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.
This conference was going to be a big event for me to debut new instructional strategies.  But, as it turns out, there are always bigger priorities.  This was made clear to me when my pregnant wife mentioned that her due date falls right in the middle of the COABE conference, and that I'm not allowed to go anywhere that week.  Heartbreak!  I mean, elation!  I am so torn.  That's why you've got to get yourself to COABE in my place. Don't worry.  My sessions will still be offered by Essential Education's capable staff, and we'll be sharing a great tool for planning your 2014 GED instruction as well (contact me at jason(at)essentialed(dot)com if you want me to share it with you, personally).

The COABE conference gives birth to the big ideas in adult education.
Here are the COABE sessions my company is offering in New Orleans this year.  They're going to be great.  I hope you can attend. 
  • Get a Bead on the 2014 GED Test . . . A Simple To Use 2014 Curriculum Blueprint 
    • Tuesday, March 26th, 10:45-12pm (Strand 6 Boardroom)
  • Computer Essentials Online: Digital Literacy for Adult Learners 
    • Tuesday, March 26th, 3:30-4:45pm (Bolden 1) 
  • Bridging the Gap to the 2014 GED Test: How the GED Academy Prepares Students for the 2014 HSE Tests 
    • Wednesday, March 27th, 1:45-3:00pm (Bolden 2)
If you are going to be at COABE, what are you most interested in learning about? IF you're not going, what (besides more funding) would motivate you to go? Let's get the conversations started in the comments section, right here!


  1. Hi Jason,
    First - congratulations!
    I'm attending COABE as a presenter and to learn how we can help teachers prepare their students for the new GED test. I agree that COABE is a great place to get tons of ideas, both in sessions and talking to folks between sessions.

  2. As much as I wanted to present at COABE this year, it's attending sessions that makes me happiest. Almost two years ago, I had the privilege of attending COABE in San Francisco, the city where I was born. Since I hadn't been back in 27 years, I begged the VALRC to send me. The whole week was a mash-up of awakening and renewal.

    When I was setting up for my session on 'decentraling distance education,' I met Michael Ormsby who was sizing up the room for his session on an open platform for adult learning that would bring learners together with a wide array of instructional tools, teachers, other learners, and an organizational structure to facilitate their progress. I was blown away. The potential of technology finally being leveraged to transform the way adults learn! Who was this guy? Why didn't he push his product, GED Academy? I decided to look deeper into GED Academy and I kept in touch with Michael. Months later, I left my job with the state of Virginia to work at Essential Education.

    Clearly, COABE gives birth to big ideas.

  3. Jason & Karen,

    YEA!!!! That's definitely a girl's profile... (;

    Thanks for your blog and your never ending enthusiasm about adult education and practitioner development. I won't be at COABE this year either. So many great conferences out there to attend, so little money....alas.


    1. Thanks, Kristin.
      I guess we'll just have to follow #COABE13 on Twitter that week.

  4. Hi Jason,

    I hope you enjoy this year's conference. I wish I could be there this year, but as others have said-money is the issue. Where can I take a look at the "Blueprint", or is this something I may have seen?


  5. The Curriculum Blueprint is HOT off the presses. It will debut at COABE, but if you'd like me to mail you one send me your mailing address to jason (at) essentialed (dot) com.

    It's a great synopsis of the changes coming to the GED test with clear instructions on what teachers need to do differently in the classroom. The Blueprint offers helpful lesson plan builders for turning your 2002-focused instruction into 'Depth of Knowledge' activities. It also features a detailed alignment of instructional resources (both online and print - free and subscription based) to meet the GED assessment targets and Common Core standards that will be the basis for any high school equivalency credential that might be adopted by your state.


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