OTAN's Two Popular Academies (TIMAC & OTAC) Will Soon Be Accepting Applications

From July to September, OTAN's two popular academies will be accepting applications from teacher candidates for 10 spots each for the 2014-15 school year. The Online Teaching Academy (OTAC) was initiated in 2010 to meet the growing need for professional development to implement online and blended instruction. Participants are also introduced to effective practices in online teaching and learning. The Technology Integration Mentor Academy (TIMAC) is entering its eleventh year and continues to focus on integrating technology into classroom instruction. Training dates are set for October 16-17 (OTAC) and October 23-24 for (TIMAC), January 22-23 (both), and May 28-29 (both).

Linda West Recognized for Preserving History of California Adult Education

Former Outreach and Technical Assistant Network (OTAN) Managing Director, Linda West, was recognized at the California Council for Adult Education (CCAE) External link opens in new window or tab State Conference in San Diego last week. Linda was recognized for her work preserving the history of California Adult Education and was presented with the "Citation of Merit" during a conference luncheon held on April 25, 2014. Read more . . .

California High School Equivalency Testing Program Update

On March 13, 2014, the State Board of Education (SBE) approved the use of three high school equivalency tests. The approved tests are the General Educational Development Test (GED) provided by GED Testing Service (GEDTS), the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) provided by Educational Testing Service, and the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) provided by CTB/McGraw-Hill.
Complete article . . .

Castro Valley Adult School Student Beats the Odds, Heads to Columbia University

Silin Huang was a 4.0 student at San Leandro High School with dreams of going to college. At the start of her Junior year she got sick and was forced to drop out of school. For many, the dream of a college education would have ended right there, but not for Silin. After recovering, she enrolled in the GED program at Castro Valley Adult and Continuing Education External link opens in new window or tab (CVACE), completed two years of coursework in just 11 months, and has been accepted as a student at Columbia University. Read more...

Terms and Conditions May Apply

While we encourage the use of technology, we also want you to be an informed technology user. This documentary may build your awareness of what the government and corporations are legally taking from you every day as you use technology. The endless list of "terms and conditions" attached to each site and app makes this all possible when you select the "I Agree" button. To be sure you understand what you and your students may be agreeing to, you may want to watch not only the trailer for this documentary, but the entire movie. Vimeo has the full movie.

CLASP Releases Paper on Strategies to Create Stackable Credentials

The Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success at the Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP External link opens in new window or tab) recently released the paper Scaling "Stackable Credentials": Implications for Implementation and Policy External link opens in new window or tab by Evelyn Ganzglass. For the purpose of her study, the author uses the Department of Labor's definition of "stackable credentials as "part of a sequence of credentials that can be accumulated over time to build up an individual's qualifications and help them to move along a career pathway or up a career ladder to different and potentially higher-paying jobs." Complete article...

The Importance of Early Learning for College and Career Readiness

The non-profit organization ACT, which is responsible for the ACT college admission test, has investigated the relationship between readiness and early childhood learning. The results...

The California Adult Education Professional Development Calendar Offers Many Opportunities for Professional Development

If you have never visited the California Adult Ed PD Calendar External link opens in new window or tab, we would like to encourage you to visit soon. All three leadership projects, OTAN, CALPRO, and CASAS, use this calendar to list their upcoming workshops. We are confident you will find a topic of interest.

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 June!

Wonderopolis: Answers to Many Questions Inquisitive Students May Be Wondering About


Summertime, while providing teachers and students alike a welcome relief from the rigors of school, is also a time notorious for the “learning lag” that often happens when students take time off from school. If your students plan to take a break from their education for the summer, you can encourage them to visit the Web site Wonderopolis External link opens in new window or tab, where they can continue learning at home with their families, thus promoting family literacy. Or if you would like to use this in your class this summer (or next fall), look at June's Web-based Class Activity for many ideas on how to use the site.


Professional Development

Online Workshops & Webinars:

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


Mobile Devices in Adult Education Part 2: Mobile Apps External link opens in new window or tab with Susan Gaer 
June 6, 2014 ~ 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m.

ePortfolios for Empowered Students and Happy Teachers - A Pilot by OTAN External link opens in new window or tab with Victoria Jones
June 9, 2014 ~ 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.

ePortfolios for Empowered Students and Happy Teachers - A Pilot by OTAN External link opens in new window or tab with Patricia Oliva
June 12, 2014 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Privacy, Practice, Presence, and You External link opens in new window or tab with Branka Marceta
June 13, 2014 ~ 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Other workshops are also available, so keep checking the Professional Development Calendar External link opens in new window or tab for the latest workshop additions.

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 many Face-to-Face workshops is two weeks before the workshop, so register early to avoid disappointment!

Face to face workshop

Interactive Whiteboards - Creating Student Activities External link opens in new window or tab
Thursday, June 5, 2014 ~ 9 a.m. to Noon
Monterey Adult School - Martin Luther King Jr. Campus
1713 Broadway Avenue
Seaside, CA 93955

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.

Teaching Resources

YouTube Channels has many wonderful videos for language learning, and on a variety of other topics. Consider adding some of these to your list of resources to share with your students:

AMES836 External link opens in new window or tab
Unfortunately the title of this channel does not give you any indicator that it contains many vocabulary building videos for ESL at the beginning levels. Animals, colors, numbers, foods, family relationships, furniture, feelings, and holidays are just a few of the many items covered, as well as some grammar topics. There are 64 videos currently in this channel.

Rachel's English External link opens in new window or tab
Rachel has over 350 videos mostly on pronunciation of English words. Great resource for out of the class learning for your students. Link it to your class Web site for "away from class" learning opportunities for your students.

Numberphile External link opens in new window or tab
Numberphile has 213 videos on math concepts and interesting facts about numbers. They also have a Web site.

Other Video Resources:

PBS LearningMedia: KET Teaching Strategies-Resources for Adult Educators External link opens in new window or tab
This collection of resources features strategies to facilitate learning in the adult education classroom. Included are techniques for promoting group discussion, encouraging critical thinking, and managing the classroom environment.  In addition to videotaped segments from actual classroom settings, you will find interviews with classroom teachers who discuss the model lessons and their teaching approaches. (You will need to create an account to watch more than one video.)

PBS LearningMedia: KET Math Instructional Strategies-Geometry
This collection of resources was produced by KET for adult educators. Videotaped segments taken in actual classroom settings provide examples of strategies for teaching geometry in the adult education classroom.  In these segments, learners are active participants in the lessons, often collaborating in small groups to find measurements for area, perimeter, missing dimensions, and compound shapes. You will also find techniques for moving learners from concrete to abstract methods of solution. (You will need to create an account to watch more than one video.)

PBS LearningMedia: KET Measurement and Geometry
This collection of video segments produced by KET provides resources for teaching measurement and geometry in the adult education classroom. In this collection, you will find individual lessons tailored to specific geometric concepts such as naming angles, finding area, and calculating volume. Each resource contains a video clip accompanied by a printable background essay and suggested discussion questions. Most resources also include teaching tips for application in your classroom. (You will need to create an account to watch more than one video.)

Interesting Apps

A safe way for teacher to text message students and stay in touch, for free. Texts can be sent at a later date and messages are one way so students cannot reply. All phone numbers are kept private. Learn how it works. For Android and iPhone.

iFlashcards (from Freezing Blue)
We all know what flashcards are and how they are used. Freezing Blue provides both an iPhone and an Android version of the apps for free. But the really nice part about this set up is that you can create your flashcards online and then they are available to your students through their apps. What could be easier? The free version is supported with ads, as are most free things these days.

Articles and Blogs of Interest:

Scripts Aren't Scary! Using Scripts to Automate Your Workflow and Simplify Your Life by Megan Ellis
The article discusses several apps she uses to simplify her life as a teacher, including Flubaroo, autoCrat, and Doctopus. Megan is a CUE Lead Learner, a Google Certified Teacher and CUE's 2013 Outstanding Emerging Teacher.

Estimation 180
Andrew Stadel, in an effort to hone his students estimation skills, has create a blog with over 180 entries to help his students learn to estimate. These could be fun to use as class openers in an ABE or ASE class.