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

OTAN Digest - September 2023

Digest #31
September 2023

Message from the Director

Research tells us that some of the most effective professional learning takes place over time and includes a recurring cycle of training, practice, and reflection. OTAN is offering three such opportunities to engage around technology this fall with three courses designed specifically for adult education educators and administrators.

BEST – Building an Ed Tech Strategy Toolkit – Sept 8 – Oct 20, 2023

This four-session course helps staff to establish sustainable instructional routines leveraging educational technology. Staff can expect to spend up to 20 hours on course objectives including out-of-class assignments. Plan to stay engaged with coaching and opportunities to learn and share with colleagues.

Triple E Framework Course – Fall, exact dates TBD

Staff who opt to take the Triple E course will explore how well an ed tech tool engages, enhances, and extends learning. Create technology-enhanced lesson plans that incorporate the three E’s. Staff can expect to spend up to 24 hours on course objectives over an 8-week period. This is an ideal course to take as a follow-up to the BEST course.

Digital Learning Guidance (DLG) Course – Oct 6-Nov 17, 2023

OTAN in partnership with ISTE just completed companion materials for the Digital Learning Guidance released in September 2022. With the help of a trained facilitator and a new Canvas course, consider practical applications for ensuring digital equity, designing flexible learning experiences, fostering equitable and inclusive digital communities, and more. Staff can expect to spend up to 24 hours on course objectives over a 6-week period.

Register for these and other OTAN trainings on the California Adult Education Professional Development site. I invite you to reach out to OTAN for your in-person, hybrid, or remote technology training needs. You can connect with us by phone at 916.228.2580 or by email at Have a great start to your fall!

Renee Collins
-Renee Collins
Director, Adult Education


Accessibility Resources

OTAN is committed to sharing information about accessibility with the adult education field. On our Accessibility Resources, you will find OTAN-developed resources as well as resources you can use to learn more about accessibility and create your own accessible content.

Web-Based Class Activities Banner


The Importance of Supporting ESL Students in CTE Pathways
by Alisa Takeuchi

English language learners are students who are learning English as a second language (ESL). They come from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, and they may have different levels of English proficiency. Despite these differences, ESL students have the same potential as any other student to succeed in career and technical education (CTE) pathways.


Using Accessibility Features to Help ALL of Our Students Improve Their Learning
by Debbie Jensen

Over the past years I have focused on what we as educators must do to make our documents/presentations etc. accessible to our learners with disabilities. Along the way I discovered that as I made needed changes to my materials, I also increased the usability for my able-bodied learners. On this journey, I discovered that some of those accessibility features helped me as well. This article is to inform and motivate us all to know about accessibility features that will help our learners.


Genially Lives Up to Its Name
by Kristi Reyes

How many different technology tools do you use? Are you looking for a way to consolidate your online teaching and learning activities? Genially is a free web tool that combines the functions of tools like PowerPoint and Google Slides or Prezi, Quizziz, Quizlet, Thinglink, Adobe Express, and more. Think Canva but with 1000 templates for more interactive learning activities specifically for education.

Spotlight On...

Create (or Update) Your OTAN Account!

We encourage all adult educators to create an account on the OTAN website. Creating an account is the easiest way to stay connected to the latest developments throughout the school year and it's free!

To create or update an OTAN account, first go to the OTAN website. At the top right of the page, click on the Join OTAN menu then click Membership.

On the next page, create your OTAN account by clicking on Register as a new user to begin or enter your email address to log in and update your account. (If you have any issues logging into your account, please email us at for assistance.)

On the next page, you can enter or update your contact and agency information on the membership form. Within the form, indicate your preferences for receiving OTAN Publications and Notifications. One note – if you check Professional Development under OTAN Notifications, you will receive email notices when there is an open training in your region, even if it is not at your agency.

OTAN September and October Events

Date/Time Event Location
Wednesday, September 6
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Teach Digital Literacy and Work Life Skills With an App-Based Course OTAN Online Webinar
Friday, September 8
09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Google Drive and Docs MT. Diablo Adult Education
Friday, September 8
01:00 PM - 04:00 PM
Internet and Digital Safety Awareness Mt. Diablo Adult Education
Friday, September 8
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talk September '23: Supporting ESL Students in CTE Pathways OTAN Tech Talk
Friday, September 8
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
BEST Course Orientation (Fall) OTAN Online Webinar
Monday, September 11
12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Canvas Mini-Sessions Folsom Cordova Adult School
Tuesday, September 12
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Zoom
Thursday, September 21
08:30 AM - 12:30 PM
Google - Customized! Sweetwater UHSD Adult Education
Monday, September 25
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lunch Break OTAN Workgroup
Monday, September 25
12:00 PM - 01:30 PM
Canvas Mini-Sessions Folsom Cordova Adult School
Thursday, September 28
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Zoom Meeting
Friday, October 6
08:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Google Calendar - Beyond the Schedule MT. Diablo Adult Education
Tuesday, October 10
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Zoom Meeting
Thursday, October 19
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Zoom Meeting
Monday, October 30
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lunch Break OTAN Workgroup

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

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.