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Adults In a Digital World: Pathways to Developing Digital Literacy Skills

Monday, June 13, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Adults In a Digital World: Pathways to Developing Digital Literacy Skills

Presented by Barbara Pape, Senior Director, Learner Variability Project, Digital Promise; Jyoti Schlesinger, Vice President of Mission and Programs, Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy; Sarah Cacicio, Director, Adult Learning, Digital Promise; and Rajinder Gill, CEO & Co-Founder, Essential Skills Program

Sponsored by Digital Promise

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Adult learners, similar to their younger counterparts, are unique in their strengths, challenges, and needs to meet their potential in the education setting and beyond. Understanding their learner variability across a whole-learner framework is essential for providing the learning experiences they need to enter and succeed in the workforce and be active members of their communities and society.

Today, digital literacy is as fundamental as basic reading and math skills. Educators and technology developers are coming together to explore innovative ways to teach and assess digital skills using a whole-learner framework. The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy joins Digital Promise to share a new e-source guide, Promoting Digital Literacy for Adult Learners, that provides research-based guidance on supporting and coaching adult learners in developing and applying digital skills.

In this edWebinar, viewers:

  • Develop an understanding of adult learner variability, why that matters, and strategies that can be used in the classroom, library, office, or other learning environment
  • Explore ways to center the learner when designing curricula and training modules, especially digital literacy skills training
  • Explore the resource guide to gain an understanding of why it was developed and how it can support effective instruction, specifically with digital literacy
  • Hear from partners at the Essential Skills Program about how these concepts are put in place to create a holistic teaching experience that can be customized to meet the unique needs of each adult learner

This recorded edWebinar is of interest to middle and high school teachers, especially those who teach ELL, librarians, school and district leaders, and teachers of the adult learning community.


Barbara A. PapeAbout the Presenters

Barbara A. Pape is the senior director for the Learner Variability Project at Digital Promise. She has 20 years’ experience in strategic communications, writing, and policy analysis, primarily in education. Previously, she served as the executive producer of the award-winning Teaching & Learning conference, sponsored by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, where she developed content and oversaw outreach and communications. As a writer, she has written for numerous publications, including Harvard University, the National Education Goals Panel (U.S. Department of Education), and Parents magazine. Barbara also served as editor and publisher of the first electronically delivered education newsletter, the Daily Report Card. She served on the Advisory Board of the Kennedy Center’s Intersection of Arts Education and Special Education Committee, serves as a judge for the Milken-Penn Graduate School of Education Business Plan competition, and is on the Boards at the Education Writers Association and Potentia. She earned an Ed.M. at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and launched her career as a middle school language arts teacher.


Jyoti SchlesingerJyoti M. Schlesinger joined the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy in 2020 as Vice President of Mission and Programs, bringing 20 years of experience in public health, program design, and policy. Her areas of knowledge include population health and demographics, project management, and policy design and implementation. She has extensive experience working in the public and private sectors, most recently with Ernst and Young. Additionally, she has served in leadership capacities at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the U.S. Department of State.

She has deep technical expertise in social services, maternal and child health, strategic planning, health system evaluations, and behavior change interventions. During her tenure at Ernst and Young, Jyoti led an initiative focused on improving the lives of vulnerable, low-income Americans through better integration of social service programs. Jyoti and her team developed a business case analysis to design a more dynamic and focused use of safety net programs, driving the creation of innovative models that include cost, human resources, beneficiary impact, and performance outcomes. Jyoti holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Science in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.


Sarah CacicioSarah Cacicio is the director of adult learning at Digital Promise, exploring the impact of digital tools and technologies on adult learners. Sarah has more than 10 years of experience working to advance social mobility for adult learners through equity-centered research, teacher education, adult education programming, and wraparound services. Prior to Digital Promise, Sarah expanded access to high school equivalency education, college preparation, and workforce training, including job-embedded digital skills, for youth and adults in New York City’s District 79, alternative schools and programs. Her previous research examined equity in literacy instruction and assessment for Students with Interrupted Formal Education (SIFE). She also has experience designing and implementing educator professional development, including teaching pre- and in-service TESOL teachers at Hunter College, City University of New York. Sarah earned her M.A. in bilingual and bicultural education from Teachers College, Columbia University and a B.A. in Spanish language and literature from the University of Massachusetts Boston as a first-generation college student. She is recognized for her commitment to collective impact through relationship building and collaboration.


Rajinder GillRajinder Gill began her dedicated focus on skills development, and its power to create greater equity across populations, while studying abroad in graduate school. During her time at Oxford University, she conducted extensive research into effective career education counseling practices. Rajinder realized the underlying success of an upskilling or reskilling program comes from developing curricula designed to foster both self and social awareness as a means to gain and retain employment. These best practices were incorporated when she co-created and was Executive Director of New World of Work, leading to the program’s success in achieving scale across the California Community Colleges system. In co-founding the Essential Skills Program, Rajinder continues this best-practice methodology where soft skills training curricula and assessments culminate in digital credentials to provide valuable currency for workers in the ever-changing global economy.


Learn more about viewing the live presentation and the recording, earning your CE certificate, and using our new accessibility features.

Join the Personalize Learning for Learner Variability community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital PromiseDigital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.


Digital Promise


Monday, June 13, 2022
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
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