New Course: Keys to the 3 HSE Tests

In August 2017, Ohio Department of Education approved all three national exams as official assessments to earn a High School Equivalency Credential:

  • GED® Test
  • TASC Test &
  • HiSET® Exam

Save yourself from wasting time searching, and spend it getting hands-on with the best resources to get you started navigating all three HSE exams.

Keys_teakwood

The Literacy Cooperative has generously sponsored a live training to help Cleveland-area educators learn about working in a multi-assessment environment, and become more familiar with the TASC and HiSET exams.

The workshop filled up quickly, and we have had interest from all over the state. To help spread this vital information, I developed an online version of the live workshop.

The video-based lessons are full of curated links to save you time and help you understand key differences in the exams.

In addition, you can still gain the value of networking by commenting on the lessons to share insights and resources.

 

I look forward to diving deeper with you into the three exams, and reflecting on what this means for us as adult educators. Hope to see you in Keys to the 3 HSE Tests!

As Promised: Quick (Unofficial) 2017 GED® Test Update

Hi friends! I had a lot of fun last week at The Literacy Cooperative’s training “2017 GED® Test Update” in Independence, Ohio. Teachers shared about their program’s practices, challenges, and had lots of hands-on exploration with free online resources.

As promised, I am making the workshop content available online for those who couldn’t make the session in person!

Check out Quick (Unofficial) 2017 GED Test Update today

Save yourself the time searching and sorting and spend more time exploring! Check out my curated list of the BEST resources that GED® Test Prep instructors NEED TO KNOW for 2017.

For just $5, access my recommendations and descriptions with links. Post in the comments section to network and share ideas. Discuss the landscape of College Ready Plus Credit and WIOA. Strategize to become an advocate for GED® Test prep students and passers in your region.

Join now!

GED® is a registered trademark of the American Council on Education (ACE) and administered exclusively by GED Testing Service LLC under license. Any content on this website is not endorsed or approved by these trademark holders.

COMING SOON!

In addition to the planned workshop content, participants also had a lot of questions about the upcoming changes here in Ohio.  The state is taking steps to evaluate adding the HiSET and TASC Tests as options to earn a high school equivalency diploma. While I gave folks in the session a quick overview of the alternatives, this topic deserves its own full workshop.

I have already helped programs in states like Texas, New Jersey, and California navigate the territory of multiple High School Equivalency exams and options. Once we get an announcement from the state of Ohio, I will be providing a FREE live workshop through The Literacy Cooperative. Look for that date and get your questions answered on whichever HSE test option(s) the state decides.

Top 30 FREE Websites for GED Test Prep & Workforce Development

Warning: Once you start clicking these links, you may be amazed at what you find!

Inclusion in this list is not a guarantee of the site’s relevance for your particular program. Links are not endorsements, but rather a starting point to help you explore the many free resources available on the web for GED Test Prep and workforce development. Though loosely organized into categories, many sites overlap these boundaries.

This post is targeted to Ohio residents and educators with the generous support of The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland. The list also includes products I provide training for as an employee of Essential Education; they are available for free trials.

Workforce Development

WIOA is on the minds and lips of adult educators these days. The new federal legislation requires adult education providers to begin alignment and collaboration with job training and career pathways. These sites will give adult education students an edge in the workplace or job search.

GCF LearnFree

Videos and online courses in reading, math and technology developed by the Goodwill Community Foundation.

WorkKeys Practice Tests at OhioMeansJobs

Very simple: practice tests for the WorkKeys credential. This stackable certificate measures the practical literacy and mathematics skills needed for your job of choice.

OhioMeansJobs for Job Seekers

OhioMeansJobs.com is designed to be a one-stop online portal connecting job seekers to viable employment. The goal of this site is to give you the information you need to get the most out of your trip to the One Stop Career Centers around Ohio.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

This handbook provides information on the expected skills sets, salaries, industry growth and more on careers in the US. Great for job seekers to learn what you need to include on a resume for specific jobs.

Women Employed Resources

Women need some extra help to not only find fair employment, but also to protect their rights in the workforce. This Illinois-based initiative provides lots of practical information for women looking to advance their careers.

Soft Skills to Pay the Bills

Targeted at 14-21 year olds, this practical curriculum focuses on bolstering skills in communication, teamwork, and other requirements for workplace success.

Alison

Based in Ireland, this site offers free open enrollment courses. Their paid services include an ad-free version, certificates (once earned), and testing modules to employers and schools.

Math

Tri-C’s Dev Ed Math MOOC

Tri-C’s Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) was developed to help students prepare for college without paying tuition for a developmental education course in math.

Khan Academy GED Math Playlist

Florida Literacy Coalition has kindly compiled a playlist of Khan Academy videos that teach content on the GED Math test.

Cool Math Games

This site is aimed at kids, but the games are fun for all ages. Great for parents who want to help their kids with homework but need to overcome their anxiety about math practice.

Math-Drills

While we want to avoid being “worksheet factories,” many people need practice, practice, practice to master and retain basic math skills.

Adult Literacy/English Language Learners

Day at Dollar General

Interactive, family-oriented online game that teaches basic budgeting skills. Developed as a collaboration between Dollar General and the National Center for Families Learning.

USA Learns

Self-paced lessons and practice for beginning to intermediate English language learners. Targeted at adult immigrants to the USA.

Pumarosa

Scaffolded assistance for Spanish speakers to learn English and prepare for US citizenship.

TV411

Videos and web exercises designed for adult learners. DVDs and workbooks available for sale their Kentucky Educational Television (KET).

ProLiteracy EdNet

Free online learning for both adult learners and instructors developed by ProLiteracy.

GED Test Prep

GED Testing Service

Go directly to the source for free practice tests, tutorials, and especially writing samplers for classroom use.

Free Test Prep GED Practice Tests

This is my favorite unofficial free practice test site. Though you need to watch out for ads, these tests were written by an educational consultant and test prep expert based in Columbus.

GED Academy

Complete online learning platform to prepare adult learners for success on the GED Test, and aligned to the Essential Skills workbook series. Contact Beth Williams for a free pilot for adult education programs in Ohio.

College Transitions

Bridge to Success

Courses specifically designed for non-traditional adults who want to make a successful return to college or the workforce. Includes both student and educator tool kits.

World Education University (WEU) Prep Academy

WEU offers free secondary and post-secondary level courses focused on global prerequisites for success. A high school or GED diploma required to earn college credit.

Federal Student Aid

Help students understand their benefits to help pay for job training or postsecondary opportunities. Includes a link to FAFSA with explanation.

National College Transition Network

This is a site where you can download NCTN’s free publications including guides, toolkits, and newsletters for college transition. Caveat: They are not interactive online materials.

Digital Literacy

Guiding Ohio Online

Curriculum designed for AmeriCorps members to teach basic technology courses at rural libraries around Ohio. Adaptable for a variety of contexts.

Mousercise

This free tutorial introduces the basics of using a mouse. Simple, fun, effective, and free.

Sense-Lang

Learn and practice touch typing with free tutorials and games. Certificates and tutoring also available at cost. Beware advertisements.

NorthStar Basic Computer Skills Certificate

Want to know if your students have the basic skills to use an online program independently in class? Wonder no longer! Find out with these free online assessments.

Computer Essentials

When students have mastered the basics, move them to these three courses in digital literacy. Master the courses for a certificate or preparation for the IC3 exam. Contact Beth Williams for a free pilot for adult education programs in Ohio.

DIY Content

Do you know what content you want, but just need reliable places to find the best stuff?

Adult Education Resources

Hosted by COABE and sponsored by Essential Education, this repository focuses on free and CCR-aligned materials specifically for adult education.

TED-Ed

Five minutes or less to WOW!

iTunes U

Podcasts about things.

Open Education Consortium

Browse thousands of courses in hundreds of categories!

Introduction to AERET!

Congratulations! You have been selected by The Literacy Cooperative of Greater Cleveland to join the Adult Education Resource Evaluation Team (AERET).

As you are well aware, area literacy programs are constantly trying to balance instructional needs and financial constraints. Budgets are tight, and instructional materials are increasingly expensive. Many programs have invested in purchasing or updating computers to make technology available in the classroom. However, even technologically literate instructors can be overwhelmed by the learning curve of new technology.

The main question we need your team to answer is: How do you judge which resources are worthwhile to incorporate in an adult literacy program?

Comment on this post to let us know what you think!

You can benefit our adult education community by developing recommendations for which free resources are best suited for different settings. Some of the other questions to consider in your exploration:

  • What is the cost-benefit of using free resources? What are the “hidden costs”?
  • What is the range of technology available in adult education programs?
  • At what point is it cost effective to invest in a paid program?
  • How user-friendly are the resources? In other words, how easily can students and teachers learn to use them?
  • What changes need to be made in adult education programs to support instructors when introducing new resources into the classroom?

Thank you for your commitment to serving Northeast Ohio in the field of adult education!

Task and Process

Your goal is to develop recommendations on these resources to share with other adult educators. If you are working with a team, here’s the game plan:

5 MINUTES: Please decide on the following roles within your team:

  1. Usability Specialist: Your task is to evaluate the selected resources to decide how easy they would be for students and instructors to use. Some questions to consider: What are the technology requirements to access the programs? How easy is it to get started? What are the features that adult educators would require to get the most out of the programs?
  2. Instructional Specialist: Your task is to consider the instructional quality and implications of the selected resources. You need to decide how well the programs meet various instructional needs. Some questions to consider: Who is the intended student audience? What skills are taught? What is required of the instructor in the learning process?
  3. Cost Analysis Specialist: Your task is to make administrative recommendations for implementing the selected resources. Some questions to consider: How well would the selected resources help meet the goals of various adult education organizations? What training or support do staff need to use the resources? What are the hidden costs and barriers to using the resources?

5 MINUTES: After assigning roles, your AERET will decide on a subsection of the resources shared this morning to evaluate, and also take some time to find and consider additional resources.

10 MINUTES: Exploration and evaluation of selected resources.

10 MINUTES: Discussion of findings within group. Create a list of talking points for each resources: pros and cons, tips and concerns, who and how, etc.

10 MINUTES: Draft presentations of your findings:

  • Comment on THIS POST to tell us what you found, and what you think about it.
  • For in-person teams, all members of the team must participate in presenting a brief, two minute summary of your results.

2 MINUTES: Proof read your draft before submitting. Remember, your final product is a professional recommendation that reflects on The Literacy Cooperative. Adult educators are depending on you to provide relevant but succinct information to aid in their decision making.

Presentation and Conclusion

Thank you for taking time out of your busy week to participate in AERET as a service to our region and the field of adult education.

Benefits and Difficulties of Teaching Tech 101

In an increasingly digital world, those without basic technology skills can be left behind socially and economically. How can we help bridge the gap of the digital divide?

As an educator, what are your hopes, goals, and expectations for teaching basic technology skills? I found this short (less than three minutes) but interesting video of one tutor’s experience teaching technology to elders in Toronto. While watching, consider the following:

  • What is Sarah Lee’s motivation for volunteering as a technology tutor? Why does she think teaching basic skills is important?
  • Pay attention to how the classroom is set up. What are the positions & facial expressions of students & tutors?
  • What does Sarah Lee consider the biggest benefits and difficulties of her experience as a tutor?

How does Sarah Lee’s experience compare to your own motivation, classroom set up, and difficulties teaching basic technology? Why do you do it? What is realistic to expect from the experience?

Support the Tutor Training Collaborative on 2/23

Adult Literacy TutorCome out to support The Literacy Cooperative’s efforts to obtain funding to pilot a Tutor Training Collaborative in Cuyahoga County!

On February 23, 2012, at Shaker Launch House, Cleveland Colectivo is hosting a Fast Pitch Presentation Night. Presentations start at 6:30pm, expected to last until 8:30pm.  Click here for details.  Admission is $5 and you get to vote on the one idea to receive the cash collected that night. Several projects will be invited to submit a full application for funding.  In addition to the potential funding, it is a great opportunity to increase awareness and support for the Tutor Training Collaborative.  Please save the date, share this in your networks, and bring some colleagues and friends!  You can just show up, but I’d love if you would email me (Meagen at farrellink@yahoo.com) so I know how many friendly faces to expect.

About our project: Our vision for the tutor training collaborative is a centralized portal that provides quality tutor recruitment, training, certification, and recognition for adult literacy providers in Cuyahoga County& eventually for greater Northeast Ohio. The purpose of the program will be to increase adult learner outcomes through better prepared and trained tutors.  The Literacy Cooperative has been coordinating a planning workgroup that is currently pursuing grants to pilot the project.

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