Groups from across Scotland meet in Glasgow today (Friday) to share their experiences of the first year of a fund that aims to promote the use of information and communications technology (ICT) in innovative ways to promote adult literacies.
Projects ranged from making a local video about the history of Argyll to an international recipe book produced by learners of English as a second language in Glasgow. They include good ideas from Shetland, Aberdeen, Forres and Stirling.
Eight groups with a record of work that combines literacies and ICT were invited to develop ideas over one year, with pound;5,000 each from the Scottish Executive agency Communities Scotland.
Lillias Noble, head of Learning Connections at Communities Scotland, said that the results had been exciting. "A great deal has been learnt from their enthusiastic participation in this project and I hope that others will benefit," Ms Noble said.
The learners will help launch a new report today on the first year of the innovations in ICT and literacies fund. Learning Connections will use the findings to promote good practice in the use of ICT in adult literacies.
The report notes that some of the projects demonstrated that ICT is attractive to learners from a variety of countries, speaking a range of languages - all with a common goal to learn to read and write in English using the computer. These learners wanted to integrate into Scottish communities, communicate with locals and officials and find worthwhile employment.
The use of computers, digital cameras and editing software was found to be a powerful medium for working with all ages. Learners said they were attracted to using ICT to communicate with their children, grandchildren and colleagues at work.
The report underlines the particular benefits technology-based learning can bring to rural areas, where it is sometimes difficult to engage groups of literacy learners at one central location because of low population densities and transport difficulties.
One project in Moray, however, found that, by incorporating ICT into its literacy work, it doubled the number of anticipated learners.
THE EIGHT PROJECTS
* Live (Local Investigation Through Video and Experiences), from Kirkmichael and Craigendoran Learning Centre (KCLC) in Argyll - a 15-minute video about the local area and its history.
* Discovering the Web, from Shetland Library in partnership with Shetland Adult Literacy - six internet courses in six locations in Shetland.
* Creative E Writing, from the community learning and development adult learning team at Stirling Council - a 20-page colour magazine Write Here, Write Now.
* What's the story?, from Moray Adult Literacies Partnership - a CD on "Forres past and present", which uses animation and digital photography, and a video, The Learning Journey.
* PC Youth Passwords, from Positive About Literacies, Glasgow, working with East End Partnership and John Wheatley College - attended and filmed a Lemar concert in Glasgow, interviewed the band and wrote a review.
* Learn IT Together, from Castlemilk Learning Together Partnership, Glasgow - a course designed to enable learners to boost their skills in four key areas of life: personal, family, social and work.
* Magazine Group, by Linksfield Education Centre, Aberdeen - participants played the role of journalists and reporters, and produced a magazine.
* Celebrating Cultural Diversity, from Glasgow College of Nautical Studies in partnership with Bridging the Gap, Glasgow - worked with asylum-seekers 2and refugees to produce an international recipe book. Wrote about their childhood memories and used the internet to research their country of birth and national flags.