Only a Few Days Left to Register for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2014!

Don't wait and be disappointed. Registration closes February 17th and we only have the capacity for 200 participants at the free Technology and Distance Learning Symposium. Once we reach that number, registration will close. The TDL Symposium is taking place March 7–8, 2014 at Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education.
Register now!

CALPRO is Back!

CALPRO is back!! The California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO External link opens in new window or tab) offers free online professional development courses, including two that will begin in February. To get started, all you need is an e-mail account, Internet access, and an average of three hours per week scheduled at your convenience. Read more ...

New Voters Web Site

The New Voters page on the Secretary of State’s Web site External link opens in new window or tab has been revised to benefit a wider range of potential new voters. The text is shorter and more simplified, and the page now has navigation tips.

Tools for reaching new voters External link opens in new window or tab whose primary language is English, Spanish, Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Tagalog, Thai or Vietnamese are also available. We encourage you to spread the word about the newly improved New Voters site. With your support, many more people will have the tools they need to register to vote and participate in elections..

Career Pathways Trust Grants

California is taking a major step toward helping to keep more students in school and better prepare them for careers and well-paying jobs as schools and education agencies across the state can now apply for grants from the state's new $250 million California Career Pathways Trust External link opens in new window or tab fund. The request for applications for programs designed to build seamless pathways between schools, higher education, and careers was announced today by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and Senate President pro Tempore Darrell Steinberg.
Complete article . . .

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 for the New Year!

Using National Geographic Education in Your Class

National Geographic Education logo

This month’s Web-Based Activity is taken from one of the many activities found on the National Geographic Education Web site and is called Genetic Marker: Connecting the Dots External link opens in new window or tab. This activity covers two of the six 2014 GED Life Science subtopics: Molecular Basis for Heredity and Evolution, and engages students in a hands-on activity that simulates how genetic markers are passed on from one population of humans to another. It makes a great conclusion to a unit on heredity and evolution and highlights current scientific research.


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 Part I
Friday, February 28, 2014 — 10 am to 1 pm
Fremont Adult & Cont. Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

Moodle: Create A Course Web Site
Friday, February 28, 2014 — 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm
Glendale Community College - Garfield Campus Room
1122 East Garfield, MP309
Glendale, CA 91205

Google Tools and Drive
Friday, March 13, 2014 — 1 pm to 4 pm
Capistrano Adult School
31431 El Camino Real
Capistrano, CA 92675

Beginning PowerPoint 2010 for Adult Education
Friday, April 4, 2014 — 9 am to 12 pm
Glendale Community College - Garfield Campus
1122 East Garfield
Glendale, CA 91205

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:


Google Tools and Drive with Melinda Holt
February 12, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm

Privacy, Practice, Presence, and You with Branka Marceta
February 12, 2014 — 12:30 pm to 2 pm

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Instruction with Barry Bakin
February 13, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm  

Interactive Quizzing with PowerPoint - Part 2 with Linda Swanson
February 19, 2014 — 3:30 pm to 5 pm

Moodle v2: Creating Workshops for Peer Assessment with Donna Edwards-Brown
February 19, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Toolkit with Barry Bakin
February 20, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm

Moodle v2: Creating Rubrics for Criteria-based Assessment with Debbie Jensen
February 21, 2014 — 1 pm to 2:30 pm

So You Want to Teach Online? with Penny Pearson
February 25, 2014 — 4 pm to 5:30 pm

Moodle v2: Glossaries: More Than Just Definitions! with Donna Edwards-Brown
March 5, 2014 — 2 pm to 3:30 pm

Moodle v2: Communication in Your Online Course with Evelyn Lenton
March 13, 2014 — 4 pm to 5:30 pm

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

Teaching Resources

New Mobile Device Apps for Education Spotted:

Khan Academy External link opens in new window or tab
You may be familiar with Khan Academy, but did you know that they have an app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch External link opens in new window or tab? You can find these in the iTunes store. They also have one for Windows 8.1 External link opens in new window or tab mobile devices.

iTunes U External link opens in new window or tab
The free iTunes U app gives you and your students access to the world’s largest online catalog of free education content from leading institutions — on their iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch. iTunes U is home to more than 500,000 free lectures, videos, books, and other resources on thousands of subjects from distinguished institutions. (For those with Android based mobile devices who would like access to iTunes U, you can try either Retune External link opens in new window or tab or TuneSpace External link opens in new window or tab. People have had mixed results with it, but it is worth a try.)

Learn Algebra External link opens in new window or tab
This course starts at the very beginning, breaking concepts down into one-page classes that allow for practice until a learner "gets it." It makes the dreaded solving for x less intimidating. (Free app for Android devices from Google Play.) They also offer a free Learn Algebra 2 External link opens in new window or tab app.

Other Web Sightings

TeacherVision: 2014 Olympic Winter Games External link opens in new window or tab
Celebrate the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia with their printable resources, activities, worksheets, reference materials, and lesson plans. While these resources are geared to K-12 they can be adapted for use in ESL, ABE and possibly ASE classes. They will help your students learn about past and present Olympic games, Olympic symbols and traditions, sports history, and more. The Games begin February 7, 2014, so check this resource soon.

Learn to Speak English Fluently External link opens in new window or tab
Teacher Joe has a variety of online language learning activities and information on his site including: dictations; timed readings; idioms; English dialogue examples and conversation questions; writing tips; sentence patterns; word beginnings, endings and roots; 200 most common words; and how to teach English.

Compelling Conversations External link opens in new window or tab
This site promotes the author's book, but since he provides free sample chapters and activity worksheets External link opens in new window or tab, it seems a valuable resource. The materials are targeted to an intermediate level or higher learner. The free chapters cover describing yourself, pet peeves, talking about movies, and compatibility. Each chapter has questions to start a conversation, a little bit of vocabulary, more questions to continue the conversation, and proverbs for discussion.

YouTube Videos for ESL Students
Here are some helpful pronunciation videos for those studying Advanced ESL:

A few more videos by this teacher can be found on her Accurate English External link opens in new window or tab playlist. (Ignore the fact that she is promoting her video and just use her free videos.)

Rachel's English External link opens in new window or tab is another good video resource. Here are a few examples from her playlist:

Lots of Idioms! American English Pronunciation External link opens in new window or tab 5:59 min

How to Answer the Phone: American English Pronunciation External link opens in new window or tab 5:45 min

How to: Ordering and Asking for: American English Pronunciation External link opens in new window or tab 5:36 min

How to Pronounce Contractions: American English Pronunciation External link opens in new window or tab 11:31 min