March, 2008 Volume 8, Issue 9
Colorado Hybrid Initiative (CHI)

Selected AEFL programs will soon be invited to participate in a Denver Distance Education Retreat supporting our Colorado Hybrid Initiative (CHI) among humming computers, excellent instruction, good company, and good food. The dates are May 22 (11:30-4:30) and May 23 (8:30-3:00). On Friday afternoon, our CHI group will walk away with a boxed dinner and loads of skills to implement low-budget, effective, distance education instruction from different sites. If selected, the intensive training is free with a few bonuses.

Your CDE/AEFL state staff and the Four Corners Professional Development Resource Center want to support you in your efforts to reach students in a variety of ways, beyond face-to-face (f2f) instruction. The skills you acquire will allow you to be very creative in designing hybrid (f2f/online/interactive video/phone) instruction for adults in your area. Following are just some ways to enhance your program offerings:

  • One to one or small group, interactive tutoring for students away from your center.
  • Direct, interactive instruction to up to 25 students at a time, using your state Elluminate license, with subsequent podcasts of selected sessions.
  • Locally developed (and shared) interactive segments using easy Flash-based presentations that students can complete with little or no assistance while being tracked online to show progress. (QArbon state license)
  • Locally developed interactive segments and resources using a variety of free tools now available for educators.
  • Online instruction using your state Class Management System (CMS), Moodle.

The catch? Selected program will appoint one distance ed person to represent the program. That person will acquire skills to deliver instruction using the tools described and more. (No technical expertise is required other than knowing how to use a keyboard and mouse.) That person will return to the program and commit with its staff to the following activities during the summer of 2008 and/or the following academic year:

  • Work with other instructors in the program to develop at least five interactive segments to be shared among all programs in the state, using QArbon development and tracking tools.
  • Assist the program in offering hybrid instruction to at least 10 students and evaluate the process and effectiveness of the approach (Elluminate or similar platforms and tools, such as GotoMeeting).
  • Assist the program in offering one-to-one tutoring to at least 10 students in your program using the webcams and head sets furnished to your program.
  • Assist the program in offering a short online segment of interest using Moodle.
  • Offer a joint session at Rendezvous 2009 with other programs participating in our Colorado Hybrid Initiative (CHI)

Interested? Follow the link below and fill out the PDF Form/Application as soon as possible!

Application to be sponsored for the Denver Distance Ed Retreat

Video Help - No reading required! - For adults, without the porn. This site has a long list of quality videos with great sound on a number of topics, including several science clips. A friend sent me as a link. Watch a short but highly engaging, quality video. We talk about right and left-brain activities. Here's someone who has experienced the shift from the inside. "Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another." Students are not the only ones seeking community and connection. We all are. I would love to be a hidden fly on your wall to hear the discussions this clip inspires among your students.

You need to be a little more selective with , but there are some jewels there. For example, check out , Thunderbolts of the Gods, and related videos. Or watch some of the latest and bravest scientists discuss new theories about the universe, starting with Richard Dawkins in several clips. I suggest that before you use streamed video with students, first, let the clip run to the end, and mute the sound. When you are ready to play the clip, simply start it again, and it will play through faster. And remember to stick to the 5-minute rule when using clips in class. After five minutes, you'll see the yawns and glazed eyes. Five minutes of watching is best followed by five minutes of discussion or application.

Smart Thinking! Or CDLE Partnership Offers Free Online Tutoring Service

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 text-based. However, the use of the whiteboard allows a lot of variety in how topics are presented and discussed.

Just another free resource out there waiting to be used... The license expires at the end of the year, so start now! If you are an AEFLA program, step one is to contact your Workforce Center and tell them that you are sending a student over. 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) 318-8824 or 


Contributions or Questions from the Field

If you have an activity that you would like to share, please send it to me so that your colleagues might extend your success! Thanks, Tom, for this month's contribution! (I hope, hope, hope that some of you who shared your activities in the conference computer lab will send in a description of the wonderful work you are doing.)

The Use of Technology in the Family Literacy Classroom: a sample activity - by Tom Dietvorst

INTRODUCTION: I teach in a Toyota Family Literacy Program in a Denver Public School. My students are all Hispanic. They range in Student Performance Level (SPL) from level 2 to level 6. There is also a wide range in their level of computer skill. This topic was the result of a survey of interests. This activity took place during a two-and-a-half-hour "Parent Time" segment. One of the goals I have in lesson planning is integration, to the extent possible, combining Family Literacy components in different ways [appropriate education for the child, education for the parent, Parent Time and Parent and Child Together (PACT)]. READ MORE

More Web Stuff for Students to Love - Love this site. It has clear recordings (podcasts) on a number of helpful issues. Just click on the site link and peek. I bet you will get hooked. This is the kind of site to which you can send students to work independently or in groups. Activities following their experience extend to the limits of your creativity. Use the podcasts for auditory learners and download text for those who like to read the words.

"Quick and Dirty Tips creates and distributes digital content that offers short, actionable advice from friendly and informed authorities that will help you succeed at work and in life. Whether you want to manage your time and money more efficiently, communicate more effectively, observe the correct rules of etiquette, or improve your performance in other home and workplace endeavors, Quick and Dirty Tips are here to show you that education and entertainment can go hand in hand, and that learning can still occur no matter what stage of life you’re in if you’ll just invest five minutes of your time Quick and Dirty Tips content is available in the following formats:

  • Podcasts read by a host
  • Transcripts from the podcasts which are available on
  • Audiobooks
  • Books – look for the Grammar Girl book coming in 2008" - Culture, Health, Literacy: A Guide to Education Materials for Adults with Limited English Literacy Skills. -  "First convened in December, 1995, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy determined that the average student who graduates from high school lacks basic skills in the management of personal financial affairs. Many are unable to balance a checkbook and most simply have no insight into the basic survival principles involved with earning, spending, saving and investing." I downloaded (Go to downloads) the Money Math: Lessons for Life. It is 100 PDF pages of content with varying content. Skip all of the initial parts that correlate lessons to K-12 standards and enjoy the plans with your math and English learners (ESL students need the language of math, too!). The Financial Fridays link takes you to archives with links to agencies that can support your efforts in teaching financial responsibilities. Browse through other tabs and you'll find other pearls.

Rendezvous 2008: Thanks for Joining the Celebration!

Thank you, one and all, for sharing so many fantastic practices for reaching students with different interests and intelligences (Gardner) with creative technology. Your wikis, blogs, and other interactive pages showed how very far a little creativity and curiosity can go. I bow humbly to your success and can't wait to see and hear more about your use of technology to engage students and bring them into warm and supportive online communities. Even beginninng-level ESL students are thriving in blogs. You have now proved how well it can be done. Hats off!

Loud applause and flowers are also due to Shirley Penn, Margie Warner, and all of the other CAEPA supporters who gave us the space, the connectivity, and the laptops for use during the conference!!!

Bouquet of flowers.

Think Again

What word, expression, or name is depicted in the images below? I know you'll get it without peeking! (Click on the link at the bottom to get the answer.) I know you'll get the first one right away!



Click Here for Answers