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Emerging Technologies in Adult Literacy and Language Education

This paper describes the potential contribution of emerging technologies to adult literacy and language education and the opportunities and challenges involved in incorporating these technologies into adult education programs.
Author(s): 
Mark Warschauer
Meii-Ling Liaw
Author(s) Organizational Affiliation: 
University of California, Irvine
National Tiachung University, Taiwan
Published: 
2010
Resource Type: 
Product
Number of Pages: 
32
Product Type: 
Required Training: 

None

Abstract: 

Various emerging technologies (those aris¬ing or undergoing fundamental transformation in the last decade) are described, ranging from audio and video production to games, wikis and blogs, to mobile devices, cell phones and open-source software. Relevant research is reviewed, and the costs, difficulties and advantages of deploying various technological approaches in adult education are discussed. Although current research is insufficient to urge wholesale adoption of the technologies described, many - especially low-cost mobile devices - warrant further investigation as potentially valuable tools for adult educators and learners

What the Experts Say: 

This paper analyzes this new technological landscape and its significance for adult literacy and language education with a desire ”to spark ideas among policy leaders about the possible role of emerging technologies (i.e., those either arising or undergoing fundamental transformation in the past decade) in adult literacy and education.”

The article lists a number of emerging technologies (those arising or undergoing fundamental transformation in the last decade), ranging from audio and video production to games, wikis and blogs, to mobile devices, cell phones and open-source software. Relevant research is reviewed, and the costs, difficulties and advantages of deploying various technological approaches in adult education are discussed.

Not only does the paper address access issues for the adult education population, but it also cites examples of how technology tools are and/or can be used in the classroom. It provides a comprehensive overview of the existing research in the adult literacy field and taps educational research on other populations. Areas for further investigation and research are also noted. Practitioners will find the paper rich in ideas for supporting instruction with emerging technology.

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