Pokémon GO as GED(r) Prep?

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 5.09.12 PM.png

By Guest Blogger: Brandon John

If you haven’t heard yet, you probably will very soon about a game called Pokémon Go. Maybe Pokémon is familiar to you from the animated series that started in the 1990’s. Maybe because you watched it yourself, or had to endure it with your children. Well, it has made a comeback in the form of an augmented reality game for iOS and Android devices. Although you may not have realized it you have probably seen people playing this game. It usually takes the form of someone walking along with their face planted in their smart phone – (I know you are thinking this is nothing new) but the smart phone app was just released in the U.S. on Thursday July 7, 2016 and has more users than Snap Chat, Tinder, and Instagram. Viral videos can be a positive force in connecting real world issues in the classrom, and now this game is a viral powerhouse. So how can GED students benefit from playing Pokémon Go?

Continue reading

Understanding the High School Equivalency Options

En Español

Currently, there are three main assessment options for individual who wish to earn their High School Equivalency Certificate, commonly referred to as the HSE. The tests range from the GED(r) , HiSETTM, and the TASC TestTM. Each state determines which assessment is used, with many states offering multiple options. Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 12.02.57 PM.png

So, as a student, where do you begin preparing for your HSE? As an instructor attempting to meet the CCR Standards, include job-skills training, and prepare students for life beyond the HSE, where do you begin?

While each assessment differ slightly with each other, they are all grounded in the College and Career Readiness standards. i-Pathways is an approved curriculum for the GED(r) and HiSETTM. Let’s explore the commonalities in each assessment area.

Continue reading

Why Should You Listen to Podcasts?

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 10.56.51 AM.png

Podcasts are a ticket to hundreds of hours of quality education. They connect us to current events, pop culture, science, history, and so much more. Podcast are convenient because they are automatically delivered to you…. FREE! With thousands of podcasts to sift through, we identified fourteen of the best and relevant podcasts in pop culture, history, and science.

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?

The Mobile Program: BYOD

Image

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.

Effective instruction has always included linking instructional strategies, rigorous curriculum, and technology to create a meaningful and engaging learning environment. BYOD offers teachers and programs the opportunity to lead with instructional technology.