Traditionally, basic adult education has had a particular concern with the skills of literacy and numeracy, seeing these as essential for entry to the world of work.

Adult education teachers may therefore be reluctant to adopt ICT, unsure of the part it should play, and worried about the time it takes away from the development of those basic skills. As we enter the 21st century, however, ICT has already become a necessary and important component of adult education.

Formal and non-formal education are being delivered at a distance via technology – particularly the Internet – with the promise that learning can take place at any time and in any place.

Adults in the United States with low literacy – and in other OECD countries and many developing countries – are heterogeneous demographically. Such individuals, like most adults, may have complex family, work, and social circumstances that cannot easily be put aside to permit education to take place. These factors add additional complexity to issues of instruction methods, learning strategies, and programme planning and management.

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