OTAN Digest #23
January 2010

Professional Development


Upcoming Online Workshops:

Our new line-up of online workshops is now ready for your review! 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!

Quizzes and Assessments in Moodle with Penny Pearson
January 12, 2010 — 3:30p to 5:00p
The quiz activity in a Moodle course allows the teacher a great deal of flexibility in assessing student performance and understanding. Teachers can use this activity for both summative and formative evaluation. With a variety of question types available, you can create a bank of questions that can be reused several times within a single quiz, within one course, or for your entire program area. Quizzes also allow the teacher to give specific feedback on each question, and general feedback on a students' overall performance on an assessment. Teachers control how often a student can take a quiz, how much time must elapse between each attempt, how it is scored (highest score achieved, average, first or last) and Moodle does all the math!
Prerequisites: All participants must have their own Moodle course shell with teacher editing rights. Your course can be hosted by OTAN or your school site (Moodle v1.9.5 is recommended). Participants should have completed the "Using Moodle to Create A Course Web Site" workshop prior to this webinar (or its equivalent).

Lessons in Moodle
January 14, 2010 — 3:30p to 5:00p
The Lesson module in your Moodle course is a powerful tool for learning. As a teacher, you can create simple "flash card" lessons to help students learn vocabulary or other content that needs reinforcement. Lessons are also adaptive. The student guides their learning based on the choices they make while completing the tasks or activities within the lesson. Teachers can add quiz questions, embed videos and import PowerPoint presentations into the lesson format.Through this webinar, teachers will gain a basic understanding of how lessons work, and create one short lesson within their course. Participants are encouraged to have lesson materials on hand such as presentations, text files, and images to use in the creation of their lesson.
All participants must have their own Moodle course shell with teacher editing rights. Your course can be hosted by OTAN or your school site (Moodle v1.9.5 is recommended). Participants should have completed the "Using Moodle to Create A Course Web Site" workshop prior to this webinar (or its equivalent).

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet
January 15, 2010 — 1:30p to 3:00p
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 tools for teaching your students to think critically about the information they find online. Participants will identify and practice using appropriate and copyright-safe ways to access, use, and present information from online resources.
Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills

Free Customized Class Web Site Aligned to Your Curriculum
January 20, 2010 — 2:00p to 3:30p
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.
Prerequisites: Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, Google account (free).

USALearns: A Web Based Tool for ESL Learners
January 21, 2010 — 3:30p to 5:00p
USALearns.org is a free website designed for ESL students who want to improve their English skills outside of the traditional classroom. The site offers three unique courses for beginner to high intermediate students. This workshop will introduce you to the content and show you how to use the teacher site to monitor your distant learners’ progress.
Basic Internet knowledge and navigation.

Creating Podcasts for your Courses
January 22, 2010 — 10:00a to 11:30a
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.

Create FREE Online Quizzes
February 5, 2010 — 3:00p to 4:30p
Learn to create custom entertaining and engaging online quizzes using FREE websites. By the end of the webinar you create a Free online quiz that your students can access any time!
Basic Internet knowledge and navigation.

Face-to-Face Workshops:

Contact us to schedule one of our workshops at your school! We will do most of the work for you. We just need your available computer lab. 800-894-3113

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 Here are a few of our more popular titles and a couple of new ones. For descriptions, select the title:

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 so they fill up fast, but if you can host during the week, there are more possibilities.

Resources for Teachers:

Resources for teachers graphic

This month's Web-Based Class Activity provides some new online tools to help you create great classroom activities:

Sites for Creating Interactive and Printable Vocabulary Exercises
There are many Websites that allow you to create both interactive and printable word puzzles which can help with language development. Give some of these a try. You may find one you cannot live without.

Here are some great links either recently added to the OTAN site, or ones you might have missed, that you could find useful if you are trying to integrate the use of the Internet into your class:

Martin Luther King Day Internet Resources
We received a list of wonderful sites with suggestions that you could use to initiate discussions or create activities and lessons about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement. They came to us from Melissa Wilhoit Tran, Susan Gaer and Fernanda Carrera.

Find Out About Martin Luther King, Jr.
A research activity for Intermediate ESL students.

Embedded Learning Portal
This site from the UK contains teaching and learning materials that are designed for use by teachers: vocational teachers and trainers, Skills for Life teachers, teachers working in community, employability and health settings, and employability programs in the UK, but the skills they teach are also used in the United States. Some adaptation will most likely be necessary.

Select the "Interactive learning" tab for interactive things for students. Skills for Life Materials for Embedded Learning aim to help learners to improve the literacy, language or numeracy skills they need to succeed at work, in community-based and health-related activities or as part of vocational training programs. The materials cover 28 vocational, employability, health, and community contexts. There are also some interactive materials set in adult contexts and giving practice in some of the literacy and numeracy skills developed in the paper-based materials. Soft skills are taught in every program. Vocations addressed are: Catering, Cleaning, Hairdressing, Horticulture, Hospitality, Painting, Production Line Manufacturing, Retail, Construction, transport, Trowel occupations, and Warehousing. Useful for VESL and VABE classes.

Eclipse Crossword Software (freeware)
Creates crossword puzzles on your computer. For Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, and XP. It will not run on Macintosh computers. May work on Vista, but we have not tested it.

Construction Math Toolbox
The Construction Math Toolbox (183 pages) combines fun, industry-required math lessons with supplemental academic and career guidance information. The lesson plans align with grade level expectations for 8th, 9th, and 10th grades as a bridge to Essential Academic Learning Requirements identified in the College Readiness Standards. The plans help students understand the need for math, especially in the construction trades, but also in everyday life.

Black History Month (February)
Whether you are teaching Adult Basic or Secondary Education, English as a Second Language or even Older Adults it is always enlightening to discover how different segments of our society have contributed to our country as a whole. Since February is Black History month, we wanted to give you some sites to visit with your classes which would shine some light on even some lesser known individuals and events that have shaped America's history as well as that of the African-American people. Let us know what you've done with these sites and how you used them in your class.




ING Unsung Heroes Grants
The insurance company ING offers grants of $2,000 to teachers to help fund innovative classroom projects. All full-time K12 education professionals are eligible to apply, including adult educators as long as they are employed by a public school district. Read more . . .

Online Professional Development Opportunities for Adult Educators
There are several upcoming online professional development opportunities of interest to adult educators. The courses listed listed in this news item are instructor-led and charge a fee. You can find other online professional development opportunities, many of which are self-paced and free, at. . . Read more. . .

World Education Offers Online Course on Transitions to Postsecondary
World Education offers a number of online courses for adult educators. Some are self-paced and free, others are instructor-led and charge a fee. The online course "Research-based Strategies and Models for Adult Transitions to Postsecondary Education" is now open for registration. Read more . .

Postsecondary Transitions: NIFL Discussion List Launched
The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) has recently launched a new discussion list on the critical topic of postsecondary transitions for adults. Read more to find out how to become involved in the discussion.

OTAN is Looking for School Sites Willing to Host a Face-to-Face Workshop for Their Region
We are looking for adult schools that are willing to take a leadership role in providing Professional Development involving the use of technology to to the teachers in their region. We will provide the training. You just provide the computer lab for 4 hours. If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, contact us at 800-894-3113 for more details!

Winter and Spring Professional Development
Did you realize that California's Adult Education program has a site devoted to making it easy for you access professional development course, both online and face-to-face? This site shows workshops and other events offered by OTAN, CALPRO, and CASAS. It also lists upcoming state and national conferences that are devoted to adult education or have adult education strands. So take a peek at the California Adult Education Professional Development calendar and see what you have been missing! You can search by date or by topic to find just the right course or workshop.

CATESOL State Conference 2010 Registration is now open !
For those of you waiting to register for the State CATESOL Conference which is being held in Santa Clara this year, you will be interested to know that online registration is now available. The information regarding the fees and hotels is available at the CATESOL site. There is a discount for those registered by February 28th, so take advantage of the Early Bird registration.

The theme of the 2010 Conference will be “Teaching and Learning in a Global Community.” The Conference will explore cultural issues, ideas and experiences related to teaching English locally and globally.