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Friday, March 21, 2014

Free Citizenship Resources for Libraries




The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has an agreement with IMLS to provide information and resources for legal immigrants seeking U.S. citizenship.  USCIS has created a special landing page on their Citizenship Resource Center for librarians: www.uscis.gov/citizenship/organizations/libraries.  Librarians can find information on establishing a citizenship corner at a library, a widget that can be added to a library’s website to direct patrons to USCIS resources, and information on upcoming webinars and training opportunities.  There is also a link where librarians can order a free copy of a Civics and Citizenship Toolkit, as well as posters and bookmarks.

Friday, March 14, 2014

GED Test

The new GED 2014 test is here to stay, and I bet you are wondering how to best serve your library customers. Of course, your library will continue to provide study material in a variety of formats. There is a lot of free material available online, and you can also provide subscriptions to online resources. Share some of your favorite resources in comments. There is a free GED test online (http://bit.ly/LaDiBT) to give you, and the learner, an idea of how the new test is structured. The formal test (http://bit.ly/1fC8AQ4) has a fee associated with it, and is available from several publishers. Your library may be able to partner with your local adult education provider, or a civic club, to pay for a learner to take the formal test. Doing this is a good way to help the learner focus on the topics he or she needs to study, but the free test is an excellent start.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

International Literacy Survey --post from LINCS


Good afternoon all,
I want to share with you a brief video about the OECD Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) that was released in November, 2013.  To help increase awareness of the PIAAC results and participate in the effort to generate solutions that address the needs of low-skilled adults in the U.S., I encourage you to share this video with your colleagues and other stakeholders in your adult education communities. The video, prepared by the National Center for Educational Statistics (NCES), describes the PIAAC results and its ramifications for the United States and provides information on the full PIAAC report.  NCES is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the United States and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences.
Link to the video:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UgRwgFD-Ynk

From the video site on Youtube:
"Published on Nov 12, 2013
The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) is a large-scale study of adult skills and life experiences focusing on education and employment that was developed and organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The OECD is an intergovernmental organization made up of 34 mostly industrialized member countries like the United States, Japan, Germany, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom.
In the United States, the study was conducted in 2011-2012 with a nationally representative sample of 5,000 adults between the ages of 16 and 65. Similar nationally representative samples of adults were surveyed in each of the 22 other participating countries.
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) is the primary federal entity for collecting and analyzing data related to education in the U.S. and other nations. NCES is located within the U.S. Department of Education and the Institute of Education Sciences."
Thanks in advance for sharing this with your colleagues!
Gail Cope, SME, LINCS Program Management Group



Using QR Codes for Adult Literacy Lessons





Group: Technology and Learning
Discussion Topic: Social Media Webinar Series: Part 2 - QR Codes

Nell Eckersley's comment on the Discussion
Lesson ideas using QR Codes
Hi all,
One of the lesson ideas I shared on the webinar comes from a culminating lesson I used to do with my ESOL students.  Students would make or find a picture or photo and then write a description of the picture or describe the story behind the image. We would work on the vocabulary and grammar and student s would practice reading their short essays to one another, and eventually in front of the whole class.
QR Codes inspired a new component to this lesson.  Students would complete the steps listed above, but now they would use their cell phones to call my Google voice number to record themselves on my voicemail reading their essays.  I could then download their voicemail as a sound file that I would upload to Vimeo (easier than YouTube for some reason).  I would take the links to the sound clips on Vimeo and create short links using Bitly.  Then I would create QR Codes from the Bitly links. This all sounds more complicated than it really is, I promise.
Finally we could display the pictures on the wall of our classroom accompanied by the QR Code and we would invite neighboring classes to come in to our “gallery” and use their smart phones to scan the QR codes beside each picture to hear the students describing their pictures.   
With the addition of the QR codes to the lesson, I found that students worked harder, knowing that the audience was going to be more than just me or their classmates.  There is also a mysterious and magical aspect to how a black and white square can somehow take you to a recording of a voice of someone you know which made the students from the other classes eager to try out this lesson in their classes.  Students could easily learn how to upload the sound files themselves and make their own QR codes with just a little direction and practice.
Here's an example of a picture and narration I did--you can go to it from clicking on this link http://bit.ly/1pw0sTs or by scanning the QR Code at this link http://bit.ly/1pw0sTs.qr (come on, try scanning the QR Code....)
I'd love to hear form anyone else who has tried using QR Codes with their students or colleagues.  Success first time out?  Lessons learned?
best,
Nell
- Nell Eckersley
Reply to this comment
Original text from the Discussion: Social Media Webinar Series: Part 2 - QR Codes
Hi all,
We had our webinar on QR Codes on February 13th.  I will share the link to the recording once it is available.  You can see the PowerPoint on Slideshare at this link slidesha.re/15Nu9av
For those of you who participated in the webinar, what are some things you learned or what questions did you come away with?  Do QR Codes seem useful as a way to help all your students get to the same place online at the same time--particularly when using mobile devices?  Can you suggest some ways to use it with students or colleagues?  What tools do you use to make and scan QR Codes?

best,
Nell
--

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tips from LINCS on Integrating Writing with Technology


Adult Educators Reflect on their Integration of Tech.
Nell integrated the use of email in a traditional lesson of writing a letter to the mayor.  She had to teach students how to sign up for email, which is something I'm hoping to get our literacy students to do.  Nell seemed more comfortable using the tool than teaching how to use it (oh, I can relate), and the second time around found the core lessons that needed to be taught in order to come up with email addresses and good passwords.  Students were able to use the email for varying purposes, it built family community, teacher/student communication, and connection with the online community.  I think teching about email addresses turned out to be an essential lesson plan for Nell, as I think it is for my literacy students.  Perhaps Nell could have used Google Docs to write one letter from the class (and I feel like I'm reaching here), to use collaborative writing and language negotiating skills for her ESL students.  I also think t hat my suggestion would be difficult to monitor and manage in the classroom.  I really like Nell's idea.
Cynthia used a URL shortener and QR codes to direct students to a You Tube Video on living in a home versus living in an apartment.  She utilized many types of technology and learned about them and added them as needed to her lesson.  The technology used exceeded most of her students' present understanding of using smartphones; however, it made the world more understandable as QR codes are being used at bus stops, etc. around the city.  I think the bitly service and the QR codes were the best way to introduce students to multiple means of technology use in their daily lives, and achieve the desired purpose of the lesson.  I cannot think of another way that would have been more effective or direct as those means used by Cynthia.
- litchick66