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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Administrators' Digest

May 2018 (Vol. 9, No.5)

Digital Leadership Academy 2018-2020 (Cohort 2) Applications Are Now Open

OTAN announces an opportunity for adult education agencies through the Digital Leadership Academy (DLAC) 2018-2020. This program combines OTAN's previous Academies (Technology Integration Mentoring Academy and the Online Teaching Academy), and OTAN offers the program for a full two years to ensure agencies can meet projected goals.

The Digital Leadership Academy will assist agencies in meeting their technology integration, distance learning, or blended teaching goals. The program is designed to be flexible in how agencies can best use the resources offered by OTAN to support their agency goals. Your DLAC project is aligned to the Technology and Distance Learning Plan filed by all California WIOA Title II funded adult education agencies.

Later this month, OTAN will live stream the final presentations of the eight Cohort 1 teams. The presentations will take place on Friday, May 18, starting in the morning. Tune in to learn about the exciting projects that our adult ed teams from across California have been working on for the last two years. We will send out instructions on how to view the live stream when we get closer to the presentation date.

Four Ways to Get More for Your EdTech Dollar

Finding the budget and time to do large technology refreshes will always be stressful, but there are a few ways IT directors can lessen the burden and get more for available dollars.

  1. Use current technology to buy down the new fleet. 
    When it’s time to refresh devices, first look to your current technology fleet to determine its value. By making smart technology purchases and timing refreshes right, schools can use the residual value of their current devices to reduce the cost of purchasing the next fleet.
  2. Don’t pay cash. 
    For those of us who grew up being taught that “cash is king,” this can be a hard concept to understand. However, financing your technology purchases can end up costing less in the long run and can provide a better learning experience for students.
  3. Avoid the summer doldrums. 
    IT directors often like to refresh devices when students are not in the classroom. Unfortunately, many other schools have this same idea and the market becomes flooded with used devices. A better idea is to carefully plan refreshes during school breaks, working with a device trade-up partner with experience doing this.
  4. Refresh in intervals. 
    If the thought of doing a complete technology refresh over spring or fall break is overwhelming, break it down into four monthly intervals, such as December through March. This strategy allows IT directors to avoid the summer buy-back doldrums and realize a higher residual value for devices, while minimizing the impact on IT.

With a little creative planning, school districts can stretch their technology budgets. And what school couldn’t use more money to fund technology?


Report: It’s Time for Ed Tech to Tackle the Adult Learner

A new report funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education and produced by Luminary Labs explores how technology could make an impact for adult learners. The intent is to push investors to fund development of technology that could be used by the adult learner community. Five "opportunity areas" are covered in the report:

  • Supplementing instructors, tech specifically to save them time and effort, such as the use of adaptive features that can lead individual students through content at an appropriate pace and "live" assessment tools to help instructors monitor student progress;
  • Designing "for life," tech intended to make course attendance more viable, such as the use of mobile tools that use text reminders and video conferencing software to replace face-to-face interaction;
  • Engaging learners, to keep their attention and retention, such as the use of gaming to perk motivation and "family-friendly interfaces," which can turn learning into a family activity that incorporates help from children;
  • Building the community, to foster collaboration that leads to student success and;
  • Making connections, to link students' personal experiences to their learning content, such as through virtual reality and augmented reality.

"With the right attention and funding, investment in the development of digital tools and technology solutions can not only tap into an underserved market, but also radically transform the experiences of adult learners and educators in math and beyond," the report suggested.

This is the second of three reports undertaken by Luminary for the federal agency. The first report highlighted the challenges in serving the needs of adult learners through technology. The series is overseen by LINCS, a. U.S. Department of Education resource to provide course content, policy guidance and other materials for adult education.

Source: THEJournal

National Library Service Offers Free Braille and Talking Book Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

National Library Service (NLS) is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries , NLS offers books in braille or audio that are mailed for free or instantly downloadable.

NLS works to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons  access to reading material regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise. Share the gift of reading, and spread the word about NLS so that all may read.

For more information or to apply for this service, please visit:


Welcome to the Post-Text Future

I’ll make this short: The thing you’re doing now, reading prose on a screen, is going out of fashion.

We’re taking stock of the internet right now, with writers who cover the digital world cataloging some of the most consequential currents shaping it. If you probe those currents and look ahead to the coming year online, one truth becomes clear. The defining narrative of our online moment concerns the decline of text, and the exploding reach and power of audio and video.

This multimedia internet has been gaining on the text-based internet for years. But last year, the story accelerated sharply, and now audio and video are unstoppable. The most influential communicators online once worked on web pages and blogs. They’re now making podcasts, Netflix shows, propaganda memes, Instagram and YouTube channels, and apps like HQ Trivia.

Consider the most compelling digital innovations now emerging: the talking assistants that were the hit of the holidays, Apple’s face-reading phone, artificial intelligence to search photos or translate spoken language, and augmented reality — which inserts any digital image into a live view of your surroundings.

These advances are all about cameras, microphones, your voice, your ears and your eyes.

Together, they’re all sending us the same message: Welcome to the post-text future.

Read the entire New York Times article.

Source: New York Times

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.