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Lynn Parr Bartlett"Adult learners have a very different approach to learning than kids. Adults seek out the education they need. Our students are our ultimate partners every step of the way." - Lynn Bartlett

Lynn Parr Bartlett is production developer for the San Juan Unified School District Adult Education Distance Learning Project (SJUSD). An entrepreneur with a background in media and a lifelong passion for educational film, Bartlett is now responsible for a staff which produces two hours of live television every weekday for adult learners. In the 10 years she has been doing this, she has learned a lot about adult learners and the best ways to help them achieve their goals.

Name: Diana Carter
Address: Waynesburg, PA
Question: I need to know to know where I can find answers to problems I can't get.
Answer: Dear Diana,
By asking me this question using e-mail, you are already close to one important method of finding answers. You are already using the Internet which has many valuable resources for you to explore. I find that by typing in a word or phrase in search engines such as Google and Yahoo, a person can discover an amazing amount of helpful and interesting information. For instance, I just put the word "water" into a search engine and immediately 250,000,000 references, including the definition of the word "water," were available on the Internet. If you are unfamiliar with search engines, go to your local library. There will be people who are happy to help you learn how to use this wonderful learning tool to find answers on the Internet.

Thank you for asking me such a great question!
Lynn

Name: Tracy Graulich
Address: Poland, NY
Question: My father (age 67) has decided to get his GED. He has been enrolled in a program since March 2004. He's doing great...but he says it's NOT FUN. Can you give me any ideas for an adult for FUN activities to boost his reading level (5.8) and his math (5.1)? I would appreciate it a lot. Thank you- Tracy
Answer: Dear Tracy,
First of all, how proud of him you must be! Through the years I have had the privilege of meeting and working with many adult students studying to take the GED exam. I have always been the most impressed by their determination and commitment. One student in particular comes to mind; she is 94 years old and still an eager learner. She is an active participant in one of our television classes and demonstrates a real love of learning for learning's sake. Her philosophy is that each new thing she masters strengthens her mind and enriches her life. Sometimes her joys are derived from very small triumphs—a well-written paragraph or a math problem neatly solved.

If your father has a computer with Internet access, one website he might try looking at is http://www.cdlponline.org/ It is an interesting site devoted to distance education in California and includes a series of adult learning activities that are geared to adult interests but written expressly for adults learning how to build their reading and life skills. My television teachers are always recommending that their students visit www.pbs.org/literacy and www.aaamath.com for more good material to study.

If he doesn't have one...it's time to get him one! They are educational and fun.

Thank you for helping him out,
Lynn

Name: Margaret Park, Consultant
Address: Sacramento,CA
Question: Thank you Lynn, for the article about San Juan USD's Adult Education Distance Learning Project.

We have shared it across our AE Unit and will pass it along to our CDE Communications Office for future marketing and PR efforts.

By the way, we met through various functions of ACCESS and SECC.

Have a lovely summer and keep up great work!
Margi Park, CDE AEO

Answer: Dear Margi,
Your note gives me a chance to publicly thank the California Department of Education for the Innovative and New Technologies funding process that allowed adult schools such as mine to use distance learning technology to serve the needs of our adult students. As you know, many adults have lives that don't allow them to attend a traditional school. Utilizing television, audio and video tapes, computers, the Internet and other technological methods have been an effective way to offer education to our students.

Last year over eighty school districts in the state of California offered innovative programs, and more are starting programs each year. With nearly 1/3 of all the potential adult students residing in our state, this has been a marvelous way to reach out to serve them in their homes, in their cars, or at their place of work. It has been called "Any time...any place," and that really says it well.

Thank you for the kind words,
Lynn

Name: Michael Simmons
Address: New Richmond, OH
Question: How can I better study the GED material daily? I'm 52 years old and have a long ways to go. I need all the help I can get. Need some kind of daily study guide, on all the subjects. Thanks Mike
Answer: Dear Mr. Simmons,
In your everyday life there are many opportunities to learn and to practice your skills. Do you read the newspaper? Besides the current events of the world and your hometown, it is filled with everything from math (the sports section has scores, batting averages and other statistics to take apart) to politics (the editorial pages often feature prize winning contributing writers who are models of the written word) to science (the weather forecast has maps and charts to analyze) and to English language fun (the daily crossword puzzle teaches spelling.)

When you pick up the paper, give yourself some challenges. For instance, guess what the temperature is in Madrid, Spain. Ask yourself some questions—is it like the temperature where I live or perhaps will it be raining? Then use the weather page to look it up on the temperature chart. If there is a world map on the weather page, use it to find the city. Match the location of Madrid with where you live. Was the weather similar to yours? What other cities are near Madrid? Was the weather similar there or very different? Why might that be? Is one of the cities on a mountain or near the ocean?

I have learned a lot from reading the newspaper. When I travel, I always make sure I get a copy of the local paper. It can tell a reader a lot about the city and what is important to its citizens. It also keeps me in touch with my home. Reading the newspaper is my favorite part of my morning routine, and I save the comics for last to remind me to not take myself too seriously.

Try this and see what questions you can answer by giving yourself a daily challenge.

I would also suggest that you visit www.pbs.org/literacy, and chose a daily topic. Rather than trying to study everything at once, choose one of the five GED test areas, and master them one at a time. Don't forget, there are practice tests for each subject to help you determine whether you are ready to take the actual GED test.

My best to you and good luck!
Lynn

Name: James Cunningham
Address: Detroit, MI
Question: I would like to know how I could get into the learning program for my GED.
Answer: Dear James,
Congratulations on taking your first step toward your GED. It is the hardest thing of all to get started and keeps potential students from trying all the time. You might start by calling your Public Library and asking for the reference desk. A reference librarian should be able to help you find the phone number of an adult learning center in your area. By asking for help you have overcome that huge obstacle and you will be eventually be successful if you keep that positive attitude going.

Good luck,
Lynn

Watch GED VideoClassroom@Home broadcasts on Education Access Channel 22 on Detroit's Comcast cable system. The GED VideoClassroom@Home Project is a 22-week series of instructional videos on GED-approved subject areas. The GED subject areas are language arts, social studies, science, geography and math. For individuals preparing for the GED exam, or for those who want a refresher on test-taking techniques or on a specific subject, subject-specific videos will air. The program combines video, print materials and the Internet. Three workbooks cover all five subject areas and provide skill-building and test-taking practice. For more information on when videos on specific subjects will air, and on how to get workbooks, call (313) 224-2100.

Name: Vicki Trevino
Address: Oak View, CA
Question: I would like to apply for my GED, but my reading and writing skills are at a 6th grade level, so what would you suggest? I also have problems with my memory. I have had a head injury, I can't remember everything I hear, write or do...and this makes it very hard for me. Please help.

Thank you,
Vicki

Answer: Dear Vicki,
I commend you for your courage. It is not an easy thing for you to learn right now, but I am convinced that you will be successful because you are so motivated.

Fortunately, distance learning is a very good way for you to study because you can repeat the lessons over and over in order to get all of the information out of each lesson.

I suggest that you pick a single topic to study that you find interesting. Select a book that is available as a book-on-tape (children's books, classics and new releases.) Many libraries have a literacy program that can assist you in selecting the right books. When you get the book and the tape home, go through it very slowly. Follow the words on the page as you listen to the reader's voice.

When one of my sons was a little boy, he was virtually a non-reader, and this method helped him to 'break the ice' with books. He had been put off by words he didn't know how to read, but by hearing the professional reader pronounce them, it made the stories more enjoyable. It also helped him to build a better vocabulary and to become a better speller.

I wish you all the best in your studies,
Lynn

Name: Maria D. Rodriguez
Address: Philadelphia, PA
Question: I am a 7th grade dropout. I wanted to know if there is a way that I can get pre-GED classes? I am interested getting my GED. I have 3 children and they ALL have graduated from high school and 2 have gone on to college. My youngest graduated June of 2004 and is going to college. Now it's my turn to get my GED. From what I understand, I have to start with Pre-GED classes. Can I get those on line?

Thank You

Answer: Dear Maria,
Take heart-you are not alone, your story is one I have heard before from adults motivated to return to school after watching their children succeed with education.

I wanted to comment on one of your concerns regarding pre-GED classes. Preparing for the five GED tests is a very personal quest. Some adults need a lot of assistance in some areas and almost none in others. It is a good idea to meet with a teacher or counselor to assess your personal educational needs.

With our GED and Adult Basic Education television classes, we have worked with students who are at various levels of confidence as they move from one subject to another. For example, they find that the GED Math is too difficult and that they need to start at a more basic level. On the other hand they might be a very good reader and find the GED Science to be a snap.

My best advice is to focus on one area of study at a time and to work your way through the five topics by building a pattern of success for yourself, one step at a time.

I know your children will be proud of you!
Lynn

Name: Mark Simpson
Address: Vancouver, WA
Question: I have been trying to get a teacher for quite a while now. I feel that they are there to help me better myself, ask questions if I need them. Why has no one responded to my request?

Thank you,
Mark Simpson

Answer: Dear Mark,
It can be very frustrating when you think no one cares about you. But don't let yourself believe it's true because the world of education is filled with people who care a lot about their students and are willing to go the extra mile to help them.

Keep on asking for assistance at your local adult school, at the community center, at the library and at your place of worship. There is a teacher out there for you.

In the mean time, use your computer to search the Internet for information on how to study Adult Basic Education and to prepare for the GED.

You will get the help you need—don't stop trying.
Lynn

Name: Susan Ann Barlet
Address: Barnwell, SC
Question: Hi, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your site page about you.
Answer: Dear Susan Ann,
For me, one of the most fun aspects of this guest appearance on the PBS LiteracyLink Forum page has been to hear from people from all over the United States. I even got an e-mail from an old friend from my college days—she and I had drifted apart a few years ago. So this has had personal benefits to me as well.

Thank you for taking the time to write us.
Lynn

Name: Tesfay Gidey Meles
Address: Las Vegas, NV
Question: I would like to learn at home.
Answer: Dear Tesfay,
Studying at home can be very productive for you, if you follow a few simple learning strategies.

First, remember that when you are studying by distance learning, you can control your study times. Pick times in the day when you are feeling less pressure to do other things such as doing the dishes or keeping an eye on little children. Next, find a quiet corner of your home and prepare it for studying time. Place your computer, or television/VCR on the desk, gather some scratch paper, freshly sharpened pencils, a calculator, and some reference books like the dictionary and a thesaurus. Third, remember to turn your phone down or put on the answering machine so you aren't disturbed. Hang up a "Do Not Disturb" sign if you have to. And finally—tell yourself, "This is my school, it is important to me and I will do my best work today."

From there, it's up to you. Good luck!
Lynn

Name: Elaine
Address:
Question: I was wondering how I could get a VHS on GED learning? I don't have a lot of time on my hands out of the home. So it would help me so much if I had it on VHS. I don't have a lot of time to search the net either. And my computer is very slow. So if you know please email the info. Thank you, Elaine
Answer: Dear Elaine,
If the local PBS station isn't currently offering the new GED series (which is excellent by the way), another option is to check with your local adult school. Many have distance learning programs and they lend out the VHS videos to students.

One advantage of having the videotape is that you can stop and re-play it when ever you want information repeated. Be sure to use the companion workbooks for a more comprehensive study time.

You might also call your PBS station and request that they add the series to their broadcast schedule. Believe it or not sometimes they appreciate such a good programming suggestion from an interested member of the public.

Good luck with your studies,
Lynn

Name: Sandy Skinner
Address: Chestertown, MD
Question: How can I watch Pre-GED Connection?. I recieve channels 22 and 24 for sure. My satellite provider is DIRECTTV.

Thank You for the help,
Sandy

Answer: Sandy,
For the schedule of Pre-GED Connection programs broadcast on DIRECTV, you can visit http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/ProgramGuide. Type Pre-GED Connection into the box at the top left of the page, and click search. A new window will open, and you'll be able to see the schedule for current and upcoming broadcasts.
Name: Trina Elliott
Address: Baltimore, MD
Question: I'm a single mother of 3 girls. I live in the projects where there are drugs, violence and negativity all around. My neighborhood is filled with hopeless, lifeless people just waiting for you to fail, so they can feel better about themselves.

I lost my brother last year to gun violence 2 months before a ceremony acknowledging and congratulating students who obtained their GED. That tragic incident had a great effect on my life and also gave me a different outlook on life. It motivated me to make a change--to go after what I wanted and needed to fulfill my life. So I attended GED preparation classes for about 7 months and did well on just about all the pre-GED tests. My teacher thought I had a lot of potential and I really believed in myself. You see, I had been in several GED preparation classes and never finished what I started, but this time I felt it was different. For a moment I really believed in myself.

I had paid for the test and all, had my test date and all, and didn't even make an effort to take the test. I guess I was afraid that after all the lessons, confidence and tests, I was afraid to fail. I was afraid to let my brother down. After all, it was his death that encouraged me to go back. I was afraid that all that I saw around was all that I was going to ever be--a product of my environment. So I gave up--but I don't want to give up. I can't give up. I have three people who are depending on me, and I don't want to let them down.

So now I'm taking a preparation class on line. I'm going to try this again, but it's hard. Some times I just want to give up. Can you give me some advice as to how I should cope?

Answer: Dear Trina,
I am so pleased that you wrote me to share your story. Let me first tell you that you have already honored the memory of your brother by the changes you made in your life. Further, you are setting the kind of example for living that will inspire your children.

During some of the darkest days of the Great Depression in 1932, when millions of Americans were out of work, families were being torn apart by poverty and despair was on most people's minds, our newly elected President Franklin Roosevelt said, "So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." He knew that life would get better again and that we just had to have faith in the future. His leadership and fearless approach to problems rescued our nation and made us proud people again.

What this means for you is that you can advance again, take that test you have studied for and look forward to your future. You have people who believe in you and see that you have potential. Trust them and trust yourself. If you stumble, pick yourself up and go back at it again. Show your children how to cope by showing them your courage in the face of the terrors you have described.

I wish you the very best and I feel confident you will make many people proud to know you,
Lynn

Name: Kassandra Lewis
Address: Crescent City, FL
Question: She really smart, I mean really smart
Answer: Dear Kassandra,
I want to thank you for such a kind compliment. This has been my life's work and I am so fortunate that I had the chance to share it with the readers of the LiteracyLink Forum. It is personal recognition such as yours that makes what I do become even more meaningful to me.

Thank you again,
Lynn


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