Introduction to the August 2017 Edition

In 2017 we looked at new areas of research and filled in gaps as we added citations to the bibliography.

  • You will now find a report: Immigrant Settlement and Integration Services and the Role of Nonprofit Service Providers: A Cross-national perspective on Trends, Issues and Evidence, that provides a description of what is involved in settlement language services in Canada as well as in other countries.
  • Our research uncovered a raft of reports that addressed the notion of digital literacies, an area we hadn’t previously included. Digital literacy encompasses the need to use the internet and digital devices to find and evaluate information and for everyday communication.  We all need to have, at least,  basic digital literacy competence in our daily lives; for example, for online banking, finding goods and  accessing services, finding information, sending and receiving emails, communicating with institutions and organizations such as the schools our children attend.
  • The notion of organizational digital capacity was surveyed in federally funded settlement services in Canada in 2017; this of course is of great importance as educators move forward with blended learning. We have included a link to Open North’s presentation and handouts from their webinar.
  • As adult learning with technology is being embraced by more and more educational institutions, the need for an assessment framework to identify digital skills has been identified. Such a framework could provide learners with a sense of the skills they have mastered and where to get any training they need to be able to take advantage of language programs that require them to have more advanced skills. We have included a digital skills assessment tool, the Northstar Literacy Assessment, that is being used in many American states as an example of such a framework. We have also included a report, Defining Essential Digital Skills in the Canadian Workplace.
  • It is always easy to find learning activities when searching on the topic of blended language learning or language learning with technology. The Toronto Catholic District School Board’s Quartz Keystone Concepts reminds us that these instant good ideas need to also be considered in terms of goals, overall outcomes and learning needs. We’ve included that report as well as some web cam activities that will need to be measured against those principles.