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Speaker 1: OTAN, Outreach and Technical Assistance Network.

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Barry Bakin: Well, here we go. Use your phone for the QR code. This is a nice little app called ClassroomScreen. You need to go to joincrs.com and you can point your phone at the QR code. You can go to joincrs.com, you have to put in this phone number. If you use the QR code, all this sets up for you. But you should see the four or five choices and based on where you are and your school. Well, some are in this instruction. When you all do that, you go to the website where you can see the results.

OK. so of the people who responded, looks like we had 10 people respond. The question was, where are you or your school at in terms of implementing some form of simultaneous online and in-person instruction? And so it looks like six people or six participants stated that you have been offering hybrid and blended simultaneous instruction in any form.

Two of you have said that you're in the process of planning that now. Nobody said I'm not really thinking about it. And also we've tried some form-- the last one was we've tried some form of simultaneous online and in-person instruction. It got a little bit cut off there but it's supposed to say, but we gave up. And then the last one was some other option.

But anyway, this is called classroomscreen.com. If you want to use it in the future, it's a really great online tool. Am I OK? Am I talking?

In-person Attendee: Yes.

Barry Bakin: OK. For doing this type of thing. Notice also I've got the nice little clock up there because sometimes you're presenting in rooms where you don't have a product. So in any case, that's that. That gives me a good idea about where you are.

So it's important for me to sort of give a definition of what it is that I mean by simultaneous instruction, because it's still relatively new and a lot of the terms haven't solidified yet, and people are calling all sorts of things. The same thing, different names, and using names for things that are different.

So this is what I mean when I talk about the way North Valley Occupational Center is doing simultaneous instruction. The term that you probably heard it here a few times during this symposium is HyFlex. So to me, HyFlex has three components. There's the in-person, in the classroom component, synchronous online instruction, which would be like a Zoom meeting. And then the third part is an asynchronous online instruction.

And my understanding of the way that people are talking about HyFlex is the student can pick at any time any of those or none of those. Well, they have to pick one of them. But they don't even have to participate in the other two at any time. So you could be in a course and just go to the learning management system, read all the assignments, watch videos, and you would have completed all the requirements for that class. You don't have to attend. Or you could be sitting in the classroom and do nothing online. Or any combination. One day you could come to class, another day, you can work online. So that's my understanding of HyFlex. Is that's pretty much what you guys have been--

In-person Attendee: HyFlex includes one, two, and thee.

Barry Bakin: One, two, and three.

In-person Attendee: You can simultaneous as one and two.

Barry Bakin: And so what I'm saying is we're not doing this, we're only doing in-person and synchronous online instruction. Not unlike this presentation in that there are people here in the room and then there are also people online. So that's what we're taking to mean in the way we're using it.

So before we get to the actual how we do that, there is what I call a big picture issue that's happening in our adult division. And that is basically the division has opened up 100% online school, and it makes-- maybe some of you attended the presentation earlier in the day about that.

So we have 10 major sites up until this past year, and now, they've opened up what they're calling the Adult Education Virtual Academy, which is supposed to be 100% online. And so it's sort of as I say here begs the question, if they're trying-- basically what they're doing is like previously up until now, every side-- well, first of all, during the 100% online instruction, we were all online. And then, of course, our schools reopened to a certain extent. And there was a combination of in-person classes and then 100% online classes. I'm sure that's familiar to all of you.

And then some of those teachers who are teaching the online courses, of course, they're teaching them because they themselves needed special accommodations. And so they were not coming back to campus, they were still working 100% online. But this is for the teachers and for the students.

And then they opened up this 100% online virtual academy. So now it's sort of the idea is they're going to sort of concentrate, they're going to start moving 100% online courses from our individual branches and consolidating them under the umbrella of this online academy.

Schools will still have the option of offering the blended type classes if they want. And there may even be some special circumstances where an online class will remain at a campus depending on whatever special circumstances there are. But it does sort of even bring up the question, if you have this whole effort to do 100% online here, at this website or this school, and moving the courses that are still on campus back to totally in-person, do we really even need this blended instruction?

And so what I'm trying to say is by listening to the students, students still would like to have at least that as an option because sometimes, they want to go to class and then other times, they can't. So that's really where I'm going for. But we don't know, it may turn out to be that the teachers themselves say it's a lot of extra work to do this blended type of instruction. And you have to have some extra skills, and you have to pay attention to what the people in the chat are doing.

And of course, like right now, I have the added advantage of having somebody to keep an eye on the chat. But do you necessarily have that in your own class? Look at the face there. I'm sorry you fellas are-- people online can see--

In-person Attendee: The last two years where they were trying to do this with 40 students and 20 or--

Barry Bakin: So unfortunately, you couldn't see his face for those of you who were offline, but that was a tremendous look of scorn and rejection and like--

In-person Attendee: Yes, we want aids in every class.

In-person Attendee: We are this 11th slide, there's this is virtual. Are teachers wherever they want to be?

Barry Bakin: This slide here?

In-person Attendee: No, no, no, in this slide.

Barry Bakin: Oh, the site?

In-person Attendee: In the new academy, yeah. Are the teachers centered in a location or are they wherever they want to be when they're given class?

Barry Bakin: All of this stuff is new. The idea is they actually don't have a physical location. So the way it works right now is if you're hired to teach in this online academy, you have to show up at a actual physical school and teach from that school. So you may be sitting at the desk in a classroom somewhere, hopefully in a school site near is to you and then nobody else is in the room, it's just you. That's the way it works.

We have some of the teachers who are teaching in that program and still some of the teachers that need accommodations. So as long as they can do that, they can still work from home. But as soon as the whole thing ends up, finishes or the district has no more accommodations, they're necessary, there's no more pandemic, there's no more nothing, then they would have to come back from school site, yeah.

So in any case, it's an interesting question about this whole idea of whether or not it's even necessary. So right now at North Valley, the school where I work, who is actually teaching simultaneously? Not a lot. Only three courses. And mostly it's because of maybe the teachers themselves were interested in doing it that way to maybe boost their enrollment. And then one are professional development series, which is what I managed.

So we've got one ESL course, one citizenship course, and one ASL English bilingual education for the deaf course. And what I want to explain here is the teacher is deaf, and the students are all deaf but not native born typically. These are immigrant students who arrive being deaf, many times they don't know their own language very well either because of being deaf when they grew up.

So he's actually teaching American Sign Language so that those deaf immigrants can communicate to deaf people who are here who only speak American Sign Language. And he's also teaching standard English grammar and the English language, because they also need to know about English. And just to make sure it's very clear, English and American Sign Language are not equivalent. They're two very separate languages.

And so it's a really interesting course, and it seems to be working out well at this point--

In-person Attendee: We need to find her as a teacher. We had a hard time finding us some teacher

Barry Bakin: Our teacher is a rather special individual. So anyway, how are we actually doing it? So very basic minimal equipment. We don't really have the fancy microphones and the OWLs and the really we don't have one of these. Oh, my God, do you guys like this campus? Some of the equipment that you see in these rooms here, really, really nice.

So here's our teacher. This is our ESL teacher, Mr Jones. And you can see there are some of his in-person students, and he's just got a regular screen. And we do have ceiling mounted LCD projectors, and that's how he's managing.

And this is Mr Hiltermann, he is our deaf and language instructor. So in this case, you can see, he's just got a standard monitor in front of it. He's got a little webcam up on top and there's the deaf student there in the background. Just like in this room, you have stations along the wall. And so the student is also in the Zoom from that station.

In-person Attendee: Well, there are other people that are virtual in the call.

Barry Bakin: And actually because the program itself is sort of rare, we do get people from quite a distance because they heard about, oh, we actually have an ASL for the program here where the students can learn American Sign Language and is taught by a deaf instructor.

In-person Attendee: And so the Northridge Gallaudet on the East Coast is the biggest ASL school, and then Cal State University in Northwest is the second biggest.

Barry Bakin: So we are fortunate. And it's funny because every time we do anything like, oh yeah, I know that person, because our instructor is quite familiar with the community, et cetera. But of course, and then the thing is about the microphones. Audio is not necessary. So you don't have to worry about having a very nice mic. That's sort of irrelevant.

In-person Attendee: How many of his students are outside of LA Unified geographically?

Barry Bakin: I really don't know, but I do know that we have some that are quite a distance. I don't know exactly.

In-person Attendee: That's absolutely fine with your district as far as funding and allowing those students to come in?

Barry Bakin: It seems to be now. Everybody still has to be within California, at least.

In-person Attendee: Because California is in the middle.

Barry Bakin: Yeah, I think that's like, the basic. And also several of the students used to come to the class in person from long, long distances because it was the only class around and now they can stay home.

In-person Attendee: But it only branched out because of the pandemic?

Barry Bakin: Yeah, he was not teaching online until the pandemic.

In-person Attendee: Thank you.

Barry Bakin: So anyway, like I said about the very basic minimal equipment, so this is-- typically, we call it the ESL lab, so that's where the teachers at our campus would bring students to the lab just to do their regular ESL work. But I use that lab to do my professional development trainings.

And this all started actually because of Mr Hiltermann. So typically, whenever he does anything, he's followed by an entourage of interpreters because he's deaf. So if he wants to talk to anybody or communicate with anybody on the campus, he needs pretty much to have the interpreters with him. So they're district-paid employees who that's their job.

And one day, he came to one of my professional development workshops without them because he forgot to arrange that they accompany him. And so I'm doing the workshop, just like now, and I'm realizing he's totally lost because he can't hear anything I'm saying. And I had this little brain inspiration moment, and it was just after we learn that Zoom does transcription.

So I said, oh, you know what? I can start a Zoom meeting right now and then he can sit at one of the computers in the Zoom meeting and read the transcription. I said, where am I going to get a microphone? And so we actually have just sort of like those mics over there, we had obtained from people at Burlington English headsets quite a few years ago.

In-person Attendee: Barry, can we go to slideshow mode? The viewers online are requesting that.

Barry Bakin: OK, well, I'm hoping-- so it usually gets me really confused but sure, we can do it. We'll try it from current slide.

In-person Attendee: [inaudible]

In-person Attendee: It sounds like it. I saw teaching staff, we use Google Mates for the chat

Barry Bakin: Yeah. But so if you notice, Burlington used to provide headsets but I guess-- they didn't provide headsets with two ears, I guess they only had budgeted for one ear. But they're OK.

In-person Attendee: It's on the big screen. You speak and they also listen to it.

Barry Bakin: OK, so they had one earpiece and then this mic. And so what I did was I didn't have any fancy equipment, I just stuck this mic up into the air. And you know what? The transcription was almost perfect, even way in the back of the room. So let's give the Burlington people a shout out for that. And that worked very well.

But then it occurred to me, why am I not doing this for all of our trainings? So ever since that first time, every workshop that I do in the room, we set it up with the Zoom, and then it became this hybrid experience. And interestingly enough, I'm getting more people, more teachers. Typically, I do on Friday afternoon. Our school site does have some branch locations.

So before, people would have to drive to the branch location now, they don't have to do it. We get some people who are on their way home, they're not going to come in. So our overall attendance has risen. Our in-person attendance is sort of dwindled. I still have a cadre of four or five teachers that maybe they're already on campus, they're still teaching on campus variety, and they may come in.

And that's pretty analogous, I think, to what's happening in a lot of the classes that are doing blended learning anyway. And part of the issues that some of our teachers have is that the students are in the classroom, and they start out with a nice little numbers, six or seven. But they realize that these other people are just there at home.

And unless they have that other reason to be in the classroom that they really like it or the social aspect of it, a lot of them are saying, we're going to attend from home too. And then the next week, maybe instead of seven, maybe you only have six. And then the next week maybe you only have five.

And of course part of being a classroom teacher is that energy you get from within the classroom. Like, boy, I'd much rather would teach a class with 40 students or 50 students than one with two students. We've all been there, right? It just makes the day very different. So in any case, that's what happened with that.

So some things to consider before trying this at your site, are the teachers interested, even? Are you going to really have to coerce people into doing it? So you have to sort of gauge that. And again, it doesn't have to be all of the teachers, you have to find enough of them who might be interested.

And do you have teachers who are up for the extra work of teaching simultaneously? Because it does-- you have to have more eyes, you have to be all the time paying attention to the chat, seeing what's going on. It's definitely a little bit more. Well, we have to develop materials that are available online as well. And then are the teachers well versed in your LMS and Zoom also? Because these are skills that are required.

You want to try it with your existing technology like I did or spend big money like the school did or other schools. Let me move this out of the way. And that one too. And then if you're going to buy new, what's your budget for doing that? Because obviously, this is high end stuff.

In-person Attendee: [inaudible]

Barry Bakin: And what devices are available to your students also? Because if your students are only working from their phones, then you're going to have some issues. Fortunately in LA Unified for the last year, they invested large amounts of money in buying Chromebooks for adult students. And we've been distributing those throughout the year. So I don't know how long that will continue but at least for this past year, quite a few students have been able to get devices.

So again, if you have money to spend, there's the OWL. They do tend to be very, very helpful. But even in these presentations, we're told you've got to get close to the mic still, and that does limit the movement. So then there's put another OWL, the second OWL, yeah.

Speaker 2: Not necessarily. So if Barry walks down that way, as long as his voice is projecting that way towards-- and I don't know if the majority-- obviously, the majority of us that are in here are not inside the Zoom. But if you open it, everyone that is virtual can see all of us here in the class. By the way, you're on camera. So if Barry, if you were to walk to that corner, let's try it.

Barry Bakin: Cant wait to do that. Let's see, is it following me all the way down here?

Speaker 2: It is.

Barry Bakin: OK, how about my voice? Because I lowered my voice a little bit.

Speaker 2: See, Jose says, I can hear you guys well. I have attended other sessions where there are issues.

Barry Bakin: And again, there are issues. But maybe in this room, it's set up a little bit better than in other room. That's another factor to consider. And you can change these things, like an extension. You can put one here, and there's like an extension that they have. But this other device on the right is some super expensive multidirectional mics and sometimes, they're putting them up in the ceilings in another location, you get all that. But then again, that's if you have the budget. Yeah.

Speaker 2: Kay is asking us a question online, if there have been any issues with teacher unions regarding HyFlex instruction.

Barry Bakin: I can't speak for all teacher unions, but I can certainly predict that probably, they'd want to get involved. It depends. I know that in our K-12 teachers, there certainly have been issues about--

In-person Attendee: Our teacher union, they agreed to it, and the teacher wanted to. And then someone wanted to just go seeing someone involved.

Barry Bakin: Can you speak up so that people can--

In-person Attendee: Oh yeah, so Placer Union High School districts, upper class, or county are Union. So if you have teachers who want to do it, it's fine. Because we have one high school that's 180 students, the other ones 1,500, so how do you offer calculus? It's how do you name it. That's the principal we got for a while. We had been doing virtual classes when we'd have the classes. We've been doing for like nine years.

So the teacher at the end of the school had to agree to it, but that's the only way we could have about a third of our classes.

Barry Bakin: So yeah, I'm sure that-- I mean, every time you introduce something new, then there's issues of equity, about workload, and also not just the workload during the class but setting things up. Are you compensated in any way for all the effort it takes to set things up? So yes, I'm sure that there are issues.

Right now, we don't seem to have them. I think it's very similar. But you don't get paid any extra for doing this.

In-person Attendee: And Barry, so I'm at this school with all this wonderful equipment, and our director said, you opt in or you don't opt in, it doesn't make any difference. I decided not to. I want all the bugs worked out before I do that with all my clients. I don't feel comfortable enough with the equipment or the training.

Barry Bakin: So how long have you guys had this?

In-person Attendee: This year.

Barry Bakin: Oh, so this is all relatively new.

In-person Attendee: Yeah.

Barry Bakin: I see, OK.

In-person Attendee: So we have many teachers who are doing this. But I said, no, yes.

Barry Bakin: So then that's the flip side of the coin, can a teacher opt out of being forced to do it? Yeah, so very interesting.

Speaker 2: There's an additional comment on the chat. Yes, at Pittsburgh adult, we are allowed only to do distance learning. Simultaneous is not allowed except as a early ed.

Barry Bakin: OK, so let me ask, not allowed by whom? By the administration or by the Union?

Speaker 2: And it says, Union contract does not include simultaneous. Not allowed.

In-person Attendee: By who?

In-person Attendee: During COVID, we went back as quick as we can.

Barry Bakin: Speak up again, Ron.

In-person Attendee: Oh, so during COVID, we had that for almost a whole year. It was half and half. Half students would come after there with the plastic, and we got back as quickly as we can, class or county. But our poor teachers, oh my gosh, that was like, learning curve with no OWLs. I mean, we had to use phonics, which were great, but you're talking 35 kids at home, half there, and they did a good job.

Speaker 2: And do you still practice that? Do you still allow for that?

In-person Attendee: We have a few classes that are in the district.

Barry Bakin: So anyway, this is sort of back to the spending money part. So this was at Garden Grove Adult Education, and M'Liss Patterson and Alisa Takeuchi, who has been here, and maybe you've seen some of her presentations, this comes from a presentation they did at TDLS last year. But you can look at the cost of perhaps rolling that out.

32 new laptops, 30,000 right there bought. New Dell screens, more OWL cameras. You know how much these things cost, right? The OWL camera. So they spent like, 90 grand. And you can learn more about that. Look, I got to touch that again. You can find their whole presentation from that year if you go to the OTAN website. The easiest way to find it is just search HyFlex equipment in the search bar, and then that will pop up pretty quickly.

They did a very extensive presentation last year when this was really new for everybody. I mean now we're a year later, there's a lot more accumulated experience. But that's a nice presentation they had from, I think it was four different adult schools talk about how they implemented it.

Speaker 2: And to answer your question, Barry, about who did not allow them, our virtual viewer said it was district administration.

Barry Bakin: OK, interesting. And of course, to end up, there may be some other issues that everybody has to contend with depending on where they are or what type of school district they're in or who's the student population that you may have to contend before you get started with both. Again, I only can speak for North Valley Occupational Center and some of the other schools in our division. If you're thinking about doing this or you've already started to do it, check with your administrators and Union reps to see what the situation is.

And also I'm in a K-12 system, and it's a very whole different world in universities. Do we have anybody here who is in the university?

In-person Attendee: But we attended one earlier that was a university, and it was interesting that a lot of things were-- because they had a professional in the classroom, they had a lot more budget to make HyFlex happen. So it's really nice to see kind of a difference. But if you want to spend money, you aren't willing to spend as much money, or you can't write, then it's kind of unrealistic.

Barry Bakin: And in terms of full disclosure, one of the teachers who had started this and was using our one OWL camera, he had the one OWL camera in the whole school, he still opted to discontinue it. But mostly for that reason that he found himself sitting in the classroom with one student after a hard time, and he just said, it's not working. I'd rather do it all online or all in class. So these things are still in a state of class.

That's it. We're going to take some questions.

In-person Attendee: Yes, so I had a teacher mention that they were concerned that if they use the OWL, the students would opt out of coming in class. Although one of your examples that I prefer in person, which is what I would have expected that students would want to come unless they put in, besides these examples, do you have data about larger numbers?

Barry Bakin: You may remember from the beginning I said, we had three classes, and then my training.

In-person Attendee: Actually, you talked about your site.

Barry Bakin: Yeah, right now my site, that's what we have. I really I'm not sure what's happening in other schools in our division. It's just that I think there's a place for it, but you really have to examine the whys. Like, some of our students do come from quite a distance. We're in the North part of the San Fernando Valley, that's if any of you know Los Angeles area. And think about, some of our students come from Lancaster, Palmdale. That's a good hour drive from where we are to come to school.

I can't believe this. I had a student in one of the classes, he comes from-- he works in Oxnard and lives in Lancaster. And so he drives from Lancaster to Oxnard, for those you who know Southern California, in the morning and then on the way back like we're the halfway point. So he's coming to class on his way home.

In-person Attendee: He needs to do the virtual.

Barry Bakin: Oh, I don't know, because he's still going to be driving to Oxnard, that's where he works.

In-person Attendee: We're almost lucky to taking over some OTAN trucking programs, because they don't have the budget for it or where that's an hour and a half of snow and deadly. And it just makes sense to do it.

Barry Bakin: So there will always be some students who cannot really come. And so that's like a whole population that is underserved now. And so they will benefit tremendously by online instruction. But again, in our district, maybe they won't be coming to an online class sponsored by our school, but they'll be going to this new entity called Adult Education Virtual Academy.

And then there's a whole other group, which is this. Well, sometimes I can come to class, I really like being in class, but I can't all the time. And so I'd like to do it online. So it's really two separate populations, and you have to figure out, is there enough of that?

I mean, think about what you've been doing for the last 20, 30 years. You've had those students in your class, they just don't come when they can, they stay home. And then sometimes, if that's staying home is a little bit too long, then they drop out until the next semester.

But with this method, there's a greater chance, I think, that they can stay together with the class and finish out the semester. So I think that's really where the population-- that's why teachers may want to do this for the benefit of their students.

In-person Attendee: And you're in ITTA?

Barry Bakin: Right.

In-person Attendee: Is there one in each of the 10 sites?

Barry Bakin: Yes. And in fact, we had a great presentation earlier today where we talked about the way our school district to-- I'm very grateful to have this job, which is basically helping teachers use all of this stuff. But we do have one at each of the 10 sites.

We keep hearing they may post that position for this virtual academy as well. I keep looking at the job postings on a regular basis to see if they've done that. Yeah, but we're fortunate that we have this position. It's an out-of-classroom position. But it's not necessarily full time, some of the schools are more hours, sometimes less hours, but you get actually some time. Anything else? Yeah.

Speaker 2: We have an extra comment, and it may have been regarding your data request. Classes have been doing case studies-- pardon me. Classes have been doing a small action research project on high floods. One of the agencies is Merced. They have very full in-class sessions and have up to 20 online students, I believe. Teacher was very successful with student learning gains. So it might be a program you're interested.

Barry Bakin: But again, my first question is, how did they define that? What are they actually doing?

Speaker 2: How do they define the HyFlex, you mean?

Barry Bakin: Yeah, because they use that word, HyFlex, but what does it actually mean? And then again, geographically, I can believe up in Merced County, you may have a lot of people who can't make it to the adult school and just because of the distances involved.

Well, that's it for me. I'm happy to let you guys go.