Adapted from the Introduction:
At the 2017 IDEAL Consortium Institute, ABE state leaders who support development and implementation of distance and blended learning in adult education tackled a series of questions. World Education EdTech Center staff and a representative from Aztec Software facilitated group discussions on the following themes:
(1) Using technology to reach new learners, (2) Using technology to extend learning for current students, (3) Using technology to personalize, or differentiate learning, and (4) Using technology to collaborate and break the silos that separate practitioners from different agencies that receive federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds.
These themes help to better understand how technology is currently being deployed as a disruptive tool and what the current barriers are to leveraging technology to increase impact, and to determine how to position the return on investment in technology infrastructure for policymakers and funding agents.
The paper that follows describes both the barriers the participants identified and examples of effective programming that draw on creative use of technology and policy. It shares known examples of lessons learned by leaders in the field from across the United States. By describing this work, we aim to motivate innovation in policy and funding of ABE programs in order to maximize the potential positive impact of investment in technology.
By Mitch Rosin – Consultant, Aztec Software; Jen Vanek – Director, IDEAL Consortium, EdTech Center @ World Education; and Alison Ascher Webber – Director of Strategic Initiatives, EdTech Center @ World Education. November 2017.