Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

A Guide for Teachers who do Web-based Learning Projects

August 26, 2007

Jeff Carter posted to the National Institute for Literacy Technology discussion list on December 5, 2003

My comments on his post:

I just downloaded and read _Under Construction…._ “cover to cover” .
(What is the Web equivalent when you are reading a PDF — top to bottom?) It’s terrific, just what we’ve needed for teachers who want to use the Web in project-based teaching but need some guidance in how to do it.

Jeff had written:

Folks, “Under Construction: Building Web Sites as a Project-based Learning Activity for ABE/ESOL Classes,” is a new book published by World Education designed to provide adult literacy and ESOL staff developers and teachers with some simple, user-friendly tips on building Web sites as a classroom activity. Based on what we have learned over the years about developing a site in an adult education setting, each chapter discusses the major steps in the process, from planning and building a site to reviewing and testing it.

The book is also the centerpiece of the new LiteracyTech web site. In addition to the new/revamped Web publishing material, the site includes a new weblog, as well as a comments/feedback feature on many pages. Materials from our old site(s) will be migrating over soon, as we consolidate and move some things around, going back to our days as the keeper of the original Eastern LINCS hub.

<> –> Home page

<> –> Web Projects / “Under Construction”

<> –> Weblog

The Web Projects section is essentially a Web-based expansion of the print version of the “Under Construction.” It includes all of the text from the guide plus many other additional resources.

The book is not intended to be a complete, step-by-step, “how to” manual or a technical guide to building Web pages. Instead, it’s meant to be a companion to those kinds of books, specifically directed at adult literacy and ESOL staff developers and teachers who are thinking of building Web sites as a classroom activity.

There are three ways to obtain “Under Construction:”

-Download a PDF version of the entire guide (see site for details);

-Contact us for information about ordering hard copies; and/or
-Use the Web version (, which includes all of the text from the printed guide plus many other additional resources.


Student-designed Web Sites

August 26, 2007

Irshat Yusupovich Madyarov asked in a post to the National Institute for Literacy Technology discussion list on December 4, 2003:
Has anyone included website design as a part of an ESL/EFL course?I’d appreciate if you could share your experience. Specifically, I’m interested in online services that offer free space for such student-centered website building projects.

I replied: For several years the Adult Literacy Resource Institute in Boston supported teacher staff development mini-grants which were used by some teachers in the Boston area to develop instructional/learning Websites. In some cases, the grants also included support for ABE and ESOL student website design work. Here are some examples:

• Virtual Visit to a Mill in Lowell, MA (Web page design by GED student)
• Homebuying Web pages in which ESOL students created some of the content
and/or designed the pages
• Queens Community College ESOL Class Queen Bee’s Web Page — students made their own pages.

I added this in a subsequent post:

There are teachers across the world whose students are involved in a
Web-based classroom virtual visit project hosted by Susan Gaer and me.
The classes have a multi-month exchange using Web pages and e-mail.
They introduce themselves, their schools and their communities and
have dialogs. Many are adult ESOL classes but some are ABE or GED,
and some are classes of school children so it can be
cross-generational. For more information, go to:

For more information on project-based learning and examples of adult
ESOL student projects using the Web, go to Susan Gaer’s Online Web Projects


Teaching Literacy and Computer Skills Together

August 26, 2007

Steve May posted some questions to the National Institute for Literacy’s Technology discussion list on June 17, 2003

He wrote:
I am writing a grant proposal for a program that will
teach basic computer skills while teaching adult
literacy/life skills. I would like to include a
reference to some evidence that this method of
instruction is more effective than a “traditional”
one-on-one or classroom model.

My questions for the group: is this true? Is
instruction via technology more effective, or is that
a misconception? If it is true, where can I get my
hands on a study to read?

I provided Steve with the following:

Antonia (Toni) Stone’s pioneering work, Keystrokes to Literacy, available, for example, through

and Steve Quann and Diana Satin’s Learning Computers, Speaking English (For more information on this approach see

Their book is available at and will tell you how to effectively integrate learning about computers and basic literacy. However, as far as I know, no research has been done on this approach. If anyone knows of such research, please tell us about it.

Meanwhile, a good summary of adult literacy technology research, what little there is, will be found under Technology at:

I especially recommend Jennifer Cromley’s article, Learning with Computers: The Theory Behind the Practice at: