Narrator: OTAN-- Outreach And Technical Assistance Network.
Maren Anton: Hello and welcome. Thanks for joining us. We are Maren Anton and Jill White from the ESL Department at Mt. Diablo Adult Education, part of an amazing DLAC team from 2018 to 2020, which includes Paige Endo, our VP, Suanne McGovern, ESL distance learning teacher, and our DLAC coaches, Francisca Wentworth and Blair Roy. Our school is located in Concord, California.
And we'd like to start our presentation with a few demographics about our agency. As of March 13, 2020, MDAE total student population was 3,572 with the ESL population at 1,946. We have 41 different languages represented, 33 ESL teachers, 13 ABE/ASE, 31 CTECH, 5 AWD, and 12 parent ED.
This first picture of our main campus mimics our current streets and parking lots-- very empty. However, if we click on the link above here in blue, look up. There is hope. We are still here in the clouds.
See all of our teachers smiling faces in our Google site, Google Classrooms-- we actually have 41 Google Classrooms at all ESL levels, along with specialized classes such as Early Childhood Education for ESL, Citizenship Prep, Monument Impact Distance Learning, which Suanne teaches, ESL Distance Learning, and a teacher sharing desk. Here you can see how we share and collaborate on curriculum and workshop tips.
We learn from history, and we appreciate where we are if we understand where we've been, so we'd like to take you down memory lane at MDAE Distance Learning program. MDAE had a video production CTE class, and the students were the crew, production, and lighting managers of our first live TV show recorded by an ABE teacher in the late '90s. She created 20 lessons, where the students called in to ask questions, and a teacher answered the phone during the live TV show called TV411. At that time, students registered for distance learning on campus and picked up the accompanying consumable workbooks, which were created by teachers as a companion material for the show.
Then, in 2001, the ESL department joined the effort and created more TV-- more lessons for the live TV show, Crossroads Cafe, wraparound episodes which Paige, our VP, taught. In 2002, we began teaching English for all wraparound episodes. Over the years, students' distance learning needs changed as technology changed, so we had to update our delivery system.
When the video productions class was canceled in 2003, ESL started lending out VHS tapes of the recorded live TV shows. Distance learning students began to meet in person with distance learning teachers once a week to correct their consumable workbooks. Then, in 2007, ESL distance learning converted the VHS tapes to DVDs along with paper packets in lieu of consumable workbooks when technology changed and more students used DVDs instead of VHS players. In 2019, as part of our DLAC project, we digitized these videos and uploaded them to a Google site for summer school when more students were watching videos on their smartphones instead of with DVD players.
In 2020, in response to the pandemic, we uploaded all videos, PDF homework packets, and Google Form tests to the Google Classrooms. And now students get feedback from their teachers via Zoom. Although our method of delivery has changed over 20 years, the constant remains the same-- caring teachers, a student need, a solid curriculum, and pedagogy.
What does the future hold at MDAE Distance Learning? Well, as long as we have our caring teachers, anything is possible. Building on 20 years of distance learning evolution at MDAE, are sure to continue to integrate technology into our curriculum so all of our ESL students will be able to access their education in any circumstance.
Jill White: We joined DLAC in 2018, and our involvement with it helped us grow and modify our agency plan. It was invaluable for building connections with other agencies and receiving expert coaching on how best to integrate technology into our current curriculum. In 2018, our distance learning program consisted of DVDs, paper packets, and paper tests which students completed at home and came for correcting with a distance learning teacher once a week.
If COVID-19 had happened then, we would have been mailing students these materials and sending pictures of the answers on our phones. Our initial accomplishments of our DLAC project in 2018 were, one, creating a blended office professional class for ESL students and, two, digitizing our distance learning DVDs in preparation for uploading our distance learning videos to an online platform.
Maren Anton: In the summer of 2019, we created a distance learning summer school program with the digitized DVDs uploaded to a Google Site. Based on our studies with ideal one-on-one course, we created a distance learning orientation process, trained teachers and students on distance learning curriculum, and developed procedures for online learning. The summer school program was successful at first, with 144 students enrolling, but, by the end of summer, most had dropped out, and only five continued with distance learning through the fall term. After the summer was over, we realized that a one-time orientation wasn't enough to keep students in distance learning. But if COVID-19 had happened in the summer of 2019, we would have at least had a Google site for students to access videos as well as a system for creating usernames and passwords for online teaching.
Jill White: During the second year, we revised our DLAC plan with a proposal to offer blended learning to ESL satellite, evening students using the digitized distance learning curriculum and USA Learns. We had a couple of aha moments this year. After studying the ideal one-on-one course and implementing a distance learning summer school program, we realized that student retention would improve if we taught the distance learning curriculum and procedure to students and teachers while the students were still attending a face-to-face class.
The second aha was a way to solve the constant problem of student dropout in the evening during spring term due to the time change in work schedules. If we taught students how to access material online, they could learn independently until they were able to resume face-to-face classes. The marriage of these ideas resulted in us piloting a month-long program in an ESL satellite class, creating lesson plans on how to give students Gmail accounts, download apps, create usernames and passwords for USA Learns, and access Google Classroom and Remind.
We studied the 102 IDEAL course which helped us to use a rubric to determine the best fit for online curriculum. And we came up with USA Learns. We recorded data on the barriers and successes of this pilot as well as Google Forms survey's feedback from students and teachers. After we looked at the data and feedback, we made modifications, and we offered to implement the successful pilot program at the main campus ESL classrooms. We were able to teach five classes before COVID-19 hit us.
Maren Anton: To give you an example of how the ESL department was able to adapt its curriculum due to this pandemic, we'd like to show you a teacher, Michael Mason, who teaches three ESL classes, teaching English for All wraparound show on the live TV program in 2003, and then via a Zoom lesson from his Google classroom in 2020.
Speaker 1: Maren, the audio is not coming through.
Maren Anton: OK. So this is Michael Mason, and he's giving a lesson around a video and scaffolding it, and that's why it's a wraparound lesson in this situation. And then here, in 2020, he's actually-- I don't know if you can see this little picture of him on the right. That's Michael Mason almost 20 years later.
So he's explaining how to go ahead and access the homework and the Google Forms and everything after watching the videos that he had actually made back in 2003. He has about-- he has three Google Classrooms with about 15 to 20 students enrolled in each. And thanks to our involvement with DLAC, we were able to quickly transform something old and make it new so that our ESL teachers and students could quickly resume their classes.
Jill White: On March 16, 2020, everyone had to quickly transition. However, even in extraordinary circumstances, we had a plan. Being involved in DLAC over the past two years guided us to think deeply about the best methods and to plan out delivery of lessons. The support we have received from our coaches, from the trainings, and from fellow DLACers allowed us to be able to implement our proposal overnight, transforming our face-to-face curriculum into online Google Classrooms for our entire ESL department.
With the shelter-in-place starting on March 16, 2020, we teachers became something like a rapid-response team. We went from none of our teachers using Google Classroom to all of our teachers teaching online in Google Classrooms. If you look at the chart, the learning curve was steep yet necessary, from 0 to all 33 teachers.
And it's amazing how well students and teachers adjusted at all levels of education. The learning curve will flatten out soon, and our staff will be better for it, ready and excited to incorporate all the new ways to integrate technology into their face-to-face classes, hopefully next year. At MDAE, we have taken off and are now in the clouds. The sky is the limit for what the future holds. Thank you, OTAN and DLAC, for expert navigation. You're always there for us.
Maren Anton: Thank you.
Jill White: The end.
Maren Anton: [chuckles]