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

OTAN Digest

Digest #6
June 2021

Message From The Director

The most widely attended national adult education conference in June is the CASAS Summer Institute. While there won't be evening trips to Old Town or networking poolside with colleagues due to the virtual format, CASAS can be relied upon to provide high quality, engaging trainings, workshops, and panels in the areas of curriculum management, assessment, and evaluation systems. OTAN will present and launch, together with CASAS, a new website at Summer Institute that will be of great interest to administrators and EL Civics/IELCE teachers alike, the EL Civics Exchange. This website will house accessible materials that aid in the implementation and delivery of instructional activities that integrate civics education content with ESL instruction, including EL Civics 231 and 243 funded civic objectives.

EL Civics was first introduced to California adult education agencies in the early 2000's. While individual agencies have done a good job of developing and sharing resources, the EL Civics Exchange is the first state-level online warehouse for this work. EL Civics teachers will be invited to submit accessible materials to the website. OTAN's Tech Talks in July and August, the second Fridays of the month, will focus on submitting materials for the EL Civics Exchange and will review Creative Commons licensing and accessibility. If you miss the El Civics Exchange workshop, the recording of the presentation will be available for six months via the CASAS Summer Institute's Whova app or through the CASAS website.  I encourage you to engage with this website and start sharing! Access the EL Civics Exchange at

OTAN's team of trainers and subject matter experts are ready to assist you with accessing and sharing materials on the EL Civics Exchange and meeting all your school's technology needs. Reach out by phone or email at 916-228-2580 and Be safe and well as you start your summer!

-Renee Collins

Teaching With Technology banner

Are you looking for a way to integrate technology in your classes? Visit Teaching with Technology on the OTAN website and start searching for ESL, ABE, ASE, and even CTE lesson ideas today!

Web-Based Class Activities


Canvas Commons Easy as 1, 2, 3
by Francisco Pinedo

Canvas is a web-based learning management system (or LMS for short) that is used in many schools, including community colleges and higher education institutions. Like other LMS, Canvas allows instructors to manage digital learning with a platform for teachers to create and add content, including lessons and assessments.


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.

Spotlight On...

Video Presentations! 

OTAN has long utilized video to provide information and training on a wide variety of topics and highlight important events in adult education. Please consider subscribing to the OTAN YouTube channel to stay connected to the latest OTAN developments. You can connect to our channel (and all our social media sites) from the OTAN website. Click on the Stay Connected Menu on the top of the website and select Social Media or look for the social media icons on the bottom footer of the homepage.

Over the last few months, we have been adding fully accessible videos to the Video Presentations webpage on the OTAN website. Take a look at the wide variety of videos that we have available. We have the videos divided into the following playlists:

Stay connected to OTAN! We're here to help with video ideas and more!


Date/Time Event Location
Fri, Jul 9
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - Licensing and Copyright Online - Zoom
Thu, Jul 22
8:30 AM - 11:30 PM
Google: Sites Online - Zoom
Fri, Aug 13
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - Creating Accessible Documents Online - Zoom
Wed, Aug 18
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Device/OS: Chromebooks for Adult Education 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 2021-2022 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.