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Detroit, Michigan – All Saints Literacy Center on the southwest side of Detroit has been helping their adult learners succeed by incorporating a digital learning component to the literacy services they provide to the community. Many of the learners who receive tutoring at the Center are learning English as a Second Language (ESL).
The Center provides laptop computers that the learners use to access a variety of websites and software programs to help them learn and improve their English skills. In addition, the Center takes a blended-learning approach, in which learners meet one-on-one with a volunteer tutor during the week and later, on another day, use the computer to further their learning. Many of the learners are excited to use the computers to improve their computer literacy skills, as well as their English skills.
The Center participates in Detroit Public Television’s Digital Adventure Program. A digital badge is a credential that documents a person’s learning and achievements. For example, to earn an English Badge, the learner needs to complete 10 hours of individual, self-guided learning using websites or software. Another badge is awarded to learners when they complete the first level of an online, 20-unit ESL class. The learners can save their badges to an online backpack and then link it to a digital portfolio that they create.
The instruction on technology use is designed to meet the learner at his or her level of experience. Those who have never used a computer before begin by practicing how to use the mouse to navigate the websites and software. Next, the learners are guided in the creation of an email address, if they do not have one. This empowers the learners, allowing them to connect with family and friends or to conduct a job search. Once the learners are comfortable using the computer, they begin using the technology to learn English.
The Center’s director, Roger Frank, explained, “We encourage and help adults reach their goals by means of technology and one-to-one tutoring, and so far the partnership with DPTV and the Digital Badge Program has motivated our learners to succeed.”
All Saints Literacy Center opened in July 2015 and is continuing to grow and assist members of the community in improving their literacy.
Feature photo: Liliana celebrates her success in earning the English Digital Badge.