Register Now for the Northern California Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2013

This year OTAN is hosting the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium in cooperation with the Berkeley Adult School. Dates for the Symposium are February 22-23, 2013. Space is limited so if you want to go, be sure to register early so you will be assured a place. Then be sure to mark out those dates on your calendar. :-) Get More Information and Register

Sacramento Web Site Teaches English to Pupils Worldwide

The Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) [www] is proud to announce that U.S.A. Learns [www], an online interactive English language learning site created by SCOE, will be honored at the 33rd Annual Golden Bell Awards program of the California School Boards Association (CSBA) [www]. More about the award and the site. . .

Report from the Adult Education Strand at ACSA 2012

This year, the Association of California School Administrators' (ACSA) Adult Education Council was very excited to fully integrate its previously offered stand-alone conference with the Leadership Summit [www], which provided a greater opportunity for attendees to receive specific adult education professional learning and select from a wider variety of sessions focusing on leadership. Kicking off this year's event was a full-day pre-conference workshop on November 7, "Adult Ed 101," which covered Adult Education basics for new and not-so-new administrators. On Saturday morning, the participants had the opportunity to attend the Final General Session where always inspiring Student Success Stories were presented by the Outreach & Technical Assistance Network (OTAN). List of conference workshops and presentations

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Announces Adoption of New Standards for English Language Development

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced yesterday that the California State Board of Education formally adopted new English Language Development (ELD) Standards aligned to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) [www] and designed to help English learners build critical knowledge and skills. More information . . .

Two Outstanding Student Successes Honored at ACSA Conference

Two former adult education students, Magdalena (Nena) Cerda-Baez from Sweetwater Adult School and Travon Willis from Fremont Adult and Continuing Education received California Adult Education Students Succeed awards at the ACSA Adult Education conference on November 10, 2012. Read about their stories. . .

Adult College Completion Toolkit Released

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational Education (OVAE) [www], has just released the Adult College Completion Toolkit [pdf], a collection of resources designed to connect state administrators and local practitioners to the strategies, resources, and technical assistance tools that can help address just this challenge at local, state and national levels, and to set priorities that encourage and support adult learners transitioning to college.

The 82-page document is designed for practitioners working in the field and policy makers, and will be useful as well for students themselves. With a focus on 4 student groups; veterans, adult learners, individuals in correctional institutions, and high skill immigrants; the toolkit addresses these three key areas of concern: Read complete article. . .

Free PDF Booklets on Improving Adult Literacy Instruction

The National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, developed a series of shorter publications based on the report Improving Adult Literacy Instruction: Options for Practice and Research [www] to summarize its main messages for a range of readers.There are two booklets based on the report that are practitioner-friendly and bring several big ideas together in a clear and usable way. The titles are: "Improving Adult Literacy Instructions: Developing Reading and Writing" and "Improving Adult Literacy Instructions: Supporting Learning and Motivation." More informaiton on where to get these


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!

We all know that repetition helps retention and when you are learning new vocabulary it really helps. This month's Web-based Class Activity makes use of a great online tool called Quizlet which can be used for introducing new terms in any subject and is also great for student review.

Question mark

Students Review Course Terminology and More Using Quizlet

Do your students have difficulty with new vocabulary? Whether you are teaching new language learners or a Career Tech Ed class, there are always new words to learn and students can benefit from this helpful free online tool.


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!


Mobile Devices in Adult Education
Wednesday, December 5, 2012 — 12:30p.m. - 3:30p.m.
Fairfield-Suisun Adult School
900 Travis Blvd.
Fairfield, CA 94533

Creative Classroom & Activity Ideas Using MS Word 2007
Friday, December 7, 2012 — 10a.m. - 1p.m.
Fremont Adult and Continuing Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

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.

"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.

Moodle v2: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students with Susan Coulter
December 13, 2012 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Moodle v2: Getting the Most out of the Gradebook (Advanced) with Francisca Wentworth
December 14, 2012 — 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Online Documents: Create, Share, and Collaborate! with Melinda Holt
December 20, 2012 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Using the Lesson Activity with Penny Pearson
January 8, 2013 — 4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

"College Transition and Career Development" Orientation with Penny Pearson
January 11, 2013 — 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Teaching Online: Web Conferencing and Other Synchronous Tools with Francisca Wentworth
January 17, 2013 — 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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

Teaching Resources

TPACK logo

The new "Teaching with Technology" section of our site has some great new additions. We have highlighted a few below. To find these resources, search by program, level, and subject, then look on the resulting list which is alphabetical.:

California Distance Learning Project Adult Learning Activities: Stolen Identity Blocks New Job
ESL Levels:
Beg High - Adv
Subjects: Listening & Reading
In this activity, students listen to and read along with a story about identify theft, practice vocabulary from the story, and answer comprehension questions.

AIMS: Hands on Math and Science
ABE Levels:
Intermediate & High
The goal of the AIMS Puzzle Corner is to provide teachers with a variety of interesting puzzles that can be used to create a learning environment where students engage in doing mathematics just for the fun of it! Students can learn how to work puzzles and the mathematics behind them. They have a puzzle a month going back to 1995 in their archives. This site in NOT an online puzzle site--they provide the instructions for the puzzles, but the puzzles are done in class, so no computers necessary in class.

Exploratorium Museum - Earth Science
ASE Subject:
Science - Earth Science
This site is part of the Exploratorium Museum. There are hands-on activities, articles, videos and, all about the earth. Here are some of the materials available: seismic slinky, people of the Arctic, Tundra and Permafrost, Continental Divide, and Greenhouse Gases.

Florida GED Resources – Multimedia Resources - Science example - Elements, Atoms, Molecules
ASE-GED Subject: Science
This site offers nicely categorized media resources (games, videos, and activities) that deal with the four areas of the GED test - math, science, social studies, and language arts. Many of the videos go out to YouTube, so you may need to download and save the videos in order to show them in your classroom. This particular activity deals with Elements, Atoms, and Molecules.