DOOM AND GLOOM!!!

You may feel all is lost when you turn on the nightly news. Shootings, race relations, terror attacks, climate change, and mud-slinging in politics are typically what you see within the first 5 minutes of turning on the television or reading feeds in your social media accounts. How can you tie these current event issues to the content covered in the High School Equivelancy exams? After all, the first question a student may ask is, “Do I really need to know this for the test?”   Well, I’m glad you asked that question, my friend. Let’s just take a look at the items I mentioned above and get ready for News Engagement Day on October 4th and discuss why the news matters when preparing students for their future.

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Pokémon GO as GED(r) Prep?

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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?

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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.

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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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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:

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#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?