Volume 2: Central Saskatchewan
Series: Literacy Cafe Report
Authors: Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN)
This document summarizes issues discussed during three “literacy cafés” organized by the Saskatchewan Literacy Network in that province in 2009. The cafés provide an opportunity for adult learners and literacy stakeholders to connect and exchange information.
The authors say that two messages were clearly expressed throughout the cafés: the abundant positive, learner-focused experiences that adult learners have benefited from in the region; and the strong need for a coordinated, collaborative approach to program delivery.
Volume 3: Prince Albert and North
Series: Literacy Cafe Report
Authors: Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN)
In May 2010, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network held discussions in Prince Albert and La Ronge. As in previous years, the goals of these “literacy cafés” were to provide a networking opportunity for literacy stakeholders and to ask for information to guide the network’s efforts.
Among the themes to emerge from the discussions were the need to provide programs that are culturally relevant to Aboriginal people; a strong desire to continue building creative partnerships to foster literacy; and an ongoing need for coordination among literacy programs.
This is a report on a national workshop that took place before the Second National Literacy and Health Conference in Ottawa. Canadian graduate students were invited to apply to attend the workshop and conference and 22 graduate students from across Canada were accepted.
This document is housed on the AlphaPlus server.
This report was commissioned by AlphaPlus, a provincially-funded Ontario organization that provides expertise to support adult educators.
The report’s authors look at how “cloud computing” could help nurture adult learning. With cloud computing, organizations purchase computing services over the Internet instead of maintaining an in-house computing infrastructure.
The authors say low-cost cloud technology offers many possibilities to encourage individualized and group literacy learning opportunities. They call for free online space and an email account for every adult literacy learner.
They also point to cloud computing as an opportunity for community collaboration to share resources and promising practices in the cloud.
The authors also speculate that the future could include new literacy appliances – smartphone applications to read signs, turn text into voice, and help individuals with literacy challenges function better.
A National Survey
The authors of this study sought to understand early childhood literacy programs in Canada by identifying such programs and gathering information on their operations, content and challenges.
The authors used a literature review and a national survey to generate data, determine trends and identify gaps between research and practice.
The authors conclude that early literacy programs would benefit from increased government funding and the establishment of a cohesive network to allow more collaboration among practitioners.
Response to the International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
Consultations on the results of the IALS were held in Vancouver, Regina, Toronto and Fredericton. Each involved literacy organizations and stakeholders in the literacy movement. A wide range of professions and organizations were represented at the consultations including community colleges, universities, provincial government, multicultural organizations, chambers of commerce, associations, not-for-profit organizations and consultants. All consultations reported a good level of involvement, dialogue and networking among participants.
Each consultation began with a presentation of the IALS followed by a question and answer period. Participants left with a package of information on IALS, a commitment to further discussion and networking, and a strong inclination to take action on the findings. Most groups agreed to convene again with the purpose of generating further solutions and concrete actions to be taken. Many common areas of dialogue surfaced, including, among other areas :
- IALS findings were helpful in describing the adult literacy scene in Canada;
- For most, literacy encompasses more than the definition used in IALS;
- The literacy challenge in Canada affects everyone and more than the populations included in IALS;
- The benefits of adult literacy education reaches beyond economic health.
Formative and Summative Evaluation of the “Learning through Partnerships: A Pan-Northern Gathering Project”
In 2010, the literacy councils of the Northwest Territories, the Yukon, and Nunavut joined forces for a project that would culminate two years later in a three-day forum on adult learning, literacy, and skills development in northern Canada. The goals of the project, entitled Made in the North, were to explore northern-directed policies and practices that support adult learning; develop partnerships; and share knowledge.
This report offers an evaluation of the project, starting with the initial efforts and continuing through to the forum, held in October 2012.
The authors explain the challenges the organizers faced; provide a timeline for the project; and discuss what worked in the project, and the areas that needed improvement. They note that the event was truly “Made in the North” because of the representation of participants, especially Aboriginal northerners; the showcasing of northern programs and issues; limits on participants from the south; and focus on northern concerns.
Forum participants said they wanted conversations and networking to continue after the forum, both in their own territory and across territories. They are hoping for a website where they can access session presentations, and be able to share their work and resources.
Participants also said that they would like to see another forum like this one within the next two or three years. They suggested that the forum should move to another region and focus on the changes that people have been able to implement since the present forum.
An Institute on Research in Practice in Adult Literacy
Authors: Tannis Atkinson
The Institute was held in St. John's, Newfoundland in 2003. Organizers hoped that it would build and strengthen research capacity among literacy practitioners, and build connections among people involved in literacy research in practice across the country.
This report outlines the process of the Institute as a whole, and includes reports which document each of the courses, workshops and inquiry sessions.
PDF version also available in sections.
This document is also available in French.
Prospect Point Consulting Inc.(PPCI) was retained by the First Steps Steering Committee to assist it in conducting research into the feasibility and affordability of establishing a national electronic collaboration and conferencing system for the Canadian literacy community. This report details the research undertaken by PPCI and the results of that research.
The First Steps research and recommendations represent an important milestone in the development of a literacy electronic infrastructure for the Canadian literacy field.
For more information about First Steps, contact:
601-510 West Hastings St.
Vancouver, BC V6B 1L8
Toll free in BC: 1-800-663-1293
Learning from Literacy Research in Practice Networks
This document is a resource for people interested in adult literacy research in practice, a term that refers to literacy research conducted by or with people directly engaged in adult literacy teaching and learning.
It is based on a study of 11 such networks or projects in the United Kingdom, Australia, and the United States. The authors collected information about those networks through face-to-face and telephone interviews, an online survey, websites, and published documents.
From the information collected, they developed descriptions of each network and identified approaches and challenges to supporting research in practice.
Three of the networks, in the United Kingdom and Australia, are national in scope. Those in the United States are based in states or regions.