[music playing]

Narrator: The California Adult Education Digital Learning Guidance supports adult education programs and effective technology integration, and provides strategies to build educator and system capacity focused on digital learning.

Guidance overview, this video provides an overview of the guidance and addresses the impact of digital learning and technology on adult education.

Carolyn Zachry: Hello. I'm Dr. Carolyn Zachry, and I am the education administrator and state director for the California Department of Education overseeing the Adult Education Office. The Guide goes in to focusing on how to ensure accessibility using universal design for students in online instruction.

It talks about EdTech tools that can be used, and it gives teachers a real primer in what they need for ensuring students have success in their online instruction. And it also gives administrators a guideline for what they need to do to ensure that they have options for different types of instruction within their adult school.

Adult educators are looking for a roadmap that will help them to continue what they've put into place over the last two years. This guide will help reinforce areas of strength that they have seen and they've been able to adapt. But the guide will also give them additional tools to ensure that they're meeting students' accessibility needs, that they are looking at other ways of instruction. Perhaps they're used to doing synchronous only, and they're going to dive into that idea of doing something asynchronously.

That's where I really think this guide will help those educators throughout the state of California to move beyond what they've been doing and to make it part of their normal practice of using technology and online instruction.

Gary Adams: I am Gary Adams. I am dean of Adult Education in the Workforce and Economic Development Division of the State Chancellor's Office for the California Community Colleges. In terms of the changes that I've seen over the course of my career, they've been dramatic.

There was a satellite uplink, downlink system called EdNet when I started Community Colleges in California. That has rapidly evolved. And now we use the Canvas Learning Management System, which is an educational technology platform used by both K-12 and the community colleges.

Narrator: How does digital learning and technology empower adult learners?

Penny Pearson: My name is Penny Pearson. And I am a coordinator of distance learning projects for the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network. OTAN is our favorite acronym. Adult education is truly a digital literacy safety net, and we need to keep it there. We need to make sure that it remains for our learners because otherwise, we're going to lose a bunch I'm afraid.

Technology provides one of the best even playing fields out there with some exceptions, because a lot of people can't afford it or there are other barriers to it. But if it can be obtained or provided in some way, everyone has a voice.

And that was always something that was very important. And I saw it very early on because I saw technology dividing us even more. If you didn't have those technology skills, you could be left out. You could not fill out an application because it was online. And if you didn't have those digital skills, whether it was texting on your phone or actually typing on a keyboard, you met a barrier.

Now we haven't solved all those problems yet, but we're getting closer. We're finding ways. And we're getting the attention of the people that can truly make the difference through funding and infrastructure to provide that access in terms of broadband and in terms of devices, through schools, loaner programs, Chromebooks or very inexpensive tablets.

So our learners all have that ability to learn those skills because that's what's going to give them that on-ramp to equality of access to information, to jobs, to community, to talking to their legislature or their county supervisor.

All of those pieces are going so digital. We can't leave behind those that don't have that access. They have to be included. And where adult education, yes, we do a lot of literacy work. But that literacy needs to include digital literacy. It has to. Not just learning the language or understanding grammar, but learning how our community works. And it works through technology.

Carolyn Zachry: We're really in an exciting time right now. But we're all learning this together, from the staff in my office to the educators in our classrooms. We are learning all about online instruction.

And this guide will help, as teachers are planning their lessons, will help them to think about the various modalities of student learning and how EdTech tools can assist them. It will help our educators to think together about new ways of providing instruction to their students.

[music playing]

Development of the Guidance was made possible by the California Department of Education, Adult Education Office, through Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title II funds. The videos were produced by the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network at Sacramento County Office of Education, in partnership with the International Society for Technology and Education.

To find more resources for implementing digital learning in adult education, please visit the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network website at otan.us.

[music playing]