SkillRise Initiative Supporting Technology Adoption in Adult Education and Workforce Development

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SkillRise Infographic transforming adult learning through edtech, 5 steps in process

SkillRise is a new initiative that helps adult education and workforce development organizations adopt and then effectively leverage technology in support of their clients, customers, learners, and employees. SkillRise is a project of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), working in partnership with other adult learning and workforce development organizations, including the EdTech Center @ World Education, JFF Labs, and the Retail Opportunity Network.

ISTE has deep experience in bringing edtech to the K12 classroom, and through this initiative and its new partners, ISTE’s SkillRise initiative promotes the use of educational technology to help adult workers and job seekers upskill.  Through this work, ISTE is able to extend the reach of their powerful ISTE Student Standards for Digital Literacy.

ISTE CEO Richard Culatta speaks to why this matters, “Technology proficiency is the new baseline qualification for jobs of today and the future … I’m particularly excited to see the ISTE Standards – a critical cornerstone of our work – available to support adult learners preparing for next career steps.”

“We’re thrilled to see ISTE’s SkillRise program consider the unique needs of adult learners and workforce development,” said Alison Webber, Director of Strategic Initiatives, EdTech Center @ World Education. “Collaborations like the Retail Opportunity Network’s Technology Working Group and initiatives on the horizon benefit from ISTE’s expertise in integrating new technologies to increase educational outcomes. Together, we’ll find more ways for technology to increase opportunity for the learners, workers and job-seekers in the United States.”

SkillRise is first and foremost a framework, “Upskill With Edtech: Preparing Adult Learners for the Future of Work,” a guidebook for workforce development organizations to use as they integrate digital learning approaches to help them better serve their learners, clients, or customers build basic digital competencies to sustain employment in middle skill jobs. According to a recent ISTE press release, the SkillRise framework is based on the idea that focusing adult learning efforts exclusively on basic literacy, numeracy and communication skills is no longer enough. Rather, programs that support adult learners need to think broadly about how technology can give learners, customers, or clients the opportunity to develop fluency using technologies as they learn or engage in workforce development activities. A second theme of the framework is that tech can boost efficiency in program administration.

ISTE is currently piloting a companion course, which provides more in-depth training on the main topics of the framework. Rounding out what ISTE calls it’s “toolbox” are a monthly podcast series, “Upskill With EdTech,” which explores how digital tools can be used to accelerate innovation in teaching and learning to support career advancement and lifelong learning for workers and job-seekers, and “Workforce Edtech” online community of practice on LinkedIn, which supports discussion issues related to edtech for adult learning and workforce development.

The topics covered in all of the components of the toolbox include:


You can keep up to date with SkillRise developments by following on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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