Monday, July 14, 2014

Three Important Bloggers in Adult Ed.

On Twitter, I can just retweet the latest from adult education's brightest thought leaders and come off looking smart and well read.  But on my blog, I've got to quote people or just steal their ideas outright (kidding!). Here are a few folks that I come back to regularly, either reading or retweeting or both. You should make them regular stops or bookmarks, if you haven't already.

David Rosen has long been a resource for adult education strategic thinking.  His most recent blog goes over ten technology trends that stand to transform adult education in the US.   Rosen's focus on innovation and equity make him a gem in the field, in my estimation.

Meagan Farrell's has been sharing free GED prep resources on her Farrell Ink site for years, and now you can find some highlights of her professional development workshops here. This week, she's going to post five times while at a conference in Virginia.  By the way, it looks like Essential Education will be directly benefiting from Meagan's instructional strategies as she helps us develop new online and print material.

Jeff Carter writes about adult education policy, budget ramification, and there's a helpful survey of adult education's occasional appearances in the media.  He's got his own angle, and he moves the conversation forward, something we should all be doing.  I'm especially glad for his unpacking of the WIA reauthorization, aka WIOA.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

5 Predictions for Adult Education Instruction

So far this year, I'm seeing adult education programs implementing a variety of approaches as they tackle the 2014 high school equivalency exams.  The range of hypotheses that teachers and publishers are employing is pretty impressive, though sometimes disconcerting. Nonetheless, a diversity of tactics is good.  Hypotheses, if evaluated critically, will be proven right or wrong, and adult education practice will move forward all the better for having conducted experiments during this big transition.  I've got some hypotheses that I don't mind sharing.  Some directly oppose other publishers' products and even some of my own clients' preferred teaching methods.  That's the thing about the future. It's not personal.     

Increased Experimentation and Creative Lesson Design
Most adult ed programs have begun the year trying to maintain their systems of assessment, instruction and credentialing and ensure continuity by continuing with drill and practice material, teaching narrowly to a small set of procedural knowledge skills that are typically deficits.  To stay in that comfort zone, adult ed programs purchase from publishers that are recycling instructional models or repackaging conveniently available material with 2014 testing jargon that are familiar and friendly to adult educators who are struggling with the prospect of change (very common and understandable).  However, as the demands of the new high school equivalency tests and the College and Career Readiness standards become clearer and professional development efforts start to sink in with instructors and coordinators, the field will start taking more risks.  They'll start thinking outside the box with their lesson planning and where they source their content.