Thursday, December 19, 2013

Computer-Based Testing/Learning Strategies

Recently, a pithy post in Fast Company magazine garnered some good press for the GED Testing Service's computer-based testing initiative.  Erika Owen puts it in beautifully simple terms when she writes, "students think better when they pace themselves." However, the ideas promoted in this little piece have ramifications that I think will play out across the whole field of adult education in the coming years, regardless of the brand of high school equivalency test, and spilling over into the instruction side as well.  And note the relevance to 'the other adult education': human resource development.  This is big, yall.

In presentations, I've been talking a lot about a new tool for boosting GED scores: computer-based test taking skills. In short, the experience of testing on a computer (and particularly the design of the 2014 GED test) gives learners more control so they can spend more time showing what they know in an efficient and confident manner. As Owen distills it: pacing themselves = thinking better. 

Pacing Strategies

Awesome. What about learning? Does this idea of thinking better transfer over to the learning experience? Yes. Pacing is actually less about testing and more about control and choice in the learning process, which includes application. Pacing is affected learning plans are personalized, when learners can explore and stay in the flow of information with multiple communities/facilitators and on their own schedule. Adult Education programs need to access the power that awaits outside the four-walls of the classroom so their learners to take advantage of educational opportunities where and when it suits them (as well as in the classroom).  In other words, learner-centered services that build self-sufficiency rather than dependence.  I know there are risks and consequences, but the rewards and growth in new directions are worth the gamble. 

Working backwards from the other side of Fast Company's analogy... "Employees train better when they pace themselves." If the technology of the workplace spills over into our lives "24/7" then adult education programs need to prepare their clients for this kind of lifelong learning "in which they are learning all of the time."  If this is the expectation of the working world where we want our learners to succeed, then we've got to cultivate the kind of initiative and educational entrepreneurship that allows them to pace themselves with the hope that their goal is acceleration. 

I've been a little vague here, only because the Fast Company piece is so provocative and exciting exposure for our field.  More detailed prescriptions will take shape in 2014, I'm sure. What do you think? What kinds of ideas does this Fast Company piece inspire in you?

Monday, December 9, 2013

All I Want for Xmas are Ed-Tech Books, 2013

With the Year of the Blended Learner mostly behind us (and more hopefully ahead), it's time to gear up for the 2014 GED/HSE tests, developing reasoning skills, and certifying 'College and Career Readiness.  In other words, the Year of the Deeper Learner.   Ed tech books topped my list last year, and they made an appropriate post on an ed-tech blog.  However, the challenges facing the field of adult education in the coming year(s) will blur the lines of technology and redefine some of the notions that underscore the educational process.  To that end, I've compiled a little reading list of books, many of which are on my personal Christmas list.    


Although there are now three high school equivalency tests for each state to choose from, there is a common theme nationally in the updates being made to instructional practice: address deeper levels of complexity. The tests are becoming more rigorous, but only because they're going to be made up of more complex texts. Classwork will need to engage on multiple levels, and workbooks will need to connect with and develop latent skills. To help with that, I'd like to put Essential Education's new Essential Skills workbooks on this list, but that would be too simple and self-serving. Rigorous Reading: 5 Access Points for Comprehending Complex Texts looks like just the kind of update for 2014 teaching, focusing on the entry points, to help encourage deeper-level skills that are transferable across all subjects.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Toward a Learner-centered Adult Ed Experience

It felt like I'd been talking a mile-a-minute for 3hrs at a GED Academy training and 2014 GED(r) overview in Southwest Virginia, when I stopped at the end and asked the crowd of teachers what they'd gotten out of the session.  Silence... Why do I put my attendees on the spot like that?  Ugh.  And then the answer came. A woman spoke up and made sense of it all better than I could have. "It sounds like we'll have to help our learners do more on their own from now on."  The simplicity of her synopsis took a minute for me to absorb.

Ding! Ding! Ding!  The mission of facilitating self-directed learning, putting the right tool in the learners' hands, comes right out of Essential Education's mission statement (and mine too, going back as long as I've been in adult ed).  What this teacher was synopsizing weren't just the words I'd been speaking during our three-hour training. She was seeing the impact of important tools for both assessment and instruction designed with the learner in mind and made accessible over the web.  In the presence of these disruptive innovations, the role of the educator changes to include more facilitation, more 'guide on the side.'

I've talked here about the ways GED Academy motivates online learners with student-centered instructional design. Now, the GED Testing Service's new MyGED portal is assembling an array of tools to give the learner control over the process of their education, rather than the process having control over the learners. Anyone who's worked in adult ed has a sense of the sometimes counter-intuitive bureaucracy we often contend with.          

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Books Build DoK via Distance Ed?

As my company, Essential Education, launches its new trilogy of workbooks for the 2014 high school equivalency tests, I want to take a moment to discuss two things:

1) The role of print materials in distance education efforts...

and then, because adult educators are in dire need of quality 2014 material

2) How awesome these new books are, and where you can get some!  (short answer: email

Books are Essential to Learning

It may be an obvious point, but paper and pencil practice materials will probably always be a core element of any ABE/GED program.  It doesn't matter if the GED is computer-based, or if online learning is growing by leaps and bounds.  Foundational reading, writing and math skills need to be practiced in the medium that learners (and the teachers) are most comfortable with.  The cognitive skills that you develop when you dive into a workbook are absolutely replicable when testing on a computer (but you should still get some computer-based prep and/or practice testing under your belt, nonetheless).   Writing in a workbook helps move content from short-term to long-term memory.  The act of writing is very ingraining.  That's why these books were designed to be interactive work-texts.  

Friday, September 13, 2013

Into the Great Wide Openness

I've been meaning to talk about this idea of 'open' in educational technology.  It's not new, but it is en vogue. The question I have is, "Is it good?"  For the field of adult education, the answer is really complicated. I want to kick off this topic with a little article from The Atlantic.

With your comments and the follow up that I hope to do, we can build some bridges between the questions around 'openness' in the article and adult ed's realities and potential directions.  A few ideas to consider:
  • Can ABE/GED students manage their own learning, or is facilitation key? 
  • How do subscription based learning programs and free online sites compare? 
  • Should learners only spend time doing NRS reportable tasks, or should teachers integrate a wider range of source materials and learning experiences? 
  • Do students learn better in a structured course, or when they are encouraged to explore? 
  • Which model of providing educational resources helps adult ed programs with retention and expansion? 

Maybe we should make a list of Open vs. Closed learning models... (to be continued) 

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Case for Raising Expectations

There is no denying that the odds are stacked against adult learners successfully 'going back to school' while juggling life's challenges and earning the credentials they need to open doors and begin a transformed and/or more lucrative life.

The teachers in adult ed are mostly part-time and so under-resourced that it's no wonder they can't retain students and dread a new computer-based test like the sky is falling.   

What a star-crossed pair!  Has there ever been a match-up of two underdogs with the only hope being that they can help one another to achieve an unlikely goal?  Their profile and position is defined by their limitations, and yet, those narrow parameters can help to focus their/our efforts.  There is actually much cause for optimism.

The job in adult education is to thread the needle.  Hustling is the name of the game.  Despite the circumstances, the best bet is to double-down.  Ask for more from each learner and teacher.

This is a very simple equation of integers here. A negative times a negative equals a positive. 
Two underdogs together equals an even more potent Cinderella story. Be your own Prince Charming  Teachers, throw the hail mary pass and see what happens. 

Specifically, how do we raise expectations? 
  • Learners: put in more time studying in between classes. 
  • Teachers: play cheerleader and guide on the side, 24/7 
  • Learners: try new things, all of them - one of your options is going to pay off 
  • Teachers: dig up everything you can find on the content and the evolving ways to teach it and then model the versatility you demand of your students 
 (what would you add here? leave a comment!)

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Does Distance Learning Need to Change?

Here is a heavily circulated article from Edudemic about online learningIt resonates with me, and there's lots to chew on.

Why (And How) Distance Learning Needs To Change, by Nina Hassing

See anything new here? I see some forward thinking insights, but also some long established basics, which is a good place to start.  But that's just it. Distance ed in the adult ed sector doesn't need to change.  It needs to start. We don't need to get it right out of the gate. It's not going to 'evolve' if it doesn't come out of the cave, or down the from the trees (or get taken off the shelf). 

I'm curious what are the most crucial components outlined in this piece? Which are important next-generation reforms?  Are there any recommendations that are superfluous? Let's discus in the comments right here so we can tailor our response to the context of adult education, ABE/GED/ESOL.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Is Online Learning Right for... ?

A company called Online Schools asked me to share their new video about students' experiences with online learning, specifically higher education. Obviously, this blog supports distance ed, but I have to admit that I've got my doubts about online credentialing. Preparation, yes, but at some point, you should probably have to present yourself in-person for some portion of the experience, at least the assessments. If you want to watch the video, check it out here and then come back to this site to share your thoughts.

The Online Schools company specializes in infographics (if it's in an infographic, it must be true, right?), so I posted one of theirs here that resonates with me and the theme of this blog.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Your 2014 Curriculum Blueprint

Even though my company focuses on innovative web-based instructional tools, one of the biggest impacts we've ever made on the field of adult education has been the publication of a little free resource book for teachers preparing to teach toward the 2014 GED test.  At Essential Education, we're excited to share edtech products that will help the field of adult education make the switch to computer-based testing.  But what this 2014 Curriculum Blueprint focuses on is less about the medium and format of the test, but the actual shift in content, whether it's for online or classroom instruction.   

Your Free Copy: Shoot me a message at jason (at) essentialed (dot) com along with your mailing address and I'll get you a sample copy. If you've already got one, leave a comment here with your thoughts on the usefulness of the Blueprint.

The instruction required for the GED test needs to adapt from procedural knowledge to reasoning skills. Your students won't be able to get by memorizing a bunch of mnemonic devices for solving problems. Instead, they'll have to understand how the elements within a procedure relate to one another. The 2014 Curriculum Blueprint features an alignment of the new GED Assessment Targets to the Common Core State Standards as well as Webb's Depth of Knowledge, which helps teachers determine their approach to each skill and topic. Naturally, we include GED Academy's lessons in that alignment, but we also added Khan Academy's math lessons, since those are free and full of great explanations of mathematical reasoning (and Khan isn't providing his own GED alignment, for whatever reason).

Once you've got your copy of our 2014 Curriculum Blueprint, I hope you'll let your local Essential Education representative tell you about all of our innovative updates for the new test and maybe give you a tour of our computer-adaptive online learning system.  Again, just shoot me a message at jason (at) essentialed (dot) com so you can start adapting your classroom instruction for next year.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Teachers: It's All About YOU

In the Why the Tech Not post, I promised to go through a laundry list of barriers to successful tech integration in adult ed and give each issue their own blog post.  I still will, but many of the comments that followed seemed to add another item to the list: teacher training, expertise, and motivation.

Okay, you got me. I'd left it off because I didn't want to point the finger directly at YOU, my readers or adult educators as a group (except for that snarky PICNIC graphic).  And yet, I know from my own experience that many many people, learners and teachers, were given a chance to realize the opportunity of information technology in education because I stepped up and chose to prioritize it.  The power to dictate the success of technology initiatives in adult ed very much rests in the hands of individual teachers and bureaucrats.  Take my origin story, for instance: 
Back in 2001, I was answering the statewide GED Helpline in Virginia helping loads of people find their local adult education programs (that phone continued to ring on my desk for over a decade).  I could have seen the job as a simple switch-board operator gig, but I didn't. My position at the state's professional development organization, and physically my spot in front of a web-connected computer all day long, exposed me to a wealth of information about online GED resources, helpful TV shows on PBS, and periodic initiatives with incentives built-in.  I wanted to put these tools in people's hands and find ways to help people who were far way from right where I was sitting. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Future > The Present

In my job promoting and training teachers to use a computer-adaptive GED prep program, I encounter a lot of anxiety about the changes and uncertainty as the free market shakes up the high school equivalency (HSE) playing field. It reminds me of something that I'm going through with my family.  Basically, our 10 week old Matilda Clementine is often inconsolably upset.  Day in and day out our colicky baby makes me think I'm not going to survive this parenting thing with its incredible decibel levels, demanding schedule, and unsustainable workload.  She's got me wearing earplugs, looking for escape routes, and occasionally drowning my sorrows.

We're both a little upset here. Not pictured: earplugs, large glass of extra-strength beer.
We've been down this road before with our two boys, but it's easy to forget how we managed, or even the simple fact that we did get through it.  Eventually, the kids got more capable and started to gradually reveal their personalities. Similarly, adult education programs are survivors that weather stormy political climates, budgetary neglect, and occasional bouts of homelessness. The new HSE tests will just be more bumps in a road that isn't really changing direction, if you ask me.

With Change Comes Opportunity

Monday, June 3, 2013

Disruption Eruption. What's Your Function?

Right now, I'm reading Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns, by Clayton Christensen.  I don't want to tell you that you should read it too, because I've just started, but also because I'll bet your list of books to read is probably a mile long, just like mine. Instead, I want you to read this little article that serves as a pretty good overview of the key concepts in the book:
  • Sustaining innovation
  • Disruptive innovation
  • Hybrid/blended teaching models
  • Flex, A La Carte, Enriched Virtual, and Individual Rotation
The article is K12-focused (something we're used to in adult ed), but the current tumultuousness in our field will make it pretty easy to see paralells when it comes to competing teaching models vying for learners attention (or maybe that should be: competing learning models vying for teachers' attention!).

That's it.  No lecture from me. We'll talk after you've read it. The comments section is where you do that. See you there.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Why the Tech Not, Adult Ed?

When technology initiatives launch in adult ed, they inevitably run into road-blocks, seemingly at every turn.  The institutional barriers to 'edtech' implementation in adult ed undermine ambition and innovation on so many levels, our field sometimes feels like a virtual time-machine, as anachronistic as a paper-pencil standardized test (just kidding, high school equivalency credentialing bodies... sorta).   Obviously, funding is always an issue in our field, and any non-monetary issues can nonetheless be overcome if price were no object.

That's 'the man' in the chair, not you, of course.
But, more often than not, it's the political will (and personal will) to break the mold and see a new idea through that makes the biggest difference (we touched on this idea before).  Too often, that's where an edtech initiative most often stalls out and is ushered off to the sidelines to make way for tried and true tradition by way of standard operating procedures.

So, what are the true barriers to effective and edtech integration in adult Ed?  Whether it's a matter of 'us' or 'them,' let's make a list.  Add your biggest pet-peeve stumbling block with a comment, or 'second' one of those listed here and I'll delve into it deeper (with the help of your thoughts) in future blog posts where I hope we can come up with some solutions.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Late Adopter of Mobile Learning

I have to admit that many of my clients are ahead of me in the tablet department.  Mobile learning never seemed like something that was applicable to online GED practice, my forte.  At conferences, I just walked right by the sessions about "mlearning," smartphones for studying and 'bring your own device' in the classroom.  iPads in adult ed programs? Sounds like science fiction.

Back when I ran the statewide distance learning program for Virginia, one of the publishers we purchased from said their program was now accessible via XYandZ mobile devices. Yeah, right, I thought.  Then I pulled it up on my phone and my prejudices were completely confirmed. The little screen only showed a small quartile of the display you'd see on a computer screen. I had to zoom in, back out, pan over, down, zoom in again, and then try to click the right button without much confidence. That's how I clicked on the lesson I wanted to open, or the answer to a question, anything that needed doing required that long string of manipulations. Mobile learning felt more like paralyzed learning. 

As seen on my iPHone through the Puffin app
Today, I get the question about whether GED Academy works on iPads and the answer is YES. Our flash-based program works on all manner of tablets, and the apps like Puffin allow it to run on iPads and iPhone (even though the iOS operating system doesn't allow Flash).  So now that we've got that out of the way, it's time I started giving mobile learning for adult ed some serious consideration.  But, it's not just the technology making mobile learning possible, it's the tenacity of the learners.

Let's get some issues out there and then rebut them with anecdotes from the field (that's you). 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Online Learning is Adult Ed's Second Child

Any adult education program that is offering online learning is also starting a new business. (You'll need to look at it that way to get the most out of the video I've posted below.) With any new endeavor, there is uncertainty and some degree of trial and error. There are definitely different ways to meet the needs of different clients. There are conflicting mandates from the state, from the local municipality, from the teachers, and from the learners. Whatever you do, don't freak out. Here's some advice from one of my favorite big thinkers on innovation.  Gary Vaynerchuk and I are definitely on the same page as caring for our small children is teaching us how to relate to the world.
It was a question about whether online learning activities should be limited to work that fits into certain narrow definitions to qualify for NRS reportable time-on-task hours (which in turn, draws down federal dollars) that made this video resonate with me after clicking on Gary's link on Twitter. He uses the term 'micro-managing,' but if that feels like an admonishment, he's really talking about different approaches to facilitate development and growth, whether it's children, businesses, or online learning. They're all experimental.

Our interventions and attempts to control the process can be powerful, but they can also be an utter waste of energy. How much further will a lifelong learner go if they had a 'helicopter mom' hovering over their entire GED preparation experience? I know, different folks require different strokes, but you get my point. Now, if only Gary would solve my problem that stems from taking his advice to use the 10pm-2am hours to put in extra work trying to over-deliver for clients. Gary, on 4.5hrs of sleep, I'm useless helping my wife with the kids in the morning!

Monday, April 1, 2013

How Was COABE, Baby?

One statement that I sometimes hear about distance learning is that classroom instruction is always preferable to online learning.  Really?  Maybe if your experience is primarily with providing traditional teaching or if you've been trying to turn classroom learners into self-directed learners at a distance or if you're using software developed for the classroom by K12-focused companies.  Who is facilitating, who is learning, what the learning objects are... those are just a few of the variables that determine the possibilities of both online and classroom based education. Nevermind the fact that a hybrid of the two, blended learning, is generally considered to be the best case scenario for teaching adults.

The Mother of Invention
This year, I had to accept the fact that I wouldn't be attending the COABE conference in New Orleans.  The possibility that my third child would arrive that week meant that I was basically grounded.  My new reality was not simply missing the conference, but looking for ways to participate at a distance.  My need to soak up the spirit of innovation at the conference drove me to a few different avenues of social media.  Of course, the distance participation is really enhanced by the participation by in-person attendees, so that brings us back to the superlative-worthy blended model (if you were at COABE, in-person or otherwise, please add some of your highlights here with a comment).

Matilda Clementine Guard, Born March 30, 2013
First, I posted on the LINCS discussion board about my unrequited love for a responsive national community of practice for adult educators. Then I posted on this bog confessing that I wouldn't be attending and encouraging readers to attend the Essential Education session.  And then I posted and commented on the new COABE group page on LinkedIn.  Putting out those feelers built up my anticipation for the conference, and it seemed to build interest in the distance participation modes that are often obscure and sometimes afterthoughts.    

Sunday, March 24, 2013

When Free Sites are Really Parasites

I love free online learning tools.  What better way to help an adult ed student then to point out the resources that are freely available so they can get what they need on their own - and the only cost is their time.  It's probably a great relief to a learner after dodging all the online scams and diploma mills.  Of course, they say there is no such thing as a free lunch and there's often a catch.  In fact, the whole proposition of pro-bono publishing is probably too good to be true. Only, being such a needy field, adult educators are so attracted to the free solution that we can't see that it's a mirage, or worse - a trap, and we're leading our learners right into it. 

One example are those gigantic databases of free test-prep resources that really just serve to lure poor desperate learners to consider clicking on enticements to ditch their test-prep and buy a degree online.  The site that I see teachers using most often is

It seems innocuous enough on the surface, but that changes with a click. The attraction of free online GED(r) prep leads you into Ashworth College's "get your degree without having to take the GED exam" trap. 

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Crowdfunding Innovation in Adult Education

I don't know how I'd missed out on Brenda Dann-Messier's keynote speeches at so many of the conferences that I've attended in recent years. But I made it to this year's Virginia Literacy Leadership Conference this year, and I'm so glad I did. conference brings together community based literacy organizations (CBLOs) from across the state of Virginia, and here I was exhibiting for a product called GED Academy and another called Computer Essentials. Most people just walk on by because CBLOs typically handle literacy-level and ABE learners and refer GED learners to their local adult ed programs.  But, there's always room for innovation.  The new GED calls for a stronger foundation of basic skills and pretty wide range of computer skills, and these things are going to affect CBLOs.
Dann-Messier speaking in Virginia

Making Technology Transformative 

Dann-Messier talked about her work with Dorcas Place in Providence, Rhode Island.  Early in her talk she mentioned that her organization made great strides helping people learn well beyond the GED, and they were able to do this by embracing innovation at every turn.  Whoa. Most adult educators are struggling with the idea that very many of their GED students are interested in studying for a goal beyond their high school equivalency credential.  But how about embracing innovation at the same time?  Bigger gains and more ambitious goals can be an outgrowth of innovation... that is, if the innovation prioritizes the needs of adult learners and rewards motivation.  But that's not been the experience of most adult educators.  And there are more pessimistic views on this, of course.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

How Do YOU Promote Online Learning?

Rather than talk about any one prescription for the best way to expand adult education into the the online environment, I'd like to turn it over to YOU.  This is not optional extroversion.  This is a basic function of any adult education program: promotion. Marketing. Advertising.  Spreading the word. Let's see some examples, either from your program or one that's caught your attention.   They say people need to see something seven times before they react.  Surely you can come up with one.

Send me an email at jason(at)essentialed(dot)com with your website, a flier, an ad, a story, anything that puts online learning on the radar of prospective ABE/GED/ESOL learners.  It can be an example of something that needs improvement, that you want input about (but try not to post someone else's thing as "what not to do" ...unless it's a giant faceless corporate ad).

Here on the left is a flier from the window of  a community based literacy organization storefont.  It's supposed to grab people on the street and bring them inside and from there, launch them out onto the web. But who will respond? Probably more people with internet access and personal computers than those who aren't online (though even that's a starting point).  It creates buzz. People might tell other people. It creates urgency, noting the need to finish before 2014.  What do you think about it?

I look forward to adding your examples so we can discuss them and hopefully inform our future promotional efforts to attract great candidates for online learning.   


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

COABE 2013 in The Big Easy

After playing host to the annual COABE conference last year in my home state of Virginia, I've been looking forward to visiting somewhere a little further afield for the most important gathering of the adult education landscape. From March 24-28, New Orleans is clearly the place to be for adult educators. This couldn't be a bigger occasion, either, with the new GED™ test looming.  Since starting my adult education career amidst the transition to the 2002 GED test, I've been eager to be a part of the community conversations surrounding a new test that shape instruction for years to come.  That's why you've got to get yourself to COABE, to grab all the good ideas out of the air and put them to good use.  And that's why the show has got to go on without me.
I've been aching for 'cafe y beignet' since visiting Cafe du Monde in 1999.

The Big Easy Rigorous

It's a little ironic.  I had pitched a couple sessions to the COABE conference planning committee back in 2012, and they were both accepted.  Computer-based instruction for digital literacy and innovative GED preparation are both growing needs in the adult ed field.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Everyday Learning via Multiple Media

How often do you learn from YouTube?  You have a curiosity, or you need a quick tutorial, maybe a product review, and you YouTube it. Me? Maybe twice a week.  This is technology-assisted adult education in everyday life.  Case in point:

My son Jasper and I are playing Lego Harry Potter, Years 1-4 on the Wii. Jasper is almost five and he loves Legos. I'm an overgrown kid who loves Harry Potter (though, not really in video game form).  He can't figure out how to find all the ingredients for the cauldron that will give us some special ability so we can open a door and move on to the next stage (and he's a little challenged by two controllers with all their buttons), so I'm basically playing the game for him and impressing the heck out of my son (he takes over during fights - his favorite part).

Jasper playing World of Goo, an endlessly fascinating game.
When I get stuck in these video games, and I can't walk my son through the valuable reasoning lessons that make video games such immersive learning experiences, I then model my researching skills. Yes. I YouTube it and find that several people have uploaded screen-casts of their quick run-thrus of the video game stages that give me fits.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Digital Literacy is a Civil Right

21st Century citizenship. This is the topic of the new era in adult education.  It's also pressing on my mind as I write this, today being Martin Luther King's birthday.  Where to start? This is huge.  Let's go back in time a bit before we look at integrating technology, not just into instruction, but into our learners' daily lives.

Adult education has always been a civil rights issue.  Literacy instruction in America's most dis-empowered populations (slaves, indentured servants, women and immigrants) gave rise to gainful employment and civic participation. Workers rights initiatives helped establish the industrial unions that built the middle class, made American manufacturing a driver of the global economy and gave us basic standards like the weekend and the eight hour work-day.

A New Frontier of Basic Skills  
Don't get complacent as you reflect on the accomplishments of adult education's legacy.  On balance, there is arguably more unfinished business and progress lost at this point.  Now, we need to add more literacies to the mix, namely digital literacy.  Oh goody, more work to be done.  Job security for adult educators (aka: an overwhelming underfunded mandate with insurmountable odds).