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OTAN Digest #90
February 2017


Program available for Technology and Distance Learning Symposium 2017

The eighth Technology and Distance Learning Symposium will be happening next month at Anaheim Campus of North Orange Community College District, School of Continuing Education, on March 10 & 11, 2017.

Comprehensive Adult Student Assessment Systems (CASAS): Integrated EL Civics (English Literacy and Civics Education)

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 School. The Southern California conference will be held on February 3rd at the Vista Adult School. The third conference serves Northern California and will be held at the Santa Clara Adult School. The link to the flyer for all three conferences is provided. OTAN handouts for presentations at all 3 events are available online External link opens in new window or tab .

National College Transition Network(NCTN): Building Integrated Education and Training Programs

Did you miss National College Transition Networks’s Building Integrated Education and Training Programs: Tested Strategies and New Endeavors External link opens in new window or tab NCTN and NELRC webinar series! Drawn from around the country, presenters described their local context and program design and discussed the impact of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA) on program choices. The archived recordings are now available.

Safer Internet Day was February 7

Safer Internet Day External link opens in new window or tab , an awareness-raising campaign that started in Europe more than a decade ago, is now celebrated in more than 100 countries. Globally, it’s coordinated by the Brussels-based Insafe Network for the European Commission. Safer Internet Day gained official recognition in the U.S. in late 2012, with a joint agreement between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the European Commission to work together to build a better internet for youth. The U.S. celebration got a big boost in 2013, when Insafe appointed ConnectSafely.org as the U.S.’s coordinator going forward.

Digital Learning Day was February 23

With so many new types of digital devices, educational software and mobile apps continuously developed, it’s hard to keep up with the latest and greatest advancements in educational technology. In some classrooms and out-of-school programs across the country, educators are doing some pretty amazing things with technology. Yet, these pockets of innovation are confined to a small number of schools and communities. Digital Learning Day was started as a way to actively spread innovative practices and ensure that all youth have access to high-quality digital learning opportunities no matter where they live.

Digital Promise: Integrating Digital Tools for Adult Learners: Four Critical Factors

Authored by Patti Constantakis and in partnership with the Joyce Foundation, Mockingbird Education and SRI International, drawn from a study of digital learning technologies’ effectiveness in adult basic education, this paper explores four factors that contribute to effective implementation of technology.

New on the Literacy Information and Communication System (LINCS) Learning Portal: Teacher Effectiveness Online Courses

The LINCS Learning Portal has three Teacher Effectiveness courses. Each free, online course is self-paced and tailored to meet the needs of practitioners and programs, especially mentors and beginning teachers.

February's New Web-based Class Activity!

Instant Grammar Checker

Grammarly logo

In the February 2017 Web-based activity article, Susan Coulter introduces us to a tool that can help both teachers and learners. The Grammarly Web site (grammarly.com) and associated applications are a great way to help your students with their grammar and writing skills. As they type, Grammarly underlines grammar errors and spelling mistakes and allows them to correct their mistakes as they work. Students can also upload their essays to Grammarly and then receive immediate feedback on spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure and style. When you are finished making any corrections, you can download the document to your desktop. The application is available on your Web browser so that online responses, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail, can be easily checked for grammar errors. There is both a free and premium version. The free version checks five different writing issues and each one can be turned on or off at the user’s discretion. Read more about checkers for Contextual Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Sentence Structure, and Style in the February Web-based Activity External link opens in new window or tab Article.

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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 moderated by Penny Pearson
March 02, 2017 ~ 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM

Easy to Make Quizzes for Web Sites and Blogs with Barry Bakin
March 24, 2017 ~ 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM

Digital Badges in Adult Education with Blair Roy
March 24, 2017 ~ 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

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 ensure that OTAN can send the trainer to your agency.

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

Google Tools and Drive I
March 24, 2017 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Culver City Adult School
4909 Overland Avenue
Culver City, CA 90230

Google Tools and Drive I
March 27, 2017 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Elk Grove Adult and Community Education
8401-B Gerber Road
Sacramento, CA 95828

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":

Text Complexity and ATOS External link opens in new window or tab
The ATOS readability formula is a research-proven tool to guide students to appropriate-level books. Confirmed as a valid and reliable text complexity measure for the Common Core Standards, ATOS takes into account the most important predictors of text complexity—average sentence length, average word length, and word difficulty level. The results are provided in a grade-level scale that is easy to use and understand.

Inogolo External link opens in new window or tab
Inogolo is a practical, easy-to-use website devoted to the English pronunciation of the names of people, places, and various things. The site contains thousands of pronunciations (most including audio clips) in English. The site can be searched or browsed-- alphabetically, by tag, or through topical pronunciation guides.

Designers for Learning – New Instructional Evaluation Service Course External link opens in new window or tab
Designers for Learning's mission to provide support to underserved adult learners with low literacy and math skills continues in 2017. Enroll now in their brand new 6-week instructional evaluation course. From March 20 - April 30, 2017, you will learn by doing in their latest free project-based service course hosted on Canvas Network. Build your portfolio as you complete a real-world authentic instructional design challenge to evaluate and revise open educational resources designed in our prior instructional design courses. The course is free and there are no prerequisites and no resource purchases required.