Narrator: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Angela Rodriguez: So we are the DLAC team from San Juan Adult Education. And we're in San Juan Unified School District.
And our team members-- Blair Roy is our coach; Marisol Richmond, she's an ESL teacher; Jody Barker is our MESL teacher; Linda Laymon, an ESL teacher; and I'm Angela Rodriguez, I'm the Vice Principal.
So we're going to start with just a couple of statistics on our school, just to give kind of an overview of who we are. So we are in San Juan Unified School District, which is located in Sacramento County. San Juan serves about 40,000 students a year, over 64 schools.
We serve the communities of Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale, and Arden-Arcade. So we're a pretty widespread district.
We have two Adult Ed campuses. One is Sunrise Tech Center, on our east end of our district. And then we also have Creekside Adult Center, which is on the west end of our district.
We also serve four off-sites with ESL classes across our district.
We served over 5,000 students last year, and our program areas are ESL, high school equivalency, high school diploma, ABE, CTE, and community education. And our biggest program area is our ESL program. And the top two native languages spoken by our ESL students are Farsi and Spanish.
So our "Why?" When we started this program, the DLAC program, we looked at our data. And one of the pieces that we looked at was the teacher skills assessment from our technology and distance learning plan.
And we saw some gaps in teacher tech skills and how comfortable they were with using technology in the classroom. And, for example, 35% of our teachers were comfortable with tech-based classroom projects, 40% of our teachers were comfortable supporting student's online learning, and 65% stay current with new technologies.
And we saw that this is a potential gap and a potential area for inequity with our students. So we really decided that supporting our teachers and providing more professional development so they can feel comfortable using technology in the classroom is where we needed to focus.
Linda Laymon: So our DLAC project was kind of in two parts. So the first part was teacher tech training. Our tech training goals evolved over time. At first, we wanted to help teachers update their basic tech skills. And then, we started to train teachers to help them implement technology into their classroom.
This turned into a monthly professional development we call "Teacher Tech Friday's." Training topics include G Suite for Education, Quizlet, Kahoot, Bitly, ASAP data management, plus more classroom tech ideas as we learned more.
So the second part of their DLAC project was to create a repository of technology resources that houses lessons that teachers can refer to at their convenience. So we started a teacher website. This houses lessons, tutorials, and web sites to give teachers easy access to these topics.
Then we started teacher blog where we ask teachers to share and comment on their best practices as they used technology that they were learning.
Our DLAC project changed after the school closures. So under COVID-19, part three was born. Because a DLAC team was already in place, we became the tech support as teachers work to transition to 100% distance learning.
The teacher blog became a central location to post updated information and communication. Teachers were trained to schedule, open, and run Zoom classes. Teachers learned to use communication apps such as WhatsApp and Remind. They use these to contact and communicate with their students.
Also the ESL staff have been actively attending many OTAN-facilitated online trainings. The DLAC team continues to support our teachers in groups training via Zoom, and one-on-one training as needed.
Here's the before and after COVID-19 teacher tech training. So what a difference a year has made. So Spring 2019, this is teacher tech training, a Teacher Tech Friday in a computer room at one of our schools. And then here's just last week, Spring 2020, a Zoom training class. So what a difference a year makes.
OK, now I'm going to turn the time over to Marisol Richmond.
Marisol Richmond: Hello, everybody. And so now, we'd like to reflect back on our first year of DLAC training. The technology, distance learning symposiums, and the online sessions with Destiny Simpson in the IDEAL Consortium-- all were essential to launch our distance learning program from a DVD/paper checkout system to a complete, 100% online system.
We started off with CANVAS, the community college program our upper-level students would transition to in the region's Los Rio's community colleges. They use this program.
But as we continue to refine our program, we will look to address each student group level. And so far, the biggest challenge has been illiteracy in low-level ESL classes.
Teachers have been using multiple online platforms and methods to try and teach them. WhatsApp and Zoom are the most common.
So in year two, we refined our program even further. With the training in DL 102 and Destiny Simpson, once again, we created a rubric to analyze and vet new editions.
This is a tool we'll use to train our staff. And considering new web resources and online programs moving forward.
At this point in our project, we credit Dr. Porter's wise coaching and his Clifton's strengths trainings, which gave us the confidence to lean on each other's strengths for solutions to the challenges posed in our program.
Like any good project proves, we had challenges. So here's Jody to tell you more on this.
Jody Barker: We, of course, had challenges. But as Marisol said, our team's strengths helped us come up with solutions.
So our first challenge was to increase the teacher attendance at the tech trainings. And this was solved by getting our administration on board, supporting us greatly, and making it a professional development time.
Then, COVID-19 hit, as you all know. So this imposed urgent teacher tech needs. So we were right there, though. We met them with trainings, with online instruction, and Zoom, WhatsApp Remind, and Google Suite.
And our challenges continue. And so then, we had the need for updates on COVID-19 from the district and places to find online resources quickly. People would lose everything in their emails.
So we turned to our blog. And we keep our blog updated now with district news. And put in all our resource links, and the links to OTAN trainings, since those just become invaluable.
And then, teachers' immediate needs inspired some more. Other teachers stepped up to lead Zoom help sessions and share resources and experiences. We are so proud of this outcome of our project.
So we got some testimonials. And feel free to read them. I'll just highlight here-- we helped our teachers gain confidence, we removed barriers to their tech experience, and we help them move into this new online reality.
All right, so is this the new normal? I think we're all asking that, right? I'll turn it over to Marisol for the conclusion.
Marisol Richmond: So we've made significant progress to remake our distance learning program. But we recognize the strides still needed in what may be a new norm in education.
And some of these strides include-- the transition from offering a standalone distance learning program to incorporating distance learning in all ESL classes, and each student will be required to attend an onboarding distance learning orientation at registration. But now more than ever, it's apparent that literacy students' tech needs require more support.
And finally, teachers must learn to use an LMS such as Google Classroom, Canvas, or Moodle.
The DLAC team will recommend to our administration the continuation of ongoing tech training support as a result of this experience.
Angela Rodriguez: So we had a lot of support along the way. And we wanted to take some time to thank the people who have supported us through this journey.
And so we'd like to thank OTAN and Dr. Porter for an enlightening us on how to be stronger teacher leaders.
Linda Laymon: We'd like to thank Blair Roy for being our coach and cheerleader.
Jody Barker: We want to thank Lynne Bartlett for encouraging and supporting us over the last two years.
Marisol Richmond: And Angela Rodriguez for always being there for us.
Angela Rodriguez: So these are the links to our teacher website and our teacher blog. If you'd like to take a look, I think these slides will be available.
And at this point, we will take any questions.
Linda Laymon: OK, so I don't know if you can see, if you're looking at the Q&A. But there's one question from Wilder-- we're going to say from Wilder. I'm sorry, I don't know how to pronounce your last name.
Which platforms did you use to create teacher websites and blogs?
Jody Barker: I used Google Site and the Blogger, Google Blogger.
Narrator: Google blogger. And then you also used canvas to write
Jody Barker: Canvas is for distance learning. And our teachers are not using that.
Yeah, only our DL is on there.
Angela Rodriguez: I told something I shouldn't have said.
Marisol Richmond: Because we said in our presentation that teachers will have to learn to use an LMS. If they don't know how to yet.
Linda Laymon: We won't tell them that if they're listening, right?
Maria Elena, do you use Google Classroom accounts for your students?
Jody Barker: No.
Marisol Richmond: No, we don't.
Speaker: I think Angela should answer that.
Angela Rodriguez: Yeah, so we do not at this time. Part of our project is-- and as a result of our 100% going distance learning-- is that we do recognize that-- so we have a standalone distance learning program right now.
And moving forward, we need to blend distance learning into all of our classrooms. And that's going to require that our teachers use a learning management system.
And we are currently trying to decide whether we want to continue with Canvas, or use Google Classroom. We have pros and cons to both. So that's kind of where we're at right now.
So not all of our teachers use Google Classroom. Some of them do, just kind of on their own. But we are going to be moving more systematic with that.
Linda Laymon: OK. And one last question. Beth asks, was your administrator on board with increasing technology at your site? If not, how did you persuade cooperation?
Marisol Richmond: We could all say this in unison-- yes.
Yes. And in fact, our administrator was there and part of what we had as a distance learning program when we were a department and close to 30 some-odd teachers, which was then reduced in the last couple of years to just the two of us. Lynne on camera and myself, doing the classes at a distance.
So she knows exactly where distance learning and these programs are coming from. She's at the heart of why we have been doing this, and why we continue to do this.
Angela Rodriguez: And I will say from an administrator perspective or standpoint, it is always better to have-- this is a teacher-led group.
It is teachers teaching teachers. It's not any sort of mandate. It is something that kind of organically came out of this team. And that has always had our full support.
So yeah, this is really-- they did all of this work. All the work, build rapport with all the teachers. We have a great team.
And I think, yes. It's always better, I think, for teachers to come and support each other.
Speaker: Thank you, San Juan team. Do we have any other comments from our panel members?
Audience: San Juan was a leader in a distance learning way back when distance learning wasn't a thing yet. And it's heartening to see they are continuing to take leadership, and modified many of the things that they started to really continue to take the lead and be more-- or even more up-to-date.
So way to go, San Juan.
Angela Rodriguez: Thank you.