September 2008 Volume 9, Issue 2


CHI: Let's Get Some Energy Moving

T he Colorado Hybrid Initiative (CHI) was launched in June, as close to thirty Colorado adult educators met for a technology retreat in Lakewood. At that time, many of you spent a day and a half being exposed to different tools and resources for using technology in instruction. Participants in that event walked away with a number of incentives, such as video and web cams, headsets, and access to applications to enhance learning among adult students.

Now, you are invited to expand that effort. There are many ways for you to contribute, and as you contribute, find yourself being contributed to! Your efforts will translate into PD hours and other benefits, not to mention the pleasure of giving and being part of a thriving community of learners!

1.  CHI Wiki

Add resources to our CHI Resources Wiki, which aims to serve not only adult educators in AEFLA programs, but also community college instructors who have joined us there. Hats off to Alice Bedard-Voorhees, Colorado Mountain College, who helped out with the retreat and is now sharing wonderful ideas through the wiki. Thanks also to Lisa Marie Johnson from CCCOnline for her contributions.

Let's spread the gems. The Tech Ladder Checklist leading to certification (see last Tech Beat issue) can be downloaded from the wiki, and the promised tutorials can also be found there. PLEASE add helpful items to the wiki. Anyone can access the information on the wiki. However, you are also invited to contribute. To do so, please go to Click on LOG IN, and then on REQUEST ACCESS. Enter the requested information, and click on Send to Administrator. One of us will approve your entry and you are in! You'll find several pages linked from the Front Page. Included in those links is one leading to the tutorials that match the skills along the Tech Ladder. Know of good tutorials? Add them in the appropriate level with a short description of what it teaches.


Some of you received a license to produce instructional segments using QArbon. Others have created some very simple and effective segments using other applications, such as Power Point. Karen Carr has a few to get us started. You may also access these on our content site, by clicking on each link on the home page, or from the CHI Resources wiki, described above.

  • Tic-Tac-Toe Template (Power Point) - Enter the X and 0 with an answered question. By Karen Carr

  • Jeopardy Template (Power Point) - Get points by formulating the correct question. By Karen Carr

  • LIA Jeopardy (Power Point) - By Karen Carr

Send us more, and let's share the wealth of creativity among us!


Ask for resources that might meet your needs. Take items from the Tech Ladder and request help. We want to nurture the ground from which students blossom.


You have a license at your disposal to use one of the most popular and effective online instructional tool out there. Several of you were introduced to Elluminate during the June retreat and know its capability. Elluminate allows you to interact with students everywhere through voice, whiteboard, desktop sharing and much, much more. If you need information on how to access the tool  for classes or tutoring, I'll provide you all that you need. On the other hand, if you just want to interact with other colleagues, family, grant writers, or friends, you can get a FREE VRoom for up to three people. Explore and use this wonderful tool, and drop me a line about what you think. To sign up for a VRoom and for extensive self-paced, online training (link on left column on the home page), go to


If you have any experience teaching or learning in Second Life, your comments will help all of us. Add your information to our wiki under the Web 2.0  Resources for Educators page.

Finally, if you are an AEFLA-funded program, all you need to do is ask. If enough of you want a hands-on, f-2-f workshop at any level, we'll provide it; if you want interactive tutoring on any skill, we'll provide it; if you want resources or suggestions on using technology with specific students, we'll provide them. We want our students to change. (After all, learning is change!). As Mahatma Gandhi suggested, if you want change, be the change that you want to see in others!


Spore is the hottest game on the market, and, as with so many serious games (see last issue), educators are grabbing it to teach biology, community, planning, you-name-it. The September issue of PC World says Spore is "a groundbreaking evolution simulation where you foster life, from its single-celled origins to its spread as a space-faring civilization. Spore's social-networking features set i apart from other games."

How will you create the universe? With Spore you can nurture your unique creature through five stages of evolution: Cell, Creature, Tribe, Civilization, and Space. Or if you prefer, spend as much time as you like making creatures, vehicles, buildings and spaceships with Spore’s unique Creator tools.

From the site: Create Your Universe from Microscopic to Macrocosmic - From tide pool amoebas to thriving civilizations to intergalactic starships, everything is in your hands. Share with the World - Everything you make is shared with other players and vice versa, providing tons of cool creatures to meet and new places to visit.

The site has several videos to introduce you to the platform. The Creature Creator is free. Aside from allowing students to build creatures that will try to survive in different environments, it will give them lots of mouse practice! The whole game,  itself, is  just under $50.00.

If you play Spore with students or at home, drop us a note and let us know what you think! Or better, go to our CHI Resources wiki (above) and enter your comments on the Activities for Students page.

Are We Smart Thinking?

Earlier in the year, in the March issue, I announced the availability of a fantastic (and free!) resource, especially for GED students. Below is a reprint of that information. Ann Miller's program in the Four Corners is getting on board, and I invite everyone to at least examine the tutoring services at the SMARTHINKING site. The service is offered by the Colorado Department of Labor and can be accessed through the e-Colorado learning portal at Contact Sue Klebold at if you need help getting started.


How often have you asked or heard the question, "How can I possibly manage multi-level classes?" Here's one suggestion!

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) has made a limited number of online tutoring hours available to Workforce Center partners in Colorado. Smarthinking, an online tutoring service, gives students an opportunity to work with live tutors on the Internet through unscheduled or pre-scheduled whiteboard chat sessions.  Students may also submit papers or questions in a number of academic subjects, and receive a critique of their writing or written answers to their questions within 24 hours. Tutoring in math is available in Spanish as well as English. 


So you have one or more students who need extra help? Get them online with a pro who can instruct them individually while you go on with your instruction to others. Smarthinking has over 800 teachers all over the world, over 80% of whom have PhD's in their topic of instruction. Our students will need an introduction to the system, and I suggest that you walk them through a short tutoring session. They will need to know how to read and type, of course, since the instruction is somewhat text-based. However, the use of the interactive whiteboard allows a lot of variety in how topics are presented and discussed.

Just another free resource out there waiting to be used... [If you are an AEFLA program, step one is to contact Sue Klebold (contact info below). Sue will help you.] Center staff will register the student through our e-Colorado learning portal. After that, you and the student may access tutoring from any computer with Internet connectivity. In fact, register yourself as well, and check out the resources so that you can select the right student for the tool.


For more information or clarification, contact Sue Klebold at (303) 381-8824

Time, in our American culture, is precious and fleeting, I know. But do stop and smell this rose. At least explore the resource and determine how well it can help your students!

Think Again

What word or words do the images below represent?


      CLICK HERE for answers.

Thank you, Tom Dietvorst for proofreading this issue!