About kgates1

I am a GED Online instructor for the Broward County Public Schools in sunny Florida! In addition, I have the privilege of serving as FATDEC

Bringing the Best of Classroom-Based Learning to Online Learning (and Vice Versa)!

Could you imagine an adult education classroom where students are just given worksheet after worksheet or book after book to read on their own?  How dry and boring would that be, and, more importantly, how quickly would those classrooms be empty because students leave due to sheer boredom?  Now imagine the exact opposite of that first situation: a fun, interactive, visually-stimulating classroom where all three types of learning styles are accommodated and everyone’s engaged.  Doesn’t that sound a million (or more) times better?

What sometimes is assumed (and we all know what happens when you assume) is that an online class can’t or won’t have the same components as a successful, engaging, and fun face-to-face class.  But yet, nothing can be further from the truth!  By incorporating varying technologies, you can absolutely do virtually all of the amazing things online that you do in a classroom!  Want to have small group activities so you can target certain learners needing certain skills?  Yup – you can do that online!  Want to have large group instruction so you can get the most “bang for the buck?”  Yes – you can do that too!  What about student study groups or peer tutoring sessions?  Oh, that can certainly be accomplished!  How about having guest speakers talk to your students about how the things they’re studying in class pertain to “real life” beyond the GED test?  That’s easy to accomplish!  And the list goes on & on…experiments or lab studies, field trips, games, videos, etc!

So what does it all boil down to when everything is said & done?  Innovation, technology, and the willingness to try something new and different would be my answer.

Do you want to know more?  Well, I can’t give away all of my “secrets” now, but if you come to the FLC conference and attend the session called “Florida Adult & Technical Distance Education Consortium: Making F2F Classes for Online Students a Reality” at 10am on Friday, May 11th, you’ll learn more!

Kim Gates: What’s new and exciting in the world of online technologies?

The Internet is home to millions & millions of sites: some with educational value and some without it.  Some sites purport to have everything from ways to connect to old friends and colleagues, to ways to find the secret of youth!  How do you know what’s valuable & what’s not?  How do you stay up-to-date with emerging sites, and is ‘newer’ always ‘better?’

While not necessarily “new,” Twitter is a great way to stay connected to reputable organizations like Florida Literacy Coalition, ACE of Florida, FL TechNet, GED Testing Service, and more!  (Not quite sure what Twitter is or what a “tweet” means?  Check out this short Common Craft video explanation!)  While you don’t need to be a member to view various tweats, membership is free & allows you to select who you want to “follow” (which means those organizations’ messages come directly to you & you don’t need to go searching for them).  Twitter is also a great way to connect to your colleagues (both in & out of the state), your current students, and even potential students!  Think of it as allowing you to see & be seen all within 140 characters at a pop!

What would you (or your students) prefer: reading about how to do something or seeing & hearing about how to do it via video?  Khan Academy is amazing!  Their website boasts “With a library of over 2,700 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and 238 practice exercises, we’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.”  My favorite part is the math!  Everything from arithmetic to developmental math to  pre-algebra and more can be found there for free!  (In case you’re wondering, Khan Academy has received donations from The Gates Foundation and won Google’s Project 10100 of ideas to change the world.)

Do you ever wish you could participate in professional development without actually having to go somewhere to do it?  To borrow part of the Florida Virtual School’s motto, what if professional development could be “any time, any place?”  The good news is that it can be!  Florida TechNet’s Moodle site has free one hour modules.  There’s something for everyone: administrators and instructors!  Topics include ABE, GED, ESOL, LD, Learning Technologies, Corrections, Literacy, and more!

While these sites may not be ‘new’ to the Internet, hopefully they are ‘new’ to you!  Explore them and enjoy them!!

Join FATDEC Feb. 1, in Orlando!

You are cordially invited to join FATDEC’s next meeting to be held at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, February 1, at Mid Florida Tech in Orlando (2900 West Oak Ridge Road Orlando, Florida, 32809).

Come learn more about the online courses we offer adult students, who our members are, and how you can join, and get involved!  FATDEC would love to have you as a guest!

FATDEC, Florida Adult and Technical Distance Education Consortium, is a group of public schools, school districts, and community colleges who are working together to deliver curriculum in a web-based environment for adult education and career technical programs in Florida’s postsecondary public institutions.
Who can attend? Anyone involved in adult or career/technical education at a public educational organization – CBOs, this means you, too!!

Please email Kim Gates (Kim@fatdec.com) to RSVP and for additional information.

Where will FATDEC’s next meeting be?  At the Florida Literacy Conference in May! Hope to see you there.

FATDEC Adds 2 New Members

FATDEC is proud to announce that 2 new members have joined the consortium!  The organization warmly welcomes Flagler and Baker County Schools!

FATDEC, Florida Adult and Technical Education Consortium, is a group of public schools, school districts, and community colleges working together to deliver curriculum in a web-based environment for adult education and career technical programs in Florida’s postsecondary public institutions.

Now, the FATDEC network consists of 35 members serving adult students with online ABE, GED, ESOL, and Adult High School courses in 38 counties across Florida!  Click here to see our membership map!

The online courses offered are very beneficial for adult learners as they have 24/7 access to the program – allowing students to customize their schedule and learn from home – and many of the courses are free of charge!

Want to know more about FATDEC?  Click here!

Upcoming FATDEC Meeting (9/29/10) at ACE!

Please join FATDEC at our next face-to-face meeting that will take place during the ACE Conference!  This meeting is open to members & potential members or anyone else who would like to know about online courses for adult students.  The meeting will be held from 5:30-6:30 p.m., Wednesday, 9/29/10, in the “Lake Hart B” room of the Hilton Orlando.

Check out the updated FATDEC member map found here.   Welcome to the new members who are joining FATDEC for the 2010-2011 school year: Hernando County Public Schools, Lee County Public Schools, Northwest Florida State College and Sarasota County Public Schools.

Don’t see your area represented yet?  Contact Kim Gates (kim@fatdec.com) for information on how your organization can be a part of FATDEC!

FATDEC Update

FATDEC is a group of public schools, school districts, and community colleges working together to deliver curriculum in a web-based environment for adult education and career technical programs in Florida’s postsecondary public institutions.
The online courses offered are very beneficial for adult learners as they have 24/7 access to the program – allowing them to customize their schedule – and many of the courses are free of charge!
Nancy Marsh

Nancy Marsh

FATDEC recently announced that Nancy Marsh, from Pasco County, has been elected as president-elect for 2010-2011.  She will assist William Kelly (from Escambia County), FATDEC’s current president, and will then transition to the role of president for 2011-2012.

Some of the initiatives Nancy will be working on include:
For more information about FATDEC, including the by-laws, resolution agreement, and a list of current members, please click here.

FATDEC Welcomes New Members

The Florida Adult and Technical Distance Education Consortium (FATDEC) is proud to announce some new members!  Hernando, Lee, and Sarasota Counties, as well as Northwest Florida State College, will be offering online courses for adult students for the 2010-2011 school year!  Hooray for them!  As other new members join, we’ll update our website and also announce it here on the FLC blog!

FATDEC is a group of public schools, school districts, and community colleges working together to deliver curriculum in a web-based environment for adult education and career technical programs in Florida’s postsecondary public institutions.
The online courses offered are very beneficial for adult learners as they have 24/7 access to the program – allowing them to customize their schedule – and many of the courses are free of charge!

Want to know more about FATDEC?  Click here.

Click here to read a previous post about FATDEC.

What a great conference it has been!

FLC blog readers, I hope you’ve enjoyed the Florida Literacy Conference as much as I have!  What a great time it’s been at the South Seas Island Resort!  Is there anywhere else (in Florida) that’s more beautiful?  The palm trees, the beaches, the flowers…they were all amazing!

But I think what was even more amazing were the terrific conference participants who were here!  I can only speak for myself, but my sessions were well attended and had energetic, enthusiastic people who were genuinely interested in the topics: technology, writing and math!  Thank you for your participation and kind words.

I hope that no matter what sessions you attended, that they met (or exceeded) your expectations!

So, until we meet again at the next conference (May 4-6, 2011, Lake Mary, Fla.) keep on keepin’ on and doin’ the wonderful things you do!  🙂

~Kimberly Gates~

Meet FATDEC At The Florida Literacy Conference

Did you know that online courses for ABE, GED, ESOL, VPI, and Adult High School (AHS) are available to adult students in Florida?  These allow busy adults to still fit education into their lives when the option of physically going to a school or center is just not a possibility.

The Florida Adult & Technical Distance Education Consortium (FATDEC) will be having a meeting during the Florida Literacy Conference.  Please join us at 5 p.m., Thursday, May 6, to find out more about online course opportunities for adult students throughout Florida.  FATDEC members represent various schools, school districts, community colleges, and state colleges.  Partner members include Florida Virtual School (FLVS) and the Florida Association for Career and Technical Educators (FACTE).  By working together, we’re able to leverage our collective buying power and to help adult students who might otherwise not have an option for education. 

Come learn more & find out how you could be a part of this collaborative effort!

Florida Literacy Conference – Best Part!

There are so many great reasons to attend the Florida Literacy Conference.  There’s the networking with colleagues from all over the state.  There are fabulous sessions on a variety of topics.  There are inspirational speakers and presenters.  There’s the chance to meet with vendors to see what’s new for students & teachers, and don’t forget about the convenience of the computer lab and the wonderful hands-on tech sessions that are held in there!

So what do you consider to be the best part of the conference?