Friday, April 18, 2008

Sharing the Power!

The Minnesota Literacy Council's annual Sharing the Power conference last Saturday was a resounding success!

My workshop on RealeBooks was well received and I hope that the teachers, tutors, and learners who attended the session went back to their learning centers ready to make lots and lots of books.

Thanks to everyone who came and made this such a great event! I look forward to seeing you there again next year.

Here's a pic of me leading the RealeBooks workshop (note the wild hand gestures!), and another one of session participants:

Friday, April 11, 2008

Reflections on the CEA Conference

For the past two days I've been attending the 2008 Region III and Region IV Corrections Education Association conference in Bloomington, MN. I don't work (and haven't worked) in corrections education myself, but MLC supports literacy educators at all levels throughout the state, including in corrections. So I went to make myself more familiar with the particulars of this area of adult education that has been, up to now, completely unknown to me. It was an interesting experience for me, an "outsider", to attend. I got a chance to speak with vocational, ABE/GED, and ESL teachers who work with offenders in the corrections system throughout the Midwest, and those conversations gave me a real insight into the special needs, challenges, and rewards of that particular line of adult education work. Every time I'm in a gathering of adult educators, I'm struck by the passion and committment that they have for their work and their learners. In this group of teachers, who work with some of the hardest to reach adult learners, I sensed and even greater depth of committment and love for their work than in almost any other group I've had the privilege to work with. Powerful stuff. Keep up the good work, CEA teachers! You've inspired me to dig deeper into my own work and find renewed energy for my most difficult projects. Thanks!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


This Saturday I will be presenting "Become the Author of Your Own Real e-Book" at the Minnesota Literacy Council's annual Sharing the Power conference. RealeBooks are picture books that you can share by email (to read as e-books) or print to read the old-fashioned way. You upload your own pictures (from a digital camera, scanner, or Internet site) and write your own text. RealeBooks are a great tool for adult and family literacy educators, because they allow you to:
  • control the reading level and word choice in your text
  • create books that have adult-appropriate topics
  • work with your learners to help them write their own books

RealeBooks are great for adult English and basic literacy learners because they allow you to:

  • write bi-lingual books to share with your children
  • write books that tell your stories
  • practice reading and writing English in a fun and meaningful way

RealeBooks are made with RealeWriter software. The basic version is free, and the pro version is available for a $30 upgrade (for a single user license). Check it out at:

Technology and Literacy... big issues

...derserve discussion.

I hope that this blog will be a place that discussion can take place.