November 23, 2020
Dialogue Defibrillators: Jump-Start Classroom Discussions
Establishing good discussion habits in an online or in-person class can be a challenge. There are a lot of things that can derail even the strongest discussion. The article Dialogue Defibrillators: Jump-Start Classroom Discussions identifies and dissects eight issues that cause classroom discussions to go quiet and proposes remedies for each. The topics include:
  • Fuzzy questions
  • High percentage of introverts
  • Lack of focus
  • Social threat
  • Boredom
  • Sleepiness
  • Cognitive load
  • Wait time

If you are having these issues in your class discussions, either in a Zoom meeting or an in-person class, it does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. These problems are natural and happen to even the best teachers with the best habits. By utilizing the ideas in this article, you can remedy existing problems and prevent issues in the future.
Teaching Tips and Resources
Three Tech Tools for Distance Learning and Beyond
This article has information about three online tools that can be used no matter how you are teaching. The information includes more than just the tech tools. The author gives tips and strategies for using each and presents many ideas that can enhance your teaching.
Professional Development Opportunities
Recap of the PA Workforce Development Association conference
by Chrissie Klinger, Workforce Development Project, Penn State
In October 2020, the 36th annual Pennsylvania Workforce Development Association (PWDA) Conference was held virtually. This year’s theme was Driving Workforce Connections. Rocky Bleier, Vietnam veteran and 4-time Super Bowl champion was the opening keynote speaker. He discussed the resiliency of humans and living in a culture of opportunity. He encouraged people to constantly learn, have the courage to act on information, and choose new opportunities to pursue. In adult education, we play an important role building lifelong learners and helping individuals improve their critical thinking skills so they can pursue new opportunities that may lead to a better life for themselves and their families. However, we can’t do this work alone. Read more ...
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.
Webinars about early language and literacy
Join the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Early Intervention Technical Assistance (EITA) this winter for important discussions around early language and literacy development. Get access to resources to share with families and use in classrooms and centers. These 30-minute webinars will be offered at no cost at 8:30 am and repeated at 1:30 pm on the second and fourth Friday of each month from January through March 2021. PQAS credit hours, Infant Toddler hours, and ACT 48 hours are available for these webinars. Get additional information on topics, credits and registration.
State and National Adult Education News
New Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide
The U.S. Department of Education released a new Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide in October. This resource is as important as ever in the time of widespread remote learning. It is meant to help parents and guardians understand how the various digital tools can enhance children's educational experiences through engaging course material, creative expression, and tailored learning experiences. The Guide includes tips and best practices for topics such as accessibility, online safety, and competency-based learning.
COABE Conference virtual option
The national conference for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE) will be held on March 21 - 24, 2021, in Nashville, TN. While an in-person conference is still planned, members can choose to attend virtually for $385. More details will be shared soon.
PAACE 2020 award winners
The Pennsylvania Association for Adult Continuing Education (PAACE) has announced the winners of their 2020 adult education awards. See the list on the PAACE website.
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 website. To post a job, please email the job advertisement to

PA Adult Education Resources
Visit 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. 

OCTAE Connection, US Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical, & Adult Education Features news and resources for adult basic, career, and technical education

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.