News

Distance and Blended Learning Webinars and Forums Coming Soon!

OTAN is in the process of scheduling several Webinars and Forums on various distance and blended learning topics. These will be great opportunities to learn what is happening in the field and network with your colleagues. So stay tuned and check the California Professional Development Calendar External link opens in new window or tab for dates in April and May for these events.

Ten Tech Skills Every Educator Should Have

T.H.E. Journal has repeated an article they did back in 2005 to find out which tech skills every educator should have. Many have not changed (effective searching skills, mastery of MS Office or or similar products for word processing, spreadsheet creation and presentations) and a few have "morphed" as technology changes. Interesting full article. . . External link opens in new window or tab

California Adult Education Leadership Institute

The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) in conjunction with the California Department of Education (CDE) is seeking nominations and applications for the 2014 California Adult Education Leadership Institute (the Institute). CALPRO is seeking aspiring and new administrators (defined as three or fewer years) for this FREE Institute. For the 2014 year up to 20 nominations for participation in the Institute are being accepted. Complete article . . .

New Financial Aid Toolkit to Improve College Access and Affordability

The U.S. Department of Education recently announced the launch of an online "one-stop shop" financial aid tool kit for guidance counselors and other advisers who help students select postsecondary institutions and finance their higher educations. The Financial Aid Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab consolidates financial aid resources and content into a searchable online database, making it easy for individuals to quickly access the information they need to support their students. Complete article . . .

Conferences of Interest to Adult Education Field

Between now and the end of the school year, there are eight more conferences which may be of interest to those in adult ed. Check the list. . .

Prepare Yourself for the New GED 2014 Workshop in the Sacramento Area

Sunrise Tech Center in Citrus Heights is pleased to be hosting the workshop, "Prepare Yourself for the New GED 2014" taught by Tom Brewer. He has been teaching GED preparation for 27 years and has been a teacher trainer for the GED Academy I and II for 25 years. Tom has local, state and national awards for teacher of excellence. He skillfully uses technology, in daily practice, as an ABE/GED teacher in the San Juan Unified School District.  

This workshop will cover valuable resources, teaching strategies, the integration of technology into instruction and the differences from the 2002 test series. The workshop includes lunch, a flash drive loaded with materials, as well as the chance to network with local agencies.  Seating is limited.

Where:
Sunrise Tech Center
7322 Sunrise Blvd.
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
When:
Friday, March 14, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Cost: $65 per participant
Register online using your credit card. External link opens in new window or tab If you wish to pay by check, please call (916) 971-7654. If you have other questions, contact Lynn Bartlett at 916-971-7967 or e-mail her at LBartlett@sanjuan.edu

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite

Now is the time to schedule professional development activities. 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. There is no charge for this service. 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 for March!

Super Teacher Tools: Free Competitive Review Games and Useful Classroom Management Tools

Super Teacher Tools logo

When a big test is approaching, and you notice tensions rising, one way to lighten the atmosphere while providing a study review session at the same time is with a competitive game. Taking the time to set up some games can be time-consuming, but if they are saved online and recycled or edited each time you teach the same content in class, they give students a chance to discover what they still need to study before the test and an opportunity to teach and learn from each other, while hopefully diffusing stress.

Super Teacher ToolsExternal link opens in new window or tab offers a variety of free online game-making templates and classroom management accessories to make review of course content entertaining in a competitive team format and to help you keep in control of the classroom environment.

 

Professional Development

Online Workshops & Webinars:

OTAN also offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. Here is a list of a few of the upcoming workshops:

Webinar

Moodle v2: Communication in Your Online Course External link opens in new window or tab with Evelyn Lenton
March 13, 2014 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Wikis to Increase Student Collaboration External link opens in new window or tab with Susan Coulter
March 14, 2014 — 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

ePortfolios for Empowered Students and Happy Teachers External link opens in new window or tab - A Pilot by OTAN with Suzanne Murphy
March 18, 2014 — 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Mobile Devices in Adult Education Part 1: Basics to Use in the Classroom External link opens in new window or tab with Susan Gaer
March 21, 2014 — 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Add a Synchronous Meeting Activity External link opens in new window or tab with Francisca Wentworth
March 24, 2014 — 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Creating a High Quality Online Course External link opens in new window or tab with Penny Pearson
March 25, 2014 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 1 External link opens in new window or tab - Vendors are Apex Learning, Aztec, and Edmentum
March 26, 2014 — 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

An Online Presence for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab with Linda Swanson
March 26, 2014 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

To PowerPoint and Beyond! External link opens in new window or tab with Sherri Watkins
March 26, 2014 — 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Toolkit External link opens in new window or tab with Barry Bakin
March 28, 2014 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Apps for Administrators & Teachers: How Your Phone or Tablet Can Make You More Productive External link opens in new window or tab with Marian Thacher
April 4, 2014 — 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

EL Civics: Digital Literacy & Internet Safety External link opens in new window or tab with Karla Frizler
April 4, 2014 — 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 2 External link opens in new window or tab - Vendors include Ascend Math, Burlington English, and Cyber High
April 9, 2014 — 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Other workshops are also available, so keep checking the Professional Development Calendar External link opens in new window or tab for the latest workshop additions.

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!

Face to face workshop

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities External link opens in new window or tab
Saturday, March 15, 2014 — 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
San Leandro Adult School
1448 Williams Street
San Leandro, CA 94577

Beginning PowerPoint 2010 for Adult Education External link opens in new window or tab
Friday, April 4, 2014 — 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Glendale Community College - Garfield Campus
1122 East Garfield
Glendale, CA 91205

Internet Resources for ESL/EL Civics Teachers External link opens in new window or tab
Thursday, April 10, 2014 — 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Santa Barbara City College, Wake Campus
300 N. Turnpike Road, Room 5
Santa Barbara, 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. If there is a technology topic not listed that your staff needs assistance with, let us know and we will discuss creating a new workshop to meet that need. 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.

Teaching Resources

University Word List Flashcards External link opens in new window or tab
If you have students preparing for college, this word list might be helpful for them to study. It consists of 800 English words commonly used in introductory level University texts across all disciplines. It is presented in the form of flashcards that a student can study at home or school.

Eli Hinkel's Teaching Tips External link opens in new window or tab
Eli Hinkel has taught ESL and applied linguistics for over 30 years. Here she has some teaching tips on Teaching Prepositions and Verb Tenses. They may be useful to you and your students. Interesting animations are helpful in demonstrating some prepositions and tenses.

The Readability Test Tool External link opens in new window or tab
Do you ever wonder what the reading level is for a particular site you want your students to visit? If so, this tool could be helpful. It evaluates the readability of a particular Web page using the following indicators:

  • Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease
  • Flesch Kincaid Grade Level
  • Gunning Fog Score
  • Coleman Liau Index
  • Automated Readability Index (ARI)

CK-12 External link opens in new window or tab
CK-12 is a nonprofit organization that provides:

  • Standards-aligned, customizable, digital textbooks (what they call FlexBooks®)
  • Content presented in different forms: text, video, exercises, interactive simulations, and more
  • Tools for managing your classroom online - assign practice, track your students’ progress, and have discussions on your groups
  • A platform that works on all devices (Chromebooks, iPads, Android tablets, Kindles, smartphones, etc.) and can be printed too.

Their site has a student section External link opens in new window or tab and a teacher section External link opens in new window or tab. It would be a wonderful resource for High School Diploma and GED teachers. Watch this 1.5 minute video External link opens in new window or tab for a quick overview. Here is another 10 minute overview video External link opens in new window or tab for a bit more in depth video introducing the site's many resources. Spend some time exploring this resource. It will be worth your effort.

College for Adults External link opens in new window or tab
The site guides adults through the whole college process - applying to school, taking college placements tests, setting career and educational goals, choosing majors, etc. It is an excellent resource for individual students as well as adult secondary classroom activities. Topics include career planning, applying to college, financial planning, brushing up on academic skills, and more resources on how to be successful in college.