Are you wondering whether your next technology purchases should be laptops or tablets?

What operating system (Apple, Android, Windows) would work best in your program? 

Should you buy a new device or would refurbished devices meet all of your needs in both the short and long term?

Purchasing devices is an expensive endeavour, and there’s a myriad of options to choose from. AlphaPlus can help you plan and choose devices that best suit your needs and fit into your budget.

We can: 

A website is a great way to communicate with volunteers, learners and others in your community about what you’re doing and how to access your program, process some of the administration forms, and curate resource collections for staff, learners and volunteers.

Here are some sites that AlphaPlus coaches have supported:

AlphaPlus can help you choose a website builder and guide you through the website planning and creation process.

We can: 

Programs are using social media to communicate with volunteers, learners and others in their communities about what they’re doing and how to access their programs and to make connections with adult educators in other fields and jurisdictions.

Which platform or platforms are best for your program?

Facebook? Instagram? LinkedIn? Twitter? TikTok? 

AlphaPlus can help you choose and learn about social media for your program.

We can: 

Programs are using video conferencing tools for meetings, intake and assessment, tutor training, professional learning, instruction and collaborating with learners and much more.

Which tool is best for your program? Zoom? Google Meet? Microsoft Teams? Webex? Lifesize? UberConference? Skype? Facebook Live? 

AlphaPlus can help you choose a video conferencing tool or tools that will work best for your program and your instructors.

We can: 

Here are some examples of how AlphaPlus coaches work with programs on finding solutions:

Do you have access to Google Workspace or Microsoft 365 and are you wondering how to take advantage of all the features? 

AlphaPlus can help you choose and learn about a productivity suite that will work best for your program.

We can: 

Here are some examples of how AlphaPlus coaches work with programs on finding solutions:

Presenters from three programs share how they digitize and organize activities and learner files.

During the spring of 2020, all educational sectors, including Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS), made the shift to remote learning. The LBS shift was managed primarily at a local level. Comprehensive training, widely accessible instructional design expertise, tech support and additional funding to purchase data and computers for learners was not available. Each program made its own decisions.

How did programs adapt? What were their priorities? What were their challenges? This report, based on a short survey delivered during the last two weeks of June 2020, provides some answers, identifies challenges and raises concerns about the uneven impacts on learners and sectors and uneven access to resources that could be mobilized to manage the shift. The findings provide a basis for discussion and planning at both the local and provincial levels.

Fast Facts From the Survey Results

In 2017, AlphaPlus was asked by a sector membership group for information on options for digital literacy and basic skills (LBS) learner files and cloud – based storage.

The sector members identified a primary driver for the investigation as the burden of physically storing more than seven years of learner files. Space in multi-service facilities and school boards is in high demand , and file storage space allocated to LBS service providers can be significantly constrained, causing operational tensions and issues .

This investigation and report is only an initial foundational step. As stakeholder engagement and consensus building takes time, proposed models for thinking about how data is gathered, recorded, confirmed and stored have been provided as a starting point for the discussions.

An environmental scan of LBS programs indicated that a number of different tools and processes were being used to track data across all three sectors, and while the tools worked, duplication and inefficient data sharing was a concern.

Sioux-Hudson, a community-based literacy program, procured and implemented a student information system called Orbund and found that the system meets their needs for case management and that they could successfully customize it to align with ministry data requirements and their own internal needs.

The cost of Orbund is prohibitive for an individual program but is more manageable if individual programs can share an enterprise license. AlphaPlus provided a three-year license to pilot programs who are willing and able to help identify gaps/issues and work with AlphaPlus and Orbund to work through these issues before rolling it out to other programs.

After seeing Orbund in action, staff in the pilot programs felt it will help streamline and advance case management administration. Read the report to learn how Orbund worked for these organizations and the next steps for the implementation of Orbund.

Our guest presenter – Charlotte Parliament, Literacy and Essential Skills Program Coordinator at Simcoe County District School Board – shared how she uses Google Apps, such as Google Sites, Forms, Sheets and Docs, to set up and manage intake, as well as computer and learning styles assessments online.