OTAN Digest #24
February 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!

Share, Review and Collaborate with Online Documents with Melinda Holt
February 10, 2010 2:00p to 3:30p

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).
Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills, free Google account.

Getting Started with Your Own Wiki Web Site with Barry Bakin
February 12, 2010 3:00p to 4:30p

Create your own free website for your class for delivering instruction, displaying student work, student writing practice, or collaborative projects. Learn the basics of editing and managing student access (students do NOT need an email account to access or edit the wiki you create). You can also use a wiki website to represent your program or school! The wiki provider used in this workshop is pbworks.
Prerequisites: Basic knowledge of using a computer and a web browser; the ability to locate files and folders on your computer, and the ability to download and save files to a specified location.

Quizzes and Assessments in Moodle with Penny Pearson
February 18, 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).

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site with Penny Pearson
February 19, 2010 — 3:30p to 5:300p
Moodle is an online course management system where you can post assignments, have an online discussion, and organize documents your students can access any time. 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. As part of this workshop, you will 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.

Teaching Students Effective Online Search Strategies with Melinda Holt
February 24, 2010 — 2:00p to 3:30p
Type a word into an online search, click "Search" and you or your students will find over a million Web sites or other references to that word. It's the easiest way to search the Internet but it is also the most ineffective because you're not finding what you need. Learn effective search strategies and both you and your students will be able to find the information you need in a format you want. Different search sites will be utilized to show different searching methods.
Hi-Speed Internet connection, basic mouse, keyboarding and Internet skills.

Using a Cellphone to Enhance Learning with Susan Gaer
February 25, 2010 — 5:00p to 6:30p

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.

Easy Excel Activities for the Classroom: Create a Personal Budget with Susan Coulter
February 26, 2010 — 1:00p to 2:30p
Teachers will receive a budget template, which includes two different interactive pay stubs, and linked budget and pie graph. Learn how to create your own budget and pie graph. Materials are appropriate as classroom presentation or student technology project.
A basic knowledge of Excel helpful but not necessary

Lessons in Moodle with Penny Pearson
March 1, 2010 — 3:00p to 4:30p
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).

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
March 2, 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.

Creating Podcasts for your Courses with Kristi Reyes
March 5, 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.

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 fun new online tools to help your students with language development, computer skills, and creativity.

Teachers and Students Express Creativity and Have Fun Making Online Animated Cartoons
There are a number of sites that allow users to create cartoons that can be saved and shared online for free. Integrating the use of these types of sites into your classroom instruction and student assignments is limited only by one's own imagination. They can bring humor into your classroom and they allow students to express their creativity while practicing basic computer skills. Here we present a few ideas and examples, as well as descriptions of some of the more popular sites that are appropriate for adults.

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

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 have done with these sites and how you used them in your class.

Khan Academy
The Khan Academy uses YouTube to make available more than 1000 educational videos on the broad subjects of: Basic Math, Pre-Algebra, Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Physics, Banking and Money, Chemistry, Biology, CASHEE, California Standards Test Algebra I & II, SAT Preparation, Finance, Probability, and many others. Incredible body of work. Like having a personal tutor. This is a "do not miss site."

Save the Words
This site will help your adult secondary students, advanced ESL, or maybe older adults learn some words that are fading from our vocabulary. It allows you to adopt a word and pledge to begin using it in sentences as often as possible. You can also subscribe to their Word a Day program. Fun site for students.

Work Smart!
WorkSmart is designed to help people prepare for and find a new job. It has information on "soft skills" like tips on making a good impression, finding child care, arranging transportation, planning to arrive on time, and adopting a good attitude. There is also a section on how to find a job and tips for success once the job is acquired. The site is part of the California State site.

Google Web Search - Classroom Lessons & Resources
Google has created some lesson plans to help you teach effective searching on the Internet.

Vocabulary Exercises for the Academic Word List
The Academic Word List is a list of words which appear with high frequency in English-language academic texts. The list contains 570 word families and is divided into 10 sublists. Sublist 1 consists of the 60 most common words in the AWL. Sublist 2 contains the next most frequently used words and so on. Each sublist contains 60 word families, except for sublist 10, which contains 30. This site includes online cloze exercises for students to practice using the vocabulary words. Useful for ABE, ASE, and High Intermediate to Advanced ESL.

Wordly Wise 3000
While Wordly Wise 3000 is a K-12 curriculum that schools purchase, this Web site offers students free access to word lists with audio, pictures, and audio questions to check for understanding. They also have games using the same words to promote learning. In all there are 10 books with 15-20 lessons each. Associated games include crossword puzzles, battleship, concentration, hangman, word search, matching, and flashcard. Just select the Student button to find these.



CATESOL State Conference 2010 Registration is open !
The theme for this year's CATESOL state conference is "Teaching & Learning in a Global Community." For those who would like to go, but are a little short on cash, the Rick Sullivan Stipend provides $250. to help cover some of the cost of attending the conference (except for those who have served on the CATESOL State Board). More information is available in this informational flyer.  The deadline to apply for this is February 15, 2010. For all others, there is a discount for those registered by February 28th, so take advantage of the Early Bird registration.

Study Circle Facilitation Training Now Online!
The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) is opening registration for its Study Circle Facilitation Training, available for the first time entirely online. With sessions beginning in March, 2010, the training is open to Read more . . .

NIFL Announces: New Math & Numeracy Discussion List
The National Institute for Literacy (NIFL) is announcing the new  Math & Numeracy Discussion List, which was initiated on January 19, 2010. The new discussion list provides an on-going professional development forum where adult educators, advocates, researchers, policy makers, adult education providers, and others can discuss mathematics and numeracy issues in adult basic education and GED programs. . Read more and Subscribe. . .

It's Not Too Early to Think About Professional Development for the Summer or Fall!
We are looking for adult schools that are willing to take a leadership role in providing Professional Development involving the use of technology to 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!