Badges, Smadges - What's All The Talk About Badges?

Digital badges are a powerful way to document and share professional learning and collaboration experiences. October was Connected Educator Month and this year Connected Educators External link opens in new window or tab provided educators with the opportunity to earn badges by participating in their events. Their Web site answers frequently asked questions about why and how you earn badges. (For a general introduction to digital badges, we recommend starting with the Mozilla Open Badges project’s Badges 101 Quiz External link opens in new window or tab. Then read more about Badges using MozillaWiki External link opens in new window or tab.)

Call for Proposals Opens for Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2014

OTAN is opening the call for proposals by administrators and teachers to present at the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium on March 7–8, 2014 at Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education. Proposal submission will be open from Nov. 5 - Dec 15th. More info

Registration Opens for Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2014

OTAN has opened the registration for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium taking place March 7–8, 2014 at Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education. Registration will be open line from November 18 - February 17, or until we have reached our capacity of 200. Read more. . .

A New Course is Coming Soon to the LINCS Learning Portal

The Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS)External link opens in new window or tab provides the opportunity for professional development for its members (membership is free) in the form of a series of optional online courses developed by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Vocational and Adult Education’s LINCS Resource Collection initiative. These online courses are self-paced, freely available, and accessible 24 hours a day through the LINCS Learning Portal External link opens in new window or tab . Soon to be released will be a course titled "Integrating Technology in the Adult Education Classroom." Read more about the new course External link opens in new window or tab.

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 Activity!

Discover Preferred Learning and Teaching Styles

Visual, Auditory, Read Write, Kinesthetic

Teachers know that some students learn best by listening, others by reading, some are visual learners, while others just need to move. It is often said that teachers teach using methods by which they themselves learned. This month's Web-Based Class Activity encourages you to look at your students' learning styles and see how that matches with your teaching style and make adjustments if necessary.


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!


Internet Resources for ESL/EL Civics Teachers
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — 1pm to 4 pm
Alameda Adult School
1900 3rd Street
Alameda, CA 94501

Creating Web Pages with Weebly
Friday, January 24, 2014 — 10 am to 1 pm
Fremont Adult & Cont. Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

Mobile Devices in Adult Education Part I
Friday, February 28, 2014 — 10 am to 1 pm
Fremont Adult & Cont. 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.

Online Workshops & Webinars:

OTAN also offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. Here is a list of a few of the upcoming workshops:


Creating Web Sites - Wix and Google Sites with Melinda Holt
December 12, 2013 — 2:30 pm to 4 pm

Simple Free Web Tools to Use with Your Students with Kristi Reyes
December 13, 2013 — 3 pm to 4:30 pm

Data + Mail Merge = Magic! with Penny Pearson
December 17, 2013 — 4 pm to 5:30 pm

Speak Up Online! with Blair Roy
January 16, 2014 — 2 pm to 3 pm

Using the Teaching with Technology Search Tool to Enhance Your Lessons with Bethany Ely
January 17, 2014 — 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Creating Web Sites - Wix and Google Sites with Melinda Holt
January 22, 2014 — 2:30 pm to 4 pm

Social Media for Adult Education with Branka Marceta
January 28, 2014 — 1 pm to 3 pm

Moodle v2: Create a Course Web Site with Blair Roy
January 29, 2014 — 2:30 pm to 4 pm

Technology Skills for the 2014 GED Exam with Evelyn Lenton
January 30, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm

EL Civics: Digital Literacy & Internet Safety with Karla Frizler
January 31, 2014 — 12 pm to 1:30 pm

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

Teaching Resources

Resent sightings on the Internet that may be useful to you and/or your students: External link opens in new window or tab
Regardless of whether you encourage your students to use this site, or whether you use it to build your own vocabulary, I think you will like this site. It is possible to create a user account and track your progress too. It combines an adaptive learning system (The Challenge) with the world’s fastest dictionary (The Dictionary) so that you can more quickly and more efficiently learn words. As you answer questions, it compiles a list of words for you to learn. If you get a question wrong, the word is added to your list of words to practice. Lots of helpful hints and explanations to help you learn too. They also offer a Blog community and on the blog I found (under Tips & Tricks) Four No-Prep Vocabulary Lessons External link opens in new window or tab that I thought might be helpful.

Awesome Stories External link opens in new window or tab
I know we have brought this site to your attention before, but they have recently redesigned their site, offering more resources than ever before. While some of those resources come with a price tag, they still offer all the basics (access to stories, primary sources, and newsletter story updates) for free. One feature at the site that I was not familiar with is the Story Calendar External link opens in new window or tab, which allows you to see stories about historical events presented in a calendar format. This would be particularly useful in a social studies or history class. But you could use the calendar when teaching other subjects too. As an example, December 17th is the anniversary of the first powered flight by the Wright Brothers, which could be part of a science unit, or if you are teaching Art or Art History, the story about Vincent van Gogh on December 23rd might be useful. And if Charlotte's Web External link opens in new window or tab is on your reading list, use the Listen to Narration External link opens in new window or tab dramatic narration to add to student interest. To see the calendar, just scroll down the home page until you see the "Stories of the Week." If you want to see the whole month, just select the link to "See full month External link opens in new window or tab."

Shooting Video with Apple iPhone 5s External link opens in new window or tab
This is a YouTube video that explains the possibilities for using an iPhone to shoot video. You may ask yourself, why would I want to do that? I have a video camera. Well, since the phone is much more portable, think about using it to record a process of some kind (Total Physical Response activity) for language learning. Or record your students speaking/reading so they can hear what they sound like and where they need to improve their pronunciation. Brainstorm other ideas for using video too.

Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 External link opens in new window or tab
The Center for Learning & Performance Technologies (UK) has produced a list of the top 100 tools for learning which was compiled from the votes of over 500 learning professionals (in workplace learning and education) from 48 countries worldwide. We are familiar with many of the tools on this list, but there are some on here that you might want to look into. If you try one of them and have some great success using it, let us know how you used it and perhaps we can share your success with the adult ed community.