Why Should You Listen to Podcasts?

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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.

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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.”

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The times they are a–changing

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Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you
Is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’.
Bob Dylan 

Mobile technology is changing the way we think and the way we learn. It is creating a need for teachers to develop different instructional strategies. Often, students are on the cutting edge of technology use in their personal life, yet they experience a traditional classroom setting that relies on books and lectures. To remain effective, teachers must create a bridge between students’ personal use of technology and their classroom expectations. For many teachers, moving from traditional instruction to integration of mobile learning is a difficult transition.

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The Mobile Program: BYOD

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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.

 

Integrating Social Media Tools in the Adult Education Classroom

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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.
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