OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.
Marjorie Olavides: So Hi, everyone. My name is Marjorie Olavides. Like I said, I'm a project specialist with OTAN. A little bit about me and how this session came to be. This session is focused more on the equipment and software used in the classroom that's because my background is actually in live entertainment.
I used to do audio and video work at live events, shows, and concerts. I was the audio video manager at one of the largest Indian casinos up here in Sacramento where OTAN is based. So I was in charge of getting speakers and TVs installed throughout the casino, and gathering, and ordering equipment, making it all work for a show. I came to the Sacramento County Office of Education as an audio video technician about seven years ago. I joined OTAN about five years ago.
So I'm not a teacher. I've never been a teacher. Everything I know about education mostly comes from the 5 years I've been with OTAN. I know that the last decade, even longer than that has been hard on adult Ed. But nothing compared to the past two, going on three years now. I know that it's been really rough for everybody.
When the pandemic started and the state shut down, one of the last things OTAN did, like a day or two before we closed our physical office, was we gathered as many resources as we could on distance learning tools. Like video conferencing, desktop sharing, different websites used to get information to, or connect with your students, or anything that could have been used to quickly and easily turn a class into distance learning.
We took all that and threw a webinar together like the next day with all the information that we'd gathered just to get it out there. We held Office Hours three times a week for the first year or so. We had so many teachers coming to us in a panic, like I don't know what to do, I need help. Then everyone started to figure everything out and attendance started dwindle. We went from three days a week down to two Office Hours a week.
And now it seems like everyone's figured out how to get everything going. So for the most part, we're like on call which is awesome. Just really good to see you guys all grow. But just believe me, I know that everything happens so suddenly, and teachers were just thrown into it. So just believe me that when I say that I admire all of you. The way you guys have handled everything, your resilience is just mind blowing to me.
The work I do now is like a completely different sort of fulfilling, more so than my previous line of work. I mean, it was really cool watching thousands of people sing and dance and have fun to their favorite bands. But it's nothing like the feeling that I get knowing that I'm helping you all in some small way with helping our adult learners succeed in life.
So basically, I could have sat here and built a presentation using my knowledge and prior experiences to come up with a perfect audio or video setups in your classroom. But each agency is so different, you know, whether it's the lack of knowledge about equipment and how to get it all set up, the budget, or whatever it may be. Anything that I would have come up with would have just been theory.
But what I think would work flawlessly, probably wouldn't. Not only because of my lack of classroom experience, but because there's so many other scenarios or situations out there that I wouldn't have imagined. So instead I decided to go straight to the source and ask some of our adult schools around the state to share their experiences.
So today we're going to hear from some staff at three schools in California here, the challenges that they face in getting audio video equipment, and how they overcame them. So like I said, we've got a tight schedule here because I want everyone to be able to share. So like I said, we'll save Q&A for the end. Just feel free to type any questions or comments into the chat.
So how it's going to go is first we'll hear from Eric Dannewitz who's a Technology Assistant over at Acalanes Adult School, then M'Liss Patterson and Alisa Takeuchi from Garden Grove Adult Education, and then Elsa Magana and Fernando Canales from Moreno Valley Adult School. I'm going to go ahead and stop sharing my screen. And Eric, if you want to go ahead and take over and get your presentation ready.
And while he's doing that, I just want to make sure you all know that if you need help in figuring out what equipment you might need, how to set it up, or anything of that sort, OTAN is here, I'm here to help. I can't tell you specifically what to do or what to purchase but I can at least offer advice and help guide you to the best solution for your agency. All right, so with that, looks like Eric's ready to go. I'm going to go ahead and mute myself. And take it away, Eric.
Eric Dannewitz: Hi, so I'm Eric from Acalanes Union High School District. I'm also the principal tech for Acalanes Adult Education. So yeah, so when we got locked down in the time of COVID, we had nothing to teach, or anything on there. So there's a lot of panic as I'm sure all of you remember. So what we did, and this was also in conjunction with the high school part, is we had to do it assessment of what we already had.
So luckily we had a lot of things already in place just generally in the classrooms. And so all of our classrooms have a desktop teacher workstation. So that was a great help. They didn't all have cameras. So we did have to purchase some cameras, which as the COVID crisis went on, it became harder and harder to get cameras. Your $3 camera all of a sudden became a $90 camera.
We did have all-- throughout the whole high school district and adult Ed, all the classrooms are equipped with audio video. So in our case, we have Extron, which is sort of like Crestron, which is a push button projector system that has HDMI and other inputs on it. All the desktop computers are hooked up to the projectors that way which works out really well.
We also are very fortunate. We have ethernet in all the classrooms. And we do have very good Wi-Fi coverage. When the pandemic started, we didn't quite have a access point in every room but we did have it spaced out pretty well. And throughout the pandemic, we were able to get funding. And we got access points in every room preparing for whatever we emerge from the pandemic.
And then the last thing that we didn't have at all, and I'm sure a lot of adults schools fell into this thing, was the learning management system, which is actually pretty important. And when you want to do stuff online, you need to have a repository there. And I hope there were other presentations about that. But we happen to choose to go with Canvas because the high school end of the district was going to Canvas.
And we had a very interesting time trying to get ASAP to work with Canvas. We were able to come up with something for the 2020 school year, which is about six months before ASAP got around to kind of getting a solution. But anyways-- so I would recommend like whatever you're doing, or what you want to do, make sure to get an assessment of what you already have. And it's probably not as dire as you think. Because you probably already have a lot of the elements in place.
So on the K-- on the high school side, in conjunction with the adult Ed, we went through our various ideas of how to come back hybrid, or remote teaching in the state. Not so much, I don't think the adult Ed got any, but the state side gave us funding for like iPads. So the school district decided to go iPads on a stand.
And I was very adamantly not-- I didn't like that idea. There's a couple of reasons why I didn't like that idea. First of all, the microphone on the iPad is great if you're about three feet from it, and it sucks if you're anywhere around. And while it seems like a great idea to move it around to get right next to the student. And that's just-- you're spending all your time moving the thing around. You're not getting any instruction done.
You could do-- I know when the pandemic started, there was all kinds of people started coming out with all these great camera systems. But like the Logitech Rally Camera, which I've seen demos of, looks phenomenal but it's $4,000. And then that's not even with the setup. And that's great, you know, it would do all the camera angles and stuff.
So what we already had, when we did an assessment and we decided what we were trying to do. We already had nice desktops. We had the projector stuff. So I already covered that. So that's what we had. We had this. So we weren't too bad. We did need to get cameras and stuff. So what we ended up doing, so we tried a bunch of different combinations. And what we ended up doing in our classrooms is we did two cameras.
Because I know from my time-- I went to a Cal State, Hayward which I guess now is Cal State, East Bay. I took a class with a guy who an expert with Mary Shelley who's the Frankenstein author. And it was like one of their pilot programs where they had distance learning. They had the Hayward campus. And then they have a campus out on Ygnacio Valley Road in Walnut Creek, I guess, Concord area. And they would split-- the teacher would split the time there and they'd have a remote thing there.
And one of the things I remember from that class is like you didn't really so much like look at the people. Like you had an idea of there's other people there. You'd have the people on the screen. But it was very important to be able to hear people. So when we're designing this, I thought it would be good to try to simulate that thing.
So we had a back camera in the back of the room that gives you an idea of like-- so you can see the instructor presenting on their desktop, or whatever. If they're a very animated lecturer with lots of hand gestures and stuff, you could see that. And then we also put a front facing camera on the teacher workstation, which is not directly in front of the class, is kind of off to the side, to give them the option on that too.
So this is kind of what it looks like. And we did get out of-- these are not the greatest monitors. But we did set up two monitors. So like when you're actually in a Zoom, you can see like right there that's the back camera right there. And then there's people in the classroom. And then the teacher presentation stuff is right there. It seems to work out pretty good.
But the most critical thing that I think everybody forgets about is it really sucks being in any type of online thing if you can't hear anybody. Like when we were just starting here, there's a couple of people who were like too far away from the microphone, or whatever. And microphones are very interesting.
So here's your standard like rock microphone. There's a SM75. So basically, there's like a little magnet here that moves back and forth. And it picks up in a heart shaped pattern, which they call a cardioid. And it works great if you're about this far away. But as you get further away, it gets fainter and fainter. But it only picks up in that area.
So if you're talking to the side of it, it's very muted. Even you could be like right up on it but you can't really-- it's not going to pick you up very well compared to this. It's going to be like substantially different. And then there's other microphones. You can get like stereo. Something like this, which has two of them. So then you get like a wide field. But you still have the same problem where you can't get the sides.
So they do make microphones that have, what they call an omni, which is basically-- it's picking up everything on all around it. But that kind of lacks the definition. You can't really focus in on the stuff. So this is like-- this is kind of like another one [inaudible] I have a kind of a microphone thing. I have lots of microphones, so occupational hazard.
So there's a lot of new microphones out. This one is actually-- this is what we went with. As you see, it's a MXL. So this actually has 12 little microphones on here. And with some technology, with some DSP technology, it'll actually figure out which of the capsules, the little pick up things that are like smaller than this, that it'll focus in on that. And it'll try to bring that out and turn off the other ones. So then you get really-- it kind of grabs the sound source.
So our experimenting with this in our classrooms is that we were able to put a kind of right in the center of the room. Actually, we kind of put it a little bit closer to the teacher area. Because it seemed to pick up a little bit better for the teacher, which is the main focus. But it's so gives you the coverage. Like if you're remote, you still feel you could hear people wherever they are in the classroom. You can hear them like you were sort of in the classroom as best you can being remote.
And this is probably the most expensive thing. This is about $500. And it-- yeah, so like to mount it on the ceiling, I went on Thingiverse, which is a 3D printing thing where they have models, and I kind of stole-- borrowed somebody's model. And I tweaked it somewhat. And Jerry rigged it so it was able to fit on the ceiling, which works really well.
And the other thing we did is we had a lot of extra iPads which I'm sure a lot of people have just in general. And you can log in twice on Zoom. You can have one computer login, one iPad login, and one phone login. So we use a couple of the additional iPads we had around as another camera in case they wanted a front facing one, or if they wanted one right on the teacher's face. That works pretty well. And you don't need to have the latest greatest. It works all the way back to iOS 8, which I think, when I did this slides here, it goes back to iPad Air 2s, which are like from 2014.
And then we also had a little thing, Doceri, which is great for like a whiteboard. It's a thing that runs on the computer thing. And you could like make it a virtual whiteboard. And then they see kind of like the slide show is you see a really fine version of it. And the people in the classroom see it too. And you can also remote control the computer there.
And then here's some setups of that. So there's the back facing camera. The little wiring stuff there is I had to use ethernet, USB extension over ethernet. And it needs power at the other end. So the cable comes down and all the junks in that box. And then it comes back up. And then it goes across the ceiling to the microphone, which is like-- I don't know if you see the mouse but it's kind of like right about there. That's a microphone in that classroom.
And yeah, so the total cost, Steve gives me an idea of when he wants to spend. He likes to save money. And I think this came in under $1,000. It's a little bit of tech work. I was the only person doing it. If you have two people, it probably would have been a lot faster because you can get two ladders going. Because the hardest part was running the ethernet cable across the ceiling. It's kind of hard to do if you just have one ladder, and then you have to move the ladder.
Yeah, but that's all the stuff that we used. And I guess that's the last slide. I guess that went quicker than I thought.
Marjorie Olavides: All good. That'll just leave some more time for Q&A.
Eric Dannewitz: Yeah. So yeah, that's what we did. We did it on the cheap-- you know, it would be great if we had the funds to do like a rally cam. There's so many vendors coming at us from all directions trying to sell us a turnkey system. Yeah, we just-- we did-- we did a lot of experimentation. I think we spent like three weeks going back, probably longer than that. We had a couple of different things. We tried out a bunch of stuff. And we just came up with this. And this works really well.
And it also has a future proofing. Like moving out of the pandemic, we're hoping to offer it, like if a student sick, or something. Because I know the old-- especially the older adults are a little bit more concerned about getting a cold, or something, especially, coming right out of a pandemic. So we're going to hopefully offer the ability for them to kind of remote in and see stuff going forward. Yeah, there you go. And yeah, I'm right on time too.
Marjorie Olavides: Awesome. Thank you, Eric.
Eric Dannewitz: All right, thanks.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, there is a Q&A in the chat. Like I said, we'll get to questions at the end. So Eric, like I said, is one of the tech people over at Acalanes. So thank you for that point of view. And now, I'm going to actually hand it over to M'Liss Patterson. M'Liss, if you want to share your screen.
M'liss Patterson: Yes.
Marjorie Olavides: So now we're going to hear from the admin point of view. And then Alisa will be our teacher. So--
M'liss Patterson: All right.
Marjorie Olavides: Go ahead, M'Liss, thank you.
M'liss Patterson: All right, thank you. Thank you, Eric, that was great. I am at the end of my presentation, sorry. You get to watch it in reverse. There'll be a quiz at the end, if you can remember it all. All right, so I'm here today with my superstar teacher, Alisa Takeuchi.
And she's going to talk to you really about the teacher lens of the equipment but I'm going to share the story. We are excited to be celebrating our 50th anniversary here. And we serve over 2,000 adults that clearly during the closed time period, during the early stages of the pandemic when we all went out in March of 2020 until March of 2021, our enrollment had dipped significantly.
I do want to tell you a little bit historically is Garden Grove is one of the oldest campuses in our district. And we actually house the oldest building. And I say that because when you're talking about technology that really adds in some challenges with wiring, and electrical outlets, and different things like that.
So in the early-- when I started here in August, I think of 2020, I was a new director. And Alisa convinced me to join DLAC3. So if any of you-- I'll give a little plug for that too. If you have heard about that through OTAN, I really recommend it, the technology, and the distance learning, really the support with that.
And through that, through Dr. Porter's leadership, he had us learn about strength leadership. And I really needed that when I was looking at how am I going to take on this new position in the midst of this closed campus and declining enrollment. So I really look to my leaders. Alisa happens to be one of those. And we had a think tank.
And in April, well, I guess it was March of 2021, Garden Grove Unified said, we are going to mandate that all students come back to campus. And as Eric said, serving older adults, we knew that probably wasn't going to work so well for the majority of our population. Here for a year, they've been doing this somewhat distance learning. And so we put out a student survey. And at that time, 60% of our students wanted to Zoom. Maybe a little less than 40% wanted to return in person.
So in April of 2021, Huntington Beach Adult School invited myself and my counselor to come and participate in a conversation about things that were happening. And we walked in and there was one of these OWL cameras sitting on a table. And I never seen anything like it before. And the Zoom was on and we were able to engage with the people that were on the Zoom. And then we were all safely very-- you know, 8 feet, 10 feet spaced apart, masked, but able to have this conversation. And we could hear each other and see each other.
And so that made me think about well, wow, what can we be doing knowing that 60% of our students wanted to continue learning. So I came back and I walked our campus. And as I said, we have one of the oldest campuses. Some of you might remember some of these. We still had Smart Boards. We had some older model projectors hanging. Most of our teachers had some pretty old desktop computers. Alisa can talk about that and maybe how long we had those. But none of them had cameras.
And early on in the year, I had tried to distribute some laptops to some teachers. But they were still pretty comfortable kind of using the methods that they've been using. And the other piece of it was where would I find funds to purchase anything to really sort of bring us up into having a better way to present to those who were choosing to be distance learning. And then also to keep the students who were coming in person engaged with those who were learning from a distance.
So challenge two was how do I find funds to purchase this because in Garden Grove Unified we do not get any of those state dollars. So no ESSER money came to us directly. We are only able to use the funding that comes to us through our federal funding and through our consortium dollars.
So I met with my account techs at the district level and started to really dig into the budget. And we found that I had five teachers for a variety of reasons who did not return to our campus. So-- and then, I had some clerical staff that also for a variety of reasons didn't return to our campus during COVID and campus closures.
I had also learned through DLAC different ways to market my program. So I had saved about $30,000 there. And then, because my teachers had been teaching for over a year off the campus, I didn't really have any extra duty hours. We weren't hosting our typical campus events. We also moved our registration to online. So that cut down on triplicate paper and man hours. And then I had less postage and printing costs because of the way that I was marketing my program.
So I began to look at what can we do, what can we purchase. So I have two TOSAs and like I said, Alisa who's an outstanding leader, and a couple other teachers who are pretty tech savvy. And they had already been working really hard to help our teachers set up Google Classrooms as a way for everyone to be able to communicate. And like Eric said, at first I started buying some auxiliary cameras and some headphones to put on those desktop computers.
And then as I had learned I had some money that I could begin to purchase, I bought every teacher a new Dell laptop computer. I phased them in over time. My teacher leaders were so great about working with everybody slowly and showing them how using the laptops really might be a little bit easier than with that bulky desktop and the additional auxiliary camera.
Then we looked into having those Smart Boards removed. New whiteboards had already been ordered under the previous administration but they were sitting out in storage. So we started installing those. And I was able to get-- to purchase 10 interactive projectors with installation. That's still ongoing. We still jokingly say, we know that our cargo ships are going to be coming in here any day. Because I actually have two projectors sitting here but the installation company doesn't have the brackets to install them.
We purchased some hubs so that our teachers could be learning how to use the two screens. And then we were able to get some OWL cameras. My district found them, at the time, for $850 for me. So that was quite a savings. And then we invested in some new wiring. And our latest purchase was we bought some adjustable work tables for teachers.
So if you see in the picture in the top left, that's a new whiteboard, old wiring. So you can see the wires kind running along there. It's not the worst wiring that you'll see on our campus. And then you can see the OWL cameras sitting there. Also on the bottom left, you can see that. And then moving over to the next screen, you can see the double screen with the original hubs that we purchased so that they could have the cameras, and show the two different screens, their shared screen, or see their Zoom students.
And then, let me move my screen here. So we excited to say that we got some newer monitors. And you can see sort of the progression as we go over to the right. In the top right is that new adjustable table that I purchased for my teachers so they can move that around the classroom if needed but set it up separately. The OWL cameras allow them to move around. And then the bottom right also shows that.
So the last screen that I have for you is really the investment. So I'm like, I know, Eric, you did a great job with really coming in on a budget. But I had this one time windfall and I don't have an IT person like you at my site. So this was really a way with my teacher leaders learning along the way and really giving us input.
So these are the purchases that I made. That's pretty a conservative cost. There were some other incidentals that came along. But I think overall we came in right-- probably about $90,000 we invested but-- and progressing still but excited to say our enrollment is up. And really the success is that our teachers' and student surveys showed that they really are appreciating what we're doing for them. So with that, I'm going to turn it over to Alisa and I'll stop sharing.
Alisa Takeuchi: All right, thank you, M'Liss. Can everybody hear me OK? All right.
Marjorie Olavides: Yes, we can.
Alisa Takeuchi: Thank you. So like M'Liss said, I mean, this has just been an evolving kind of slow roll of all the things that we've kind of learned and have been learning throughout the course of the couple of years. And so I took it back a step when we were still remote only. We were off campus. And so the equipment that I was using at home was I was using my personal laptop with an external monitor. And I had headphones with a microphone. And that was perfectly fine for what I needed to do with my Zoom students.
So then come April 2021, and we got back into the classroom. I was given a school laptop now. So I kept my personal laptop at home. I brought my school laptop. And they were really great about helping us set it all up. What did we need? We needed to get our textbooks downloaded.
We needed to get access to maybe YouTubes-- things that were very easy and fluent on my personal computer really had to be thought through for our school laptops. And then we really had to work with the district IT to help us to navigate some of these systems that we were being blocked from. Because we are part of the K through 12.
So they were very supportive with that as well as M'Liss being able to advocate for us, and using one of our IT people to come in and set up our laptops and things for any of the downloads that we needed to do that we as teachers didn't have access to. So that was kind of-- it was an adjustment because we were so used to using our own personal laptops and having no blocks and stuff.
So that was a really nice transition for us being supported by our administrators and the ID department. Like M'Liss said, before the pandemic, we were getting-- we were on the slow roll of getting new electronic whiteboards. And I was very fortunate that I was one of the first classrooms to get that. So when I came back into the classroom, my classroom was already upgraded and set up.
So while I was still teaching from home, I had these visions of how I wanted my classroom to look when we were starting to invite our students back onto campus. And so basically, now I was using my school laptop in addition to the electronic whiteboard and headphones with a microphone. At this time, I didn't have an external monitor. I had left it at home because I didn't even think I really needed it. But after a week, I really-- I realized I did. OK.
So I knew that I didn't want to be stuck behind my desk anymore because I wouldn't be able to engage and interact with my in-class students because I needed to stay behind the laptop because that's where the camera was. So being behind the desk, behind a laptop, they wouldn't even be able to see me very well. So I knew that I wanted to move my whole workstation in front of my desk. And so my desk is now in the same place but now my workstation is in front of the class, a little bit off to the side from the front center, and then it's angled toward the middle of the class.
I also-- because at the time I was using either a podium, or I was using the table, my laptop was too low. So I just stacked a bunch of books on underneath it, just like how I'm doing this right now. I have a bunch of books on the table and then my laptop sits higher so that I can either stand up or sit up on a high stool. And then also I was still using the electronic whiteboard and the projector.
And then we had to work with our custodians and our IT people on the hookups. Because we have the OWL cameras but we also have the interactive whiteboards. We had to make sure that all of the connections were going to talk with each other and work. And in some classrooms, it did. And in some classrooms, it didn't. It was kind of a big puzzle for us.
Some of the things that I would have changed, knowing now what I know, instead of my workstation being directly in front of my students, I would have changed it to make it more at an angle. And I do this now, and with the movable tables, these little portable ones, it's very easy. I could just swing my workstation around any place. If I need to be closer, or more closer to the wall outlets, I can easily move my station around.
I was using my headphone. When I was in the classroom with my students and the Zoom students, I was still using my headphones. And it didn't occur to me that I should have just gotten an external camera to face the students, and some sort of microphone, or use my computer microphone.
So instead whatever the students in class were saying, I would relay to the Zoom students, and vise versa. If a Zoom student gave an answer, I would relay it to my in-class students. And so looking back on it now, I definitely would have changed that part of it. But it didn't even occur to me to do that at the time.
And so then once we had students into the classroom-- so you can see now my workstation has kind of changed, I'm angled. I'm facing the students that are in class, at the time I only had four. And then you can see on my external monitor, I have my Zoom students and that mirrors what's being on-- what's being projected onto the electronic whiteboard at the front of the class.
So the Zoom, the in-class students can see my Zoom students. But my Zoom students can't see in-class students. So if I wanted them to kind of engage, or just say, hello, we would do this in the morning a couple of times a week. I would physically take my laptop and I would flip it around so that the camera was facing the in-class students.
So that they can all say, good morning, and how are you, and have a little conversation, and stuff. Because they really did miss that interaction. I think the in-class students at the time felt that they were kind of segregated from the Zoom students. Because for a whole year, they were connected by Zoom in this classroom and they had formed a really special bond. And now they were separated from that.
So the adjustments that I made, I was now changing, again from my school-- from my personal laptop to my school laptop. And then I ended up getting rid of my headphones. And I ended up starting using earbuds. It was just a little bit more-- I don't know-- it just felt a little bit better for me. It wasn't so bulky. And I heard from other people that the voice quality was still as superior as headphones. So that worked really well for me.
Oh, so, as you can see in this picture, in my thumbprint, then I had turned my camera around so that it's facing the in-class students. So that I could take a class photo which I did every day. So here is my Owl. And we were very fortunate that M'Liss had the foresight to go ahead and purchase these for us. We didn't know what they were, just like she-- she purchased them right before our Summer break.
And so we didn't even realize that she had gotten them. And we didn't understand what they were. And so it was a pleasant surprise for some of us. And it was a very scary surprise for other teachers. And she was very good about allowing us to choose whether we were comfortable enough to invest into it, and use it in our classrooms, and experiment with it. And so you can see mine is on, sitting in the middle of the room, on the table.
And then this is a picture I took of the classroom with another teacher. He has now left the laptop computer where he was forced to be with the camera all the time. And he's now in the middle of the room and standing in front of the electronic whiteboard so that in-class students can see him at the whiteboard and Zoom students can also see him at the whiteboard.
So this is a view from a student's perspective who's on their phone, on Zoom, on the phone. And you can see now at the top is the banner of the whole classroom. It takes a panoramic view of the whole classroom. And then underneath it splits the classroom either a single screenshot, or a double, or a triple, depending on the movement and the sound.
Now the movement and the sound are not direct. It's not instantaneous. It does take a little while. But if you're having a conversation with a student in class, it will start to pan toward that noise. And then it will go ahead and split the screen. So then the Zoom students can see which student is talking and then also on myself who is also talking with that student. So then you can see me in the top right, and the thumbnail, that's me as the Zoom host, or the Zoom person. And I'm not sharing my screen with anything.
So now you can see that it's the flipped version. So this is still the phone. And now I am sharing my screen as the host of the Zoom. I'm sharing my screen. We were practicing EL Civics at the time. And now the thumbprint, on the top right, is the OWL view. So students needed to learn how to navigate between the two, toggle between the two views so that to focus. So if I'm talking about something that I'm presenting on, then they're going to want that big focus. But if I'm in the front of the class talking, then they're probably going to switch that view. So that they can see me talking in front of the class. And that's it for me. I'm going to pass it back over to Marjorie.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, thank you, Alisa. Fernando, if you want to go ahead and share your screen. And I'm just going to say right now, while he's doing that, I'm kind of laughing because I'm remembering Alisa was one of those that was always in OTAN Office Hours. How do I plug-in? How do I do this? How do I do that? So she took great advantage of those office hours. All right, looks like Fernando and Elsa are ready to go. So thank you, M'Liss and Elisa. Thank you so much. And Elsa and Fernando, it's up to you.
Elsa Magana: Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Elsa Magana. I'm the principal for Moreno Valley Community Adult School. I was not here when the pandemic and the school closures were. I was actually assistant principal for two elementary schools. So as I can imagine my experience with the school closures and distance learning was completely different from what most of you went through at the adult school.
I kindly invited Mr. Canales if he would help me because he was here and he's been working with the technology that our principal-- the principal at that time had to purchase. I recently came to Moreno Valley Adult School only in January. So I have a little-- almost two months of being here.
So my experience with this new equipment, I haven't played with it a lot. I've seen the teachers use it. It works great. We are able to offer classes that are hybrid. If our student is-- they can choose. They can choose to do it either just from home, or they can say, I'm going to come in on campus. And then if one day they're sick, or like for instance, if a student got diagnosed with COVID, then they would stay home, quarantine. And they were able to take the class from their home. They were not coming in but they were still able to take the class.
But Mr. Canales will be able to explain to you exactly what he does in the classroom and explain the equipment and everything that they went through to have to purchase in order for us to be able to do that now. Thank you. Go ahead, Mr. Canales.
Fernando Canales: All right, thank you. So once the pandemic started, it was mostly students online. But we had to do was, at home, use a computer, use Zoom, share the screen. Mostly what everybody was talking about before. And that's what we had to do. It wasn't until recently, like six months ago, that we got this new equipment, which is called a NewLine TRUTOUCH. And it's a picture right here on the right corner.
It's basically a computer-- a computer and monitor like built together and has touch interface. So as you guys can see right here on the camera, or on the picture right here on the left corner, if you click on Windows, it's basically a computer. You can type. You have a keyboard. You have a mouse. Basically, a computer and you can type on it as much as you want.
There's also other accessories. For example, it comes with pens so you can write on the board itself, on the monitor itself. There's a whiteboard option, which is really good to use for students here in class. I usually use that for the math tutoring.
Show them the equations. I can change the picture of the whiteboard. There's a little different things you can change on it. But I did run into a problem of the whiteboard on this computer. And I'll tell you, explain that later in more of the slides.
There is a camera that is on top of NewLine TRUTOUCH. So this camera is really cool because it follows whoever speaking. Like for right now, I'm really close to the computer so it follows my voice. But let's say, if I wanted to move around, it'll follow me all the way over there. If a student over here is talking, it will look at the student right here, zooms in and all automatically. So that's a really good function about this. So instead of having to adjust your camera, having to move it around, or turn the computer around, it does it automatically.
So I use this computer slash monitor while I'm using Zoom. And the way it works is for example, so it's same thing, same function as a computer. Click on Zoom, want to share your screen, students will be able to view it, et cetera. But for example, you put on the screen right here and the students in-person can also see it. The students online can also see. They watch the same screen.
And for example, the one thing I came a problem across here was that you can make annotations on this computer. But the problem is that students on Zoom weren't able to see these annotations. People-- the students in-person were able to see annotations but students online weren't able to see it. And I was trying to figure out why. Our teachers couldn't figure it out until we came across you know what let's use the Zoom annotation function to be able to write. And now, students online are able to see any annotations we're making. Students in-person were able to see any annotations.
And it's really great because, for example, if I'm writing on a document, again, you can use your mouse to be drawing, or we can use this pen that comes with this device and it makes it much easier to highlight, circle, write any notes. So it's like-- it's a good combination. This computer with Zoom makes it a great combination. Students online, let's say, if they wanted a chat, they could hit the chat box.
So I know most of us know about Zoom, you can chat but it's also good that students can interact with the other students here as well. Because they can see each other. So students in-person can see the students online and then build that like it doesn't feel just as much of a distance. Although, they are distance learning.
So this is Zoom using the whiteboard, for example. So it solves a problem that had the NewLine whiteboard. For example, we can see the whiteboard, I'm sorry, students can't see the whiteboard at home, at least the new board-- or NewLine. But with Zoom, you're able to see the whiteboard here. So this is from what a student's perspective, they'll be able to see it. Right here, I was working on math, working out mean and average. So they can see what I was working on and this is from a student at home.
And this is the perspective of what students will be seeing, on the right side, what they would be seeing in-person. As you can see here on the right side, you can see a picture of me taking a picture of the whole class. Students are able to see that. And this is the perspective of what you see from the student's scene.
And it's also-- what is really great because again, when it comes to math problems it's really hard. You can use your mouse to write on the whiteboard but again, it's much easier with a pen which is really, really great for math. Because writing like equations, it'll be really time consuming and really hard to do that if you just had your mouse and keyboard.
So this is more-- I explain a little bit on Google Classroom, how that would work for students on a NewLine. For example, students here are able to have a book. They'll have a physical book for the GED. So they're able to use that and study. But in Google Classroom what I do is, as someone who guys may have already used, I put in a PDF so students can see the actual book as well.
So what I would do is I would share a picture of the-- or I'll share the PDF of the book itself. Students can follow along the pages right here. Students online were able to look at that picture of the PDF, or they could download it a PDF from Google Classroom. So it's really great that this computer is basically interacts with a lot of functions, like Google Classroom, Zoom. Makes life much easier.
And again, anybody can use Google Classroom from anywhere, as long as they have internet connection. And again, for example, classwork right here, if you guys can see an example in this picture. I put the GED book and I divided in different sections. So whatever section they needed, they can just click on it, download it. Whatever they can see, students here with their book, they can see it online as well. And it's also great for them as well because when students go home they have a PDF version at home. And you can also add assignments and materials and so on.
And the last thing, again, this was more like an extra program-- an extra program which is also beneficial, not that much about technology. Plus Aztec Software, it's our extra resource for students, for adult students, for the GED. It's a website they can use anywhere and encourage the students to work independently. And that's about it for us.
Elsa Magana: And another thing I want to add, we have Chromebooks. We purchased Chromebooks that we loaned out to students. If there's a student that it's not-- you know, does not have the equipment at home. So they'll come in. They'll sign a form. And then, they'll take a Chromebook home so they can have access to that.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, anything else you wanted to add? I see Fernando went back a couple of slides so--
Fernando Canales: Sorry, no. I'm going to pass it on--
Elsa Magana: Yeah, that's the Chromebook that we have.
Marjorie Olavides: Oh, OK. Got it.
Elsa Magana: That students can take home If they need to.
Marjorie Olavides: Got it. All right, well, thank you both of you. Thank you, everybody. I'm going to go ahead and share my screen again. I'm going to open it up to questions now. There's actually-- I know that Ashley posted a question in chat a little bit earlier-- I'm sorry, Audrey posted a question a little bit earlier.
It was when Eric from Acalanes was speaking, says, this is the equipment you were using for remote learning during the pandemic and you're still using it for HyFlex as well. And Mr. France did answer in the chat saying, yes, all items were purchased and installed throughout the closure into our online learning, and now in our HyFlex model.
Let's see, Chris-- Eric wrote something in the chat about the extra. Eric, do you want to--
Eric Dannewitz: Yeah, so--
Marjorie Olavides: --talk about what you wrote?
Eric Dannewitz: I didn't get to it in the presentation. But the other component that we were concerned about was the interactivity of the remote people. That was actually a big thing on the K-- on the, I want to say, K, but it's on the school side too was the ability to feel like a remote person was actually interacting with the class.
And when you have a room mic, and a sound system in there, the Zoom software does a really good job of canceling out the echo. Because that's one problem with having multiple-- like if you have two iPads in the same room or something, you get echo because one hears the other and you get a feedback loop.
So it actually works really well. We have a couple of classes that use it right now. That a remote person can-- you can keep-- they can keep their mic muted but when they need to say something they could chime in and you could totally hear them perfectly over the sound system. And it's like-- it's like they're in the classroom. So that's worked out really well. We were trying to future proofing because we don't want to spend a lot of money on something that's not going to get used. And it's worked out really well.
And it's something, we're-- I think our biggest problem is like getting the teachers used to using this stuff. And there's a lot of stuff. And a lot of them just had not used technology at all. I mean, they were doing thousands of copies of paper. They're very paper oriented but yeah.
Marjorie Olavides: Yeah, I know the technology's been quite difficult for some to learn over the past two years. And like I said earlier, everyone just got thrown into everything. So yeah, totally get it. Thank you, Eric.
We've got a couple of comments in the chat now for Mr. Canales here. Christina wants to chat with you more about this and then David Rosen. Fernando, how much does a NewLine TRUTOUCH cost? And do you find that it has good sound everywhere in the classroom and that the students at home can hear everything?
Fernando Canales: Yes, so it depends on the model. The one we're using is the 759RS and that one's roughly around 6,500 7,000. So it's a bit expensive, but it works. For example, right here, you can hear me talking. Students can hear me quite nice. But if I was to go all the way in the back, I would have to raise my voice a little bit. So people watching can hear him. So as long as you're like within this distance, you should be fine. Again, if you're moving all the way over there, you got to be raising your voice a little bit. But I haven't had any complaints so far about students not being able to listen to what I'm saying.
Marjorie Olavides: Yeah, I heard you-- I heard you fine when you walk towards the-- I still heard you when you went to the back of the classroom so--
Elsa Magana: And if he was to remove the background, you would be able to notice how the camera will start zooming in to the back of the room if that's what the student is sitting. I know with the background, with the Zoom background, you were not able to see that. But it does. And like if he was to move right now, you're muted though, Fernando.
Fernando Canales: Sorry About that. All right. So if I were to move around right here, it should register my voice so you can see me right here talking.
Marjorie Olavides: Oh, that's awesome. Thank you. All right, any other questions anybody? Feel free to come off microphone too. I just wanted everyone muted during the presentation. But you're free to come off mic and ask any questions if you want also.
Speaker 7: I have a question.
Marjorie Olavides: Sure.
Speaker 7: So when you use an OWL camera, can students see the board clearly, what is written on the board?
Alisa Takeuchi: So the answer is yes and no. So it depends on what device they're using on their Zoom. But for the most part, when the OWL starts to focus on me in front of the whiteboard the students can see what is on it. But I will say, though, that it's probably-- they're better off just looking at the screen, switching to-- toggling this view so that they're looking at the shared screen while I'm writing on it. And that would become more clear.
There are functions. There is an OWL app on the phone where you can actually freeze a certain-- I want this view only on this and I can freeze it. But I really haven't played with it that much yet. There's just so many things that they really want to try to get a lot of little applications and things for you to do. But I haven't explored all of them yet. But that was a good question.
Speaker 7: Thank you. So I'm sorry, I'm just kind of a bit confused. So when you use OWL camera you are writing actually on the whiteboard but at the same time you are sharing your computer screen with your Zoom students? They have a separate document they can look at?
Alisa Takeuchi: Yes, so just like if you were one of my students, I would share my screen. And you would see my presentation, let's just say. And then while I'm at it because just like how they were talking about being able to write on the document and have the in-class students and the Zoom students seeing. I have to use the Zoom annotation tools to actually write. So like if there's a worksheet, or something, that's actually I'm sharing screen on, it's a digital copy, I can take my pen and I can actually write in the answers, or circle the answers. So the students can come up and write on the actual document. So then the in-class students and the Zoom students can see all the annotations at the same time.
Speaker 7: OK, so you are not just using the regular whiteboard. You are using interactive whiteboard.
Alisa Takeuchi: Correct.
Speaker 7: Oh yeah.
Alisa Takeuchi: And if I do, and I do, I have two regular non-electronic whiteboards on either side of it. And I do write on that sometimes. And so what happens is that the OWL will follow me to the other side, and then the students can see the writing. Now again, it's not going to be as clear or as sharp as it would be on the electronic whiteboard. But it's still accessible.
Speaker 7: Thank you.
Marjorie Olavides: Thank you. Audrey's got a question now. I see your hand raised.
Speaker 8: Has any of the three schools used your equipment in a career training, like hands on? So we have a pastry chef who wants their hands to get really close so that the students to be able to see how they knead the dough, and do the decoration. Of all that you've shared, does yours work for that type of up close training online?
Eric Dannewitz: I'll answer that because I did something like that for our independent study classroom. So what we did there is again, if you use Zoom, you can log in on three different devices. If you log in on an iPad, put it on a mount. And log in as a teacher, but keep the audio off of it. So there's no audio, so you don't get a feedback loop. That works fine. We did that for a science class. So that would be-- I guess that would be kind of like a chef class, I guess.
Speaker 8: Thank you.
Speaker 7: I have a question about should TRUTOUCH.
Fernando Canales: Yes.
Speaker 7: Yes, so I probably am asking the same question. So you're using TRUTOUCH camera and then it seems like you are not-- it seems like you are not using interactive whiteboards. So does that mean when you write something on your whiteboard, can students in a remote online see clearly what's on your whiteboard?
Fernando Canales: Yes, if you want, I can show you a demonstration right here. Let me share my screen real quick. And we'll put the-- I want to share the PowerPoint. Yeah, give me one second. So for example, you should be able to see that. Are you able to see that? The market right there?
Marjorie Olavides: Yes, we can, your squiggles, yeah.
Fernando Canales: And then if you want on a text, you can add a text right there. Draw anything like shapes, put it there, and so on.
Speaker 7: OK, so I'm sorry. Are you using regular-- like just a regular whiteboard? Or are you using the whiteboard in the Zoom?
Fernando Canales: So I'm using the TRUTOUCH itself.
Speaker 7: TRUTOUCH itself, OK.
Fernando Canales: Yeah, so the actual-- the monitor, it's actually like it's a computer. It's a building computer inside. And it's like a whiteboard itself as well. So you can actually write on it. If I took this pen, and of course, this pen doesn't have any ink or anything. It's just something like touch, like an iPad.
Speaker 7: Oh OK. Wow, thank you.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, we have a question on the chat from David to all panelists. Do you record in-class sessions and post them for students who could not attend in-person, or remotely, or who just want to see a demonstration again? If so, how do you record and automatically upload to an LMS?
Elsa Magana: We don't record at Moreno Valley. If they come, they come. And if they miss it, then they can go to the Google Classroom and get their assignments that they miss.
Marjorie Olavides: Elsa, I'm sorry can you repeat yourself, it was a little-- the microphone-- your microphone was a little bit quiet.
Elsa Magana: Sorry, I don't believe we record. None of my teachers are recording the session. It's only if they are not able to attend, either online or in-person, then they just go to the Google Classroom and get the assignments from there. They also go to-- they use Aztec Software for their practice for the GED. And then our ESL classes, they go to Burlington English. But we don't record the sessions.
Marjorie Olavides: Got it. Alisa, M'Liss or Eric, do you?
M'liss Patterson: I was going to say in Garden Grove, we are not recording. We're actually looking into how we would do that. We don't want to record with the students in class at this point in time. So we were just sort of exploring whether the teachers can be give a lesson and then post it, but not live interaction in the classroom.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, Eric, no comment on that one, or?
Eric Dannewitz: Since--
Speaker 9: I can speak to that.
We do not record. It's actually in California, it's a privacy right issue. And we have to get the approval from our students in our classrooms even though they're adults. They do sign a waiver. We're currently not recording it. But I have had teachers privately record the day's lesson and then they've posted it to their Canvas page. And then the students have been able to access that separately. But we're not really touching the privacy issues at this time with a 10 foot pole.
Marjorie Olavides: Make sense.
Elsa Magana: I know I have a few teachers who record on Screencastify. And they record their directions and instructions of that specific lesson. And then they post it but it's not a actual them teaching in the classroom.
Marjorie Olavides: All right, it's about 3:45. I need to close up the room, unless anyone else has any other questions. I'm going to share my screen one more time just so you guys have my email address. There's my email address-- what did I share? OK, never mind. There's my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If anyone has any more questions, feel free to email me and I will get it to whomever panelist you want to hear from.
Matthias says, thank you all panelists, very inspiring. If I can find my chat, let's see here we go. I'll type my email address in there too. So like I said, if anyone has any questions, email me. If you need help, if you have no clue where to get started, or anything like that, if you just need some guidance on where or how to get equipment or anything, just let me know. I'm here to help. That is my background.
Like I said, I'm not a teacher and what you guys do is so crazy to me. Just I can't even imagine everything, you know, that you guys have gone through for the past few years. So it's very inspiring to me. And just like I said, that I'm able to help in this small way, it's just fulfilling to me. So if anything I can help you out with equipment wise, just email me. Questions for these panelists, yeah, just email me and I will get that to them. So thank you everybody. Thank you so much.