Workshop Handouts

WE LEARN (Net)Working Conference & Gathering

Thank you to the presenters who have so generously agreed to share their resources and expertise with our community.

Workshop Handouts 2012


Being Safe in the Online World
Erik Jacobson and Erika Smith
Although the internet provides wonderful resources, it has also created some risks for users. Many people are aware of the need to take precautions when shopping online, but there are other concerns as well. For example, online activity can result in a loss of privacy, and in some case it can impact personal safety. In this workshop, we will discuss these issues and we will present some strategies and resources for keeping yourself and others safe when online. Erik Jacobson is an Assistant Professor at Montclair State University. He has worked in adult basic education for more than 15 years as a teacher, researcher, and professional developer. Based in Mexico, Erika Smith has trained civil society organizations and activists on strategic and secure online communications since 1992. Her work with the Association for Progressive Communications Women's Programme includes campaigning with Take Back the Tech! - using technology and the internet to end violence against women.

Being Safe in the Online World

Cell Phones: A Mobile Learning Lab in Your Pocket
Nell Eckersley with Teri Walker by Mobile
In this hands-on workshop participants will experience firsthand the magic of mobile learning. How can it be used in a learning environment? Why digital literacy must be included among our skills to be truly literate in today’s world. We will review a number of social media tools (Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Google voice etc) that can be utilized with cell phones and share lesson plans that outline how to use them with learners. If you have a cell phone, please bring it. However, those without cell phones are still welcome to attend. Nell Eckersley is the director of New York State Education Department’s Regional Adult Education Network in New York City and moderator of the LINCS Technology and Distance Learning Discussion List. Before her tenure as Aberg Center for Literacy’s executive director, Teri Walker worked in software implementation and IT support management where she first learned the importance of accessible technology training.

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Considering the Cross-Over of the Haves and the Have-Nots
Erin O’Hanlon
Ever wonder why we experience so much racism, classism, sexism, and yet don’t seem to talk much about it? How did the people who are in charge in our society get there? This workshop will explore these and ideas. It will be fun, funny and enlightening. All voices are welcome and respected. Handouts will be provided to encourage participants to start a dialogue in their own communities. Erin O’Hanlon is the Coordinator of Community Initiatives at The Women’s Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey, near Atlantic City. She spends 90% of her time training on social justice issues, and is focused on collaborative communities.

ESL On-Line Tutoring is a Click Away!
Alice Samkoe
Take a tour of the Regina Public Library’s ESL Online Tutor Training Tool. Volunteer tutors will appreciate the convenience and flexibility that comes from using this Online Tutor Training. A leaner-centered, theme-based approach that integrates reading, writing, listening, and speaking is presented along with tips on cross-cultural communications. Individuals and organizations are welcome to access this freely available site no matter where you live. Learners are welcome. We are in the lab, but if you have your own laptop, please bring it. Alice Samkoe, an adult educator, is the Literacy Programming Supervisor, Regina Public Library. She has fourteen years of experience with ESL language Learners as a program facilitator and an administrator.

Everyone Can LEARN
Heather Lash
You are not alone if you think that everybody else can learn but you. Sometimes it might seem as though you will never get anywhere. But you can. In this workshop we will show you a brand new tool that will help you to see what gets in the way of your learning. Heather Lash has been working in adult literacy for many years, both in community-based and college settings. She is a researcher and writer on issues surrounding the impacts of violence on learning; much of her recent work in curriculum is found in the student kit "Helping Myself Learn" at She is currently an instructor in upgrading/access programs at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.

The Forgotten Countryside: Where is the On-Ramp to Learning?
Kathleen P. King & Rebecca Puig
Join us for an exciting session about how many literacy, GED, ESOL, migrant and rural people in the USA cannot access education, employment, job searches, health education, etc because they lack technology access. Learn about barriers to technology access, and latest information on the topic. Also participate in small group discussions to share your opinions about issues and solutions. The final activit and materials show how to apply this to improve technology and learning access. Kathleen P. King, Ed.D., is professor of higher education at University of South Florida, Tampa. In 2011 was inducted into the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame, at University of Oklahoma. Dr. King's major areas of award-winning research have been transformative learning, professional development, instructional technology, distance learning and diversity. Rebecca Puig has been at University of South Florida (USF) for over twenty-three years in various capacities and joined the field of research administration in 1999 as a computer programmer analysis for the Division of Patents & Licensing. She holds an MS in Entrepreneurship in Applied Technologies and will be pursuing her PhD.

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Integrating Leadership Development into an ESOL Classroom
Jeff McClelland
Based on the presenter's experience teaching ESL to Latina members of 2 San Francisco community-based organizations that promote women's leadership and civic participation (Mujeres Unidas y Activas and The Women's Building), this workshop will explore ways to integrate leadership development into a beginner or intermediate ESL class. The workshop will examine what leadership skills are and how the teacher, the curriculum and peer student teachers can help students gain skills and confidence in applying them. Jeff McClelland has recently moved to Boston from San Francisco where he taught ESL in the K-12 school system, at adult schools and with community-based organizations.

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Introduction to Skype
Shellie Walters
Have you heard about free video/phone calling via the computer? Come find out how to create your own free Skype and what you will need to do it. In this workshop, you will learn the basic functionality of Skype and the benefits of using Skype. Also learn: how to create a profile and setup your account on Skype; add other users; create groups; connect your Facebook friends in Skype; and place both regular phone calls as well as video calling. Shellie Walters is an Adult Learner Leader and a member of the WE LEARN Board of Directors.

Just Staying in a Class Takes Courage
Diane Francis & Kathryn Daniels
When you’re an adult learner—and especially a woman—study time can be hard to find. Many of us take care of children, partners, and parents. There’s often food to make, cleaning to do, kids to watch, and jobs to work. And sometimes shyness or lack of confidence gets in your way. All of that can be stressful and you may worry you won’t reach your goals. In this workshop, Diane Francis, a former literacy student and single mom, will discuss her journey to a college degree and beyond. Kathryn Daniels, a writer and language arts teacher, will join her and will talk about how you can use writing and reading to grow, heal, and learn. Share your story and explore ways to make the most of your time so you can get what you want in life. With support, anything is possible. Come get recharged!

Learning at My Library: Resources for Students and Teachers
Jaime Lyn Bears and Jessica D'Avanza
As teachers, we would like all of our students to become autonomous learners, and we may even want to become better at this ourselves! The public library is a valuable resource for students that can be instrumental in this process. In this workshop, we will talk about the resources that are available at the public library to help students become independent learners, researchers, and improve information literacy skills. We will also use an evaluation tool to assess some of these resources and brainstorm how we can make the library and its materials more accessible to our students. Jaime Lyn Bears is a teacher at St. Mark’s Community Education Program in Dorchester, MA where she teaches ESOL, Citizenship and Computer classes, in addition to developing curriculum for information literacy. After receiving her M.A. in Applied Linguistics from UMass Boston in 2009, she began pursuing her degree in library and information science at Simmons College, Boston, MA where she has concentrated her studies on working with underserved populations and literacy. Jessica D'Avanza is a graduate student in the School of Library and Information Sciences at Simmons College, Boston, MA. Prior to her time at Simmons, she received a B.A. in English from the University of New Hampshire. She has worked in public libraries for the last 12 years and currently holds the position of Reference Assistant at the Cumberland Public Library where she focuses her work on serving teen and adult patrons.

Lessons from Mrs. Towne’s House: The Essential Role of Poetry for Adult and Young Adult Learners
Tzivia Gover
In this workshop participants will learn how they can use poetry as a vital form of self-expression, self-empowerment, and as a tool for building academic competence and confidence in the classroom. Participants will also have an opportunity to write poetry in a fun and nonthreatening atmosphere. In addition, presenter Tzivia Gover will offer anecdotes and information about her experience teaching poetry to teen mothers, as recounted in her new book LEARNING IN MRS. TOWNE’S HOUSE. Tzivia Gover is the author of Learning in Mrs. Towne’s House (Levellers Press). She received her MFA in writing from Columbia University. She teaches poetry at The Care Center, in Holyoke, MA.

Mothering and the Media: Where Seeing Should Never Be Believing!
Lauren Abraham
Mothering and the Media: Where Seeing Should Never Be Believing!; explores media images of mothering and questions how these images place unrealistic expectations on women. We will explore the history of mothering and discuss how the media portrays mothers and perpetuates myths and expectations that can lead to feeling inadequate, conflicted, or defeated. Do we really want to Keep Up With The Kardashians? NOTE: This presentation is 30-minutes. Lauren Abraham is a junior in the Social Work Program at Bridgewater State University. She returned to college in 2011 after seventeen years! Lauren is a wife and mother.

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Online Learning Made Simple: A Guided Tour
Katie Schisa
There are many resources for teaching and learning available online. How do you sort through the masses to find what is best for you? Let a librarian help! In this workshop, you will take a guided tour through several FREE web-based resources for adult learners, tutors and instructors, and program managers. The session will feature the all-new ProLiteracy Education Network, as well as other online resources used in developing ProLiteracy’s Life Links Digital Literacy program. Katie Schisa is Director of ProLiteracy’s Life Links digital literacy program. She holds an MS in Library and Information Science from Syracuse University, and also serves as ProLiteracy’s organizational librarian.

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Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women's Literacy
Mev Miller & Kathleen P. King, Co-Editors with contributors , Donna Jones, Gail Wood Miller, Geraldine Cannon Becker, Julia Zoino-Jeannetti, Lenore Balliro, Lynn Trudeau, Marie Doerner, Stacie Evans
Join contributors to the recently released book Our Stories, Ourselves: The EmBODYment of Women's Literacy who will discuss their writings. This anthology helps women (and men) to understand women's whole selves in learning. Writers use their experiences to show the important connections between our bodies, minds, spirit, and emotions.

P.A.W.S. for Thought=Keys for Communication
Geraldine Cannon Becker, Jessica Becker, Angel Dionne
Participants will actively explore author Purpose, Audience awareness, Writer motivation and Subject presentation (PAWS). In this workshop we will learn basic tools, tips, and techniques to communicate our ideas better. Whether we use paper or the latest technology, everyone needs to PAWS for thought and get their hands on Keys for Communication. Geraldine Cannon Becker, Associate Prof. of English and Creative Writing at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, is faculty advisor for SAGES (the Student Association for Greater English Studies); Founding Editor of the Aroostook Review, an online literary journal; and has led reading circles for the Maine Humanities Council. Jessica Becker, a Fort Kent Community High School Senior, has published a few comics, some poetry, stories and interviews with authors and spokenword artists. She has helped create characters that have featured prominently in published books. She plans to major in sequential art and create graphic novels for future publication. Angel Dionne, a fourth year English major at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, is currently working on her first novel and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul. She is President of SAGES (the Student Association for Greater English Studies), and is a Fiction Writing Consultant.

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Rethinking Learning/Teaching: Groundbreaking Tools for Colleges and Community Programs
Heather Lash
In this hands-on workshop you will explore two brand new interactive tools – one primarily designed for those who work in a college setting and one for those who work in a community-based setting. We now know that violence happens in subtle and not so subtle ways and that, even with the best of intentions, educational programs can reinforce messages of violence that leaves students feeling worthless and unsure of themselves as learners. Heather Lash has been working in adult literacy for many years, both in community-based and college settings. She is a researcher and writer on issues surrounding the impacts of violence on learning; much of her recent work in curriculum is found in the student kit "Helping Myself Learn" at She is currently an instructor in upgrading/access programs at George Brown College in Toronto, Canada.

Revolutionary Dreams: A Poetry & Collage Workshop for Women
Laura Boutwell & Danielle Porter
Poetry helps us see the world with new eyes. In this arts and poetry workshop, we will use Nikki Giovanni’s poem “Revolutionary Dreams” to talk about how we can change the word simply by being ourselves. This presentation will include dialogue, storytelling, and collage-making, all with focus on speaking our truth and our dreams for ourselves and the future. Danielle Porter is social work major with a minor in psychology at Bridgewater State University. Danielle is a mother of five who specializes in youth development and foster care placement. Laura Boutwell is an assistant professor of Social Work at Bridgewater State University. Her background is in youth development and refugee resettlement.

SING! Women Creating Community Through Song
Mev Miller and members of Voice of Hope
Join the chorus of singers who will join us this evening for the Women’s Perspectives Celebration of Adult Learner Writing. We will learn a couple of songs and create inspiration through music. Join a diverse group of women’s voices. Smile & feel happy! Voices of Hope: Women Singing for Inspiration is a non-auditioned chorus of women and girls from Rhode Island who come together to celebrate the power inherent in women’s voices.

Skills That Are Needed to Run a Productive Meeting
Elaine Williams Randall
As Adult Learners become more active and start taking new leadership roles in their programs, they find the need to have meetings and work with groups in different ways. In this workshop you will learn some of the skills of how to run a successful meeting where everyone is heard and the group is able to make decisions in a way that that everyone can live with. Elaine Williams Randall is both an adult learner and practitioner, working in the adult education field for over 24 years. She works in the Adult Literacy Resource Center at the District of Columbia Public Library and is on the Board of Directors of VALUEUSA, the only national organization governed and operated by current and former adult learners.

Speak Up! Advocating for Yourself through Everyday Conversations
Barbara Bowen
Seeking help for problems we can’t solve alone is the focus of this workshop. Our encounters with daily situations challenge us to think and plan clearly. Through role-play and video clips, we will explore the importance of speaking up and making our voices count as we move forward toward our personal goals. Barbara Bowen is a daughter, sister, mother, wife, grandmother, aunt, friend and colleague. She is a reading specialist with the RI Adult Education Professional Development Center in Warwick, supporting adult literacy in Rhode Island.

Student Leadership: Making it Happen!
John Gordon,  Ryan Springer, & Dianne Ramdeholl
This workshop will focus on Calvin Miles's legacy that was rooted in supporting students in becoming leaders in their own programs and their communities. We are interested in having a dialogue grounded in exploring the following questions: How is student leadership currently being defined? What are some other possibilities for thinking about student leadership? Does Occupy Wall Street open up a space for new forms of student leadership? Ryan Springer - student at Brooklyn Adult Learning Center. John Gordon - teacher/director at The Open Book and now Associate Vice President of Programs at The Fortune Society. Dianne Ramdeholl - teacher at The Open Book and now assistant faculty member at Empire State College.

Web 2.0 Tools for Personal Empowerment
Erin O’Hanlon
A hands-on learning session, this workshop will demonstrate and explain online tools that will help people search for jobs, start a business, or organize around the issues they are passionate about. So many executive functions that use to cost money are now free on the Internet, waiting to be discovered and used. Some examples include faxing, digital image editing and web conferencing. Erin O’Hanlon is the Coordinator of Community Initiatives at The Women’s Center in Atlantic County, New Jersey, near Atlantic City. She spends 90% of her time training on social justice issues, and is focused on collaborative communities.

Who Are you Talking To?
Marie Doerner, Leah Piffard, Kathy Boone, Theresa E. Cook
Do you know how to talk to different people? Often times, if we understand how to adjust the tone of our voice to fit the situation, things go more smoothly. Did you know there are five voice tones in all languages: frozen, formal, consultative, casual and intimate. Come and learn about good ways to talk to people in different situations. This skill will help every day of your life. Marie Doerner is a WE LEARN Board Member, Learning Specialist and Resource Teacher. She works with students who are working on building their basic skills and achieve success in life. Leah Piffard is an Adult Basic Education teacher and Associated Student Body coordinator who has also been a counselor and resource teacher. Theresa E Cook is a student working on her GED. Kathy Brooke is a student at San Diego Continuing Education.

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The Women’s Literacy Network: Creating Networks, Building Community, Empowering Women
Heidi Bacon, Kelly Allen, & Consuelo Carrillo
This workshop provides an overview of the design, development, and implementation of the Women’s Literacy Network (WLN). Presenters offer insight into social and cognitive aspects of learning that differentiate the WLN from other program models. Participants experience a snapshot of WLN tutor training, as they engage in interactive, hands-on activities that demonstrate strategies to: make meaning from text; help students write; understand mathematics as relevant to learners’ lives; and develop as thinkers and users of language and literacy. Heidi Bacon, a secondary and adult educator since 2000, coordinates the WLN. Heidi is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Arizona in Language, Reading, and Culture. Kelly Allen holds an MA in Language, Reading and Culture from the University of Arizona. Kelly recruits WLN participants and facilitates tutor mentoring sessions in the WLN. Consuelo Carrillo is a family literacy instructor at Pima College Adult Education and Family Literacy. Consuelo is a program facilitator and former tutor in the WLN.

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