On November 14, 2016 The EdTech Center External link opens in new window or tab at World Education hosted a panel at NCTN’s Effective Transitions in Adult Education annual conference, which is dedicated to strengthening adult education’s capacity to ensure that adult learners have access to and success in the college, occupational training and career they need to earn a family-sustaining wage. The panel, entitled Leveraging Trends in Blended, Distance, and Mobile Learning, was moderated by IDEAL Consortium Director, Jen Vanek and included the following panelists:

  • Simona Simpson, Director of Multiple Pathways for the Providence Public School District in Rhode Island;

  • Dr. David J. Rosen, President of Newsome Associates in Jamaica Plain, MA, editor of the COABE Journal Web Scan column, moderator of the LINCS Technology and Learning community of practice, and author of Blended Learning for the Adult Education Classroom External link opens in new window or tab

  • Christopher Bourret, Lead Teacher/Program Coordinator with Rhode Island Family Literacy Initiative (RIFLI) and Tech Coach for the RI Adult Education Professional Development Center; and

  • Joe Stubblefield, Director of Educational Technology for Arizona Department of Education, Adult Education Services.

Read the summary of the presentation, listen to the recording and discover resources for professional development and tools to connect with distance learners on the blog post by the EdTech Center @ WorldEd.

Source: EdTech Center @ WorldEd, blog post External link opens in new window or tab on December 7, 2016

Edutopia logo

In her December 8 2016 article Youki Terada offers a look at the research that made an impact in 2016, from growth mindset in science class to effective stress-reduction strategies for teachers and students. Terada starts by stating that “In 2016, we learned more about how teachers feel about their profession, from the reasons why they started teaching in the first place (#1) to why they leave (#6). We learned that science students do better when teachers share stories about the struggles scientists face instead of portraying them as geniuses (#3). We’re also learning more about why U.S. students are falling behind students in other countries (#12). “

Read more on Edutopia’s Web sit about the 15 studies published this year that every educator should know about.

Source: Edutopia, Education Trends, Education Research Highlights from 2016 External link opens in new window or tab

department of education logo

The U.S. Department of Education launched the EdSim Challenge External link opens in new window or tab , a $680,000 competition to design the next-generation of educational simulations that strengthen career and technical skills. The Challenge calls upon the virtual reality, video game developer, and educational technology communities to submit concepts for immersive simulations that will prepare students for the globally competitive workforce of the 21st century.

“This initiative is an exciting example of how virtual reality and game technologies can be applied to give students everywhere the tools to prepare for future success,” said Johan Uvin, acting assistant secretary for career, technical, and adult education External link opens in new window or tab. “We encourage developers from all disciplines to answer our call and help define the future of applied learning.”

Simulated digital learning environments, such as virtual and augmented reality, 3D simulations, and multiplayer video games, are an emerging approach to deliver educational content, and provide students with enriched experiences in information retention, engagement, skills acquisition, and learning outcomes. Students who participate in digital learning simulations for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) learning had a 23 percent higher achievement rating than those who do not.

The Challenge seeks to spur the development of computer-generated virtual and augmented reality educational experiences that combine existing and future technologies with skill-building content and assessment. Collaboration is encouraged among the developer community to make aspects of simulations available through open source licenses and low-cost shareable components. ED is most interested in simulations that pair the engagement of commercial games with educational content that transfers academic, technical, and employability skills.

Those interested in participating in the Challenge should submit their simulation concepts by Jan. 17, 2017. A multidisciplinary panel of judges will evaluate the submissions and select up to five finalists to advance to the Virtual Accelerator phase. Each finalist will be awarded $50,000 and gain access to expert mentorship as they refine their concept and build a simulation prototype.

The Challenge winner(s) will be awarded the remainder of the $680,000 prize money and additional sponsor prizes from IBM, Microsoft, Oculus, and Samsung.

For a complete list of Challenge rules, visit http://www.edsimchallenge.com/ External link opens in new window or tab.

Follow the Challenge:

Ed Prizes

The EdSim Challenge is part of a series of prize competitions conducted by ED which seek to spur the development of new technology, products, and resources that will prepare students for the high-skill, high-wage, and high-demand occupations of tomorrow. The series is funded by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006. Learn more at: www.edprizes.com External link opens in new window or tab .

Source: ED.Gov External link opens in new window or tab

CASAS Logo

Three Integrated EL Civics (English Literacy and Civics Education) conferences will be held in 2017. The first one serves the Central Valley and will convene on Friday, January 20th at the Bakersfield Adult School. The Southern California conference will be held on Friday, February 3rd at the Vista Adult School. The third conference serves Northern California and will be held on Friday, March 3rd at the Santa Clara Adult School. The link to the flyer for all three conferences is provided.

The cost of the conference is $10, which includes registration and lunch.

Please go to the California Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS) at www.casas.org External link opens in new window or tab to register and pay for the conference. Early registration is recommended.

calpro logo

CALPRO is offering more online professional learning opportunities in spring 2017. These classes are just 4 weeks long, and require about 3 hours a week of your time. Enrollment is limited and they fill up fast. Check the CALPRO Event Calendar External link opens in new window or tab to learn more and register!

  • Understanding the Adult Learner Feb. 06 – Mar. 06, 2017 This course examines how adults learn and the implications for adult literacy programs. It explores the unique characteristics of adult learners as well as adult motivation, needs, and self-concept and their effect on learning. The course also explores adult development and the implications for effective teaching. Register Here External link opens in new window or tab
  • Using Questioning Strategies to Improve Instruction Mar. 06 – Apr. 03, 2017 Are you frustrated at not getting the right answers from your students? Maybe it's because you're not asking the right questions! This course offers questioning strategies that foster higher-order thinking skills while developing responses beyond the level of recall. Help students connect the dots as they process new information to answer questions designed with a purpose. Register Here External link opens in new window or tab
  • Evidence-Based Writing Instruction in the ESL Classroom Mar. 10 – Apr. 07, 2016 How do you meet the needs of ESL students in a class with skill levels ranging from beginning to intermediate to advanced? This course presents strategies for planning lessons for learners of widely varying language skills. Register Here External link opens in new window or tab
  • Integrated Education and Training Mar. 27 – Apr. 24, 2017 This course leads agency-based teams of educators and agency administrators through the process of developing plans for implementing one of four instructional models that successfully integrate adult education basic skills instruction (i.e., ESL or ABE) with technical or occupational skills instruction. Apply Here External link opens in new window or tab. Team applications are due by Mon., Mar. 20.

Through these courses exchange ideas with fellow educators and get feedback from a subject-expert facilitator while you complete weekly activities and assignments. All courses are entirely online so you can log in and complete assignments day or night. Each course also includes two scheduled webinars, where you will meet with your instructor and colleagues for an hour to learn new concepts and share experiences.

You can also read more External link opens in new window or tab about all that CALPRO offers in the way of online professional development. All CALPRO professional development courses are available for free only to Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Title II funded programs.