SOUTHERN HUB (REGION II) QUARTERLY REPORT

SOUTHERN LITERACYCOMMUNICATION CONSORTIUM

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR LITERACY

MAY – JUNE, 1997

Project Staff: JoAnn Martin, Frank Summers, Shirley Ferguson (Texas), Mary Ziegler, Limin Mu, Will Hawk (Tennessee CLS)

A. Broaden the Literacy Community's Access to LINCS

1. Training for state level staff and local programs
Arkansas

Sandra Hardage and Belinda Kittrell have been working on the upcoming SLCC training to be held in Texas. Sandra and Belinda will be presenting a training session on the Whys and Hows of developing a technology plan.

North Carolina

Mary Siedow, director of the North Carolina Literacy Resource Center reports training sessions held June 13th and 18th. Representatives from a total of 8 organizations were present.

South Carolina

South Carolina reports working with 7 sites to obtain Internet access. Internet training sessions are planned for the end of August and beginning of September.

Texas

Training on SLCC and LINCS was provided to 5 Houston READ centers on April 9th with literacy providers and administrators in attendance. Participants commented on the usefulness of such a resource, and indicated that as their centers came on-line they would utilize the Internet to access LINCS and other adult literacy resources demonstrated during the training. Texas and Tennessee are collaborating on the upcoming SLCC staff training to be held in College Station July 28th – 31st. SLCC staff that will be attending the training include: Texas, Frank Summers and Shirley Ferguson; Arkansas, Sandra Hardage and Belinda Kittrell; Florida, Debra Hargrove and Colleen Britt; Mississippi, Charles Malone and Angelique Woodard; Tennessee, Limin Mu, Donal Crosse and Will Hawk; South Carolina, Colleen Clark and Ramona Carr; Oklahoma, Steven Rice; Virginia, Barbara Marshall.

Training provided for over 70 members of the South Central Literacy Action organization during the SCLA conference held in Fayetteville Arkansas June 21st – 25th. Training on the use of the Internet and literacy resources available on the Internet was presented by Dr. JoAnn Martin and Dr. Frank Summers.

Tennessee

Mary Ziegler and Limin Mu developed a training needs survey that was distributed to all SLCC states. Results of the survey were compiled and analyzed by Limin, and the upcoming training was developed from this data. Limin and Donal will be presenting a training session on setting up and maintaining a web server.

The Center for Literacy Studies launched its new homepage. The homepage is in the form of a template with various ways to access information about both the Center's work and information of interest to the literacy field in general. The new address is http://www.coe.utk.edu/literacy/.

Staff at the Center evaluated various software during the quarter. Training was conducted for practitioners in web page development using the AOL Press software program. A June training workshop covering URLs for state regional, and national resources useful for ABE programs and html editing, Information on LINCS network, Descriptions of search engines and their advantages managing an Internet account and e-mail, and HTML codes and their use was also conducted for Tennessee practitioners. By the end of the workshop three programs successfully launched their own homepages. The URLS for these programs are http://www.coe.utk.edu/literacy/abe/greenville, http://www.coe.utk.edu/literacy/abe/jefferson, and http://www.coe.utk.edu/literacy/abe/putnam.

2. Training/technical support for local partner programs
South Carolina

South Carolina reports working with 7 sites to obtain connectivity to the Internet. Expectations are to have all sites up and running by the end of August, 1997.

North Carolina

Mary Siedow, director of the North Carolina Literacy Resource center reports work on establishing a network of literacy providers connected electronically. North Carolina has supported work of 2 networks of individuals throughout the state that meet regularly to share information. One of these is currently making information available via NC LRC's WWW site

Tennessee

Tennessee has agreed to be the lead state in providing follow-up and technical assistance to the SLCC states on web page development and maintenance following the training in July.

Texas

Texas staff members worked with several providers during the quarter providing technical assistance and training. Montgomery ISD, Brazos Valley Workforce Development Board, Leon County Library, and Brazos County Literacy Providers were assisted with technical information on Internet connectivity and the development of a local area network. Technical assistance on technology grant writing and sources was also provided to Brazos Valley Workforce Development Board.

B. Enhancing the Content of Information on LINCS

1. Collecting Quality Information
Member states have been encouraged to provide locally produced materials for posting on the Internet. Some states have expressed a concern over copyright infringement.
2. Cataloging Documents
Shirley Ferguson of Texas has been working on a help document for use with cataloging. A draft copy was developed and delivered to NIFL during the HUBS meeting in Detroit in May.
3. New Additions to Web Site
Updates and corrections were made to SLCC member state web pages as requested.

Corrections were made to the database during this quarter. Corrections were made to configure the SLCC database for more effective searches.

C. Marketing

North Carolina

Presentations were made in April during the Southeastern Regional Correctional Education Conference in Asheville, North Carolina, and in May at the annual conference of the International Reading Association in Atlanta, Georgia.

Texas

LINCS and the SLCC have been heavily promoted during training conducted by Texas staff in Arkansas.  The SLCC and NIFL pages were promoted during the training as excellent sources of information for the adult literacy educator.

D.  Collaboration

Texas and Tennessee have been collaborating on planning the upcoming training to be held in College Station.  Presenters from SLCC member states Arkansas and Tennessee will be making presentations during the training session.

All member states were involved in the training planning through a formal needs assessment conducted during June.

All regional HUBS were represented during May at the HUBS meeting during COABE in Detroit. Discussion of current problems, concerns, and future direction of the project were discussed. Database corrections were discussed during the HUBS meeting. Further discussions over the WWW in June led to an agreement on changes to be made in the databases so that all HUB databases would be compatible

E. Evaluation

Web usage continued to increase during the third quarter. The increased usage is a good indicator of increase awareness and use of SLCC and LINCS web resources. The significant increase in web usage this quarter is an excellent indicator of the success of the work of member states to get the word out about SLCC.
 
 
Item  Accesses  Bytes  
SLCC accesses 2,681 29,447,510
OKLAHOMA Web Site 66 140,885
SOUTH CAROLINA Web Site 269 575,013
ALABAMA Web Site 500 5,971,806
ARKANSAS Web Site 1,470 7,251,258
GEORGIA Web Site 2 4,252
WEST VIRGINIA Web Site 0 0
TEXAS Web Site 18,086 108,814,140
TOTALS 23,074 152,204,864
  

Discussions with Tennessee were conducted during the quarter concerning evaluation of SLCC activities. Texas and Tennessee will be collaborating on the final evaluation plans for the SLCC project year

F. Management

Dr. Frank Summers was appointed as the SLCC project coordinator for Texas. He replaces Clint Williams who left in February.

States were requested to send information in for the quarterly report on two occasions. Response was not good.

An updated email list was developed during May and June for insuring adequate dissemination of information among member states. Corrections were also made to the mailing list for SLCC member states.

Contacts were made to inform states receiving SLCC grants that final reports will soon be due.

G. Special Projects

Texas is working with the Brazos Valley Workforce Development Board on preparing a grant to fund connectivity of member counties to the Internet.

H. Barriers to Success this Quarter

States continue to be slow in sending locally produced materials. All states indicate that funding for sufficient staff is a problem. NIFL cannot continue to depend on leveraged funds within the states to maintain the project. Without adequate funding the sustainability of the project is in question.

I. Plans for the Fourth Quarter

SLCC training will be conducted in College Station July 28th – 31st. Training topics will include web page development, technology planning, and web server set-up and maintenance.

Continued collaboration between Texas and Tennessee for technical support for member states, and design of evaluation plan for project year end evaluation.

North Carolina will be conducting training sessions in July and August during the NC Basic Skills / HRD Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina and at the Adult Literacy and Technology Conference in Boise, Idaho.

South Carolina will be conducting training classes for local providers during August and September.

Texas will provide training to Oklahoma ABE providers during the annual ABE conference in July.

J. Additional Help Needed

More sharing of information among member states and other HUBS.

Working with member states and NIFL to define realistic goals compatible to funding provided.

Marketing of SLCC in member states to local providers.

 

K. State Reports

Attached are quarterly reports submitted by SLCC member states. For further in-depth information on what is happening in member states please refer to these reports.

 

Arkansas Adult Learning Resource Center
SLCC Report of Activities
March - June 1997

Goal 1:

1. Broaden the literacy community's access to LINCS.

a) Training for local programs:
Crusin' - 5 Regional Workshops were held in September 1997. Each workshop was held in a different region of the state. Workshop concurrent sessions were: Internet Driver's License and Troubleshooting.
Technology Institute '97- 100 participants attended this session on May 21,22 and 23. Concurrent sessions dealt with Internet, compressed video, PowerPoint presentation techniques, multimedia authoring, computer basics, etc. Participants had "hands-on" training provided by professors and instructors from the local university.
Surf City, USA - 80 participants attended an Internet information preconference session in November 1996. Concurrent sessions were held on different aspects of Internet use such as teaching with the Internet, HTML, Web page design, Internet Basics, etc.
b) Other Training/Workshops Provided
Concurrent Sessions at Conferences
1. Presented concurrent session promoting technology and LlNCS during COABE '97.

2. Presented concurrent session during Technology Institute.

3. Presented workshop at South Central Literacy Action conference in Fayetteville, AR in June 97.

2. Enhancing the content of information on LINCS
a) Collecting quality information.
A search is ongoing for information that can be put on-line.
b) Developing a specialized collection.
Efforts have been made to search for materials to be placed on-line. We are in the process of purchasing our own web server. A limited number of collections will be placed on-line at that time.
c) Maintaining a "must have " list of resources on the hub homepage.
Updated material has been forwarded to SLCC hub.
d) Provide the hub site with information pertaining to:
1) State profile demographics - not provided at this time

2) Searchable database of unpublished materials - not provided at this time

3) Local Literacy Resource Directory - provided to the hub

4) Calendar of Events - provided to the hub

5) What's new identifying changes on the site - not provided at this time

6) Link to NIFL forum and regional listservs - provided

7) Link to "Top Level" search - provided

8) Link to searchable databases - provided

9) Link to key agencies within the state - to be done

10) Links to local programs - to be done

11) Exercise quality control - more easily done when our web page resides on our Web server

3. Marketing LINCS
a) Provide ongoing publicity of LINCS through training sessions and workshops.
Presentations were made at two local and one national conference and training session.
4. Collaboration
a) Collaborate with state members through grant funding possibilities.
Texas, Arkansas and Mississippi presented a proposal and were funded the TIIAP grant through the Department of Commerce.
b) Promote LINCS homepage among other agencies through informal means.
LINCS has been promoted by word of mouth to other state agencies.
5. Assessment of program effectiveness
a) Assess LINCS' impact on users from tally of evaluation form from local providers.
A survey will be sent to local programs.
6. Management
a) Enhance communication and resource sharing
Internet service has been provided to 5 local programs. A total of 10 will be connected. Internet training has been provided to a total 255 adult education / literacy providers.
 

North Carolina Literacy Resource Center
SLCC Report of Activities
March - June 1997
 

North Carolina Literacy Resource Center (NC LRC) has nearly completed the Internet activities we proposed for our 1996-97 Southern Literacy Communications Consortium (SLCC) subcontract. Our primary goal m these activities was to extend the work done in the 1995-96 Local Access Project (funded by SLCC) and the Technology Mentoring Project (over $30,000 in-kind contribution leveraged in part through SLCC participation) to the creation of an electronic network of basic skills / literacy providers and by helping members create and use Internet based content m this work. We used SLCC funds for some of this work, leveraging these funds with our own resources and attempting to find additional funding for a portion of the work.
 
Survey Results
We began by surveying individuals in the 17 organizations which participated m the 1995--96 Local Access and technology Mentoring Projects to determine their current Internet use. We followed up with a telephone surrey. At the time of the telephone survey only 3 of the organization were maintaining their Internet access and using the Internet in ways related to basic skills instruction. Respondents in these three organizations reported that they were interested in further exploration of instructional applications, but none had yet attempted any Internet related instruction and wanted guidance in beginning to do this. Respondents in other organizations cited inadequate hardware, staff reluctance to use the Internet, and access logistics including issues of learner access to computers, as reasons for no longer using the Internet. From the survey we concluded that merely providing access is not sufficient. Instructors, volunteers and learners must have appropriate support available as they begin to explore Internet applications to adult education. While we could not resolve the hardware issues, we could deal with staff reluctance and logistics issues.
 
Network of Providers
We proposed to establish a network of literacy providers connected electronically. To that end, we wrote a proposal to a North Carolina foundation that would have insured technical assistance to a network that we would have operated. Unfortunately, that proposal was not funded, and we have not yet been able to find the dollars necessary to support a listserve. We continue to search for such funds.
We have supported the work of 2 networks of individuals throughout the state meet regularly to share information. One of these, a group interested in workplace related topics, is beginning to make their work available to others through NC LRC's WWW site.
We anticipate continuing to support the work of this group and extending opportunities for similar support to other groups as well.
 
Work Sessions on Internet Applications to Literacy
Using SLCC funding as leverage, we used NC LRC basic funding to hire Melody Schneider to work with us part time from March through June focusing specifically on activities in the SLCC grant. We had originally planned to ask NC LRC's Resource Information Specialist to oversee the project, but we wanted to take advantage of Melody's availability, since she has extensive experience in curriculum design and a good working knowledge of the Internet. Melody conducted the telephone contacts with 1995--96 Project participants and spoke with members of a Participatory Practitioners Network that meets locally.
Melody used the information gleaned from these conversations to design two work sessions -- one on developing Internet based instruction and one on designing training for teachers interested in developing Internet based instruction. We invited representatives of six organizations from the 1995-96 projects and individuals from two other organizations we knew were using Internet. Agendas for the two work sessions arc attached.
 
WWW Availability of Work Session Products
Individual participants in the Lesson Planning work session completed rough drafts of lessons as part of the work session. One is available on NC LRC's WWW site; the others are being revised and will be published when they are complete.
Individuals in the Training Work session developed individual training plans specific to the needs of their organizations and contributed to a statement of general guidelines for Internet training. The general guidelines appear as an attachment to this report. Individual plans will be incorporated into a position paper to be developed in the final months of this project.
Sharing the Results of Our SLCC Project
We have made or are planning to make several presentations on instructional applications of Internet. All directly relate to and will disseminate outcomes of the SLCC project.
Travel costs of the CEA and IRA meetings were met by NC LRC. Travel costs for the Basic Skills and ALT meetings will be shared between NC LRC and the SLCC budget. (See budget change request.)
 
Other Related Work
Besides the work included in the subcontract, NC LRC has engaged in a number of Hub related activities. We have revised and expanded our WWW site to include sections for teachers and learners to share information, a section on WWW content sites. Using funding from two state agencies we have expanded our on-line directory of programs into a database containing eligibility, location, and contact information. We are beginning to catalog documents produced in North Carolina to add these to our WWW based catalog of resources.
 
Importance of SLCC to These Efforts
While the subcontract funds were too small to do all of the activities outlined above, the fact that we had these funds made it possible to leverage other funds in important ways. We could earmark our own budget dollars to support the dollars available through SLCC. This allowed us to have Melody Schneider on staff part time for three months, to use part of our contractual time from SAGRELTO Enterprises in support of SLCC activities, and to contribute part of NC LRC's Director's time to the project. Although the proposal for a networking grant was not funded, we believe our experience m these months will make us more successful with future proposals.
Increasingly, we have not had to use all of the SLCC funds. We purchased no equipment and less software than anticipated; workshop supplies, Internet access and travel costs were lower than anticipated.
 
Work to be Completed
Our work over the last several months convinces us that we must share some of the important things we have learned with our colleagues in the SLCC and elsewhere. Therefore, we are proposing to add an element to our project, that of disseminating information to the field of adult education. We propose to develop an article based on the experiences of these two years, including accomplishments, lessons learned, etc. from the Local Access, Technology Mentors, and Internet Work sessions Projects.
We propose to use funds remaining in the grant for this. We will contract with Melody Schneider to co-author the article with NC LRC's director and to report on the project at the Adult Literacy and Technology conference to be held in Boise, Idaho, in early August. We will also contract with a participant in the "instruction" and "training" work sessions to co-present the session at the NC Basic Skills / HRD Institute.
We will continue to add information to our WWW site. This will necessitate "renting" more space on the state's computer then we have had to date. Cost of this through September, 1997, is calculated into the "access" line of this budget.
These dissemination activities will be completed by September, 1997. 
 

South Carolina - submitted by Colleen Clark
SLCC Report of Activities
March - June 1997

The South Carolina Literacy Resource Center has contacted 7 sites and all sites have agreed to cooperate with the center in installing the Internet and continuing the project after the first of the year. Letters of agreement were mailed confirming this agreement and asking for local providers and costs. The Resource Center received a list of all state Internet providers to assist the sites. Vendors have been contacted for equipment that will be needed to successfully complete the contract.
After receiving the needed information the Resource Center will purchase the needed equipment for each site. Equipment should be up and running no later than August 1st. Internet training classes are scheduled for the end of August or the beginning of September.
 

Tennessee
SLCC Report of Activities
March - June 1997

Tennessee's work in the Southern Literacy Communications Consortium focused on four main areas: (1) Building the capacity of the Center for Literacy Studies, (2) Involvement in Hub activities, (3) Publishing locally produced materials, (4) increasing access of Tennessee’s local programs to technology and technology training and (5) Library catalogue and resource identification.
 
Building the Capacity of the Center for Literacy Studies
The Center for Literacy Studies launched As new homepage. The Homepage is in the form of a template with various ways to access information about both the Center's work and information of interest to the literacy field In general. The page contains links to key literacy sites including the National Institute For Literacy and the Hubs. Feedback was solicited from the field on the CLS homepage and modifications were made. The Center officially launched its new Homepage on May 18 and transferred all of the existing html files to the server at the College of Education, University of Tennessee. The new address of the Center's Homepage is http://www.coe.utk.edu/literacy/. An official announcement was made on the UTK UNIX server at the Center's old URL http://funelweb.utcc.utk.edu/~litstudy.
New software was collected and evaluated; Homesite 2.5, FTP 97, SAS 6.12 for WIN 95. Other existing software was evaluated. AOL Press, FrontPage 97, ImageComposer, Webwhacker, and Adobe Acrobat Writer. Java apples were studied.
Involvement in Hub Activities
Limin Mu and Mary Ziegler attended the Hub meeting at COABE in Detroit. The meeting was a good source of ideas for getting states involved in the project and for clarifying the overall goals of LINCS. Several meeting participants mentioned using AOL Press for homepage development. Staff at the Center reviewed this software and used it in a training program with practitioners. The WYSIWIG (What You See Is What You Get) capability of AOL Press, showing the look of the authors homepage while it is being crafted, was the most attractive feature for all the participants. Other programs have promised that same feature. Too often those other programs change the codes of existing pages without explanation to the author, and they may not provide the functions of Netscape 3.x. AOL Press doubles as a browser program, paralleling Netscape. Authors still have the capability to see the underlying codes and edit the codes directly. This way they learn about hyper-text markup language but have the option for resuming to the security of WYSIWYG. Since AOL Press is a free program, each participant could return to their work sites and download their own versions.
One other excellent feature of AOL Press is that it automatically gathers all the graphics for a particular page into the directory where the page itself is stored. Simply by pointing to a preferred graphic for a particular page, AOL Press will copy that graphic file into the proper place so that the graphic is constantly available to the corresponding page.
Limin Mu categorized the results of the survey administered by Frank Summers to the states in the Southern Hub. The survey included the following items:
One program contacted the Center for help with homepage construction issues, for example, how to arrange website directories, background files, and image files. Limin Mu provided assistance on the telephone and by email.
Staff at the Center studied the NIFL forms for locally produced materials and literacy organization information.
 
Publishing Locally Produced Materials
The campaign to collect locally produced materials from practitioners in Tennessee got off to a slow start. Collecting materials is difficult because practitioners who have developed materials rarely have them in publishable condition, and most of the time, they do not have a computerized version of the material. The most likely source for materials in Tennessee are the materials we have published at our Center or 353 projects. Three successful projects have been collected from practitioners in the field as a result of the campaign, however, these need to be scanned and formatted before they can be published. Each project contains detailed steps for carrying out reaming activities with adults, recognizing some significant roles that adults play in their families, work, communities and even as artists. We have learned that practitioners who do not use the World Wide Web do not understand the significance of publishing on the Web. Therefore, practitioner use and practitioner interest in online publishing go hand in hand.
CLS has made arrangements for the quarterly newsletter, The Adult Educator, to be published on the Web and available under locally produced materials. These arrangements brought up the issue of quality control for the items that are published on the Web. CLS staff met to discuss this issue and decided that we do not want to inhibit practitioners at this point from submitting their items. Once there is more acceptance of World Wide Web as a repository for literacy resources in Tennessee, we can develop criteria and a method for measuring materialss against these criteria.
Teacher as Learner, a publication of our Center, was published on the Web using PDF (Portable Document Format) technique. This kept the original format intact. Files were saved to postscript format and we used Acrobat Distiller 3.0 to convert them to PDF fates. The document wars originally done on the Mac system, and since PDE files are platform- dependent, we used Acrobat Exchange 3 0 to transfer the files from the Mac to a PC. (Acrobat Reader can also be used for this purpose.) Bookmark files of literacy related materials have also been published with the locally produced materials.
County profiles that graphically depict the census statistics for each county in Tennessee have been completed in html format. These profiles will be added to the locally produced resources, displaying the 1990 data for adult educational attainments, employment levels, and related population features.
A Technology Training Workshop was conducted in June for Tennessee practitioners. The PC lab, with high speed Internet connections, at the College of Information Sciences was donated for the workshop. Ken Libby conducted the training. A notebook of materials was assembled for participants. Contents included the following main topics:
An advanced session in developing a homepage was held for those programs that were ready to publish their own homepages. Three programs successfully launched before the end of the advanced training session. The URLs for these programs are:
One-on-one training was provided to the individuals who are acting as webmasters in counties with an interagency homepage. Local programs are eager to gain full control over their own homepages, rather than seeing their information delayed when working through an agent. The ease in manipulating graphic images, homepages and in managing the uploading of pages usually helps the new webmasters to achieve an "I can do this" attitude.
The Center for Literacy Studies recently completed a project in collaboration with the Laboratory for Information Technology that placed the eight statistical tables for annual ABE federal reporting on the World Wide Web. The 104 local programs in Tennessee can enter their statistical data by way of the Internet. The web-based database prints a report for each program, accumulates all the totals and automatically prints the state report. A group of practitioners helped test the system and this group will act as coaches for others. Each program in Tennessee will have the experience of actually using the Internet for an administrative task. The project has encouraged all programs to upgrade their Internet connections to Netscape 3.01. The project has highlighted the practical advantage of using information technology.
The Center has completed plans to reconfigure the server obtained for the TRIMS project so we can launch Tennessee literacy program homepages.
 
Library Catalogue and Resource Identification
CLS still have developed an Adult Literacy and Lifelong Learning Glossary. This pilot project was launched June 1. The glossary is available both in print and electronically via the CLS homepage. The terms defined in the glossary are geared toward practitioners and include explanations of the various acronyms in the field, definitions of technical terms from the fields of education, linguistics, and psychology? and introductory explanation of terms needed to navigate the worldwide web and library information retrieval technologies.
Wil Hawk, the CLS librarian and colleagues from the College of information Science wrote a paper critiquing NIFLs Adult Literacy Thesaurus (ALT). This paper has been published on the CLS page of locally produced materials. More than half of the CLS collection of 1,500 volumes has been recataloged in the InMagic database.
A power point presentation on LINCS was prepared for the annual state convention in Chatanooga, Tennessee. CLS recently purchased a new projector for the computer and the presentation at the conference will include a "live" search for materials. Participants will be able to have a "hands on" experience.