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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Digital Learning Guidance

Letter from Carolyn Zachry, Ed.D. Re: Digital Learning Guidance

October 24, 2022

Subject: California Adult Education Digital Learning Guidance

Dear Adult Educators:

The past three years taught educators a great deal about digital and distance learning. The California Department of Education (CDE) and Adult Education Office (AEO) strongly believe it is important to document and disseminate information about effective ways for implementing this modality of instruction. To that end, the AEO is pleased to present the California Adult Education Digital Learning Guidance (Guidance). This guidance is meant to serve as a practical resource for the many individuals who support adult learners—classroom teachers, classified and support staff, counselors and transition specialists, school administrators, and consortium members—in designing and implementing digital learning experiences with adult learners in mind.

The Guidance is research-based, practical, and addresses the subjects that are most critical to implementing and improving digital learning programs. Topics deal with ensuring equity, designing flexible learning experiences, adopting models that work, digital assessments, and much more. Included are 18 vignettes, or "Voices from the Field" that serve to illustrate and bring to life the content addressed in each of the seven chapters. There are also four videos that introduce various aspects of the Guidance.

The AEO would like to gratefully acknowledge the Outreach and Technical Assistance Network (OTAN) for taking a leadership role with developing the Guidance. The AEO also wants to recognize the work of our advisory group, draft reviewers, and partner organizations including the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment System (CASAS), American Institute for Research (AIR), California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO), and WestEd.

Our organizations urge you to share this important information with your staff. You can now download a PDF copy of the Guidance by going to the OTAN website. Later this year, OTAN will be making available more interactive versions of the Guidance and will also be offering a variety of training resources.

We hope you will take advantage of this very useful and timely information to design effective learning experiences for adult learners in the state of California. If you have any questions or would like additional information regarding the Guidance, please contact the OTAN at (916) 228-2580 or via email at


Carolyn Zachry, Ed.D.
Education Administrator and State Director
Adult Education Office
California Department of Education
(916) 322-2175

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.