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OTAN Digest #83
May 2016


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

Fresno Adult School was the setting for the exciting and well-attended TDLS 16. During the March 11 and 12 event, approximately 40 sessions were offered. Topics included digital badging, interactive assessments, open educational resources, online collaboration, using mobile devices, resources for citizenship preparation, and more. Read more...

OTAN Spring 2016 Newsletter: Online Connection: Connect with Tech

Every year OTAN produces three issues of OTAN Online Connection, the OTAN newsletter, to print and mail to members, disseminate electronically, and distribute at conferences and workshops.

The latest addition is available in PDF format on the Newsletter page and features the following topics: Continue reading...

State Board of Education Approves CDE Recommendation to Lower the GED Passing Score

At the March 9, 2016 California State Board of Education (SBE) Meeting, the SBE heard and approved a recommendation submitted by General Educational Development Testing Service (GEDTS®) to lower the passing score for the General Educational Development (GED®) test from 150 to 145. Remaining article...

Families Learning Summit, October 17-19, 2016

National Center for Families Learning’s Families Learning Summit will take place Monday, October 17, 2016 8:30 AM - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 12:00 PM at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. This year they are offering a special strand focused on the latest topics, strategies, and innovations in adult education. Continue reading...

Immigrants and WIOA Services: Comparison of Sociodemographic Characteristics of Native- and Foreign-Born Adults in the United States

The Migration Policy Institute’s National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy has released a set of state-level fact sheets examining key characteristics of adult native- and foreign-born populations and the relevance of these characteristics to implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Read more...

Interactive Map: Eligible-To-Naturalize in the U.S.

The Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at the University of Southern California has unveiled a new tool that allows you to search for populations eligible for naturalization - down to the state, county, and more granular levels.

There are three measures the can be mapped by clicking on the check boxes above the map legend: Continue reading...

TDLS 2017 - Save the Date!

Next year, March 10-11, 2017, North Orange County Community College will be hosting OTAN's Technology and Distance Learning Symposium. So save the date and we will see you there!

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!

May's New Web-based Class Activity!

Online Health Resources for Low Level Readers

One skill we want to share with our students is the ability to access health information and understand what they read. The problem is that often health advice and information is written at a high reading level.  What can we do? This month we are offering some low literacy health resources and activities to use in your ABE, ESL, or ASE classroom.

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:

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.

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Discussion with
Barry Bakin
May 26, 2016 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

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

Distance/Blended Learning
- Guest Speaker TBA
May 27, 2016 ~ 12 to 1 p.m.

Webinar clipart

OTAN Online Boot Camp - Be sure to check the Calendar for the many sessions being offered June 6 - 17 for our second online workshop boot camp.

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!


If you would like to see your school on our list of Face-to-Face workshops, just contact us and we would be delighted to work with you to offer our free professional development.

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":

40 Simple Ways to Use a Smartphone in the Classroom External link opens in new window or tab
While this is an article written in 2012, it still has many great ideas for ways to integrate the use of smartphones into your class. So if your looking for some new ideas, try this list.

YouTube Videos on Taking Cornell Notes
If your students struggle with how to take effective notes when studying, then one (or both) of these videos might prove helpful in learning to take notes. The first video is more visual and fun, and it was produced using PowToon External link opens in new window or tab. The second is Mr. G describing the process of note-taking External link opens in new window or tab using the Cornell process.

PowerPay External link opens in new window or tab
This tool from the New Mexico State University's Learning Games Lab will help students develop a personalized, self-directed debt elimination plan and learn about finance. Students will discover how quickly they can become debt free, and how much they can save in interest costs by following a debt reduction plan. An iPhone app External link opens in new window or tab is also available for the tool.

Formative External link opens in new window or tab
If you like Kahoot, but need something a bit more robust for a formative assessment tool, you may want to look into this free tool called Formative. It goes beyond multiple choice. Assessments can include short answer questions, drawing or images and videos. Students can respond using any Web enabled device, by typing in the question code and their name. Students don't need and account, but if they do sign up for one, you can track their progress over time and you can share feedback and grades. The immediate feedback aspect is not something available with Kahoot. Common Sense Graphite has produced a YouTube video External link opens in new window or tab comparison of the two tools so you can decide which is better for your particular class and assignment. Then to get started here are some Video Tutorials External link opens in new window or tab and a Formative User Guide External link opens in new window or tab.

Food and Health Communications External link opens in new window or tab
This Web site offers free clip art on healthy living, so if you are looking for some to use on handouts to use with this month's Web-based class activity (see above), this could be a great resource.

Tech Tips and Information

Shortcuts For You

Want to quickly display two windows side-by-side? Select the window/program you want then Windows key + Arrow key left / right. Do the same with the other window/program.

To easily minimize all open windows except the active window, press the Windows key + Home key on your keyboard.

Android Phone:
Ever need a screenshot of your phone to help explain something to your students about phone use? Did you know that you can take a screenshot of your Android phone by simply pressing and holding both the volume down and the power buttons at the same time? You should hear a sound and see an animation indicating that your screenshot was saved, and it will show a notification so you can share the screenshot.

To get a screenshot with an iPhone, you'll need to press and hold both the Sleep/Wake and Home buttons at the same time. You'll hear a sound and the screen will go blank momentarily. You will see the screenshot in your photos app.

Tech Tips this month were gleaned from TECHSPOT.