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

Teacher Digest

Digest #117
February 2020


You Can Still Register for OTAN’s Technology and Distance Learning Symposium!

Registration for OTAN’s annual Technology and Distance Learning Symposium (TDLS), which will take place Friday, March 6 and Saturday, March 7 at the Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center in Sacramento, is open (but closing soon)!

Using Video to Engage Students

More and more teachers are using video in all kinds of way to deliver content and engage students. Video projects can be simple creations or more elaborate activities that utilize a number of digital skills.

Bringing Collaboration to the Learning Process

Collaboration is a skill that many people feel is important for students to learn as we continue school and work life in the third decade of the 21st century.

Better Understanding Personalized Learning

One of the advantages of technology is that it can be used to personalize a student’s learning, providing resources and activities that are tailored to a student’s needs and that supplement what a student is learning with other students through whole-group instruction.

Helping Get Over Our Fear of Change

Technology is a considerable driver for change, not just in schools and workplaces but in all aspects of our lives. With change, though, comes fear. We can’t let our fear of technology, however, get in the way of preparing our students for their lives beyond adult education.

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


Improve Student Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Background Knowledge with ReadWorks
by Susan Coulter

Readworks is a free, non-profit site focused on improving teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension by providing free standards-aligned content, curriculum, and tools based on the highest quality cognitive scientific research on how to learn to read.


Sites for Developing Students’ Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills
by Kristi Reyes

There is even a lot of news about fake news. Some countries have made legal crackdowns on fake news, but in the United States, with first amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press, the same governmental regulations have not been initiated.

Spotlight On...

The 2020 Census!

Census Day 2020 – April 1 – is quickly approaching, and there are many census-related materials available to help students, staff, and community members learn more about the census and its importance, as well as assist students who might be interested in working as census enumerators in the coming months.

The California Adult Education Program has materials on its Census 2020 webpage organized into the following categories:

  • Two introductory webinars with supporting materials – Census 2020: Making Half a Million Jobs Count, and Census 2020: Preparing Your Adult Education Program, Participants, and Community

  • Resources to raise awareness around the census and the importance of every person being counted – These include many Census 2020 Resource Links organized by the National Coalition for Literacy, materials from the US Census Bureau, and some materials created by California adult education agencies that can be modified for other communities around the state.

  • Resources to recruit individuals for census enumerator positions – These include materials from the US Census Bureau and other organizations that detail the job positions, skills needed for the positions, how to apply, and how adult ed agencies can help prepare candidates for the positions.

  • EL Civics resources – CASAS has prepared a special Census 2020 COAAP 54.1, and this section provides more information on the COAAP and instructional materials teachers can use in their classrooms with students.

There is still time to get your adult ed agency and community ready for Census 2020. Take a look at these resources to help your students, staff, community members, and partners learn more about the census and its significance for our communities and our state.

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


Date/Time Event Location
Fri, Feb 7
12:30 PM - 3:30 PM
Internet and Digital Safety Awareness El Monte Rosemead Adult Education
Ramona Campus
Thu, Feb 13
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Developing Virtual Reality Lessons MiraCosta College Community Learning Center
Fri, Feb 14
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - Internet Safety for Students and Teacher Online - Zoom
Fri, Feb 21
1:00 PM - 2:30 PM
Learn 360: Resources for Adult Education Online - Zoom
Fri, Mar 6
7:30 AM - 4:10 PM
Sat, Mar 7
8:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2020 (TDLS) Charles A. Jones Career & Education Center
TDLS Website
Mon, Mar 9
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Google Forms and Quizzes Hacienda La Puente
Dibble Campus
Tue, Mar 10
8:30 AM - 11:45 AM
Google Forms and Quizzes Hacienda La Puente
Dibble Campus
Fri, Mar 13
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
OTAN Tech Talks - Video Messaging with Loom 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?

Think about scheduling Professional Development for this 2019-2020 school 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.