Literacy Tools website is a welcome addition to the adult literacy sector and is seen as atimely response to the increasing use ofICT in all aspects ofeveryday life.
Although in the early stages ofdevelopment,Literacy Tools has the potential to become aneffective distance learning tool,attracting adults who are not able,or choose not to,accessliteracy learning through the national network ofschemes.
Access to on-line computers in appropriate settings is essential ifthe distance learningpotential is to be realised.Learning on-line gives learners the opportunity to use anddevelop their computer skills at the same time as improving their literacy skills.LiteracyTools is a free resource and can be used in conjunction with other literacy learning methodsand/or other modules such as computers.
Learners and tutors need basic computer skills to access Literacy Tools.An introductorycomputer packages such as Equalskills could be a useful starting point.
Tutor training in the effective use ofICT in literacy learning is needed.Courses need toaddress the immediate and future needs oftutors working in the sector.It was suggestedthat a Training Trainers Course would ensure that expertise and support was available atlocal level.
The two strands ofLiteracy Tools,the print and interactive exercises,offer choice to boththe learner and the tutor.
Literacy Tools is designed specifically for the Irish based learner and this is reflected in thechoice ofmaterial on the website.Choice and balance between being informative andenjoyable are important criteria.It was recommended that information which is ofteninaccessible,or difficult for people with literacy difficulties to understand,be included.This could include information on citizens right or accessing services.
A number ofimprovements to the interactive aspect ofLiteracy Tools are currently beingimplemented based on the feedback from users.Because Literacy Tools is an on-lineresource it is not static and can be updated at any stage.