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Administrators' Digest

February 2018 (Vol. 9, No.2)

Symposium registration is now open! 

The Technology and Distance Learning Symposium is for all California adult education teachers, coordinator and administrators at WIOA-funded agencies.

This yearly event shows how to enhance technology integration in the classroom and how to start or grow your blended/distance learning programs through dynamic presentations and hands-on technology skill development.

Topics include:

  • Open Educational Resources
  • Digital Badges and Micro-credentialing
  • Mobile Devices, iPads, Chromebooks, and More
  • Online and Blended Instruction Delivery Models
  • Presentation Tools in the Classroom
  • Web-based Activities
  • Online Resources for Adult Education

Open Educational Resources Set to Become an Essential Teaching Tool in 2018

Open educational resources (OER) have long been touted as “the next big thing” in higher education, but the drawn-out hype has led many educators and administrators to wonder if it would ever live up to its expectations. Those days are over.

Until recently, the use of OER—digital educational materials that are both more easily adaptable by instructors and more affordable than traditional textbooks—was being led by early-adopter professors driven by a desire to improve teaching and an interest in new technology. But it never seemed to gain broader adoption beyond that group of pioneers. To bring OER to more students and instructors, whole institutions needed to jump on board and plan for the widespread implementation.

That happened in 2017. This year, the list of colleges with “open learning initiatives” of various kinds has boomed, and much of that has been part of an essential drive to modernize their classrooms and push the cost of education down. For example, both the City and State University of New York systems are investing millions in OER

Now that OER has the backing of college administrations and state legislatures, it’s about to face a new spate of challenges in 2018. As its users move beyond the early adopters and into the mainstream, OER will be competing much more directly with traditional textbook publishing.

Source: EdSurge Website

California Could Introduce an Online-Only State Community College

California has 114 community colleges across the state, but Gov. Jerry Brown wants one more, and he wants it completely online. Inside Higher Ed reports that the purpose of the college would be to reach unemployed and underemployed adults who California Community College officials say the system isn’t reaching at its brick-and-mortar institutions.

“Part of this is the governor’s desire to reach more students in California through a technology platform,” Eloy Ortiz Oakley, chancellor of the California Community College system, told IHE. “The 114 campuses are designed in a traditional manner, so we’re reaching a traditional population that is students coming out of high schools.”

California already offers an online program, through which students can take online courses that might be full on their campus.

Source: EdSurge https://www.edsurge.com/news/2017-06-29-california-could-introduce-an-online-only-state-community-college 

Librarians Leading the Way During Times of Rapid Social Change

2017 was a lively year for libraries.

National issues and trends impacted our nation’s libraries, and librarians rose to the challenge, promoting media literacy, protecting the freedom to read, advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion and responding to the needs of their patrons.

At the beginning of the year, librarians were quite literally on the front lines, many of them participating in the Women’s March on Washington in Atlanta in January.

Throughout the year, they continued to advocate, with more than 500 librarians participating in National Legislative Day on May 1-2 in Washington, D.C. It was a time when the proposed federal budget threatened to wipe out the Institute of Museum and Library Services, an important source of funding for library programs.

Not only were libraries on the front lines addressing social concerns, but they were also on the cutting edge of exciting technological trends that will help our country’s youth gain the skills to help them survive in the 21st Century.

In October, the ALA announced more than $500,000 in grants for 28 libraries in 21 states plus the District of Columbia to design and implement coding programs for young people. The grants are part of ALA’s ongoing Libraries Ready to Code initiative sponsored by Google to promote computer science (CS) and computational thinking among youth.

“The Libraries Ready to Code grants are a landmark investment in America’s young people and in our future,” said ALA President Jim Neal. “As centers of innovation in every corner of the country, libraries are the place for youth – especially those underrepresented in tech jobs – to get the CS skills they need to succeed in the information age.

These new resources will help cultivate problem-solving skills, in addition to coding, that are at the heart of libraries’ mission to foster critical thinking.”

Source: ilovelibraries 

Public Comment Period –Modifications to California’s State Plan

The California Workforce Development Board (State Board) is seeking public comments on modifications to California’s Unified Strategic Workforce Development Plan (State Plan). As required under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), after the first two-year period of the State Plan’s implementation, the State Board must modify the plan to reflect changes in labor market and economic conditions, and any other factors affecting the implementation of the plan.

The four-year State Plan represents agreement among the core partners identified in the WIOA and serves as the framework for the development of public policy, fiscal investment, and operation of all state labor exchange, workforce education, and training programs. There are several modifications to the State Plan. For more details, please access the PDF.

If you have any questions, please contact Bethany Renfree at the State Board by e-mail at Bethany.Renfree@CWDB.ca.govor by phone at 916-657-1446.

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN180031 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.