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

Teachers' Digest

Digest #113
October 2019


TDLS 2020 Call for Proposals is Now Open!

Plans are underway for OTAN’s Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2020, scheduled for Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at the Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center in Sacramento.

Using Technology to Build Relationships

When we take an interest in our students, we tell them that they are important – more important than the content, in fact – and that we care about their learning and success. 

On the Way to Integrating Technology

Devices for teachers and students, educational software, and apps are a starting point for integrating technology into your instruction, but how do you know if you are integrating technology in a deep and meaningful way?

Teaching Basic Digital Literacy Skills

As the new school year gets started, we find that there are students in our adult education classrooms who lack basic computer skills. 

Helping New Teachers Be Successful

A number of fellow educators have some ideas on how to support new staff.

Web-based Class Activities


Do You Speak Emoji?
by Kristi Reyes

Are emoji just a passing fad? Or are they a scientifically-researched new vehicular language for the digital age?

September (in case you missed it!)

Promote Critical Thinking Skills with NewseumED
by Susan Coulter

NewseumED is a free website belonging to Newseum, a museum in Washington, DC dedicated to news and history. The focus is on First Amendment rights and helping students develop critical thinking skills through thousands of lesson plans, videos, classes, digital artifacts, historical events and critical debates. NewseumED is a great way to build the critical thinking skills needed for our High School Equivalency students.

Spotlight on…

OTAN Has Launched a New Website!

It's been a long time coming, but OTAN has finally launched a brand new, user-friendly website! OTAN staff have been working diligently for many, many months on the new website which launched on Monday, September 23. OTAN has created some documents to get yourself oriented to the new website:

  • Website Accessibility Features – In addition to striving to meet or exceed the requirements and recommendations for making web content more accessible, an additional Accessibility Menu has been added to the website with some helpful features.
  • Create an OTAN Account – Creating an account is the easiest way to stay connected to the latest OTAN developments throughout the school year and it’s free! 
  • OTAN Trainings – OTAN offers trainings in both face-to-face and online formats on a variety of educational technology topics throughout the school year. Also, information about the California Adult Education Professional Development training calendar and OTAN Tech Talks.
  • OTAN News Items and Social Media – Two of the best ways to stay connected to OTAN throughout the school year are to follow our news items and subscribe to our social media sites: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and our YouTube channel.
  • OTAN YouTube Channel – OTAN has long utilized video to provide information and training and highlight important events in adult education. Consider subscribing to our channel to stay connected to the latest OTAN offerings, including reports by our Digital Leadership Academy teams, archived OTAN Tech Talks and TDLS presentations, and videos on a wide variety of technology integration tools and topics.
  • OTAN Teaching Tools and Resources – OTAN has a number of teaching tools and resources that adult ed educators can utilize in their instruction, including our Teaching with Technology searchable database, web-based class activities, curriculum offers, and online courses on our Moodle LMS (learning management system).
  • OTAN Special Programs and Events – OTAN organizes a number of special programs and events throughout the school year of interest to the adult education field, including our Technology and Distance Learning Symposium (TDLS), Adult Education Students Succeed, and our Digital Leadership Academy (DLAC).

Please visit our new website! And contact OTAN for your technology training needs at any time this year! Email us at or call us at 916-228-2580.



List of October and November Events
Date/Time Event Location
Mon, Oct 7
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Chromebooks for Adult Education Hacienda La Puente
Dibble Campus
Tue, Oct 8
8:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Chromebooks for Adult Education Hacienda La Puente
Dibble Campus
Fri, Oct 11
9:45 AM - 12:45 PM
Teaching Vocabulary With Technology Folsom-Cordova Adult School
Fri, Oct 11
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - Screencastify Online - Zoom
Thu, Oct 17
3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
OERs for Adult Education Online - Zoom
Fri, Oct 18
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Google Tools, Apps, and Drive Sutter County One Stop
Adult Education
Tue, Oct 22
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
Easy Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint Projects for Language Practice Online - Zoom
Fri, Nov 1
12:45 PM - 3:45 PM
Google Tools, Apps, and Drive Los Angeles USD
North Valley Occupational Center
Fri, Nov 8
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - HyperDocs Online - Zoom
Fri, Nov 15
1:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Google Sites Fresno Adult School
Cesar Chavez Campus
Fri, Nov 22
9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Microsoft Office for Adult Education Los Angeles City College
Fri, Nov 22
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Advanced-Level ESL Moodle Course Online - Zoom

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


Did you know OTAN provides FREE professional development workshops related to technology for Adult Educators?

With the start of the new 2019-2020 school year, think about scheduling Professional Development for this year. With a wide-variety of technology topics in their arsenal, OTAN training staff will go to any WIOA-funded adult education program in CA that has a computer lab or devices connected to the Internet.

All of OTAN's workshops are provided at no-cost!
Each three-hour 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 of OTAN's face-to-face workshops can be tailored to fit the needs of the requesting program. Select the link to see a list of the current face-to-face workshops and, remember, if you don't see a workshop that "floats your boat" contact OTAN - we'll create what you and your staff need!

OTAN's Face-to-Face Workshops

OTAN also offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. Click on the link to see our list of online workshops and webinars: Online Workshops & Webinars

All of OTAN workshops are free! Read more about OTAN Training and select Face-to-Face or Online workshops options to view complete workshop lists including descriptions and prerequisites.

Need more information? Contact OTAN training staff anytime by phone or email at 916-228-2580 and

To view workshops already scheduled, visit the California Adult Education Professional Development Calendar and search for workshops sponsored by OTAN. Don't miss any!

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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.