Friday, September 26, 2008

YouTube Volunteer Recruitment Video

The Minnesota Literacy Council volunteer outreach staff have collaborated with technology and training staff to produce a fun new video for YouTube. It features adult literacy volunteers and learners discussing the importance of volunteer tutors in their programs.

It's part of a new strategy at MLC to leverage the power of Internet technologies to advance the organization's mission, communicate with new audiences, and raise awareness of literacy issues in the wider community. You'll find the video below; I hope you'll check it out and pass it along! If you have feedback on the video or ideas about how you could use YouTube in your adult literacy program, please share them in a comment.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Custom Search Engine

Thanks to a tip from CogDogBlog I found myself exploring the possibility of customized search engines from Google. Basically, a CSE allows you to make your own search tool that will focus on the topics or keywords you mark as important, and limit (or focus) the search to websites that you designate. You could create a CSE for your website, wiki, blog, or for a set of websites that you regularly use.

Here is an example that I created: an ESL exercises search. (Warning: I slapped this together very quickly, so it's far from perfect, but I hope you can get the general idea.)

Google CSEs are free for non-profits and universities!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Political Personality Quiz from PBS

PBS has developed an extensive website of curricular materials (including complete lesson plans and Web 2.0 resources) for teaching civic engagement and the use of social media at

In browsing through the resources on this page, I found this interactive quiz "Let's Get Political". Although it's designed for K-12 students, it could be used successfully with adult learners.

Take the quiz and find your own "political personality". Then check out the PBS website for more great teaching resources.