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Who Are We?

The Illinois Digital Literacy Lab (IDLL) exists to help students and teachers develop the 21st century skills needed for professional and personal success. IDLL empowers Illinois adult educators to become change-makers in their institutions and across the field by leveraging educators’ unique knowledge of learner needs and challenges to implement highly tailored tech innovations. IDLL (or “the Lab”) is a community of adult educators focused on integrating new technology into their classrooms. In the Lab, educators explore a variety of opportunities for student learning that is independent, personalized, and sustainable. Educators have the opportunity to experiment with tech tools including a variety of learning resources such as: digital literacy, blended learning, hybrid learning, flex learning, M-learning, U-learning and more.

Participating educators act as entrepreneurs, researching digital tools, and experimenting with a range of technologies in the classroom. In addition to evaluating tech tools, the lab offers an opportunity for leadership development; participating educators have re-imagined their roles as innovators and advocates.

Project Purpose

To help educators differentiate instruction and accelerate learning, and improve the use of technology to communicate and solve problems while increasing learner’s digital literacy, access, and 21st-century skills.

We kicked off the lab in October 2017 with an interactive workshop in Bloomington, Illinois. During the workshop educators and partners discussed problems faced in the classroom and potential solutions through the use of new technology. We explored these solutions through three sprints in 2018. Each sprint allowed educators to purchase technology, implement it in the classroom, and reflect on needs and outcomes for their students.

Educators worked in small cohorts, each supported by a subject matter expert to help guide them through the experimentation process.

Now, more than ever, adult educators must be equipped to support digital literacy and distance education. If you are innovative, experimental, and want to meet the challenges of the educational landscape while adopting cutting-edge technology and best practices for your classroom - join our movement!

The Lab’s three core elements are:

1. Support for adult educators and their programs on how to effectively incorporate learning technology into the classroom, with Subject-Matter Experts (SME’s) and curated resources.

2. A facilitated learning community for educators and administrators to support, advise, and learn from each other and from the resources they find valuable.

3. Capturing insights about the most effective digital tools, delivery models, support strategies, which can then be shared across the state of Illinois.

How Can I Get Involved?

Interested in the lab? How about an edtech chat? Please contact our program manager at program manager at Michael Matos Michael@chicagocitywideliteracy.org. You can also follow us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/ildiglab or Twitter @IDLLtheLab