February 1, 2009
Digest No. 10


March 9-13 is Adult Education Week

Agencies use Adult Education week to promote programs and increase public awareness of adult education in general. For the past two years the event has focused on family literacy, but programs can choose their own focus. Download publicity suggestions, templates for press releases and public service announcements at the CSCAE Web site.

Technology and Distance Learning Symposium Schedule Now Online

The Technology and Distance Learning Symposium is only a few weeks away and registration is filling up fast! The workshop and keynote schedule is now posted on the Symposium site. Please share the Symposium flyer with your staff and colleagues, and register now to help us with planning. Read more about the Symposium on OTAN.

ESL Learner Portal Getting Many Visitors

USA Learns, a learner Web site for learning basic English skills launched last November, is being widely used around the world. Learners and teacher from over 160 countries have visited the site, with an average of 6,500 visits per day. Over 1200 adult schools around the country have created accounts, and 20 agencies in California have added USA Learns to their Innovation Programs applications.

ABE Institute

In collaboration with the California Department of Education, CASAS, and OTAN, CALPRO is hosting a one-day institute in two locations for ABE instructors.  The Institute will be held on April 24, 2009, in Los Angeles, and repeated on May 4th in Sacramento. Participants will engage in professional development workshops to examine ways to better understand learner needs and to provide relevant instruction, have the opportunity to work with peers to plan next steps, and be invited to a follow-up session to take place in June in San Diego. Save the date and check the Event Calendar of the CALPRO Web site for additional information.

CASAS Life Skills Reading: Final Phase-Out Deadline

Effective June 30, 2009 CASAS will no longer provide or support the Life Skills Form 30 reading series. These forms will become invalid on July 1, 2009 and may not be used for classroom instructional practice or other purposes after this date. Agencies should destroy (shred) all forms from this series and notify Bob Kringle at CASAS regarding the number of booklets destroyed. Agencies that have not already switched to the new Life and Work Form 80 reading series should plan to transition as soon as possible.


Report on Short Term Training Programs Provided by Community Colleges

The Centers of Excellence of the California Community Colleges have prepared environmental scans pertaining to the future of careers in Occupational and Physical Therapy, the Green Economy, and Heating, Ventilation and Air conditioning, which are available online.

Predicted State Shortage of Educated Workers

Last month, The Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) published a report warning that California's need for college-educated workers is outpacing the state's ability to produce them, and the gap is expected to widen in the future The full 20-page report, a smaller 2-page summary, and press releases in English and Spanish are available on the PPIC Website.

Students Choosing Shorter Courses

Short, noncredit certification courses are becoming more popular among working adults and recent high school graduates, says an article in the New York Times.

CASAS eTests™ One-Stop Pilot Aims to Coordinate Assessment Efforts between Agencies

Underway since September, 2008, this program oversees implementation of CASAS eTests™ at several paired adult schools and One Stop agencies across California. Initiated by CDE Consultant Neil Kelly, the goal of the pilot is to streamline assessment and reporting processes between programs that serve WIA Title I and WIA Title II populations. To achieve this, agencies pairs are coordinating data sharing, facilitating the referral and tracking of client, and will eventually document outcomes. Most sites have CASAS eTests software installed and are moving into the data collection and sharing phase. The pilot is expected to run through June, 1010.

Professional Development

GED Teacher Academy

CCAE is offering the GED Teacher Academy II at various locations around the state in February, March and April. Register now for these Saturday workshops.

New Workshop on Information Literacy

Information Literacy has become a part of basic literacy, and OTAN now offers a 3 hour workshop on how to help your students locate, evaluate and organize online information. How do you know if a Web site is legitimate or a hoax? This is becoming a more critical issue as we get more of our information online. Contact Linda Swanson, lswanson@otan.us or 1-800-894-3113, to schedule this or any other OTAN workshop.

Web-based Activity – Create a Calendar

Are you teaching your students time management skills? Or do you need to find more hours in the day for yourself? OTAN's latest Web-based activity for the classroom provides links to many free tools for creating a variety of calendars. Don't miss it!

Online Workshops from OTAN for February

Learn more about effective searching and many of the Google features most people aren't aware of by registering for Google It on Feb. 5! Get your students going with Digital Storytelling on Feb. 6, or learn some easy classroom activities you can do using Excel on Feb. 6, or learn to create personal budget activities with Excel on Feb. 20.

Register for Spring 2009 Online Courses

Adult educators can now register for online professional development courses related to teaching adults with learning disabilities,  organizing and monitoring instruction, and effective lesson planning. Enrollment is limited, so register early!   For registration and additional details, visit CALPRO's Online Courses Web page.

29th Annual CASAS National Summer Institute

Gain essential knowledge and skills in accountability, assessment, and program development at this year's CASAS National Summer Institute in June. Join program administrators, instructional staff, and other educators to address key issues in developing and implementing program accountability, assessment, and evaluation systems linked to content and performance standards. Attendance is vital for program administrators and instructional staff and includes:

  • Your choice of either Two or Three days of professional development and training
  • Expanded poster session recognizing “Best Practices”
  • Three networking functions with meals included in full registration fee

New this year are pre-conference sessions on Monday, June 22. Registration is now open!

Online Registration for California Spring 2009 Training Now Available

CASAS trainings and meetings for California Workforce Investment Act Title II, Sections 225/231, and EL Civics funded agencies, and California Adult Schools are now posted.  Web-based workshops with special topics in assessment, accountability, data collection, and data analysis continue through June 2009. Many are available in quick, short sessions that focus on one specific subject for 20, 30, or 45 minute intervals.  Several new topics are offered. Check them out and register online now!

Did you know…

Working Poor Families Project

The Working Poor Families Project is a national initiative focused on state workforce development policies. Their Web site offers an interactive map with workforce and income data for every state. For example, it shows that 18.6% of adult in California have no High School Diploma or GED, compared to 14% nationwide.

Online How-To Videos

MonkeySee is a Web site that hosts videos on how to do anything from childproof your kitchen to how to speak in public. These short, effective videos can be effective in-class discussion starters or writing prompts.

Ease Student Testing Anxiety with Sample Test Items

Now you can preview CASAS assessments and give students a chance to improve test-taking skills. CASAS Sample Test Items are available for the Life and Work Reading Series Levels A - C, Life and Work Listening Series Levels A - C, and the Life Skills Listening Series Levels A - C..

"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." .
— John Dewey, American Philosopher and Educator

These items are for information only. CASAS, OTAN and CALPRO items are supported by CDE.