Technology skills are an integral part of 21st century skills, and Adult Education systems nationally are aligning policies and practice to help adult learners prepare for the 21st century workforce demands. Low-skilled adult learners and out-of-school youth in California Adult Education System need structured opportunities to begin and to improve their use of technology in order to succeed in the workforce and in postsecondary education. An understanding of ethical and legal issues related to the access and use of information technology is an essential component in the process of researching, organizing, evaluating and communicating information. In addition to jobs requiring skills for operating and maintaining specific equipment and systems, adult learners will compete for jobs in the new knowledge economy. They also need to apply critical thinking skills when assisting with and overseeing their children's use of technology and online tools.
What is TIMAC?
Initiated in the fall of 2004, the Technology Integration Mentor Academy (TIMAC) is a peer-mentoring-based professional development initiative with the goal of supporting individuals at adult education agencies to become the technology mentor for their program(s) and thereby increase the effective use of technology in adult education classrooms. Although instructors from any program area may apply, the focus is on mentoring instructors in basic skills (ESL, ABE, ASE, GED). In addition, within its ten-year existence, the Academy has seen the development of a group of professionals committed to providing leadership in the field of adult education in California to implement effective technology integration
"Two years ago, I didn't see myself as a "mentor" and certainly not as a "techie." I have to admit that I have seen myself grow personally and professionally from this TIMAC experience. I've never thought of myself as a leader or a "mentor," but in the last couple of years I've watched people follow my lead. I've had many teachers come to me with questions; some work-related, some not.
"I've accepted that I may not know all of the answers all of the time for all of the people, but sometimes I know just enough to help someone. I've become more confident in my use and knowledge of educational technology. I'm realistic about what I can do, and what my limitations are. I'm very happy with my growth and success and it encourages me to continue learning, teaching, and mentoring."
Ryan de la Vega
2nd Year TIMAC mentor
May 12, 2006