This is a very exciting time for the i-Pathways project. In January, i-Pathways 2014 will complete deployment of new curriculum, new instructor and administrative centers, and a revised technical infrastructure. The i-Pathways project has been deployed now for over 10 years and has gone through several revisions both to the curriculum and the technical infrastructure that supports it; the changes for 2014 represent the biggest revision since the project was launched in 2002.
We have worked very hard over the past year-plus to align our curriculum with the changes to the GED® test, align to both content-area and the common core standards, and with the HiSET. It is still as rigorous as it always was, but it also more adaptable and responsive to the changing landscape of high school equivalency tests.
As we revised our curriculum, we used teachers in the field as peer reviewers of the content to allow them to bring their classroom best practices to the project. We used that experience from the field to develop curriculum that we think will meet students’ needs. Throughout our 10-plus year deployment, we have always tried to be responsive to feedback from the field and incorporate suggestions into the i-Pathways project. We believe part of our success is due to listening to the teachers and administrators in the field.
We have also made a very significant change to how i-Pathways is presented on computers, tablets, and smartphones; we designed it to work the same on any device. It is completely mobile ready! By using a technique called responsive design, we are able to provide the same user experience from a desktop computer to a smartphone. We know the ability to access curriculum from a mobile device is going to be more and more important. With the ability to use a tablet device to connect to i-Pathways rather than a desktop computer, programs have the potential to stretch scarce dollars. Also, the option for students to continue their study outside of the classroom on their smartphone or tablet could increase their time working through content.
We are ready to work with educators and programs to move forward into 2014, and support them with curriculum and tools to help their students achieve their educational goals.
We often talk about building 21st Century skills with adult learners and the need for integrating technology in the classroom. What does this mean for curriculum selections? It means that in order to truly assist adult learners become self directed, the curriculum must be accessible from mobile devices.
As we look at students today, their common characteristic is that they expect anywhere, anytime access to instruction. But are our learners mobile? The answer is yes!
Over half of adults in the U.S. own a smartphone.
66% of adults between the ages of 25 to 34 own a smartphone.
44% of K-12 students have access to a smartphone.
The mobile phone is the single most common device people use to access the Internet worldwide.
So how do we meet this demand at a time of diversity in skills, background knowledge, and access to technology in the classroom? A simple and cost effective strategy to help fill these gaps can be the establishment of a BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device policy.
While this concept is becoming more popular, there are steps involved in establishing an effective BYOD plan which leads to successful student outcomes.
A BYOD classroom enables students and teachers to access mobile devices including laptops, tablets, and smartphones in the classroom.
Program administrators and instructors need to create acceptable usage policies so students are aware of expectations in the classroom. Teaching responsible use of mobile technology also helps build digital citizenship.
To be successful with BYOD, its more than allowing students to bring their devices, but it also includes selecting appropriate curriculum that is truly mobile.
On October 10, 2013 the i-Pathways project director, Richard Chamberlain, and i-Pathways Training Specialist, Brandon John, presented two sessions on i-Pathways at the 32nd annual Nebraska Adult Education Conference in Kearney, Nebraska. The two sessions entitled, “Reaching Student Success using i-Pathways as a Classroom Supplement” and “i-Pathways 2014: Discover the Magic” were well received by those who attended.
The first session, “Reaching Student Success using i-Pathways as a Classroom Supplement” covered the various ways that i-Pathways could be used as a classroom supplement. Topics discussed were; proper student placement within the i-Pathways curriculum and the importance of digital literacy.
The second session, “i-Pathways 2014: Discover the Magic,” gave a sneak peak of the new i-Pathways website and curriculum.
The conference was a great success. Additionally, it was so nice to be able to come in contact with so many dedicated adult learning educators!
Recently, the i-Pathways team provided a webinar designed to explore social media resources and discuss how these tools can be utilized in the adult education classroom. The tools explored included Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress. Below is a brief summary of these tools with links to tutorials and information about getting started with the tool of your choice. Continue reading →
I hear and read a great deal of information about effective teaching strategies. Most of it focuses around adapting instruction to fit the individual learning style of the adult. The concept of a learning style where individuals have specific preferences to learning based on senses (visual, auditory, or tactile / kinesthetic) is so deeply embedded into education that it is commonly accepted as best practices. However, recently, these concepts have been heavily disputed. So, how do we approach instruction with or without learning styles –and how does i-Pathways fit into an instructional plan. Continue reading →