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

OTAN Digest

Digest #5
May 2021

Message From The Director

Your third quarter reporting, including the new Continuous Improvement Plans (CIPs), has been submitted.  Phew!  On the one hand, you may be breathing a little easier, but on the other, you may be considering how you're going to address the goals and actions outlined in your CIP.  OTAN can help! Perhaps your agency is implementing Canvas courses in your distance learning or hybrid programs, trying to build digital literacy remotely, or looking for quality web-based activities to use with students. OTAN has a host of technology-related workshops that can be delivered virtually or face-to-face, as that becomes possible again. And, best of all, these services are available at no cost. Our team of trainers and subject matter experts are ready to assist you with your back-to-school or professional learning plan needs. Reach out to OTAN staff by phone or email at 916-228-2580 and

Be safe and well as you close out your 20-21 program year and plan for the year ahead!

-Renee Collins

Web-Based Class Activities


Google Extensions for Teachers
by Ryan de la Vega

As wonderful as Google is, it can't always do everything. Lucky for us there are third parties who create add–ons and extensions to fill those gaps.


Recent Developments in Online Citizenship Preparation
by Jennifer Gagliardi

Citizenship applicants and their teachers breathed a collective sigh of relief on February 22, 2021, when USCIS announced that they were withdrawing the 2020 Civics questions and restoring the 2008 Civics questions.

Spotlight On...

Accessibility Resources!

We often mention during OTAN events that the materials we provide to the adult education field need to be accessible before they are made public. OTAN is committed to providing full and equal access to all. As such, OTAN follows Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 compliance, which means that content is made useable for people with disabilities. Making content accessible also benefits others, such as those using mobile devices or those with slow network connections.

To assist staff at adult education agencies in familiarizing themselves with accessibility practices and regulations, OTAN has compiled a list of resources you can use to learn more about accessibility and how to create your own accessible content. Visit our Accessibility Resources page on the OTAN website at  There is a lot of accessibility information online, and we have tried to identify those resources that we think are most useful for educators, including those from government agencies, nationally recognized organizations, and everyday technology (Microsoft, Apple, and Google) and browsers. We also have a great introductory video from OTAN Coordinator Penny Pearson on how to begin understanding accessibility issues. Additionally:

Stay connected to OTAN! Please contact us at or call us at 916-228-2580. We're here to help with accessibility resources and more!


Date/Time Event Location
Fri, Jun 4
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Instruction: Teaching Vocabulary with Technology Online - Zoom
Fri, Jun 11
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Instruction: Engaging Remote Instruction Online - Zoom
Mon, Jun 14
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Device/OS: Windows 10 Tips Online - Zoom
Mon, Jun 21
10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Web Apps: Symbaloo Online - Zoom

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


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

Think about scheduling OTAN Professional Development in the 2020-2021 school year. With a wide variety of technology topics from which to choose, OTAN training staff will present for any WIOA-funded adult education program in California either online or face-to-face with a computer lab or devices connected to the Internet. (Note that face-to-face trainings will be scheduled when it is safe and OTAN staff are free to travel.)

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.