New Administrator for Adult Education Office

Russell Weikle, Division Director, Career and College Transition Division, announced April 3 2015, that the California Department of Education has appointed Christian Nelson as the new administrator for the Adult Education Office. In Mr. Weikle's words "Chris brings a wealth of knowledge and experiences in adult education leadership. Read more..

USCIS Announces Citizenship and Integration Grant Opportunity

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is now accepting applications for the Citizenship and Integration Grant Program External link opens in new window or tab (logon required), a competitive grant opportunity for organizations that prepare permanent residents for naturalization and promote civic integration through increased knowledge of English, U.S. history and civics. The program will provide up to $10 million in grants for citizenship preparation programs in communities across the country. Applications are due by May 15,2015. Read more...

May is "Get Caught Reading Month"

Get Caught Reading is a nationwide public service campaign launched by the Association of American Publishers to remind people of all ages how much fun it is to read. May is officially "Get Caught Reading" month, but the celebration lasts throughout the year. Encourage your students not only to read to their children, but to read more themselves. Take pictures of your students reading and post them in your room. You might also find some ideas on how to encourage students to read more at the following sites:
ReadWriteThink External link opens in new window or tab
Education World External link opens in new window or tab

State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Awards $4.2 Million to Rural School Districts for Career Education Programs

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has announced that the first batch of $250 million in funding is being awarded this year to schools and their partners for career education programs.

Eight rural schools and districts, stretching from Tehama County to San Diego County, will share $4.2 million in California Career Pathways Trust (CCPT) consortia development and ... read more

Remembering Two Adult Ed Leaders

In March, two leaders and promoters of adult education passed away. Lee W. Clark, one of the participants in the California Adult Education Oral History Project External link opens in new window or tab and a well-known figure in the Bay Area adult education field, passed away on March 13, 2015. Jim Figueroa, a beloved and respected leader of adult education in the Los Angeles Unified School District passed away on March 28, 2015. Select their name links above to read more about their lives and careers.

The Importance of Transforming Adult Learning

When OTAN began the Adult Education Student Succeed project several years ago it was designed to showcase successful adult learners in celebration of California Adult Education's sesquecentennial. Surpassing our original intent, Adult Education Students Succeed continues to grow and is now gaining national recognition. In the past month two former California adult education learners from the site have gained national recognition. Read the beginning of Carmen Navarro's story... read more

The Digital Literacy portal External link opens in new window or tab is an initiative of the Obama Administration to serve as a valuable resource to practitioners who are delivering digital literacy training and services in their communities. Read more...

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 On-site

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!

word cloud of digital storytelling

New Web-based Class Activity for May!

Tapping into Better Brain Learning with Digital Stories

Think of the last time you were watching TV—or online videos—and saw a commercial that really stuck with you. Why did the commercial stay in your mind? Most likely it was one of the commercials that follows the current advertising trend of telling stories.



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:

Orienting Students to Online Learning External link opens in new window or tab with Sharon Ram
May 5, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Creating Web Sites - Wix and Google External link opens in new window or tab with Melinda Holt
May 6, 2015 ~ 2:30 to 4 p.m.

Technology Skills for Computer Based Testing External link opens in new window or tab with Evelyn Lenton
May 7, 2015 ~ 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Moodle v2: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students External link opens in new window or tab with Susan Coulter
May 8, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Simple Free Web Tools to Use with Your Students External link opens in new window or tab with Kristi Reyes
May 8, 2015 ~ 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 3 External link opens in new window or tab with host Penny Pearson
May 11, 2015 ~ 3 to 4 p.m.

Creating a High Quality Online Course External link opens in new window or tab with Sharon Ram
May 12, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Communication in Your Online Course External link opens in new window or tab with Evelyn Lenton
May 14, 2015 ~ 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Data + Mail Merge = Magic!  External link opens in new window or tab with Penny Pearson
May 15, 2015 ~ 3:30 to 5 p.m.

Moodle v2: Create a Course Web Site  External link opens in new window or tab with Blair Roy
May 15, 2015 ~ 12 to 2 p.m.

Citizenship Preparation Resources for Adult Education External link opens in new window or tab with Jennifer Gagliardi
May 21, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Google Tools and Drive  External link opens in new window or tab with Melinda Holt
May 27, 2015 ~ 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Privacy, Practice, Presence, and You External link opens in new window or tab with Branka Marceta
June 3, 2015 ~ 4 to 5:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Create a Course Web Site  External link opens in new window or tab with Blair Roy
June 4, 2015 ~ 3 to 5 p.m.

Digital Literacy and Citizenship Toolkit  External link opens in new window or tab with Branka Marceta
June 11, 2015 ~ 12 to 1:30 p.m.

If a workshop appears to be closed and you would like to participate, call us (800-894-3113) and maybe we can get you in.

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

Internet Resources for Adult Ed Teachers External link opens in new window or tab
Friday, May 22, 2015 ~ 9a.m. to 12p.m.
Redondo Beach USD - South Bay Adult School
3401 Inglewood Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90278

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

Chrome Browser Extensions

The Chrome browser offers a number of Extensions. Extensions are small software programs that can modify and enhance the functionality of the Chrome browser. But they must be used with some degree of caution as many of them state that you will be giving them permission to "access your data on all the Websites you visit." (You will see the permissions you are granting when you select the "Add to Chrome" button.) If you visit the Google Support page they explain this permission by saying "This alert means the item can read every page you visit—your bank account, your web email, your Facebook page, etc. This item could use the information in your cookies to request or modify your data from these websites." Given this level of permission, you may want to give serious consideration regarding which computer(s) you have them on. At the very least, just remember to explain to students that if they add any of these Extensions to their home computers, they should not do their online banking or view password accounts or anything else they wish to remain private. They should use another browser for those activities that does not have "extensions" or "add-ins" enabled. But, here are a few that are safe (don't have any serious permission problems) that you might like to try:

1-click timer External link opens in new window or tab
This is an easy, one-click timer for the classroom. Quickly and easily set the timer for any task. After installing the extension, simply click the time you want to begin counting down from.

Chrome Speak External link opens in new window or tab
This would be a great addition to ESL class computers. After installing the Extension, a student only needs to highlight some text on a Web site of their choice, right-click and select "Read the selected text", and the text-to-speech reader will read the text to the student. Using the icon of the headphones on the address bar, you can change the rate of speech, the pitch, and the volume.

Tab Scissors External link opens in new window or tab
Student can take two tabs and put them both on one screen, so they can work on research and a document all at the same time. (This Extension only requests access to your browsing history, which it needs to perform this function.)

Kaizena (Voice Comments) External link opens in new window or tab
This is actually a Chrome "app" as opposed to an "extension." It enables voice comments on digital work in Google Drive. So if you are using Google Drive (Docs, Sheets, etc) in your class for writing and other assignments, this app allows you to leave voice comments (feedback) within the document. Pretty cool.

QR Code Generator External link opens in new window or tab
Easily generate QR codes that students can read with their camera equipped mobile devices that have a QR Code reader app installed. The QR Code may be used to display text to the student, to open a URL, save a contact to the address book, or to compose text messages. Post them around the room and send students on a Scavenger Hunt of sorts. Lots of fun and educational uses for QR codes.

Web "Sitings":

Flippity External link opens in new window or tab
Flashcards have been around forever as a tool to help students memorize necessary content, but Flippity makes creating the flashcards slick through the use of a template for Google Spreadsheets. Using another Flippity template, you can also make it more fun for students by the autogeneration of a Jeopardy style game from a Google Spreadsheet. What could be easier?

LessonPaths External link opens in new window or tab
LessonPaths' online learning platform allows anyone to curate Web sites, videos, documents, quizzes, and more into Learning Playlists. This allows a student to go step by step through your Playlist, learning as they go. Here's a sample playlist on Writing a Resume External link opens in new window or tab. You may even decide to use a Playlist already created by another educator.

Sophia for Teachers External link opens in new window or tab
Sophia makes it easy to flip your classroom with free teacher tools for blended learning. Transform your classroom into an active learning environment with their groups, quizzes, and content (they call your creations "tutorials"). You can also track student progress with their data and analytics. They offer tutorials on how to use Sophia and other ways to continue your professional development. And it’s all free. From the home page, it appears they make money by offering inexpensive online courses for college credit.

Learn English: 3 easy ways to get better at speaking English External link opens in new window or tab
There are easy ways to learn English, and here are three methods NOT taught in language schools or textbooks. These methods are fun, fast, and easy to learn! As an ESL instructor, you may or may not have ever thought about these methods, so this might be a good PD video for you. It is only 12.5 minutes long, so why not watch it while having a cup of coffee?

Zaption External link opens in new window or tab
Last month we introduced two online tools that allow you to take an online video and make it more interactive by adding comprehension questions. Well in the event that you were not 100% sold on either of those, we are suggesting yet another option—Zaption. It offers drag and drop elements including text, images, drawings, open response, multiple choice, and checkboxes that can be interspersed in the video to facilitate understanding. These are called "tours." You can also use tours created by others, which will save you some time. After students watch your tours and answer any questions, you can look at the "analytics" to see how students responded.

AsapSCIENCE External link opens in new window or tab
AsapSCIENCE is a YouTube video channel that makes learning science fun and "hip." Their introductory video on their channel page uses a Taylor Swift melody to make a video on reasons to take science seriously. Very entertaining while educational and covers a variety of science topics. Try to include a video in your science curriculum if appropriate.