Application Deadlines for OTAN's Two Popular Academies (TIMAC & OTAC) Are Fast Approaching

OTAN is accepting applications for its two academies: the Technology Integration Mentor Academy (TIMAC) and the Online Teaching Academy (OTAC), but the deadline is fast approaching. These are year-long projects that focus on integrating technology into the classroom, and effective practices in online teaching and learning, respectively. Get your application in now!

OpenStax Aims to Bring Free Digital Textbooks to High Schools

OpenStax, which has been providing free, peer-reviewed undergraduate textbooks for colleges and universities has now been provided philanthropic funds to develop high-quality digital textbooks for K-12. The project is expected to take two years and will result in two textbooks: one for AP Biology and one for high school Physics. For more information...External link opens in new window or tab

OCTAE is Working to Get Everyone On!

There are 62 million Americans who are NOT online. Millions of families do not have home Internet access for learning, civic engagement, connecting with family, or employment searches. Learn how the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education's (OCTAE) coordination with national partners is creating solutions. Read complete article...

Organizational Changes Within the California Department of Education - Adult Education Office

Important organizational changes have taken place within the California Department of Education. With the retirement of Dr. Patricia Terry, manager of the Adult Education Office (AEO), Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has made the decision to move the AEO out of the Coordinated Student Support and Adult Education Division (CSSAED) under the direction of Gordon Jackson and into the ... Complete article..

Blended Learning: Resource Roundup

For a May 19, 2014 post, Ashley Cronin and the team collected resources from Edutopia External link opens in new window or tab and the Web to help us navigate the possibilities of blended learning, an approach that combines face-to-face and technology-mediated learning, with some student control over time, path, place, or pace.

The resources are organized by topic in six clusters: Remaining article...

National Movement to Offer Students Alternative Pathways to Careers and College Gains Momentum in California

Eight states (including California) that are members of the Pathways to Prosperity Network External link opens in new window or tab have launched or dramatically expanded career pathways that offer flexible work and learning opportunities. The initiatives help young people complete high school, attain a postsecondary credential with labor market value, and get launched in high-demand careers that can provide the basis for further advancement. Complete article...

Top 10 Interactive Projectors (as Evaluated by Projector Central)

Interactive projectors transform any flat surface into a digital whiteboard, using built-in tools that do not require a computer or software to operate. Essentially, these projectors mimic the function of an interactive whiteboard on any surface. Some of these projectors allow user generated info to be captured, replayed, ... Read more External link opens in new window or tab

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 you would like to participate, call us at 800-894-3113 or e-mail for more details!

New Web-based Class Activity for September!

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Newsela: Reading About Today's World

Are you preparing your students for the high school equivalency test? Looking for non-fiction reading material at multiple reading levels? Do you want to integrate the College and Career Readiness standards into your classroom? Could you use current articles for your ESL students who are reading at a 4th grade level or higher? Newsela External link opens in new window or tab is a Web site containing articles on non-fiction topics. But it is much more. 


Professional Development


Online Workshops & Webinars:

OTAN offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. Check the California Adult Education Professional Development calendar for our online workshops as we gear up for another exciting year!

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

Using iPads in Adult Education External link opens in new window or tab
Friday, September 19, 2014 ~ 12p to 3p
Mt. San Antonio College 
1100 N. Grand Avenue
Walnut, CA 91789

Internet Resources for ESL/EL Civics Teachers
Friday, September 26, 2014 ~ 12p to 3p
Petaluma Adult School - McDowell Campus
421 S. McDowell Blvd., Room P2
Petaluma, CA 94954

Google Tools and Drive I
Friday, September 26, 2014 ~ 10a to 1p
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

Google Tools and Drive II
Friday, October 24, 2014 ~ 10a to 1p
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers
Friday, November 7, 2014 ~ 10a to 1p
Fremont Adult and Cont. Education
4700 Calaveras Avenue
Fremont, CA 94538

Open Education Resources for Adult Educators
Friday, December 5, 2014 ~ 10a to 1p
Fremont Adult and 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.

Teaching Resources

Interesting Apps

OTAN has developed a series of free apps to support your adult ed class. The first two apps help users prepare for college and workforce:

  • What's Next? Success in School—how to prepare for college, including tips about study skills and goal setting. [iPhone External link opens in new window or tab | iPad External link opens in new window or tab | Web/Flash External link opens in new window or tab ]
  • What's Next? Getting a Job—an informative and entertaining way to learn what it takes to make a good impression in a job interview. [iPhone External link opens in new window or tab| iPad External link opens in new window or tab | Web/Flash External link opens in new window or tab]

The next two will help English language learners (ESL or ABE) increase their vocabulary:

  • Words4U—provides practice with words associated with getting ready to go to college or preparing for the world of work. [iPhone External link opens in new window or tab]
  • Words4U2—features vocabulary building exercises focused on technology, government, law, health, and the human body. [iPhone External link opens in new window or tab | iPad External link opens in new window or tab | Android External link opens in new window or tab]

Virtual Nerd Mobile Math External link opens in new window or tab by Pearson Education is a free app that provides on-the-go access to Virtual Nerd's extensive video library. Interactive tutorial videos review fundamental math concepts in middle school and high school. App is designed for iPhone and iPad, but may also work with an iPod touch. Requires iOS 6.0 or later.

Web Sightings:

Virtual Nerd External link opens in new window or tab
This site from Pearson offers over 1,500 video lessons covering Middle Grades Math through Algebra 2. The instructor is easy to follow and this might be a great resource for learners who struggle with basic math concepts. It would also be a great resource for the "flipped" classroom. After identifying a learners' math level, assign videos to watch at home and then any questions can be answered in class. Also see the Virtual Nerd Mobile Math app (above) for on-the-go learning.

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas-Interactive Whiteboard Lessons External link opens in new window or tab
The Dallas Fed has created interactive whiteboard activities for use in the high school classroom. The new lessons are part of the popular Everyday Economics series and Building Wealth in the Classroom. Download the .notebook files and accompanying PDF procedure documents at the site. Their Economic Education-Classroom Resources section has many more resources for teaching financial literacy. You may want to explore them, too.

DuoLingo External link opens in new window or tab
DuoLingo is a great free Web site developed by Carnegie Mellon University. It can help you or your students learn a new language for free. Currently they offer Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese. They are currently working on Dutch (Netherlands), Irish, Russian, Turkish, Polish, Hungarian, and Romanian. And if you are from one of these other countries, it appears that you also have the opportunity to learn English. It tracks your progress and it is ad free. (Yeah!)

English Current External link opens in new window or tab
English Current is a free ESL Web site for students and teachers of English. The lessons here are designed to take up about 1 hr of class time. Lessons focus on speaking (50%), reading comprehension (30%), and vocabulary building (20%). Good for English conversation lessons. How to use English Current External link opens in new window or tab. Some lessons have printable worksheets for those without Internet access. There is a lot of variety in topics. It has lists of conversation questions, phrasal verbs, and work-related idioms, as well as exercises on many language learning topics. For Intermediate-Advanced learners.

The Tobacco and Literacy Education Project External link opens in new window or tab
Are you looking for teaching materials or lessons that will help prepare your students for the GED while addressing a real health issue affecting their lives and the lives of their family and friends? Then try these three new health literacy lessons designed for ABE/GED instruction which provide compelling information about the hazards of tobacco use while teaching basic literacy skills. Each lesson comes complete with lesson overview, multiple learning activities, teacher notes, and answer key.

Lizard Point Quizzes External link opens in new window or tab
Offers a variety of study, practice, and tests on geography in the USA and across the world. Good activites for learning the states and their capitals as well as world geography. Also offers very basic online math practice (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), including printable worksheets. Suitable for EL Civics, ESL, ABE, and ASE classes.