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Pandemic Update

Updated 7/2/2020 | Click to go to the TCALL website | NEW Website Update Video (5/26)

Dear AEL Grantees, Providers, Students and Community,

This situation may be tough, but so are Texans!

TWC and AEL staff are here to support you as we all make considerable changes to our lives.  Let’s stay in touch and transition to new ways of doing this together.

Texas AEL has a big reach, and, like us, our students desire stability and guidance. 

I greatly appreciate the significant efforts Texas AEL providers are making. Let’s continue that encouraging spirit!  We are here to help.  Your feedback helps us do the best job possible to support you.

We will use this page to communicate developments at Texas AEL and TWC.

Take care,
Anson Green
State Director, Adult Education and Literacy

Quick Links

AEL FAQ During Pandemic (Updated 6/29/20)

Texas AEL IET Programs

Remote Testing Guidance Chart (Updated 6/16/20)

Remote Instruction Checklist

DL Curriculum Volunteer Help Desk for Teachers

Serving Students at a Distance and Remote Instruction

Distance Learning

NEW Website Update Video (5/26)


FOR STUDENTS: Go to our student resources page.


Quick Links

NEW Deliverables Chart

Other Online Curriculum and other Resources – Follow TWC Guidelines

Curriculum Providers

FREE Internet Provider Offers

Communication Tools/ Software

Take Some Time For YOU

HSE Provider Updates



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:

DL Curriculum Volunteer Help Desk for Teachers

Serving Students at a Distance and Remote Instruction

Serving Students at a Distance and Remote Instruction

Serving New Students at a Distance

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Policy and Best Practices (ppt)

See the FAQ for guidance on Distance and Remote Instruction

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.

Distance Learning FAQ: Solving Teachers’ and Students’ Common Problems: Teachers discuss strategies for common DL issues.

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

Digital Literacy

FREE Digital Literacy Toolkit

GCFLearnfree Computer Literacy Tutorials

Northstar Basic Computer Literacy Course

GOOGLE for Education – Applied Digital Skills

Distance Learning

Distance Learning

See the FAQ for guidance on Distance and Remote Instruction

DL Curriculum Volunteer Help Desk for Teachers

Distance Education Cheat Sheet

DL policy

Tips for Distance Learning

Tech Tools Webinars in the Portal

GED Pandemic Educator Support

Upcoming Helpful Webinars

IDEAL Distance Education and Blended Learning Handbook

How to Rapidly Set-Up & Implement Distance Learning Programs

AEFLA COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

NRS Distance Education Tip Sheet



Other Online Curriculum and other Resources

Other Online Curriculum and other Resources – Follow TWC Guidelines*

*All listed resources may not be on the Approved Curriculum List

Actively Learn: [link]
Our curriculum platform will be free for the remainder of the school year to help you meet the unique needs of distance learning 

Best Virtual Field Trips: [link]
Looking for some interesting things to do in your remote classroom? Take a virtual field trip! This site provides links to museums across the world, from the Van Gogh Museum, in Amsterdam, to the Tour of the US Capitols. Worth a look for sure!

CommonLit: [link]
CommonLit provides free digital reading passages for grades 3-12, complemented by aligned interim assessments, and assistive technology features including speech-to-text, highlighting, online dictionary, and annotation capabilities.

Ditch That Textbook: [link]
At DitchThatTextbook.com/elearning, you'll find ...
• Free templates to adjust and assign to your students
• Teaching ideas to try right away
• Free Educator's Resource Guide

GCFLearnFree: Learn and develop the skills needed to advance in work and life. GCFLearnFree

High Interest/Low Literacy Coronavirus Resources [link]

New Readers Press - News for You ONLINE – Now free for all through 6/30/2020.  If your organization does not have access to either the print or online version of NFY, we are offering free access during this period of quarantine.  Use courtesy password:  22667F.  Login here: [link]

Newsela: [link]
We’re offering free access to Newsela’s entire product suite for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year.

Northstar: [link]
Making Basic Computer Skills training free.

SkillBlox: [link]
A free, first-of-its-kind learning plan generation tool that pulls together learning materials both from publisher resources and free and open education resources (OER) and organizes them by skill to provide an increased range of learning options for students.

Wide Open School: [link]
Wide Open School is a free collection of the best online learning experiences for kids curated by the editors at Common Sense.

DL Curriculum Providers

DL Curriculum Providers

DL Curriculum Volunteer Help Desk for Teachers

Approved Curriculum List

Aztec is Here to Help: For organizations not already an Aztec customer: Aztec is offering FREE access for a limited number of concurrent students in a simple administration system, which allows you to easily track student progress and securely manage user access. For existing customers with the full administration system: Aztec will provide you with some flexibility, which may include payment deferrals and/or discounted licenses to address your increased capacity needs. [link]

Burlington English: Offering the option to purchase a 3 month license for $24/seat with a 4th month at no additional cost. ($6/seat/month) Contact your rep for more information: [link]

Cell-Ed: Offering THREE Options in response to the pandemic:

  1. FREE Cell-Ed Pandemic Guide in English/Spanish you can call into on any mobile phone to get expert information in minutes in easy to remember micro-lessons to protect everyone. [link]
  2. Free Cell-Ed UNLIMITED for 90 Days for a limited number of new partners and includes 1000+ hours of full programming+certification+live coaching
  3. Cell-Med Pandemic Crisis Response

Essential Education: Offering short-term, online course licenses at a discounted rate. For just $8 (or less) per seat. Free training webinars

Learning Upgrade:

  • 90-day FREE Learning Upgrade pilots – This offer is good for all programs who do not currently have paid licenses, or participated in a pilot in the last year, or those who participated in a pilot but never activated any learners. Learning Upgrade is approved for TX Distance Learning.
    • Sign up for pilots here.
    • Sign up for training here. For a quick walk-through on setting up your pilot, email me and we can schedule a Zoom meeting.

Voxy: Voxy's Pandemic response here: [link]


FREE Internet Provider Offers

FREE Internet Provider Offers

The Federal Communications Commission has released an agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cut off service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.

AT&T - AT&T Pandemic response. Working with qualified schools in its service areas to provide free, unlimited data plans for 60 days to students for new school-issued tablets, laptops and hotspots for homework and internet connectivity. That offer runs through May 23, 2020. Schools can also protect their students with free access to AT&T's AccessMyLAN security and filtering software.

C Spire (national coverage): Offering free wireless data to K-12 students for educational purposes. Piloting complimentary WiFi for students in select parking areas. [link]

Cable One (AL, AR, AZ, IA, ID, KS, MO, MS, NE, ND, NM, OK, TN, TX): Providing free WiFi hotspots in the service area. [link]

Charter - Charter is offering free internet for 2 months.

Comcast - Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. To sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days, applicants can simply visit www.internetessentials.com. The accessible website also includes the option to video chat with customer service agents in American Sign Language. There are also two dedicated phone numbers 1-855-846-8376 for English and 1-855-765-6995 for Spanish.

Spectrum - Spectrum is offering free internet access for students. Beginning March 16, Spectrum is offering free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395.

Sprint - Sprint is following the FCC agreement, providing unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.

T-Mobile - T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge.

Verizon - Verizon is offering free international calls to countries identified by the CDC, waived late fees if impacted by the pandemic, and waiving new line and service activaiton fees.

Communication Tools/ Software

Communication Tools/ Software

Zoom: www.zoom.com FREE Videoconferencing
Students or teachers who fill out an online form using their school email addresses and are then verified by Zoom will have any accounts associated with that school’s domain also gain unlimited temporary meeting minutes, according to a site set up for the process overnight. 

  • Zoom Tutorial Videos: [link] 
  • Zoom Live Training Webinars (offered daily): [link]
  • Dr. Glenda Rose's Zoom Class Tutorial: [link]

Webex Online Help (contains a link to a Community of Practice, how to contact Webex for help, and training webinars): [link]

The following two links appear to have been developed specifically in reponse to the pandemic:

  • Webex IT Admin Resources: [link]
  • Webex Resources for Users: [link]

WhatsApp: [link] WhatsApp Messenger or simply WhatsApp is a freeware, cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP service owned by Facebook, Inc. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, make voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other media. 

WorkReady Mobile: Pandemic Response Tech Grant

DCCCD testimonial: [link] (WorkReady Mobile)


Upcoming Webinars


Take Some Time for YOU

Take Some Time for YOU

8 Productive Things You Can Do While Quarantined

Tips for Working from Home

Simple Ideas to Reduce Anxiety During the Pandemic
[link] Video clip is only 7minutes

Quick breathing exercise for kids
[link] less than 5minutes

Meditation Yoga – Pandemic Related
[link] 15 minutes
[link] 12 minutes

Dealing with the Pandemic - Positive Mind vs. Quiet Mind – Deepak Chopra
[link] – 23 minutes

15 Minute Progressive Muscle relaxation

12 At-Home Workouts to Do With Your Kids

Ten strategies for educators’ wellbeing - Sea Change Mentoring

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Resources

Pandemic Resources


Upcoming Deliverables Chart

Deliverable Due Date Description Submit To
TEAMS Monthly Data Validation Extended-TBD Monthly class level validation of contact hours N/A
TEAMS Q3 Data Sign Off Extended-TBD TEAMS report submitted by Grantees N/A
Detailed Project Plan July 31 2020 For activities using all funding except Professional Development funds; shall include monthly expenditures and performance benchmarks. aelcontracts@twc.state.tx.us

Local Professional Development Plan

July 31, 2020 For activities using local PD funds; shall include monthly expenditure and performance benchmarks.


HSE Provider Updates

Remote Testing Guidance Chart (Updated 6/16/20)

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.

HiSET Logo

In light of the pandemic, ETS wants adult educators to be aware that we are committed to the health and safety of the entire HiSET® community.

In the event that a HiSET test center is closed due to health concerns, we will work to make the process as seamless as possible for test takers to register for a later date at no additional charge. Ongoing updates regarding important information about future testing and test-taker support can be found on the Pandemic HiSET Test Updates page. For additional support, please contact our Customer Service team by live chat or phone at 1-855-MyHiSET.

Seat Availability
Test centers remain open in many areas. Students can schedule appointments for available dates on the Scheduling Your HiSET Exam page.

Free Test Prep
We encourage students to take advantage of free HiSET test preparation resources:

Stay Connected
The best resources to stay up to date on HiSET news include:

Your Well-being Remains Our Top Priority
Tips to keep you and others healthy:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Maintain social distancing.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene.
  • Feeling unwell? Seek medical care early.
  • Get advice from a health care provider.
  • Stay informed: World Health Organization.
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