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Leading adult education through support for and the effective application of technology.

Adult Basic Education

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10 Tips for Creating Community and Retaining Students When Any Part of Your Remotely-Delivered Instruction Goes Online Are our adult students ready to study online? With an optimistic viewpoint, we can say that they are on the brink of universal readiness!
21Things4Students - Online Resource to Teach Digital Literacy and Citizenship 21Things4Students is an online resource to help students improve their technology proficiency as they prepare for success in the real world." You will love this resource, not only for your students and your class, but also for yourself. This website has everything you want or need to teach your students about digital literacy and citizenship. It not only teaches students, but it also has a section dedicated to teachers who may feel they lack some of the skills themselves (more on that later). An added plus: there are no student logins, so students won't need accounts or passwords to use the site.
Accelerate Learning with EdReady EdReady is a personalized math and English readiness learning system that evaluates the skills of each student in the context of their goal and then provides a learning pathway to mastery.
Adding Licensing and Attributions to Your Work for OER
Applied Digital Skills with Applied Digital Skills is a free curriculum designed to help students learn digital skills while using them in practical life applications like budgeting, planning an event, or writing.
Blended Learning in Adult Education What will our "new normal" look like post pandemic? What lessons have we learned that we can utilize?
Build Students’ Digital and Information Literacy with Checkology Build Students’ Digital and Information Literacy with Checkology
Canvas and Canvas Commons in Adult Education If you decide to use Canvas for your class, it is not an easy as 1-2-3 thing. You need to invest time to create your site, and then find appropriate resources to use from Canvas Commons or upload your own content.
Canvas Commons: Easy as 1, 2, 3 Canvas is a web-based learning management system (or LMS for short) that is used in many schools, including community colleges and higher education institutions.  Like other LMS, Canvas allows instructors to manage digital learning with a platform for teachers to create and add content, including lessons and assessments.
Career Exploration in Adult Education Career exploration has been widely recognized and endorsed as a necessary step in an individual's career development. It is a fundamental lever to help adults successfully navigate an evolving labor market and demand for changing skills. The value of exploration is instrumental for each student to emerge from experience with a clear and more accurate assessment of him or herself.
Choice Boards: Made for Adult Education K-12 has embraced Choice Boards in their classrooms for over ten years, but if you missed the opportunity, here it is for Adult Education. It is as if Choice Boards were designed with adult learners in mind.
CK-12: Online Digital Textbooks With Built-In Assessments and Much More Today with the help of technology, we can individualize assignments and offer them in more than one modality. Now there are customizable digital textbooks with interactive content including adaptive practice, simulations, interactives, and study guides. It is CK-12 and it is free, Open Educational Resources (OERs).
Create Flashcards and Games Easily with Flippity Flippity is a powerful tool that takes the information you enter on a Google Sheet template and then quickly and easily creates numerous online games to help students.
Creating Virtual Reality Units and Interactive Images Using Thinglink You may have seen photos of users with high-tech virtual reality goggles tuned out to the world and wonder what type of experiences can be had. By definition, users are immersed in a 3D world and virtual reality places the user inside the experience as opposed to just viewing it. With Thinglink, you can easily recreate these experiences for students who will view them using simple cardboard VR devices.
Curating Lessons and Resources Using Wakelet Wakelet is a free service that allows educators and librarians to curate content from across the web, gather research, create digital portfolios, tell digital stories, distribute newsletters, and much, much more.
Developing Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers. Reading Skills for Healthcare Workers is a free online literacy curriculum based on CNA and general healthcare content. There are over 200 reading selections between grade levels 4.5 and 8.5, and they are focused on developing academic and content vocabulary.
Do You Speak Emoji? Are emoji just a passing fad? Or are they a scientifically-researched new vehicular language for the digital age?
EDpuzzle - A Fast and Easy Video Quiz Creator EDpuzzle is a great resource for utilizing video with students at any level. EDpuzzle allows you to take any video and add interactive elements. It is free and easy to use.
Electronic Portfolios for Documenting Student Progress and Publication of Class Work An electronic portfolio is an online showcase of a student’s work, which can include writing, images, artwork, links, and multimedia.
Enlighten, Entertain, and Enliven Your Class with Film Enlighten, Entertain, and Enliven Your Class with Film
Finding and Evaluating Online Information: Information Fluency Today, more than ever before, our students must know how to find information online, evaluate its validity, and cite sources correctly. One excellent site to help us with these tasks is Information Fluency (previously 21st Century Information Fluency)
Flipgrid: Promoting Critical Thinking Skills and Engaging Students Flipgrid: Promoting Critical Thinking Skills and Engaging Students Flipgrid is an easy to use video discussion platform, which has numerous applications in the adult education classroom.
Formative Assessments Formative Assessments
Free Professional Development for Tech Enthusiasts! OTAN's Digital Leadership Academy (DLAC) is now accepting applications until August 19, 2022 for its fourth cohort (2022-2024 school years).
Google Extensions for Teachers As wonderful as Google is, it can't always do everything. Lucky for us there are third parties who create add–ons and extensions to fill those gaps.
H5P Interactive Module Comes to Moodle 3.8 OTAN recently upgraded their Moodle Learning Management System to Moodle 3.8 and with the upgrade, they added a H5P Activity Module and numerous games. You may be wondering, what is H5P? It is an abbreviation for HTML5 Package. H5P makes it easy for everyone to create, share and reuse interactive HTML5 content.
HyFlex Model of Instruction: A Year of Reflection The HyFlex Model of Instruction integrates in-class instruction with online instruction synchronously and in addition may add an asynchronous option on a learning management system (LMS). For the past year, agencies that have introduced the HyFlex Model to their staff and students have taken careful notes, made changes, and documented successes.
Improve Student Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Background Knowledge with ReadWorks Readworks is a free, non-profit site focused on improving teacher effectiveness and student achievement in reading comprehension by providing free standards-aligned content, curriculum, and tools based on the highest quality cognitive scientific research on how to learn to read.
Incorporate Bitmoji into Your Lessons Bitmojis create a fun, interactive theme to lessons, email, and banners Founded by Canadian company Bitstrips, Bitmojis were originally created in 2007 to help users make comic strips with personal avatars. In 2014, Bitmoji stickers were created for use in messaging apps.
Instant Grammar Checker! The Grammarly ( application is 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.
Interactive Images and Virtual Reality Using Thinglink You may have seen photos of users with high-tech virtual reality goggles tuned out to the world and wonder what type of experiences can be had. By definition, users are immersed in a 3D world and virtual reality places the user inside the experience as opposed to just viewing it. With Thinglink, you can easily recreate these experiences for students who will view them using a simple cardboard VR device.
Introduction to the Triple E Framework The Triple E is a framework that measures how well a tool or activity engages, enhances, and extends learning.
Job Success ePortfolio and Job Preparation Skills In our CTE programs and with our adult students generally, we prepare students with the necessary skills to get a job. In addition to the job skill set, we also need to consider the process for getting the job itself.
Keep Students' Attention: Delivering Interactive Lectures with Pear Deck Getting started with Pear Deck to create interactive lectures Web Based Class Activity...
Let's Get Jammin'! If effective remote teaching has taught us anything, the importance of keeping students engaged while providing interactive, collaborative, task-based activities that work both synchronously and asynchronously is key. Enter Google Jamboard.
Liquid Syllabus A Liquid Syllabus is an accessible, mobile-responsive, equity-minded website that includes a friendly introduction video and course information written in welcoming, student-centered language.
Meeting Students Online: Jitsi Meet and Online Whiteboards Try a new online meeting platform called Jitsi Meet.
New! Improved! Teaching with Technology (TwT) Database Updated for Usefulness and with a Focus on High-Quality Instruction Now, after more than 1,300 entries, TwT is being transformed into a more user-friendly resource.
Newspapers in Our Classrooms Newspapers in Our Classrooms
Promote Critical Thinking Skills with NewseumED NewseumED is a free website belonging to Newseum, a museum in Washington, DC dedicated to news and history. The focus is on First Amendment rights and helping students develop critical thinking skills through thousands of lesson plans, videos, classes, digital artifacts, historical events and critical debates. NewseumED is a great way to build the critical thinking skills needed for our High School Equivalency students.
Recent Developments in Online Citizenship Preparation Citizenship applicants and their teachers breathed a collective sigh of relief on February 22, 2021, when USCIS announced that they were withdrawing the 2020 Civics questions and restoring the 2008 Civics questions.
Resources for Election 2020 The 2020 Election, both presidential and legislative, is being called one of the most important in recent history. Whether or not our adult students follow the news or are politically aware, we should encourage those eligible to exercise their right to vote because the outcomes will affect everyone.
Simple Digital Storytelling with Adobe Spark Video Adobe Spark Video is a free digital storytelling application for desktop computers and with apps for Apple products that lets users make videos that include photos, text, music, voice-over narration, and transitions using a wide variety of templates and themes. Students can easily and quickly make short videos for several different class assignments, including “About Me” introductions, presentations, personal narratives, explainer and how-to videos, multi-media portfolios, and more.
Sites for Creating Interactive and Printable Vocabulary Exercises There are many Web sites that allow you to create both interactive and printable word puzzles which can help with language development. Give some of these a try. You may find one you cannot live without.
Sites for Developing Students’ Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Skills There is even a lot of news about fake news. Some countries have made legal crackdowns on fake news, but in the United States, with first amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press, the same governmental regulations have not been initiated.
Start Your Year with Google Drive, Docs, Calendar, and Keep We will be looking at Google tools to assist us in teaching online organization, communication, time management and note-taking.
TED-Ed for Interactive Video Lessons A TED-Ed lesson combines a TED-Ed original video with questions, resources and extra reading, and a discussion forum.
Trello in Education Trello is a visual collaboration tool that can be used for lesson planning, class organization, student research, organizing writing assignments, project based learning and more. It is free.
Triple E Framework: Engagement OTAN has adopted the Triple E Framework developed in 2011 by Professor Liz Kolb, Clinical Psychologist at the University of Michigan School of Education, as a model for technology integration.
Triple E Framework: Enhancement OTAN has adopted the Triple E Framework developed in 2011 by Professor Liz Kolb, Clinical Psychologist at the University of Michigan School of Education, as a model for technology integration.
Triple E Framework: Extension The third component of the Triple E is Extension, which means connecting the learner to the real world.
United States Presidents Use these sites in your studies of Presidents.
Using Symbaloo in the Classroom What is Symbaloo? Originally I would have answered it is a bookmarking app— a place to gather all your web addresses and videos to make navigating online easier for your students
Video Messaging with Loom Loom is a new free Chrome Extension that allows you to quickly record a video message and/or screencast and then share it immediately with students and colleagues.
Web Activities for February Holidays This short month is chock-full of holidays, occasions for both romantic and serious lesson themes and accompanying Web activities.
Web Sites for Teaching and Learning about Thanksgiving There are abundant myths about the history of Thanksgiving. You can help students learn about this original American holiday and untangle facts from fiction by planning lessons with or simply including online activities using the sites in this month's Web Based Activity.
What's Happening in U.S. Citizenship Preparation? No new updates to the USCIS N-400 Application for Naturalization. No new updates to the USCIS 100 Questions. So, what's there to talk about in online U.S. Citizenship Prep? PLENTY!
With Games, Students Examine their Understanding of and Apply New Vocabulary March's Web Based Activity
WizerMe for Wizer Online Worksheets Imagine a free website where you can create beautiful augmented worksheets for your students in minutes using an intuitive, easy-to-use dashboard. Now imagine you get access to thousands of worksheets created by instructors across all levels and subject matter. Too good to be true? Nope. WizerMe is an online worksheet creator.
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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN200091-A2 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.