Online Professional Development Courses from CALPRO

The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO [www]) is offering six facilitated, online courses that begin between March and May 2012. Here are four courses that address issues in teaching and program design:

  • Designing Programs for Adults with Learning Disabilities, Session 2: Effective Instructional Strategies (starts 3/1; requires Session 1)
  • Optimizing ESL Instructional Planning: Management, Monitoring, and Reflection (starts 3/1)
  • Using Questioning Strategies to Improve Instruction, Session 1 (starts 4/12)
  • Managing the ESL Multilevel Class (starts 4/16)

Also, registration is now open for two exciting new courses on Postsecondary Transitions, a top priority topic of the US and CA offices of adult education: Read more . . .

Self-Paced Online Course for Teaching Adult Language Learners Who Are Emergent Readers

The National Adult English Language Learning Professional Development Network (ELL-U) offers an online, self-paced, interactive course, tailored to meet the needs of educators working with English language learners. All courses have clear and explicit learning objectives and utilize various instructional methods, assessments, activities, and faculty support to ensure that students meet those objectives. Courses are divided into multiple segments allowing for practice and reflection to take place in between each session. Register for the course or get more information[www].

Call for Contributions: Promising Practices for Adult Learners

The National College Transition Network (NCLT [www]) is inviting adult education practitioners to contribute to a collection of promising practices that will foster adult learners' aspirations as they plan their education and career pathways in the Aspirations Toolkit [www].

The Aspirations Toolkit will collect resources and materials that will engage students, showcase promising practices, and help other adult educators learn and grow in their practice. Complete article. . .

New OVAE Reports on Postsecondary Bridging and Alignment

The February 9, 2012 issue of OVAE Connections [www], the newsletter of the federal Office of Vocational and Adult Education, announced the publication of several reports of relevance to practitioners in Adult Education. They include: Promoting College and Career Readiness: Bridge Programs for Low-Skill Adults; Aligning Secondary and Postsecondary Education: Experiences from Career and Technical Education; and Integrating Industry-Driven Competencies in Education and Training Through Employer Engagement. Read these reports and the remainder of the article.

Part 1 of New GED Assessment Guide Released

The GED Testing Service® [www] has released Part 1 of The Assessment Guide for Educators [www] to help educators learn about the new GED test that will launch in 2014. The Guide is designed to help the adult education community begin to incorporate the new direction of the GED into preparation programs.

The Assessment Guide for Educators provides an overview of the assessment, the assessment targets for each content area, a description of cognitive levels, and item types, as well as other topics. The Guide will be released in three installments with the first installment available immediately. Read more. . .

Update on the Strategic Plan

Gordon Jackson, Director of the Coordinated Student Support and Adult Education Division at the California Department of Education (CDE), and Patricia Terry, Administrator of the Adult Education Office at CDE, have held two meetings with adult educators to discuss moving forward with the strategic plan, Linking Adults to Opportunity: Transformation of the California Department of Education Adult Education Program. A working meeting in the south was held at the CAEAA conference in Long Beach on February 3. A subsequent meeting was held at the ACSA offices in Sacramento on February 14 for educators who were unable to attend CAEAA. A conference call line provided additional participation at that meeting. In both meetings, participants were invited to discuss each of the seven areas of the plan with respect to implementation, specifically achievability, needs and challenges. Read more . . .

Torlakson Sends Letter Supporting Adult Education

Tom Torlakson, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, has sent a letter to all county and district superintendents cautioning them to think carefully about the importance and benefits of adult education before sweeping adult education funds and dismantling programs. Complete article. . .

Obama Requests Level Funding for Adult Education

President Obama announced his 2013 budget request on Monday, Feb. 13. The budget for the Department of Education represents an overall proposed increase of $1.7 billion, for a 2.5 percent increase above the enacted FY 2012 budget. The budget includes $606.3 million to support activities under the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act of 1998, which represents level funding. Read more. . .

Governor's Budget for 2012-13

Governor Jerry Brown released his proposed budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year on January 5, 2012. The budget provides a plan to close a $9.2 billion deficit for the 2011–12 and 2012–13 fiscal years through a combination of program reductions and reforms and revenue increases. The budget proposal assumes voter approval in November 2012 of the Governor’s proposed initiative to temporarily increase income and sales taxes. 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!

March - A Month to Celebrate Women and St. Patrick's Day!

New Web-based Class Activity

This month's Web-Based Class Activity gives you some great ideas for using the Web site called "Awesome Stories" for reading practice.

Online Reading and More Using Awesome Stories

Topics of trials, biography, flicks and history

If your students would like to learn about the "behind the scenes" stories of some of the recently Oscar nominated (and awarded) films, Awesome stories could yield some interesting reading for them. But that is just the beginning. There are stories on many other subjects too, so take a look at these great ideas for using the site..


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, March 16, 2012 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Milpitas Adult Education, 1331 Calaveras Blvd., Milpitas, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
Friday, March 16, 2012 — 9 a.m. to noon
Los Angeles USD - Van Nuys Comm Adult School - Saticoy Branch , 15810 Saticoy Street,
Van Nuys, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
Friday, March 16, 2012 — 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Torrance AS - Hamilton Adult Education Center, 2606 West 182nd St., Torrance, CA

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet
Friday, March 23, 2012 — 9 a.m.- noon
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
Friday, April 27, 2012 — 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Palo Alto Adult School - Greendell Site, 4120 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 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 e-mail 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.

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

Moodle: Using the Lesson Activity with Penny Pearson
March 22, 2012 — 4 5:30 p.m.

Create FREE Online Quizzes with Barry Bakin
March 23, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Simple Free Web Tools to Use with Your Students with Kristi Reyes
March 30, 2012 — 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Cell Phones Part 3: Smartphone Applications to Use in the Classroom with Susan Gaer
April 6, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Online Documents: Create, Share, and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
April 20, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
April 27, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

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

Celebrate Females: Women's History Month in March
March is the month we honor women in history. Use these great ideas in your class to develop activities for your students as they learn about the accomplishments of some very interesting women.

EL Civics for ESL Students
To find some activities for March events, scroll down the page and select the "Holiday Lessons." There you will find several lessons/activities that can be used in March for Daylight Savings Time, St. Patrick's Day, Spring, and Cesar Chavez Day. If these do not meet your needs, try the Lifeskills, or ESL Worksheets categories. You will surely find something interesting to use.

We Are Going on a Field Trip: Maximizing Opportunities for Language Learning
This is a PowerPoint presentation containing ideas for using field trips to teach EL Civics.

Math in the Workplace
These lessons expose students to professions that employ mathematics and demonstrate the real-world challenges that use math. They cover a number of different occupations and provide real-world math problems and solutions for the problems.

Since we recently removed our "My Resources" feature on the OTAN Web site, we thought it might be a good time to introduce you to some online bookmarking resources. We know there are others on the Internet, so by all means, use your favorite, but if you have not tried any of them or did not know they existed, we wanted to introduce you to a few ways to keep track of your favorite sites so you can access them no matter where you are. So here are a few to take a look at: [www]
Diigo [www] (Video [www] on using Diigo)
Google Bookmarks [www](Easy if you already have a Google account)
BookmarkSync [www]

Let us know if you have a favorite online bookmarking tool.