OTAN Hiring Distance Learning Coordinator
OTAN is currently hiring a Distance Learning Coordinator. This person will be responsible for a number of new projects in the area of encouraging and supporting online instruction for adult learners. Projects include overseeing the development and piloting of sharable online courses, coordination of the new Online Teaching Academy (OTAC), and planning of a Technology and Distance Learning Symposium scheduled for next spring. More information about these projects will be posted soon. Read more...

Students Can Follow Antarctica Expedition
Tina Sander, an ESL teacher from Santa Cruz Adult School, is getting ready to leave for Antarctica with an expedition that will offer opportunities for students to read her journal, interact with her, see videos, and participate in webinars. There will be opportunities for reading, writing and science activities appropriate for ESL, ABE and high school. Students can read Tina's journal and participate in webinars. Here is Tina's description of the project.....

OTAN is looking for a few teachers to pilot two online courses this fall.
One is a wrap-around Moodle course to support USA Learns 2nd Course for Intermediate ESL. For distance or classroom teachers who will be having their students use USA Learns 2nd course, this Moodle site will add writing assignments, a discussion board, journal reflections, increased vocabulary work, and the opportunity to build online community among the students.

The other course is an 18 week advanced ESL course. The course outline is available on request. The pilot class doesn't need to be totally online, as long as students can access the course materials as a supplement to classroom activities, and the teacher can support students in the course and provide some feedback to OTAN. There will be a stipend offered for participation in the pilot. Feedback will help us improve the course, and also develop complete teacher and student orientation materials. Please contact Marian Thacher,, if you are interested in participating.

New Video on Student Response Systems
Often called "clickers," student response systems allow all students to respond to a question or survey at the same time, with results displayed immediately in a variety of formats such as a bar chart or a list of replies. Students are continuously engaged, and teachers appreciate the immediate response and the ability to see easily whether a concept or teaching point is comprehended, and who might need more time or additional help.OTAN has produced a captioned video about using clickers Read more....

GED Connection State License Renewed
OTAN has renewed the statewide license for digital rights to the GED Connection videos produced and copyrighted by Kentucky Educational Television. The new license expires December 31, 2011. By that time we hope to know more about plans for the new GED test. The license allows duplication of the 39 DVDs as long as they are used for educational purposes, not sold, and not manipulated in any way. Programs may also show the videos via public television. Read more....

Research Report on the Effects of Violence on Adult Learners: A Canadian Study
Millions of adult learners – immigrants or native born, men or women – have and continue to experience violence in many different forms. Some may be fleeing war and repression overseas, while others may be victims in their own neighborhoods, communities and homes. Read more...

OVAE Funds Virtual University for ESL Teachers
Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) has announced that, after a national competition, it awarded a three-year contract to DTI Associates in which it is investing more than $2.2 million in a new state-of-the-art National Adult English Language Learning Professional Development Network, also known as English Language Learning University (ELL University). The investment will identify, enhance, and create training resources to help teachers deliver quality English language instruction to adults. Read more...

Save Money - Offer Professional Development On Site
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. If this sounds like something you would like to participate in, contact us at 800-894-3113 or for more details!

This month's Web-Based Class Activity provides many great ideas on how to use online video in the classroom. Check out this month's installment to get some fresh ideas to start off the school year.

Video Camera image

Classroom Use of Online Video
Use online video to spark discussion, as a pre-reading exercise, to supplement course content, for a listening exercise or writing prompt, for a class survey project, or to support language learning. Lots of ideas.



Professional Development

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

Using Web Sites to Teach Math
Friday, September 10, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Sweetwater - San Ysidro Adult Ed., 4220 Otay Mesa Road, San Ysidro, CA


Beginning PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Friday, September 17, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Sweetwater - San Ysidro Adult Ed., 4220 Otay Mesa Road, San Ysidro, CA

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers
Tuesday, October 19, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Tamalpais Adult School, 375 Doherty Dr., Larkspur, CA

OTAN offers a wide variety of 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. Here are some of our workshop titles:

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 to schedule a workshop.

Upcoming Online Workshops:

Participating in our online workshops is very easy! 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!

Effective Search Strategies for Students with Melinda Holt
Thursday, September 23, 2010 — 2:00p to 3:30p

Student Activities with Interactive Whiteboards (SmartBoard) with Blair Roy
Thursday, September 23, 2010 — 3:00p to 4:30p

Online Documents: Share, Review and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
Thursday, October 7, 2010 — 2:00p to 3:30p

So You Want to Teach Online? with Penny Pearson
Thursday, October 7, 2010 — 4:00p to 5:30p

Easy Excel Activities for the Classroom: Bingo and Study Helpers with Susan Coulter
Friday, October 8, 2010 — 1:00p to 2:30p

Online Workshop

Using Web Sites to Teach Math with Leila Rosemberg
Friday, October 8, 2010 — 3:00p to 4:30p

Getting Started with Your Own Wiki Web Site with Barry Bakin
Friday, October 15, 2010 — 3:00p to 4:30p

Creating a High Quality Online Course with Penny Pearson
Thursday, October 21, 3:30p — 5:00 p

Simple Free Web Tools to Use with Basic Literacy Students with Kristi Reyes
Friday, October 22, 11:00a —12:30 p

Student Activities with Interactive Whiteboards (Promethean) with Blair Roy
Thursday, October 28, 3:00 p — 4:30 p

Create Quick and Easy Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
Friday, October 29, 3:00 p — 4:30 p

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site with Penny Pearson
Tuesday, November 2, 4:00 p — 6:00 p

Teaching Resources

Maybe you are looking for a new Web site to share with your students or some different ways to get class started this Fall. Well you have come to the right place! We found a variety of new resources to help you as you move into the new school year. Let us know which ones you find most useful.

First and Last Day of Class Activities
The CATESOL Adult Level list is accumulating tips from teachers on how they handle the first and last days of class. So check out this site for some new ideas for your class.

Filler and Warm-Up Activities
The CATESOL Adult Level list is gathering ideas on how teachers provide learning opportunities for students who arrive early or on time while they are waiting for late arrivals, and fillers at the end of a daily class session.

Using Computer in Family Literacy Programs
Using Computers in Family Literacy Programs examines how computers and technology can be used throughout family literacy programs to support children's education, adult education, parenting education, and interactive literacy activities for parents and children to do together.

Listen and Write
Use this site to help student improve their listening skills and hear about news stories at the same time. While the student listens to the story, they can type it in "full mode" (student types whole word), "quick mode" (they type the first letter of each word), or "blank mode" where they fill in the cloze exercise.

Dollar Sign

Financial Fitness: A Guide to Everyday Money
Success with money management begins when there is a solid financial literacy foundation that delves into the many aspects of money and how it impacts everyday living. Inside this booklet are activities that explore and explain how everyday money management practices can lead to lifelong effective money management skills. The activities teach short and long term planning for education, personal spending and investing. The activities are designed for family learning as well as for individual adult learners and school-age children with different literacy skill levels.

English Literacy / Civics from the Literacy Volunteers of Roanoke Valley
The lessons posted here were designed for use in small classes of intermediate-level learners over the course of several 6-8 week sessions. However, teachers will find that the methods and materials are easily adaptable to individual and paired learner environments, and to other competency levels. The content of each session varies in the areas of healthcare and employment in addition to the civics content. Computer-based lessons were integrated into each of these core areas. All the lessons follow the same general format and include the lesson’s objectives, estimated lesson duration, materials list, a description of the lesson activities, and an assessment statement. The link to the lesson plan index is just below the site header.

Spelling City
To help students practice their spelling, especially word lists or vocabulary you provide them in class, online exercises may be helpful. The online spelling program, Spelling City, is a free and easy way for you to provide online opportunities for students to learn how to spell words and hear their pronunciation in model sentences.

Visual Dictionary
The Visual Dictionary site uses images to explain objects, listing all their component parts in English, Spanish, and French. Detailed views show all relevant details. Every image and term is fully defined. Sometimes, animations allow for better understand of a phenomenon and also stimulates the desire to know more. Just select the Animation button when it is available.