Recent studies carried out internationally on adult skills found that six in ten adults in the United States, aged 18 to 65, perform at or below the lowest levels of problem-solving proficiency in the world. technology-rich environments. This represents around 118 million people. This includes skills such as acquiring and evaluating information, using technology to communicate effectively with others, and performing practical tasks.
While these studies highlight the need for increased technological integration in the adult education classroom, and even beyond, the strategies and goals to address this need are generally inconsistent with reality. learners.
Technological integration needs
Following the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition understand the need for a more realistic understanding of the realities, successes and obstacles that accompany the integration of technology into adult education programming, a technology assessment was conducted with 12 partner organizations within Career Foundations Consortium.
The objective of the evaluation was to analyze how technology is integrated into adult education environments across Chicago. They found that while vendors indicate that the technology they are using is sufficient to meet the demands, they believe that increased connectivity and hardware would improve their capacity.
There is a need to increase digital literacy levels among learners. However, the use of Northstar Digital Literacy Assessment, a tool to assess digital skill levels of learners, is also limited. Finally, although paid learning software is not widely used, free online resources are.
The response to the conclusions
To respond to their findings, CCLC created a Digital Literacy Advisory Board, made up of fourteen partner organizations in Chicago. DLAB has launched projects across the city to address these needs and trends discovered during the assessment.
They will test mobile-friendly learning so that learners are allowed to work within a mobile-friendly learning program. The data collected through this test will help inform mobile-centric strategies for technology integration in the future.
They will also develop a resource library. DLAB assesses how local organizations organize, collect and share online resources with their learners. With this data, they can better support providers by centralizing the appropriate learning resources.
Why is digital literacy for adults important?
Being digitally literate as an adult, and even as a teenager, enables the citizens of the world to bond and interact with each other, to work towards common goals. This will allow them to discern which content is authentic and which is not – which is becoming increasingly difficult to do.
Adults with good digital literacy will have the benefit of effectively sharing their ideas and knowingly filtering the content they consume.
As our technology-powered society continues to grow, the need for digital literacy will become increasingly critical. Therefore, digital literacy must be integrated and taught in the adult classroom. Without it, adults enter the world without the basic knowledge they need to function as citizens of the world.