Neda Anasseri: Good morning, everyone. My name is Neda Anasseri. I am a technology projects coordinator at OTAN. Joey Lehrman from ISTE, who is the SkillRise project manager is our presenter today.
Joey Lehrman: Thank you, Neda, and thank you, OTAN, for welcoming ISTE to today's presentation. Today's title is Upskill with Edtech. We are going to talk about an upcoming free class that we offer to help adult education and workforce development organizations explore how to use edtech to advance adult learning.
So I want to start with some brief introductions. I see that everybody has kind of introduced themselves already. So I'll share a bit of background on my role. So my name is Joey. I am the SkillRise project manager, which we're here to talk about today. I also have another role as a program effectiveness coordinator in the adult education program at Delgado Community College. This is based in New Orleans.
I wanted to share that background to say that I've been working in an AE program for about 10 years now. Pretty much my entire career as an educator is in adult education. I have 40 years of experience as a classroom teacher, and then six years as an administrator. I helped to grow one of the first fully online programs in Louisiana.
So our program is a comprehensive WIOA provider. We do ABE and ESL and career pathway programming. So I just wanted to share that background that my primary role actually is at a community college an adult basic education.
And then about six months ago, I joined this ISTE team as their SkillRise project manager, which we're here to talk about today. You can see my contact information on screen. So I hope we can continue the conversation after today.
I also want to introduce Jeff Goumas and Jen Vanek, who are not here today. Jeff and Jen are our course facilitators. Jeff is the director of CrowdED Learning, which, if you're not familiar, I highly recommend their website. They provide a suite of free open educational resources that are aligned to TABE standards, for example. So you can jump in and quickly search that you're looking for this TABE standard. Here are free digital resources that you can use to support instruction.
And then Jen Vanek comes out of the EdTech Center at World Education. These are our two course facilitators. So should any of you choose to enroll in our free class starting this June or September, you will get the opportunity to work directly with Jeff and Jen, and draw from their experience, and get to know them through the class itself.
So SkillRise rise is a new ISTE initiative. We're about two years old now. For those of you that know about ISTE, I will say SkillRise is ISTE for adults. For those of you that might not know about ISTE, a quick introduction would be ISTE focuses on providing professional development for K12 educators to explore how to use technology to advance learning. So there is a suite of resources, whether it's the annual conference or the ISTE standards for students or teachers. If you're curious to learn more about ISTE specifically, it is iste.org.
And so about two years ago, ISTE launched this project to engage in adult learning. And I think a common question that we get is, why is ISTE interested in adult education? And so I think the shortest answer to that is what we're seeing in the 21st century is that learning is for our lifetime. I think the economy is changing so quickly and the skills needed to succeed in today's workforce are rapidly evolving, and so is starting to explore what it can look like to help educators help students build skills throughout their lifetime.
So the main focus right now is around edtech. So how can we use technology to create learning that is more accessible and meaningful for our students? It was built out of JFF Labs and World Education. And essentially our goal is to help our adult learners build better lives for themselves and their families through career advancement. And I don't think I need to say this to this crowd, given that all of you are adult educators, but building new skills or upskilling is an essential piece of that puzzle. And so ISTE is now kind of exploring how can we put out free resources to help educators and workforce development professionals use technology to promote adult learning.
The general theory of action behind what our resources attempt to do is essentially help educators realize that technology is awesome. And if we use it well, we can promote more accessible and meaningful learning for our students. Our general audience are all of you, so adult education teachers, project managers at workforce development organizations, direct service providers or professional development organizations, occupational training, community college. So our audience is on the staff and teachers that support adults in a variety of contexts.
And like I said, we exist to provide resources. All of our resources that we're going to talk about today are completely free. This idea was built out of the Retail Opportunity Network. So if you're curious to learn more about that, just Google it. The Retail Opportunity Network is a Walmart-sponsored grantee network with over 75 organizations that work together to drive change, specifically in the retail sector. And so how can we help front-line workers build new skills and advance in their creators as they attempt to secure family-sustaining wages?
So that's a bit about who we are. All right. So let's get in to talk a bit more about SkillRise. I'm going to show you the website in a minute. But before, I was kind of talking about the free resources that we provide to help adult learning organizations use technology strategically.
There is a SkillRise framework. This is freely available on our website. This walks through step by step how we think it's important to be thoughtful about educational technology.
I used to be a K12 teacher. And now I'm in adult ed. And I think a lot of you may resonate with the story I'm about to tell, that it's very common when it comes to technology to just assume good things will happen. So I'll give you an example from the community college where I work.
A few years ago, we got a grant to buy a bunch of laptops. These laptops were bought and deployed. And we're like, hey, there are laptops in the class from now. Good things are probably going to happen. I think what we failed to realize is that it's not necessarily ever about the technology. It's about how technology can support learning. And so I think our team hadn't thought strategically through a series of questions, whether it's how do we help our staff build new skills so they can integrate the laptops meaningfully, or how do we make sure that we can use these sustainably over time given that the average shelf-life of a laptop in a classroom is about three years.
So three years from now, are we going to be ready to buy and replace those laptops? Is our IT team ready to support what's going to go into making sure that they are secure and safe to use in a classroom? Are our students going to be ready to engage with digital learning?
And so unfortunately, with that grant at my community college, we bought a bunch of laptops and they largely went unused. And so the SkillRise framework is essentially, if we're going to use technology-- step number one, it's not about the technology. It's about how we can use technology to promote learning. And then what are the steps we need to take to make sure we can sustainably implement a technology solution?
So that framework is on the website. There's a great, much shorter executive summary. And I'll point your attention to that in a minute. We also offer a free online class, which is what we're here to talk about today. And I'll get more into detail about that shortly.
And then the rest of our resources are essentially trying to create space for educators to learn together around this theme of edtech. So we have two seasons of a podcast, which I'll show you how to find those in a minute, which bring together different teachers and students and leaders in the field just to kind of have discussions about technology and the future of learning. We also have a LinkedIn group that has about 300 educators that connect just to share resources and talk about technology. And throughout 2020 and 2021, these resources are going to continue to grow.
So let me show you the website right now. So if you go to skillrise.org, and I will pop that into the chat as well-- so skillrise.org is our website. The few tabs I want to show you, too, are a few out of four total.
So the framework itself, this is what I was just talking about. So you can download the framework here. It's about 50 pages long. So this is a deep dive in to think about how do we implement technology in a meaningful way. So if you want to get a quick glance, I'll say check out the executive summary. This is four pages and really just gives you a high-level overview of some of the questions we think teams should ask if you're going to start with technology.
And when I keep saying use technology, this runs the spectrum of what a technology initiative could be. So maybe you are exploring distance learning, which I know is probably top of mind for all of us. In my opinion, when I look around the adult ed field, I'm actually amazed at how well people have adapted to remote work and distance learning.
I spent a while working with COABE releasing the Google Applied Digital Skills curriculum. And I presented at maybe 10 or 15 different state conferences. And the common theme I always heard was people saying, hey, I'm just not that good with technology.
And for a while, I think people bought into and believed that narrative. But when I look around, I see adult educators largely doing very inspiring and exciting things. I definitely think that there are still barriers. I think we're struggling with retention, with equity when it comes to access to distance learning. But with that said, I also look around and, over the last couple of months, I've been pretty impressed at how well teachers and students are figuring out things like Google Classroom and Zoom, and figuring out ways to connect and continue learning despite the fact that we're all largely at home.
And so given the past two months have been a scramble, now, I think, is a great time to step back and say, hey, what have we learned about distance learning? As our campuses start to reopen, what are the best features that we can take so we can now do this in a more sustainable way? It's OK that the last two months have kind of been a scramble. I think that is very understandable.
So now could be a great opportunity to work with your team and step back and say, OK, whether we're going to continue with distance learning or blended learning, what are our larger goals here? What are the skills that we all need to build? And how can we make sure we are sustainably growing in this project in a way that is student-centered and supports the learning goals of our community?
So this executive summary, which I've shown on screen, is a quick introduction to some of those topics. Or if you're interested, please take a much deeper dive into the framework itself, which has some stories from the field and some questions to kind of dig deeper into that process. So this is on the Framework tab, where you can get the framework, the executive summary, or an infographic that just kind of talks through the process of how to develop a vision and then implement that plan in a way that supports learning.
The second tab I'll draw your attention to is the Resources tab. We're about to talk about the course. So those you that are interested in enrolling, you'll be able to enroll here, which will take you to a Google form itself.
And then down below, you'll be able to access our blog series and our podcast series. So we just published a post about a month ago that focuses specifically about how to get started online in adult education. So I encourage you to check that out.
And then continuing on is where you can find all of our SkillRise podcast episodes. Season one just kind of focused on the future of learning. And season 2 is looking at stories from the field. These are available on all major podcast networks, whether it's Apple podcasts or Stitcher or Spotify. So you can find and download and listen to those there. Each episode is about 30 minutes. So I encourage you to check those out.
So this is a skillrise.org, where you can dig a bit deeper into some of our resources. And like I said, the project is about 18 months old now. So we're starting to expand our web presence now. So you'll see some new tabs over the next couple of months as we expand our course offerings and develop competencies and things like that.
So now I want to talk briefly about the class itself so you can get a sense of what it exists to do and what you can hope to learn from it. So I think the high-level view is we believe that technology, when used well, can be transformative. We think that it can increase access so students can learn any time and anywhere. And it can also increase the impact by creating more relevant and effective learning experiences.
So the goal of the course is essentially that. How can we explore technology in a way that can help, whether we're adult learning or workforce development, use technology to meaningfully improve education and training. There are five modules in the class. Each module lasts for about two weeks. But much like almost any other online class, you can go at a pace that works for you.
So as a quick overview of the different modules, in Module 1, we look at vision and readiness. So what is our goal? Why are we using technology and what do we hope to accomplish? And how well are we ready to implement that now?
The second module is all about team capacity. I'm sure all of you have seen over the last couple of months that our staff and our students bring a range of skills to distance learning. So how can we leverage their assets, while also providing the supports needed to make sure that our staff feel ready to teach online and our students feel prepared to access digital learning environments?
Research and planning then looks at how can we find the right tools. How can we talk with our students to understand their needs? How can we involve students and staff in program design? And how can we create an inclusive and equitable community so it's not just program administrators saying, hey, we want you to do this, but let's learn from what skills and assets you have now and draw our end users into that design process so that we are building tools and solutions that meet their unique needs?
Set four then looks at procurement and implementation. Essentially, when we're going to adopt technology, there's a few different ways we can go about it. We can buy products that exist already. We can take products that exist already and adapt them to our own needs. Or we can develop our own.
So to give you an example, at the community college where I work, we use a state reporting database that unfortunately is kind of slow and doesn't allow us to query the database in a way that allows us to build custom reports. So we were like, hey, we need a better data solution. We're serving about 5,000 students annually right now. So we need a better solution.
So if we're going to develop this new database, should we go buy something like PowerSchool? Should we work with the PowerSchool to adapt it to our own needs? Or should we develop our own database in house? We ended up going with the latter solution, which is developing our own. And I won't say that's necessarily the right way to go. Depending on which strategy you use, there are different questions you need to ask.
So if you're going to develop your own, how much is it going to cost? What is it going to look like to support it over time, whether that server cost or troubleshooting bugs? Or if we're going to buy a solution, is it going to meet our unique needs? So any strategy you take can work. It's just important to think through holistically, what are all the questions we need to ask to make sure this is going to be done sustainably and in a student-centered fashion.
And then module 5 wraps up the course, where we look at communications and professional networks. So how can we make sure that our students and our staff are connected with a global community so we can create curate a culture of lifelong learning and continuous improvement? So this is the biggest kind of overview of the class itself. Let me pause again. Any questions that come to mind or things that I can talk about a bit more?
Neda Anasseri: OK. So we have a question from Stacey Campo. Would it be advised to take this course as a team? What would be the outcome of taking this course, a short statement to share with the leadership?
Joey Lehrman: Yes. Great question. So to the first question, I actually have a slide where I'm going to talk about that in a minute. But my short answer right now is yes. We are definitely encouraging teams to enroll together. And I think that makes sense.
Because if we think about-- let's just choose a random goal. Remember, with module 1, with vision, your vision could be a range of things. We want to implement a text messaging system or start distance learning or buy laptops. There are a lot of different things we can do with technology. Regardless of what your vision and goal is, that project is going to impact everyone in your organization differently.
So let's think about buying laptops to support blended learning. Your program director is going to be focused on budget and how can we make sure costs are sustainable. Your tech team is going to be like, how can we help our staff build the skills needed to use these laptops effectively? And your teachers might be focused on, hey, how do we make sure this is student-centered and that the unique needs of those that we teach are going to be included in this project design?
So when launching a laptop initiative, we think it's really important that voice is heard from everybody in your organization, or at least a representative cohort. So when I get to that slide in a minute, again, my short answer, which turned out to not be that short, is that, yes, we strongly encourage you to say, hey, if you're interested in this class, go back to your team and see if you can recruit a few of your colleagues to enroll together. And I think the short statement, as best as I can on the spot, to share with leadership is how can we think about implementing technology sustainably.
And this is where I would talk about a few of the modules. How do we help staff build new skills? How do we make sure students' needs are represented? So great question there.
Neda Anasseri: Saatchi says, will there be a separate ISTE standard for adult ed? Will we owe a tech plan process change to incorporate the SkillRise framework? So as far as your tech plan, process will change. Yes. It will change dramatically. And we have other announcements regarding the tech plan. But yes, the idea is how OTAN can work more with the SkillRise framework using those ISTE standards, and now the SkillRise standards and framework.
Joey Lehrman: So to the question, did you look at different innovativeness levels of adults, that is a fantastic question. And what I would say is that in developing the framework, there was a comprehensive landscape scan looking at not only what frameworks already exist but what does the research say. What have we learned about andragogy? What have we learned about adult learning theory? Because you're absolutely right. And I've learned this firsthand.
If you just drop technology and ask a lot of new things of students and staff, it's not likely to go well. And that's why I would recommend at least checking out the framework. Because we can't rush through these things. We need to listen to students, understand the needs of our staff, and then build the resources and supports that are going to make sure that we are providing the necessary scaffolding to ensure that it's not overwhelming and that it's done in a way that is actually learner-centered.
So I love that that's on your mind. And it's a great question. And yes, in developing all our resources, we've looked at both what's happening currently across the landscape and then what does the research say when it comes to adult learning theory, so fantastic question.
Next item, I think, was about ISTE standards. So that's actually a project that we've worked directly with OTAN and Neda on is to-- I won't call them standards. They're not as formal as the ISTE standards. We're still kind of working through what they're actually going to be called. But they are profiles for thinking about what does lifelong learning look like and what are the skills needed to ensure that lifelong learning will be successful.
And so once those are published later this year-- our target is to release them by the ISTE Conference this November. Once those are released, the goal is that programs can use them to develop curriculum, for example. So as we build our, maybe high-set or GED-aligned curriculum, or our ESL curriculum, how can we ensure that the skills we're focusing on are also future-proof so that we're helping our students build the competencies needed to be lifelong learners? So again, they're not formally ISTE standards. They're kind of profiles for lifelong learning. And definitely stay in touch, because we're going to publish those later this year.
Course is completely free. Our next cohort launches at the end of June, June 22. There will be another cohort in September. So it's possible that we're all a bit overwhelmed and busy right now. So if you're like, hey, this sounds great, but we're not ready right now, I encourage you to still sign up so you can stay in touch. And then on the forum, just indicate, hey, I'm interested in September, not June. And we'll reach back out then.
And the course lasts for two months. We recommend about three hours per week per module. And so I definitely-- if you sign up, I'll reach out with much more information, including what the expectations are. And I'll talk about that in a minute. But I will try to be a bit transparent. It's a pretty big class. It is involved. And so we definitely want to make sure that you feel ready and committed to contributing and participating at the depth that the course is written for.
With that said, if you look at the class and you're like, hey, that's not for me, that's OK, too. Check out the framework and the executive summary. Because that at least gives you a good introduction to what you would explore more in depth in the class.
And with that said, I just said three hours per week for two months. It's a pretty significant commitment. Later this year, we're also going to be releasing a micro-course, which is more of a 10- to 30-minute, just quick introduction to some of the topics in the class. And we are developing that course right now, so lots of opportunities to take a full class, or check out the executive summary, or stay in touch so you can check out that micro-learning later this year.
So talking briefly more about what you can expect in the class, there's a few resources that we use throughout the course. Most of the learning exists in Brightspace. That's our learning management system, D2L. And so there are some modules that you will complete there.
But most of the activities actually happen in Google Drive. So we'll create a course artifact for everyone that enrolls. And that course artifact is your implementation plan. So as you think through vision, or communication plans or whatever the topic is, there is a Google Drive doc that you can use to kind of guide your thinking, get feedback from our instructors. And those of you that use G Suite know it can be great, because it's collaborative. So our course facilitators will jump in and give you feedback, and help your team think through what's going well, where are you struggling, how can we provide resources to help encourage that discussion.
We also lean a bit on the ISTE podcast series. There's also discussion forums. I'll pause here. I don't know how many of you have taken an online class before. But in my experience, the discussion boards are often not that meaningful, because it's more of a checklist. It's like, post once, reply twice to another learner.
And so we're going to be exploring in a slightly different model this session, where the discussion forums will still exist, but we're also trying to create space for synchronous conversations between cohorts. One thing we learned-- we just ran this class in February-- was that because of this quick transition to online learning, one of the most appreciated elements of the course was just the webinars that we provided, which essentially created space for us to learn across state lines.
Hey, you've just scrambled to get online. How are you supporting your students? What curriculum are you using? How are you reviewing data to make sure the content is engaging?
And so we're trying to build upon that success by encouraging cohorts and creating space for us to learn and navigate the class together beyond the kind of rote posting in discussion boards. So I just wanted to note that there that we're trying to continuously learn and innovate and improve the course based on feedback from past participants. And this June session will be the third instance of the class.
So we've talked a bit about the class itself. One thing I want to emphasize in the module is you will find that they are pretty comprehensive and large, like I said before, a few hours per week. One thing that we really encourage of all teams, though, is to take ownership over the course and complete the sections that are meaningful to you and your work.
For example, you might get started and realize you already have a great comprehensive vision. Maybe your team has already done some strategic planning around technology, and you already know where you want to go. If that's the case, don't spend time on the content that isn't going to be useful and meaningful for your team.
And so we've added these kind of check points at the end of each module that's essentially saying, hey, I've completed this, and I would love to get feedback from the facilitators. Or, I'm not completing this, because it's not useful for my team. We want to spend more time on procurement, or whatever the topic is. So you can kind of customize and personalize the class based on where your team is and what you hope to get out of the learning experience. And we're trying to build the class in a way that makes it easy for you to engage with our team of teachers and coaches and complete the content that will be relevant for you.
So a bit about course expectations, which we've alluded to a few times before-- this slide is what I mentioned before. We strongly encourage you to try to enroll as a team. Historically, we've had probably about a 50-50 mix, sometimes totally individual learners taking the class on their own. That maybe a teacher or a program administrator or a tech coach. And then this past cohort, we really encouraged teams. And pretty much across the board, the feedback is very consistent.
From our individual learners, they have very consistently said, I should have taken this with a team, because there are some things in this class that just didn't apply to me or that I don't control, because I don't have decision-making power. And then from our cohorts, they had said, one of the best elements of the experience was that it created space for their team to think through various questions together and develop that plan collectively. So if any part of you today is saying, hey, I'm interested, I want to learn more, please feel free to sign up. Register on the website. But I'll also encourage you to really go back with your team and talk about, hey, is there a group of us that can take this class collectively?
Our general composition suggestion is what you see here. We think it's good to have a program director or a co-director or an assistant director, someone that has some level of control over budgets, if possible. Also, a tech coach-- we understand that not all programs have a dedicated tech coach, so maybe one of your more tech-savvy teachers or administrators, and then also a teacher, who can then be there to represent the voice of students and the impact on the students themselves.
Like I said before, you will be able to see all of your drive materials in Google Drive itself. We created those artifacts as a way to kind of structure your note-taking and your activities, and also to make it easier for our teachers to give feedback. This is a duplicate slide, my mistake. I should have proof read a little better. And general course expectations, again, is that there will be content to read, videos to watch, and then discussions with your peers, and then ultimately that activity workbook, which is your final implementation plan. That's a hub for thinking through all things ranging from vision to professional learning.
We do provide two tracks of engagement. So those of you that might be just in a wider level of engagement, there is a certificate of completion. This is something like, it's issued directly through the learning management, for those of you that may be able to get credit from your employer for professional development. That's just completing all of the assignments, so working through the content in Brightspace itself.
We're also developing a credential that requires completing all of the assignments and submitting an implementation plan that will be reviewed by our facilitators. You'll be given feedback, and then you can submit a final plan. Our hope is that over time the economy overall is going to be much more recognizing of credentials. And so this is our first attempt to say, hey, we're going to develop this credential that says our team has developed a holistic implementation plan for technology in the classroom.
And yeah, I think this probably goes without saying, but we try to provide a lot of space for collaboration. Because ultimately, our teachers and our students have opinions. They know what is working and what needs to be better.
We also have seen that learning from other cohorts in the class itself has gone a long way to helping teams polish their vision or think through different apps that could be useful for their goals. And so we're going to create that space and encourage all of our learners to not think this is just a self-paced online class that I just log in to take on my own. We really want to take the best benefits of social learning and bring them into the class. And our role is to try to create that space where it's easy for you and your team, and useful for you and your team, to learn from each other.
The class schedule itself, like I said before, there are two weeks per module. The course will formally begin on June 22, and then conclude at the end of August. It is a bigger class, like I said, about three hours per module. I think I may have said three hours per week before. But it's three hours per module. And so it is a bit of a longer schedule that hopefully gives you team time to really dig in and think through each module.
And then we also lead three webinars throughout the class. So there'll be a course kickoff webinar; a mid-session webinar, where we'll check in and see how things are going, but then also kind of start talking about what that implementation rubric will look like so you can see how it will be evaluated for those that want to go after the credential; and then a final webinar when the last module kicks off so we can give everyone some tips and pointers and best practices, and then also create space just to kind of talk with each other about how to finish the class strong.
So that's kind of the deep dive into our class itself. I've got the website here, which I'll pop into the chat as well in case you want to sign up. If you submit the form, you're not committed to anything. It's really just an opportunity for us to give you more information.
And through those emails, I will be the one reaching out if you submit that form. Through those emails, I'll share more details about schedule and when it's going to kick off, and how to kind of enroll your colleagues. And if, ultimately, you decide you don't want to take it, that's cool, too. But there's still a hopefully a lot of resources that you can use that'll be meaningful for you and your team.
So I'm popping in a short link right now that you can use to sign up. It's also directly on our website itself. So you can check it out there. And I will pause for questions. What's on your mind? What else can I share to help your team decide if this is going to be a good use of your time?
Neda Anasseri: Great. We have a couple in the Q&A box. So Jaclyn is asking, my teachers are working so hard, and I will ask, but I can't imagine them spending the summer in a course, even if it's only three hours per week, or three hours per module. Is it possible to participate and share the info with others? So she's possibly interested in participating solo.
Joey Lehrman: Yeah. Definitely. We're not going to necessarily turn away anyone that wants to take it on their class. And I think you'll probably see, through the experience itself, that there's a lot of useful things for you as a team leader. And then hopefully that'll be useful for you as you think about supporting students and staff. And definitely, feel free to share this resource with others that may be interested.
Neda Anasseri: Menna's asking, could a team be a department at a school site? Or would you define a team as a school site? Or how would you define it?
Joey Lehrman: Great question. So I know I kind of talked a lot about specifically students-serving organizations. But actually, last cohort, one of our best participants that had the best experience was a state adult education team. So it was the ABE team at the state office. And they're obviously focused on supporting their practitioners on the field. They don't serve students. So they enrolled as a cohort as well.
So I think, if you are directly serving students, great. If you're maybe an organization-facing team, where you provide PBE, or maybe you're a state office, or whatever the case is, regardless of where you are in that spectrum of service, I think the course could be useful if you have a goal with technology. So maybe even it's how do we create online space for teachers to kind of develop distance learning skills, or whatever that vision may be. So short response-- definitely. You do not need to be serving students to be able to leverage technology in a way that's useful for the field of adult learning.
Neda Anasseri: Menna, I hope that answers your second question, which was, would it be OK to do this with a few colleagues, even if the whole school site is not involved, or since some of the decisions are made by the admin. So yes. Joey is strongly encouraging you to do so.
Joey Lehrman: Yep, for sure.
Neda Anasseri: It sounds like this would be appropriate to develop a plan for an adult education consortium of five adult schools and a community college. So, Joey?
Joey Lehrman: Yes. Absolutely. And kind of like I mentioned with the last question, which is whether you are just one program serving students or the state office, if you're exploring something to do with technology to support upskilling and lifelong learning, the plan is written to be designed to think through what's our plan for communicating this is that. How do we involve our stakeholders? How do we include people in program design? How do we define a vision that aligns with our goals? So regardless of where are you on the spectrum, I think it could be great from an adult ed consortium perspective, too.
Neda Anasseri: Precisely. Paul, that is a great question. And that's exactly what OTAN would love for our consortiums in California to see you do, get together as a consortium and take this course. Because it really will combine those pieces of looking at the whole approach. So that's fantastic.
Let's see here. Stacy, so I would like to have our TDLP team take this and then rework our plan and the evidence of our plan. What are your thoughts? So my thoughts-- so the TDLP stands for Technology and Distance Learning Plan. And there has been some guidance by the CDE, the California Department of Ed, for us to combine our plans.
So you all know about our professional development plan, our technology and distance learning plan, and our IET/IELCE plan, along with other deliverables that we have. So Dr. Carolyn Zachry, our state administrator, has tasked OTAN, CALPRO, and CASAS to work together to develop one comprehensive, consolidated plan. And that is what we're currently working on.
However, do I think that this will benefit your planning team in general, your tech and DL team in general? Whether there's a technology and distance learning plan, I think you should always have a technology and distance learning team. And definitely, you would want to take this course, and it would be beneficial.
So those are my thoughts, Stacy, for your group at the Education to Career Network and for our agencies throughout California, and our consortiums as well, that are WIOA and non-WIOA funded. So I hope that answers your question. And feel free to add comments and more questions into the chat.
As you can see, when you're looking at the course, it really gives you that whole approach. And OTAN is very excited to be able to offer this for all of our California agencies and partner up with SkillRise and ISTE and their team. This has been a long time coming. We've all been standing in the back of the rooms, raising our hands, jumping up loud, and saying, what about adult ed?
And I think they definitely have listened to us and are now really interested in partnering with all of the adult educators and administrators to provide the best resources for our adult learners. So I appreciate that. Thank you so much, ISTE and SkillRise team.
All right. Let's see. I have another question. And it's, I'm not a program leader, but I'm deeply concerned that my public program lacks proactive mindset. How do we convince the leadership that we need to line up with our plan A, B, and C for the different scenarios in the future instead of just waiting for the directives from the state? Joey, do you have input?
Joey Lehrman: Yeah. I would suggest two elements. One, try to find stories from the field that show successful use of technology and use that. In my opinion, the easiest way to change minds is through success. So how have other initiatives helped students learn, helped staff learn, helped advance the goals of the organization. And secondly, maybe as best you can, try to identify what their concerns are, what their problems are, and then position SkillRise, or whatever the initiative is, as the solution to that problem. So how can we collaborate in a way that makes their jobs easier while simultaneously better serving students?
With that said, I've experienced similar frustrations with leadership before. And I find it's helpful to remind myself that more often than not everyone's doing what they think is best for students, and that kind of helps ground me. Because I have a tendency to get overly animated. And I think that that is a disservice to my own argument. So I find that people are trying to do what's best for students. And so if we can position ourselves to say, hey, this is also best for students or staff, I think those arguments become pretty compelling.
Neda Anasseri: Something to add to that is access to resources on the OTAN website. And I don't know if you got an opportunity to tune in to our digital leadership academy final reports, the 14th and the 5th-- actually, the 15th of May, where our two-year cohort was able to present on their final projects. And so possibly approaching your program leader with some of the resources that your leadership projects are coming forward with-- so engaging in a digital leadership academy and the webinar spaces and such.
So I think, with coming forward with a lot of those, being interested in and engaging in some of these courses that are offered by ISTE and SkillRise, and what are being offered by OTAN, your leadership project, and if you need some support from OTAN to be writing these, helping you maybe address those letters to your administrator or your leaders, we can definitely do that, but I think accessing all the resources that OTAN is offering, and CALPRO and CASAS, so that you can engage and look at some of these different academies to help your overall agency. So I definitely would suggest looking at the Digital Leadership Academy. And I'll go over that towards the end a little bit more.
There's some more questions. And I'm going to-- I'm sorry, Imparo, if I'm mispronouncing your name. And I'm sorry that we haven't addressed your question. But I left it towards the end, because I really wanted you to kind of look and see how this might benefit you, with your question here.
So the only concern is that most of the students have access only to Android phones. I really, really want to be able to help them learn English with their limited technology. How can I do that?
So my initial-- Joey, you might have other feedback. But my initial response would be have you access some of our webinar spaces to kind of give you ideas on how some of the educators throughout California are doing that with their low, limited technology, limited English, limited technology skills learners. And I know that a lot of our teachers are struggling with that.
So our webinars are recorded, and I'll go and show you where to find that information, where you can find some of those resources. And this is possibly a good course if you have somebody at your agency that you could be able to team up with. This can also address your concerns in that course, if you're thinking kind of long term. So joey, do you have anything to add to that?
Joey Lehrman: Yeah. I would say kudos to you for even asking that question. I think that's part of what we try to do in the class is-- if we're going to release a new curriculum program, are we releasing something that can't be accessed on a mobile device? If so, that's problematic. It may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised at how often that we don't really consider what technology do our students have and how can they engage with this meaningfully.
So I think it's fantastic that you're asking that question and you're thinking along those lines. And I think the class then would help you kind of round out the rest of the considerations to think through, OK, my learners are mobile only. My goal is to help them build English. How can I do this in a way that is learner-centered, meaningful, and effective.
Neda Anasseri: Penny is reminding us-- these are amazing resources. There is a major shift in education with COVID. And so adult ed needs our leaders to be providing support for our now 30-plus million unemployed adults. So yes. I agree, Penny.
Let's see. So Sandra is asking, how would you-- I'm sorry. How would you do the sign-up for the team? Does every member need to sign up for the course? Or one member signs up for all the members?
Joey Lehrman: So good question. With the Google form itself, there is space where you can list the other members and their email addresses if you'd like. Or if you just want to sign up, I'll reach out, and then we can get everybody else's contact information.
Because ultimately, we will create access to the learning management system for your whole team and then organize your drive materials in a way that are collaborative. So people can still browse the content and then work on the implementation plan together. Good question. So either way is fine. We'll figure it out together.
Neda Anasseri: Great. And Marisol, I just finished DLAC, the digital leadership academy, and was love the course independently. So maybe the micro-courses would be better for me. Can I get more information on these? So do you have more information on micro-courses yet, Joey?
Joey Lehrman: The most I can share is that they are in development. By that, I mean they don't exist yet. We've just started to write the class. They're going to be launched later this year. So our focus has been on the overall course experience. And now that we're into our third instance of that class, we're now stepping back to say, how can we build out the micro-learning?
So I would say stay in touch. You can follow us on Twitter. We're on LinkedIn, on our website. I would guess those will be launched this fall. And I agree. I think they could be a quick and easier way to access some of the content. So thanks for asking.
Neda Anasseri: So if they're interested in the newsletter or being on the email list, they are to contact you, or sign up for the course and stay connected?
Joey Lehrman: Yep, any or all of the above.
Neda Anasseri: Good.
Joey Lehrman: I'm genuinely a big believer in business learning, but blending learning and technology, we don't totally know what best practices are yet. It's just too new. I think we have a lot of great people doing great things. So the best thing we can do is learn from each other. What's working? What's not working? How can we reflect and learn from that experience?
So it's a genuine offer. I hope you'll follow up, any questions, any comments. Keep in touch via Twitter or my email address, whatever. And you can find us at skillrise.org, which is not on this slide. But I'll put it up there.
So thank you all for joining. It's been nice to connect with the OTAN community. And I hope to see you all online soon.
Neda Anasseri: Great. And of course, you guys can also contact support at otan.us, and we will route you-- find joey for you. We promise-- and if you have any other questions for us.
But I do want to ask Joey to release his slides. And I do want to take this opportunity to thank Joey and the ISTE SkillRise team for presenting for us today. Thank you so much for being on the call. We really appreciate it.