Changes to the OTAN Web Site!

If you visit the OTAN Web site now, you will be surprised at the number of areas that are no longer behind a Logon name or password. We have removed the logon requirement for much of the Web site. This will allow visitors to the site to browse through the many resources available there without registering.

You will still need to logon if you want to see any of the areas with the little lock symbol, such as Teaching Tools By Program Type, Funding and Jobs, and your Preferences. You will also be asked to sign in if you want to register for a workshop or webinar.

Your Preferences
Please visit the Preferences area (link at top of home page) and update your preferences, because the choices are different (and shorter!) Be sure to scroll down the Preference page and indicate what information you would like to receive from OTAN. You can now opt to receive the newsletter electronically, or continue to receive it by US mail. You can also now receive either the Teacher Digest or the Administrator Digest, or both if you wish.

Become a Member
Even though the logon is no longer required for most of the site, there are definite advantages to registering as an OTAN member. You will receive news about professional development offerings, legislative updates, and state and national adult education news via email. We can also track your participation in professional development offered by OTAN.

2012 CATESOL Awards Announcement

Each year, CATESOL recognizes outstanding teachers and students with its annual recognition awards, student essay contest and professional development scholarship award. Please take the time to nominate a colleague and encourage a student to apply. The Norma Shapiro Award nomination closes on January 13th. The deadline for nominations on the other 3 awards is February 1st. Read more about the awards . . .

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

New at ELL-U

The English Language Learner University (ELL-U) [www] is a free online professional development portal for Adult ESOL Educators. Teachers have access to evidence-based instruction training, leading adult ESOL experts, and resources on the ELL-U site while helping to build a community of practice for ESOL professionals in this "virtual" university. ELL-U is offering some new features and learning activities, including  Complete article. . .

Registration Open for CALPRO January 2012 Online Courses

What better way to start off the New Year than with professional development? The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) offers free professional development courses you can take any time, any place, through the Internet. To get started, all you need is an e-mail account, Internet access, and an average of three hours per week scheduled according to your convenience. More information . . .

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!

Happy New Year to All!

This month's Web-Based Class Activity presents a couple of sites that provide lessons and materials on Global Awareness

Imagining the Future and Making Predictions

Man and  woman trying to predict the future

At the beginning of a new year, many people reflect on the past year and envision the year to come. The past year has certainly been a time of economic, environmental, political, and social upheaval. Through globalization and technology, we are more connected to others around the world than any time in history, and also more interdependent. Science and technology have continued to both advance and change the way we live. Some issues, however, never change: nuclear threats, the human toll of war, illegal immigration, affordable housing and health care. How will these issues and events affect us in the future?

The Web site FUTURESTATES [www} tackles this question in a series of thought-provoking “independent mini-features showing visions of what life in America will be like in decades to come,” and invites users to make their predictions on a number of topics, as well.


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!


Cell Phones in Adult Education 
Tuesday, January 17, 2012 — 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Chaffey Adult School , 1802 E. 7th Street
Ontario, CA

Creating Web Pages with Weebly
Thursday, January 19, 2012 —TBD
S. San Francisco Adult Education, 825 Southwood Dr., S. San Francisco, CA

Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2007
Friday, January 20, 2012 — 1:00pm - 4:00pm
Alameda Adult School, 2250 Central Avenue, Alameda, CA

Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2003
Tuesday, January 24, 2012 — 6:30pm - 9:30pm
East Side Adult Education - Overfelt Adult Center, 1901 Cunningham Avenue, San Jose, CA

Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2007
Wednesday, January 25, 2012 — 6:30pm - 9:30pm
East Side Adult Education - Independence Adult Education Center, 625 Educational Park Drive, San Jose, CA

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

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities (SmartBoard) 
Wednesday, February 15, 2012 — 2:00pm - 5:00pm
Placer School for Adults, 390 Finley Street
Auburn, CA

Internet Resources for ESL/EL Civics Teachers
Friday, February 17, 2012 — 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Milpitas Adult Education, 1331 Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet
Friday, March 23, 2012 — 9:00am - 12:00noon
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, 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 — 12:00p - 1:30p

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

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  — 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

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

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

Connexions is a dynamic digital educational ecosystem consisting of an educational content repository and a content management system optimized for the delivery of educational content. Connexions is used by people all over the world. Its more than 17,000 learning objects or modules in its repository and over 1000 collections (textbooks, journal articles, etc.) are used by over 2 million people per month. Its content services the educational needs of learners of all ages, in nearly every discipline, from math and science to history and English to psychology and sociology. Connexions delivers content for free over the Internet for schools, educators, students, and parents to access 24/7/365. Materials are easily downloadable to almost any mobile device for use anywhere, anytime. Schools can also order low cost hard copy sets of the materials (textbooks).

Amazing Incredible Handwriting Worksheet Maker
Great for teaching handwriting skills to those from cultures with non-Roman alphabets.

Eyercize is a site for speed reading training for your students to help them read faster with better comprehension. To use your own text with the tool, select the "Speed read this introduction" link. On the next page, select the "New" button and paste your text into the provided box. Then select "Now Read It! below the text box.

Spreeder is free, online speed reading software designed to improve your students reading speed and comprehension. Select the link to "The Application" and paste the desired text into the provided box. Then choose how fast you want to try to read and the "chunk" size.