Attend the eLearning Symposium, Dec 4-5, 2015

The eLearning Strategies Symposium, a joint partnership of CUE and The Stanislaus County Office of Education, is designed to bring together K-12 and adult education teachers and administrators, policymakers, and industry leaders around elearning’s progress, direction, curriculum, policy, teaching and learning strategies, and professional development. The fourth annual eLearning Strategies Symposium will be held at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa on December 4-5, 2015.. For more information External link opens in new window or tab

Software That Turns Old Laptops into New Chromebooks

This is a very interesting article about a software development from Neverware External link opens in new window or tab called CloudReady External link opens in new window or tab that will take an older laptop (or desktop) and by changing the OS, make it into a fast-loading (14 seconds) Chromebook. It has been pilot- tested at several schools in Texas and has proven to be a cost-saving option for them to provide Internet access to their students. Cloud-Ready is certified to work on many desktop and laptop models built after May 2007 and on Netbooks introduced after June 2009. Here is the list of certified computer models External link opens in new window or tab. Here is a link to the complete article. External link opens in new window or tab

Suspension of the California High School Exit Examination

Senate Bill (SB) 172 (Liu) was signed by Governor Brown on October 7, 2015. This law suspends the administration of the California High School Exit Examination (CAHSEE) and the requirement that students completing grade twelve successfully pass the high school exit examination as a condition of receiving a diploma of graduation from high school for the 2015–16, 2016–17, and 2017–18 school years. The law also requires local educational agencies (LEAs) to grant a diploma to any student who completed grade twelve in the 2003–04 school year, or a subsequent school year, and has met all applicable graduation requirements other than passage of the high school exit examination. The law will not take effect until January 1, 2016, at which time LEAs shall be permitted to issue diplomas to eligible students. Read the rest of the official announcement. External link opens in new window or tab

First Lady Michelle Obama Launched CTE App Challenge

In an effort to inspire students to pursue an education beyond high school, First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative and the U.S. Department of Education (ED) launched the Reach Higher Career App Challenge to promote the development of mobile apps that will help students navigate education and career pathways, including Career and Technical Education (CTE). (Read the full press release External link opens in new window or tab.) The rest of our news story...

8 Ways to Avoid Teacher Burnout

In her article External link opens in new window or tab on We Are Teachers, Elizabeth Mulvahill External link opens in new window or tab presents reflections and advice from veteran teachers about what is it at the end of the day that keeps teachers devoted to their increasingly difficult work.  Her eight tips are presented in more detail. External link opens in new window or tab

US Government Increases its Commitment to OER

The White House announced the United States’ commitments to the Open Governance Partnership on October 27, 2015, which includes explicit support to openly license more educational materials created with federal funding, and to publishing tools and resources for other agencies and governments interested in open education policies and projects. Complete article... 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 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!

New Web-based Class Activity for November!

A screenshot of the Blendspace home page

Create Multimedia Lessons Using Blendspace

There are so many wonderful resources on the Web.  How can we gather them to use effectively in our classrooms? One answer is Blendspace. With it you can “easily find, add, and share online content (videos, images, PDFs, Google docs)” with your students.  But that is just the beginning.  With lessons you create on Blendspace, you can improve student participation.  Students can access your multi-media lessons on any device. They can make comments within the lesson and take automatically-graded quizzes. Check-out this installment of our Web-based class activity for more information on using Blendspace.


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:

Data + Mail Merge = Magic! with Penny Pearson
November 10, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Moodle v2: Getting the Most out of the Gradebook with Francisca Wentworth
November 18, 2015 ~ 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Google Tools and Drive with Cindy Wislofsky
November 19, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Easy to Make Quizzes for Web Sites and Blogs with Barry Bakin
November 20, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Moodle Courses for ESL with Debbie Jensen
November 20, 2015 ~ 11a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Orienting Students to Online Learning with Sharon Ram
December 3, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Creating Accessible Documents (New!) with Penny Pearson
December 8, 2015 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Creating a High-Quality Online Course with Sharon Ram
December 10, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Easy to Make Quizzes and Flashcards for Tablets and Mobile Phones with Barry Bakin
December 11, 2015 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

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

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 this fall or winter! 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

iPads in Adult Education
Friday, Nov 6, 2015 ~ 9a.m. to 12 noon
Conejo Valley Adult School 
1025 Old Farm Road
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Moodle: Create a Course Web Site
Friday, Nov 20, 2015 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Sacramento Co. Office of Education
10474 Mather Blvd.
Mather (Sacramento), CA 95655

SmartBoards in Your Classroom
Friday, Dec 11, 2015 ~ 9:30 a.m. to 12:30p.m.
Sacramento Co. Office of Education
10474 Mather Blvd.
Mather (Sacramento), CA 95655

Mobile Devices in Adult Education - Part 2
Friday, Jan 22, 2016 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Alameda Adult School
401 Pacific
Alameda, Ca 94501

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

Web "Sitings":

Thanksgiving Sites
Here are some great sites to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

Plickers External link opens in new window or tab
Plickers is a combination Web site and mobile app for conducting polls or formative assessments in class. Kahoot It! is a great site to use if all your students have mobile devices, but you can use this tool, even if you are the only one with a device. You simply print QR codes that are attached to a particular students name (you set this up in advance), then create your True/False or multiple choice questions. Distribute the QR Codes to the appropriate students. Students then hold up their QR code card in the orientation that matches their answer, A, B, C, or D. You scan the cards with your device and the results are displayed on the Web site. Pretty cool! Apps are available for both iOS External link opens in new window or tab and Android External link opens in new window or tab devices. There are multiple YouTube tutorials External link opens in new window or tab to show you how to use this tool.

Illustrative Mathematics External link opens in new window or tab
This site is designed for teachers of math to be a source of freely available online mathematics content for teachers, teacher leaders, assessment developers, curriculum writers, and teacher educators. Great site for learning more about teaching math.

Voices of History External link opens in new window or tab
This site was created by the Bill of Rights Institute and has lesson plans, videos, handouts, and discussion questions on various historical and current events involving civil rights and responsibilities. An excellent resource.

COABE Adult Educator Resources External link opens in new window or tab
COABE is now providing free resources to all adult educators. You will find some lesson plans, videos, apps, conference presentations, and PD resources. The collection is small at this point, but it is expected to grow.

Tech Tips and Information

YouTube Video Clipper External link opens in new window or tab
We have all been there. We find a great YouTube video to share with students, but we really do not need to play the entire 20-minute video. We only want to share a 3-minute portion. With the help of a Google Spreadsheet created by Tammy Worcester Tang, now you can shorten that video. Just follow the link above for a copy of the clipper and instructions on how to use it.

Google Timer External link opens in new window or tab
Ever need an easy to use timer in your classroom? Google to the rescue! Just go to the main Google search page and type "timer 5 minutes" (replace the number 5 with the number of minutes you need) in the address bar and hit the Enter key on your keyboard. If you need a time less than a minute, type "timer 10 seconds" (replacing 10 with the number of seconds you need). Super simple! You can start and stop and reset as often as you need to.

Share Copies of Google Documents with Students - Not the Original External link opens in new window or tab
Another cool Google tip from Tammy Worcester Tang is how to use a simple trick to share individual copies of Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, thereby avoiding giving students access to a your original documents. She presents the steps in a very easy format, so I will let you look at her instructions.

Interesting Quote

Key to Success in Integrating Technology - Quote from eSchool News
“A common mistake that many schools make when using any type of technology is not asking: Why are we doing this? ... Aside from online testing, do you have a plan for how you will use the Internet and online applications? Many schools acquire technology before they have a well-developed plan for how these tools can support and enhance teaching and learning. They leave it up to teachers to figure this out, with very mixed results. But when you begin with your learning goals in mind, and then you choose technology tools and apps that can help teachers and students achieve those goals, you are much more likely to realize success." Best Practices for Integrating Chromebooks into Teaching & Learning, An eSchool News white paper sponsored by PCMG. External link opens in new window or tab