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MN ABE News

A place to get ABE news from across Minnesota.


Progress Report on Implementation of Burlington English and Plato - By Tom Cytron-Hysom, Consultant

The clock is ticking down – Skills Tutor goes away forever at the end of December. Don’t wait until then to begin using the new state-sponsored platforms! It takes time to learn and implement any new platform, so please try to get started as soon as possible.

Here is an update on our state’s progress on the new state-supported DL platforms:

Burlington English

We run a monthly statewide report for each consortia that shows how many of the Burlington English seats assigned are in active use, and how many proxy hours have been recorded.

  • The September report showed that some sites are partially or fully utilizing their seats, while a number of others are not actively using any. Given the expense of Burlington English, and the fact that we have a waiting list of programs needing additional seats, it's crucial that sites actively use the seats they have been assigned. 
  • After we run the October report, we will contact programs using very few or none of their seats and ask for a brief report on their plans for implementation and/or increasing usage. 
  • When we run the reports for November and December, we will begin the process of re-assigning seats that are not being used actively.

Margo Hernandez (214-784-5219 or email Margo) is always available to provide training and support for Burlington English (BE). She commented, “Working in collaboration with directors, administrators, and teachers can be a challenge, given that we are all on a tight schedule with little to no time for training. The most successful consortia bring their sites together, whether through a webinar or in-person training. Administrators and teachers are able to discuss how BE is being utilized, areas of challenges, transition, successes, and training issues. These collaborative ‘get-togethers’ motivate and educate the facilitators of BE to be successful both in the classroom and with distance learning. BE provides these trainings at no cost."

Plato Edmentum

Current stats indicate:

  • 54 ABE programs from 31 consortia have requested and obtained access to Plato. 
  • Of those 54 programs, 30 have active learners, while 24 programs do not yet have learners using the system.
  • There are 1,000 active learner accounts. 
  • 75 Program Administrator accounts have been created. 
  • 96 Program Administrators and Instructors have been added as instructors to Plato classes.

Susan Wetenkamp-Brandt (651-251-9090 or email Susan) can create accounts and assign seats for Plato Edmentum. She said, “The good news is that those learners who have been enrolled in Plato are engaging with the content (almost 100% active), racking up 1,407 hours of time-on-task and completing 2,390 modules in the past 60 days. The bad news is that 24 programs which have requested access do not yet have any active learners. Some of these programs only requested access following the October 17th webinar training, so they are just now getting started. Others have had access for some time but are facing a steep learning curve with the new software, which is far more sophisticated than Skills Tutor and requires more training and time for teachers to learn to navigate. We continue to offer training through webinars and in-person sessions to help ABE teachers and staff fully implement Plato. Check the ATLAS training calendar for details for any of these events.”