News

Boost Your School’s Educational Technology and Blended Learning with TIMAC and OTAC

The Online Teaching Academy (OTAC) was initiated in 2010 to meet the growing need for professional development to implement online and blended instruction. Participants are also introduced to effective practices in online teaching and learning. Apply online.

The Technology Integration Mentor Academy (TIMAC) is entering its twelfth year and continues to focus on integrating technology into classroom instruction. Apply online. The applications are open now until September 11, 2015.

More Than 500,000 Historical Video Clips by Associated Press on YouTube

In August, the Associated Press (AP) announced External link opens in new window or tab the publication of more than one million minutes of archival footage on YouTube External link opens in new window or tab. That footage is being published in collaboration with British Movietone External link opens in new window or tab. Much of the footage in the archives is under two minutes. The short clips could be good as supporting material to add to a reference page for students.  In general, students will need the larger historical context in order to appreciate the video clips. Read more...

Edutopia: Resources for Understanding the Common Core State Standards

Recently, Edutopia External link opens in new window or tab staff updated the collection of links covering topics related to Common Core State Standards (CCSS). From the debate between supporters and opponents to new laws being enacted in individual states, to the polls by authorities in education, more detailed information is offered about CCSS intricacies and controversies. One of the recommended resources is the Teaching Channel's collection of over 240 videos External link opens in new window or tab about CCSS implementation, from broad overviews to lessons ideas for specific standards. Remaining article...

What Education Technology Could Look Like Over the Next Five Years

In a June 29, 2015 article External link opens in new window or tab on KQED's MindShift blog Katrina Schwartz gives an overview of the NMC Horizon 2015 K-12 External link opens in new window or tab report which offers a snapshot of where ed tech stands now and where it is likely to go in the next five years, according to 56 education and technology experts from 22 countries. Read more...

Facebook is Building Free Educational Software

Facebook became the latest technology company to enter the national debate over how to best educate children with the announcement of a partnership with a network of charter schools to build educational software that will be offered for free to public schools. This would obviously hold possibilities for adult education, too. Read more...

CUE 2015 Fall Conference

Computer Using Educators has a fall conference in Napa, CA. It is a great opportunity to connect and learn from other educational technology enthusiasts. CUE has added an option for Adult Education registration for all affiliated conferences. (The national conference being held in the spring in Palm Springs will also have an Adult Ed strand.) Learn more about this conference at their Web site.External link opens in new window or tab

The California Adult Education Professional Development Calendar Offers Many Opportunities for Professional Development

If you have never visited the California Adult Ed PD Calendar External link opens in new window or tab, we would like to encourage you to visit soon. All three leadership projects, OTAN, CALPRO, and CASAS, use this calendar to list their upcoming workshops. We are confident you will find a topic of interest.

Save Money - Offer Professional Development On-site

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 you would like to participate, call us at 800-894-3113 or e-mail lswanson@otan.us for more details!

New Web-based Class Activity for September!

A written paper with red ink edits and a 'no' symbol on top of it.

NoRedInk: Use It to Improve Writing Skills

NoRedInk External link opens in new window or tab is a fun tool to help students improve their writing skills. Students learn grammar, mechanics, usage, and style by using a curriculum based on their favorite celebrities, friends, TV shows, and more. They receive immediate feedback and unlimited practice. Diagnostics, practice, and quizzes can be set up in minutes and grading is automatic. Teachers can set up different classes and have students enroll in their class using a classroom code for each class. Teachers can then follow student progress and scaffold learning by assigning additional practice to struggling students.

 

Professional Development

Webinar

Online Workshops & Webinars:

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

Open Educational Resources and AE  External link opens in new window or tab with Penny Pearson
September 15, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

So You Want to Teach Online?  External link opens in new window or tab with Anthony Burik
September 23, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Creating Open Educational Resources External link opens in new window or tab with Penny Pearson
September 29, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Licensing Your Creations (Copyright & Creative Commons)  External link opens in new window or tab with Penny Pearson
October 13, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Create and Host Effective Meetings (2 hours) with Francisca Wentworth
October 15, 2015 ~ 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 1 hosted by Penny Pearson
October 29, 2015 ~ 3 to 4 p.m.

If a workshop appears to be closed and you would like to participate, call us (800-894-3113).

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 this fall or winter! We will do most of the work for you. We just need your available computer lab. 800-894-3113

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

Face to face workshop

iPads in Adult Education  External link opens in new window or tab
Friday, Sept 11, 2015 ~ 9a.m. to 12 Noon
Conejo Valley Adult School
1025 Old Farm Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Mobile Devices in Adult Education External link opens in new window or tab
Friday, Sept 18, 2015 ~ 12p.m. to 3p.m.
Glendale Community College - Garfield Campus
1122 East Garfield
Glendale, CA 91205

Chromebooks for Adult Education External link opens in new window or tab
Wednesday, Sept 23, 2015 ~ 12p.m. to 3p.m.
Folsom-Cordova Adult School
10850 Gadsten Way
Rancho Cordova, CA 95670

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

Web "Sitings":

DePaul University Center for Writing-based Learning: Type of Writing External link opens in new window or tab
While this set of resources may be beyond the scope of adult education, it may be just what is needed for any adult ed students preparing to enter college. They have information on writing by discipline, common writing assignments, writing resumes & applications (including college applications), as well as technical writing.

University of North Carolina Writing Center External link opens in new window or tab
This is another marvelous list of resources for writing, complete with printable handouts and some have video explanations to go with them. Most writing topics are covered.

Motivation - Motivational, uplifting stories and life lessons External link opens in new window or tab
A great resource for quick reads or topics to discuss in ESL speaking or reading classes, or perhaps just motivational stories to read to students when the "will" to continue in their education declines. They also have a few Inspirational Videos, a collection of Education Jokes and Funny Short Stories, and a Quotes Collection.

Net Texts External link opens in new window or tab
Net Texts is a content management system (CMS) similar to Moodle. You can upload content and organize it into courses, or you can use the many Open Education Resources (OER) that Net Texts has uploaded to their site, including videos, readings, Web links, etc., along side your uploaded content. After the course is complete, a student, using the Net Texts app (iPad or Android), can download the entire course onto their tablet or it can be viewed through a Web browser. For more information on how the system works, here is an in-depth 53 minute Webinar External link opens in new window or tab.

Rewordify External link opens in new window or tab
Rewordify is a free Web site created by a teacher to simplify reading of difficult passages for students, while teaching them new vocabulary. It helps teachers by saving time and producing engaging lessons. You can create a free account (you do not even have to give them your e-mail address) and accounts for all your students. In the Educator Central you can track time spent reading, words learned, and learning errors of your students. You can copy and paste any text into the text field and it will "reword" the text with simpler words or phrases for better comprehension. You can also print learning activities such as vocabulary lists from the text, some games and quizzes, cloze activities, and the text document with vocabulary, which has the text on the left with difficult words underlined and the definitions on the right. If you are an ABE or ESL teacher, this one is a keeper.

Stanford Education Group - Reading Like a Historian External link opens in new window or tab
The Reading Like a Historian curriculum engages students in historical inquiry. Each lesson revolves around a central historical question and features sets of primary documents designed for groups of students with diverse reading skills and abilities. They offer 73 lesson plans on a variety of US and World History topics. The lessons can be offered as a group or stand alone.

Teacher's First External link opens in new window or tab
Teacher's First is a free, advertising-free teacher resource Web site on K-12 topics offered as a service to teachers sharing the best of the Web and their own original content along with practical implementation ideas and best practices for effective integration of technology as a tool for teaching and learning.  You can find over 16,000 educator-reviewed Web resources, searchable by subject, grade, or keyword. You can also find lesson plans and units, ready-to-go content you can share on student computers, a projector, or interactive whiteboard, and special topic collections of Web resources. 

English For My Job External link opens in new window or tab
This site has vocabulary exercises for the food and beverage industry (restaurants, cafes, bars, catering), hotel industry (hotels, resorts, spas), the travel industry (for travel agents, tour guides, flight attendants), and a special section on politeness training for each of the preceding industries.

Tech Tips and Information

Have you ever wished you could take some Wikipedia External link opens in new window or tab articles and save them to read later, offline or create a book out of several articles for class use? Well you can. It is pretty easy to turn Wikipedia pages into eBooks. Here's how:

Collect Articles
Start by visiting Wikipedia External link opens in new window or tab and locating the Print/Export section on the left sidebar and select the Create a book link. Wikipedia allows you to create a book which will contain the pages of your choice. Just select the Start book creator button. This will place the "Book creator" box on each page you visit. To add a particular page to your book, just select the Add this page to your book link. So search away.

Create Your Book
When you are done collecting articles and pages, select the Show book link on the Book Creator bar. Here you can start by giving your book a Title (and a subtitle if you like), choose a paper size for printing purposes and make other choices available. Then arrange the pages in the order of your choice by dragging and dropping them. If you would like a formal printed book, you can order it from the Wikipedia partner, PediaPress, but you can also just choose to download the book.

Downloading Options
To download, start by choosing a book Format. You can choose the e-book (PDF) format for easy reading on a mobile device, or the word processing-plain text version. The benefit to using the word processing version, is that if there are sections of the material you are not interested in, you can delete them. The downside of this format is that all the formating of the text is removed, but you can add those back in manually if you would like.

Select the Download button to begin the process. It will take a few minutes (or longer depending on the size of your book) to render it.

This idea was found on the Hongkiat blog External link opens in new window or tab in an article called "How to Turn Wikipedia Pages Into Ebooks" External link opens in new window or tab