[Technology 1272] Re: Engaging software for adult learners

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David J. Rosen djrosen at comcast.net
Wed Sep 12 17:04:11 EDT 2007

Hello Maggie,

From time to time others have asked subscribers on this list the
same question, so I'll reply to the list because I think the answer
may be of interest to others, and because other subscribers may have
ideas to add. I'll also post this answer, and if there are some,
other answers on the Adult Literacy Education Wiki in the Technology
section under Questions and Answers, for future reference.


Will the software be used in a lab at the program site? If so, with
teachers or tutors supervising its use? Or will it be used at a
distance, from a home computer or library computer? Is Caroline
looking for free or commercial software? Software online or installed
on site? What does Caroline mean by "adult literacy"? Basic literacy
for adults who cannot decode and encode? Adults with learning
disabilities? Adults who need to learn English, but are fully
literate in their first language? Adults who need basic skills brush
up before taking the GED test? Adults who primarily need to improve
their math skills? Or writing skills? Adults who are preparing for
college? Will they be using the software independently or in pairs or
groups? Where the software is used, will there be speakers or
headphones? A headset with a microphone? Will there be a printer?

I could go on... but I think you get the idea. The question can only
be answered well by narrowing it down to the specific needs of the
adult learners and circumstances of the learning. Perhaps Caroline
could do this herself with a list of adult software. I will provide
some below. However, it would be best for Caroline to preview these
herself -- ideally if her students can, too -- to see if they are
actually "engaging". What's engaging to Caroline might not be to the
particular group of adult learners, and vice versa.

For the lists of free and commercial, online and installable
software, go to


Select "Publications" at the bottom of the page, then look at:

1) The Literacy List
2) Harnessing Technology to Serve Adult Literacy, and
3) Adult Literacy Education Software Recommendations

These resources were all compiled with the recommendations of
teachers, many of them on this discussion list.

David J. Rosen
djrosen at comcast.net

On Sep 12, 2007, at 3:37 PM, Maggie Dyer wrote:

> Hi,


> I’m posting this on behalf of someone who isn’t on the list and is

> currently experiencing some problems with her e-mail so she can’t

> get on it anytime soon. I know you all are a rich resource of

> information and if you can assist, we both would appreciate it.

> Here’s her request:


> Maggie,


> Thank you for sharing my question with the technology listserv.


> I am looking for suggestions for engaging, adult literacy

> software. We are expanding our literacy program to include

> computer labs so that we can immediately assist students that would

> normally be placed on our waiting list. I need software for adults

> and teens who are low literate. I have found software for our

> elementary aged students that is very engaging. However, much of

> the software I have previewed for older audiences is much dryer. I

> do not want something for children, but would like something

> interesting. Any suggestions?


> Thanks,

> Caroline


> Caroline Mitchell

> YMCA Literacy Council

> 2635 Gravois Ave.

> St. Louis, MO 63118

> Ph: 314-776-7102

> Fax: 314-776-6872


> Thanks,


> Responses can be sent to me at <mdyer at webster.edu> or to

> <CMitchell at ymcastlouis.org>

> I’ll compile responses for her and for the list if requested.


> Maggie Dyer

> --

> Maggie Dyer


> Missouri's Literacy Resource Center

> 815 Olive Street

> Suite 22

> St. Louis, MO 63101

> 800-729-4443

> (314) 678-4443 x 207

> (314) 678-2938 fax

> http://www.lift-missouri.org

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

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