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

OTAN Digest

Digest #7
Summer 2021 (August)

Message From The Director

Welcome to the 2021-2022 program year, a year full of new possibilities! As the Summer Olympics are going on in Tokyo, you're pulling off Olympic feats of your own from building hybrid courses to rolling out online and in-person registration to orienting new students. It's the time of year when all hands are on deck and you're hoping for that gold medal as you kick off the year! Consider OTAN to be one of your Olympic coaches and take advantage of the many free resources and back-to-school training we can offer you or your teams.

Check out these free online OTAN resources:

  • OTAN is partnering with Essential Education to offer a self-paced Blended Learning course. This would be perfect for newer adult education teachers who are creating hybrid courses. 
  • Ready-to-go NROC developmental English and Math courses for your ABE/ASE students are available via the Moodle Learning Management System.
  • Read our news item about our updated YouTube playlists with webinars on Teaching and Working Online, Equity and Inclusion, Using Video, Tech Tools and Devices, and Academic and Workforce Training.

Are you interested in scheduling an OTAN training for your staff? Please reach out to us at to learn how we can help with your training needs. We've now reinstated virtual face-to-face trainings!

Good luck with the start to your year! It's sure to be a gold medal year!!

-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


Choice Boards: Made for Adult Education
by Debbie Jensen

K-12 has embraced Choice Boards in their classrooms for over ten years, but if you missed the opportunity, here it is for Adult Education. It is as if Choice Boards were designed with adult learners in mind.


Interactive Images and Virtual Reality Using Thinglink
by Susan Gaer

You may have seen photos of users with high-tech virtual reality goggles tuned out to the world and wonder what type of experiences can be had. By definition, users are immersed in a 3D world and virtual reality places the user inside the experience as opposed to just viewing it. With Thinglink, you can easily recreate these experiences for students who will view them using a simple cardboard VR device.


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.

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 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 registration 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 (when OTAN returns to face-to-face training), even if it is not at your agency.

Make sure to save your changes once you have entered all your information.

Once you create an account, or if you have an existing account, you can enter your email address at the membership page to log in and adjust your preferences at any time.

You're all set to stay in touch with OTAN! Look for email notices, Digests, and Newsletters throughout the school year and we look forward to staying in touch! (And encourage a colleague to create an OTAN account as well!)


Date/Time Event Location
Mon, Aug 9
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Federal Program Monitoring Adult Education Instrument - Live Q&A Online - Zoom
Tue, Aug 10
4:30 PM - 6:30 PM
LMS: Canvas Basics - An Introduction 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.