Thursday, September 13, 2007

Adult Education in Maine

Yesterday I was introduced to the world of adult education. I'll be doing some work with Oxford Hills Adult Education under a federal grant to encourage student "persistence" through a variety of ways . . . including home distance learning.

Jane Courcy and Ramsey Ludlow graciously gave me a crash course in philosophy, structure, buzzwords, and acronyms used. We also passed notes and understandings of how the grant might be implemented. I have a lot to learn. :)

One document they gave me that I had never seen before is "Equipped for the Future Content Standards," which I understand is the bible for structuring adult learning. This publication has its roots back in the early 90's and yet it seems so current. I'm impressed with its view of learning and education.

I was also pointed in the direction of Project Ideal which has a handbook for adult ed distance learning.

I'll be working with Ramsey on her U.S. history course using home computers of the participants. We looked at a variety of solutions for making the connection, including FirstClass, Moodle, and other online environments. We settled on Google online services because of universality, ease-of-use and dependability. See Kern Kelly's description of the Google options here.

Yup, I have lots of cramming to do . . . but I'm fascinated with the possibilities and also on how this model might be applied to K-12.

Maine DOE - Adult Education

Adult Education Association

Adult Ed Online

Google Tools for the Classroom

1 comment:

Diane Whitmore said...

A few years ago, I was teaching at my regular Freeport H.S. job days and also had a night job as a GED tutor for Freeport Adult Education. One day, a FHS freshman asked me, "Which do you like better, teaching high school students or adults?"

I answered, "It's very different. In high school, if a student doesn't do well on an assignment, he or she is likely to say, 'this class stinks,' or 'this teacher stinks,' or 'this book stinks.' " In adult education, if an adult student doesn't do well, he or she is more likely to say, 'I stink. I can't do this. This is why I never finished high school. I should probably just forget about this.' At that point, I ask adult students to remember what their goals were for coming to GED class, why they want their high school diploma. Then they get right back down to business."

The point was made.

(In case you're wondering, the students at my H.S. don't say "stink" in lieu of its more colorful substitute. They're normal. I'm just trying to maintain a little professional decorum here!)

I actually intended to tell this story as a comment under "Character Series: Perseverance," but I'm finding it hard to blog during the week now that school's back in session and that post is long gone by. Apparently everyone else is too; I noticed that the whole first week of school went by and every posting on this blog had "0 comments"! Hmmm, wasn't there a posting here about teacher time at one point? :) Even though we're all busier now, I hope this blog will endure; it has great potential!