Information Age Technology: Implications for Adult Educators

Thanks to colleague, John Fleischman, Director of Instruct. Tech. & Learning Resources, The Sacramento County (CA) Office of Educ., for some of the material used in several slides.


Information Age Technology: Implications for Adult Educators
by Roger Hiemstra, Professor and Chair Adult Education Elmira College, Elmira, NY;

Top 10 signs that you’re on information overload
•Your reason for not staying in touch with a family member is that they don’t have an email address. •Every commercial you see on television has a Web site address at the bottom of the screen. •You chat several times a day with a stranger from California, but you haven’t spoken to your neighbor in a year.

Top 10 signs that you’re on information overload
•You haven’t played solitaire with a real deck of cards in years. •You email your son in his room to tell him that dinner is ready, and he emails you back with “What’s for dinner?” •You didn’t give your valentine a card today, but you posted one for your email buddies from yesterday.

Top 10 signs that you’re on information overload
•You hear most of your jokes via email instead of in person. •You buy a computer and a week later it’s out of date and now sells for half the price you paid. •Your daughter sells Girl Scout cookies via her Web site. AND NUMBER ONE ………..

The top sign that you’re on information overload
•You try to enter your password on the microwave.

Rapid Technological Change
But new and ever-changing technologies can really challenge our mindsets and often will push us out of our comfort zones!!! •

Growth in Computer Usage
Expansion of Internet Hosts
1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s Went from 0 to 4 Went from 5 to 188 Went from 189 to 250,000 Went up to 60 million estimated at 130 million

Aug., 2001

----------------------------------------------------------------------Host = A node (computer, server, or gateway) that people use to access or connect to the Internet

The Internet
Where do we stand today? Where do we stand today? Over 60 % of U.S. households have Internet access Over 70% of U.S. population have been on-line at least once in previous 30 days 89 million people (at home or work) used the Internet in April, 2001 (up 19% in a year) The rate of high speed Internet access has nearly tripled in the past two years

The Internet Worldwide Estimates range from 134 million people to as high as half a billion users worldwide over the next few years!

The Real Revolution: Real Revolution: The World Wide Web (WWW) The (WWW)
Grown from 130 sites in 1993 to over 35 million by the end of 2001

The Impact on Learning On-line/Virtual Education
•40 states have adopted virtual university strategies •Universities throughout the world are carving out virtual markets via the WWW •There are more than 30,000 courses and 4,000 programs on-line as of 9/1/02

Emerging Strategies
Dolence says, “The 21st Century is not a century of either online or classroom learning, but both. It is a century of vastly expanded choices. For learners this means any time, any pace, any path, any place. For educators it means transformation!”
----------------------------------------------------------------------Dolence, M. G. (2001). Emerging strategies for 21st Century learning systems. [On-line].

Digitization Trends
•New ways for delivering courses and New ways for delivering courses and supplementary learning materials (Web supplementary learning materials (Web pages/WebBoard/Blackboard, etc.) pages/WebBoard/Blackboard, etc.) •Wireless connections to the WWW Wireless connections to the WWW •Increasing bandwidth/speed Increasing bandwidth/speed

Emerging Trends That Will Impact our Work with Learners
•Learner Centered Environments •Virtual Learning Environments •Internet2 •“Oxygen” Project

Learner Centered Environments
•Accommodates learners’ constraints •Accommodates individual learning styles •Self-paced, self-directed, and selfmotivated

Virtual Learning Environments
•Access to a networked system of learning resources •Learning content, access, communities available electronically 24 by 7 •Computer mediated interactive dialogue (synchronous or asynchronous)

•200 universities in partnership with industry and government to develop advanced network applications and technologies •Information collaboration and access in new ways not yet possible (voice, video, etc.) •Multicasting common at high speeds •Partnering means research/knowledge sharing worldwide

M.I.T.’s Oxygen Project - The Future of Information Age Technology
•Computation freely available everywhere like the oxygen we breathe •The system will not require typing, clicking, or pointing, but will be based on speech, vision, and recognizable phrases •The system will be pervasive, embedded, nomadic, and eternal

The Oxygen Project - How it Will Work
•Handy 21 (H21s), handheld devices with visual display, camera, infrared detectors, and a computer to accept speech & visual input •Enviro 21 (E21s), stationary devices embedded into offices, buildings, homes, and vehicles to create intelligent spaces and interfaces with H21s •Users will be able to access their own and other knowledge bases as needed/on demand

Why Use Technology as Adult Educators?
Access to almost limitless information Facilitates and extends learning opportunities and resources 24 by 7 classroom possibilities Increases motivation for some learners Enhances access to learning resources

Why Use Technology as Adult Educators?(cont.)
Addresses some of the limitations of our increasingly mobile, busy, and stressed society Can improve cost effectiveness with skillful planning and management May reach new audiences (disabled, isolated, from great distances, etc.)

Today’s adult educators must prepare learners for a different world

It really is up to us and I believe we are up to the task. I hope you will embrace technology as one of the ways of bridging the many gaps we face as professionals.

Ten Top "P's" for Being an Excellent Adult Educator in Pennsylvania
Let me end with these charges to you:
•Perseverance - staying with the process of being a better professional; learning to do better as you grow and develop as an experienced educator of adults •Pride - pride in yourself, pride in your profession; this includes learning to love yourself and recognize the personal attributes you have; it also may need to include reading personal development books •Patience - with yourself, with learners; remember that becoming a highly proficient and skilled adult learner takes time

Ten Top "P's" for Being an Excellent Adult Educator in Pennsylvania (cont.)
•Patterns for success - there are existing models for teaching or training adults that work; find mentors that understand these various patterns or models and seek guidance from them •Persnickety - become more organized and disciplined in what you do; depending on your personality style, this may take lots of effort, but it is worth it •Preparation/preparedness - do your homework, practice everything before you do it, refuse to "wing" it when you are working with adult learners

Ten Top "P's" for Being an Excellent Adult Educator in Pennsylvania (cont.)
•Personal philosophy - develop a personal philosophy statement, statement of personal ethics, and/or a personal statement of professional commitment that will serve as the foundation for what you do in the future •Presentation skill development - continuously work on developing your platform presentation skills; seek feedback, obtain evaluations, video tape yourself, etc.

Ten Top "P's" for Being an Excellent Adult Educator in Pennsylvania (cont.)

•Professionalism - develop your professional writing skills, participate in the leadership of PAACE and/or other professional groups, and understand and live by those professional standards that apply to you •Potentiality - strive to live up to the potential that is within you; I truly believe there is a greatness in each of us that only remains to be unlocked, to be developed; you can do it!!!