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Technology and Learning photo of a light bulb

This page includes links to resources presenting possibilities for integrating technology into learning.  An older page, Internet 101, was designed to provide basic information for educators wishing to utilize the internet as a tool for learning and / or for pursuing their own interests in any area.

Dalton Ghetti tiny pencils with tiny letters affixed to their leads

image: Dalton Ghetti pencils

This page is divided into these sections: Resources for developing online materials and resources; Resources for / information about technology and learning; software and other links to internet-related resources.

The page begins with a set of links to Susan Gaer's presentations on possibilities and challenges surrounding our use of the internet (work which has grown significantly beyond an initial handout presented to a colloquium on Adult ESL and the Web at TESOL '98); the statements address questions about best ways to utilize this website, and the internet generally. I'm grateful to Susan Gaer for her assistance in setting up that page.

recent additions to this page:

The RI Center on Healthy Aging Learning Center; tech tutorials for older people

Excel Easy - online tutorial for using Excel

The RI Tech Hub advances digital literacy resources for adult learners and practitioners

Digital Libraries and Literacy Training Toolkit: broad range of downloadable computer / technology learning materials from Texas Adult Literacy and Learning Resource / PD Centers.

via David Rosen Distance Education for Teacher Training: Modes, Models, and Methods - focusing on modes of distance education, models of distance education for teacher training programs and methods or best practices necessary to develop a high-quality distance education program.

David Rosen on the (then) new iPhone and other reflections about adult learning

from the Viriginia Adult Learning Resource Center:How to Be a Good Online Learner - self assessment questions designed to help determine if online learning will work for you.  Part of VALRC's Adult Basic Literacy Tutor Training Workshop.

AlphaPlus Web Index - helpful Web sites for ABE practitioners, learners and administrators!

Digital Citizenship"is a concept which helps teachers, technology leaders and parents to understand what students/children/technology users should know to use technology appropriately. Digital Citizenship is more than just a teaching tool; it is a way to prepare students/technology users for a society full of technology."

Iowa Virtual Literacy Initiative (IVLI) - With emerging technologies, individuals with low literacy skills can now have immediate access to information and knowledge. Text-to-speech and speech-to-text give adult learners the opportunity to build knowledge and skills prior to their ability to gain literacy competence in the traditional sense.  resources

Getting Online: Distance Education Promising Practices for Canadian Literacy Practitioners - an innovative national project designed to research trends, technologies and promising practices in online and distance learning in Canada; full report (including executive summary here

Adult Literacy Education Wiki  and its technology page - practitioner developed and maintained compendium of resources

Evaluating web sites for bias - From Education World; adaptable to adult education contexts

Vision Wire - a non-profit virtual community whose purpose is to distribute and allow the exchange of information on technologies designed for the blind and visually impaired. VisionWire's intent is to be a free and independent discussion column for those interested in these technologies. VisionWire is more than a simple information source. The site is designed to help you orient yourself in a sector where information is often diffuse and evolves as quickly as the technology.  (July/08 - this site seems to have disappeared; if you know of its new whereabouts, please contact lrri.)

Jeff Carter's LiteracyTech Blog - a"random pointers and notes, updated semi-regularly. Many of the resources citedhere may eventually find their way in to the main part of the site, so please feel  free to use the "comments" feature liberally." Covers a range of topics of use and interest to adult educators and learners.

Resources for developing online materials and resources

Assessing Lifelong Learning Technology (ALL-Tech): [PDF file] A Guide for Choosing and Using Technology for Adult Learning by Regie Stites. Published by NCAL, Report PG98-03. (1998) Philadelphia; indicators of engaged adult learning from that report are cited in the June 2002 edition of Focus on Basics.  

- web-based tool that analyzes web pages for their accessibility to people with disabilities.

Integrating Digital Literacy and Problem Solving into Instruction: accelerates learning for adult students by improving their use of technology to solve problems and communicate with others, while increasing their digital literacy and access. The project-based lessons can be adapted for use in most ESOL or ABE classrooms and used to provide reading and writing as well as speaking and listening practice while students improve their 21st century skills of problem solving, technology use and teamwork.

Spiders at Work: Webcamp for adult literacy practitioners - overview of an ongoing web-based curriculum development project begun in August, 2000; projects being developed, related resources relevant to web development (part of Northeast Literacy Tech's early work, now at Ed Tech).

Florida's Tech Net -  online Professional Development Center provides adult educators, teachers and administrators with opportunities to enhance their own professional development through: technical, web-based and professional development training.  Topic areas include teaching/learning content as well as administrative issues.

Principles and Indicators to Assist in the Development and Evaluation of Technology-based Materials
: A Design Framework for Multimedia  Development in Adult Literacy by Heide Spruck Wrigley; useful and usable resource for considering uses of technology with adult learners.  One of a series of working papers from Cyberstep, well worth consideration.

The Literacy Assistance Center (LAC), with funding from NetTech, (and in collaboration with the Adult Literacy Resource Institute, National Center on Adult Literacy (NCAL), TERC and The Center on Distance Education and Lifelong Learning, Eastern LINCS and the New England Literacy Resource Center/World Education), facilitated Teachers, Technology and Leadership Institute: An Institute for Adult Literacy Practitioners, in order to assist adult educators in clarifying ways of integrating technogolgy into adult education in meaningful ways, from January through April, 1999.

The Institute sought to expand the capacity of the participants to serve as leaders in the integration of technology in their organizations. As part of that work, I am developed a web page, Cultural Production, relating to the work of my inquiry group (Visions for Technology, one of six groups within the Institute) in order to look at ways to make connections between technology and learning, to name places where technology can be well integrated into adult education and ongoing learning generally, and specifically to see how practitioners and learners in Rhode Island can benefit from using and learning through and about technology.  I have had difficult accessing the page to update dead links; but a number of the links are still active, as are the three sections of the site (found at the bottom of the first page).

Instructional Technology Resources  from the Literacy Assistance Center

Resources for / information about technology and learning 

Alan Shaw - Technology worker Alan Shaw considers how technology brings not only the world, but also neighbors together.  from the same search; to learn more about Alan and Michelle Shaw's work, go to and enter "Alan Shaw" + Dorchester.  With thanks to David Rosen for bringing this work to light] On "Democracy and the New Information Highway" 

Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment defines basic skills needed to perform tasks on computers and online

Captured Wisdom™ on Adult Literacy - (return of a) site accompanying video/CD footage of 6 adult education contexts in which use of technology is incorporated into ongoing learning

Computers in Action (lesson plans) and Computers and English for Speakers of Other Languages - sites for "teachers interested in integrating technology into the ESL/EFL classroom. Its goal is to promote the use of technology in the field, thereby bringing more equitable access to the knowledge, skills, and technology necessary to the people we teach."  [Ordering information for Learning Computers, Speaking English: Cooperative Activities for Learning English and Basic Word Processing by Steve Quann and Diana Satin]

While the series originally cited is no longer online, these are links to PBS programming addresses the Digital Divide. Digital Divide - was aPBS two-part series [that] " shines a light on the role computers play in widening social gaps throughout our society, particularly among young people. By providing equitable and meaningful access to technology we can ensure that all children step into the 21st Century together." Links to resources and additional information available on the site, including an analysis of technology and its role in classrooms, workplaces and across race and gender.

Digital divide?  An article in the June 28/02 Washington Post suggests that rural/urban differences in access to technology are dwindling, opening the door for political and other use of 'data' for supporting access to technology across the US.

Falling through the Net - reports on the digital divide - series of fact sheets and information reporting on internet use, looking at economics and educational background, among other factors in determining who gets what on the internet food chain.

Online Content for Low-Income and Underserved Americans: The Digital Divide's New Frontier - A Strategic Audit of Activities and Opportunities.  The Children's Partnership examines and makes recommendations about Internet content for underserved Americans (e.g., low income, limited literacy, non-English speaking). Available in html or pdf format.

Distance Education and Web-based Training - a compilation of information about technologies used for distance education and web-based training for practitioners in adult, career, and vocational education.

Exploring the web: something to talk, click and write about - a lesson, emailed to students incorporating use of the internet, designed by Stacie Evans, at the Stanley Isaacs Center in New York.

Focus on Basics - issues and articles on technology

Assessing Computer Skills - Kenneth Tamarkin, Project STEPS, MA, originally published in Adventures in Assessment, Volume 10 (December 1997), SABES/World Education, Boston, MA. Writing on the designing of assessment tools for placing students and measuring both individual progress and the effectiveness of an Introduction to Computers class.

Computer Technology Centers Network (CTCNet) - Among other things, as a leading advocate of equitable access to computers and related technologies, CTCNet provides access to information, resources and a rationale for engaging communities in the use of technology. 

Education with new technologies - Networked learning community, designed to help educators develop, enact and assess effective ways of using new technologies. 

India - Hole in the Wall: An Indian scientist embeds a high-speed computer in a wall  bordering a slum, turns it on, and watches what happens as children begin to teach themselves to use the machine.  A PBS/Frontline production with web information and resources.

Office of Education Technology - The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology (OET) develops national educational technology policy and implements this policy through department-wide educational technology programs. Working closely with the offices of Elementary and Secondary Education (OESE), Educational Research and Improvement (OERI), Postsecondary Education (OPE), Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE), and Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS), OET helps to ensure that ED's programs are also coordinated with efforts across the federal Government.

Native Tech: Native American Technology and Art: "Across this vast Turtle Island, different Peoples develop and express their own complex technology. Types of craft specialization are influenced by the different environments people live in, and by trade and information networks -- these technologies are the product of thousands of years of expertise, oral traditions and continuity. "

NoodleTools - Smart Tools for Smart Research; guided sites for bibliographic and web-based searching. TechBoston - provides high-level technology education to Boston Public Schools students to prepare them for careers and post-secondary opportunities.
Technology, Meet Adults who need Basic Skills - Keynote presentation made by David J. Rosen at the 11th annual adult literacy and technology conference in Philadelphia, sponsored by the Mayor's Commission on Literacy on May 21, 1999. These are PowerPoint slides of that presentation.
Technology training special collection - provides electronic access to a variety of resources;explore resources dealing with using technology in teaching and learning, developing technology  based resources and training users on the LINCS system., as well as professional development topics and current event information.
Thinking Outside the Browser: Experiencing New Approaches to Web-Based Instruction - Michael Hillinger; from Reading Online, a journal of K-12 research of the International Reading Association.  Although based in K-12 work, contains compelling information for adult educators, particularly in terms of utilizing and integrating technology into adult learning.

Below, a message from Susan Gaer (from the NIFL - ESL listserv) and a link to a a site addressing some uses of computers which Susan and others have developed. Also, see Susan's Email Projects home page for a wide range of other projects and ideas. 

Computer/Internet Literacy Lessons

From Susan Gaer: I have been teaching a class this semester called Writing and Computers. The goal of the class is to teach students writing, computer literacy and Internet literacy all in one shot. I have a series of lessons that I have found or developed to help students acheive this technology literacy. The idea again is to teach writing and techno literacy both at the same time. Susan Gaer is at

Students are at the intermediate level of language learning. THIS IS NOT FOR BEGINNING LANGUAGE LEARNERS. Students have no computer literacy skill.They have had instruction on how to hold a mouse and how to click, double click and drag prior to using these lessons.

Lesson 1- Introduction

1.1 Get students an email account to start electronic journals with the instructor

    Introduce students to the Internet-how to open the browser, how to click around a page. How to use the back button Teach students how to send and receive mail
1.2, 1.3 Using the word processor and posting work on the Internet
    Students learn how to open and type into a word processor Students learn how to use the cut and paste feature on the word processor Students post their own work on the internet Lesson 1.3 is a followup review lesson
Lesson 2: Navigating the internet and reading for specific information
    Students follow a scavenger hunt looking for specific information on pages.
Lesson 3: Sending Email Courtesy of Susan Cowles
    Students learn how to use electronic postcards, send sundaes and pizzas to others in the class
Lesson 4: Finding information on the Internet Courtesy of Susan Cowles
    Students follow directions to find simliar people who have birthdays on their day.
These lessons are not meant to be for individual study. Instruction is crucial at each step of the way. This method teaches students about the Internet without teaching the Internet. Students learn how to use the Internet as a tool for expressing themselves or finding information. Students are taught how to navigate, click, double click and scroll by doing activities that are useful for them.

My class learned a lot last semester going through these activities. I will be teaching the class again next semester and will add more activities as needed. I anticipate the next two lessons will deal with searching for information on the Internet. Your suggestions and feedback would be greatly appreciated. And ...if you have some ideas for teaching searching to ESL students let me know. Maybe you would be interested in writing a lesson or two .&:-)

I welcome you to try out these activities with your students and let me know how they work out.   Susan Gaer

Teaching and Learning with Internet-based Resources, by Susan Cowles, is available in hard copy or on line at

From the on-line introduction: "Literacy students, instructors, program administrators, and other life-long learners are all in the group moving along the information superhighway. Some people have been running for a while; others are just starting down the road. Beginning to use the Internet can sometimes seem as grueling as participating in a marathon. This short course is designed to make the journey as informative and enjoyable as possible." To order a hard copy of the document, please call 1-800-228-8813. Susan Cowles is a Literacy Leader Fellow for 1996-97; this document is her fellowship report to the National Institute for Literacy. 

Technology in Today's ABE Classroom: A Look at the Technology Practices and Preferences of Adult Basic Education Teachers by Jeff Carter and Judy Titzel  presents highlights from World Education's technology survey of the northeastern U.S. conducted in during the winter of 2003. (PDF file)

Internet Access Spreads to More Classrooms, Survey Finds - December 1, 1999 article in the New York Times which deals with technology in K-12 education, but holds interest for adult educators as well. Includes links to other education/technology sites.

Technology and English Language Learners - (including software) resources from CAELA

Other Links to internet-related resources:

Canadian resources for technology and adult learning

Evaluating Online Learning,

    Why am I evaluating?

    What is an evaluation anyway?

    Where do I start?

    What questions should I ask?

    What information do I need to collect?

    What's the best way to collect my information?

    What are my conclusions?

    How do I communicate my results?

    Where do I go from here?

The guide provides examples of technology surveys & needs assessments that can be used or modified.

Harnessing Technology to Serve Adult Literacy - Integrating Technology in Adult Literacy Education. David Rosen (then-director of the Adult Literacy Resource Institute) created The Harnessing Technology Web Page "to help adult literacy education (ABE/GED/ESL/ESOL) teachers and learners to use computers, television, audio and video cassettes, and other electronic technology to help solve learning and instructional problems.  It focuses on teaching and learning challenges faced by adult literacy education teachers.  The page grows and improves as teachers and learners describe problems they would like to solve and good solutions to these problems using technology." Find problems and solutions submitted from Rhode Island and from practitioners all over North America.

Abe Kreworuka's ongoing work with technology
in the Portland Press Herald, November 29, 1998.

Writer seeks balance in internet power shifts - feature story in the New York Times, Friday, June 18, 1999, discussing Shapiro's work.

Technology resournces from  SABES (System for Adult Education Support) homepage in Massachusetts.
The Role of Computer Access Centers in Bridging the Technology Gap - A 1997 thesis by Susan Rose

Technology, Basic Skills, and Adult Education: Getting Ready and Moving Forward - Monograph, edited by Christopher Hopey, available online or to be ordered in hard copy. The monograph, organized into two sections, is designed to be used as a complete volume or as a set of papers that can be referenced separately. 

Technology and Adult Learning: Current Perspectives - an ERIC digest by Susan Imel exploring form and content in the use of technology as tool, vehicle and subject of learning and teaching.

TECHNOREALISM - "In this heady age of rapid technological change, we all struggle to maintain our bearings. The developments that unfold each day in communications and computing can be thrilling and disorienting. One understandable reaction is to wonder: Are these changes good or bad? Should we welcome or fear them? 

What do you think? How can the internet and stand alone software assist learning without becoming a flashier form of rote drilling? How do we utilize the technology for our own learning and with and for that of our learners?

How do you use technology? How is your program using technology?

Is the computer a tool to assist people in accomplishing whatever tasks it is they need to do? Are there software programs that you've seen that are helpful for learning, or is it more a matter of the interaction between teachers, learners and the tools they have at hand - pencils, papers, computers, whatever - that's important in overall learning processes?

Many of us speak about the importance of critical thinking in all learning, and wonder if software can assist in the development of critical thinking. Can concerned facilitators/teachers assist learners in more clearly articulating ideas, developing learning strategies?

Please send comments/responses to .

he National Institute for Literacy sponsored a list serv focused on technology in adult education, as well as numerous lists centering on other topics related to adult education; that list, and others, are now part of the LINCS - Literacy Information and Communication System - website and portal.

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last updated April 20, 2024