New Distance Learning Coordinator for OTAN
OTAN is very happy to announce the appointment of Penny Pearson as the new Distance Learning Coordinator. Penny has been with OTAN as a Project Specialist II, managing our Moodle course management service and our online meeting services, as well as multiple other responsibilities. Read more. . .

OTAN is Hiring A Project Specialist
OTAN has posted an opening for a Project Specialist II, Technology Projects position. The details of the position can be found at the Sacramento County Office of Education Web site. Final application date is 11/17/2010. For further information, contact Marian Thacher, Director, at 800-894-3113 or

COABE 2011: Call for Proposals & Award Nominations
The Commission on Adult Basic Education (COABE) will hold its annual conference jointly with the California Council of Adult Education (CCAE). The conference will be held in San Francisco, CA April 17-21, 2011. COABE has announced open nominations for the 2011 Awards and a Call For Proposals for the 2011 COABE/CCAE National Conference. Read more . .  

Technology and Distance Learning Symposium: Call for Proposals
OTAN will host a Technology and Distance Learning Symposium on February 25-6, 2011, at Hacienda La Puente, Willows Campus. We would like to have a variety of presentations on topics related to classroom technology and distance learning, and the call for proposals is now available online. Proposals are due by December 3, 2010. Read more. . .

No. California Regional CATESOL Conference
The last regional CATESOL Conference for the year is the Northern California Regional CATESOL which will be held at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, on Saturday, November 13. A great opportunity to grow as a teacher by attending workshops and networking with other teachers.

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....

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite
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 is all about using an online tool called Polldaddy for polling students .


Polling, Surveying, Rating and Quizzing with Polldaddy
Replace your paper-based polling and surveying with media-rich online tools that allow for a variety of options for sharing with your students, who can answer poll and survey questions anonymously or by entering their names. You can assign students to provide anonymous ratings on a topic related to your course content, and you can also quiz students to check on their progress.


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


Student Activities with Interactive Whiteboards (SmartBoard)
Thursday, November 18, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Abram Friedman Occupational Center, 1646 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA

Beginning PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Friday, November 19, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Abram Friedman Occupational Ctr., 1646 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA

Advanced PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Friday, December 3, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Abram Friedman Occupational Ctr., 1646 S. Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site
Friday, December 3, 2010 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Emerson Community Adult School, 8810 Emerson Ave., Los Angeles, 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!

Moodle: Creating Assignments with Penny Pearson
Thursday, November 18, 4:00p — 5:30p

Online Forms - Collecting, Analyzing and Sharing Data with Melinda Holt
Thursday, November 18, 2:00p — 3:30p

Online Workshop

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
Friday, November 19, 3:00p — 4:30p

Moodle: Using the Lesson Activity with Penny Person
Friday, November 19, 1:00p — 2:30p

Using Picture Dictionaries in the Multilevel ESL Classroom with Jayme Goldstein
Thursday, December 2, 3:00p — 4:30p

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet with Branka Marceta
Friday, December 3, 2:00p — 3:30p

Using Web Sites to Teach Math with Leila Rosemberg
Friday, December 3, 1:00p — 2:30p

Online Slide Shows - Create, Share and Present! with Melinda Holt
Thursday, December 9, 2:00p — 3:30p

Building Community and Collaboration Online with Kristi Reyes
Friday, December 10, 10:00a — 11:30a

Getting Started with Your Own Wiki Web Site with Barry Bakin
Friday, December 10, 1:00p — 2:30p

Teaching Resources

We have added a variety of new resources for teachers to the OTAN Web site. They include a couple of sites with free photos you can use in PowerPoint activities and for other purposes, a free online image editing suite, and some new ESL, ASE, and GED sites. If you need help for high school students on difficult subjects, try Brightstorm. Great resource!

Gimp Savvy - Copyright-free Photo Archive
The photo archive at has more than 27,000 free photos and images. The items found here come from three main sources: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Each of these sites clearly state that their photos and images are in the public domain and give the conditions for their use. Please read their statements.

FreeFoto is a large, online collection of free photographs (link back and attribution required). Non-commercial users may download their web size images to use off-line in school projects, on cards, leaflets, etc. Basically if your off-line use is not commercial you can download their Web size images for free. Be sure to check their "Free Use Rules."

Free suite of online creation tools for image editing, screen capture, music creation, audio editing, and color editing. They are working on a beta site called Aviary Education that will be 100% school safe

ESL America
This is a Web site where everything has sound! Two adult education teachers created this site, which links to many sites that have audio or video files. It is nicely categorized into Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Conversations, Grammar, Pronunciation, and Reading. Other topics include holidays and vocabulary building.

Money Talks: An ESOL Toolkit for Financial Literacy
Money Talks is a comprehensive, multi-level resource for teaching financial literacy to adult ESOL students that can be used and adapted to fit a wide range of learning situations

Building Basics: ESOL Toolkit for General Construction, Landscaping, Painting, and Plumbing
Building Basics is a multi-level curriculum for teaching students that have expressed a need to learn English within the context of the construction trades. It has been organized into four modules which should be downloaded separately due to their large size: General Construction, Curb Appeal (Landscaping), Painting, and Plumbing. Each module is further divided into five units/lessons. These lessons provide a facilitator guide with step-by-step instructions for implementation, facilitator materials, and learner handouts. The facilitator materials contain copies of all the worksheets, transparencies, drawings, cartoons, handouts, etc., that the teacher will need. Hundreds of original drawings that have been created expressly for this curriculum provide visual support to each lesson.

Brightstorm has free homework help videos (over 2,000) covering the high school math and science topics of algebra, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus, biology, chemistry and physics. There are also college test prep videos, but there appears to be a charge for them. Great for GED, independent study, or high school diploma programs.

Science Daily
Science Daily is an award-winning site where students and teachers can get the latest news and videos on a wide range of scientific topics. You can look by topic for information. Go to the Video button to locate short video clips on a variety of topics.

GED Career Bridge to Hospitality Curriculum
This is a teacher-friendly, career-focused GED® Instruction guide based on Workforce Improvement Network's GED Learning in the Workplace Curriculum Guide for Hospitality. The guide includes GED as Project Inquiry Activities adapted to hospitality contexts, current hospitality industry vocabulary lists, a variety of career briefs in the hospitality field, hospitality-related reading material and lesson plans, guidelines for implementation, and a complete student handbook. While the curriculum was created for adult ed teachers in Virginia, they can be used here in California with some modifications.