Several new online courses will debut soon, including Distance Learning Basics, and Digital Literacy Integration in the Classroom.
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Studies indicate ABE reaches about 20% of eligible students. Distance learning (DL) can help reach adults who cannot now access ABE services, and provide greater intensity of service for those already being served. DL can increase access, reach underserved populations, empower learners, meet individual needs, help adult learners prepare for lifelong learning in the workplace, and assist college bound adults prepare for online environments.
Distance Learning provides adult learners with the opportunity for structured learning outside the classroom. This may include CD ROMs, take home packets, and/or online resources. In Minnesota ABE, DL is usually provided in a blended model that includes classroom instruction.
In July 2009, St. Paul ABE with support from the St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium began implementing the first statewide Supplemental Services DL grant. The 2013 grant focuses on continued capacity building to facilitate quality DL instruction for ABE learners statewide, including: professional development to assist teachers and managers in implementing distance learning, in collaboration with Project IDEAL and ATLAS; enhancement of the Virtual Task Force, which vets DL platforms for proxy hours; addressing policy and practice issues; enhanced communication with ABE consortia regarding DL issues and opportunities; improving DL data management; and providing support for integration of digital literacy education into ABE instruction.