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DIGITAL LITERACY

The Adult Learning Resource Center (ALRC) provides evidence-based professional development and technical assistance to educators and programs in Illinois. Services include training workshops consultation by phone or email, and resource development and sharing to meet the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) goals.

“The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) supports the use of technology for the improvement of teaching, learning, professional development, productivity, and system efficiencies.” (U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education, Integrating Technology in WIOA, March 24, 2015)

Definition of Digital Literacy

ESL Pro’s publication, Integrating Digital Literacy Into English Language Instruction: Issue Brief, defines digital literacy as “the skills associated with using technology to enable users to find, evaluate, organize, create and communicate information (U.S. Department of Education, 2015), and the ability to use those skills to solve problems in technology-rich environments” (Leu, Kinzer, Coiro, Castek, & Henry, 2013). Integrating Digital Literacy into English Language Instruction: Issue Brief, Kathy Harris, American Institutes for Research.

Integrating Technology into Instruction
Digital literacy varies widely among adult education teachers and students alike. All students need to have strong digital literacy in order to be able to transition into postsecondary education, job training, or careers. Adult education instructors must be prepared to teach basic computer skills such as keyboarding, creating and saving files, searching the Internet, and communicating in a digital environment using email or social media. In most programs, digital skill instruction is woven throughout content instruction rather than taught in stand-alone computer skills classes. The traditional roles of teachers and learners blur in the ever-changing world of digital literacy.
From May 2016 through August 2016, Illinois participated in the national ESL Pro Digital Literacy project as a way for teachers to strengthen their own digital literacy and to learn how to integrate digital literacy instruction into their classes. Although this project initially focused on ESL teachers and students, all of its concepts and resources apply equally to ABE/HSE instruction. Teachers and administrators who participated in the ESL Pro Digital Literacy project became “champions” for digital literacy and conducted a variety of professional development activities in their own institutions to share their digital literacy skills with colleagues. The ALRC works with these digital literacy champions and others in Illinois to develop online, face-to-face, and hybrid professional development courses and workshops to help instructors become more digitally literate. The ALRC Professional Development Catalog lists upcoming workshops, available online courses, and registration procedures.

 


Adult Learning Resource Center, 2626 S. Clearbrook Drive, Arlington Heights, IL 60005-4626, Phone 224-366-8500, Fax  847-378-6225 ©2004