Research and Practice in Adult Literacy – a friendly group

Using Social Networking to Improve Adult Literacy



This full day open module last ran in Leicester on 22nd January 2015 and is now archived. Previous sessions in London and Leicester since 2013 have been very well-reviewed by participants from across the UK and an updated module Digital Learning in Adult English, Maths and ICT is scheduled for 17th September 2015. For alternate training sessions email NIACE or contact RaPAL for more information.

Guide to Session

The practitioners, Claire Collins and Tara Furlong, produced a guide for the module and accompanying online materials and resources, a sample of which can be found here.

Technology and Innovation in Literacy is a chapter from NIACE’s live webinar Focus on innovation and use of technology to improve adults’ basic English and Maths skills hosted on 3rd March 2014. A peer reviewed article on Social Networking in Adult Literacies Learning Contexts is available in RaPAL digital journal Conference 2013 Plus, currently available in the members’ area.

Training Aims

RaPAL is pleased to be working in partnership with NIACE to offer this full day workshop. The training is designed for literacy practitioners to introduce a range of interactive learning technologies, devices and resources to support the teaching, learning and assessment of English/ Literacies.

Target Audience

This training is relevant to English / Literacy teachers and curriculum developers/ managers. A working ability to engage with ICT (web-based and everyday software) is required. Please being any mobile technology you may have with you.


By the end of the session, participants will have: – been introduced to, experienced and evaluated a range of devices and technologies; – explored a range of teaching, learning and assessment resources and strategies; – discussed the changing nature of language and literacy in the context of developing technologies; and, – analysed the impact, opportunities and challenges in our roles as teachers, managers and curriculum developers.

Programme Outline

9:30 – 10:00 Registration (tea/coffee) 10:00 to 10:25 (1) Welcome and Introductions Online starter activity 10:25 to 10:50 (2) Literacies and Web 2.0 An introduction to social networking (Web 2.0) and how this relates to literacies and learning. 10:50 to 11:10 (3) Social/Educational networking and learner participation How Web 2.0 and modern technology can have an impact on learners’ willingness to read and write, and the wide-ranging impacts on learners’ literacy development. 11:10 to 11:25 Break 11:25 to 11:50 (4) Collaborative mind mapping How learners can work together to plan/ design texts using collaborative mind mapping sites and software. 11:50 to 12:30 (5) Drafting and writing together online How we can open up spaces online where learners can author their own texts and work together to draft and edit them. 12:30 to 13:15 Lunch 13:15 to 13:25 Reflection Activity 13:25 to 14:00 (6) Blogging Ways of incorporating blogging (a form of public/ and/or collaborative writing) in literacy learning programmes. 14:00 to 14:25 Practical Blogging Activity 14:25 to 14:40 Break 14:40 to 15:10 (7) Reviewing Texts Online Making use of book review sites to encourage learners to read critically and share their views and opinions with others. 15:10 to 15:30 (7) Learning platforms and literacy development How to make the best use of learning platforms such as Moodle, Edmodo and Blackboard for literacy development. 15:30 to 16:00 (8) Action planning for individual contexts Reflection on some of the ideas introduced. What you can take back to your organisation and use in your own working context.

The Practitioners

Tara Furlong

Education, Learning and Development Consultant, experience including: • Identifying training needs in an institution or team, outlining training specifications, and creating and delivering training session plans, materials and activities • Improving vocationally integrated English, Communication, literacy and ICT qualification success rates and standards, previously in Key Skills and now in Functional Skills, through focus on quality of teaching, learning and assessment and supporting systems • Utilising learning technologies and resources to improve students’ skills as part of cross-college, cross-curriculum strategy and delivery Detailed profile available @ uk.linkedin.com/in/tarafurlong/

Claire Collins

Claire is a freelance adult literacies and learning consultant. Claire’s work has included: • Developing blended and flexible approaches to literacies learning • Writing, coordinating and delivering teacher training activities • Providing national and international adult literacies development advice, (e.g. for Stichting Lezen en Schrijven, The Netherlands, The Learning and Skills Improvement Service, England) • Supporting prisons, large employers, family learning services, local governments, FE colleges and work-based learning providers to embed language, literacy and numeracy in learning programmes/ across their services • Developing guides and case studies on literacies learning and curriculum development Detailed profile available @ uk.linkedin.com/in/claireacollins

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