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OTAN Digest #82
April 2016


OTAN's Technology and Distance Learning Symposium - Another Success!

The 7th TDL Symposium was a success! Over 180 teachers and administrators from all over the state converged on Fresno Adult School to learn about many "hot topics" regarding the use of technology in adult education. Several session were even streamed live. Participants enjoyed the variety topics and presenters. Read more...

photo album External link opens in new window or tab of the event is available. Videos of some presentations are on OTAN's YouTube channel External link opens in new window or tab, and will soon be posted under their respective sessions on the original online schedule External link opens in new window or tab.

How to Encourage the Most Original Thinking

In this interview with Adam Grant External link opens in new window or tab, author of Originals, Elissa Nadworthy elicits some advice on how to have better class discussions. While they are applying this to discussions in the K-12 classroom, they can apply to any group of people anywhere that need to come up with creative ways of solving problems. So it could also be used in staff meetings as well as the classroom.

Brainwriting is Brainstorming on Steroids External link opens in new window or tab is another article with some recommended proceedures for the brainwriting process.

Integrating Technology in the Classroom - 3 Main Considerations

This article from eAdultEducation discusses some important considerations for technology integration as respects your class syllabus. It is important to let students know in advance what technology they will be expected to have access to and why. Read more...External link opens in new window or tab

It's Not Too Late to Register for CCAE Conference in San Francisco

The theme for this year's CCAE Conference is "Adult Education: The Bridge to College, Careers and Communitities." The conference is taking place April 21-23, 2016 near the San Francisco Airport, which makes transportation arrangements easy. For more details and to register visit the conference site External link opens in new window or tab.

COABE/TALAE National Conference, Dallas, April 10-13, 2016

Attend COABE/TALAE National Conference External link opens in new window or tab in Dallas titled “Bigger & Better in Texas, and collaborate with your colleagues from around the country in the lone star state! Learn about new best practices and receive targeted training from national level speakers. Twelve strands—comprised of more than 200 sessions—will be offered, providing valuable, state-of-the-art training that you will be able to bring back to your adult ed program! 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 lswanson@otan.us for more details!

April's New Web-based Class Activity!

Teacher making a presentation

Slideware Options for Making Great Presentations, Part II

In January we offered the first part of this two-part article on slideware options for creating presentations. This month Kristi introduces you to PowToon, Emaze, and Animoto. She also makes a case for using slide and video presentations in the classroom based on research she uncovered. She also provides many "best practices" for presenting slideshows so that the technology will work and you will look good as a presenter.

Professional Development

Webinar clipart

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:

Moodle v2: Using Badges to Celebrate Achievement with Sharon Ram
April 18, 2016 ~ 12:30 to 2 p.m.

Moodle v2: Creating a Course Web Site (2 hours) (Updated!) with Blair Roy
April 19, 2016 ~ 12 to 2 p.m.

Moodle v2: Create and Host Online Meetings (2 hours) (Updated!) with Francisca Wentworth
April 27, 2016 ~ 1 to 3 p.m.

So You Want to Teach Online? with Anthony Burik
April 27, 2016 ~ 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 3 hosted by Penny Pearson
April 28, 2016 ~ 3 to 4 p.m.

Educational Technology Sharing through Alumni Online Meetings hosted by Branka Marceta
April 29, 2016 ~ 2 to 3 p.m.

Paper (Tests) to Pixels: Lessons Learned from One Technology Project
with Anthony Burik
May 11, 2016 ~ 2 to 3:30 p.m.

Digital Badges in Adult Education
with Blair Roy
May 25, 2016 ~ 12 to 1:30 p.m.

Free Web Tools to Use with Your Students (Updated!) with Kristi Reyes
May 27, 2016 ~ 10 to 11:30 a.m.

If a workshop appears to be closed and you would like to participate, call us (916-228-2580).

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

Face-to-Face Workshops:

Contact us at 916-228-2580 or e-mail support@otan.us to schedule one of our workshops at your school this spring or summer! We will do most of the work for you. We just need your available computer lab.

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!

Mobile Devices in Adult Education Part 2
Friday, April 29, 2016 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Glendale Community College - Garfield Campus
1122 East Garfield
Glendale, CA 91205

Office 365 for Adult Education
Friday, April 29, 2016 ~ 2 to 4 p.m.
Corona-Norco Adult School
300 South Buena Vista Avenue
Corona, CA 92882

EL Civics: Digital Literacy & Internet Safety

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 noon
Rowland Adult School - Adult Ed Ctr #1 - Lerona
2100 Lerona Ave
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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.

Teaching Resources

Web "Sitings":

Election 2016 Sites and Ideas External link opens in new window or tab
After watching the 2008 national political conventions, Jim Brice, an ESL teacher at San Diego Community College, wanted to prepare some Internet related lessons to teach his students about the general election process and the historical particulars of that election year. Now that the 2016 election is fast approaching, we have updated these links with the 2016 election in focus.

Historical Thinking Matters External link opens in new window or tab
The Historial Thinking Matters Web site is a site focused on key topics in U.S. history and is designed to teach students how to critically read primary sources and how to critique and construct historical narratives. There are lesson plans, classroom materials, and a section explaining how the site works for teachers External link opens in new window or tab. Great site for Social Studies units in ASE programs.

Center for History and New Media External link opens in new window or tab
The center uses digital media and computer technology to democratize history—to incorporate multiple voices, reach diverse audiences, and encourage popular participation in presenting and preserving the past. They have also created free software to assist in collecting, managing, and citing resources. They have also been responsible for creating a number of historical teaching sites, including World History Matters External link opens in new window or tab, Sea of Liberty External link opens in new window or tab, Women in World History External link opens in new window or tab, Making the History of 1989 External link opens in new window or tab, and Teaching History External link opens in new window or tab, to name a few. Spend some time exploring this vast resource for teaching history that lives.

Teaching American History - Lesson Plans External link opens in new window or tab
This site offers a select list of sites with lesson plans created by teachers and scholars, which are free to browse, download and use, and are all rooted in primary documents available on the Teaching American History Web site.

California History-Social Science Project External link opens in new window or tab
If you teach history or social studies, this site may interest you. Not everything is free here, but many of their resources are. The site is administered by the University of California - Dept. of History at Davis, but is focused on providing high-quality history instruction for ESL, native speakers with low literacy and students from economically disadvantaged communities. The section titled History Blueprint External link opens in new window or tab (found under the Programs External link opens in new window or tab link) has Common Core curriculum focused on the Medieval World, the Civil War, and the Cold War. There are many other materials and resources at this site. Spend some time poking around to find all the potential things you can use.

Google Treks External link opens in new window or tab
This site was created by Dr. Alice Christie to share an exciting new approach to teaching and learning. Enabled by Web 2.0 tools, GoogleTreks™ allows teachers and students to synthesize information in one easy-to-use map that places text, pictures, audio files, video files, and much more in one central location. There are some pre-created treks, but there is also a tutorial showing you how to create your own.

Easelly External link opens in new window or tab
If you have ever longed for a tool to help you or your students build an infographic, then this might be the answer for you. The tool boasts a huge number of pre-built templates you can use to get started. You can modify them using the "drag and drop" method, then use their toolbox of backgrounds, drawing tools, shapes, charts, and text boxes to create just about any kind of infographic you can think of.

Screencasting an iPad on a MacBook External link opens in new window or tab
If you have ever needed to create a screencast of your iPad, you can do it easily using a MacBook. This video will show you how in less than 1 minute.

Tech Tips and Information

Tips for Using Google Sheets

Did you know that Google Sheets has an =IMAGE function? Instead of uploading an image to your Google sheet, you can use the =IMAGE("url") formula, with the link to your image in parenthesis in place of "url".

You may not be aware that Google Sheets also has templates, much like Microsoft Excel does, partly because you must take an extra step to find them if you start in Google Drive. Once you select to create a new sheet, you will need to go to File > New > From Template. There you will find a number of ready-made templates to use.

Ever want to keep your column headings in place while scrolling through a large spreadsheet? It's easy with Sheets. Just click View > Freeze and decide how many rows or columns you want to freeze. Voilá!

Interesting Quote

Information and Technology
"The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers."
~Sydney Harris (Journalist)