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

OTAN Digest - May 2024

Digest #39
May 2024

Spotlight On...spotlight

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Teaching with Technology

You know your subject, you know how to get your students engaged and focused, but what about how technology can enhance your lesson? Here is a new tool to help adult education teachers locate and learn about Web sites and other technology related to the lesson topic.

Start by choosing your program area: Adult Basic Education (ABE), English as a Second Language (ESL), or Adult Secondary Education (ASE). Then choose the level of your class, the subjects you want to address, and the standard or CASAS competency for the lesson. When you use the filter tool to submit your criteria it will display all the technology examples that match.

Look for a program area to match your lesson and you are ready to go!

Lesson Menu Options

For more information, consult this news item New! Improved! Teaching with Technology (TwT) Database Updated for Usefulness and with a Focus on High-Quality Instruction written by Kristi Reyes, OTAN Subject Matter Expert.

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Now Hiring!

  1. The Project Specialist II, Technology Projects, OTAN (Certificated) has been posted to Ed Join and will close on May 9.
  2. There is also a second position posted for a Project Specialist II, Technology Integrator, Adult Education (Classified). It will close May 7.

Accessibility Resources

Confronting Ableism on the Way to Justice
by Keith Jones

a man in a wheelchair
Learning For Justice

“Being Black and a child with cerebral palsy, or ‘crippled’ as I was called, neither I nor my classmates were expected to put forth any effort to learn. So, little effort was spent on teaching us. The simple act of requesting that actual math be taught got me sent to the principal’s office.” Article Writer, Keith Jones explained in this magazine article featured in Learning for Justice. Jones’ takeaway message inspires educators to look beyond the barrier to learning and the intersection of race or gender. He suggests teachers have high expectations for learning and encourage voice and agency for students experiencing disabilities. Read more about Keith Jones’ recommendations for schools.

California Adult Education Students Succeed Logo

New or Renewing OTAN Canvas Licenses?

OTAN is happy to announce some positive changes to how we process Canvas Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs). The Canvas 2024-25 MOU is now designated as evergreen, meaning, once processed, it will remain in effect for five years or until either your AGENCY or OTAN opts not to renew it.

Another new change is OTAN will pay for the full cost of all AGENCY Canvas licenses for fiscal years 2024-25 and 2025-26, pending final approval of OTAN’s contract for the next grant cycle by the California Department of Education (CDE).

2024-25 MOU

For further assistance, email

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Using AI Tools in Citizenship Preparation and Civics Education
By Jennifer Gagliardi, Subject Matter Expert OTAN

On April 1, 2024, USCIS released a new fee rule and an updated N-400 Application for Naturalization. This article communicates an overview of the changes, helpful links to updated forms, and a compare/contrast of the material with the N-400 updated Interview and the past one. There are recommendations for Voice-enabled Gen AI Apps to practice for the interview. With this article, your Citizenship classes will be ready for updating and more students attaining citizenship.


Hybrid, Hyflex, and Online Live Learning Modalities
by Diana Vera-Alba, Subject Matter Expert, OTAN

Educators and students benefit from the flexibility of the various learning modalities now available for adult education programs. Preparation is key to the success of these innovative and engaging learning environments. In this article, you will learn about the characteristics that differentiate the Hybrid, HyFlex, and Online Live learning modalities and some tips to assist you in preparing for, planning, and implementing these innovative modes of instruction.


Enhancing Adult Education with Ethical AI: Using with Students
by Susan Gaer, Subject Matter Expert, OTAN

This article explores how adult education students can ethically and responsibly leverage AI to enhance their language and content development.

Digital Leadership Academy 2024-2026

DLAC assists agencies in developing strategic plans tailored to their unique goals and objectives. By aligning DLAC initiatives with agency priorities, participants can effectively chart a course for success and drive meaningful progress towards their organizational goals.

We provide ongoing support and guidance to participants throughout their journey. Whether it's through workshops, online meetings, or team coaching sessions, agencies can rely on DLAC to provide the support they need to overcome challenges and achieve their objectives.

Ultimately, participation in DLAC is about elevating the quality of adult education and ensuring that learners have access to the resources and support they need to succeed. By embracing innovation and excellence, DLAC participants are driving positive change and shaping the future of adult education.

DLAC offers a unique opportunity for adult education agencies to enhance their capabilities, drive innovation, and make a positive impact on the lives of learners.

Consider applying for the 2024-26 cohort! Applications are now open!

DLAC Testimonial Videos

Mansoora Shah Zaeem

Jill Wright

DLAC news items

DLAC Participants Cohort 4, Presentations & Videos

Message from the Director

Welcome to May. I hope you have been able to get out in your yards or communities to enjoy the spring flowers and weather! Our OTAN team is excited to connect with you soon at the upcoming California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) State Conference and CASAS Summer Institute. We’ll be offering several engaging technology workshops, and we’ll also have staff stationed at the OTAN booth. Come by and say hi and pick up some OTAN swag while you’re at it.

Be sure to join us at CCAE to celebrate the recognition of OTAN trainer, Melinda Holt. CCAE will be presenting her with two awards, the 2024 Dr. Robert Rupert Award, recognizing an exceptional individual whose impact on adult education has been widely acknowledged, and the 2024 Lifetime Membership Award, recognizing exceptional retiring CCAE members. Melinda has spent a 30+ year career dedicated to enhancing adult education through technology integration. Don’t miss this opportunity to say goodbye for now and thank her for her work in person!

There’s no reason to limit your OTAN professional development to conferences alone. Have you considered bringing OTAN to your site to work with your staff on a technology goal? Maybe your CIP goal? OTAN has a host of developed workshops and resources but is also open to designing a custom workshop based on your agency’s needs. OTAN workshops are always available to our members at no cost, whether in-person or virtual. Reach out to OTAN staff by phone or email at 916-228-2580 and

Wishing you all the best as you prepare to close out your year and congratulations to all the new grads and certificate earners!

Renee Collins
-Renee Collins
Director, Adult Education


OTAN May and June Events

Date/Time Event Location
Friday, May 3
09:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Creating Accessible Documents - Building Up Skills! Mt. Diablo Adult Education
Tuesday, May 7
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Instructure Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, May 8
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Advanced Canvas: Mastery Paths OTAN Online
Friday, May 10
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talk May '24 : Generative AI for EL Civics and Citizenship Prep OTAN Online
Wednesday, May 15
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
Using AI Tools in Citizenship Preparation and Civics Education OTAN Online
Wednesday, May 15
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Advanced Canvas: Studio OTAN Online
Thursday, May 16
07:30 AM - 07:30 AM
Using Microsoft Outlook Effectively Chula Vista Adult School
Thursday, May 16
11:30 AM - 04:30 PM
Internet and Digital Safety Awareness Chula Vista Adult School
Wednesday, May 22
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Advanced Canvas: New Quizzes OTAN Online
Thursday, May 23
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Instructure Zoom Meeting
Friday, May 24
09:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Creating with Canva - Basics and More Mt. Diablo Adult Education
Wednesday, May 29
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
Election and Voting Resources for Adult Learners OTAN Online
Wednesday, May 29
02:00 PM - 03:30 PM
Advanced Canvas: Course Design OTAN Online
Tuesday, June 11
01:00 PM - 02:00 PM
Canvas Q & A for Administrators and Teachers Instructure Zoom Meeting
Wednesday, June 12
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM
Media Literacy and Adult Education OTAN Online

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.