Video-Conferencing Enhances Educational and Job Opportunities in
With budget cuts and
threats of more, Ann Miller's adult education program, thriving
in the Unlimited Learning Center (ULC) in Cortez, has branched
out. Adding to its healthy collaborative network, the program
has partnered with the College of Eastern Utah to become an
accredited branch in Colorado, offering a growing number of
college courses leading to workplace certificates and Associate's, Bachelor's, and Master's
degrees. In addition to having
community members come in, the Center is also able to co-enroll
its GED students in college-credit and job training classes right on
its site. How does it all happen? Enter video-conferencing,
delivered throughout the region through live and interactive
classes, supported by access to online resources.
No one argues that
face-to-face classes still offer advantages with which distance
education cannot compete, especially among folks who have little
experience learning through media. However, in the vast Four
Corners region, distance education opens opportunities never
available before for people to access state-of-the-art education locally.
Who wins? Everyone.
Colleges and universities have always faced the challenge of
having courses "make" with numbers required to break even. Through
video-conferencing and online support, however, the Cortez
program can "make" a class by joining students from two or more
video-conferencing sites to fill the needed enrollment. Cortez
might have four students, Towac one, Red Mesa two, and so forth,
until the quota is reached. As a result, students in small
rural communities, such as Cortez, who are consistently denied
course entry because of low enrollment in onsite systems, can
still access instruction locally. In addition, employers can recruit
locally, knowing that their future employees are well trained to meet local needs. Finally, students and faculty benefit from the circulation of ideas as their
classrooms include people all over the Southwest who bring
different (and often contrasting) cultural views, experiences,
Technology has never
made a good master, but it makes an ideal servant in the Four
Corners region. For more information on how ULC nurtures its
different education choices, contact Ann Miller, Executive
Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 970-565-1602.
MP3 Players Significantly Improve Reading Levels at Morgan Community
Shirley Penn, Workplace
Education Coordinator at Morgan Community College, reports that
adult ed students are taking significant leaps in reading levels
by using MP3 players. Their first student moved 2.5 levels on
the TABE in just two months!
The College has made an
http://www.marshalladulteducation.org, an adult education
Website, which has amazing resources for adult ed students. The
site's reading section has lessons that are matched to timed
audio files, read at different speeds, and followed-up with
comprehension exercises. Shirley and her staff convert the files
to MP3 files (compressed audio formats), which are placed on
student players. Students go home and practice the readings, then
return to be timed to check progress, which is impressive.
Students report loving the content and the chance to learn on
their own. Soon, the program will be posting all of its MP3
files on a new website for public access. Stay tuned for that
addition, Shirley's students include 0-0.9-level readers, so the
next innovative step planned is to send students home with video
players loaded with YouTube or other video clips, some produced
by the program, that match things like sight-word sounds with
images. Who said that beginning readers can't learn
For more information, contact Shirley at
or at 970-542-3238.
Note: If your program cannot
afford MP3 players for students, consider a very innovative
alternative. You may want to convert a cheaper thumb drive ($18-$25) into an
MP3 player. Simply Google "MP3 thumb drive" or "Convert MP3
Flash drive" or something similar, and access instructions on
different ways to do that!
Teachers enrolled in CCCOnline's spring
EDU134 course had two options for a project that
integrated a number of best instructional practices advocated
for teaching ESL to adults: a technology option
(a blog) and a Webquest option developed in Word, which was
later formatted and published for the Web. Their work is linked on the
home page of our content site,
http://www.coloradoadulted.org/ and listed below for your
Blogging is being used more and more
extensively as a magnificent educational tool. Following are
links to blogs created by EDU134 students, along with links to
other blogs created by other Colorado
Adult Ed instructors in different programs.
http://www.freedomov.blogspot.com/ - "We all have
different cultures and we are very creative with open minds.
However, we can be sort of shy at times. We work together on
some things, and we put our minds together to have one big
creative mind to work with. We are making an effort to
http://thebeginningwriters.blogspot.com/ - "We are an
enthusiastic group of students trying to do our best effort
in order to achieve our goals. We come from around the
world, but we live in the United States. We hope you enjoy
http://www.writersofthefuture.blogspot.com/ - "These are
the collected writings of a Pre-GED class in Colorado
Springs. We hope you enjoy reading about our lives!"
http://durangoenglishproject.blogspot.com/ - Durango
Adult Education English Project blog.
http://www.englishchat-ali.blogspot.com/ - "Share
information and pointers for learning English (ESL) or other
http://eslsmalltalk.blogspot.com/ - "As you all know I am
a student myself and you all have graciously been helping me
with several of my assignments. One of those assignments is
to create this blog (this page) as a means for us to
communicate about subjects that interest us."
to The World Awaits You. Here you will follow each Geography
lesson given to you and turn in your assignment to me. With
each assignment you turn in I will return to the site and
publish your work for everyone to see."
Webquests are online projects designed to
help students become independent in their own learning.
Following are a few of the WebQuests created this Spring by
EDU134 students. Other Colorado-created WebQuests are also listed on our
Brenda Zion (See her Lincoln WebQuest listed above), is executive director of OneMorgan
County, a group which works to help immigrants adapt to their
new land. Brenda
has graciously offered to share an amazing list of resources
that she compiled throughout her Masters and LIA
classes. You may access those links on our
wiki, listed under
the Other Resources Section, or by
to download the
Recent articles from the The Fort Morgan
Times acknowledge efforts made by Brenda's program to help immigrants
in Ft. Morgan.
- A driving vocabulary class for English as
a Second Language learners wrapped up recently. Nearly 100
people participated in the program, spearheaded by OneMorgan County, in cooperation with Morgan Community
College, the Fort Morgan Police Department, and others.
Members of the Morgan Area Ministerial
Alliance, OneMorgan County, local Somali refugees, as
well as Somali representatives meet to bridge the
more than a dozen Danish
representatives visited Fort Morgan as part of the World
Learning Visitor Exchange Program,
to learn about the ways Fort Morgan officials and OneMorgan
County have helped immigrants to become part of the
community and helped members of the community to learn about
You may contact Brenda at
until the program moves later this summer.
Lunch and Learn
last two Lunch and Learn sessions covered two areas that allow
students to engage intelligences that schools don't often
nurture. If you did not join us, feel free to explore the
Tours (Lunch and Learn 3/10/10) -Virtual
tours allow visitors to explore a huge variety of environments
and experience them in their minds as they learn.
Cartooning Online with Adult Students (Lunch and Learn
4/29/10) - Cartooning,
through comic strips or other means, provides an ideal tool for
engaging visual learners, those people who comprise huge numbers
in our programs. They are the non-linguistic, non-mathematical
types, who come to us hoping for help. Through comics, we can
put language and math into context so that learners can better
perform in those areas.
Lunch and Learn resources are posted on your wiki.
way! I'll never learn long division! I'm sure that you've heard
that familiar cry in your program. How about sending your
students on a quest, ideally, a Webquest, to investigate how
other people divide?
student in my most recent PBS TeacherLine
class on creating WebQuests produced an intriguing project. She
is sending her students (K-12) on a journey to discover
different ways to divide. They'll learn how to divide while
using computer skills, improving their reading, and adding to
their critical thinking arsenal! Her project can be accessed on
her wiki, at
http://maccormacks.pbworks.com/1-Begin-Here. There's more
than one way to skin a problem!
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