Adult Education Goes Remote

Adult Education Goes Remote

The headlines are talking about the difficulties in ramping up remote learning in Philadelphia, but it’s not just kids who are suddenly struggling to keep up their learning because schools are closed! Hope’s Adult Education program is working to keep our adult students on track with every trick in the book.

Like many lower-income Philadelphians, our adult learners often have limited access to technology at home. Very few of them have a computer and high-speed internet; most of them access the web through their phones. Comcast has graciously made Wi-Fi free for the next 60 days, but that only helps so much when you’re scrolling a tiny screen!

Here is what we’ve done so far:

  • Each Hope adult student has been shipped books hand-picked for their reading level.
  • Every student who was actively preparing to take the GED this school year has received a GED test prep book, complete with access codes to take the practice test online.
  • For Reading Specialist Christa McGlynn’s students, everyone received an illustrated classics edition of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens and a vocabulary workbook to work on root words, prefixes, and suffixes.

We’re learning on-the-fly to implement online instruction. In language arts – run by instructor Kathy Murphy – students drop in on Zoom to discuss the books they’re reading at home. For Michael Zolkewitz’s science classes, students are still logging in to our IXL system to learn how to identify ecosystems, food chains, and food webs. For Ann McDevitt’s social studies classes, they’re using IXL to learn about the federal government and citizenship, while reading a biography of Frederick Douglass. Students are also using IXL and Read Theory to keep up on grammar, language arts, and math.

Distance learning doesn’t mean that everything needs to be high tech! Veteran instructor Diane Barr is keeping math class going by sending each student a customized packet of good old-fashioned math worksheets tailored to what they’re working on. Online algorithms can do their best to adapt and respond to each individual’s math levels, but there’s nothing like a care package crafted with love!

In these challenging times, the entire Adult Education staff and volunteers are working hard to make sure that the one constant our students can count on is learning.

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