OTAC & TIMAC Applications Now Open! 

OTAN's two popular academies are opening their doors to teacher candidates with 12 spots each for the 2012-13 school year. These year-long professional development projects support adult education agency efforts to implement the effective use of technology and online instructional delivery with the goal of improving student learning outcomes. More information . .

Update on WIA reauthorization

The Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which authorizes federal funding for adult education among other things, was enacted in 1998. It has been continued every year since then, but always with the hope that one of these years it will be reauthorized by congress with updated approaches and requirements for adult education programs, as there have been many changes in the field and in society since 1998. Complete article . . .

No US High School Diploma or GED Will Mean No PELL Grant

The current federal budget will change some college-level students' eligibility for financial aid. New requirements for the Pell Grant program were made in order to meet the $1 Billion + Pell Grant budget deficit and are outlined within the 2012 new budget that was passed by congress on December 16, 2011.
Complete article. . .

Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor Release Joint Career Pathways Letter

The Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor released on April 4, 2012, a ground-breaking letter (pdf) to their many stakeholders, highlighting the agencies' unified commitment to promote the use of career pathways approaches. The joint effort serves as an important model to the field and provides what are held to be the essential components of a career pathways approach. The letter is an opportune vehicle to open doors for state and local efforts currently underway or being planned.. Complete article...

Department of Labor Offers Resources for Career Pathway Systems

The Career Pathways Initiative (www), encourages state and local collaborative efforts to develop career pathways at the local level, with a long-term goal of building and implementing a comprehensive career pathways system nationwide. The initiative helped 11 grantees build model career pathways systerms. The result of their work is a diverse collection of resources and materials that is being made available online. Complete article. . .

Online Discussion on Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education

The national Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) (www) will host a two-part discussion of Teacher Effectiveness in Adult Education (www), on the Professional Development Discussion List (www). Part one of the discussion will occur on May 9-11, 2012, facilitated by Jackie Taylor, list moderator and Technology Coordinator at the National Coalition for Literacy. Part two will be on May 14-18, 2012 and will be facilitated Mariann Fedele-McLeod, Principal Researcher at the American Institute for Research, and formerly Director of CALPRO. 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!

New Web-based Class Activity

This month's Web-Based Class Activity gives you some great ideas for using the Web vocabulary and pronunciation development

Change Agent logo

The Change Agent for Reading, Critical Thinking, and Teaching About Social Issues

Social issues are ever-present in all cultures. Teaching about social issues can be done in such a way that students can use critical thinking skills to wade through the issues and come to their own conclusions about what is fact and what is inflammatory rhetoric. This month we are highlighting a site called "The Change Agent" which presents social issues with ways to teach about them in the adult education classroom.


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
Friday, May 11, 2012 — 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education, 4700 Calaveras Ave., Fremont, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 1.9)
Thursday, May 17, 2012 — 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
El Monte-Rosemead Adult School - Rosemead Campus, 4105 Rosemead Blvd, Rosemead, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
Monday, May 21, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Oakland Adult & Career Education, 2607 Myrtle Street, Oakland, CA

Creating Web Pages with Weebly
Friday, June 1, 2012 — 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Capistrano Adult School, 31431 El Camino Real, San Juan Capistrano, CA

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site (Moodle 1.9)
Friday, June 1, 2012 — 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Riverside Adult School, 6735 Magnolia Avenue, Riverside, 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: Create Online Interactive Activities (New!) with Francisca Wentworth
May 10, 2012 — 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m.

10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students with Melinda Holt
May 11, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities (Promethean) with Francisco Pinedo
May 24, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Using Picture Dictionaries in the Multilevel ESL Classroom with Jayme Goldstein
June 1, 2012 — 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m

Teaching Critical Thinking for the Internet with Branka Marceta
June 7, 2012 —10 a.m. to 11:30 a.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

Here are some recently added resources to teach students about the Internet:

20 Things I Learned About Browsers and the Web
This is an online book (36 pages) about various aspects of browsers, the Internet, cloud computing, cookies, privacy, security, malware, and phishing. The reading level is about 6th grade. I can be covered in small chunks (20) and integrated into your everyday skills competencies.

Use this site to develop some online assessments and ‘go green’ in the process as students take the quiz on any computer, whether at school or another location. If you have never attempted making an online quiz, this one is a very simple one you might consider. Features included with the free account: create quizzes up to 50 questions each; have up to 100 test takers; use four options for questions: True/False, Multiple Choice, Multiple Response, and Fill in the Blank; change the point value for questions; shuffle the answers; see a report of your students’ results because it scores the quizzes for you; see the average score; no registration is required, just start making a quiz; it has no ads.

Here are some sites we have had for a while, but you may not be familiar with:

Special Days & Events in May
Teaching those new to America or those who have grown up here but are not sure how various holidays began, can be fun and informative. Take a look at some of these May holidays. There are also some dates that have been set aside by congressional or presidential proclamation as National Days of _______. Hopefully one will spark some interest and generate some topics for conversation. Some are appropriate for ABE, ASE, ESL or Older Adults.

Pizzaz! Creative Writing and Storytelling Ideas
PIZZAZ! provides simple creative writing and oral storytelling activities with copyable handouts for use with students of all ages. Permission is given to use these resources for in-class, non-profit use only. ESOL student levels are Beginning through Advanced. From the University of Oregon.

Project Interactivate
Project Interactivate is mathematics courseware containing more than 80 classroom-tested interactive activities and tools. Suggested lesson plans and discussions based on various concepts contained in the activities help support standards-based approaches to mathematics education. Students can also use the site to learn fractions, do comparisons, create Venn Diagrams and practice other mathematics concepts. Great for the visual learner. Supplemental materials for the activities and lesson plans exist in the form of help files, worksheets, open-ended explorations, a dictionary, and links to various standards. They are appropriate for elementary grades through undergraduate courses. Interactivate materials need a browser with Java enabled.