OTAN Digest #13
January 22, 2009



Register Now for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium!
Registration is now open for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium which will be held at the Sacramento County Office of Education on Feb. 17 – 19, 2009. There is no charge for the symposium, but registration is important to facilitate planning for workshops and lunches. Read more.....

Grant for Instructional Materials for Homeless
Applications are now being accepted for grants from the Charles Evans Book Fund. The Charles Evans Book Fund is a special program of ProLiteracy's National Book Fund,® a program that supplies local programs with adult literacy and basic education curricula and materials. Read more . . .

New Face-to-face Workshop Added to OTAN's Available Workshops
OTAN has just added a new workshop to our list of face-to-face workshops. It is titled:
Information Literacy for Teachers and Learners. Here is the description of the workshop content:
If it is on the Internet, it must be true! Not! How do you know if a Web site is accurate? How do you help your learners think critically about online information? How do you keep your learners safe online? Information literacy is defined as the ability to find, evaluate, and use information. This workshop will give you the tools to locate, organize and evaluate online information, and provide the tools for teaching your students to think critically about the information they find online. Participants will identify and practice appropriate and copyright-safe ways to access, use, and present information from online resources. Prerequisites: Basic computer and Internet skills. Must have an email address and be a registered member of OTAN prior to the workshop.  

If you would like to schedule this or another of our free technology workshops at your school, contact us at lswanson@otan.us or 800-894-3113 and ask for Linda Swanson

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

Professional Development:


Upcoming Online Workshops:

Do not delay and be disappointed. Sign-up today before the workshop fills up or is canceled due to lack of enrollment!

These workshops are in danger of being canceled due to lack of enrollment. Please register today!!

More Practice with Wikis with Barry Bakin
February 3, 2009 — 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 web sites. Prerequisites: 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

Google It! with Melinda Holt
February 5, 2009 — 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Searching with Google is more than typing in a word or a phrase. You and your students can find: answers to math problems, history timelines, definitions, text translations, and even word pronunciations. Using the many different aspects of the Google search engine will be explored in this workshop including advance search features.
Ability to type and click. Having a Google account is desired but not required.

Digital Storytelling with Kristi Reyes
February 6, 2009 — 1:00pm to 2:30pm
Digital stories are multi-media projects that combine images and/or video with audio recordings and/or music and sound effects and can be used across the curriculum. Instructors of any discipline can include digital story assignments for the ultimate in project-based learning.
Images (.jpeg) participant would like to use in a digital story saved in a project folder on participant’s computer, Windows operating system with Movie Maker installed, high-speed Internet connection, computer microphone and speakers. Ability to navigate Windows. Ability to create and locate folders.

Easy Excel Activities for the Classroom: Bingo and Study Helpers with Susan Coulter
February 6, 2009 — 3:00pm to 4:30pm
Learn how to create Bingo games and interactive student worksheets in just a few minutes using your own course content.
A basic knowledge of Excel helpful but not necessary.

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 at least 10 interested participants and an approved lab. 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.

Beginning PowerPoint 2003 for Adult Education presented by Linda Swanson
El Monte Rosemead Adult School - February 12, 2009 -- 2:45p to 5:45p (This is an inservice and not open to outside attendees.)

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site presented by Penny Pearson
Fremont Adult and Continuing Education, Fremont, CA - February 13, 2009 10:45a to 1:45p
Have you thought about using Moodle to create a Web site for your class, or teach an online class? Moodle is an online course management system where you can post assignments, have an online discussion, and organize documents for your students. You can also create quizzes and track student results. This workshop will introduce you to the Moodle system and offer you the chance to create a site for your class. After you complete this workshop, you will be eligible to receive your own Moodle course site from OTAN. [Note: Participants are required to create a Moodle account prior to the workshop date. Instructions are provided after registration.] Prerequisites: Basic computer and internet skills. 

Call us to schedule a workshop at your school! 800-894-3113

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 trying to integrate the use of the Internet into their ABE, ESL, Older Adult, Consumer Awareness,and/or Parent Education classrooms:

Lessons for English Language Learners on the Benefits of Seat Belt and Child Safety Seat Usage
These lesson plans and learning activities are designed to involve participants in learning about safe behavior in cars and engage them in activities that reinforce the use of seat belts and car seats, as part of being a good citizen and a responsible family member. The curriculum provides language associated with seat belts and safety, and offers facts about seat belt use. Brought to us by the AAA Foundation.

CALICO Journal (Computer Assisted Language Instruction Consortium)
As far back as 1997, CALICO Journal has been reviewing ESL related software. Maybe you can benefit from their research and reviews if you are looking for software to use with your students.

Inspiration Lane
Inspiration Lane is an online, classroom magazine for all levels of ESOL, ESL and EFL classes. It is unique because the content there automatically changes daily. Created and edited by an ESOL certified teacher in Florida, USA, the site is intended for teachers to use after the day's lesson, by projecting it onto an interactive whiteboard. The daily readings and interactive language activities provide a free, fun and encouraging experience for students learning English -- especially during those last minutes of class time!

Webwise - BBC's Guide to Using the Internet
Great foundational tutorials for those new to computers and the Internet. This site from BBC has a number of Flash movies that will teach your students: to use a computer; all about the Internet; about SPAM, cookies, updating software, shopping online and a variety of other Internet/Computer topics. You will need a fast Internet connection and a current Flash plug-in to view these tutorials, but they are very well done.

Healthy Refrigerator
This site is part of an effort to educate consumers, especially women since they probably do most of the food selection for the family, about diet and heart disease. Contains information for young and old alike.

International Food Information Council
The International Food Information Council's Web site offers a number of videos you can view online on topics of nutrition, food safety, and counting calories. IFIC is a public relations arm of the food, beverage, and agricultural industries, which provide the bulk of its funding. Good for use in Home Economics, Health & Safety, Parent Ed, ABE Health, Older Adults, and upper level ESL health classes.

This video Web site has a variety of online viewable videos that could be useful in various adult ed program areas. Topics include, but are not limited to: Auto & Mechanical, Beauty & Fashion, Careers & Education, Food & Drink, Health & Fitness, Hobbies & Crafts, Home & Garden, Parenting, Personal Finance, and Safety. In the Career-Technical Ed classroom there are video useful for a number of programs so take a look here to see if there is something you can use.

National Adult Literacy Database from Canada
The NALD Library is made up of three main collections, Research Materials, Learning Materials and Resources Available for Purchase. If you are looking for classroom activities or lesson plans, browse or search through the Learning Materials section. If you are trying to update your skills for find out what the latest research in adult education shows, browse or search the Research Materials section. There are materials and research useful in ABE, ESL, Adult Literacy, Family Literacy, Parent Ed, and Workplace Literacy. Using the Advanced Search feature will allow you to search by Subject, which may be the most useful search. Some of the material is specific to Canada, but a lot is not. A recent addition to this site has been Family Math Fun! which contains 40 fun activities that families can do together to learn math.

This month's Web-Based Class Activity introduces you Calendar Tools

Get Organized for the New Year with a Personalized Calendar
Organization is an essential skill to impart to adult students. A class project for the new year that can be used as a starting point for students to get organized is personalized calendars. Students can choose which important dates to include: holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, work schedules, class test dates, assignment due