OTAC and TIMAC Applications Now Open!

OTAN's two popular academies are opening their doors to teacher candidates for 10 spots each for the 2013-14 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. Application deadline is June 30, 2013 so read more and then apply soon if you are interested.

ESL Insights - Upwardly Mobile

KQED Education External link opens in new window or tab recently launched a new resource for ESL educators, ESL Insights External link opens in new window or tab. The new blog offers a space for ESL educators to share their stories, challenges, ideas and resources for the classroom, as well as to engage in dialogue with others in the practitioner community. Read more . . .

CTB/McGraw Hill Launches the TASC™, New High School Equivalency Assessment

CTB/McGraw-Hill, the nation's leading provider of assessments for the adult education market, formally introduced the Test Assessing Secondary Completion™ (TASC™) External link opens in new window or tab, a Common Core-aligned high school equivalency assessment targeted to the more than 40 million adults in the U.S. without a high school diploma or equivalency. Complete article . . .

ESL Insights - Is Technology Changing Your Brain?

Another article from KQED Education's External link opens in new window or tab ESL Insights External link opens in new window or tab is titled Is Technology Changing Your Brain? External link opens in new window or tab, written by Stephanie Levin. In the digital age we now live in, we sometimes need to slow down and ask ourselves some basic questions, as Levin does in this insightful online article that will be of value to classroom educators, students, parents, and anyone interested in how technology is impacting us all. To read more . . .

Toyota and National Center for Family Literacy Launch $10 Million Initiative

New initiative kicks off by accepting grant applications from local organizations to further family learning beyond the classroom and into homes and communities. Read the article

Governor's May Budget Revision Leaves Some Adult Educators and Assembly Members Concerned

In what the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) is calling "a dramatic turn of events," California Governor Jerry Brown has dropped a proposal to shift responsibility for adult education from K-12 school districts to community colleges, at least temporarily. In his May Budget Revision he instead proposed that regional consortia, made up of community colleges and school districts, determine the future of adult education. Adult educators generally support such coordination efforts, but the plan's details has some of them concerned. Complete article . . .

Oakland Adult Education Retains Funding

Plans to shut down Oakland's adult education program, at one time the fifth largest in the state, have been put on hold. After hundreds of teachers, parents, and students—including those in the GED program who were dressed in caps and gowns—spoke passionately about the need for adult education programs in the community, the school board voted unanimously to allocate $1 million to keep the adult education program running for at least one more year. Complete article. . .

A Golden Opportunity: Strategies to Focus Adult Education on College and Career

LearningWorks External link opens in new window or tab is releasing a new brief addressing the current dialogue regarding reforming California’s adult education and community college systems. A Golden Opportunity: Strategies to Focus Adult Education on College and Career (PDF) helps to inform the current debate by examining four policy levers utilized successfully by other states to facilitate the change governance structures; state strategic plans and funding guidelines; innovation initiatives; and accountability systems. Complete article . . .

NCFL Announces Partnership with U.S. Department of Education to Advance Family Engagement Initiatives

The National Center for Family Literacy (NCFL) and the U.S. Department of Education today announced a partnership to advance family engagement in education across the country.

The partnership will extend the Department of Education's efforts on family engagement and NCFL's track record of more than 20 years of providing tools and resources for educators and parents to create engaging lifelong learning opportunities for the entire family. Read more. . .

Save Money - Offer Professional Development Onsite

Now is the time to schedule professional development activities. 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 Activities!

Have you ever provided a video of the content of your class time, to students who could not come to class? If not, you may want to consider that alternative. This month's activity will introduce you to a tool that can help you.

Flip Your Classroom or Offer Blended Learning with


If you provide some content or supplemental practice activities to students through a course management system such as Moodle, you are probably already incorporating some level of blended learning in which students learn, at least in part, through online delivery of content and instruction. Having students watch online video, practice with online exercises, or take online quizzes could be another way to provide blended learning opportunities. By now you may have heard of the “flipped classroom”, which takes blended learning a step further. Students watching the videos outside of class, takes the place of direct instruction/lecture. “Flipping the classroom” maximizes face-to-face time with the instructor and other students for questions and answers, discussion, pair and group work, and cooperative learning tasks.


Professional Development


Online "Boot Camp" June 17-28, 2013:

OTAN's two-week, Online Boot Camp runs June 17-28, 2013. During the busy school year, attending workshops might be difficult, but now that school is out, hopefully you will have time to attend several of the 37 online workshops we are offering. Topics offered include technology integration, online/blended teaching, productivity tools, using mobile devices, cloud tools, language learning Web sites, and more.

It is necessary to Register for the workshops. They are all on the California Adult Ed Professional Development calendar External link opens in new window or tab . Sessions start at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. Register for as many or as few as you like. Be sure to make note of any workshops you sign up for, since we want to "see" you there. :-)

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


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.

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

Teaching Resources

Recent additions to our new "Teaching with Technology" section may be of interest to you. We have highlighted a series of Financial Literacy lessons from Project Money. They would be good for ABE, and Advanced levels of ESL.

Project Money: Saving Money
ABE Levels: Int. - High
ABE Subjects: Reading
ABE Standards: Consumer Economics 1.5 and 1.8

Project Money is a Web site and workbook developed with the help of adult basic education learners to help other adult learners understand money. It covers four topics:

Select the topic above that you would like to focus on.

Geometry Online
ASE Subjects: Math
ASE Subcategory:: Geometry

On this site you will find activities for middle or high school geometry. Included activities cover Hidden Irrationals, Polygons, Isosceles Triangles, Pythagorean theory, Golden Ratio, and Cylinder Volume.

Passport to English: Health Listening Activity
ESL Levels:
ESL Subject: Listening
ESL Standards: Basic Communications 0.1, Health 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 3.5, and 3.6
In this activity, students listen to a conversation between a doctor and a patient, and answer questions about the dialog.

Tech Tips and Information

Technology is an ever moving target and it is hard to stay on top of new things. Here are some sites and tools that are new to me. Maybe they are new to you and your students too! :-)

Story Kit App
Students young, old, English speakers or those from other countries can use the free StoryKit App for iPhone and iPad to write stories, at whatever educational level they are. Here is a Prezi presentation External link opens in new window or tab that talks about the app and it includes a YouTube video tutorial on how to use StoryKit.

symbaloo EDU
Symbaloo External link opens in new window or tab is a new way to organize, share your online life and discover that of others. It is like a visual "favorites" or "bookmarks." The pages of favorites are set up with tabs so that each collection (they call them Webmixes) of favorites is on it's own page. "Tiles" are used as your links to Web pages. Pretty cool if you are very visual. And since it's Web-based, you can access your favorites from anywhere using mobile devices or your home computer. What's more is that you can also link to music files, documents, and photos, and share them with others.

SymbalooEDU is a dedicated version of Symbaloo just for education. You can create a Webmix around Reading, Math, History, or other subjects. SymbalooEDU also has searchable collections of sites added by other teachers, so you can draw from other teacher collections.

Science Experiments on YouTube
Are you a High School Diploma teacher struggling with how to do science experiments without a lab? Try some of the YouTube videos showing science experiments. Here's one teacher's lesson ideas External link opens in new window or tab.

Phone Apps for Learning
Smartphones are becoming more popular and more affordable. Encourage your students to use them for learning-any time, any place-using educational apps. Here are a few that may be useful: External link opens in new window or tab (Free for iPhone, iPad, and Android)

My Math Flash Cards App External link opens in new window or tab (Free for iPhone & iPad, very basic elementary math facts)

Molecules App External link opens in new window or tab (Free for iPhone & iPad for viewing three-dimensional renderings of molecules and manipulating them with your fingers.)

NASA App External link opens in new window or tab (Free for Android. Has latest images, videos, and mission information from NASA.)