Three Outstanding Student Successes
Three former adult education students received California Adult Education Students Succeed awards at the ACSA Adult Education conference on November 3, 2011. Joe Grinnell received his GED through Marysville Adult School and Ken Nguyen and his wife Myhau Phan attended the ESL program at Metropolitan Adult Education Center in Santa Clara. Read their stories and inspire your students . . .

Life Skills, College, and Career Readiness Guide for ESOL Learners
is a new, free resource for teachers to use in helping ESOL students develop the skills and knowledge they need to reach their goals – whether related to academic, job or life skills. Complete article. . .

CATESOL Conference Early-Bird Registration
The theme of the 2012 state wide CATESOL Conference this year is "Deeply Rooted, Always Growing." It is being held in Oakland at the Convention Center and the Oakland Marriott Hotel, April 12-15, 2012. If you register before February 29, 2012, you will get the special early bird pricing, so register early and save. Conference Information

WE LEARN Call for Student Writings
Women Expanding Literacy Education Action Resource Network (WE LEARN) is seeking student writings to feature in their upcoming issue of Womens' Perspectives: a Journal of Writing and Art by Adult Learners. ALL students in literacy and basic education programs are encouraged to participate. The publication comes out annually in March and focuses on a specific theme. This year's theme is "Women & Communication." Encourage your students to participate. The deadline for submissions is December 22, 2011. Complete information . . .

Celebrate the Adult Literacy Education Wiki: Seven Years and Counting!
It is hard to believe that is has been 7 years since the Adult Literacy Education (ALE) Wiki was first established. It was initiated by David J. Rosen and Erik Jacobson on November 27, 2004 at the Meeting of the Minds conference, and has been built by volunteers since then. The wiki serves as a way for practitioners, researchers and learners to pose and answer important questions in adult literacy education practice, and to share knowledge, professional wisdom, research and findings related to the practice of adult education. Complete article . . .

New Federal Innovation Forum Announced
A new "Innovation Forum" has been announced as a joint project of The U.S. Department of Labor, The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) and the US Department of Health and Human Services. The forum, which will be known as Workforce3One, will serve as an e-learning, knowledge sharing Web space. Complete article . . ..

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 presents a couple of sites that provide lessons and materials on Global Awareness

group of hands representing diversity holding a globe

Lesson Plans and Resources on Global Awareness

Global awareness, as defined by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, is the ability to understand global issues; learn from and work with people from diverse cultures; and understand the cultures of other nations, including the use of non-English languages. In this edition of Web-Based Classroom Activities, we would like to explore two sites with lessons and materials/videos on a variety of current global topics.


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

The deadline to register for most Face-to-Face workshops is two weeks before the workshop, so register early to avoid disappointment!


Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2007
Friday, January 6, 2012 — 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Milpitas Adult Education, 1331 Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA

Creating Web Pages with Weebly
Thursday, January 19, 2012 — 12:00pm - 3:00pm
S. San Francisco Adult Education, 825 Southwood Dr., S. San Francisco, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site 
Friday, January 27, 2012 — 9:00am - 12:00pm
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

Internet Resources for ESL/EL Civics Teachers
Friday, February 17, 2012 — 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Milpitas Adult Education, 1331 Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, 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:

OTAN offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. This year workshops will be offered both separately and as a series, allowing participants to register for several sessions at once. All of the workshops shown below can be part of our series. See below for the Online Series Offerings.

Social Networking for Adult Education (Mostly Facebook) with Branka Marceta
Thursday, January 12, 2012 — 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Online Documents: Create, Share, and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
Friday, January 13, 2012 — 10:00am - 11:30am

Three Fun Online Activities for Students with Kristi Reyes
Thursday, January 19, 2012 — 12:00pm - 1:30pm

Orientation to OTAN "Advanced ESL" Shared Moodle Course with Francisca Wentworth
Monday, January 23, 2012 — 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
Friday, January 27, 2012 — 1:30pm - 3:00pm

Cell Phone Basics to Use in the Classroom with Susan Gaer
Friday, February 3, 2012  — 1:30pm - 3:00pm

USA Learns: A Web Based Tool for ESL Learners with Evelyn Fella
February 09, 2012 — 3:00pm - 4:30pm

Each series is accompanied by additional online resources and support through a facilitated Moodle course, providing participants with the benefit and support of an online learning community. The workshop series are designed on the theory that continued and sustained support improves learning outcomes. Here is the list of the series:

Online Series Offerings:

  • Mobile Technology in Adult Education
    • Getting to Know Your Cell Phone: Features, Etiquette, and Texting
    • Cell Phone Activities Using Voice and Camera
  • Create and Collaborate in the Cloud
    • Online Documents: Share, Review, and Collaborate
    • 10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students
  • Moodle: Foundations in Moodle Course Management
    • Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
    • Moodle: Customizing Your Course and Grade Book
  • Moodle: Activities Series
    • Moodle: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students
    • Moodle: Creating Assignments
    • Moodle: Create Online Interactive Activities (New!)
    • Moodle: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning (New!)
  • Social Media and Online Presence for Adult Education
    • Social Networking and Online Presence for Adult Ed
    • Three Fun Online Activities for Students
    • An Online Presence for Teachers

Teaching Resources

English for the Nursing Assistant
Similar to USA Learns, this Web site is intended to help ESL learners prepare for their academic studies in becoming a Certified Nursing Assistant. In this Communication unit, you will have many opportunities to listen, take notes, practice speaking skills and learn the vocabulary necessary for a profession in the health care field.

ESL Core Curricula from Nevada Adult Education
The curricula offered here from Nevada's adult education program is tied to CASAS competencies. They offer a Low Intermediate & Advanced and a High Intermediate and Advanced curriculum. The Low Int. covers the following topics: Using the Telephone; Safety at Home; Getting and Keeping a Job; Interpreting Job-Related Information; Interpreting Signs & Maps; and Using Reference Materials. Low Adv covers: Interpreting Maps & Graphs; Consumer Shopping; Working with a Multicultural Workforce; Understanding Employment Documents; Applying and Interviewing for a Job; and Understanding and Recording Job-related Information. Similar topics are covered in the higher level.

English Literacy / Civics Curriculum - High Int. and Advanced Levels
This EL/Civics curriculum espouses learner self-expression, peer interaction, community awareness and participation, personal research, and problem-solving. It represents an attempt to engage the adult ESOL learner in personal, meaningful English literacy instruction using a non-traditional methodology. There are three learning modules: Government, Health, and Consumer Awareness.

Kimball's Biology Pages
John Kimball, a retired biology teacher and a graduate of Harvard, has published a number of books and textbooks on biology. The one offered here covers the following major biology topics: animals, behavior, biochemistry, cancer, cell biology, chemistry, DNA, RNA, ecology, evolution, general science, genetics, immunology, microbiology, molecules, physiology, plant biology, and viruses. Basically a free textbook for learning biology that is hyperlinked between topics. Great use of hyperlinking.

BBC Learning English
The BBC English Radio offers a variety of listening opportunities for students. Major categories include: General & Business English; Grammar, Vocabulary & Pronunciation; Quizzes; and the Flatmates (cartoons). Under "Grammar, Vocabulary ..." select "Words in the News," to find audio files and transcripts of news stories that change three times a week. There is also an archive of past news stories going back to 1999, and this is just one of the sections. There is also a good section on pronunciation. Look under the "For teachers" section to find teaching ideas, worksheets, and activities related to the stories and broadcasts found on the site.

KQED Video and Audio Programs and Podcasts
There are many full length videos and podcasts from PBS shows. Suitable for science, history, fine arts, home economics, culture, current events, and the building trades.

Florida GED Resources - Multimedia Resources to Help Students with Struggling Areas on the GED Tests
This site offers nicely categorized media resources (games, videos, and activities) that deal with the four areas of the GED test - math, science, social studies, and language arts. Many of the videos go out to YouTube, so you may need to download and save the videos in order to show them in your classroom.