

> (434) 245.2815 office

> (434) 960.7177 cell/mobile

> http://theHsmile.org ['home' to several Moodle CMS (course management

> systems/virtual classrooms)]

> http://www.Charlottesville-ESL.org

> "Live with intention. Share inside~out smiles, inspire hope, seek awe

> and nurture in nature."

> ----------------------------------------------------

> National Institute for Literacy

> Technology and Literacy mailing list

> Technology at nifl.gov

> To unsubscribe or change your subscription settings, please go to

> http://www.nifl.gov/mailman/listinfo/technology

> Email delivered to wbquinones at comcast.net

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