January 21, 2021
Using Podcasts in the Classroom and Professional Development
By Chrissie Klinger, Workforce Development Project
The current pandemic has required adult education programs and their workforce partners to continue to adjust and redefine how they provide services and share information. The Workforce Development Liaison Project has been observing and gathering information related to innovative approaches to helping adults navigate career pathways and workforce development concerns both statewide and nationally. One notable intervention is the use of podcasts. Podcasts are an innovative way adult education programs and workforce partners can help adult learners navigate career pathways while they receive remote services. Adult education practitioners can use podcasts to support learning and career and education transitions with adult learners, and they can be used as a professional development tool for teachers, student support coordinators, and program administrators.  
Podcasts offer a great way for adult learners to practice both digital literacy and listening skills, which are both important workforce-related skills. Some common podcast apps are: Apple Podcasts, Podbean, Pandora, Stitcher, and Radio Public. Users can access these apps via the internet on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. A few podcasts (that can be found on all podcast apps) that offer topics related to things being covered in adult education classes include TED Radio Hour, This Day In History, GED Bytes, and Stuff You Should Know.
Readingrockets.org has an article on tips for creating podcasts with your students and A.L.L. Adult Ed Podcast is a great example of how adult education ESL classes (including Family Literacy) are creating their own podcasts. When students create their own podcasts, they practice Foundation Skills like speaks clearly and concisely, works in teams, uses technology, and lifelong learning. Anchor is a free app that is easy to use to create podcasts.
CareerWORKS podcast, created by Frederick County Workforce Services in Maryland, is a great example of how we can share career information in a new way. Consider asking your local workforce partners if any of them are creating and sharing podcasts related to career preparation that could be integrated into classroom activities or be offered as an extension activity for adult learners.
One example of using podcasts for professional development is the Corrections Education and Reentry Community of Practice (CoP). The group shares a Google Doc with links to podcasts related to corrections education and reentry. One popular podcast on the list is Ear Hustle. Another example can be found on some of the LINCS discussion boards; particular podcast episodes have been mentioned and community members are encouraged to listen to the episode and return to the LINCS discussion board to discuss the topic with other adult educators. If you would like to try using a podcast episode for professional development related to career pathways or other workforce related topics, The Workforce Development Liaison Project has a list of possible episodes and would be happy to facilitate a live Zoom discussion with staff. Contact Chrissie at cok5111@psu.edu for more information.
Teaching Tips and Resources
College Readiness Resources from Google
A set of Applied Digital Skills trainings through Google can prepare your students for the college application process. From conducting a college search and completing the FAFSA application to preparing an essay and college interview, these courses vary from 45 - 90 minutes to 2 - 3 hours and are free with a Google account.
Take Some of the Distance Out of Distance Learning
A recent Edutopia article titled Five Ways to Take Some of the Distance Out of Distance Learning empathizes with the difficulties of teaching at a distance and suggests several strategies for overcoming those difficulties. The five tips listed will also make you a better teacher in general if you apply them to your classroom, either virtual or face-to-face. Things like being dramatic and interesting, connecting with students, and being aware of social and emotional learning will improve your teaching and your students' learning, regardless of the setting.
New in Google Meet
Google has recently updated Google Meet with features such as hand raising, breakout rooms, and the ability to accept knocks in bulk, among others. Learn more about these updates in this online list of features.
Professional Development Opportunities
Webinar: Using CareerOneStop to Provide Virtual Services to Change Occupations or Industries
On Thursday, February 11, 12:00 - 1:30 p.m., staff from CareerOneStop will present a webinar showing how to use CareerOneStop to provide virtual services to help make a plan to change occupations or industries. The webinar will give a deeper view into one user pathway from the "Using CareerOneStop to Provide Virtual Career and Job Services" webinar that was held on September 24, 2020. Learn more or register online.
Professional Learning for Adult Education and Family Literacy Staff
Staff at PDE-funded adult education and family literacy agencies can view a list of upcoming courses now available for enrollment in the PD Portal. For more information about any of these courses, please visit the PD Portal, open the course catalog, and review the syllabus. If you are interested in enrolling in a course, please consult with your in-house professional development specialist (IHPDS) to determine if the course meets your professional learning goals.
Webinar: Trauma-Informed Teaching
Essential Education is providing a free webinar titled Trauma-Informed Teaching on Thursday, January 28, 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. This webinar will first explain trauma, its causes, and its effects and then examine what we can do to teach in a more trauma-informed, empathetic manner. Learn more and register online.
State and National Adult Education News
COABE Winter 2020-2021 Journal
The Winter 2020-2021 edition of the COABE Journal has been published with the theme of "Racial Equity and Immigrant Integration." The online journal can be accessed for $29.99 while individual articles are available in the coming weeks for $2.99. You can purchase a hardcopy of the COABE Journal for $35 for members and $65 for non-members.
Grants and Scholarships
Grants to Enhance Digital Literacy Skills
Department of Labor & Industry (L&I) Acting Secretary Jennifer Berrier recently announced the availability of $4.5 million in Digital Literacy and Workforce Development Grants (DLWDG) to support local programs across Pennsylvania that enhance foundational digital literacy skills for job seekers and help provide increased access to employment opportunities. Eligible applicants include local workforce development boards, non-profit agencies (community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, etc.) or small businesses meeting certain criteria. Grant applications are due February 17, 2021, and the 2021 DLWDG will operate from July 1, 2021 to September 30, 2022. Additional details and the grant application can be found on L&I’s website. A bidders’ conference is scheduled for January 22, 2021. Additional information is available on the L&I website at www.dli.pa.gov.
Job Posting
The job postings below are for adult basic education programs funded by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and, at least in part, by WIOA Title II funds. You can also find the postings on the paadultedresources.org website. To post a job, please email the job advertisement to dschauer@tiu11.org

PA Adult Education Resources
Visit www.paadultedresources.org for the latest PA adult education news and resources. Recent additions to the site include:

Upcoming State and National Conferences
State and National Newsletters
State and national organizations' newsletters are listed below and may be of interest to you. To receive the most recent editions by email, please subscribe directly to the newsletter. 

Center for Rural Pennsylvania Rural Perspectives, The Center for Rural Pennsylvania

Families Learning: News of the Week, National Center for Families Learning
Features information and resources for family literacy, early childhood education, and parent education.

WorkforceGPS, Workforce3 One Features career pathways and workforce development information.

COABE Connections, Coalition On Adult Basic Education Features national information, resources, and initiatives for adult basic education.

World Education/U.S. Features resources and information from World Education projects including EdTech Center News, The Change Agent, College for Adults, E-Learning, LINCS Region 1 Professional Development Center, National College Transitional network, and many others.