Narrator: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Tom Allison: All right. Hello everyone, and thank you for attending our presentation. First we're going to take a look at our agenda. We'll meet the team. Then I'll talk about the Escondido Adult School.
After that, I'll share some of our DLAC learning. Stacey will discuss our project goals and our technology distance learning plan. Elaine will demonstrate her blended classroom. Then I'll come back and share our COVID-19 response. We'll take a look at some next steps, and finally, I'll share an aha moment.
So hello again. I'm still Tom Allison, and I'm the assistant principal of Escondido Adult School. And now I'd like my partners to introduce themselves.
Elaine Moore: Hi, I'm Elaine Moore, the Intermediate, High, and Advanced ESL teacher at Escondido Adult School.
Stacey Campo: I'm Stacey Campo, I'm the shared position with our Consortium Education to Career Network. I'm a digital technology integration specialist.
Susan Coulter: I'm Susan Coulter, I'm the DLAC coach for this group.
Tom Allison: Thank you, Susan. Now I'd like to introduce the Escondido Adult School itself, a proud member of the Education and Career Network Consortium of North County San Diego it serves approximately 2000 adults students through an extensive variety of courses, including adult basic education and adult secondary education, career and technology education, community education, and English as a Second Language. Our ESL program offers six levels of traditional brick and mortar ESL instruction.
The Digital Leadership Academy, as its name suggests, provides training in two strands. The first strand is digital instruction, and Stacy and Elaine will focus on that. The second strand is leadership training. I'm covering that now.
Dr. Paul Porter introduced the academy to Clifton Strengths Leadership Training. Based on extensive research, Gallup offers a survey that provides respondents with an index of personal strengths. It's fascinating to learn about your strengths and those of your team members. As a team, we need to focus and rely on each other's strengths.
The Gallup model organizes 34 strength themes into four domains. Executors turn ideas into reality. Influencers convince others to take action. Relationship builders nurture strong relationships. Strategic thinkers help us make better decisions.
Our team is very strong in the relationship theme. We lead with our strengths and expect great results. With that in mind, I'll now turn to Stacy and Elaine, who are going to share the digital side of our DLAC learning.
Stacey Campo: All right team, thank you for joining us today. Our project targets three main goals-- learning, life literacy, and access. Our first goal was to investigate, develop, and apply blended learning strategies to a specific instructional group, which was our ESL learners. Our second goal was to take our consortium technology distance learning goals and really embed those goals into practices by integrating them into the ESL learning experience. And finally, our third goal was to examine the technology access our students had, and to enhance that access in order to build upon the teachers' ability to integrate technology within their teaching and personal learning practices.
Using these three goals, we began developing our plan by investigating what was currently in our practices, and leveraging existing resources that were in place. Once that was done, we began to expand and enhance the existing structure. We reviewed our digital tools, our opportunities for professional development, and how our students engaged with technology. And then based on this information, we agreed upon three essential conditions.
Access to the computers needed to be in the classrooms. All of our students needed to have a Google account. And all of our teachers and students in the program would use the consortium's learning management system canvas as a digital classroom.
Using these three conditions, and the support of the DLAC, our work began, transforming the learning experience, empowering the teachers through guided and immediate professional support, and a laptop request for the classrooms. We met every Friday for the first year, and we worked to apply our DLAC training in transforming the ESL learning process. Using our partnership between Canvas and the Google Suite, our teams were able to develop and deliver, collect instructional content and evidence of the student learning success way beyond our expectations.
By leveraging their mobile devices and the Canvas app to access learning beyond the brick and mortar of the school, this allowed us to focus on empowering our students to be in charge of their own learning. And this dovetailed nicely with the whole concept of blended learning, allowing the learning to be anytime, any place, any pace, and showing our students how they could manage their own learning style and supporting their own choice.
And now I want to introduce Elaine Moore, our classroom teacher who put all this into great practice and evidence of the student's success.
Elaine Moore: Hello again. You're looking at a slide of my Canvas home page. You can see the improvement in style, sophistication, and efficiency of use from year one to year two. The past two years have been a huge growth spurt and learning curve for me.
Prior to DLAC, I felt our school was stagnant on professional development, I had not heard of blended learning, and my classes were traditional teacher-directed classes. I wrote my daily agenda on the whiteboard each day, and students had to be in room 210, my classroom, to receive instruction. However, that all changed the first year of DLAC. I eagerly embraced blended learning and with Stacy's help, learned a learning management system, Canvas. This has been challenging for me to both learn and apply, but one I needed and wanted badly for my students and myself.
Now I feel I am teaching in the 21st century with strong administrative support, and time set apart for professional development. Currently, I have computers in my classroom for all of my students. They each have Canvas and Google accounts. I no longer scramble for time in the computer lab, and I no longer write my daily agenda on a whiteboard. My daily agenda is on Canvas, so if students are absent, want to review a lesson, a video, or turn in work, students do not have to be in room 210 to access their education.
One of the projects I implement each year is to have students build their own web page on Google Sites to display their work. Student portfolios offer students an opportunity to see their improvement over time reflect on the process and their progress throughout the year. Portfolios are a true blended learning experience because it gives students choice in how they design their website, what documents they choose to highlight, and it involves creativity and design and accountability for their project, as well as implementing technology. I've had several students go on to develop family or business websites after completing their own student portfolio.
You're looking at Cynthia's homepage on her portfolio. It's her welcome page to introduce herself to her classmates, share a little of who she is and what school she's attending, and a brief description of her educational goals.
Next is Cynthia's written work page. On this page, students upload their best examples of their written work such as basic paragraphs, expanded paragraphs, five letter essays, as well as employment documents such as a resume and letters of referral students write for one another. Students are also given a rubric and are required to evaluate three classmate portfolios as well as their own.
The slide you're looking at is how both AM and PM students access their peers' portfolios. This gives all students an opportunity to share ideas, provide feedback, and learn from their peers. This next year, I'd like to see students begin their portfolios on one of the lower levels, and continue to update them throughout their time at Escondido Adult School. Portfolios give students confidence in their improved work over time, and provides new teachers insight into their students' needs, moving forward each year.
As a result of COVID-19, we are now truly doing distance learning. With the skills and knowledge my students and I have learned in the past two years, the transition from the classroom to distance learning has been smoother than I expected. Here you're looking at an example of my daily agenda on Canvas that students access to find their lessons.
At the top of my agenda, I always include pics of myself doing ordinary things so I can keep that personal connection with my students. The yellow bars are either websites or worksheets. You can also see charts and videos to enhance lessons, event notifications, and Zoom class agendas.
OK, finally I currently have about 17 students weekly who continue to access Canvas and Zoom classes from out of state and out of the country. There were some initial challenges learning how to teach remotely. However, COVID had shown us how resourceful and flexible we can and must be when challenges arrive. Tom, back to you.
Tom Allison: All right, I'm unmuted. Thank you, Elaine and Stacey, for covering the digital side of our DLAC learning. As we all know, the coronavirus aborted all plans worldwide. We've lost friends, dollars, and because of social distancing, even touch. In a very real sense, we are redefining how to live in our society, and in our case, for this presentation, how to function as a school.
After the initial shock, Stacey, Elaine, and I came together to support our school. We started weekly ESL team Zoom meetings. The purpose of these meetings is to connect with one another, extend that connection to our students, embrace our purpose and offer instruction, and share our digital learning with our teacher peers.
Without our DLAC experience, we have hit a vertical wall transitioning our staff to distance learning. Because of Stacy and Elaine's teamwork and interaction with our staff, our DLAC enabled us to flatten our staff's digital learning curve, and afforded us rapid transition to distance learning. All of our ESL teachers are meeting with their students and conducting class on a digital platform.
The immediate next step given COVID-19 is to continue to provide our students distance learning. We'll do that by continuing our weekly ESL team meetings and weekly newsletters. Support ESL teachers with a well-thought-out, fully responsive curriculum. Support students with increased access to technology on and off campus, and support staff with new procedures that increase online enrollment and registration.
Finally, I'll share my aha moment as a means of ending this presentation. I extended my DLAC leadership learning by reading the book, Strengths-Based Leadership. It discusses a companion study to the CliftonStrengths research that Dr. Paul Porter presented to us.
The purpose of the survey was to determine what traits in a leader do followers value? This survey directed participants to name the leader that has had the most positive influence in their daily life. Then they were asked to identify three qualities that best described the leader. Overwhelmingly, the four traits named were trust, compassion, stability, and hope.
We are all of us at various times, especially in these times, both leader and follower. So we understand the value in these traits intrinsically. Our DLAC experience has uniquely positioned us to lead by providing trust, compassion, stability, and hope to our students, teachers, and staff during this COVID-19 era. I think I speak for everyone when I say that we are proud to lead and ready to serve. And we thank the Digital Leadership Academy Program for that. Thank you.