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OTAN Digest #88
December 2016


Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education Conferences

Three Integrated EL Civics (English Literacy and Civics Education conferences will be held in 2017. The first one serves the Central Valley and will convene on January 20th at the Bakersfield Adult SchoolThe Southern California conference will be held on February 3rd at the Vista Adult School. The third conference serves Northern California and will be held on March 3rd at the Santa Clara Adult School. Register for them at the CASAS Web site External link opens in new window or tab. (Scroll down to the English Literacy and Civics Education section to see them. You will need a CASAS login to register.) The cost of the conference is just $10, which includes registration and lunch.

Digital Promise: Learning Should Be Fun: Gaming for Adult Learners

OTAN is reposting an article by Peter Stidwill on Digital Promise Web site

Twenty English language learners, gathered at an East Boston community-based organization, are playing a storytelling game on their mobile phones. After beating the game and receiving a check mark for a successful mission, the players return to a virtual world where they, as their avatars, mingle with players in Florida. They chat by typing messages and arrange to play a word-guessing game together.

This is English Innovations External link opens in new window or tab, a blended English language learning model combining a classroom environment with self-paced online tools. One of the tools, Xenos External link opens in new window or tab, uses single- and multi-player social games to help adults build English language skills. Overall, the model delivers a flexible learning environment for adult learners with jobs and families, keeping them immersed and engaged. Read more...

California Adult Literacy Professional Development Project (CALPRO): Mentoring for Adult Education Instruction Resources

CALPRO has expanded its online Video Library to include a collection of videos and multi-media resources about Mentoring for Adult Education Instruction. This new addition to the Online Video Library features a collection of brief, interactive presentations by Dr. Maricel Santos and supplementary resources on mentoring for adult education instruction. Sustained teacher mentoring helps organizations reduce teacher turnover by supporting new teachers with feedback and guidance, and normalizing an ongoing conversation about teaching for instructors at all levels. These resources are geared toward both the mentor and the mentee. Complete article...

Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training

On Nov. 15, 2016, the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released the latest installment of findings from the Survey of Adult Skills, part of the Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC). This report, Highlights from the U.S. PIAAC Survey of Incarcerated Adults: Their Skills, Work Experience, Education, and Training External link opens in new window or tab , presents new data collected from a nationally representative sample of incarcerated men and women, ages 18–74, in 98 state and federal prisons in 2014. It describes the literacy and numeracy levels of these adults by age, gender, and ethnicity and compares these findings to the general household population, which was surveyed in 2012 and supplemented in 2014. The survey’s background questionnaire, adapted for the incarcerated population, provides a rich profile of background data, work experiences, and education and training participation patterns while in prison. 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 916-228-2580 or e-mail Blair Roy at broy@otan.us for more details!

December's New Web-based Class Activity!

Give Adult Learners the Gift of Digital Literacy

Hands holding a wrapped gift

What does it take to be a fully functional technology user and considered digitally literate? Digital literacy is the ability to find, evaluate, utilize, share, and create content using information technologies and the Internet (Cornel University Digital Literacy Resource External link opens in new window or tab) and was featured as a hot topic in OTAN’s Online Connection Fall 2016 [PDF] newsletter. Digital literacy is essential for living, learning, and working in today’s networked, global society. So look at this month's article and then start teaching it to your students.

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Professional Development

Webinar clipart

Online Workshops & Webinars:

OTAN offers short, online workshops to meet the demands of busy adult educators. We are currently working on our line up for this year, so stay tuned and check the California Adult Education Professional Development calendar so you won't miss any!

Creating Open Educational Resources with Penny Pearson
December 15, 2016 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Online Resources For Developmental English (NROC Dev English) with Debbie Jensen
December 16, 2016 ~ 1:30 to 3 p.m.

Online Curriculum Series, Part 2 moderated by Penny Pearson
February 7, 2017 ~ 12 to 1 p.m.

Open Educational Resources and Adult Education with Penny Pearson
February 23, 2017 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

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 year! 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!

Google Tools and Drive I 
Friday, January 13, 2017 ~ 9 a.m. to 12 noon
New Haven Adult School
600 G Street
Union City, CA 94587

Google Tools and Drive II 
Monday, January 30, 2017 ~ 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
New Haven Adult School
600 G Street
Union City, CA 94587

Google Tools and Drive I
Thursday, March 23, 2017 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Folsom-Cordova Adult School
10850 Gadsten Way
Rancho Corodva, CA 95670

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":

Control Alt Achieve Blog: Emoji Writing Prompt Generator with Google Sheets External link opens in new window or tab
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. If that is so, then emojis should be able to bring even more meaning, ideas, and inspiration than just words alone. This blog writer, Eric Curts, has created a Google sheet to be a writing prompt generator using emojis. Giving students a random set of emojis would be a great way to help inspire their writing, as the student tries to find a way to work each image into their story or poem.

U.S. Digital Literacy External link opens in new window or tab
This Web resource has so many resources on the topic of Digital Literacy that I can not even begin to list them. This one is a "must see" for anyone interested in teaching digital literacy skills. But the main categories on their home page are: Digital Toolkits, 21st Century Skills, Strategies for Instruction, and Thoughtful Leadership. Take some time to peruse this one.

Minnesota Literacy Council External link opens in new window or tab
The Minnesota Literacy Council has a wealth of literacy resources for teachers and tutors that include curriculum, lesson plans, classroom videos, citizenship curricula including a self-study course External link opens in new window or tab, integrated civics and unsupported professional development External link opens in new window or tab. (Out-of-state users [PDF] are welcome to use their online training site, but you should not submit any materials for grading). Look under the Educators button to find resources.

LINCS - Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling: An Adult Reading Course of Study External link opens in new window or tab
Making Sense of Decoding and Spelling: An Adult Reading Course of Study is an evidence-based course of study designed to teach adult learners to decode and spell words accurately and fluently. The materials were developed during a research study by Charles MacArthur, Judith Alamprese, and Deborah Knight. When implemented as designed, the course was found to have positive learner gains. Materials for the course of study include three publications: (1) Teachers’ and Administrators’ Guide, (2) Lesson Plans, and (3) Learner Activity Book.

English Grammar 101 External link opens in new window or tab
This free Web site has 13 modules of multiple lessons on nouns, pronouns, verbs, sentence parts, adjectives/adverbs, prepositions, conjunctions/interjections, verbals/phrases, clauses, capitalization, punctuation, and troublesome words. If a teacher wants to, they can purchase full access to create assignments and track progress at a fairly reasonable price, and their students can take pre- and post-tests for each module. A Teacher Guide [PDF] is available to help with this option.

Skills Commons External link opens in new window or tab
Skills Commons  is an online repository hosting thousands of free and openly licensed course and educational program support materials being developed by nearly 700 colleges across the U.S., funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s TAACCCT grant program. More than 6,500 resources are already available for download, featuring curricula for both short and long-term courses leading to industry-certified credentials in 16 high-demand fields, such as manufacturing, healthcare, energy, and information technology. Skills Commons is the world’s largest open educational resource (OER) project featuring job-driven workforce development materials, with more resources being added continually.

Wisc-Online External link opens in new window or tab
The Wisconsin Online Resource center hosts a FREE digital library of learning objects, some with audio and some are text with images. The types of learning objects available include: Assessments, Animations, Simulations, Case Studies, Interactions, Drill and Practice, as well as various Templates. The objects are under programs such as ABE/ELL, Business, General Education (high school subjects), Health, Service (sector), Technical, and Professional Development. This site has really expanded over the years and is now a storehouse of learning objects and is a great resource for Career Tech Ed programs.