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 jason@essentialed.com)


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.  
 


Books are Mobile Devices

Many distance learning initiatives are really online learning initiatives in disguise.  There's nothing wrong with that.  The field of adult education needs to grow in the tech-integration department.  And there is usually a happy by-product of digital literacy woven in.  However, for many learners (and teachers), studying out of a book is the preferred method.  If you don't have internet, a book is your distance education curriculum, and it's accessible 24/7.  If you don't have an ipad or large-screen smartphone, a book is your mobile device (another argument against the immobility of the giant 700 page comprehensive prep books).     


Books Last Forever

Give a learner a book and it will become a visual cue to prioritize studying whenever they see it.  Friends and family members see the book and get interested and maybe pitch in with a pop-quiz or take a whack at the material themselves.  If the book winds up on the shelf, eventually, someone will dust it off and put it to use.  Many of us still have our college books on the shelf, because it stores the memorable moments of our learning process. As long as blended learning is considered a best practice, books will allow for more flexibility.  If online learning isn't your cup of tea, shift gears to print material.  Plus, working page-by-page makes learners pace themselves (if they're reading thoroughly and being honest with their study skills). 

Why are books important to your ABE/GED instruction? Does this hold true for distance education?  Is your affinity for workbooks affected by the GED test going computer-based?  And yes, the books are appropriate for TASC and HiSET as well.        

Order Your Copies Now

The Essential Skills series of workbooks are written to provide the best in 2014 high school equivalency preparation. By focusing on teaching thinking skills in varying degrees of DoK complexity (Depth of Knowledge), teachers and students are prepared to be successful on any of the content assessments. Written with Senior Consultants Bonnie Goonen and Susan Pittman-Shetler, lead trainers for GEDTS, the workbooks are a break from the traditional drill and practice format.

Call me at 800-390-9307 or shoot an email to me (at jason@essentialed.com), and I'll send you sample chapters from the books and ordering info. If you have any questions, I'll be happy to answer them. 

PS: My wife designed the covers, and I AM VERY PROUD. See more of her creations at darlingoctopus.com.

5 comments:

  1. I started a discussion on the LINCS group about this topic and got some good discussion going. Please take a look there: https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/books-2014-cbt-dok-andor-distance-ed

    I'd also like to point out that a key aspect of our books that may set them apart from other GED books, is that we focus on providing practice and instruction that meets all three Webb's Depth of Knowledge Levels (four is not on the test). That's another reason why we developed the content from scratch and with the aid of the lead trainers from GEDTS. Recycled 2002 content will just focus on procedural knowlege and provide drill and practice problems. That's fine for Level 1: Recall, but 80% of the new 2014 GED test deals with levels 2 & 3 of complexity. That's Working with Skills and Concepts and Strategic Thinking. In short, these books actually teach for a deeper and longer-lasting understanding, not unlike our GED Academy program.

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  2. We've got a sale on the Reading book this month: 20% off. Order here: http://deskillshare.blogspot.com/2013/10/books-for-building-dok-via-distance-ed.html

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  3. Bookworm is a wonderful company. I appreciate the individualized approach they have toward our bookfairs. It’s not a one-size-fits-all affair. Teachers and parents browse with smiles on their faces because the books are beautiful, diverse and engaging

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  4. For anyone looking to order these books, you can email me at jason@essentialed.com. We're rebuilding our website with a shopping cart. When that's ready, I'll post the link. In the meantime, just email me and we'll get the books to you!

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  5. And we finally have a website for the workbooks: http://www.passged.com/educators/products/workbooks.php

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