Florida TechNet to Stream Live from the Florida Literacy Conference!

Florida TechNet is proud to announce live streaming from this year’s Florida Literacy Conference. The five session presenters listed below have agreed to stream their presentation for those who are unable to attend the conference.

Please refer to the list below for dates and times. Streaming will be done through an Elluminate Webinar session.  The link will be the same for all sessions.

Florida TechNet to stream sessions at the Florida Literacy Conference

Join us at:  http://tinyurl.com/FLC2012TechNet

Session 1
Wednesday, May 9; 3:45 PM – 5:00 PM
Building A Local Database to Enhance Adult Career Pathways
Judy Johnson, Withlacoochee Technical Institute

Session 2
Thursday, May 10; 9:00 AM – 10:15 AM
The Top Ten Components of Building an Adult Education Career Pathways Program
Libby Livings-Eassa, June Rall and Luci Mello, Indian River State College

Session 3
Thursday, May 10; 10:30 AM – 11:45 AM
When Words Count: Fostering Story Writing in Adult Learners
Betsy Stoutmorrill, Adult Literacy Consultant

Session 4
Thursday, May 10; 1:30 PM – 2:45 PM
From Literacy to Post Secondary: Keeping Students on their Career Paths
June Rall and Luci Mello, Indian River State College

Session 5
Thursday, May 10; 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM
VALF Literacy Technology Petting Zoo
Sandy Newell, Volunteers for Adult Literacy

“What’s Happening to my Family?”- Debra Hargrove

I recently read a post from someone I follow on Twitter. He’s a district K-12 technology specialist, and well recognized and admired in the Twitter world. A recent post on his blog was titled, “Digital Cleansing” . Steven literally went on vacation with no access to the tech world. Granted, he had a cell phone, but only for emergencies.

I was intrigued. I couldn’t imagine going anywhere without my Iphone or Ipad. After all, I’m responsible for keeping a lot of people up to date with what’s going on in the world of technology; whether it’s developing online courses, presenting workshops, passing along great websites, sharing my Twitter resources, or simply being available to answer a question or two from a colleague who happens to trust my expertise. I couldn’t imagine “unplugging” for seven days. Could I do it? Would I do it?

I tried. I really did.

But what if the people you are on vacation with DON’T want to unplug? I have to say I was a bit saddened by what I experienced. Now, I’m not going to sit here and duplicate all the thoughts and insights that my Twitter colleague shared. I’d recommend reading his post.  No, what I’m more interested in sharing with you is what I experienced by trying to unplug …when you’re vacationing with a 13 year-old grandson “texting maniac”, a 35 year old daughter “Facebook” and “Four Square” fanatic and a 59 year old “Ipad for EVERYTHING” spouse.

We went to the beach for 5 days. This place is an island. There’s no shopping, no malls, no restaurant chains. Nothing. You eat, sleep, swim, and get back to the basics of good ole family vacation time. Clark W. Griswold would have been proud of our choice of location.

I packed the sunscreen, floats, towels, a few magazines, my Ipad (Only to read my book) and the faithful Hargrove family fun time games of Monopoly and Seinfeld Trivia. I created my phone “away” messages, my email “out of office assistant” messages and was excited about the trip.

We arrived and unpacked. I was ready to jump in the pool. That’s when it started. We couldn’t go to the pool without both my daughter and grandson first “checking in” to the house we rented so they could race to see who would become the “Mayor” of the place. Then, they had to “check in” to the pool, the beach, and so on. It was NUTS! And what’s the purpose? My grandson even became the “Mayor” of the kitchen, for goodness sake.  We insisted he stop when he announced he was working on becoming the “Mayor” of the bathroom! Those two could not be without their cell phones for longer than an hour. Thank goodness there was water around. Between those two posting pictures to Facebook and texting, I felt like I was on vacation by myself.

I kept thinking, what’s happening to my family? How did this get so far out of control?

Thank goodness my grandson still loves to play board games. Except we were the only two playing. Ipads, cell phones and CNBC took first precedent for the other two members of the family.

We broke out the family favorite: Monopoly.  And by the way, I STILL think Monopoly is a great strategic game for kids. I’m ALL for family game night. Did you know that they apparently have a new version of Monopoly that uses a debit card instead of Monopoly money? What’s THAT about? So now, we don’t teach kids how to count and sort money? That’s just great. First, the use of electronics to communicate forces schools to consider removing cursive writing from the curriculum. Now learning games are electronic? Is that REALLY healthy?

I don’t know. We had a great time at the beach though. We rode the golf cart around the island, took pictures of the sunsets and walked on the beach. We played Volleyball in the pool, dove in the ocean for sand dollars, and looked for sharks teeth. Those are the times I will cherish. Those are the times that we WERE unplugged, and it felt great.

So here I sit;my first day back, 256 emails, including the one reminding me about this guest blog.

So I while I was supposed to write about Technology and Literacy or What’s New with Florida TechNet, I hope you’ll understand that I first needed to share my family vacation with you. I wanted you to know that even someone who KNOWS about the responsibilities of being a good Digital citizen struggles to keep balance in her own world.

And while I encourage and promote Social Media and the use of technology for learning and growing, I also want to remind you to NOT get so involved in this sterile way of communicating that you forget what’s important in your life. I’ve promised myself to keep the balance. I hope you do to.

By the way, my grandson beat me 2 games out of 3. Moral of the story: ALWAYS BUY THE RAILROADS!

Digital Literacy and Adult Education

Digital literacy has become increasingly popular amongst people who focus on adult literacy because of its necessity in our society. In my previous post, I talked about the importance of social media because more and more people are tuning into that market. In addition to the world of social media, everyday more and more things are becoming technology based. If you were to look for a job, you no longer search for a print newspaper (today, this could mean an actual search) or go to your local college’s bulletin board for listings. You would look on monster, career builder, idealist, craigslist, and a variety of other on-line sources to see what is available. Then, if you wanted to contact an agency, you would need some knowledge of Microsoft word to create a resume and knowledge of email to send it as an attachment to the proper recipient. For an adult learner, basic technology goes hand-in-hand with societal integration.

Florida TechNet provides digital literacy resources for Adult Education centers throughout the state. On their website you will be able to find resources, publications, training guides, a moodle course, web based training and much more to help you (the tutor or trainer) in this endeavor. The website is easy to use and they will help you through every step of the way. So even if you don’t feel that confident in your technological skills, they will help you with lesson plans. You’ll find that you have more to offer than you think. This week, our guest blogger will be Debra Hargrove, project director for Florida TechNet. Be sure to check back in to learn about her insights on how technology has become our lives. Have you ever been unplugged?

Meet the 2011 Florida Literacy Conference Planning Committee

The 27th Annual Florida Literacy Conference: Open Books Open Minds will be held at the Orlando Marriott Lake Mary, May 4-6, 2011.

Last week, the Conference Planning Committee (CPC) met at the hotel to get conference planning underway.  Topics of discussion included keynote speakers and Adult Learner Day plans, among others.  Subcommittees were also formed to help with special components of the conference including the annual Florida Literacy Awards and entertainment.

The 2011 Florida Literacy Conference Planning Committee. From L-R: Rosemary Blake, Karen Hill, Brent Stubbs, Amanda Gonzalez, Jonel Persinger, Melissa Padgett, Erika Greene, Brad Bell. Sitting: Greg Smith, Cindy Godby, Sarah Guetschow and Debra Hargrove

Committee members not pictured above include: Kara Sammons, Margaret Anne Wheeler, Linda Palmer, Joyce Whidden, Margie Kinslow, Mike Painter, Marilina Viera and Kay Semion.  FLC thanks all of the committee members for their time and dedication to making this another successful Conference.

The Florida Literacy Conference is one of the state’s premier events for professional development and networking for adult education and literacy practitioners, teachers, tutors and adult learners.

Stay tuned to this blog for more conference updates and updates from the CPC.  And feel free to ask any questions you have about the 2011 conference in the space below!

Bring Unwanted Techno Gadgets to the Conference

Most of us have an old cell phone, calculator, mp3 player or other gadgets lying around collecting dust.  Bring them to the Florida Literacy Conference and recycle them to support the Florida Literacy Coalition at the same time!  

Florida TechNet has initiated this recycling opportunity on behalf of FLC. 

Bring devices with you to the Conference and deposit them in the recepticle or click here to mail them into the recycle center free of charge.  It is very easy to do.  *Please note: non-working items are less likely to have a value. 

Acceptable items to recycle include:

  • Cell phones
  • Calculators
  • MP3 players
  • PDAs
  • Video games
  • DVDs & Movies
  • Digital cameras
  • Camcorders
  • Laptops
  • LCD Monitors

A special thanks to Debra Hargrove and the Florida TechNet team for making this opportunity possible.