SABES Program Support Professional Development Center: Digital Literacy and Distance Education


MA Department of Elementary & Secondary Education


United States

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The SABES Program Support Professional Development Center (PSPDC) Digital Literacy and Distance Education initiative supports adult education (AE) programs in adopting evidence-based distance and blended learning models that expand access and accelerate learning. Our high quality professional development (PD) addresses the optimum conditions, audiences, purposes, and digital literacy skills necessary to effectively implement these models. Our work includes advancing digital equity and inclusion by assisting programs in identifying low- and no-cost options for accessing devices and connectivity for students.

Technology ecosystems for workplace, education, and everyday life are continuously expanding and evolving. For this reason, both educators and learners need more than basic computer skills that only enable them to be passive consumers of information. They need to develop strong digital literacy so they can become nimble, lifelong users of technology who can  “find, evaluate, create, and communicate information” (American Library Association, 2013).

Our SABES project provides PD that builds educators’ capacity to support learners in creatively using and adapting to emerging technologies to collaborate, communicate, and solve problems they encounter in their daily lives, careers, and educational contexts. In order for educators to provide ample opportunities for learners to do this, they themselves need strong foundational digital literacy skills and the capacity to creatively draw on them to craft meaningful instructional activities that support a paradigm shift from teacher- to student-centered education.

The SABES PSPDC Digital Literacy and Distance Education project is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to support the 1,100 teachers, advisors, and program directors in the Massachusetts AE system. Each year, these educators work with 18,000 adult learners, particularly those with barriers to employment, to identify and achieve their family, civic, education, and career goals.



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