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We Kept It Real: The 31st Annual Technology & Adult Education Conference

15 May 2019
Events Features News
Photo Credit: Chris Kendig for the Philadelphia Office of Adult Education

The Office of Adult Education, a division of the Office of Workforce Development, in partnership with Temple University’s Center for Community Partnerships, hosted the 31st Annual Technology and Adult Education Conference on May 10, 2019 with the theme, Keep it Real: Teaching Tech Skills for Work and Everyday. One hundred adult educators and practitioners came out for a full day of learning, networking, and breakout sessions.

“This goal of our conference is to inspire adult education practitioners with creative ways to incorporate technology into their work,” said Nicole Daker, Coordinator of Community Engagement at the Office of Adult Education. “Work and everyday life require technology skills more than ever. We use them to apply for jobs, pay bills, access social services, communicate, and improve our skills. This year’s theme invites practitioners to think critically about how to integrate these skills into their programs, ‘keeping it real’ by teaching students relevant, useful ways of engaging with technology.” With fifteen sessions, including a keynote speech and round of lightning talks, presenters covered topics such as media literacy, technology training for returning citizens, and apps for adult learners.

Elizabeth Lindsey, the Executive Director of Washington DC’s Byte Back, was this year’s Keynote Speaker. Lindsey emphasized the importance of tech skills in a society that has become more and more tech based. “Even for the lowest-paying jobs, those jobs we see as entry-level or low-skilled – in our society today, you need access to technology to even apply. You need access to a computer that works, internet to connect to, and to have the digital know-how to navigate to a webpage and fill out a web application. You won’t get that job, even a fast food job, without it.”

In addition to its sessions, keynote, and lightning talks, the Conference hosted eleven vendors and held a raffle with over $400 worth of prizes. While not all raffle prizes came from vendors, those that did were especially coveted. Jameil J. of Philadelphia FIGHT was delighted with his fifty dollar gift card and copy of nonfiction book Brilliant Orange Glow, generously donated by Edmentum.

Thank you to everyone who helped make our conference a success including Temple University’s Center for Community Partnerships, Elizabeth Lindsey, our Tech Conference Planning Committee, our presenters, vendors, and attendees. Special thanks to Harry Fishburn (Free Library), Veronis Lawyer (Center for Literacy), and Jeremy Tinsley (Temple University) for joining the OAE team in planning for the conference. To see photos from the conference, click here.

We look forward to seeing you at next year’s conference!  

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