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Last Chance to Register for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium! Only 30 Spaces Left!
OTAN will host a Technology and Distance Learning Symposium on February 25-26, 2011, at Hacienda La Puente, Willows Campus. Registration can be done online and it's free! You can register for one or both days, but you must be registered by February 18th. Read more. . .

Free Online Event: Global Skills for College Completion 4-Day "Jam"
Adult educators around the nation are invited to participate in a free online event, Global Skills for College Completion 4-Day "Jam". This will be the first national "jam" on Teaching Developmental Education, and aims to engage hundreds of full and part-time faculty in learning about, experiencing, and contributing to Global Skills for College Completion (GSCC). The dates for the "jam" are Feb. 16-19, 2011 Read more. . .

New Papers on Literacy and Employment
The Department of Labor has released several papers, funded in partnership with OVAE, that reflect the latest analysis of the 2003 National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) on key areas of adult education. These include papers on providing English language learning to adults, helping public assistance recipients gain literacy skills for employment, improving literacy of incarcerated adults nearing release and preparing young adults with literacy skills that will build their future. Read more . . .

New Math and Science Videos Coming this Fall from TV411
The Adult Literacy Media Alliance, ALMA, provides video-based lessons for adult basic skills learners reading at a 4th to 8th grade level and who are working toward GED-level proficiency. The series is called TV411, and the videos can be broadcast on public television, or ordered from Kentucky Educational Television (KET). There is also an interactive Web site with lessons in Math, Reading, Writing, Vocabulary and Learning Styles. Read more . . .

New Study on Reading Instruction
The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) has recently published a report on the topic of the Impact of a Reading Intervention for Low-Literate Adult ESL Learners. The stated goal of the report was to “help improve research-based knowledge of effective instruction for low-literate ESL adults” as well as to test a new approach of improving the literacy skills of low-literate adult ESL learners. Read more . . .

Free Copies of California's Adult Ed History
The Adult Ed Division of the California Dept. of Education is offering free copyies of the book "Meeting the Challenge - A History of Adult Education in California." Read more....

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite
We are looking for adult schools that are willing to take a leadership role in providing Professional Development involving the use of technology to teachers in their region. We will provide the training. You just provide the computer lab. If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, contact us at 800-894-3113 or lswanson@otan.us for more details!

This month's Web-Based Class Activity is all about getting organized in the new year.

Wallwisher logo and sticky note

Build Class Community by Making Online Bulletin Boards
Most classrooms have a wall dedicated to posting student work or a bulletin board for providing students with course and school information.  Wallwisher is a way to take class bulletin boards online, jazz them up with multimedia, and even include in class assignments. Best of all, it is very easy to use.

 

Professional Development

Face-to-Face Workshops:

Contact us to schedule one of our workshops at your school! We will do most of the work for you. We just need your available computer lab. 800-894-3113

The deadline to register for some Face-to-Face workshops is two weeks before the workshop, so register early to avoid disappointment!

Workshop

Internet Resources for ESL/E.L. Civics Teachers
Friday, February 11, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Emerson Comm. Adult School, 8810 Emerson Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site
Friday, February 11, 2011 — 12:30p - 3:30p
Madera Adult School, 955 W. Pecan, Madera, CA

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers
Thursday, February 17, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Oxnard Adult School, 1101 West 2nd Street., Oxnard, CA

Student Activities with Interactive Whiteboards (Smartboard)
Thursday,March 3, 2011 — 12:30p - 3:30p
S. San Francisco Adult Education, 825 Southwood Dr., S. San Francisco, CA

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site
Saturday, March 5, 2011 — 8:45a - 12:00p
Los Angeles USD - Abram Friedmas Occupational Ctr., 1646 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA

Beginning PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Friday, March 11, 2011 — 12:30p - 3:30p
Alameda Adult School, 2225 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Mt. San Antonio College, 1100 N. Grand Avenue, Walnut, CA

OTAN's Online Lesson Plan Builder
Friday, March 18, 2011 — 9:00a - 12:00p
Fremont Adult & Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

OTAN offers a wide variety of no-cost, hands-on, three-hour workshops. We will come to your school if you have at least 10 interested participants and an approved lab. If you have a smaller school and need more participants, consider coordinating with other small schools in your area to fill your workshop. Here are some of our workshop titles:

Visit our Web site to see the complete list including descriptions and prerequisites for each, then call Linda Swanson at 800-894-3113 or email her at lswanson@otan.us to schedule a workshop.

Upcoming Online Workshops:

Participating in our online workshops is very easy! Whether you are updating your skills for employability or wanting to teach your students about new technologies available to them for learning, there will be something here for you. Don't delay and be disappointed. Sign-up today before the workshop fills up!

Online Documents: Share, Review and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
Thursday, February 10, 2:00p — 3:30p

Participant in online workshop

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
Friday, February 18, 1:00p — 2:30p

Easy Excel Activities for the Classroom: Bingo and Study Helpers with Susan Coulter
Friday, March 4, 1:00p — 2:30p

Distance Learning - Open Forum with Lynn Bartlett
Thursday, March 10, 3:00p — 4:00p

Online Slide Shows - Create, Share and Present! with Melinda Holt
Thursday, March 10, 2:00p — 3:30p

Simple Free Web Tools to Use with Basic Literacy Students with Kristi Reyes
Friday, March 11, 11:00a — 12:30p

Teaching Resources

We have added a variety of new resources for teachers to the OTAN Web site. They include a couple of sites with free photos you can use in PowerPoint activities and for other purposes, a free online image editing suite, and some new ESL, ASE, and GED sites. If you need help for high school students on difficult subjects, try Brightstorm. Great resource!

ESL Discussions
ESL Discussions currently has 600+ topics to choose from. Each topic has 10 questions each for two students to use in ESL lessons, speaking practice, debate clubs or as lesson additions. Topics covered are on everyday and controversial issues. Each conversation is available in Word and PDF format for easy printing.

Famous People Lessons
This site offers lessons/activities using biographies and profiles of famous people. Each offers a transcript with an MP3 audio file for listening practice, and the following activities: a synonym match, a phrase match, a listening gap fill, a correct word choice, spelling, organizing the text, scrambled sentences, discussion, and writing. Reading level varies from Int - Adv ESL..

ESL Holiday Lessons
This site offers lessons/activities using many obscure and well known holidays. Each offers a transcript with an MP3 audio file for listening practice, and the following activities: a synonym match, a phrase match, a listening gap fill, a correct word choice, spelling, organizing the text, scrambled sentences, discussion, and writing. Materials are printable in Word and PDF formats. Reading level varies from Int. - Adv. ESL.

News English Lessons
This site offers lessons/activities using current news stories. Each offers a transcript with an MP3 audio file for listening practice, and the following activities: a synonym match, a phrase match, a listening gap fill, a correct word choice, spelling, organizing the text, scrambled sentences, discussion, and writing. Materials are printable in Word and PDF formats. Reading level varies from Int. - Adv. ESL

Listen A Minute
Listen A Minute says "One minute a day is all you need to improve your listening skills" and I think they are right. Use this site with students to practice listening skills. Site offers the MP3 audio file and transcript, multiple activities to accompany the text and quizzes a student can use to test their listening skills. Reading level varies from Int. - Adv. ESL

Eclipse Crossword
Give Eclipse Crossword a list of words and clues, and it does the rest. In seconds, you will have a crossword puzzle with just the words you want. Use crosswords to review vocabulary and lessons for all subjects. Crossword puzzles encourage logical thinking and correct spelling. Crosswords can be printed or uploaded to your Web site. It even offers a WordPress Plug-in.

Wallwisher
Wallwisher is a way to take class bulletin boards online, jazz them up with multimedia, and even include in class assignments. The only person that needs to register is the creator of the "wall." Messages stick like sticky notes and can be rearranged. Walls can be private (and can be moderated) but then students would need to register. For more ideas on how to use this site, check the Web-Based Class Activity called "Build Class Community by Making Online Bulletin Boards."

English Teachers Everywhere
This site offers an amazing array of listening activity ideas for use in an ESL Classroom, many of which are songs. Here are a few of the categories: Action Listening Games, Grammar Songs, Holidays, Modal Verb Songs, One-minute Songs, Podcast Articles, Recycle Songs, Sound Effect Activities, Vocabulary List Songs, and Strange or Silly Songs.

Penzu
Penzu is a simple online tool for creating a personal journal that is private by default, unlike blog tools which are public by default. Entries are automatically dated and students can add titles and text as well as images which appear in the margin of the page. They need to register to save their entries, but this is quick and simple and only requires an email address. The journal entries can be shared by email or can be printed up and brought into class. Great for language learning.

Career Preparation Curriculum from Maine
The goal of this curriculum is to provide clear objectives, age-appropriate lesson plans and measurable outcomes. Through a step by-step process, students will compile important personal, educational, and career information, and incorporate this information into the Career Portfolio. A completed portfolio enables students to showcase their acquired learning, increase their chances for quality employment and/or admission to college, and reflect achievement of the Learning Results. These were created to be used with high school juniors and seniors and would be good for ASE, High School Diploma, Advanced ESL and students who would like to transition to college.