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Episode 18

Tech That Powers Scalable Adult Learning

Brief description of the episode

We speak to Andrew Roberts, Chief Operating Officer, Barbara Bush Foundation about how scaling adult programming through technology can be a game-changer for the economy and help tackle social problems.

Key Takeaways:

  • Currently, about 130 million Americans lack proficiency and literacy.
  • 54% of adults are currently reading below the sixth-grade level.
  • 53% of adults, 25 and older, who did not graduate from high school are not in the workforce.
  • If you can get people to a 6th-grade education, their average income rises up to $63,000 a year.
  • About 10% is added to our GDP. That’s $2.2 trillion.
  • Federal programming serves 2 million of the 130 million adults.
  • Technology HAS to be part of the solution if we’re going to make a dent in this.
  • We need to rework the content to build on the adult’s life experience and use something that is relevant to them on a daily basis.
  • We can’t use the same products or approach that has worked in K12 and college, because the audience is at a very different life stage.
  • Have learning theory built-in from the beginning. It must be effective and show efficacy. It must have the audience in mind, and be useful to them.
  • Micro lessons or asynchronous learning needs to be used as a delivery mechanism – build content into very digestible chunks that people can tackle when they have time.
  • The traditional learning process is effective but it is very hard to scale. It is in-person. It’s time-consuming. We need to leverage technology as a solution by itself or as a supplement to traditional learning.
  • We need to first solve the prime issues with tech – Hardware, Internet Connectivity, and Digital Literacy Skills
  • The solutions must be effective beyond a scientific environment and work for real-world people. Example: simplify navigation and initial registration processes for mobile learning.
  • Use assessments and data generated to personalize learning.
  • Use interactive content like gameplay to focus the lessons on those areas that the solution identified as being weaker.

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