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OTAN Digest #81
March 2016


Open Education Week March 7-11, 2016

The goal of Open Education Week External link opens in new window or tab is to raise awareness of free and open education opportunities that exist for everyone, everywhere, right now. They want to highlight how open education can help people meet their goals in education, whether it's to develop skills and knowledge for work, supporting formal studies, learning something new for personal interest, or looking for additional teaching resources. More about the week... External link opens in new window or tab

OTAN's Technology and Distance Learning Symposium - Streaming Live! from Fresno

For the very first time, we hope to be able to stream live, a few of the presentations being offered at the TDL Symposium. This will be a first for us. Some new equipment was purchased to make live streaming a possibility for this and other future events. For more information on where and how you can view the presentations, check on the Symposium's home page on March 11th and 12th.

EL Civics Retained and Expanded Under WIOA

On January 11, 2015, the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) released a program memorandum entitled Integrated English Literacy and Civics Education under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act – Frequently Asked Questions External link opens in new window or tab. The program memorandum provides answers to frequently asked questions and clarifies statutory provisions related to the expanded use of integrated English Literacy and Civics Education under Title II of WIOA. Continue reading...

CATESOL Conferences

CATESOL represents teachers of English language learners throughout California and Nevada, promoting excellence in education and providing high-quality professional development. Here is the list of the upcoming professional development events by this organization. We hope you can attend one.

March 5 — CATESOL Los Angeles Regional Conference External link opens in new window or tab

March 12 — CATESOL San Diego Regional Conference External link opens in new window or tab

April 16 — CATESOL Northern Regional Conference 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!

New Web-based Class Activity for March!

My Hero - Inspirational Reading and Writing Activities

The theme of heroes is a good one if you are looking for something inspirational for students to write about. It can cover a lot of different curriculum areas. Asking the question "Who are the heroes, famous people, or role models in our society?" can spur lively conversations and provide ESL classes an oral activity. Learning to separate celebrities from true heroes is a great critical thinking exercise. This month's activity should help with ideas for all these competencies.

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:

Creating Accessible Documents (New!) with Penny Pearson
March 8, 2016 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Create Quick and Easy PowerPoint Slide Shows for Discussion with Barry Bakin
March 18, 2016 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Data + Mail Merge = Magic! with Penny Pearson
March 29, 2016 ~ 3 to 4:30 p.m.

Using the OTAN Teaching with Technology Search Tool with Bethany Ely
April 1, 2016 ~ 1 to 2:30 p.m.

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

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 (800-894-3113).

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 800-894-3113 or e-mail support@otan.us to schedule one of our workshops at your school this winter or spring! 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!

Beginning PowerPoint 2010 for Adult Education
Friday, April 1, 2016 ~ 1 to 4 p.m.
Capistrano Adult School
31431 El Camino Real
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

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":

World Education - EdTech Center External link opens in new window or tab
The EdTech Center provides professional development through World Education’s E-Learning, webinars, and face-to-face workshops. They currently offer two online courses in tech integration. One is facilitated and there is a charge for it. The other has 4 modules you work through at your own pace. It is free. They also offer a multitude of pre-recorded Webinars you can view whenever you like. The link to "Improving Literacy using Mobile Technology" External link opens in new window or tab opens up a list of webinars on a wide range of topics (not all are tech related though) for you to watch. The one's I looked at were free.

A Virtual Library of Lesson Plans from North Carolina External link opens in new window or tab
The materials in this Virtual Library of Lesson Plans are for ESL instructors to use and/or adapt in their classroom teaching. Most of the materials were developed and tested in 14 North Carolina community colleges under the sponsorship of EL/CIVICS grants. The originating schools and organizations have provided them in electronic form for inclusion in this library. These materials should not be sold or published, in whole or in part. Users are expected to abide by copyright law and by any membership requirements for cited Web sites.

Englishspeak External link opens in new window or tab
Englishspeak is a free award winning system for learning to speak English. The program contains lessons that give special attention to English pronunciation and everyday language. With over 100 lessons, Englishspeak provides a large amount of audio content. Users have access to two different speeds of playback for each item and individual words will be pronounced if you mouse over the words. They also offer a list of 1000 Most Common Phrases and 1500 Most Common Words all with audio assist. The directions come in 17 languages and those languages offer a translation of all material.

My Hero - Teacher's Room External link opens in new window or tab
The My Hero Project is a freely available digital media library and set of online resources to help people make and share hero-themed essays, images, Web pages, audio clips and films with a global audience. The Teacher’s Room provides tools for educators to utilize in bringing the study of heroes into the classroom. The project both complements existing curricula and provides independent instruction to encourage students around the world to creatively express their visions of heroes. Through guided activities, students develop strong video, media production and digital story telling skills. MY HERO curricula advance communication skills and critical thinking. The Educators Guide (PDF) and the Lesson Plans External link opens in new window or tab section are good places to start. The Audio Archive External link opens in new window or tab would make some good listening activites for Advanced ESL too.

Tech Tips and Information

Tips for Using MS Word 2013

Did you know that in MS Word 2013 you can double-click anywhere on the page and just start typing? (Word automatically inserts a "tab" to get your text to where you placed your cursor.)

To easily place a Header (or Footer) on your document, just double-click at the top of the document and you will enter "Header & Footer" design mode. Type your header or footer and then close the design mode as usual.

Ever want to "copy" a document without having to go into you the Windows Explorer? Well if you do and you've recently worked on the document, you can now go to File > Open and right-click on the document you want to copy. From the menu that opens, just select Open a copy.

Interesting Quote

Information and Technology
"The hardest thing about life is that every now and then you have to do things so you have something to tweet about."
Read more at: AZ Quotes External link opens in new window or tab

~ Andy Borowitz