Innovative Approach to Adult Lifelong Learning

An Innovative Approach to Adult Lifelong Learning:

A Cultural Approach to Adult Computer Literacy Training Programme organized by African Views (AV)

I. Introduction

Computer literacy for adults in the United States is very important. Providers of continuing education programs include various organizations such as government agencies, Libraries, private companies and NGOs. Nevertheless, there is no particular evidence that shows adequate outreach to bridge the digital divide between immigrants/Africans – first generation parents and the rest of the population who communicate effectively and productive through the use computers. Furthermore, these training programs are seldom documented for use as models for others. Thus, African Views Organization is undertaking the task of presenting a number of innovative approaches to reach underserved population whose lives and productivity may be greatly improved by the knowledge of computers. Our computer literacy training program’s curriculum was designed specifically to address this issue.

AV Development context and situational analysis

As NGO focusing on Education and Cultural Exchange, African Views Organization consistently plans and implements development programs through various agencies with the co-operation of Colleges, Universities and other NGOs. The recent rapid expansion of

Information and communication technology (ICT) has important implications for all of these programs. Thus AV has embarked on the development of an ICT project that can reach to engage people more liberally and effectively.

Problem statement

Human development in requires sustained and exponential efforts. In the US, where there is great opportunity to realize one’s ultimate potential, we are still able to find a significant amount of people who can not communicate by email, or even able to turn on a computer. Many of this people, mostly immigrants, are decent tax paying citizens and residents who work really hard to make ends meet. Many of them are left behind and marginalized in the overall development of the country. Comparably, adult with ESL lags far behind other members of the population and we believe they deserve an equal opportunity to improve their efficiency.

Specific objectives

1. To describe the planning and implementation process of computer literacy training programs or projects for underserved adults

2. To identify the demographic characteristics of participants in the computer literacy training program

3. To describe the changes in knowledge, attitude and aspiration of the computer literacy training program participants

4. To bridge the existing digital divide in the community and society

5. To empower the underserved segment of the society

6. To improve overall societal productivity and support the GNI from the community level

Rationale and importance

Efforts to reduce the income disparities between different socio-economic groups have always been in the forefront of AV’s human development agenda. The advent of ICT has added a further dimension of social inequality. In spite of the adequate infrastructure and facilities for ICT in the US, computer literacy in many areas, particularly amongst adults, has become a major concern for development.

Thus African Views Organization is undertaking steps to increase ICT knowledge in urban and rural immigrant communities, as well as emphasizing the need for equal development opportunities among individuals, with equitable access to ICT infrastructure and applications for all. The improvement of ICT knowledge in rural communities is one of the main missions of rural development under the AV community development agenda.

Information gathered from the evaluation process will be used to improve future programs. The information gathered for the evaluation will be used to determine subsequent computer literacy programs and to ensure that they will be better organized for effectiveness and optimum returns to the country.


Week 1: Introduction to the Course: Considering Literacy in a Digital Age

Week 2: Considering Literacy in a Digital Age, Identity & Privacy: Tools of Expression and Presence

Week 3: Identity & Privacy: Tools of Expression and Presence, Personal Learning Environments

Week 4: Personal Learning Environments: Capacity for Continual Learning

Week 5: Capacity for Continual Learning Affordances: Defining social media

Week 6: Defining social media: Open and Networked Societies

Week 7: Open and Networked Societies: Mid Course Presentation

Week 8: Mid Course Presentation: Tools for Interaction

Week 9: Tools for Interaction: Engaging with the Network

Week 10: Engaging with the Network: How can I Trust the Internet? - Defending wikipedia for What it is.

Week 11

How can I Trust the Internet? - Defending wikipedia for What it is

Week 12 Learning as Connectedness/Getting out there! (Final Week)


New technologies offer new opportunities for educators to increase learner engagement and improve the overall value of the learning experience. The last five years have resulted in the introduction of numerous new tools and approaches: blogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, and social networking services. This course will explore the development of different technologies and suggest their potential impact on teaching and learning. Focus will be placed on tools that increase learner control over content, interaction, and the formation of learning networks with peers and experts outside of classrooms.


This course will introduce you to numerous technologies and methods for implementing technology in learning and working. At the end of this course you will be able to:

• Define Enterprise 2.0 and detail how it varies from current organizational models and its impact on the skills and mindsets required by employees.

• Define digital literacy and detail the impact of emerging technology in information validity, online identity, and privacy.

• Create artifacts that represent digital literacy skills, including (but not limited to): podcast, video, slidecast, concept map, blog posts, wiki, Second Life avatar, webcast, and PLE image.

• Describe the potential impact and learning and work productivity of personal learning environments (PLE).

• Use online communication tools (Skype, Google Talk) to improve conversation opportunities with learners and peers, both within your institution and globally.

• Evaluate the impact of emerging technologies on power structures within corporations with particular emphasis on 1) employee as entrepreneur, and 2) social networked learning theory.

• Utilize aggregation tools (such as Google Reader) in managing personal, professional, and academic information.


The course provides an opportunity to participants to both learn about and experiment with new technologies in various contexts. Students will explore the affordances of new technology for their own learning, as well as applications to teaching and the workplace.


The following topics will be covered in this course:

• Global Resources and Starting exercise

• What's in literacy? - crafting a path towards initial literacies

• Thinking about your identity

- Self Assessment

• Personal Learning Environments - Where did I put that? - tracking your learning

• Capacity for continual learning

• Engaging with the network

- Focus on social dimensions, roles of lurkers, legitimate peripheral participation

- Amazon, slideshare, digg (collaboration and rating content)

• Tools of the trade

- Lets dive into the tools

- Presentation Time

• How can I trust the internet? - Defending wikipedia for what it is

• Community Learning - participation AS learning

- learning in a community

- Getting out there

• Networks: learning as connectedness

AVAWA Adult Education

The concept of Gender harmony is deployed simultaneously in three dimensions:

Advocacy: AVAWA mobilizes various partners to accumulate assets and influence gender-sensitive legislature to harmonize international treaties with local laws, institutions, and public policies determining growth and development in deficit areas.

Education: The guidebook provides information on international commitments that support women’s economic empowerment, including the UN Women, BPFA, CEDAW, CSW, and the ILO’s agenda promoting skills, employment, business, grants, and loans.

Technology: The App sets direct access to platforms that enable self-discovery and realization of potential. The App makes all these opportunities accessible and interactive for several millions of people.