In adult education, the use of technology depends on the context in which one is working. At first glance one can easily assume that technology is not prevailant in adult education. This because of a digital divide, lack of access to technology or lack of motivation. There is a degree of truth in this but one should not be too pessimistic as in the past years we have been evidencing a surge in popularity of adult education. The use of online courses of which MOOCs is one such good example.
My work with the Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Early School Leavers has enabled me to design and deliver professional development courses of which basic course in ICT Skills for Adult Educators., digital objects, interactive whiteboards and recently diploma modules in ICT for Adults and instructional methods in elearning: http://adultelearning.wordpress.com/ Such experiences show that many adult educators understand the need to keep updated and that technology may benefit their instruction in the adult classroom.
The Directorate for Lifelong Learning and Early School Leavers offers various courses in this area where basic and widespread knowledge, attitudes and skills related to digital competence can be learned. These courses fall in 3 main areas;
- Digital Literacy,
- Key Applications,
- Computing Fundamentals.
Courses focusing on digital competence i.e. is the ability to use information and communication technologies to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information, requiring both cognitive and technical skills.
Computer Awareness enables the adult learner to achieve basic competence in applying ICT in simple everyday situations.
Internet Awareness aims for the students to demonstrate basic competence in using online services in simple everyday situations whilst using online features of which browsing, searching online, chatting, social networking and email.
ICT for Beginners focusing on the following DigComp areas;
- Information: identify, locate, retrieve, store, organise and analyse digital information, judging its relevance and purpose.
- Communication: communicate in digital environments, share resources through online tools, link with others and collaborate through digital tools, interact with and participate in communities and networks, cross-cultural awareness.
- Content-creation: Create and edit new content (from word processing to images and video); integrate and re-elaborate previous knowledge and content; produce creative expressions, media outputs and programming; deal with and apply intellectual property rights and licences.
- Safety: personal protection, data protection, digital identity protection, security measures, safe and sustainable use.
- Problem-solving: identify digital needs and resources, make informed decisions as to which are the most appropriate digital tools according to the purpose or need, solve conceptual problems through digital means, creatively use technologies, solve technical problems, update one’s own and others’ competences.
Courses focusing on specific key applications through which adults can learn particular skills. As in previous years, courses in key applications are being offered. These included ECDL Core, ECDL Advanced and Computer Aided Design.
The ECDL course consists of seven separate modules covering computer theory and practice. This is a certification of an individual’s digital literacy. The seven modules covered in the DLL course are the following:
- Computer Essentials
- Online Essentials
- Word Processing
- IT Security
ECDL Advanced – The European Computer Driving Licence Advanced is a MQF 4 programme that builds on the skills covered in the ECDL Standard qualification. 4 modules;
- Word processing
Computer Aided Design – the candidate shall be able to demonstrate competency in using some of the standard available features of a CAD application to create and manipulate objects or elements and to modify objects or elements.
Web Editing – The objectives for this course are the following;
- Acquire the skills required to design, create and maintain a website;
- Understand the basic principles of HTML and use common HTML mark-up tags to modify the layout of a web page;
- Use a web authoring application program to design and format web pages, format text, and work with hyperlinks and tables;
- Recognise and use common web image formats and create forms in a web page;
- Understand and use cascading style sheets (CSS);
- Prepare web pages for publishing to a web server
Image Editing – The objectives for this course are the following;
- Acquire the basic skills needed for manipulating digital images;
- Use graphic tools found in Gimp or Photoshop
- Manipulate digital photos to enhance image effect
Computing Fundamentals courses are aimed for adults who want to improve their technical knowledge in this area. Apart from Computing at SEC level and Web Editing, the Java programming course was introduced for adult students interested to learn about the fundamentals of good programming style and problem solving techniques whilst developing applications that use basic programming constructs.
Computing Sec – based upon the SEC syllabus 2015. The objectives of this course are;
- Stimulate and foster an interest in the use of computers;
- Develop practical skills in the use of computers;
- Develop skills in creatively applying information processing technology to problem solving;
- Be aware of a broad view of the range and variety of computer systems and applications;
- Communicate and interpret information and concepts relevant to computing;
- Know the fundamental concepts of computer science;
- Proceed to further studies in Intermediate and Advanced level in Computing or Information Technology.
Java Programming – This course is intended for programming beginners who would like to acquire an understanding of the core principles of Java. Java is a widely used object-oriented programming language. Learning Outcomes:
- Understand the fundamentals of good programming style and problem solving techniques,
- Develop applications that use basic programming constructs.
Coding – Give people who will probably never need to code for a living a basic grounding, so that by the end of the course they have an insight into what is involved.
- Understand what coding is,
- How to debug,
- Understand basic programming concepts of which
- Sequencing, Loops, Conditionals, Functions, Functions with parameters & Variables
- Computational Thinking
- Decomposition, Patterns, Abstraction & Algorithms
- Develop applications that use basic programming constructs.