Creating Secure Passwords

Do you feel overwhelmed with creating passwords and remembering them for various web sites you frequent? Do you find yourself making simple passwords like 12345, a first name (yours, your spouse's, or your child's), asdf (keys next to each other on the keyboard), or even the word "password?" Unfortunately, these are among the most common passwords that are easy for hackers to figure out. Perhaps not surprisingly, password-cracking software is readily available to assist cyber thieves in stealing passwords, which can lead to hacking into bank accounts, credit card accounts, etc. One of your best defenses to safeguarding your accounts is to have secure passwords. Complete article. . .

Funding Opportunities for Innovative Adult Education Programs

The Office of Vocational and Adult Education (OVAE) [www] , announced the New Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) [www] – Wave III applications for funding opportunities to serve adults and boost college readiness.

The current round of applications for Wave III, are available to all entities, taxable, and non-exempt organizations, and U.S. federal, state, tribal, and local government agencies. This includes adult education program applicants and will especially seek to help both low income and students of color reach their educational goals. Complete article. . .

CALPRO Online Workshops Coming Up

The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) will offer six online workshops in real time, beginning in February 2012. These highly interactive professional learning events are open all eligible adult educators, i.e., those who currently work in programs that receive funding through the California Department of Education, Adult Education Office.. More information . . .

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. Other changes. . .

CCAE Bay Section Conference

Join adult education professionals from all over the Bay Area at the Bay Section Winter Conference & Excellence Awards on March 10, 2012. This annual event will be hosted by the Bay Section at Berkeley Adult School [www] from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The theme this year is "Linking Adults to Opportunities." Early Bird registration closes on February 29th. More conference information [www]

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 [www]

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!

February - A Month to Honor Past Presidents and to Celebrate Love!

New Web-based Class Activity

This month's Web-Based Class Activity presents a great way to connect with your students via an easy to use video e-mail Web site called Eyejot. Have fun!

Send Free Video E-mail Messages

Woman lying on the grass watching her cellphone

In the event that e-mail messages have become stale or boring and you are looking for a more exciting way to communicate across the miles, or you just want to make a more personal connection with your students, this month's Web-based Class activity opens up a new way to communicate using a tool called Eyejot.


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!


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

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers
Friday, March 2, 2012 — 9:00am - 12:00noon
Capistrano Adult School, 31431 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2007
Friday, March 16, 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.

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

So You Want to Teach Online? with Penny Pearson
February 10, 2012 — 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Orientation to the "USA Learns 2nd Course Moodle Wrap Around" Shared Course with Katherine Crawford
February 16, 2012 — 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students with Melinda Holt
February 17, 2012 — 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
February 17, 2012 — 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Moodle: Creating Assignments with Susan Coulter
February 17, 2012 — 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Creating a High Quality Online Course with Penny Pearson
February 24, 2012 — 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet with Branka Marceta
February 24, 2012 — 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Cell Phones Part 2: Activities Using Voice and Camera with Susan Gaer
March 2, 2012 — 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM

Moodle: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students with Susan Coulter
March 2, 2012 — 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Moodle: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning (New!) with Francisca Wentworth
March 12, 2012 — 1:00 PM to 2:30 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

Presidents of the United States
Students select the president from the complete list of names presented on the screen to access information and to research. If students are unable to name which president they are interested in, there are two indexes to search: Index to Names and an Index to Subjects and Topics in POTUS.

Valentine's Day Activities
Here are two Internet activities that might be fun to use for Valentine's Day with your students.

Idiom Connection: Relationships & Love
This site offers idioms related to love and relationships along with explanations. Good site for Valentine's Day. There is a quiz at the bottom of the page.

EL Civics for ESL Students
Scroll down the page and select "Holiday Lessons" to find lessons on Lincoln's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Presidents Day, and Washington's Birthday.

The Wisconsin Online Resource center hosts a FREE digital library of learning objects. The types of learning objects available for free use through this Web site include: Assessments, Animations, Simulations, Case Studies, Interactions, Drill and Practice, as well as various Templates. The objects are under programs such as ABE/ESL, Business (Accounting), General Education (high school subjects), Health, Service, Technical, and Professional Development.

Vocational Information Center
The Vocational Information Center Web site is an education directory that provides links to online resources for career exploration, technical education, workforce development, technical schools and related vocational learning resources. ABE, ASE and GED programs will want to take a look at the Math and Math at Work sections. We do not usually link to a site that is a list of links, but this one looked particularly valuable for the CTE and Math programs.

Texas Education Agency - Career & Technical Education
Great site for links to curriculum for various careers including architecture & construction; business, finance, health science, manufacturing, public administration, etc. Select the "career cluster" then select "curriculum" (in the navigation bar) to find Lesson Plans.

Southern LINCS
Southern LINCS offers a lesson plans on a variety of workplace communication topics including: Communication and Problem Solving; Cooperating with Others; Listening Actively; Speak So Others Can Understand; Reflecting and Evaluating.

GCF LearnFree
GCF Learn Free offers self-paced courses and online tutorials in computer basics, Internet Basics, MS Office Products 2007 - 2010. There are also a several tutorials on Everyday Life issues including banking, prescriptions, food labels safety, basic math, money, career and workplace issues. With so many looking for work or having difficulty holding a job, the Career section of the site could be particularly useful. All classes and tutorials are free and conducted online. The site does require registration, but not for commercial purposes. The site is maintained by Goodwill Community Foundation (GCF).

Embedded Learning Portal
This site from the UK contains teaching and learning materials that are designed for use by teachers: vocational teachers and trainers, Skills for Life teachers, teachers working in community, employability, and health settings, and employability programs in the UK, but the skills they teach are also used in the United States. Some adaptation will most likely be necessary.

Topics include: Catering, cleaning, child care / pre-school, first aid, food hygiene, hairdressing, horticulture, hospitality, warehousing, retail, skills for construction trades, painting, and masonry.