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Past Iowa Adult Education & Literacy Conferences



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The purpose of the conference was to showcase best practices and resources both in and out of state-related, but not limited, to technology, classroom management, blended learning, distance education, and cultural competency.

Session Recordings

January 30, 2018

The Neuroscience of Inclusion: Mitigating Unconscious Bias
Claudia Schabel gave this presentation during the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

Organizations have worked for years to help their employees understand the value of a diverse workforce. One of the primary obstacles we face in leveraging workplace diversity is our own unconscious bias. Research suggests that we instinctively place people into categories based on their appearance, educational level, social status, job title, and so on. Right or wrong, this helps us order our world and saves us time and effort as we process information about people. However, these stereotypes—or unconscious biases—lead us to make assumptions about others. These unconscious biases can affect who is hired, promoted, and developed in the workplace, which can ultimately derail your organization’s culture and diversity efforts. Participants in this session will leave with an improved understanding of how the brain functions and shapes their behaviors, both consciously and unconsciously. Participants will also explore ways to mitigate their own unconscious biases.

Visualizing Math: Using Desmos and Phet to Model, Demonstrate and Gamify 
Jason Walker gave this presentation during the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

Both and offer a variety of interactive, visual ways for students to engage with mathematical concepts—and they are free.  Come discover how students and teachers can use simulations, games, lesson bundles and a powerful graphing calculator for learning stations, classroom games or individual assessments of learning.

January 31, 2018

Best Approaches to Computer Assisted Language Learning
Imelda Bagnun gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

The development of the fields of technology education has enabled Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) tools to provide opportunities to expand knowledge of English through writing, offer automated feedback, and improve the writing skill as well as the autonomy of English learners. CALL tools reduce the working load while inspiring learners to write and promoting awareness of self-correction in writing. This session will illustrate the effective use and design of various CALL tools or websites in a writing class to evaluate and provide feedback to English language learners and meet the student learning objectives.

A Whole Person Approach to Guided Adult Learners
Sarah Rissler gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

This session is an overview of a best practice initiated in Fall 2016 at Eastern Iowa Community Colleges that views the basic needs of the adult learner as central to guiding the learner through their chosen educational pathway. The Student Success Store is an extrinsic motivator to guide learners in how and why to value education, thereby breaking cycles of negative views of education and beginning to place education as an intrinsic value in the home.

Twitter for Beginners
Brandi Parsons gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

Twitter is an online news and social networking service where users post and interact with messages, called "tweets. This session will be an introduction to Twitter. It will be a session for all adult education and literacy instructors that want to know more about this useful "thinking aloud"  tool. If you know nothing other than the name of the program, this is the session for you.

Linking Sector Partnerships to Adult Education Program Success
Joe Collins gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

One of the primary goals of a collaborative sector partnership is to bring together local employers from the same industry to collectively discuss, identify, and resolve local workforce issues, such as Iowa's shrinking and aging workforce.  Joe Collins was recently hired in a newly developed position with the Iowa Department of Education to connect, assist, and empower these employer-driven, community-based programs across the state.  With an expanding list of over 60 sector partnerships in a wide range of industries and at different stages of development, this is an exciting time for sector partnerships in Iowa!  Join for this session to learn more about newly developed statewide materials, strategies, and initiatives to continue to support the development and growth of collaborative sector partnerships to keep Iowa's employers strong, growing, and competitive.  Specific attention to be paid to inclusive career pathway development, engaging with adult learners, and how to get involved in local initiatives. 

Workplace Technology for ELLS
Brandi Parsons gave this presentation at the  Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

Do you remember your first experience turning on a computer? Do you remember your first time learning about email? English Language Learners may have never had the experience - so how do we help them build those technology skills? Kirkwood has offered a seven week Workplace Technology course specifically to English Language Learners to work on a few of these skills. Come listen to what we've learned and what changes we intend to make in the future.

February 1, 2018

DIY: Blog Page
Susan Doyle gave this presentation during the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

After participating in a webinar where Jason Walker shared the blog page he created for the Muscatine Community College Adult Education, Iowa Central Community College decided to follow suit.  Learn what Iowa Central has done to include the blog page, interactive quizzes, and Essential Ed into the HSED curriculum.

Evidence Based Reading Instruction: Lesson Plans
Martha Bell and Ashleigh Richmond gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

Martha Bell and Ashleigh Richmond share lesson plans and resources for evidence based reading instruction. Lesson plans will address reading instruction needs of lower, intermediate, and advanced AEL students.

Effective Reading Strategies
Kathy Houghton gave this presentation at the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

As the director of Program Services for Literacy New York, a statewide agency that provides training and technical assistance to a network of literacy programs, Kathy Hougton serves thousands of adult learners every year. Her years of experience in adult education include teaching and training in reading, writing, learning disabilities and ESL. Kathy's knowledge of “real world” adult education issues is a plus when training, and allows me to connect with participants looking for ways to improve teaching and learning. She is also a national trainer for LINCS, a national organization created to support adult education practitioners.

Adult Learning Theory as the Foundation for Innovative, Advanced, Online Learning
Jillian Yarbrough gave this presentation during the Expanding Possibilities Virtual Conference

With innovations in technology, adult educators can begin to create learning opportunities in very expansive terms.  But, innovative, technologically advanced learning environments still benefit from a solid foundation in adult learning theory, instrumental theories like John B. Watson’s Behaviorism, Lev Vygotsky’s Social Development Theory, Jack Mezirow’s Critical Reflection and John M. Dirkx’s Nurturing the Soul in Adult Learning.  These theories should serve as the foundation for an enriched online learning experience.  The following presentation will discuss and demonstrate how to build an innovative online course that has a significant foundation in key adult learning theories.  Specifically illustrating what Behaviorism, Social Development Theory, Critical Reflection and Nurturing the Soul looks like in the online classroom and how to merge established learning knowledge with advancing technology so adult educators can implement a broad vision of opportunity.

View Conference Schedule and Directory



Iowa Adult Education & Literacy 2017 Summer Conference: Building Your Future with Adult Education

Iowa's Adult Education and Literacy Program hosted the Building Your Future with Adult Education Conference at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny, Iowa July 18-20, 2017.  This conference showcased over 40 breakout sessions with speakers from across the nation.  Attendees will be able to network with hundreds of leading educators.

Schedule at a Glance

Full Conference Schedule



Keynote Speaker Bio

Breakout Session Presentation Materials

Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on May 28, 2018 at 4:36am.