The Innovating Digital Education in Adult Learning Consortium
The Innovating Digital Education in Adult Learning (IDEAL) Consortium, a project of the EdTech Center at World Education, Inc., works to support quality technology-enriched instruction in adult education and literacy programs across the United States. For over 15 years, the IDEAL Consortium, previously Project IDEAL, has provided technical assistance, web-based tools, and publications to member states to help them design distance, blended, and hyflex learning options. We help state and regional leadership train their staff, provide just-in-time technical support, and assess the progress of their efforts.
Membership ensures opportunities for leaders from member states to meet and learn from each other and access professional development materials. Technical assistance is available on data collection and analysis, reporting, educational program design, instructional strategies, and selection and use of online curricula. IDEAL Consortium workshop topics and ongoing discussions are shaped in response to the needs and interests of consortium membership.
IDEAL aims to improve its members’ ability to support and accelerate adult learning with technology, both inside and outside of the classroom. We share strategies gleaned from educational research and from our membership for leveraging recent educational technology innovations, ensuring the relevance of professional development offerings available to member states’ teachers. IDEAL Consortium members can customize their memberships from a list of professional development and networking options.
Online professional development helps both teachers and program administrators understand what it’s like to be an online learner. Course participants can organize their learning to match their busy schedules. Online courses are available in both facilitated and self-paced formats. Facilitation can be provided by IDEAL or from a state trainer. New courses will be developed based on members’ needs.
Mentoring and networking enable IDEAL members to improve blended and distance programming by learning from the experiences, triumphs, and challenges of other teachers, PD leaders, and program administrators. Subject matter experts and peer leaders across the country provide facilitated support. To sustain the connections made between member states, the IDEAL Consortium hosts a Community of Practice and the annual IDEAL Institute.