Alisa Takeuchi: Hi, everyone. Thank you so much for coming to this webinar. It's on digital resources for beginning students and their teachers. My name is Alisa Takeuchi. I am an ESL instructor at Garden Grove Adult Education. I'm also a subject matter expert, also known as a SME, for OTAN. I've been with OTAN for about three years now. And as of three weeks ago, I am a remote instructor in Sacramento.
So here's our agenda for today. We'll do a little bit of an introduction. And then we'll talk about some teaching strategies. We'll go over some resources for students. And then we'll take a closer look at some of those resources. And then hopefully, we'll leave time for questions and answers at the end.
So in the classroom for beginning level teachers, this is not new news. When we're in the classroom, if we were teaching technology at all, we had what was called managed devices. That means like for me I, had a Chromebook cart, and all my students had Chromebooks. And we all opened them at the same time. And we were all in the same place at the same time. I could troubleshoot for them instantly. I'd walk around the classroom. I'd see if they were where we're supposed to be at. If anybody could log in or it wasn't at the webpage, I could help them instantly. We had, we would have direct instruction. And if anybody's been to my presentations before, you know that I pre-teach everything at least three or four times before the students even open their Chromebooks. So when they do actually open the Chromebooks, they know what to expect.
It's not going to be flawless. There are going to be some complications. But at least the students understand somewhat where they need to be, an how to get there. And also, in the classroom, we have the classroom and time management. What that means is that I dictate how long or when we are using technology in the classroom. So for example, I would say, oh, we are going to be on the Chromebooks from 10:30 to 11. Or let's do a couple books for 25 minutes today. So there is a managed amount of time, and when they would be using them.
Always, especially for our level, the language is a barrier. I have to be very specific in the things that I say to them in very basic vocabulary, and always make sure that you speak the instruction and have them written down.
When we talk about computer literacy, we all know that it's different for teachers and for students. You might have a beginning level English student, but high computer literacy skills. Or the opposite. You might have an advanced English student with low literacy skills. And the same goes with teachers. Some teachers are very tech savvy. And other teachers are, you know, it's a challenge for them. So those are all things to consider, even while we're in the classroom.
Now, when we're talking about remotely, things have changed. Now, all of a sudden, we have multiple devices. And I mean lots of different devices. And so, I can only teach what I am familiar with. Or I can only troubleshoot what I'm familiar with. So maybe a student is on a desktop. Maybe the student's on a PC versus a Mac. Or they're on a iPad or a Kindle, or their phone. And maybe they're on an Android, versus an iPhone. I mean there's so many variables, all at the same time. And so that makes it very limited troubleshooting. I really can only help students with devices that I'm familiar with.
Direct instruction? I put a question mark after this. Because it's very limited. I can teach them. I can pre teach still, sort of. And I'm hoping that they're understanding. I can't, I can't look in their faces. I can't, I can't do comprehension questions. I can't do all those things, where I get instant feedback to know if I can move on or not. So that's very difficult as well.
And then the time-- oh my gosh. That first week that we were off, I was probably on my computer about 16 hours every day, every single day. Because I was so desperate to get my students connected with me, that any time they replied or responded to me via text or email, I responded right back. And that's not your classroom. That's not 8:30 to 11. At 11 o'clock, Bye, Alisa! See you tomorrow! And I'm like, bye, students! This is like 2 o'clock in the afternoon, they're responding to me. 5 o'clock in the afternoon. 7:30. 10 o'clock at night. So it was really maddening for me, that very first week. And I had to really step back.
So that's what I mean by unlimited time. They're responding. And they're doing their homework, or they're doing their assignments at any given time during the day. Because it depends on their situation at home, whether they have access to their devices, or their Wi-Fi. Or, some of them are still, many of my students are still working on fluency. So of course, the language is still a problem. And then their access to Wi-Fi.
The one good thing, though, that I have asterisks at the bottom, is that I am desperately, I am desperately relying that the family can help them now. They're at home. They're with their children. They're with other people that speak English well, or maybe are more computer literate than them. I'm desperate that they're going to help them. I can only do so much. And I'm just relaying that the children are helping-- most likely, it's going to be like their children or their grandchildren, or nieces and nephews, that are going to stay here, look-- let me show how to do it. Or this is what she's saying, blah blah blah. So that's been really helpful as well.
So these are just the two slides, back to back, the last two slides. And in a matter of days, for me, I was at school. I don't-- I teach Monday through Thursday. I don't teach on Fridays. But I happened to be at school on that Friday. And we got an email over the weekend, saying that school was closed on Monday. So I didn't even get to say goodbye to my students. I mean, I didn't get to say like we're not coming back. I had to reach out to them as well as I could. And my mind was scrambling now. How am I going to get hold of my students?
And I'm sure that was the same for you.
Melinda Holt: Alisa, there's no question that came up in the chat. I'm just going to remind everybody please, submit your questions to the presenter on the Q&A. But I am going to read this one, because it's important.
Alisa Takeuchi: Sure.
Melinda Holt: What are the options for teachers with no internet access? What can they do?
Alisa Takeuchi: For the teachers themselves that don't have internet? OK. So--
Melinda Holt: Reading it, yeah.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, OK. So at the beginning of this whole thing, what I had heard, but I don't know for a fact, is that many internet service providers were providing internet services to teachers and students, either at a very low cost or free for x amount of time. So I believe like Comcast was one of them. That was what I heard. Spectrum, I'm not too sure about others. But you might want to check, if you don't have any internet at all right now, or you don't have a cable, or something like that. Check with some, just call around with some service providers. And ask them if they-- say, I'm a teacher. I need internet access. And see what they can offer you.
I've heard that people are just being really generous right now, especially to teachers. Because they understand. And you know, of course, that is a business standpoint, also, you know, they're hoping that once the this is all over, that you'll remain with them, blah blah blah but. That's the best I can do. Otherwise, I don't really know, I mean, unless other people have ideas also. Please include it.
Melinda Holt: Quite a few ideas going into chat now, Alisa.
Alisa Takeuchi: Great.
Melinda Holt: Thank you.
Alisa Takeuchi: Thanks so much. That was a good question. Very good question, because that is difficult.
All right. Too much is too much. Please, I can't emphasize this enough. In the past three weeks, I've probably get to more webinars than I have been in 10 years. There is just, in a good way. There have been so many people stepping up-- OTAN, CATESOL, you know, other people that are coming up with these like on the spot webinars for us, these sessions to come to you, just like this one, to help us. Because desperate. We're asking for anything.
But please, please, please pick and choose. You can choose what you want. I mean, it's-- you can't do it all. And you can't-- just for the benefit of your students, too. It's too much for them. They're just trying to get online, one. And then they're just trying to connect with you, two. Yeah, and everything else is bonus.
So I mean, this is like 1/10 of some of the things that are available out there, that I've just, that have been produced recently with webinars and such. It goes on and on and on. But with that said, let me show even more.
Choose tools that enhance your life. If you've been to any of my presentations, I tell you this all the time. All these resources, any resource, it needs to enhance your life, not suffocate it. You need to make sure that you understand it. So when it says it's easy, that's relative. What's easy for me may not be easy for you. You have to pick and choose what is going to be easy, quote unquote, for you and your students.
Make sure that it's fun. And I'm not talking about like it's always fun all the time, like gamifications, which are fun. But you can't do gamification like Kahoot and Quizzes, and things like that, all the time. It gets boring after a while. But it gets the job done. Make sure that you know whatever it is that you're choosing gets the job done. Don't do it just to do it. Because students will show lack of interest, and they'll stop. It's like kind of in the class. If they're not interested in the class, they'll stop coming.
All right. Here's a break time for us. So, please, everybody, take a deep breath two times. Me too. There's just too much stuff. The last three weeks have been a swirl, a whirlwind of things. Melinda, is there anything pressing?
Melinda Holt: Question, again in the chat. Would have been good in the Q&A. What platform are you guys using to conduct your classes? We are being asked to use Canvas, which is a bit complicated. I can't imagine my students using it to connect with me. So do you have a platform at Garden Grove?
Alisa Takeuchi: We have several, OK? So in Garden Grove, we've been very fortunate that our director has been very open with us, in that she is allowing us individually to decide what is best for our class. There are other agencies where the director or the principal has been very managed, in the fact that they tell the teachers, you must use this. And that there's no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Good or bad? It depends. Like the one for Canvas, if you're not familiar with Canvas, then that's extra difficult. Because now you are going to have to learn how. That's the whole thing with this whole thing, too, is that teachers need to learn how to use the resources before they can show their students. That's a doubly difficult or challenging for us as beginning ESL teachers. Because we're not only learning that for ourselves. But now, how do we communicate that to our students?
So with Canvas or School Achieve, Google Classroom, Moodle, they are managed. But you know they're learning management systems. And so they're very organized. But again, if you're not familiar with it, it's a lot of work. Because you have to familiarize yourself with it. And then you have to find a way to communicate that.
Now, with that said, thank goodness, throughout this whole thing, even before, there are tons of resources out there on how to learn Canvas, how to learn Moodle, how to learn Google Classroom. OTAN has done a tremendous job of getting all of those tech talks and videos out there. And it's all on the OTAN web page. Please use it. Use those tutorials to help you help your students.
That was a good question. Anything else?
Melinda Holt: There's a few comments, just people chiming in on the type of LMS's that they use. Google Classroom has come up quite a few times. Some people love Canvas. So, and someone had made a good point. Use something that your students are already familiar with if you can.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah.
Melinda Holt: Don't put them in a new pool if they're already used to the pool that you've been using in class, I guess.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, I mean, if you can help it. I mean, you know, like I said, some agencies have, are under directorship that they must use a certain platform. And hopefully, it's one that you've been using already at your school. But it's not always the case. Great. Thank you so much. Those are good.
OK, so where do begin? Let me take you on my journey about what happened. So I told you that I was, I just happenend to be at school on Friday. I don't' work on Fridays. But I just happened to be at school. And I found out that our school wouldn't be open on Monday. And I didn't know what to do.
So fortunately for me, I had already started using Google Voice. Now if you don't know what Google Voice is, it's a phone-- it's a Google phone number that runs through email. And for me, I use it with my students, because they needed to tell me whether they were, if they were going to be absent, or if they had to leave early or come late or something.
And it's texting for them. It goes to their phone, their cell phone. They text it to me. But it goes to my Gmail account. So they don't have my personal cell phone number. But they are typing-- they're texting as if they are. And for me, that worked out really, really well. Because I used to give my cell phone number. And I didn't have a problem with that. That was not a big deal for me. But sometimes, I got texts at 5:00 in the morning. Sometimes, I got texts at 11:00 PM. And that was a little bit too much.
So I decided to get the Google Voice number. And for me, I type faster than I text. So to get their texts and such on email was a lot better. Because then I just respond to an email. And I'm going to show you all this later, if you're not familiar with it.
Melinda Holt: Alisa, we have a question. Are there any privacy issues we should consider before using texts, phones, Zoom?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yes. And I don't know like, legality. I don't know what tech-- like, yes. There's always going to be privacy issues. And it might come to the point where you may just have to connect with your student, maybe, via text, and just say, is it OK if I text you? Or is it OK if I use your phone number? And maybe just asking the permission.
And again, that's a little bit difficult because of our, the level of our students, the English level. But hopefully, they can use either Google Translate or have some day at their home explain what it is that you're asking them. And if anybody is not comfortable using text, or they don't want their phone number or such, you're going to have to maybe talk to your administrator about that. Because otherwise, everything's so up in the air. It's like, I'm trying to think of like how we would handle it at my school. But I think, honestly, I really just don't know. I mean, is it a matter of, they want continue as a student in the fall? Well, that's not really fair. But that might be the way. Or they'll-- press upon registration, things like that.
Everything's so up in the air. But I think, for the most part, everybody's trying to give each other a little slack. We want the best for our students. And for right now, for me, communicating with me via text or email is the best thing I can think of. But if they're just not comfortable with it, you can't push it. So I hope that helped a little bit.
As far as security, yeah, I'm not too sure. I haven't had an issue yet. So knock on wood.
Google Voice is a free app. I don't use my personal cell phone number. My email instead of text. They can actually call me. They can call that phone number. It's an actual phone number. It's a 714-- for me, it's a 714 number. And they can actually call it and leave me a voicemail. And the voicemail will get transcribed. Now, if I have time, I'm going to show you what one of those like. Because of course, with our students, and their accents, and their low level English, you know, I'm transcribing is not 100%. But it's very cute. And you know, because we know our students, so-- we all speak ESL. So we can kind of cipher what they're saying.
In general, not even just with your students, it is free. You can make phone calls and texts for free. So this is another alternative, kind of like Whatsapp or you know things like that, where you can make phone calls for free. And then students can send pictures through their texting, as if they're texting me a picture. But it's going to go to my Gmail, and not my phone, which is a good thing for me. Because I don't want a lot of that memory in my phone, stored.
OK, so that's what I did. I, so-- I-- our school gave me my roster. And on the roster, it had all the phone numbers of my students. And so what I did was, I Google Voice'd them. And I sent them a quote unquote text, saying please email me at Alisateacherj2@gmail.com.
So I created a whole new Gmail just for this situation, where I wanted students to contact me via email at this particular address. And I said if you don't have Gmail, try to create one. That's all I can say. Because I can't-- I was literally going to, on Monday, when we were going to come back to school, we were going to start to learn how to create a Gmail. I had a stack of papers on my desk. And because that was now not available, I had to just, I just had to give it up. I had to give up the control of trying to do this with them, and just say please have somebody help you. And it worked.
The students who had Gmail already, e-mailed. Or email, not even just Gmail. I preferred Gmail. But if they even just had an email, I was fine-- Yahoo, or Hotmail, or whatever it was. They started e-mailing me at that new address. And I'll tell you why that's important.
Some of them were sending me in the text their email address. And I said please-- I wrote them right back. And I said, please email me at that address. Because I didn't want to go through and have to type an email every single time. So if they sent me an email, that means I had their email address already in my contacts list. And we'll talk about that, too.
So here's what a response was. So I had-- I gave them a test, which is like, oh my god, Alisa! How could you do that? But anyhow, so I gave them a test on YouTube. And one of the-- he wrote back. And he said I did the test. And then this is his picture of the test. So he was able to take a photo of his paper and then text it to me. And I got it in my email. So that was pretty interesting. I mean, it was kind of an experiment. I didn't know how it was going to work. But it worked out pretty well. So I was I was pretty happy with that.
All right, email. So, I literally-- so this is going to be very quick. Before Gmail, what email did you use? I'm just curious.
Melinda Holt: This should go in chat. Yahoo. Yahoo. IGC.org. Yahoo. School dot email. Yahoo, Yahoo, Yahoo. Comments, oh my god! It's going so fast! AT&T. AOL. I did not see AOL, did I? Earthlink. Before Gmail? Question mark.
Alisa Takeuchi: That's exactly.
Melinda Holt: Rocketmail.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah.
Melinda Holt: Hotmail. I still use it. Yahoo still. Hotmail. AOL. District email. Hotmail. Hotmail.
Alisa Takeuchi: OK.
Melinda Holt: Earthlink.
- OK. I literally, I just wanted to see what some of the answers were, just because thought it was so funny. I've asked those at another agency one time. And somebody said Juno. And I went oh my gosh. I haven't heard that was it a long time. And some of you are probably just laughing, going oh yeah. I had a Juno account!
All right. So the reason why I, the reason why I like Gmail so much is because it's very user friendly. And it's, and of course, it's free. I have multiple-- I mean, Melindam can attest to this also. I have multiple Gmail accounts for various things. And it's not difficult to connect to each of my journals at Gmails at the same time. So that's kind of why I like it.
Now for this purpose, for what we're going through right now, it has been absolutely so helpful. And I'm sorry I can't speak on Hotmail. And I can't speak on other email services, because I don't know if they do this. But I would assume there's something pretty close to it. In Gmail, I have created a contact list. I made a group. So that's why it was important for my students to send me an email first, so that I had a list of all of their email addresses in one place, and that I can just click, click, click, click, click, click, click, create a group. And now, when I want to send an email, I send one email to everybody at the same time. And that has been super helpful.
I mean, it's kind of-- it's the same theory as Remind and Whatsapp and things, where you just have a group of people, and you just do one thing at one time and send it to everybody. It really, really saves a lot of time and sanity.
You can extend the send time. I've done this in other presentations, where in the settings, when you hit send, the default is five seconds. It will give you five seconds to undo. You can actually go through and change that to 30 seconds, which could really help. If you've sent something, and you're like oh, I didn't mean to send it, or there was something else, you can undo the send. And it won't send it anymore. It'll come back. So that's really helpful in just, in life in general. I could save your job.
You can label emails, so that all my emails that are coming from my students in my morning class, I can label it a certain color. And my night students, I can label a different color, so I could kind of keep track. It's just kind of organization skills.
You can snooze emails. So sometimes, students have emailed me back with their homework or whatever, or just to say hi. And I don't have time to reply to them right then and there, but I really want to. Because it's really important that if somebody sends you something, you've got to reply. And so what I could do is, I can hit a snooze. And after a certain amount of time, it'll go back to the top of my list. Because you know, when you get emails, it just gets buried at the bottom. And then you forget about it.
What this will do is, it'll put it back to the top of the list, so that I go oh yes. I need to reply to this person. And then with Gmail, we also have Hangouts and Meet. Hangouts, excuse me, is chatting, and also video conferencing. And then Meet-- Hangouts is with Gmail. And Meet is with your G-Suite. So if you're using your work email, then you can actually have a Zoom-like experience with Meet. So that's been-- that's just another alternative to Zoom.
Melinda Holt: Alisa, we have some questions on email. Would you like them now?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah no. Let's do it now.
Melinda Holt: OK. What percentage of your literacy students have been able to use email with you?
Alisa Takeuchi: That's a really good question. I've had to be pretty patient with it. But it's turned out. So between my two classes, I have a morning class and a night class. And they're both beginning literacy. I have 67 students. Right now, I have 38 sending, OK, 38 that have sent me an email. So that means I have their email address. And from those 38, I probably correspond regularly to about 27 or so. So there are some that have sent me an email, but then I've never heard from them again. So I'm not sure what happened with that. But either somebody set them, set it up for them, or they're just not able to go back to opening their email. Or they just, nobody's giving them space or a device to open it.
So yeah, for me, five would have been fine. Any amount would have been fine. But Yeah I'm pretty happy with what I have right now. There are still a few that I haven't heard from either. Oh, I'm sorry. Then also, through Google Voice, I have three students, three students who haven't made an email. But they still communicate with me via Google, I mean via texting.
So I have, so then that makes about 30. So a little bit less than half, 50%. So for me, that's OK. I'm OK with that. There are some agencies that I've heard that are very, that are being pressured about making sure that they get attendance. And again, like I say, you can only do so much. You can only reach out so much. And if they aren't responding back to you, you can keep trying to just telling them I care about you, and I hope that you're OK. Or just like well, if I haven't heard from you, then I hope you're OK, and let it go.
So these are my contact lists. So as you can see, I have 39 students. Or I have 39 people in this particular contact list. This is what it looks like. So when I'm sending a new message, all I have to do is type lecj2 and all of these names up here. And I always-- make sure that you put yourself in your contact list, so that you always get an email to yourself, what the students are looking at, too. For me, it just keeps-- it's a nice trash heap for me.
And then I'll tell you another thing, too. I did-- the screenshot is a little deceiving, because this is not how, how I did it. But I'll try you in a minute.
All right. So student resources, we have two mindsets going on. Let me check my time real quick. OK.
So we have two mindsets. Is it a resource, or is it managed instruction? And we'll talk about that. So these are some of the resources that I personally use with my students, except for putting English work. This is a new one. And I'm thinking about doing it in the future. But I'm not I haven't started it yet. But these are other ones that I've used with my students.
Now what I mean by resource is, is it just something I'm going to show my students how to do, and they're going to do it on their own-- they can choose what activity they do. They choose what, when to do it, you know, for how long. Or is it managed instruction, where I say, OK. On Monday, I want you to finish-- I want you to LearningChocolate and finish colors. And let me know that you finished by Tuesday. So again, it's not like classroom time, where it's 8:30 to 11. But it's like, I give them time. Because I never know when they're able to get on the computer or on the device. So, but that's just managed-- like I'm telling them which, what's it called? Which section to go to, which, what to study, and then when to study it. So those are things that you're going to have to keep in mind about what you want from your students.
So let's talk about learningchocolate.com. It is, by far, the easiest, user friendly website that I could give my students. And I was late on the bandwagon with this. We have a couple of teachers at my school that were using it and kept going on and on and on about it. And I was like oh, I don't know. It's just one more thing. And then all of a sudden, I just said, OK. I'm going to try it. And it worked like a charm. It is so, so easy. I literally told the students, go to-- OK. So in the classroom, it was go to Chrome, because we were using Canvas.
Now, you cannot say go to Chrome. You have to say go to the internet, because we don't know what device they're using, whether it's Safari, or if it's Chrome, or all the other ones. So I just say, go to the internet. They understand that. And then I say learningchocolate.com.
Now I have learned-- please learn from my mistakes. If you're typing up instructions for your students, do not write the word type, type learningchocolate.com. Because they will literally type type, if that makes sense. They will put t-y-p-e-l-e-a-r-n-i-n-g. And so that's a problem. So I learned not to do that anymore. I just tell them what the website, is and I just take it for granted that they understand to type that in there.
Speaker 3: Alisa, is this, is this site available on mobile? Is it mobile friendly?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yes. Yes, that's a great question. It is. And we tested it in my classroom. And my classroom has, I mean, my school has limited Wi-Fi. We don't even have Wi-Fi for guests. And for whatever reason, the powers that be, some of my students were able to get on in my classroom. So I know that they'll be able to get on at home if they have Wi-Fi.
So the type learningchocolate.com. Sometimes, it will tell it will show them like the list of websites. And then just tell them to go to the Home. And then, so here's what, here's what it is. So they can choose any-- there's-- only cut-- the picture is cut off. There's a lot of resources in there. Or you can tell them to go to Category and choose a category. And it depends on what it is.
So if they want if you want them to do classroom, whatever it is they want, you want them to study, or whatever they want to study. So is it a resource, or is it a managed instruction?
There are five components. This is what's nice about learningchocolate, too. Every single lesson is the same. So it has a matching one, a matching two, a matching three, a fill-in, which is listening, and then dictation, which is the listening and typing. So first off, the students will listen. Yellow. Orange, Red. And then they'll do the matching. And the hard part about this is that you would have to teach them the word drag, because they have to drag from one to another. So they have to drag the answer to the question. And that's how it is with all of these. And I'll show you that when we get to the website.
USALearns-- there's been plenty of webinars and talk about USAlearns. It's a really good resource for all of-- for beginning through intermediate. So they have a one, two, and a three level. They also have the new citizenship. So if any of your students are still studying to be citizens, then they can practice their citizenship. And then they're also coming up with a new program, maybe by the end of the year, or it depends on, now, with all this going on. It's called Access America. And what it's going to be is, it'll be a series of how-to's, basically, for students or new immigrants in the country, like how to apply for college, how to get a bank account, how to, things like that. So it's going to be a series of instructions on that. And that's coming up soon. And that'll be all on USAlearns.
Now the thing with USAlearns is that there's an email that needs to be required. So that's tough, if you're still having a problem of, students don't have email, or I can't get my students to have an email, or get an email. That's one of the difficulties. So I've been talking with Andrea Willis, who's the director of USAlearns. And we've been trying to figure out alternative ways to get them signed up, but still be able to track. And so we're in the works of that. But that won't happen for quite a while.
There is a teacher management system. Again, you can also just introduce your students to USAlearns, and they're on their own. They could do it as much or as little as they like, and whatever lessons. Or you can put them in a classroom, a USAlearns classroom. And then you can manage. And you can tell them do lesson one today, or do lesson five. And you can track them and see how long they've been on it.
Typingclub-- so this is just out of-- just, I'm just giving you this, only because it's so student friendly. Typingclub is a typing website. And it is literally as easy as Typingclub.com, Get Started. Boom. They're in lessons to start typing. There's no account. There's no tracking necessary. They can. If you see up here, there is a log in. They can sign up. You can sign up also. You can also do a classroom. And again, if you to manage them a little bit more, put them in a classroom, and track their progress, and blah blah blah.
But for my students, I just showed them this. And I just let it up to them. Because I wanted to know if typing was still a necessary skill. And I found out, it is. It really is a necessary skill, still. And, but I just let them do it on their own.
ESL America-- one of the teachers that I work with, Donna Barr, and OTAN's own Blair Roy created this website called ESL America. And I'm telling you, it is one of the best websites out there. Everything in it has sound, which is very rare. You don't find something that has everything. Every component in the website has the sound has sound in one form or another, whether it's just the listening, or whether it's dictation. It's incredible.
And there are so many elements to it. I had to cut the screen off. But I mean, this is just part of the things that are offered to the students. And some of them are links to other websites. But again, everything has sound. And some of them are teacher created. And she has dictation in there. She's got tons of stuff. So please, I urge you to check out this. It's very user friendly. Many of the teachers at my school have their students use it a lot.
Putting English to work. This is the-- so I used this a long, long, long time ago, when it was in VHS. And if you don't understand what VHS is, then I'm a little bit upset. But that's OK. That's neither here nor there. But I you see is the VHS tapes for this series. And I haven't used them in very, very long time. But LA Unified, their DACE program-- the department of-- they have put all of the English to work series online, with the worksheets. And so if you go to keeplearning.wearedace.org, you. Will find. The putting English to work. Series on there there's no accounts. There's no setups. You can get your students to do lesson one, unit one lesson one, or you could say here's the-- here it is. Practice on your own.
If you don't know Putting English to Work, it's there it's a video series. And it follows some ESL students in the US, and how they're coping with being in the US, about getting a job, and making friends, and this and that. And it's a teacher, Miss Marquez, and then her students. And then all of them have worksheets that they can practice. And so it's a really good program. It's very inclusive.
All right. It's stretch time. Everybody gets to take a stretch. If you can do what she's doing on the screen, 10 points to you. Any questions, Melinda? Or comments?
Melinda Holt: I'm still looking at the picture. I would have to get an ambulance if I did that. Yes, there's a question. Can you post the last URL into the chat? I think it was two slides back is what we're talking.
Alisa Takeuchi: OK. Was it Putting English to Work? Or--
Melinda Holt: It could have been. Yes. ESL America, probably? So ESLAmerica.us.
Alisa Takeuchi: Or, if it was this one, it's keeplearning.wearedace.org.
Melinda Holt: There you go. And I would type all of the links in the chat for all of you, but I'm busy answering the questions in the Q&A. So all of the links will be in the handout that we'll get from Alisa. And it will be posted on the OTAN website. And I'm just going to, while you're stretching and taking a break, there's been quite a few questions to that. Please understand that I'm answering questions as much as I can. And I will miss a few. But all of the handouts for every webinar that we've done, we have to make them accessible. And then they are posted on the OTAN website, on that COVID-19 button that's on the website. You just click that, and then you're taken there, OK? So, and thank you, Kyle. He just posted a link. OK
Alisa Takeuchi: I can't see the chat right now, because I have my screen full. But I mean, are we doing OK?
Melinda Holt: I'm hanging with you.
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah.
Melinda Holt: We do have one request to go a little slower. But I don't think we can do that. Because we do have some time constraints. We have to end this so that we can open up the next webinar this afternoon. So we can't go too slow. So, but we will put up the recording so that you can rewind, it and watch things as many times as you can, want. OK?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, and I hear you, totally. I mean, if I could-- I really tried hard not to too many. But then as I was working on this, I thought, well that's a good one, or that's a good one. And so again, I don't want to overwhelm you. Please, watch the recording again, or get the handouts and look at the slides. And pick and choose one or two, if that, to use. Don't think that you have to use all of these. I've just given you my experience, from my experience. I'm not doing all of these with all my students right now. I have done them with my students. But I'm not doing them all at the same time. Because they would be crying. And it's just too much.
Melinda Holt: OK, and also we do have some questions in the Q&A. The keep learning website-- where, what, how? Where's that?
Alisa Takeuchi: OK. So keeplearning.wearedace.org. is the LA Unified, that's the Department of Adult and Career Education-- that's the Putting English to Work series.
Melinda Holt: OK. Is using regular email an option? Sending lessons by mail, including letters of encouragement and resources during this time?
Alisa Takeuchi: I think there was a two part question. I didn't quite understand it. One more time?
Melinda Holt: Is using the regular mail an option?
Alisa Takeuchi: Regular mail.
Melinda Holt: Sending lessons by mail, including letters of encouragement.
Alisa Takeuchi: I mean, of course. It is always an option. But I mean, that's-- it depends on your school, whether that's an expense you're going to have to put up yourself, or if your school is willing to do that. There was small discussion when we first had our first staff meeting. That was one of the things that somebody had asked. And our director encouraged us to just use digital resources.
But again, if you're, I mean, so, but-- the exception with that was our high school diploma students. So I just can't get on, and they're really struggling to graduate. And so we've made packets for them. OK. With that said, what I do, which I've been doing for years and years and years, and it's totally on my own volition-- this has nothing to do with my school at all-- is I make postcards for my students for whatever it is, So I just sent them out yesterday for Easter. And it says Happy Easter. I hope you're healthy, duh duh duh duh. And I do postcards, because it's cheaper, obviously. The stamps are cheaper. But, and they're easier. because I just make like I create them myself. And I just print them and stuff. And I cut them up, and I send them off. But that's totally up to me.
And because I have some students that have not connected with me. I want them to know that I'm still thinking about them. So I have done-- I do snail mail with my students, regardless.
Melinda Holt: So we have, let's see-- she said we should all know PHS. What is that? Sorry, never heard of it, related to ESL.
Alisa Takeuchi: PHS?
Melinda Holt: So it might have been-- oh, VHS. VHS. OK.
Alisa Takeuchi: Everybody knows VHS. I'm so happy.
Melinda Holt: OK. So it was just a misunderstanding. So it's VHS. Does Alisa need to use other apps, or does she use Google Voice plus email is her only ways to communicate with her literacy classes?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yes, only Google Voice and email. I have tried-- I tried Remind at the beginning of a school year. And it was great for those students that were there that day. And then I kind of like forgot about it the rest of the-- and so I don't have a lot of students on Remind. So I just skip it. Literally, there are tons of ways you can do this. A couple of teachers are total Remind freaks. They love Remind. It's very easy for them. But for me, it was one more thing to do.
If I-- looking back, if I were to go back again, I would have probably done things differently. But because I was so desperate to try to communicate with my students any way I could, these were the two things that I already knew I could do with them. But yeah, Remind or WhatsApp. You know those are great resources also. And so you can learn about those in other sessions.
Melinda Holt: OK, last question. What do you think of Flipgrid to create audio video lessons and receive audio answers from students? Is that to advanced?
Alisa Takeuchi: No, I don't, I don't think so, to a point. If you're comfortable with Flipgrid, that's one thing. Because then you know the ins and outs of it. And then how do you communicate with your students how to get to the Flipgrid? You know what I mean? So there's so many elements to things. So again, it's just like our in class. Everything has to be step by step. And so once they, it's going to be trial and error. Once they do it, and it's a little difficult, keep doing it again. and it'll get easier and easier.
That's true for all of this. It's going to be difficult for some of the students two or three times. But you just have to keep giving it to them. And eventually, they'll start getting to it, just like in our classrooms. I would not give up on something the first time if it didn't, if it was quote unquote a flop.
All right. So now, those are like resources that they could do on their own, or again, like I said, managed instruction. And these are kind of activities that we can do with our students that might make it fun.
Maps or Google Earth-- Google Maps and Google Earth. What I've done with my students is that I've had them look up a city in their native country, maybe their, where they're from. Where are they from? And look it up on Google Maps. You will not, you will not believe how amazed they are to see the little picture of their house, or their town, or whatever it is. Or even if you do it in the house, their address today, show a little picture of their house. They're like they just get so excited about that.
A lot of them having these Google Maps for directions and things, but not really to look up things. And I'm going to show you an email that I would send to my students on how to do these little activities. In Google Earth, I haven't used that yet. But I was playing around with it yesterday, and it look so amazing. that I think maybe I'll try to do that in the future.
YouTube-- so one of the ways that I communicate with my students, and it would totally took me out of my comfort zone. Because I'm a selfie girl where I like to take photos of myself. But I'm not a video person. And I didn't ever really-- I mean, even like on YouTube-- I mean even on Zoom and stuff, I don't usually have my video up. And just because, I don't know. I just kind of felt uncomfortable.
But I thought, you know, the students love you, OK? Please don't forget that. Your students love you. And they miss you. And we want to see you. And they want to hear you, especially. They miss that interaction with you.
And so what I started doing was, I started making YouTube videos. Because most of your students who are on the internet know YouTube in one shape or form. And they're not professional at all. In fact, like the first ones, I look back on it, go oh my gosh. But you know what? It is what it is. And as it's going as time has been going on, I've learned a little bit more, and they've gotten a little bit better, I guess. But still, it doesn't matter to me. I just wanted to make a video that the students can see me, and hear my voice, and know that I'm caring about them, and things like that. And it's gone crazy. They absolutely love it. That's how I gave my vocabulary test to them was on Youtube.
OK, infinite resources. We are, we all use YouTube for one thing for one thing or another. And your students do, too. I did some interviews with some advanced students. And I said how did you learn, how did you learn English? And 90% of them said YouTube. I don't know if there are certain YouTube channels or subscribers that they're watching. But their English was so good. And a lot of them said in their country, they watched YouTube videos on practicing English.
This is my way to connect with students. Students can create their own YouTubes if you want. But that's all in advanced. And subtitles. That was the one thing that was important for me, too, is that the YouTube videos have subtitles or closed captioning, so that they could read what I was saying.
All right. So those are all the responses that I have. So let's go ahead and take a closer look at what I'm talking about. I'm going to get out of full screen. All right.
So this is what I'm talking about when I was checking out Google Voice. This is what it looks like. They're sending me, so this is a student's phone number. This is their actual phone number. And they're sending it to me. And it comes in like an email. But it tells me it's a text message. This is a voicemail that a student has sent to me. And if I click on it, it looks like an email. And here's the transcribing. May I speak to on phone? Thank you. Goodbye. Thank you.
Of course, the transcription is not exact. I'm going to play it. I don't know if you're going to be able to hear it. But let's check. Let's see. So this is what the Google Voice, the face, looks like.
Don't anybody call that number. I'm serious. Please don't call that number.
STUDENT heavy accent:: Goodbye. Thank you.
Alisa Takeuchi: All right. So that's literally one of my students. And so I just was so happy that he even just texted me. Because he's one of the very, very low students. And for him to do it himself, and not have somebody else do it for him, I was thrilled. So I texted the back saying thank you for your message. I miss you. I love you. Stay healthy. And that was it. I don't really even know what he said. But it was nice.
We were talking about the contact lists and such. So this is my email that the students are responding me to. So I send them my emails to them. And then they're responding back. It depends on what it is. So these are all, so-- I started to be very good about managing, organizing them. And then, of course, I haven't. That so that's why I have so many emails in my inbox right now.
Melinda Holt: Alisa, are you tracking students' work for attendance?
Alisa Takeuchi: I am now. I didn't at the very beginning, because I was a little bit overwhelmed. Because they were coming in so fast and so erratically. But now I do. I have a sheet of paper with all of my students' names. And then I just check if they've checked in with me that day, or did their homework, and such and such.
Because up in my district, our director has kind of indicated that that's going to be a thing for us. And I didn't want to have to go back a months' worth of work. So I started doing it, excuse me, just recently.
I just want to show you one of the emails, real quick, that I sent. So this was, I think, before I did videos. I sent them a picture of me, with a fruit. And I said I like fruits. Do you like fruits? And then what fruit do you see in the picture? And that was it. Was literally me sitting on a chair, eating my snack. And I said take a selfie with a fruit you have. I love you. Stay healthy.
So then here's one of the responses. I see a strawberry. And so my student has him with bananas. So I didn't know if students were going to do it or not. But they started doing it. It was really good. This student, I didn't hear from him for a really long time. And then of a sudden, he started doing it. And there was this picture with an apple. I also like apples.
And so I read the sentences. And I know he did not write this sentence. Because I know him, and I know his level of English. But at this point, I just don't care. Any response, and that he did it, and he checked the homework, and he checked my email, I'm OK with. You know, at this point, right now, it's not about instruction. And it's not about-- See, I replied to him, thanks, Brook. I love the picture.
So I don't have to write lengthy emails back to them either. It's just hey, I see it. Great job. Thank you for doing it.
All right. Where am I? OK. Sorry. My internet-- OK. So here's learningchocolate. Like I was telling you, there are plenty of options for them. Very basics, OK? The one thing I will tell you to make sure, I wrote this in an email when I did the learningchocolate, is I told the students-- OK. See how there's so many ads? OK, that could be a disaster. So I just told them only the blue links. Like only the blue. Click on only the blue.
And I said anything that's a start now or install, I said do not, do not. I had to keep reinforcing that. So you might want to do that with your students also. So here's that one with basic colors.
OK, so they just listen.
LEARNINGCHOCOLATE.COM: Yellow. Orange,.
Alisa Takeuchi: And it's very natural, natural sounding. And then here's the matching. So again, luckily for me, I did this in the classroom. We had started this in the classroom first. So they understood how to do it. But if you're just going to start doing this right now, you're going to have to take screenshots of this and show students how to do it, because-- or have them, have somebody at home help them do this. Because they listen.
Alisa Takeuchi: And then they have to click and drag.
Alisa Takeuchi: And then when they finish, they can check it. They check their answers.
Melinda Holt: Alisa, what app do you use to record your videos, or to make a tutorial on this, let's say? You decide to create a video. How do you do that?
Alisa Takeuchi: Oh, OK. So if I wanted to make a video of me using this right now, like I'm doing right now, I would use Screencastify, which I haven't talked about. But, and there are plenty of OTAN trainers who have done webinars and workshops on Screencastify, or what's the other one?
Melinda Holt: There's a bunch of them. So yeah, what she said-- there's a lot of information. Just type in Screencastify on the OTAN website. And you'll probably come up with a tutorial. One more question here. And it's kind of a couple times. I see Ventures in the files. How is Ventures used?
Alisa Takeuchi: OK.
Melinda Holt: Discuss that later?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yeah, Ventures real quick. So our school is using Ventures, the whole school. All the levels are using Ventures. And that's the main text that our director wants us to concentrate on. And I hope she's not in here. Because I'm going to tell you a secret. So please don't tell anybody else.
I haven't been as good as I could have been getting my students to do Ventures. Because not a lot of them have bought the book. And so I have done some things with it, as far as, I just told them, like unit 8 is on jobs. So we will be studying about jobs. And if they had the book, it was pages blah blah blah. And then we, as a program, have a website. And the website has the Ventures, some Ventures worksheets, and stuff like that. And so I directed them to that.
But that's pretty much all I've done, as far as Ventures go. But I have access to e-source. That if you're familiar with Ventures, I have we have access to e-source at home. And If I'm able to get my students on Zoom or Hangouts, which I have not yet, I could probably do some lessons on Ventures, with the e-source and the presentation tool.
So that's my secret. Please don't tell my director.
USAlearns, I'm not going to go too much into it. I'm a lot of you have seen it already. But again, email required. That's the one. That's the one tip. Sorry. My screen is, I can't get to my-- all right.
Here's ESL America, the one I was telling you that was created by one of the teachers that I work with. And here are all the different options. I mean, there's so many. There's so many.
OK, so some of them, like I said, are links to other websites. And then some of them are things that our teacher created. So I, it's such a plethora-- a resource that is incredible.
Typingclub.com-- so here. Typingclub.com. Get Started. And it's easy as that. Click here to begin. That's it. I mean, they start. They just they can just start typing practicing typing. It's not going to save anything, obviously. But yeah. It's pretty good. It is a freemium, where you know they want you to have a subscription and stuff. But there's plenty of things for them to do that are free. So that's kind of nice.
Here is the DACE-- the Putting English to Work. So here are the videos and the worksheets. And then they also include a Newsela. Newsela, if you don't know Newsela. is, it's a website that has authentic articles in many different levels. So the same one article from authentic sources, like Time, or the New York Times, or the Washington Post, will have the article for advanced students, intermediate students, and beginning students, the same article. And they also have lesson plans that go with them and tests.
Now it is-- it was a subscription based website. But I heard that Newsela is offering their premium service for free for teachers, I think, for three months, or until August, or something like that. So you might want to check that out, too. I don't use it with my students. But, it's a little bit too hard for my students. But if you have beginning high, maybe beginning low-- might be a little too hard still. The beginning high and above, it would be a really good resource.
So this is the Google Maps that I was telling about, talking to you about. This is how we did-- we used-- we actually used this for the EL civics banking, where they had to find two banks that were close to their home. And so you can actually do that with anything. You can find have a find a supermarket, or a library, or man, many, many others.
Google Earth-- again, I haven't used it yet. I just started playing with it yesterday. But it looks really, really good. And it's so beautiful. I like looking at this. I mean, I'm sure my students would like looking at this, too. And when you get actually get into it, when you launch it, there's a whole toolbar on the side. Yeah, there's a whole toolbar on the side. And they can do lots of things on it.
I'm going to see if I have that-- yes. So here's a-- here-- OK. Oh this is what I wanted to tell you. When I send emails, a group email like this, I don't put it in the to box. I put it in the BCC. Because I-- here's one of the things you guys asking. Somebody asked about the privacy. I don't share the other email addresses with all the other students. So I blind CC everybody. So they don't know. They're only getting it for themselves. They don't see who else gets the email. And so that's probably one of the ways that I kind of control, maybe, a little security or a little privacy.
But this would be an email that I would send myself students. I haven't sent it yet, just because I want to fine tune it a little bit. But if I were to send them this email-- get it up. So I would, good morning, duh duh. I give them instructions, OK, just as if I were in the classroom. And then I say go to the internet. Again, I don't say Chrome, because they may not necessarily have Chrome. They might have Safari or something else.
I don't write the word type here. I did do this one, because I didn't know how else to say it. I screenshot where I wanted them to write it. Choose nearby, a circle that-- so a lot of the stuff as screenshots. Type bank in the box. Look for the red dollar sign. Tap or click.
So before, we, when we were using Chromebooks, we didn't have mice. And so it was always tap, tap, tap, tap. If we're in the computer lab, it's click. Well, I don't know which, what device they're using. So I do it with both. And then this is what information I want them look for. Take out a piece of paper. Copy the questions.
So it's very specific on what I want them to do, step by step by step by step. And they can take as much time as they want on this, because we're not in the classroom. I give them an example of what it could look like. And then I say, find one or two banks nearby your home. Answer the questions. And then take a photo, OK?
So that would be like a typical email that I would send if I want to give instructions. So that's kind of like that thing at the very, very beginning, when I was talking about direct instruction with a question mark. You know, I am giving them direct instructions here. But I'm not, I can't tell whether they understand, or how well they'll understand, or if they're with me or not. So all I can do is send it off. And then I wait for them to reply or not reply, and see how it goes.
So then the last part is YouTube. Excuse me. So here's my teacher page. For the most part, it's pretty user friendly to create a YouTube page. It goes with your Google account. So this is all connected with my Google account. And then these are my videos.
OK, please, please, please, I'm not trying to be an influencer. I'm not trying to go viral. I'm just trying to communicate with my students, excuse me, with some videos. So some of them have not turned out well. That's OK. And then because we're now we're learning about jobs in Ventures, I asked a few of my friends to make a video of their job. And I gave them a little script. And they kept-- some, you know-- they could keep to it or not keep to it, and explain it. So I'm just going to-- I'll do one real quick. And you can see the closed captioning also.
Larry Myers: Good morning. My name is Larry Myers. I'm an engineer, an electrical engineer. And I design the electrical systems for buildings, including schools, hospitals, fire stations, supermarkets, and apartment buildings. Pretty much anything that needs electricity there's what I can design. I like my job, because every day is different. Every project is different. So I get to work on new things every single day.
I usually work in an office with other engineers. But now, we all have to work from home. So I'm by myself. And I only communicate with people on the telephone, or on the computer. But our office is pretty advanced, and that's-- I'm just going to stop right there. But yeah, I mean--
Melinda Holt: Alisa?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yes
Melinda Holt: What are the privacy settings on your YouTube videos?
Alisa Takeuchi: OK, so right now, the videos that I make myself are public. That's why you can see them on my line. The ones that are of other people, I have asked them. I tell them upfront. I say, I'm going to put this on my YouTube channel. If that's not, and I'm going to put this on my YouTube channel. If you're not comfortable with that, I can set the privates-- I could set the settings to private, so that only the people the only my students can watch it, with the link.
And so far, everybody's been OK with it being on my YouTube channel. And like I said, you know, pretty much the only people looking at our YouTube channel are my students. But again, you have to ask for that permission.
Melinda Holt: How do people find your YouTube channel?
Alisa Takeuchi: How do people find mine?
Melinda Holt: Yes.
Alisa Takeuchi: If you go into YouTube, and you type Alisa teacher ESL, I think-- or those are like kind of tags that you can put on your channel. And then people type that stuff in, my YouTube channel comes up.
So I did that with a few, with a few. So I was giving one a day. And I e-mailed, I e-mailed my students. And I gave them a link to the YouTube. And I had them answer questions. You know, what is Larry's job? Where does he work? What does he do? And I did the same for all the people who did it for me.
Now the one I did just the other day was, I got a YouTube video from the Mayor of Garden Grove. I reached out to the mayor of our city, and I asked him if he would do this for us. And he did it right away. I mean, it was amazing. I was so excited. And so that was really exciting for me. I don't know so much for my students, but, so that's how, that's how I've been using the YouTube, YouTube.
I am, so the very, very last thing is OTAN. Like I told you at the very beginning, I can't emphasize this enough. Please, I urge you to go to the YouTube channel. Join YouTube. You'll get all the-- you'll get resources beyond belief. You'll get emails telling you when new things are coming up, or the webinars every week.
So the top stories are always going to be about the webinars for the upcoming week. They, OTAN, also has office hours. If you have individual questions, or you need some help with something, there are times where you can reach out to OTAN. And somebody will get hold of you.
Here is the tab for the COVID-19 field support. It is a plethora of lessons, or, sorry, resources, that you can utilize.