[Technology 1203] Computer simulations for low-income adult learners

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David J. Rosen djrosen at comcast.net
Mon Aug 13 07:53:41 EDT 2007


Do your students use computer simulations for learning? If so, which
ones and for what kinds of students? (ABE? ESOL? ASE? Basic Literacy?
College transition? Others?) What simulations do your students find
engaging? What simulations help them learn? Is the use of computer
simulations in the adult education and literacy field increasing? I
would be willing to put together a list of simulations you recommend
and add it to the Literacy List [ http://alri.org/literacylist.html ] .

Below are some bits from a Chicago Tribune article yesterday about
how computer games and simulations are being used in classes and
libraries, including with low-income people.

+ Erie Neighborhood House in Chicago uses computer games to teach low-
income people.

+ A study announced in June by the Pew Internet & American Life
project provides evidence that poorer families are gaining access to
computers. For example, the study found that 40 percent of African-
Americans have broadband connections to their home PCs, which is up
from the 14 percent the survey found two years ago.

+ Another recent survey has found that more than 80 percent of U.S.
libraries allow patrons to use their computers to play games. More
than 40 percent run programs promoting games.

+ Librarians at Arizona State have created a game for college
students that helps them understand how to use a library to get
critical information. "Gaming teaches how to evaluate information,"
said Jenny Levine, Internet specialist for the American Library
Association. "It teaches how to handle large sets of data, filter
results, navigate information. You take in a lot of real-time
information, process it and strategize. These are the same skills
that businesses need."

Would this simulation be useful for ASE students or college
transition students? Are there other simulations at a more basic
level to help students use a library?

You'll find an article on all this in the Chicago Tribune for Sunday,
August 12 at


You'll find a wiki article on the library game with links to a .pdf
of a presentation on it and to the game itself at


David J. Rosen
djrosen at comcast.net