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AEL/TWC
Pandemic Update


Updated 2/10/2022 | Click to go to the TCALL website

Dear AEL Providers, Students & Community Stakeholders,

As we all strive to make the best of the situation we are in, we continue to create innovative and solution-focused methods that show continuing to best serve Texans is our top priority.

TWC and AEL partners in the field are working diligently to make necessary changes to our infrastructure that ensure that we will continue to support Adult Education & Literacy in Texas during this time and moving forward together!

Please check back frequently, as we will continue to use this page for timely updates for our students, providers and community stakeholders.

We are #TexasAEL and we are here to support you!

Stay Safe. Stay Healthy.

Mahalia Baldini
State Director, Adult Education and Literacy
Texas Workforce Commission

Quick Links

AEL FAQ During Pandemic

Texas AEL IET Programs

Remote Testing Guidance Chart

Remote Instruction Checklist

Distance Learning and Remote Instruction

Digital Literacy and Digital Equity

 


FOR STUDENTS: Go to our student resources page.

FOR GRANTEES AND PROVIDERS:

Quick Links

Deliverables Chart

Activities for the Remote Classroom – Follow TWC Guidelines

FREE Internet Provider Offers

Communication Tools/ Software

Take Some Time For YOU

HSE Provider Updates

 


CONTACT US

Most of the TWC AEL team is teleworking, but we are available all day to assist. Email us first and then staff can set up calls as needed.

Please continue to communicate with us through these email addresses:

Pandemic Resources

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Vaccine Information

Vaccine Information

The Science about How Herd Immunity Works
Discussed is the science behind herd immunity and how vaccines help to insure herd immunity against diseases. The resource also shares information on how to encourage conversations about the importance of vaccination. Also provided are frequently-asked-questions about herd immunity and vaccines for the flu and other diseases.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Tools
AEL programs, help inform your staff, students, families, friends of important COVID-19 vaccine education and instruction. Use and share the Texas DSHS’s COVID-19 vaccine communication tools. You’ll find all kinds of p Twitter pics to share of facts Check back often as this toolkit will continue to update.

Community Vaccine Provider
Local vaccine providers, like pharmacies, may have vaccine available. Use the Texas COVID 19 Vaccine Availability map to find a provider near you with vaccine available. Check the provider’s website for how to best sign up for a vaccine. Call only if the provider’s website doesn’t answer your question.

Downloadable Excel Worksheet of Vaccine Providers
This link downloads spreadsheet of providers, by County and Zip Code. You may need to try and

COVID-19 Vaccine Safety: What You Need to Know
Denver Health’s updated video explanation of the importance of the COVID vaccines.

How do the new mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 work? 
UCSF professor of medicine, Joel Ernst, MD, explains how the new mRNA vaccines work.

National Center for Farmworker Health
They put out short readings on many health topics in English with translations in several languages, including indigenous Central American languages. Some of their materials are written as comic books or graphic novels.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources

State and National Resources

Texas Department of State Health Services
The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in responding to the new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID‑19) that is causing an outbreak of respiratory illness worldwide.

Toolkit from Texas Dept. of State Health ServicesYou can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by using these communication tools to share safety messages. Take your pick of animations and videos to post and share. Select among the many PDF posters to print and hang in your work site. Also, feel free to post and share the social media tools on your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.

Texas Department of State Health Services Updates
The Texas Department of State Health Services is tracking cases of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19. DSHS updates the state level case counts on a daily basis.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Since launching an agency-wide response to the COVID-19 pandemic on January 21, 2020, CDC has focused on learning about the disease–how it spreads and how it affects people and communities.

World Health Organization
WHO works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.

Tracker of educational disruption and response worldwide
UNESCO is supporting countries in their efforts to mitigate the immediate impact of school closures, particularly for more vulnerable and disadvantaged communities, and to facilitate the continuity of education for all through remote learning.

Pandemic Quick Reference Guide
A guide including information about the Coronavirus, prevention, symptoms, myths, and resources.

 


Serving Students at a Distance and Remote Instruction

Distance Learning and Remote Instruction

Serving New Students at a Distance

Tech & Learning - Remote Learning Playbook
(linked with Permission from Author)

Using Morning Messages to Start the Day in Distance Learning: This article discusses different warm-up activities for each day before beginning a virtual learning session.

6 Strategies for Successful Distance Learning: Teachers discuss strategies for successful DL

See the FAQ for guidance on Distance and Remote Instruction

Distance Education Cheat Sheet

DL policy

Tips for Distance Learning

GED Pandemic Educator Support

IDEAL Distance Education and Blended Learning Handbook

How to Rapidly Set-Up & Implement Distance Learning Programs

NRS Distance Education Tip Sheet

Distance Learning

Digital Literacy and Digital Equity

DEPDC: The Distance Education Call Center Wakelet
The Distance Education Professional Development Center (DEPDC) is a new professional development center for Texas AEL, dedicated to increasing the capacity of AEL practitioners in Distance Learning, Tech Integration, Digital Literacy, and Remote Instruction.

Digital Navigator Resource Hub
Digital Navigators provide individualized or small group assistance based on learner goals, help learner-workers resolve emerging tech problems with accuracy and efficiency; and provide information so they can make their own decisions.

EdTech Integration Strategy Toolkit
This app is designed to help you find strategies, resources, and activities to support meaningful edtech integration and digital skill development.

FREE Digital Literacy Toolkit
Download Digital Libraries and Literacy Training Materials.

GCFLearnfree Computer Literacy Tutorials
If you’re new to computers, we can help. These tutorials will help empower you to be more comfortable with this type of technology, from learning the parts of a computer to using a mouse.

GOOGLE for Education – Applied Digital Skills
Teach and learn practical digital skills needed for the jobs of today and tomorrow with our free video lessons.

Northstar Basic Computer Literacy Course
Northstar is making some of otheir Northstar Online Learning (NSOL) units available publicly for a period of time to serve those who may be unable to access services in public locations due to COVID-19 restrictions.

 

Other Online Curriculum and other Resources

Activities for the Remote Classroom

Now you’ve got them online. What’s next? Here are a few links that will help teachers keep students engaged while working in the remote classroom environment.

3-5 Remote Teaching Resources

8 Fun Activities for Virtual learning

Coronavirus Adult Literacy Resources from Georgia State

Distance Learning Activities for Zoom or Google Meet

Fun Activities for Remote Learning

FREE Internet Provider Offers

Internet & Broadband
Provider Offers

ConnectHomeUSA
ConnectHomeUSA is working to close the digital divide in HUD-assisted housing

Affordable Connectivity Program
The Affordable Connectivity Program is an FCC benefit program that helps ensure that households can afford the broadband they need for work, school, healthcare and more.

The benefit provides a discount of up to $30 per month toward internet service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying Tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Affordable Connectivity Program is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

 View Texas providers here.

EveryoneOn
In response to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on society, multiple Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have made updates to their low-cost internet service programs to ensure individuals and families stay connected to the internet during this challenging time.

Programs for Low-Income
Here are both government subsidies and low-income internet programs from internet service providers (ISPs) that can help with your internet bill. These inexpensive internet plans, income-based programs, and low-income family plans help reduce the cost of staying connected.

LifeLine
Lifeline is the FCC's program to help make communications services more affordable for low-income consumers. Lifeline provides subscribers a discount on monthly telephone service, broadband Internet access service, or voice-broadband bundled service purchased from participating providers.

 

Take Some Time for YOU

Take Some Time for YOU

Fun and productive things to do during Quarantine
If you need to quarantine or your country has imposed a lockdown due to Covid-19 and you need to stay home, you might be wondering what to do to fight boredom at home. Don’t worry, we have many ideas to help you! Follow Oh My Good Guide‘s unique list of Productive & Fun Things to Do at Home during Coronavirus Quarantine:

20 Tips for Working from Home
More people than ever are working from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whether you're new to working remotely or just looking to level up, these tips from a remote work pro can help you stay productive and maintain balance.

Simple Ideas to Reduce Anxiety During the Pandemic
What can we do, together, to help ourselves and each other to reduce anxiety and stress during this time? Video clip is only 7minutes.

Quick breathing exercise for kids
Kristin Lothman, a mind-body counselor with Mayo Clinic's Department of Integrative Medicine and Health, provides a "bubble blowing" breathing exercise for children who may have anxiety related to COVID-19. Less than 5 minutes.

Meditation Yoga – Pandemic Related
Covid-19 calming meditation (meditation for Corona Virus anxiety relief), the second of our 30 day meditation challenge on Heart Alchemy Yoga. 12 minutes.

Dealing with the Pandemic - Positive Mind vs. Quiet Mind - Deepak Chopra
The New Free Courses by The Chopra Well Guests. 23 minutes.

15 Minute Progressive Muscle relaxation
When you’re experiencing anxiety, stress, or worry, one of the ways your body responds is by tightening up. Progressive muscle relaxation is a relaxation technique that helps you release the tension you’re holding in your body and feel more relaxed and calm.

12 At-Home Workouts to Do With Your Kids
Getting a workout in with kids around doesn’t have to be complex. In fact, it can even be fun! The secret isn’t finding time without the kids. The secret is inviting the kids to workout with you.

Ten strategies for educators’ wellbeing 
There is no right or wrong response to this crisis, there is no “one way”. But there are actions we can take to help us not only get through this current crisis, but to emerge from the crisis wiser, stronger, and more connected.

Communication Tools/ Software

Ten Tips for Online Teachers

1 How To Teach Like An Influencer
Teach like an influencer to make sure you're digitally available to students with these top tech tips.

2 Games For Your Classroom You Can Learn in Minutes
Well, there are more than two, but I needed something for this slot. Create an online Jeopardy, Quiz Bowl and other games for use in the classroom and virtually! There is a limited free account.

3 More Tips for Teaching in a Virtual Classroom
Looking ahead to the next semester, this author shares what he's learned over the past months about how to be a more effective instructor.

4 Ways to Help Students Feel Intrinsically Motivated to Do Distance Learning
What are ways to keep student engagement up? How do we motivate reluctant learners to continue learning in a virtual environment?

5 Remote Teaching Tips from an Online Teacher
We are experiencing unprecedented times. Classroom teachers are being asked to rapidly evolve their professional skillset to address student needs in a now fully remote learning world. There’s much to learn from our colleagues who have experience teaching in an online environment.

6 Ways to Keep Students Engaged in Any Type of Classroom
Be it a traditional or virtual learning space, the goal is to keep students engaged--here are some strategies you can use in your classroom.

7 Clever Teacher Tested Tech Hacks
From dropping a pin into online texts, to teaching students the art of checklists, here’s how teachers are upping their edtech game.

8 Strategies to Improve Participation in Your Virtual Classroom
Educators share their best synchronous and asynchronous strategies to boost student participation during online learning.

9 Tips for Virtual Learning
With many students going back to school virtually this fall, parents and teachers are questioning how to best set students up for success.

10 Mental Health Tips for Teachers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
While resources related to mental health have been (rightfully) front and center for supporting students, parents, and others, less focus has been paid on maintaining the mental health of the educators who are also trying to find balance in our new way of living and remote teaching. That’s why we put together some mental health tips for teachers that can help.

 

 
 

HSE Provider Updates

Remote Testing Guidance Chart (Updated 8/10/20)

GED Testing Service Logo

We understand that test centers, educators and GED students may be concerned about the pandemic and how it may impact GED testing. We are monitoring the situation carefully and are following guidance provided by governing bodies, Pearson and Pearson VUE. At this time, GED test centers across most of the country are operating normally and are using standard precautions.

Test centers that deliver the GED are controlled locally and are advised to make any closure decisions based upon information provided by local and state authorities and government agencies. Test centers that decide to close for any period of time should notify Pearson VUE immediately, so that they can cancel tests appointments and notify students of their test cancellations as quickly as possible. Test centers should call 1-866-389-3665, option #2 to report a closure.

Students who are impacted due to test center closures will receive notification that their test has been cancelled and their testing fees will be refunded. Students can reschedule their test on GED.com for when the testing site has reopened, or at another open test center.

To maintain a safe testing environment at GED test centers, we are asking test administrators and test-takers to follow the guidance below:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds prior to arriving at the test center, and after testing
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with your arm or elbow, not your hands
  • Utilize hand sanitizer when available
  • Avoid touching your face
  • Stay at home from work or reschedule your test if you are feeling unwell or have symptoms such as a fever or respiratory difficulties

We are committed to the safety or GED test-takers and test center workers. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional information as needed.


Upcoming Deliverables Chart

Naming Conventions for submission: Contract Number_Grantee Name_Deliverable Number/Name.
Example: 0418ALA001_ACC_6.4 Monitoring Plan to AELcontracts@twc.texas.gov.

Name of Deliverable; Document or Task Due Date Who Needs This? Is There a Template from TWC Notes
Data Validation 15th of every month Program Specialists No For the previous month
Quarter 3 Data Sign Off 04/15/2022 Program Specialists No TEAMS data validation
PD Plan Follow-up 04/15/2022 Grant Managers;
Program Specialists;
TCALL
Yes; PD Plan  
6.7 & 6.12 Q3 Progress Reports 04/30/2022 Grant Managers; Program Specialists Yes; Detailed Project Plan has separate tabs for quarterly reports Quarterly report template is within the Detailed Project Plan
Updated Contact Information Form for New Program Year Amendment 6/1/2022 Grant Managers; Program Specialists Yes In case there are changes within institution leadership and/or signature authority
Quarter 4 Data Sign Off 7/15/2022 Program Specialists No TEAMS data validation
6.7 & 6.12 Q4 Progress Report 7/31/2022 Grant Managers; Program Specialists Yes; Detailed Project Plan has separate tabs for quarterly reports Quarterly report template is within the Detailed Project Plan
6.20 Yearly report 7/31/2022 Grant Managers; Program Specialists Yes; Detailed Project Plan has separate tab yearly report This is a tab in the Detailed Project Plan. Yearly Report is in addition to Q4 report.

 
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