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Speaker: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

Anthony Burik: Hello, everyone. My name is Anthony Burik. I am a project specialist at OTAN. Welcome to today's OTAN tech talk.

I would like to introduce our presenter today, Alisa Takeuchi, ESL instructor at Garden Grove Adult Education and OTAN subject matter expert. Alisa's topic today is simultaneous instruction using the HyFlex model. Let's get started. Take it away, Alisa.

Alisa Takeuchi: Hello. I'm Alisa Takeuchi, and I am a subject matter expert for OTAN as well as an ESL teacher at Garden Grove Adult School in Garden Grove, California. I'm super excited to be here with you today to share with you my experience on what Garden Grove calls the HyFlex model of instruction.

Now, over the past 19 months or so since the start of the pandemic, there have been many different references to a variety of instructional models and many are used interchangeably. So if you are confused on what HyFlex could mean, you're not alone. We at Garden Grove define it as students having a choice of either online instruction or in-class instruction to be done by one teacher simultaneously each class period. For example, my class is Monday through Thursday 8:30 to 11:00 AM, and each student either comes to my classroom each day or they come to my room, my Zoom room, each day.

Let me take a moment to give you some context before we delve into this topic. 2,200, this is the approximate number of students we served per year pre-pandemic. When our school closed in March 2020, we were desperate to contact our students any way we could and try to get them connected online. As many of you know, this was a very difficult task and also, like many of you, we lost most of our students.

In fact, in the last three months of that spring semester, we lost probably more than 60% of our population. Our teachers and staff tried to contact students through calling, texting, emailing, and mailers. Some students did try remote learning. Some tried and then dropped, and many we never heard from.

I still have students I haven't heard from since March 14, 2020. These were diligent students who came to class every single day, but then suddenly vanished. I still wonder about them.

Jumping ahead to school year 2021, after a whole year of online instruction, we were able to open our school and welcome any student who wanted to come for in-class instruction. Honestly, there weren't many. Of my 26 online students only four wanted to come back to school.

I reached out to all of my pre-pandemic students one more time, and two more came back to school. So with six students in the classroom and 22 on Zoom, I had one of the highest attending classes of in-class students on campus. The other beginning literacy class at night also had the highest in-class attendance with four.

Many teachers had just one student in class or none at all. Everyone else was, all the other students were in Zoom. At this point, we were primarily working with our continuing students. We didn't have many new students yet, but this gave us an opportunity to build our website.

In March 2021, we sent postcards about our program to students who attended our school the past three years. We stopped sending full brochures to all Garden Grove residents primarily because, one, it was extremely expensive, and two, we realized it wasn't reaching our target audience as much as we wanted. We know from past experience that the number one way students know about our school is through word of mouth, either through a friend or family member or from announcements made at the K through 12 schools. All further information needed to register was pointed to our website with our newly developed online registration form. The great thing about it was that all the WIOA information that was formally on our paper triplicate was now incorporated on the Google form and translated into Vietnamese and Spanish.

One week after sending the postcard, we had 250 new student registrations. We were blown away. We developed two orientations for students that we just didn't have pre-pandemic, one for online students and one for in-class students. At this point, the new students still primarily wanted online instruction, but we saw a slight build with students wanting in-class instruction. We closed out the 2021 school year in better shape than we had started, but we still had a long way to go to build up our attendance.

A lot of thought over the summer went into how we wanted the new school year to be. We knew for sure we would continue our HyFlex model, but we wanted to make some major improvements. Hence, eight owls found their new home at Lincoln Education Center, but I'll talk more about that in a bit.

After sending out another set of postcards in July, some tweaking of the registration process, and many meetings about the orientation, we opened up online registration on August 3. Within two weeks, we had 720 new student registrations. Holy moly. Talk about minds being blown.

And the extra kicker, 70% wanted in-class instruction across the board. Morning and afternoon, students especially wanted to come to school to learn. At night, the percentage was a little bit lower, but still more favorable than the online instruction.

The week before school started, we did three orientations four days that whole week and continued with that for two weeks after the first day of school. We could hardly catch up. Not a bad problem to have. So now that you have an idea of the behind the scenes, let's take a look at preparing to have students in the classroom.

This is how I had envisioned I wanted my class to look like on the first day of simultaneous instruction. All classrooms had plexiglass barriers, and maximum capacity was 18. I moved my workspace from behind my desk to the front of the class in the corner. The time had come. It was the first day after spring break, and we welcomed the few students with open arms.

Because Garden Grove employees had to do a mandated health screen each day including a declaration of being asymptomatic and temperature checks, students were also required to do a health screening, we developed a Google form in English, Vietnamese, and Spanish and created QR codes for students to use before entering the classroom. We also developed a contingency plan for those who could not use the QR code. A hard copy in the three languages was made, and students could fill out the form manually. Each student had their temperature taken and it was recorded on the form. In case you were curious, I never had a student with fever.

The moment you've been waiting for-- what does a classroom look like with students in the class and in Zoom. You can see, I have my laptop and my electronic whiteboard. When I displayed my Zoom students, the in-class students could see them, but my Zoom students could not see the in-class students unless I physically turned my computer around, which I sometimes did. After a year of being together in online classroom, some of them even started missing each other regularly.

You can see the safety measures we had to put in place. I was always behind the plexiglass and had a face shield on or I had a mask and a face shield on. Students always wore a mask.

The activities and formative assessments I implemented pre-pandemic and during remote instruction were still being used, but now it was at the same time. On Zoom, we used chat to answer questions or type dictation et cetera, et cetera. In the classroom, we used the many white boards that we had before. The difference was that each student had a whiteboard and marker at their desk at all times and didn't share with anyone else. So if I asked, "what is your first name?" The in-class students would write their answers on their whiteboard and the Zoom students would type in the chat.

As you can see, I added a second monitor. For me it was too much to have everything housed on my laptop monitor, then shared with my electronic whiteboard. I kept losing the Zoom toolbar and the gallery view or my presentation.

Now, I can keep my Zoom students on my computer where the camera is and have my presentation or websites or activities on the external monitor, which mirrored the electronic whiteboard. This was quite beneficial for me. This is how I ended spring semester 2021.

Warp speed to August 2021. After patting ourselves on the back for surviving phase one of simultaneous instruction, it was now time to brace ourselves for the '21-'22 school year. Remember, 720 new students?

Well, now all classes had both in-class students and Zoom students, and for some teachers this was a brand new experience. They didn't have any in-class in the spring, so now we needed to train our teachers and get them and their classrooms set up to help them. Health restrictions were lowered. We didn't have to do symptom or temperature checks anymore, and each classroom could go back to full capacity, but we kept each roster off at 40 whether they were in-class or online.

Let me introduce you to Mr. Owl. Some affectionately call him Hoot. He is a 360 degree camera, speaker, and microphone that works with most virtual meeting platforms like Zoom, Meet, Teams, et cetera.

The basic concept is very easy and user friendly. You plug him into the wall, you plug him into your computer, you start your virtual meeting and then you select the Owl settings for both the audio and the video. And voila, you are now free to walk about your classroom, and not be stuck behind your laptop.

Using new technology is always a gamble because we don't know how well it will work on different devices. This is what a student would see in my class on their phone with my presentation being shared, and the Owl perspective as the thumbprint. This is the same situation, but now the phone is horizontal.

This is what the student will see if nothing is being shared. As you can see, the Owl shows a panoramic view of the classroom at the top like a banner. Then at the bottom, the Owl detects movement and sound and adjusts accordingly. It's not a perfect system, and it's not instantaneous, but it's still a pretty darn cool.

From this view, students can see the whiteboard. But it's not as good as when I'm sharing my screen. Because we have so many software programs running at the same time, we have our Epson projector, Annotation toolbar, the Zoom toolbar, Ventures toolbar, et cetera, right now, it's easier for me to annotate from my computer. For other teachers, annotating from the front of the class is better.

As you can see, I'm sharing my screen, but the student has the view on gallery, meaning the Owl view. If a student wants to see the presentation, they would just tap on the thumbprint at the top right corner. This is an image I found online demonstrating how the screen can actually split in thirds at the bottom if there was a lively discussion with multiple people. The L camera basic setup or something similar can do many wonderful things and really bring the physical classroom experience to your online students. But like everything else, the more you have, the more complicated it can be with software and hardware.

This last slide is just a quick overview of how we used our direct training to implement the use of the Owls in some of the classrooms. We will now go back and reflect on our pilot to prepare other teachers and staff. Here is my contact information and links to our school website and the Owl camera website. Thank you for watching this presentation.

Anthony Burik: Thank you Alisa for all of that great information. OTAN would also like to thank all of its viewers. And if you have an Ed Tech tool or tip that you would like to share with the Adult Education Field, please email your OTAN Tech Talk idea us at support@otan.us.

Please also subscribe to the OTAN YouTube channel where you can watch a number of videos on a variety of technology related topics including previous OTAN Tech Talks. We'd also like to remind you that OTAN is a leadership project for adult education in California, and if you are at a WIOA-funded agency, you can contact OTAN for additional services including online hands on professional development. Visit the OTAN website at www.otan.us or contact us by phone or email. Thank you again for watching today's OTAN Tech Talk.