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

OTAN Digest - June 2023

Digest #28
June 2023

Message from the Director

Congratulations to your certificate earners and recent grads! It’s a time of transition and new beginnings. In this month’s digest, I’d like to highlight two opportunities. The first is an invitation to complete as well as distribute the Digital Equity Survey developed by the California Department of Technology. This survey will help inform California’s Digital Equity Plan. The purpose of the plan is to ensure equal access to digital technologies, services, and resources for all individuals and communities within the state. Resources to assist with distribution are available in the Digital Equity Survey Outreach Toolkit for Partners.

The second opportunity is an offer of professional learning. Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing how educators think about digital equity, education, and the future of work according to the Ed Tech Center at World Education. In May, Rachel Riggs, Technical Advisor for World Education, led a series of four 30-minute webinars focused on AI. If you’re anything like me, you’ve heard about AI and maybe even tried ChatGPT (released in November 2022), but you wouldn’t consider yourself an expert. Can anyone yet? In this series, learn about the uses of AI and how it works. Get information on how technology expands our ability to build off others’ work while still maintaining the human touch. Hear how adult educators are using AI to assess, engage, and educate students. Consider some of the problems and opportunities that AI presents. I have shared the links to the videos below; however, the Ed Tech Center has also developed some curated resources to support educators and is hosting CampGPT this summer to explore AI tools and to provide time to collaborate and learn together.

Have a great start to your June and don’t forget to reach out to for assistance with training needs for your agency. We look forward to working with you soon!

Renee Collins
-Renee Collins
Director, Adult Education


A Special Message From Dr. Zachry

The CDE, OTAN, and CAEP TAP recently participated in the Broadband Equity, Access, and Deployment (BEAD) workshops happening throughout CA. Several topics were discussed and recommended strategies to address the needs of different populations and outcome areas. Strategies included providing technical support and funding for devices, training and deploying Digital Navigators, partnering with existing services and organizations, investing in digital literacy training for incarcerated individuals, veterans, individuals with disabilities, and those with language barriers, supporting ethnically diverse hires and partnerships, prioritizing rural areas for infrastructure development, promoting opportunities for women and LGBTQI+ individuals, transforming schools into community centers, investing in telehealth and healthcare training, expanding digital literacy programs, supporting workforce development and economic growth, improving essential services accessibility and civic engagement, and collaborating with tribal communities.

The purpose of the State's Digital Equity Plan is to ensure equal access to digital technologies, services, and resources for all individuals and communities within the state. The goal is to bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion, thereby reducing disparities in digital access, skills, and opportunities. Another goal is to address barriers to digital equity and develop strategies to provide affordable broadband access, promote digital literacy and skills development, and support the use of digital technologies in various sectors such as education, healthcare, workforce development, and civic engagement.

The California Department of Technology (CDT) has developed two comprehensive digital equity surveys. These surveys aim to identify the barriers and needs of individuals in unserved and underserved communities, informing the State's Digital Equity Plan.

for individuals

The Digital Equity Survey is intended to identify the digital equity barriers and needs of California’s residents (everyone, including our students). The survey can be taken online or via mobile phone. It is accessible in 14 different languages and includes audio functionality for limited English proficiency and limited literacy residents. Below are links to the survey and an outreach toolkit to promote to your clients, customers, and constituents.

Your feedback is crucial in designing solutions to ensure equitable access to internet service, devices, skills training, and support for all residents in California. When you contribute to identifying barriers to internet access, affordability, and adoption, you are helping close the digital divide in the state. The survey is available in multiple languages, completely anonymous, and designed to represent all neighborhoods and demographic groups, making it inclusive and accessible for everyone. Approval of this plan would qualify California for additional funds to ensure all residents have access to affordable internet, devices, and skills training.

for agencies

We are asking partners to map their digital equity work and help us develop an inventory of organizations, programs, funding, and other resources that are, or can be, leveraged to promote digital equity and support implementation of the Digital Equity Plan. Please take a moment to fill it out for your organization and encourage others in your network or community to do so as well.

By providing your feedback, you will help the California Department of Technology (CDT) understand the programs, services, and their reach in addressing digital equity. Your organization will also be recognized as a supporter of digital equity initiatives in the state. It only takes around 10 minutes to complete the survey, and your input will inform the state's Digital Equity Plan and its funding decisions.

Adult Education was present and attended the Sacramento and Grass Valley workshops. There were many agencies present that represented adult ed. Have you attended? Please see where the nearest event might be and participate!

What are CDE and OTAN doing to contribute to the conversation?
CDE and OTAN met with a researcher from the CA Department of Technology. Dr. Zachry and the team shared what the state and our agencies are doing around digital equity and access. The data from our intake surveys and teacher assessments were presented. Attached are data graphics from our surveys; shared with BEAD leaders.

The data obtained from our annual intake survey holds significant importance. It is essential to reiterate that the intake survey is a requirement for all agencies to fulfill. Allocate and plan time for students to complete the survey at the beginning of the new year. The data derived from the intake survey plays a crucial role in enabling you to make well-informed decisions at the local level for your learners, as well as for us at the statewide level.

Survey Results (PDF)


Carolyn Zachry, Ed.D.
Education Administrator and State Director
Adult Education Office
California Department of Education


Take the
Digital Equity Survey
  Digital Equity
Survey Toolkit

Web-Based Class Activities


ChatGPT: Risks, Challenges, and the Future
by Susan Gaer

Many people think that AI (Artificial Intelligence) is new, but translation services, speech recognition, personalized learning with language learning apps, and grammar/spelling checkers are all forms of AI that we have become accustomed to.


What's New in Online Civics Education and Citizenship Prep?
by Jennifer Gagliardi

Seven new online civics education and citizenship resources from USCIS, LINCS, and more.


Classroom Video on Demand and Learn360 in the Blended Classroom
by Susan Coulter

Learn360 is a great resource for blended learning. With Learn360, you can have your learners watch a video or complete a game or activity to support what you are teaching in the classroom.

Spotlight On...

Digital Learning Guidance

Digital Learning Guidance

California Adult Education Digital Learning Guidance

In recent years, the focus in adult education has shifted from distance education to digital learning, or learning experiences that utilize digital tools for teaching and learning. Digital learning can happen in any learning environment—whether online, in-person, or blended—but requires adult learners to develop digital literacy and exhibit digital resilience.

Digital Literacy includes the ability to find, evaluate, organize, create, and communicate digital information.[2]

Digital Resilience signifies having the awareness, skills, agility, and confidence to be empowered users of new technologies and adapt to changing digital skill demands.[3]

The Guidance covers best practices across a variety of topics that are foundational to effective digital learning, beginning with access and equity. OTAN provides cost-free sessions introducing agencies to the Guidance at Schedule professional development today for next school year.

OTAN June and July Events

Date/Time Event Location
Thu, Jun 1
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Teachers and Administrators Online - Zoom
Fri, Jun 2
1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
Share A Tech Best Practice in Data Collection Online - Zoom
Wed, Jun 7
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Canvas: Admin. Account Fundamentals Online - Zoom
Thu, Jun 8
12:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Using Northstar for Teaching and Learning Torrance Adult School
Griffith Adult Center
Torrance, CA
Thu, Jun 8
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Advancing Canvas: Google Integration Online - Zoom
Fri, Jun 9
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Advancing Canvas: Group Work and Collaboration Online - Zoom
Fri, Jun 9
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talk: Google Keep for Teachers Online - Zoom
Wed, Jun 14
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Canvas: Admin Review and Troubleshooting Online - Zoom
Fri, Jun 16
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Creating With Canva - Scintillating Slides Online - Zoom
Tue, Jun 20
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Teachers and Administrators Online - Zoom
July Events TBA

OTAN training events are OPEN to Adult Education staff.
★ = CLOSED, In-Service Training

Students Succeed

Students Succeed Certificates Awarded!

Congratulations to the students who were awarded certificates as well as those who were nominated!

The following list of students will be awarded certificates and will be featured on the CA Adult Ed Students Succeed website as the resources become available beginning next week (6/5).

Lidia Melendez
San Juan Adult Education

Jennifer Mowry
San Juan Adult Education

Ri'Keishia Seward
Highlands Community Charter Technical Schools

Rosa Torres
R. Rex Parris High School

Celia Zhang
Mt. San Antonio College

Cecilia Delgado
Harbor Occupational Center

Yolanda Reyna
Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School

Jorge Lopez
Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School

Jose Bonilla
Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School

Ester Abelido
Norwalk-La Mirada Adult School

Sira Kone
Berkeley Adult School

Jinhui Wang
MiraCosta Community College

Muska Gharwal
Fremont Adult School

Everette Martinez
Venice Skills Center

Francisco Solano
Salinas Adult School

Maria Norma Trejo
Montebello Community Adult School

Maria Luisa Rosas
Harbor Occumpational Center

Francisca Juarez
Huntington Beach Adult School

Manuel Angulo
Garden Grove Adult Education

Sara Basiri
Mt. San Antonio College

Laila Owens
Moreno Valley Community Adult School

Maria Cornellier
Castro Valley Adult & Career Education

Maria Jose Perez
South Bay Adult School

Reem Shabieh
Petaluma Adult School

Siriwan Sadompruek
Petaluma Adult School

Sulamita Cuevas
Elk Grove Adult Career Education

Fabiola Gonzalez
Monterey Adult School

Alonda Schock
San Joaquin Delta College

Mabel Arnold
Harbor Occupational Center

Iris Cruz
Riverside City College

Cinthya Duran
South Bay Adult School

Elisa Takagi
Oxnard Adult School

Professional Development - Plan Ahead!

Did you know OTAN provides FREE professional development workshops to help Adult Educators integrate technology?

Think about scheduling OTAN Professional Development in the 2023-2024 school year. With a wide variety of technology topics from which to choose, OTAN training staff can provide in-person workshops or presentations at any approved California adult education agency or professional development event, either online or face-to-face with a computer lab or devices connected to the Internet.

All OTAN's workshops are provided at no cost!

Each session is hands-on - everyone will learn new skills related to technology or using technology that they can use in their adult education class or program. And all OTAN online or face-to-face workshops can be tailored to fit the needs of the requesting program. Select the links to see a list of the current online or face-to-face workshops and descriptions. If you don't see a workshop that is exactly what you need, contact OTAN - we'll work together to create a training that's best for you and your staff!

Need more information? Contact OTAN training staff anytime by phone at (916) 228-2580, or by email at

To view workshops already scheduled, visit the California Adult Education Professional Development Calendar and search for workshops sponsored by OTAN. Don't miss out!

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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.