Fundraising in Education

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 11.12.30 AMIn today’s fiscal climate, educational programs are struggling to continually provide quality services to students. Many programs are attempting to move from traditional fundraising efforts to crowd funding, a fundraising effort used by programs to expand their donor base and raise money from a large number of people. Projects are marketed through the use of online sites. Whle the crowdfunding industry earned $5.1 billion dollars worldwide, the majority of crowdfunding efforts do not reach thier intended goal. Learn more about creating a successful campaign.

Image from Scott Metzger Cartoons 

Continue reading

Accessing Internet Based Instruction in the Department of Corrections

Guest Post by Richard Chamberlain, Director of the Center for the Application of Information Technologies at Western Illinois University.

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 1.05.26 PM

i-Pathways has been used in adult education programs now for almost 15 years. We have grown to the
point where we are serving programs and seeing positive student outcomes in states coast to coast. In addition to our work with state administrators and adult education programs, we have also begun to work in correctional education programs; work that is seeing success.

Continue reading

Digital Inclusion in Adult Education

Screen Shot 2015-08-20 at 3.42.01 PMTechnology is a driving force in every aspect of our lives and access to technology and the Internet could be considered a basic human right. 21st century learning is about digital inclusion. Stephen Reder explains inclusion. “Digital inclusion is the ability of individuals
and groups to access and use information and communication technologies. Digital inclusion encompasses not only access to Internet but also the availability of hardware and software; relevant content and services; and training for the digital literacy skills required for effective use of information and communication technologies.”

Continue reading

What does College and Career Readiness instruction really look like?

Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 11.47.11 AMAdult education is undergoing major changes as programs begin to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act, commonly referred to as WIOA. While attainment of a High School Equivalency Certificate, HSE, is considered an achievement, the goal is to equip students with a solid academic foundation and the soft skills necessary for college and career success. Because these are very broad ideas, many teachers wonder what this preparation look like in the classroom?

Continue reading

Viral Videos and Trending Topics in the Classroom

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 2.01.49 PMA wildlife photographer puts a camera on a remote control car, takes stunning images, and his video goes viral. A man hunts a lion and the world erupts in an online conversation using the hashtag #cecilthelion.

But do videos and hashtags have a place in the adult education classroom?


Viral videos are videos that are the ‘talk of the town’. They receive attention on all the social media sites such as Facebook, Reddit, Twitter, and Tumblr. Some even make it to major news outlets. Through watching these videos, millions of people have a shared experience with a common talking point.

In the classroom, using videos that have gone viral can help adult learners make connections with difficult concepts. For example, consider the video Clouds by Zach Sobiech that has been viewed 11,965,743 times.Student’s can explore poetry and making inferences.

Well I fell down, down, down
Into this dark and lonely hole
There was no one there to care about me anymore
And I needed a way to climb and grab a hold of the edge

The benefits of using viral videos in the classroom includes using media that is familiar and is attention grabbing while introducing or reinforcing important instructional topics. Or, they can just be fun and used as an icebreaker in the classroom.

Moving beyond videos, what role do hashtags play in the learning experience? The power of social media to give students a voice has never been stronger. Viral hashtags introduce students to different experiences or affirm all to familiar experiences. Use these powerful conversations to discuss current events.Think about the following hashtags:

Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.11.57 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.12.09 PMScreen Shot 2015-07-30 at 3.13.45 PM

#Bringbackourgirls, #50dollarsnot50shades and #ifIdieinpolicecustody are examples of the advocacy that is happening online. Giving students a voice is perhaps one of the most powerful outcomes in adult literacy education.

There is definitely room for viral videos and trending topics in the classroom. How would you use them?