News

Employment Opportunities - See the OTAN Web Site

The OTAN Web site has a section devoted to job opportunities for adult educators. If you are looking for a new position, you may want to take a look in our Want-Ads section as there are a number of openings, especially in Southern California, that you may want to look into.

Improving Adult Education Teacher Effectiveness: A Call to Action for a New Credential

California requires adult education instructors in both the K12 system and the community colleges to be credentialed, with requirements related to content area as well as teaching approaches for adults. However, many states do not have such requirements. In fact, 18 states have no credentialing requirement for teaching adult education, although three of those states require some professional development within a certain period. Because of this situation, and spurred also by the wide adoption by states, including California, of the Common Core Curriculum Standards, a national discussion is now taking place on the possibility of a nationally required credentialing system for adult educators. Read more . . .

Online "GED Certificates" Not Worth the Paper They're Printed On

Press Release from the GED Testing Service®, March 22, 2012: Consumers are being deceived by fraudulent online "schools" offering high school credentials that have little or no value. GED Testing Service® has filed a lawsuit to stop this abuse and protect those seeking to further their education.
Complete article. . .

Adult Literacy Resources: "What's Age Got To Do With It?"

The Change Agent (www) provides accessible, multi-level literacy materials that are relevant and inspiring to adult learners. The publication, published twice a year in March and September is available online (www) and can be downloaded at no cost, although they appreciate donations.

Read inspiring stories of older and younger students getting past their preconceptions and reaching out to make friends, share struggles, and learn from each other across generational lines. Teachers are provided lesson plans and discussion questions to use in the classroom (www) that will engage students and provide an important forum for critical thinking, sharing, and achieving understanding across diverse experiences. Complete article...

Part 1 of New GED Assessment Guide Released

The GED Testing Service® [www] has released Part 1 of The Assessment Guide for Educators [www] to help educators learn about the new GED test that will launch in 2014. The Guide is designed to help the adult education community begin to incorporate the new direction of the GED into preparation programs.

The Assessment Guide for Educators provides an overview of the assessment, the assessment targets for each content area, a description of cognitive levels, and item types, as well as other topics. The Guide will be released in three installments with the first installment available immediately. Read more. . .

Points of Entry Project Helps Ex-Offenders Find Training and Employment

The Points of Entry (POE) Pilot (www) was launched in partnership with the US Department of Education Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) and the Open Society Foundation. The project aims to promote the development of career pathways and transition programs for low-skilled adults, 6th to 8th grade level equivalent (GLE), and prisoners in re-entry at 6th to 12th GLE. Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) and Elk Grove Adult and Community Education (EGACE) have received funding to develop or enhance programs and services, providing target populations with the training, education, and support services necessary to achieve industry-recognized credentials and sustainable employment. Read more . . .

State Budget Leads to More Cuts to Adult Ed Programs

Adult Education in Los Angeles has been much in the news as the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school board struggles to come up with a balanced budget for the coming year. The school board voted on March 13 to completely eliminate adult education in Los Angeles if the worst case scenario state budget comes to pass, meaning no additional state funds and no tax increases approved by voters in November. The fate of LA's Division of Adult and Community Education (DACE) is significant to the entire state, as the district has served approximately 350,000 students annually, a larger adult education population than that of all but three states, and by far the largest program in California.
Complete article. . .

Funding Challenges to Adult Education Nationally

CLASP [www], a research agency that provides data and studies to support "policy solutions that work for low-income people," has posted a new fact sheet [pdf] on adult education federal funding and enrollment trends from 1998 to 2012. It shows that federal funding for adult education has declined steadily from 2003 to 2009, and held steady in 2010-12, with an overall decline of 17 percent. Read more. . .

Little Hoover Commission Recommends Adult Ed Move to Community Colleges

The Little Hoover Commission (www) is an independent state oversight agency created by the legislature and composed of five public members appointed by the governor, four public members appointed by the Legislature, two senators and two assemblymembers. Its goal is to promote "economy, efficiency and improved services" in state government and agencies.

The Little Hoover Commission has released its report on the California Community Colleges, Serving Students, Serving California: Updating the California Community Colleges to Meet Evolving Demands (www). The Commission makes a number of recommendations for improving student outcomes, one of which is that adult education be ... complete article

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!

New Web-based Class Activity

This month's Web-Based Class Activity gives you some great ideas for using the Web vocabulary and pronunciation development

Audio icon

Using Text-to-Speech and Web Sites for Vocabulary and Pronunciation Development

Vocabulary learning and online reading can be made to appeal to learners with a preference for auditory learning, non-native English speakers, the visually impaired, and those who simply want to multitask and have something read to them. Students can use the online dictionaries with audio and text-to-speech Web sites to support their learning and have fun while building their vocabularies with some of the site’s online games..

 

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 most Face-to-Face workshops is two weeks before the workshop, so register early to avoid disappointment!

Workshop

Online Documents and Tools - Create and Share on the Cloud!
Thursday, April 19, 2012 —3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Elk Grove Adult School, 8401-B Gerber Road., Elk Grove, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 2.2)
Friday, April 20, 2012 — 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Huntington Beach Adult School , 17231 Gothard Street, Huntington Beach, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 1.9)
Friday, April 27, 2012 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Palo Alto Adult School - Greendell Site, 4120 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 1.9)
Friday, April 27, 2012 — 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Glenn COE Adult Program, 823 W. Laurel Street, Willows, CA

Cell Phones in Adult Education
Friday, May 11, 2012 — 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 1.9)
Thursday, May 17, 2012 — 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
El Monte-Rosemead Adult School - Rosemead Campus, 4105 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA

Creating Web Pages with Weebly
Friday, June 1, 2012 — 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Capistrano Adult School, 31431 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, 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 e-mail her at lswanson@otan.us to schedule a workshop.

Upcoming Online Workshops:

OTAN offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. This year workshops will be offered both separately and as a series, allowing participants to register for several sessions at once. All of the workshops shown below can be part of our series. See below for the Online Series Offerings.

Cell Phones Part 3: Smartphone Applications to Use in the Classroom with Susan Gaer
April 6, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Moodle: Customizing Your Course and Grade Book with Blair Roy
April 9, 2012 — 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Moodle: Getting the Most out of the Gradebook (Advanced) (New!) with Francisca Wentworth
April 16, 2012 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Online Documents: Create, Share, and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
April 20, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
April 27, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Moodle: Create Online Interactive Activities (New!) with Francisca Wentworth
May 10, 2012 — 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students with Melinda Holt
May 11, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet with Branka Marceta
June 7, 2012 —10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Each series is accompanied by additional online resources and support through a facilitated Moodle course, providing participants with the benefit and support of an online learning community. The workshop series are designed on the theory that continued and sustained support improves learning outcomes. Here is the list of the series:

Online Series Offerings:

  • Mobile Technology in Adult Education
    • Getting to Know Your Cell Phone: Features, Etiquette, and Texting
    • Cell Phone Activities Using Voice and Camera
  • Create and Collaborate in the Cloud
    • Online Documents: Share, Review, and Collaborate
    • 10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students
  • Moodle: Foundations in Moodle Course Management
    • Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
    • Moodle: Customizing Your Course and Grade Book
  • Moodle: Activities Series
    • Moodle: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students
    • Moodle: Creating Assignments
    • Moodle: Create Online Interactive Activities (New!)
    • Moodle: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning (New!)
  • Social Media and Online Presence for Adult Education
    • Social Networking and Online Presence for Adult Ed
    • Three Fun Online Activities for Students
    • An Online Presence for Teachers

Teaching Resources

Since reading comprehension, pronunciation, and vocabulary development using audiory means is highlighted in this months' Web-based Class Activity section, I thought I would mention a few more sites you can use for this purpose.

Adult Learning Activities - California Distance Learning Project
The California Distance Learning Project has news stories with sound and some video and follow-up activities based on the news stories. The activities include vocabulary, spelling, matching, multiple choice and comprehension questions. All are interactive.

English Pronunciation (OUC)
A Canadian University produced this site. However, the recordings, pronunciation demonstrations through Quick-time movies and even the tongue twisters all demonstrated an American English pronunciation. All recordings and movies worked fine; the site was last updated December 2005.

TV411 - Tune in to Learning
Go to the Vocabulary section. This portion of the TV411 Web site offers six videos which will help more intermediate to advanced students learn more about using a Dictionary to find words and a Thesaurus to avoid using the same words over and over. There are also activiies that are associated with the videos.

Digital Dialects
The Digital Dialects Web site features free to use interactive games for learning the basics of 60 languages. Language sections are updated regularly and new sections are under development. This site requires the use of the Adobe Flash Player. Has audio component to many of the sections for great drill and practice.

Vocabulary.com
Vocabulary.com starts off by asking you to choose which of four definitions matches the word being presented. It goes through a series of 10 words and you get points. If you sign-up for a free account, the site keeps track of your progress and your students can learn new words just working with the site as often as possible. They also offer some pre-create lists of vocabulary words and have tips on using the site for SAT or GRE preparation.

English Vocabulary Exercises
The site has over 500 exercises broken down by into two main categories - General Vocabulary and Academic Vocabulary. Under General you will find subcategories of: Arts, Literature & Entertainment; Crime & the Law; Feelings, Qualities and States; Food & Eating; Health & the Body; World of Money & Work; Natural World; Phrasal Verbs; the Political World; Basic Science & Academia; the Social World; Structures, Places & Objects; Transitions; Verbs, War, Violence & Conflict.

Language Guide
LanguageGuide.org offers free sound integrated resources for learning English. The site has vocabulary with pictures and audio. Slide the mouse over the picture to see the spelling and hear the pronunciation. Categories of vocabulary include: Alphabet, Numbers, Greetings, Time, Writing; The Body, Family, Men's & Women's Clothing, Fruits & Vegetables; Animals, Insects, Birds, Reptiles & Amphibians, Fish; Colors, Landscapes, Plants, Weather, Sea, Space; Items in a Home; Jobs, Business, Electronics, the Car, Art Fantasy, Tools, School, Money, Travel, Music, Construction, A Farm, Religion, Communication, Food, Kids, Military, The City, the Outdoors, Science, Medicine, Baby, and Games.