OTAC & TIMAC Applications Re-Open

OTAN's two popular academies are re-opening their doors to teacher candidates this fall. As a reflection of the unprecedented times our field is experiencing, not all the spots were filled in the first round of applications.
TIMAC application will be open from 8/20 to 9/10.
OTAC application will be open from 8/21 to 9/24.
These year-long professional development projects support adult education agencies’ efforts to implement the effective use of technology and online instructional delivery with the goal of improving student learning outcomes.
Complete article . . .

OTAN Has Upgraded Moodle

OTAN has upgraded and changed our Moodle server! We converted from Moodle version 1.9 to the newest version, Moodle version 2.3, in August. This upgrade allows teachers many additional resources and tools to help deliver quality online materials. Some examples include:  The inclusion of grading rubrics for assignments, conditional settings to help pace students through materials, easier quiz creation and management, quick duplication of activities which provides consistency throughout a course, more robust reporting features and easier integration of Web based resources, to name just a few.

Marian Thacher Retires as OTAN Director

Marian Thacher has announced her retirement from her position as the Director of OTAN as of August 31. Marian came to OTAN in 2001 from San Diego Community College District Continuing Education, where she taught ESL and managed a variety of technology projects. She came to OTAN as a Project Coordinator, and was responsible for the design and implementation of the Technology Integration Mentor Academy, and the Technology Plan training and implementation for agencies receiving EL Civics Civic Participation funding. She played a significant role in the development and dissemination of the state Adult Education Technology Plan. Complete article . . .

Naturalization Test Preparation Portal Launched

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS (www)) and the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History (NMAH(www)) recently launched Preparing for the Oath: U.S. History and Civics for Citizenship (www), This is a new Web-based learning tool, with an easy-to-use study guide to help immigrants prepare for the history and civics portion of the U.S. naturalization test. The tool is designed to help users better understand the naturalization process, and gain the necessary skills to be successful during the naturalization interview and test. Because it is a tool not only for individuals who are preparing for citizenship, but also for adult educators (including those serving English language learners) and immigrant-serving organizations, most information on the portal is written at the low-intermediate ESL level, and teacher guides are designed for English language learners at the lower levels of instruction. Complete article . . .

New Activities Designed to Promote Adult Education and Family Literacy

Adult Education & Family Literacy Week will be celebrated this year from September 10-16, 2012. To help educators prepare, the National Coalition for Literacy (NCL) (www) has developed a wide range of activities, resources, ideas and materials available at AEFL Week (www). Learn from other programs' experiences in hosting these and other awareness-raising activities. Complete article...

EdSource Report on Adult Education in California 

EdSource (www), an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit group that focuses on education issues, has released a report on adult education, "At Risk: Adult Schools in California" (www). Its press release states that "adult schools are an important strand in the state's safety net, offering community based classes to some of the state's neediest adults." More information . .

Highlights for Adult Educators from Google in Education

The July 2012 issue of Google's Educator's Quarterly Newsletter highlights these resources and opportunities for adult educators: [www]
EduatGoogle [www]
Search Education [www]
Google Ed. Discussion Forum [www]
Complete article. . .

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite

Now is the time to schedule professional development activities in the Fall. 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. There is no charge for this service. 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!

Get back into the swing of things in the classroom by using TV411. This month we are featuring the TV411 Web site in our Web-Based Class Activity. They have many videos and activities for the ABE, GED, and ESL classrooms on a variety of topics.

TV411 logo on TV

Tune In To TV411 For Online Learning

If you are having trouble finding content relevant to everyday life to teach with, try TV411. They use many everyday skills and situations, such as cooking or operating a car, to teach math, reading, writing, science, and finance.

The site offers multimedia learning materials which include 120 streaming videos of real-world scenarios, 59 online lessons correlated to the videos, DVDs for purchase, and lesson plans for teachers to use with students to improve their skills.


Professional Development

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 v2: Create Online Interactive Activities with Francisca Wentworth
August 17, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Transitioning from Moodle 1.9 to 2.2 with Blair Roy
August 20, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students with Susan Coulter
August 23, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m

Moodle v2: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning with Francisca Wentworth
August 24, 2012 — 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m

Using the New "Teaching with Technology" Search Tool to Enhance Your Lessons with Bethany Ely
August 24, 2012 — 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m

Moodle v2: Creating Assignments with Susan Coulter
August 30, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m

More workshops will be added in the next few weeks, so keep checking the Professional Development Calendar for the latest workshop additions.

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

Face-to-Face Workshops:

There are no face-to-face workshops scheduled in August, but it would be a good idea to contact us to schedule one of our workshops at your school this Fall! We will do most of the work for you. We just need your available computer lab. Call us at 800-894-3113

Watch for new titles coming this Fall!


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.

Teaching Resources

TPACK logo

Our Teaching Resources are undergoing a major redesign. As part of that process, we have created a new section under Teaching Tools & Resources called "Teaching with Technology."

You know your subject, you know how to get your students engaged and focused, but what about how technology can enhance your lesson? Here is a new tool to help adult education teachers locate and learn about Web sites and other technology related to the lesson topic.

You will start by choosing your program area: ESL, ABE, High School Diploma, or GED. Then choose the level of your class, the skill you want to address, and the standard or CASAS competency for the lesson. When you search, the tool will find all the technology examples that fit your criteria. You can also search for key words.

We think you will find this new section useful. Send us any feedback you have on the new section!