Learner Web Regional Profile
St. Paul, Minnesota
"The Hybrid use of the Learner Web to support specific instruction fills a void and is pretty effective. Learners can handle the interface and have the literacy skills to work through difficulty they might have if they are new to learning on computers. "
Jenifer Vanek, Learner Web Regional Administrator
The Learner Web began in St. Paul in 2007. St. Paul Community Literacy Consortium (SPCLC) leaders were interested because of the potential to reach new learners, and to implement a distance learning program that incorporated evolving technology. They were excited about using the Learner Web because it was an outgrowth of the Longitudinal Study of Adult Learning, conducted for a decade in Portland, Oregon by Learner Web founders Stephen Reder and Clare Strawn.
At the end of 2010 there were four Learner Web sites in St. Paul, and three other Learner Web regions in other parts of the state: Mankato, Granite Falls, and Minneapolis, that are supported by the St. Paul Regional Administrator. Learner Web Learning Plans are used by adult learners in a variety of ways, for example:
- Computer skills. In the Digital Education Lab at the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning, an adult learning center and lead sponsor for the Learner Web in St. Paul, learners get an orientation and then receive ongoing support as they work their way through a Learning Plan called Computer Skills You Can Use.
- Distance Learning. A small number of learners in SPCLC regional sites, e.g. the Hubbs Center and Workforce Centers, use Learning Plans such as: Citizenship, Learn English for Work, National Work Readiness Credential Prep, and Accuplacer - Getting Ready for College for distance learning.
- Hybrid use of Learner Web to support Occupational Certification Programs. The Hubbs Center has three programs that either currently use or will use the Learner Web in the near future. The plans support face-to-face instruction for learners in the following classes: Pre Certified Nursing Assistants, Medical Office Careers Prep, and Child Development/Childcare Licensure Prep.
The Learner Web Regional Administrator coordinates and creates learning plans, coordinates learning plan maintenance, trains all users, and supports a small staff of AmeriCorps members, volunteers, and hourly teachers as they use the Learner Web. She helps to support expansion of the Learner Web to greater Minnesota by providing training, and tailoring learning plans to meet site needs. She also provides learner usage data to Learner Web sites. Several Learner Web staff members in St. Paul have helped to develop the Learning Plans above and others.
St. Paul is leading the Minnesota Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) Project that uses the Learner Web in six locations statewide, with the Minnesota Literacy Council as the fiscal agent/lead partner. Throughout the evolution of the Learner Web in St. Paul, private and government funders have been key to its success.