New Project Specialist joins OTAN
OTAN is very happy to announce the appointment of Blair Roy as the new Project Specialist, replacing Penny Pearson, who was promoted to Distance Learning Coordinator in November. Blair loves technology and has been using it at Garden Grove Adult School, where she has been teaching for over 20 years. Her new responsibilites will include managing our Moodle site and our online meeting services, as well as multiple other responsibilities. Read more. . .

Technology and Distance Learning Symposium - Register NOW!
OTAN will host a Technology and Distance Learning Symposium on February 25-6, 2011, at Hacienda La Puente, Willows Campus. Registration can be done online and it's free! You can register for one or both days, but you must be registered by February 18th. Read more. . .

Free Copies of California's Adult Ed History
The Adult Ed Division of the California Dept. of Education is offering free copyies of the book "Meeting the Challenge - A History of Adult Education in California." Read more....

Discussion on Student Resistance to New Teaching Strategies
Have you ever been excited about introducing a new research-based strategy only to have your learners meet it with resistance? How do you overcome this barrier? What strategies work best to awaken the child-like desire to learn something new? 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 getting organized in the new year.

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Eleven Ways to Get Organized for 2011
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to organize your professional life, read on for 11 ideas to put your work in order – and help your students get organized, too! These tips will help you more easily find and share files, create lesson plans, record and store grades and attendance, and more.


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


Advanced PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Friday, January 28, 2011 — 9:00a - 12:00p
Fremont Adult & Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet
Friday, January 28, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Emerson Comm. Adult School, 8810 Emerson Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Introduction to Using Cell Phones in the Classroom
Friday, January 28, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - No. Hollywood Adult Learning Ctr., 10952 Whipple St, North Hollywood, CA

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers
Friday, February 4, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Napa Valley Adult School, 1600 Lincoln Avenue, Napa, CA

Internet Resources for ESL/E.L. Civics Teachers
Friday, February 11, 2011 — 1:00p - 4:00p
Los Angeles USD - Emerson Comm. Adult School, 8810 Emerson Ave., Los Angeles, CA

Using Moodle to Create a Course Web Site
Friday, March 5, 2011 — 8:45a - 12:00p
Los Angeles USD - Abram Friedmas Occupational Ctr., 1646 S. Olive Street, 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!

Creating a High Quality Online Course with Penny Pearson
Thursday, January 27, 4:00p — 5:30p

Create Quick and Easy Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
Friday, January 28, 1:00p — 2:30p

Student Activities with Interactive Whiteboards (SmartBoard) with Blair Roy
Thursday, February 3, 3:00p — 4:30p

Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning with Susan Gaer
Friday, February 4, 9:00a — 10:30a

Online Documents: Share, Review and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
Thursday, February 10, 2:00p — 3:30p

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
Friday, February 18, 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!

Study Stack
The Study Stack concept basically assists individuals memorize information about various subjects, including geography, history, math, languages, and science. Users of the site can select one of the existing stacks, which consists of virtual study cards allowing individuals to learn at their own pace until they are satisfied with their progress. What is also particularly novel about this learning tool is that data entered for customized study stacks can be automatically displayed as a matching game, a word search puzzle, a crossword, a quiz,a hangman game or several other games. The site contains hundreds of study stacks for each subject, with the areas dedicated to math and science containing a number of helpful stacks. With its wide range of applications, this site will be very helpful to students at different age levels and teachers who may be seeking to develop a new study tool for any number of topics or themes within a subject area.

TitanPad (a version of EtherPad) let's you and your students work simultaneously in a word processing document. You can have your documents public or private. We give you some creative ways to use it too.
The language portal offers you dictionary translations, language quizzes & games, vocabulary lessons for learning and more. is interactive: You can enter your own translation, create your own language test or your own vocabulary flashcard set.

LoudLit offers audible novels, poetry, children's books, historical documents and short stories, complete with the text, making this site useful for ABE, ASE, Family Literacy, Parent Ed, ESL as well as adults with visual disabilities. ESL students can follow along with the text as the words are read. Some items are available for download as well as online listening, making the audio portion portable. Most are in MP3 format so putting the audio on an MP3 player is also possible for mobile learning.

Digital Dialects
The Digital Dialects Web site features free to use interactive games for learning the basics of 60 languages. Language sections are updated regularly and new sections are under development. This site requires the use of the Adobe Flash Player. Has audio component for great drill and practice. Languages include (but are not limited to) English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian.

Message Hop
Message Hop offers a fast and easy way to upload pictures that the students can then use as a writing exercise. You could either provide the pictures as writing prompts or have the students bring pictures that they could write about. You could also use it as a Total Physical Response activity for ESL where you have provided the pictures and the descriptions.

Pollmo is a very simple polling application. Find out what you want to know today! No account or sign up required. Create a new poll in just three easy steps. Then just copy the embed code provided to place your poll on your blog or Web site, unless you do not have one. In that case, just direct people to the URL assigned to your Pollmo poll.

Quizicon has some game-like quizzes on topics like 100 most common English words, states in the United States, world's largest cities, longest rivers, etc. Would be appropriate for ESL, Citizenship, ABE, and ASE or anyone wanting to test their memory or knowledge of these and many other topics. The quizzes are timed at 5 minutes.

Lino It
Lino is a free sticky note on canvas service that requires only a browser and Internet connection. Great tool for brainstorming, planning, or organizing thoughts. You could also use it for sequencing, matching, or storyboarding in a class environment. You can add tags, change the color of the canvas or sticky notes, add pictures (or graphics) and movies with file size limitations. Canvases can be private, shared without editing privileges or shared with editing privileges. Basic account (which requires only minimal personal information) is free, but the "Premium" account, which allows for a greater number and size of files, currently costs $3. month..