OTAN Digest #8
September 22, 2008



GED Connection Videos Now Online
GED Connection is a series of 38 lessons, each a video about half an hour long. California, through the California Distance Learning Project (CDLP), purchased a statewide license for the videos. CDLP then produced a set of written materials to accompany the videos which are free and available on the CDLP Web site . OTAN will continue the license for an additional two years, through June of 2010. In addition, the videos are now available online free of charge for California adult education programs only.

If you would like to establish an account for your school, contact OTAN support at support@otan.us or 1-800-894-3113. We will verify that you are from an adult education agency funded through the California Department of Education, and we will be happy to set up an account for you. This account may be shared with teachers and students within the same agency.

DVDs are also available, and may be ordered with the order form on the CDLP Web site

GED Mathematic Training Institute Materials Now on OTAN
The federal Office of Vocational and Adult Education produced a set of materials for teaching GED Math in 2006. These materials have been widely used and are referenced in CALPRO’s Algebra workshop. They are now available to download from OTAN

Below are some of the opportunities in October to take an online workshop.

Professional Development:


Upcoming Online Workshops:

More Practice with Wikis with Barry Bakin
October 7, 2008 — 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Participants will learn basic editing techniques and other procedures for creating wiki pages including uploading images and files and creating links to other pages or external websites. Participants must already have their own wiki page at www.pbwiki.com.
Participants need basic knowledge of using a computer and a web browser. They also must have a working Internet connection and an existing wiki at pbwiki.com

Using PowerPoint to Promote the Four Language Skills (pt 2) with Elizabeth Clarke
October 10, 2008 — 10:00am - 11:30am
Participants will review some basic skills needed to create a simple presentation. Participants will also learn how to insert hyperlinks to different slides or external websites. In addition, they will learn how to record their voice or their students’ voices to promote listening and speaking skills. Prerequisites: Basic Microsoft PowerPoint knowledge (typing, saving a file, deleting text), usage of the mouse (click, right click), headsets and a microphone.

Face to Face, Hands-On Workshops at your school!

OTAN offers no-cost, hands-on, three-hour workshops. We will come to your school if you have an approved lab and at least 10 interested participants. If you have a smaller school and need more participants, consider coordinating with other small schools in your area to fill your workshop.

We offer a variety of technology related topics such as using PowerPoint, building class Web pages, and using Internet resources in your classroom. Visit our Web site to see the complete list including descriptions and prerequisites for each, then call Linda Swanson at 800-894-3113 or email her at lswanson@otan.us to schedule a workshop. Friday afternoons are the most popular time and they fill up fast, but if you can host during the week, there are more possibilities.

Resources for Teachers:

Resources for teachers graphic

Here are some great new links recently added to the OTAN site that might be useful to teachers who are interested in using the Internet with their students:

Digital History
The materials on this Web site include a U.S. history textbook; over 400 annotated documents and primary sources on slavery, Mexican American, Asian American, and Native American history, and U.S. political, social, and legal history; succinct essays on the history of film, ethnicity, private life, and technology; multimedia exhibitions; and reference resources that include a database of annotated links, classroom handouts, chronologies, glossaries, an audio archive including music, speeches, and book talks by historians, and a visual archive with hundreds of historical maps and images. The site's Ask the HyperHistorian feature allows users to pose questions to professional historians.

They also offer a variety of ways for students and teachers to actually do history. We have created 72 inquiry-based interactive modules that they call eXplorations. These modules provide extensive primary sources on many historical topics. There is also an interactive timeline showing American history events. Check the "Credits" page for more information about what the site offers.

This Web site was designed and developed to support the teaching of American History in K-12 schools and colleges and is supported by the Department of History and the College of Education at the University of Houston.

CASAS Sample Test Items for Classroom Use
The purpose of these sample test items is to familiarize students with CASAS reading items and give students practice in taking a CASAS reading or listening test. They contain typical items students will encounter in the Life and Work Reading Series, the Life and Work Listening Series, and the Life Skills Listening Series. Practicing with these sample test items should make future testing go more smoothly and may help reduce student test-taking anxiety.

The Sample Test Items are not intended to be a predictor of any kind for any CASAS test, and should not be used for level placement or as an assessment of ability. They cannot be used for standardized reporting of scores. They are meant only to familiarize students with CASAS testing. Use the sample test form appropriate for your students' skill level.

Poll Everywhere
Poll Everywhere is a Web-based response system. I can be used to gather live responses in any venue: classrooms, presentations and conferences. Use it for brainstorming, classroom choices, comprehension checks, and opinion polling. Students can use to submit questions and/or feedback to the instructor and they can do it anonymously. Students can text message or use the Web to respond. It's free for 30 or less responses per poll.

Jing is a program that instantly captures and shares images and video…from your computer screen to anywhere. Snap a picture of anything on your desktop; record a video of what you do or what you see on your screen; and share it in email, instant message or blogs. For both PC and Mac.

LTS Online Help Documentation from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
A great collection of tutorials for the following software: MS Office XP, 2003, and 2007 (Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, Word, Outlook, Front Page); Dreamweaver, Adobe Acrobat, InDesign and Photoshop; Audacity; Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4; and Roxio Easy CD Creator 5. Be sure to review and comply with their copyright requirements if you decide to use these materials.

Election 2008 Sites and Ideas
After watching the recent national political conventions, Jim Brice, an ESL teacher at San Diego Community College, wanted to prepare some Internet related lessons to teach his students about the general election process and the historical particulars of this election year. So here you will find a list of possible links and a few ideas on how to use some of them.

This month's Web-Based Class Activity reviews various sites used for Making Online Exercises, Quizzes and Flashcards.
There are numerous resources on the Web for creating your very own online exercises, quizzes, and flashcards. Here you will find eight of the numerous free choices. The site URL, special features, an easy sample exercise with the theme of restaurants, and an ease-of-use rating (the more stars, the easier the site is to use) is shown for each site to demonstrate the differences between the sites and to help in choosing the best site for a particular need.