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.