OTAN Digest #19
September 1, 2009

Professional Development


Upcoming Online Workshops:

Welcome back to school! Now is the time to begin updating your technology teaching skills. Our new line-up of online workshops is ready to help you with that! Whether you are updating your skills for employability or wanting to teach your students about new technologies available to them for learning, there will be something here for you. Don't 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!!

Share, Review, and Collaborate with Online Documents with Melinda Holt
September 9, 2009 — 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Learn how to create documents online along with collaborating and sharing with students or colleagues. Organize folders online, export and import content, and save documents into different formats (like .pdf, .html, .doc, and .xls).
Prerequisites: Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, must have a free Google account before the workshop. 

ESL/EL Civics Teaching Resources Through OTAN with Linda Swanson
September 16, 2009 — 3:30pm to 5:00pm
This session will focus on the ESL and EL Civics teaching resources available on the OTAN Web site. Topics include effective strategies for navigating 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.
Prerequisites: Participants should be comfortable using computers and the Internet.

Free Customized Class Web Site Aligned to Your Curriculum with Melinda Holt
September 23, 2009 — 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Class calendars, tasks lists, dictionaries, and translators - wouldn't it be great if all those items existed on a page that you and your students could access at any time? It can be done with iGoogle. An Internet connection and a Google account is all that is needed to be able to share information like Due dates, upcoming events, word a day, and other class-type gadgets using iGoogle. Learn how to create and customize an iGoogle page and then share all the same information with your students or colleagues.
Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, must have a free Google account before the workshop.

Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning with Susan Gaer
September 25, 2009 — 12:00pm — 1:30pm
Do you own a cellphone and want to explore ways of using it in the ABE/ESL classroom? In this online workshop, you will learn about features you didn't even know you had. Edit photos, use texting as a learning tool, discover audio capabilities and learn how to apply all these features to your classroom.
Prerequisites: Ownership of, or access to, a cellphone, with texting capability.

Orientation to ABE Initiative with Marian Thacher
September 29, 2009 — 2:30 pm to 3:30 pm
This session is for ABE teachers or coordinators who are part of the CDE ABE Initiative. You will receive an overview of the ABE Initiative, options and requirements. This session is a prerequisite for the ABE training in Sacramento on October 15 and 16 for those who did not attend the kick-off meeting in May.

Online Forms - Collecting, Analyzing and Sharing Data with Melinda Holt
September 30, 2009 — 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
How many of your students have a computer and Internet access? How can you create an online quiz? or a survey? This workshop will show you how to use Google Forms to collect data, create quizzes and surveys, export datasheets and manipulate and share the data collected.
Prerequisites: Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, must have a free Google account before the workshop.

Show Your Slide Shows to the World! with Melinda Holt
October 02, 2009 — 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Your students need to create a PowerPoint presentation but do not have the software at home. Teach them how to create a presentation online with only a few clicks - for free. They (and you) can create a PowerPoint-like presentation without software - all that is needed is the Internet. They will be able to format text, insert pictures and links, or upload an already existing PowerPoint into Google Presenter. Learn how to create, share and collaborate Google presenter with your students and colleagues. Prerequisites: Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, must have a free Google account before the workshop.

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.

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site presented by Penny Pearson
Tulare Adult School, September 18, 2009, 1:00 - 4:00p (This is an inservice and not open to outside attendees.)

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.

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 classes or those who are stepping into the distance learning arena:

7Stones Virtual Physics
Interactive physics site. Includes visualization of vector motion, rotational motion, waves, thermodynamics & optics, electricity & magnetism, and modern physics (relativity, quantum mechanics, and half life). (For some High School Diploma programs)

Microscope Instructions and Virtual Microscope
This site from the University of Delaware offers a 7 minute video on how to use a microscope and there is a virtual microscope students can test out too. To use the virtual microscope, you will need the Flash 6 (or later) plug-in. (Most current browsers will already have this, but if not, there is a link to download and install it.) (For some High School Diploma or CTE programs)

Active Science
There are a range of interactive (Flash) modules here on a variety of topics for students to explore. Topics include materials, human and animal habitats, human anatomy, diet, elements and periodic table. They all have some printable worksheets too. Course #:1.1003, 1.2030, 1.2031, 1.2032

eLearning Guild - Community & Resources for eLearning Professionals
This Guild offers a number of free, downloadable, recently published books on various aspects of distance education. Great resource for those interested in Distance Learning.

Top Ten Workplace Communication Skills: How They Can Make Work Work for You!
This is a very good article on workplace communication skills. It is just one of the soft skills that every worker needs to make use of, in order to be a member of a good working team. Use the content to discuss communication skills with your students. Course #: 1.1007, 2.1060, 4.2722

IDEAL Workplace: Strategies for Improving Learning, Problem Solving, and Creativity
This manual contains resources for nine workshop sessions designed to help people become creative problem solvers in their workplace and their lives. (Could easily be used in the classroom environment rather than the workshop environment.) The materials are based on Bransford and Stein's IDEAL model: Identify problems; Develop sets of contrasting goals and define them explicitly; Explore strategies and evaluate those strategies; Anticipate the effects of strategies; Examine the effects of their efforts; and Learn from them. After a note to trainers that explains the principles of the IDEAL model and the trainer's role in helping master problem-solving strategies, the following materials are provided: module overviews and lesson plans; exercises for grammar, vocabulary, writing, and math; student handouts; pretests and post-tests, and answer keys to all exercises and tests.

Enriching the ESOL Curriculum through Media Literacy
Drawing on key media literacy concepts, the lessons in this guide focus on developing critical thinking and language skills in ESOL students by engaging them with their media-rich culture. Useful in ESL or any other group of students needing critical thinking skills in regards to media.

Language 911 - A Health Literacy Curriculum
These curriculum modules are designed for ESL teachers in colleges and adult schools and target intermediate to high-level ESL students. They are also appropriate for secondary education teachers working with 8th-12th grade students on health or health education programs. The lessons are aligned to national health standards.

While this is a commercial site with videos on a variety of topics, they have made the Fractions section free and available to view. Scroll down the page and select one of the videos to watch. Many topics have more than one video presented by different teachers with varying presentation styles. Also at the bottom of the page, there are practice worksheets in PDF format with accompanying answer videos explaining the answers to the questions. Nicely presented for those students struggling with fractions.

Take a look at this article on teaching Critical Thinking Skills and the glossary of assessment terms:

Critical Thinking: Why Is It So Hard to Teach?
This article from the American Educator magazine, a publication of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), delves into the need for better critical thinking skills among students. The article describes the nature of critical thinking, explains why it is so hard to do and to teach, and explores how students acquire a specific type of critical thinking: thinking scientifically.

Assessment Terminology: A Glossary of Useful Terms
This is a list of terms that are used to describe current educational assessment practices. The guide is intended not to promote the use of jargon, but to establish a clear and common understanding of what various assessment related terms mean.

Here are some Online Tools useful for everyone in adult ed...

Centre for Learning & Performance Technologies
We do not normally link to "lists of lists," but we are making an exception for this one. The Centre for Learning has compiled a list of online tools, categorized them into the type of tool, and provided links to them. They show you if there is a cost involved or if it is free (at least at the time of addition it was free.) Most are free. So if you are looking for a social bookmarking tool, a blogging tool, a productivity tool, an interactivity tool, or other type of online/downloadable tool, make this your first stop.

Free online photo editing site. Allows you to fix underexposed photos, remove red-eye, apply effects, crop, resize, and rotate your photos.

This month's Web-Based Class Activity introduces you to classroom polling/survey options:

English Spelling is "Kreisie"!
Have your students ever asked you why English spelling is so difficult? There are a variety of historical reasons, as our language has evolved. Help your students with their spelling using this great Web activity from Spelling City.



If you are interested in high-quality, multimedia content for your high school diploma programs this year, you may want to take a look at HippoCampus. It was designed as part of Open Education Resources (OER), a worldwide effort to improve access to quality education for everyone. This would work particularly well in independent study or distance education programs. As a teacher, you can sign-up to create a custom HippoCampus for your students. Topics covered include: Algebra, American Government, Biology, Calculus, Environmental Science, Physics, Psychology, Religion, Statistics, and US History. You will need Adobe Flash Player 7.0 or higher installed on your system and possibly Apple QuickTime version 6 or higher, depending on which content you are viewing. Look under "About" for more information on computer requirements. Get started today!

We Want Your Opinion on New Topics for Online Workshops
Have you taken one of our online workshops yet? We hope so, but even if you have not been able to take advantage of this professional development opportunity yet, we would like to know what you think about some of our ideas for new workshops. So do us a favor and take a quick survey at Survey Monkey on workshop topics for the 2009-10 school year. It's an easy way to give us your input.

EL Civics Technology Plan Training
If you are a teacher or coordinator involved in creating the EL Civics Technology Plan for your school, then you will be interested to know that there are several online workshops coming up. These workshops are designed to introduce newcomers to the process of creating a plan, and to let veteran planners know about any changes to this year's technology plan. To find available training dates, visit the California Adult Education Professional Development calendar and filter by OTAN as the Sponsor.

What Are You Doing on International Literacy Day?
International Literacy Day is on September 8, 2009.  What will you do to contribute? Here are some ideas from the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL). Read more...

Adult Numeracy Network Announces Math Practitioner Research Projects
The Adult Numeracy Network (ANN) has released the application for this year’s adult education math practitioner research projects. The Adult Numeracy Network is an affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) and the Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE). ANN’s Web site states that it is "a community dedicated to quality mathematics instruction at the adult level." This year, they will offer two opportunities for teachers of adult mathematics to conduct research. Read more ...