Supporting Literacy and Digital Skills:
English Empowerment Center Instructors Create and Curate Open Educational Resources
To help teachers, class aides, and tutors tailor instruction to best meet the needs and interests of adult learners, the English Empowerment Center curates and shares supplemental resources – in-person at the English Empowerment Center Library and online via Google Drive. Since March 2020, with the addition of virtual or remote instruction at the English Empowerment Center, instructors have had to become more strategic in how they integrate technology to support learning. What tools will work best for my learners? Where can I find resources that align to the skills adult learners need? What types of modifications are necessary to make the tools and resources effective and relevant?
To help answer these questions, English Empowerment Center staff and instructors have been participating alongside 100+ educators nationwide in EdTech Maker Space projects under the direction of World Education’s CrowdED Learning initiative. The EdTech Maker Space is a collaborative, service-learning based professional development model that leads to the curation, adaptation, and/or creation of re-usable open educational resources (OERs) to support other educators and, ultimately, learners.
English Empowerment Center’s Instructional Design Manager, Soo Park, and instructors Carolyn, Darlene, Jane, Loren, Ludette, Patricia, Sajida, and Vaishali contributed to the following three projects, which support reading and digital literacy for all adult learners.
Marshall Reading Program
Learner- and teacher-facing leveled library and mobile app of 345 leveled readings from Reading Skills for Today’s Adults (RSTA) and over 1,000 engaging, mobile-friendly accompanying activities. The readings range in level from high beginning ESL up to high school. The activities include Quizlet vocabulary flash card sets and Google Forms reading comprehension quizzes packaged together with the readings in handy Wakelet collections.
Educators can use the resource library to copy, adjust, and share the individual activities or the collections as desired.
Learners can use the mobile app for self-directed learning to build their vocabulary, comprehension, and fluency. They can explore stories by topic and by level. And they can track the activities and stories that they have completed.
ESL Story Bank
A teacher-facing library of 36 beginning-level readings from Literacy Minnesota’s ESL Story Banks and over 200 interactive virtual classroom activities and typing practice exercises. The interactive activities use Google Jamboard and Color Vowel® to develop vocabulary, sentence formation, and decoding skills suitable for adult emergent readers (a.k.a. literacy learners). The typing exercises were created by corporate volunteers from Accenture on behalf of the English Empowerment Center.
Hear from two of the project organizers about the stories and how you can use them with adult English learners.
Digital Skills Library
An open, teacher-facing repository of nearly 2,000 free learning resources to help all adult learners in developing the digital skills needed to achieve their personal, civic, educational, and career goals. The library is managed by the EdTech Center @ World Education. All resources within this library have been curated by educators to align to the Seattle Digital Equity Initiative Digital Skills Framework.
The library also includes resources that support English language learning, offline access, as well as self-paced and facilitated learning formats. Many of the resources are mobile-friendly and are focused on use of mobile devices – not just computer skills. And nearly 200 resources are available in other languages, including Arabic, Hungarian, Romanian, and Spanish.
Read more about the Digital Skills Library and how you can get involved by contributing resources.
For evidence-based teaching strategies and instructional routines that integrate these resources and help learners build their digital skills, refer to the EdTech Integration Strategy Toolkit.
Digital Skills Glossary
With over 300 terms, the Digital Skills Glossary includes reusable digital skills vocabulary slides to support instruction, a full index of all terms and definitions, and an instructor guide that includes ready-to-go activity ideas for using vocabulary to build digital resilience!
Digital resilience is “having the awareness, skills, agility, and confidence to be empowered users of new technologies and adapt to changing digital skills demands. Digital resilience improves the capacity to problem-solve and upskill, navigate digital transformations, and be active participants in society and the economy.” -Digital US Coalition
Each vocabulary slide includes the term, definition, example sentence, an image or visual, and a link to hear its pronunciation.
The glossary is sorted from A to Z and categorized into 13 thematic categories: Computer; Customizing & Troubleshooting; Design; Devices & Applications; Digital Equity; Email & Messaging; Files & Storage; Mouse & Keys; Navigation; Online; Productivity Software; Responsibility & Participation; Safety & Security; Social Media.
Watch an overview to the glossary resources.
How can EEC teachers, class aides, and tutors access these resources?
- Browse using the links above. Anyone can use and adapt them to fit learners’ needs.
- Contact your EEC academic staff to locate specific resources.
- Find them in the EEC resource folders in Google Drive. Melissa Rea (Faculty Support Manager), Nada Raja (Academic Operations and Digital Learning Manager), and Soo Park (Instructional Design Manager) are curating resources from the above projects to enhance our existing class- and program-specific instructional materials.