Technology in Adult Education Curriculum

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Curriculum work is an on-going activity. Adult education, when limited to college, university, continuing education and lifelong learning in the United States, is in need of technology-laden curriculum. According to NCES8, more than 41% of adults are involved in adult education activities. With good cause – there apparently is an education gap.4 This gap is the difference between the number of jobs requiring higher levels of education, and the number of people in the workforce available to meet that requirement.15 Colleges and universities are scrambling to close the gap but there exist a few hurdles. One obvious need in an age of managing data, there will be new jobs as well as replacement jobs that will need to be filled by those educated and trained for the work.12 One study indicates the United States could be short more than 190,000 workers with “deep analytical skills” by the year 2018.16 Consequently, continuing education and post-secondary education must rise to meet this need. Furthermore, adult learners in the 21st century are changing. They want it all. “Adults are beginning to demand that their learning take place at a time, place, and pace convenient to them.”17 There are multiple ways to accommodate adult learners; the 21st century educator must strive to engage students through multiple methods of delivery, with technology leading the way. Technology itself can be an obstacle to overcome. Many educators of today were not taught using technology; however, digital media is foundational to the learners of today and must be integrated into curriculum. My position concerning technology inclusion in the curriculum encompasses delivery problems and valid content. Delivery involves textbooks used, classroom discuss... ... middle of paper ... ... in the current course, and at the next level, whether that be on the job or in the next progression of classes. Technology is not only a means to improve academic productivity, 10 but it is also an integral part of the education itself. Yet another educational outcome is data integrity. In the hands of students, this is a learned skill, taught early in life, and called telling the truth. Left up to the professor, an old familiar phrase comes to mind, “Inspect what you expect.” 2 There are many formats and venues available for technology inclusion into curriculum. Making learning user-friendly and applicable to life is part of the job of the post-secondary institution. Change will happen. In fact, change is the new constant of our era. Cutting-edge curriculum will appeal to all stakeholders and will result in a trained, educated, technically proficient workforce.
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