OTAN Digest #9
October 7, 2008



CA STAR Institute — Apply Now
The California Department of Education (CDE) and the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) are presenting the first phase of evidence-based reading instruction training for ABE teachers. The training consists of 36 hours of instruction over two days in November, 2 days in January, and two days in the spring. Select a team of one or more teachers with an administrator to apply. The tuition is $750 for teachers with no charge for administrators. For more information, click the link above.

Student Resources for Parent Ed Available from USDOE
OTAN has recently added some publications from the US Department of Education called "Helping Your Child." They are part of a series of booklets that includes "Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics," "Helping Your Child Become a Reader," "Helping Your Child with Homework" or "Helping your Child Become a Responsible Citizen."  We have placed the links to all the booklets all on one page called simply "Helping Your Child Series."

Spanish version can be found at the US Dept. of Ed's Web site. There are many other resources for parent there also.

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

Professional Development:


Upcoming Online Workshops:

OTAN Services for ESL/EL Civics Teachers with Linda Swanson
October 22, 2008 — 4:00pm to 5:30pm
This session will focus on the ESL and EL Civics teaching resources available on the OTAN Web site. Topics include effective strategies for browsing and searching the OTAN Web site, and using the site as a gateway to the best adult education sites for your program. We offer Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities, a database of sites to use with your students, articles on classroom instruction and much, much more. Why spin your wheels using an Internet search engine when OTAN has already done the work for you? Using our My Resources feature will allow you to save the great things you will find so they can be accessed from any computer connected to the Internet. The workshop is for instructors of ESL/EL Civics programs.
Participants should be comfortable using computers and the Internet. 

Creating Activities with Discovery Education Streaming Builders with Blair Roy
October 23, 2008 — 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Use DES builders and a variety of media (pictures, videos, clip art, songs, etc) provided by DES, along with your favorite educational websites to easily create assignments, quizzes, and writing prompts specific to your instructional needs. Track your students' progress through DES grade reports and emails as students submit their work.
Participants must have an active Discovery Education streaming subscription account. Each participant will learn to create Discovery Education streaming assignments, quizzes and writing prompts with engaging media.

Creating Podcasts for your Courses with Kristi Reyes
October 24, 2008 — 1:00pm - 2:30pm
A podcast is an audio broadcast on the Internet and is a way to accommodate aural learning styles. Learn to make podcasts for your students to listen to via the Internet or to download onto portable devices. Instructors of any discipline can use podcasting to reach students by broadcasting class lectures, listening exercises, and class information, or instructors can assign student audio projects. Prerequisites: High-speed Internet connection, email account, computer microphone and speakers. Ability to navigate Windows operating system.

Using Google's Picasa for Classroom Photos with Susan Gaer
October 24, 2008 — 10:00am - 11:30am
Picasa is a free, downloadable photo management program from Google that allows you to find, edit and share your photos. Picasa also allows easy creation of photo galleries you can share online with your students. Spend an hour learning how to share your photos through Picasa’s online web galleries.
Requirements: The ability to locate files and folders on your computer, and the ability to download and save files to a specified location., email account, computer microphone and speakers. Ability to navigate Windows operating system.

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:

Bill'sTreasure Chest
Bill Zimmerman's latest creation (also author of Make Belief's Comix) offers an interactive site for writing prompts. It offers educators new ideas to spark students’ imaginations and encourage them to express their deepest thoughts. You, as a teacher, may also make suggestions for other writing prompts. Useful for ESL, older adults, parents to use with their children.

This month's Web-Based Class Activity provides resources for you on
Teaching about the November Presidential Election

Election Day 2008 is Tuesday, November 4, and the last day to register to vote in California is October 20. You can be a force in getting your students excited about making their voices heard and helping them be knowledgeable participants in civics. There are a plethora of sites for teaching your students about the right to vote, the election process, and the candidates.