Registration Is Open for the Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2016

The TDL Symposium is scheduled for March 11–12, 2016 at Fresno Adult School. Registration is open now through March 1, 2016, or until we have reached our capacity of 200. Don't wait and be disappointed. Once we reach our capacity, registration will close. Registration is only $25 and you must be pre-registered to attend as there will be no "on-site" registration.

Adult Learners Honored and Celebrated at ACSA’s 2015 Leadership Summit

The Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) 2015 Leadership Summit took place in Sacramento, November 5-6. One of the highlights was a luncheon honoring ACSA’s Every Student Succeeding award recipients. The program, which has been in existence for nearly two decades, recognizes students who have overcome obstacles to succeed in school, as well as the educational team supporting them. This year, thanks to a generous donation from Indoor Environmental Services, each student received a $1,000 scholarship. Read the remaining article...

EdTech Fall Webinar Series - Register now for the December 4th New USA Learns Webinar!

On Friday, December 4, 2015 at 11:00 am PST, John Fleishman will present about USA Learns External link opens in new window or tab, a free online instructional program developed for adults with limited English language skills who can not attend traditional classroom programs because of difficulty with schedules, transportation, or other barriers. USA Learns is NEW and improved! The new site includes a more user-friendly interface and new activity types. Teachers will appreciate the vastly improved management options, including time tracking, instant grades for each student, easy reporting and more! Read the rest of the story External link opens in new window or tab and register for the webinar. External link opens in new window or tab

Education app developers overlook a target audience: adult learners

This article from Fedscoop speaks to the issue of how app developers tend to overlook the adult learner population, which involves an estimated 36 million people across the country. That's why Digital Promise External link opens in new window or tab, a nonprofit organization promoting innovation in education, launched the Beacon Project External link opens in new window or tab, which highlights communities across the country where people with a GED or high school equivalency use technology to advance their education. They hope to expose app developers to this untapped market of adults who lack basic literacy and math skills. Read more about this topic. External link opens in new window or tab

Your Feedback Wanted on Next Generation CTE Simulations

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Education (ED) will launch the EdSim Challenge, which will call upon the gaming, developer, and ed-tech communities to design simulated environments that prepare America’s students for a more competitive world through high-quality career and technical education.

On November 5th, Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Ed (OCTAE) launched a call for public feedback External link opens in new window or tab to help inform the Challenge design. Public feedback will be accepted through December 6, 2015 regarding topics such as simulated learning subject areas, skill sets, and technical considerations. Read the rest of this blog post External link opens in new window or tab from the OCTAE.

One Week Left to Apply to the Excellence in Action Award

The National Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education Consortium is searching the country for superior programs of study across the 16 Career Clusters that have a meaningful impact on student success. So if your school has an exemplary CTE program, take a look at the information here on why you should apply and how to apply for the award External link opens in new window or tab. All Award Applications are due by December 9th, so you will have to work quickly.

Pell Grants for Dual Enrollment: A Promising Model

In an effort to expand access to higher education, on November 3rd the Department of Education published a Federal Register notice External link opens in new window or tab inviting postsecondary institutions, in partnership with public secondary schools or local education agencies, to apply to participate in the dual enrollment experiment that will allow students without a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent to receive Federal Pell Grants for integrated education programs. Read more...

DACA Youth Resource Guide

In an effort to ensure that all students have access to a world-class education that prepares them for college and careers, the U.S. Department of Education, in collaboration with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, has released a resource guide (PDF) to help educators, school leaders, and community organizations better support undocumented youths in secondary and postsecondary schools. 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!

New Web-based Class Activity for December!

Build Resource Collections for Lessons with XtLearn

XtLearn logo

XtLearn External link opens in new window or tab is a Web site that allows you to build collections of resources and present them to learners in a way that is visually appealing. You can gather resources from anywhere on the Internet or create resources from your own files. Resources can be organized to form your own collection, which can then be shared with students. Collections can be embedded in your Web site or Moodle course and numerous other social media sites. 


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:

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

Moodle v2: Using the Quiz Activity to Assess Students with Susan Coulter
December 9, 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.

Moodle v2: Creating a Course Web Site (2 hours) (Updated!) with Blair Roy
December 10, 2015 ~ 3 to 5 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.

Creating Videos for Instruction (aka "Blenderizing Instruction") with Melinda Holt 
December 16, 2015 ~ 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Educational Technology Sharing through Alumni Online Meetings hosted by Branka Marceta
December 18, 2015 ~ 2 to 3 p.m.

Open Educational Resources and AE with Penny Pearson
January 12, 2016 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Citizenship Preparation Resources for Adult Education with Jennifer Gagliardi
January 13, 2016 ~ 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

Face to face workshop

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

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 1
Friday, December 11, 2015 ~ 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Pasadena City College - Community Education Center
3035 E. Foothill Blvd. Room 139
Pasadena, CA 91107

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":

World Education - E-Learning PD External link opens in new window or tab
World Education hosts webinars on a wide range of topics including integrating technology in instruction, immigrant integration and English language, numeracy, and college and career readiness.  You can view their recordings when it's convenient for you. They are free.

They also offer some self-paced courses that are free. This link will take you to their list of courses External link opens in new window or tab, but not everything on this list is free. So use the filter on the upper right in the Search Courses box and choose "Free" under "Course Fee." These would be great to take when you are off during the holidays.

Center for the Study of Adult Literacy External link opens in new window or tab (CSAL)
CSAL has a variety of stories to read for your students. They are classified as "easier, medium, and harder" and are on a multitude of topics. You will first choose the level then the topic for the story you want students to read. It draws stories from some familiar Web sites, but also from some that may not be familiar to you. Should be good for ABE and ESL instructors and students.

Nutrition Information Bulletin Board & Learning Experience External link opens in new window or tab (NIBBLE)
This site was built by the University of Massachusetts specifically for Adult Basic Education to help students learn the facts about nutrition. It offers a Calendar showing special nutrition and health events each month; Information Files with facts on nutrition, health and shopping tips; Practice Quizzes to assess student knowledge on these topics; a diet assessment tool; and some links to other sites with nutrition information.

The Times in Plain English External link opens in new window or tab
This is a current news site edited by Arthur Schiff that writes stories based on articles read in other formats or Web sites and then freshly written to reflect the article, but not intended to be an edited version. They try to keep the reading level lower so more people can understand the news. Would be a good resource for current events and information on a variety of topics.

The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection External link opens in new window or tab
The Internet Archive has a collection of free audiobooks that may be useful to ABE/ASE and ESL programs. The books are classics that are in the public domain and are read by volunteers from all over the world. They offer whole books, short stories, poetry, and dramatic works, some in different languages. This is a huge resource and with audio support can be useful in many ways.

Interesting Quote

Key to Success in Integrating Technology
"Teachers need to integrate technology seamlessly into the curriculum instead of viewing it as an add-on, an afterthought, or an event."
~ Heidi Hayes Jacobs