New Director at OTAN

OTAN is pleased to announce the selection of Joyce Hinkson as our new Director. She replaces Marian Thacher, who retired from the position at the end of August.

Dr. Hinkson comes to OTAN from the California Department of Education (CDE), Instructional Resources Unit, where she was state lead for online education. While at CDE, Joyce managed several grants and statewide projects, which included the Technology Literacy Challenge grant, Enhancing Education through Technology grant, Education K-12 Vouchers, Statewide Education Technology Services, California Technology Assistance Project, Environmental and Spatial Technology, and distance learning. She has extensive experience with education technology and has represented CDE at state and national meetings related to technology policy and for best practices in education. More information . . .

Mini Grants Now Available for COABE LAPCAE 2013 Annual Conference

Mini-grants are now available to help defray the cost of attending the 2013 COABE LAPCAE National Conference, to be held March 24-28, 2013, at the Hyatt Regency, New Orleans, Louisiana.

To apply for the $350 mini-grants, go to the 2013 COABE Mini Grant Application [www]. Recipients will be current members of COABE [www]. The deadline for submitting the application is November 15, 2012. Applicants will be informed if they have won by December 1, 2012. Funding for the mini-grants is generously made possible by the Dollar General Literacy Foundation [www]. Complete article . . .

Call for Proposals for Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2013

OTAN will host a Technology and Distance Learning Symposium on February 22 & 23, 2013, at Berkeley Adult School.

Share and discuss your promising practices, strategies, lesson plans, and other resources related to technology integration and distance and blended learning in your programs. Presentation proposals are being accepted from October 17 to November 28, 2012 and must be submitted online. More information about the symposium...

CALPRO Online Workshops: Integrating Workforce Skills and Contextualizing Instruction

This fall, the California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO) (www) is offering three facilitated, online workshops in real time that help adult educators incorporate skills that transfer from the classroom to the workplace and also contextualize instruction effectively. Enrollment is limited and on a first-registered, first-enrolled basis. Complete article...

New CTE Online Lessons and Resources for Adult Education & 2012-2013 Model Curriculum Institute Announced

Career Technical Education Online (CTE Online (www)) was originally established to help practitioners in California focus on the relationship between academic achievement and Career and Technical Education through access to:

  • Professional Curriculum Development Tools
  • Professional Alignment and Instructional Strategies Resources
  • Standards Databases Cross-Referenced to STAR and CAHSEE

Educators are invited to visit the site and find resources and materials that are constantly updated and supplemented. Here are some examples Read more. . .

PG&E: Creating a Pool of Skilled Energy Job Applicants

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), one of the largest combination natural gas and electric utilities in the United States, is concerned about finding work-ready applicants. The emergence of green energy technologies for which neither incumbent nor new workers are prepared complicates its search. To help individuals acquire the skills for jobs in the energy and utilities industries, PG&E and its partners launched the PowerPathway™ (www) program to cultivate industry-informed career pathways into such jobs. Complete article...

Evidence-based Reading Instruction: Tales of Resilience

Are you looking for accessible, multi-level, relevant literacy materials to use in your adult classrooms that also support evidence-based reading instruction (EBRI (www)) practices?

The Change Agent (www), published in March and September, uses a wide variety of mediums, including poetry, short narratives, interviews, cartoons, illustrations, and photos all developed to interest and challenge adult learners and support EBRI practices. Teachers can access lesson plans and discussion questions that engage students and provide an important forum for critical thinking, sharing, and achieving understanding across diverse experiences.

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite

Now is the time to schedule professional development activities in the Fall & Winter seasons. 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!

Math seems like it is a struggle for many, so this month's Web-based Class Activity on the topic of ABE & Adult High School Math Videos should be helpful to learners and teachers alike.

Movie reel

ABE & Adult High School Math Videos - Supplemental Learning for Students, Professional Development for Teachers

Instruction both in and out of the classroom can be supplemented with online videos of instructors working various math problems. They are great for home viewing and for review before a test. This month's Web-Based Class Activity offers a wonderful list of sites where videos can be found.

If you are a math teacher, consider creating your own Web site with links to these resources, so when your students need quick access to these sites, they can just visit your class Web site and find all these resources in one spot. It will save them a lot of time hunting for them.

Thanksgiving Sites

If you are looking for fun or informative sites to use around Thanksgiving, the sites from this list might be useful.


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!


Beginning PowerPoint 2007 for Adult Education
Thursday, November 15, 2012 — 1pm - 4 pm
Downey Adult School
12340 Woodruff Avenue
Downey, CA 90241

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 — 11:30a - 2:30p
Garden Grove Adult School
11262 Garden Grove Blvd.
Garden Grove, 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. If there is a technology topic not listed that your staff needs assistance with, let us know and we will discuss creating a new workshop to meet that need. 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.

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
    • Mobile Devices Part 1: Basics to Use in the Classroom
    • Mobile Devices Part 2: Activities Using Voice and Camera
    • Mobile Devices Part 3: Smartphone Applications to Use in the Classroom
  • Create and Collaborate in the Cloud
    • Online Documents: Create, Share, 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 v2: Create Online Interactive Activities
    • Moodle v2: Creating Assignments
    • Moodle v2: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning
    • Moodle v2: Using the Lesson Activity
    • Moodle v2: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students
  • Social Media and Online Presence for Adult Education
    • Social Networking for Adult Education (Mostly Facebook)
    • Three Fun Online Activities for Students
    • An Online Presence for Teachers
  • Online Technology
    • Creating A High Quality Online Course
    • So You Want to Teach Online?
    • Orienting Students to Online Learning

Most of the workshops shown below are part of our series.

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities with Francisco Pinedo
November 7, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

"College Transition and Career Development" Orientation with Penny Pearson
November 9, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Getting the Most out of the Gradebook (Advanced) with Francisca Wentworth
November 9, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Moodle v2: Create a Course Web Site with Blair Roy
November 14, 2012 — 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Social Networking for Adult Education (Mostly Facebook) with Branka Marceta
November 14, 2012 — 12 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Three Fun Online Activities for Students with Kristi Reyes
November 16, 2012 — 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Moodle v2: Using Audio to Enhance Teaching and Learning with Francisca Wentworth
November 26, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

So You Want to Teach Online? with Penny Pearson
November 27, 2012 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

USA Learns: A Web Based Tool for ESL Learners with Evelyn Fella
November 27, 2012 — 2 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

10 Activities Using Google Search for You and Your Students with Melinda Holt
November 29, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

"Advanced ESL" Shared Moodle Course Orientation with Francisca Wentworth
December 3, 2012 — 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Academic and Skills Lessons for Health Care Provider/ Nursing Assistant ESL students with Evelyn Fella
December 4, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Orienting Students to Online Learning with Penny Pearson
December 4, 2012 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

An Online Presence for Teachers with Linda Swanson
December 5, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Creating a High Quality Online Course with Penny Pearson
December 13, 2012 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Other workshops are also available, so keep checking the Professional Development Calendar for the latest workshop additions.

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!