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Preparing for and offering adult basic skills online during the pandemic

Hello Colleagues,

In several parts of the world, including the U.S., because of COVID-19, the current novel coronavirus pandemic, universities and schools have shut their classroom doors and are providing instruction only online. Stanford University on the west coast, and Hofstra university on the east coast are two recent examples. Near Boston, where I live, elementary schools have had to close.  I am not aware of any adult basic skills programs that have closed their classroom doors yet, but there may be some. Are you aware of any?

It might be useful to discuss here how to prepare for providing classes only online. Blended and distance learning programs may already be prepared to do this, but might not be prepared for large numbers of adult learners who may want to get into their online classes or use their instructional apps. Traditional face-to-face classroom teachers and administrators may need immediate online training on how to "onboard" learners to apps and how to teach online classes -- remotely by telephone or through webinars that are accessible by smartphone and home computers.  There may be a great demand for professional developers who can help teachers quickly learn how to teach online. Some programs may turn to the 14-state IDEAL Consortium with state members that have  expertise in delivering distance education and online blended learning. Some schools and programs may need to invest in online curricula, but which curricula or courses will best meet their needs? In some states -- California, Illinois, Texas and Massachusetts come to mind -- there are state-or charitable foundation-sponsored technology professional development organizations and projects that may be able to help.  Perhaps this LINCS Community of Practice may be able to help with advice on some of these issues.

Should your program or school be preparing now? Are you already prepared? If you have some thoughts about how to prepare, please share them here. If you have only questions, share those too, and let us as a community try to offer solutions. For example, I have mentioned some potential challenges here, but no doubt there are many more challenges. What are they?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating technology and Program management groups

 

Comments

Sarah Stocker's picture
First

Hello David  and Colleagues,

The Online Learning Consortium's (OLC), https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/ March 6 & 9 webinars and resources at the link below may be  useful to colleagues who need to plan for providing some of their classes online.  

https://onlinelearningconsortium.org/about/continuity-planning-emergency-preparedness-resources/ 

Sarah Stocker

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Sarah. The OLC continuity planning for emergency preparedness resources look to be very helpful, especially for those in higher education settings, but perhaps also for adult secondary education programs.

Ohers here, can you suggest professional development, online learning resources or smartphone apps that would be helpful to ESOL/ESL, ABE and ASE programs that want to help their students continue learning online if or when their classroom doors must close because of emergencies such as the novel coronavirus?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Laurie Bargstedt's picture
Ten

Hi David, 

The teachers of the Amsterdam and Gloversville Literacy Zones (shameful plug - follow us on Facebook!), operated by HFM BOCES, are using three online learning suites in a blended learning situation. They could be used for distance learning. Each one allows teacher to monitor use on behalf of the student. For students on the path of high school equivalency, we use Essential Education's Tabe and TASC Academies, as well as the Life Essential series. We also use Aztec, which provides an offline component that we use in our correctional facilities. For English language learners we are using Burlington English. As long as students have connectivity and a device outside of class, they can access some components of the programs. Some companies do a better job of implementing systems on mobile devices.

We recently purchased Chromebooks. I am considering allowing students that are well-established with our program to borrow them to use outside of class. I am wondering if any of my colleagues on the listserv lend technology to students. If you do, would anyone be willing to share their policies? I am not sure if they can be shared with the larger group here. If not, they could be emailed to me at lbargstedt@hfmboces.org.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Laurie,

Thanks for your great suggestions.

You asked, "I am considering allowing students that are well-established with our program to borrow them to use outside of class. I am wondering if any of my colleagues on the listserv lend technology to students."  I hope you will get a response from adult basic skills programs that lend chromebooks, but in the meantime you might do an Internet search using the terms "library", "lend", "Chromebook" and perhaps a year, such as "2019" You will see links to many libraries that lend Chromebooks. For example,  https://westtisburylibrary.org/streaming-devices/ From my quick scan of these, it appears that many only lend for a week at a time, but you might find some that lend for longer periods of time. You might also try a search using these terms, "library", "chromebook", "lending" and "policy" or "policies"" and you will see that many public libraries publish their chromebook lending policies.  Some libraries, and some adult basic skills programs, may also lend laptops, and they may also have useful lending policies. 

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

 

Cwebb's picture
Ten

Hi David,

Our program is in the midst of training for Rosetta Stone as an options for students in lieu if the virus and long term as well. This is something that students can use between semesters and in the summer to maintain skills.   

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Corlis,

Is your program purchasing Rosetta Stone accounts that students can use, or do the students need to purchase subscriptions themselves? Did your program consider other options besides Rosetta Stone? If so what in particular led to this choice? For example, I wonder if you, and others here, have considered the USALearns English language online curriculum. It's completely free, and has been well developed, maintained and continually improved over the years. It is sometimes used as a blended learning model, but many learners use it purely at a distance.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Integrating technology program

Cwebb's picture
Ten

Hi David,

Yes, we have a subscription to Rosetta Stone and all teachers are getting training in next week or two. Rosetta Stone has been used regularly in the program. It is a source between semesters that students can use to maintain their skills and reduce registration fees, if used.

The coordinator regularly sends emails to alert teachers of new or previous tools that can be helpful in the class and outside of the class. Teachers use these tools at their discretion and incorporate them into lesson plans.

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

David - Thank you for posing the question. The following are some suggestions for local programs to prepare for virtual classes and access to online class material:

  1. Online Communication Platform - There are a number of platforms available to conduct online communication. At ProLiteracy we recently switched over to Zoom and feel that it's a "better mouse trap" for conducting online meetings, webinars, classes as well as 1:1 communication. It's easy to use and the basic version is free. More information can be found at this link https://zoom.us/pricing
  2. Education on the Coronavirus for Adult Students - Our friends at Cell-Ed have developed a guide in English and Spanish available on any phone that provides micro-lessons on What is Coronavirus?, information on protecting self and others, how to access updated information. Click here to learn more.
  3. ESL/ABE/HSE Online Tools - We offer a number of easy to use online tools that administrators and students can access. These include Voxy (ESL), Learning Upgrade (ABE/ESL), News For You (ABE/ESL) , New Readers Press Online (GED/HiSET) and Leamos (Let's Read) a simple and easy-to-use pre-ESL online literacy course that teaches non-literate Spanish-speaking adults to read and write  . News For You currently has free online access for Instructors and Students on Census 2020 stories. This includes a Teacher's Guide with suggested lesson plan and exercises for the online issue. The Census articles include sentence-by-sentence audio, popup vocabulary definitions, and bonus interactive exercises. Stories include an explanation of the census and why it’s important, a timeline of when it’s happening, a story about how many people plan to respond to the census, a story about how the Census Bureau is working to keep rumors from spreading online, a recap of the last census, a story about jobs with the Census Bureau, and a story about what America might look like in the future. 
David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Kevin for this information. Kevin Morgan is the CEO at ProLiteracyWorldwide. Although the products he mentions are proprietary (commercial), most have not been produced by ProLiteracy, but have been selected after a rigorous review process, which I am aware of as a ProLiteracy Board member. It's good to know that News For You, a proprietary ProLiteracy New Readers Press product, has free online access to 2020 Census articles.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

BERNIE FLORESCA's picture
Ten

I plan on using Loom (Chrome extension) for one-way communication -- me on video with my desktop screen.  I only use the Free version.

_Bernie Floresca.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Bernie,

On March 13th you mentioned that you are using Loom for one-way communication with your students. Can you tell us more about that. Does Loom have a built-in feature for making videos? What kind of videos do you make for your students? How have your students responded to these videos?  Can you send us links to one or two of these videos? Do you have any suggestions for others who are interested in learning more about Loom, e.g. particular videos that you found helpful when you were learning about it, or documents you found especially helpful?

Thanks!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Quizlet has put together a resource highlighting how digital tools and services, such as video conferencing, online document editing, and digital learning tools can help if schools or programs are closed for extended or undetermined periods of time due to illness or in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Kahoot! is offering free access to all features to support distance learning in schools affected by the coronavirus outbreak. With Premium, teachers can use advanced reports to facilitate formative assessment and adjust instruction based on student performance – even when they cannot attend face-to-face classes. Premium also lets teachers  collaborate with other teachers in their school or program.

Source: Eschool news https://www.eschoolnews.com/2020/03/07/keep-learning-going-during-the-coronavirus/2/

What online resources will you be using, and would you recommend to your colleagues whose adult basic skills programs or schools may be closed during the impending coronaviurus pandemic?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrated Technology and Program Management groups

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

Hi all.

This is a wonderful discussion. Thanks, David, for getting it going.  All helpful suggestions. I'd like to add Open Education Resources to the list.  Jeff Goumas of CrowdEd Learning has organized a list of OER that teachers have recommended to him.  Find the list here:  https://www.crowdedlearning.org/explore/skill-directory

 

Jen

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

If you are new to blended, online or distance learning, and are looking for an online platform with which to organize your own online content, OER content that you might find on CrowdED learning or in OER Commons, or propreitary online courses or curricula, one possibility is Edmodo. It's primarily used by K-12 teachers, but some adult basic skills teachers use it, too. (Do you? If so, tell us how you use it! ) Another free online platform is Schoology. Some adult basic skills teachers use that, and some also just use free website design products such as Weebly or Wix to organize a web presence for their students.

Below is some information that I received today about Edmodo that you may find useful.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 
 
Edmodo for Distance Learning
 
Your Distance Learning Toolkit
 

We understand how important it is to keep learning going for your students, even while facing difficult situations like the coronavirus. Whether your school has closed or is preparing for a closure, here are some resources to help you get started with distance learning—and to help your students feel part of your classroom, no matter where they are.

 
See the Toolkit
 

 

  • Webinar: Edmodo for Distance Learning
    Friday, March 13, 2020 | 12-12:30pm EDT
    Teacher and Edmodo Ambassador, Kate Baker, will share tips for setting up your class on Edmodo, creating engaging lessons, communicating remotely, and collaborating online. Join in here.
  • Articles: Guides for Distance Learning
    Setting Up Edmodo Classes for Distance Learning
    Three Activities to Get Started with Distance Learning Using Edmodo
    Quick guides to preparing your classroom for distance learning, including ways to communicate, share documents, assign work, and give your students a space to collaborate.
  • Twitter Chat: Distance Learning is #BetterTogether
    Thursday, March 12, 2020 | 12–1pm EDT
    Need help implementing distance learning strategies? Join our #EdmodoChat this week on Twitter with other edtech tools. Join in here.
 
 
 
Tips for getting started with Edmodo
 

We wanted to pass along some tips for getting started with Edmodo in case you or others you know may need them:

 
Getting Started Guide
Ginette Chandler's picture
First

Hi David,

New Hampshire started using Edmodo as a tool to share professional development resources and provide a closed forum for discussions and questions.  It has taken a few years for adult education practitioners to fully invest and engage in Edmodo, but it has proven to be a great professional development platform.  Similar to the LINCS Community forums, we have build groups targeted to different interests and practitioner needs.  For example, there is an Adult Education Newsletter group for adult education practioners; there is a Program Director's group for directors and coordinators; a mentor group for identified experts in various fields (ABE, ESL, Adult Diploma, Volunteer Services, etc.); and a distance learning/ technology group. 

Building capacity always takes time, and after almost three years of using Edmodo to post professional development announcements and resources, the practitioners in New Hampshire rely on receiving information, as well as posting questions that any colleague can respond to.

On a different note, prior to working in Professional Development Services, I used Edmodo as a volunteer tutor and ESL instructor.  Learners liked the look and feel of Edmodo because it was user friendly and looked very similar to the format of Facebook.

Thanks again for sharing Edmodo as a resource,

Ginette Chandler

Diana Satin's picture
Ten

Hi all,

This discussion is extremely helpful.

Here's a doc in which I've gathered the free online curricula that IDEAL states have approved for programs to use in their DL classes. We'll share this with programs here in MA

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fb3BrxDaoxiBRrt_tSQTk0nGFmoA1O5XrG4QvwvMrAw/edit?usp=drivesdk

Feel free to use it. I made this editable version, so if you have any to add that you've vetted - non-IDEAL are welcome - it would be helpful.

It's also worth checking libraries for free online courses they subscribe to. (Yeah for libraries!)

This month we're also going to have two statewide webinars to help programs prepare, one on Google Classroom and the other on USA Learns.

Sherry's picture
First

Thank you, Diana and all, for sharing these resources. I am putting together a document to help adult education programs think through steps for providing distance learning and I'll add these resources. I'll share this document once it's complete.  

Google has offered enhanced functionality and features of Hangouts to meet this demand (quoted below). You can read more here about ideas for using other G-suite tools to stay connected with learners. 

 

From Google: " Starting this week, we will begin rolling out free access to our advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers globally including: 

  • Larger meetings, for up to 250 participants per call
  • Live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain 
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive

These features are typically available in the Enterprise edition of G Suite and in G Suite Enterprise for Education, and will be available at no additional cost to all customers until July 1, 2020. If you need help getting started, please visit our learning center page or follow the instructions outlined in our message to G Suite admins

We’re committed to supporting our users and customers during this challenging time, and are continuing to scale our infrastructure to support greater Hangouts Meet demand, ensuring streamlined, reliable access to the service throughout this period."

 

Sherry Lehane

 

Sherry's picture
First

Here is a  tutorial on using web conferencing tools. Feel free to share. And here's a document, Distance Learning Resources and Tips, created for Rhode Island Educators in dealing with COVID-19. I continue to add and edit this document. Feel free to make a copy and adapt. 

Sherry

 

 

 

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

Here's a PPT offering guidance on how to put together online learning. Shared with me via Penny Pearson at OTAN.   The author is Torry Trust at U of MA Amherst

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1j7gr-wD18yF4kTwS3H7pwQSsy_E1ee125S3jnEMNLR8/edit?fbclid=IwAR0VD0wit0BM4W3iixZu3UXF0kByvDHSXVoKhVNKVU4y3abTuzfnh1MjRVw#slide=id.g710950a3bb_0_38

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

Hi Everyone,

I mentioned in my earlier post the use of Zoom. I just came across this article from Harvard University titled Best practices:Online pedagogy which has some great tips for teaching remotely and many of them refer to things that be done in Zoom (Polling, Gallery view, etc.)

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Kevin,

You wrote, "I just came across this article from Harvard University titled Best practices:Online pedagogy which has some great tips for teaching remotely and many of them refer to things that be done in Zoom (Polling, Gallery view, etc.)"

Although designed for higher education, I think the article has some advice on translation of in-person to online teaching that apply equally well to adult basic skills education. Everyone, take a look at this article and tell us which good in-person practices you think have good virtual classroom equivalents or, from your experience, what would be a better virtual classroom equivalent.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and P{rogram Management groups

Ginette Chandler's picture
First

Hi Kevin,

Thanks for sharing this article.  I found the section about accessibility particularly interesting.  The content serves as a great reminder that we all learn and process information differently.  I plan on sharing this article with our disabilities committee and will continue to share the content of this article with adult education practitioners to better support the differentiating needs of learners and practitioners. 

Best,

Ginette Chandler

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Posted in another discussion thread in Integrating Technology by Nan Frydland

nanfrydland's picture
Ten

Submitted by nanfrydland on March 12, 2020 - 4:54pm

In anticipation of our school closing, teachers were given 24 hours notice to create WhatsApp groups and submit plans for an online platform for adult SLIFE.  My students had just learned how to use QR codes. No one has a computer or email. Together, in the classroom, we created WhatsApp groups as a problem-solving measure.Today, the district closed. Now what do I do? I have never used an online platform for teaching.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Posted by Eric Appleton as a reply to Nan Frydland's post in another discussion thread

ecappleton's picture
One hundred

ecappleton March 12, 2020 - 5:01pm 0 Likes new

It's a good question. Our teachers are in a similar boat. The City University of New York system cancelled in-person classes for the rest of the semester. A one-week hiatus started today, followed by a transition to online classes for all campus programs. I'm sure this is going to be difficult for college students, but they at least have computers. Most of our students don't have computers. We're trying to figure out what we can do with smartphones only. I have a Whatsapp group with my class and have been able to get a little dialogue going, but it's no substitute for class.

I would be interested to hear what other programs are doing.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Nan and Eric,

Good to hear from you both.

Have you considered offering your online class entirely on a real-time online platform such as Zoom or Gotomeeting? Zoom has a free version that allow 35 minutes or so per session. They also have a relatively inexpensive, unlimited time, paid monthly or annually option. Perhaps your program could pick up the expense. With Zoom, and other real time online platforms -- the kind you have probably seen used in webinars -- you can:

1) do presentations,

2) use a share screen with a student or another teacher,

3) have students ask questions of you or of other students and respond in a Q & A or Chat window,

4) ask students who have them to turn on their cameras so they can see each other, and so you can see them, as you would in a classroom, and

5) record the session for students to refer back to or, if they could not be present when the session was scheduled, to view the session in an archived collection, for example by clicking a link in a (free) website you can make using Google Sites, Weebly, Wix or other free website maker. Some real-time platforms also allow you to create breakout discussion groups to use, for example, if you want to have small groups solve problems or develop projects together, etc.

The above might be the easiest, least time-consuming way to transition to entirely online teaching. With a website or a free online platform like Schoology or Edmodo you can have a "home base" for the class, where you host the real time session schedule, post assignments, provide a link to a discussion group like a free Google group that is only open to those in your class.

These are all free or inexpensive, fairly quick to learn solutions to transitioning to a real time online class. The discussion group and free online platform offer additional asynchronous possibilities.

Anyone else have possible solutions for Nan and for Eric?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

This article from VOX points out the increased demand for virtual workplace software but also that in many cases Zoom, Microsoft, Google and others are lifting restrictions on free versions given the COVID-19 situation: https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/3/11/21173449/microsoft-google-zoom-slack-increased-demand-free-work-from-home-software

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Nan,

See below. It might be helpful. From Susan Gaer, with CATESOL California. If you try this, let us know if they have good suggestions for the challenge of helping your SLIFE students.

David  J Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

-----

We are doing emergency training helping teachers move online. The form to register is here, https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cM_ZS-E_oZzJFYJigvRYIa-pFYbHbsaoM5nO3vSqwKE/edit You do not have to be a CATESOL member to join. After you choose the sessions you want to attend, write this down as you don't get a confirmation.....(something to fix for next time) I will then send you the link to the room.

nanfrydland's picture
Fifty

Sorry for the delay, David. I appreciate your response and wanted you to know I did check the link. It didn't work for my learners because the platforms were computer/wifi dependent.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

This is not a quick-and-easy solution, but it is what many excellent online teachers who are also excellent in-person teachers do; they find the online equivalent to as many of their successful face-to-face practices as possible. Below is an example of a translation of in-person teaching to online teaching practices.  Of course there are many more in-person practices that have good online equivalents. Experienced online teachers here: can you give some examples from your own online practice?

Note: this graphic is from the World Education EdTech Center's work with the National Immigration Forum on their Skills & Opportunity for the New American Workforce project. You can read the full report and get more info here: https://immigrationforum.org/article/upskilling-new-americans-innovative-english-training-for-career-advancement/  Thanks to Victoria Neff at World Education's Ed Tech Center for sending this to me.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP  Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello ESL/ESOL teaching colleagues,

Nan Frydland posted the message below in the LINCS English Language Acquisition group. In case you are an ESL/ESOL teacher or professional developer, and missed it there, I am cross-posting it here. Nan provides the details of a difficult challenge. She teaches Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE). If you have suggestions for Nan, please post them here.

Can members of the TESOL adult Interest Group, CATESOL in California, or another state English as a Second Language group offer suggestions? Are you a member of one of those groups? if so, could you see if other adult ESL/ESOL teachers have any help to offer for teachers with this challenge? Do you, yourself, have suggestions to offer? If you need more information you could reply to Nan here, or use LINCS in-mail to reach her privately.

Thanks,

David J. Rosen, Moderator

Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

-----------

What works about old school that doesn't work with Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education is that orality is the most crucial tool for communication, that interconnectedness among students and with teacher are necessary, and that scaffolding is needed when students are exposed to new language and content. How can we reach students for whom these criteria are essential to their language acquisition on a phone??? I know I'm not the only teacher with SLIFE who do not have access to computers, do not have literacy skills, never mind digital literacy skills, and can't text in real time while trying to process the content of a classroom task.  I'm combining old and new schools by creating original PowerPoints with student photos and sending them slide by slide on WhatsApp as content, while I follow with a looseleaf binder of the print copy. I'm making funny videos with my husband as model to tell photostories. But these are so limited with students unable to speak or listen.  In both multilevel classes some students are bored and some students are left behind. My school has provided no support since closing doors last Friday and I feel so isolated and frustrated. Even spending so many hours creating 6 two-hour lessons, I'm overwhelmed. These most vulnerable students are dealing with even worse circumstances regarding their jobs, food scarcity, isolation. I wish I could deliver packets of materials to students but in Connecticut we're supposed to stay home. I wish I knew the resources to send to students who only have phones and can't download or print.  I tried for instance, an online workbook by Cambridge but students can't use it on phones. I can't even use it on my phone. I appreciate all the resources that have been listed on this website in the last few days, but I am unable to figure out how to use phones with adult SLIFE who left my classroom seconds after we'd downloaded WhatsApp.

-----

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Cross-posted from the LINCS English Language Acquisition group

Glenda Rose March 21, 2020 - 10:20am 0 Likes new

Howdy,

First, just so you can have some faith in what I'm about to share, here's a little about me.  I have been teaching online for more than 15 years at all levels, beginning literacy ESL all the way through graduate adult learning classes and in all modalities: asynchronous only (where you never meet "live" with students), live by text (like on Facebook or Twitter), live by web conference, and mixed. I'm also certified by Texas A&M University as a Professional Online Instructor.  As far as ESL, I started teaching English to adults in 1987, have a master's in Applied Linguistics, and a doctorate in Foreign Language Education: Applied Linguistics.  

Now, as to your post...

You are starting in the right place by thinking about what your students have.

Most have mobile phones or have access to a mobile phone, so let's start there.  I have taught an entire lesson for ESL just on WhatsApp (from an airplane, by the way).  How does that work?  WhatsApp lets you use audio as well as text, and you can attach files of all kinds.   So, could you create an interactive lesson plan for beginners on WhatsApp using a mix of text, audio, and images?  I know you can!  It may be a little unpolished the first time, but the more you do it, the easier it will be.

For web conferencing, Zoom is an option that is both user friendly and mobile friendly.   I usually leave the cameras off to save bandwidth, but it's nice to see each other once in a while. What can you teach on Zoom?  Just about anything you can teach in class, especially if you invest in a USB document camera.  (I got a pretty good one from Amazon for $99.)   Zoom also has breakout rooms, which is great for pair or group work. This is one major advantage between the free versions of WebEx and Zoom.  The disadvantage is that the free version of Zoom usually has a 45-minute limit and the free WebEx does not.  The limit is being waived right now for educators. 

For beginning literacy ESL, you can show something, or show yourself, in a web conference to support their emerging listening skills just like you do in a face-to-face class.  I usually leave WhatsApp open on my desktop (yes, there is a desktop version) because my students are so used to using it.  That way, they have the choice of using the chat in Zoom or in WhatsApp for writing responses. Plus, it gives me a Plan B for communicating with students if something happens in the virtual room (like the computer freezing or a lag in the signal).

Again, Zoom is very mobile friendly.  I even had one attend poolside on vacation!  But the teacher should use a computer and, if at all possible, a wired, stable connection.  You can teach on WiFi, but it is less stable.  I actually had my service provider come in and add an ethernet jack just for teaching from my office when I bought my house five years ago.

Again, teaching in this new way may be bumpy the first few times, but you and the students will get better at it.  

Once you have mastered the basics (getting the room open, getting students in the room, different ways of communicating, camera settings, audio settings, sharing screens, annotating, and any other logistical challenges), you can start adding other tools like Padlet, Google Docs, MindMeister, PollEverywhere, WebQuests, etc. to have a higher degree of engagement.  Combining it with materials in a learning management system like Schoology or Google Classroom can also help the students be more connected (with projects and discussion boards). 

Because of COVID-19, my face-to-face classes (I coordinate around 20 of them for the county) have consolidated into 3 levels morning and evening. That actually helps with the multilevel issue.  All classes are multilevel, but at least the online levels are narrower (Beginning Literacy, low beginning; high beginning, low intermediate; high intermediate and advanced).  I have my teachers co-teaching right now so that they can support each other on the technology piece and in the planning - because planning for teaching online means you can't do your old lesson plans in the same way.  In the beginning, it takes more time to plan. 

You can also teach by conference call if the students have their own books and materials ahead of time.  This does not work as well with beginning literacy in my experience, but if it's the only option you have, speak very slowly and clearly and repeat often.  If all of your students speak the same language (which frequently happens here in Texas), having someone who can support their students in their first language will help at the lowest levels.  You can also support the phone call with texting or WhatsApp.  If beginners can literally see what you are saying, it will help them hear what you are saying.

If you have any questions or want to think through some of the issues, feel free to contact me.  

Glenda

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Glenda Rose replied to Nan Frydland with advice on how to use WhatsApp with her students, especially during this time when the doors to in-person classes have been closed. The online equivalent tools, and good practices using these tools, have been important in distance education and now, in this time when learners and teachers can only reach each other at a distance, are critical. Since What'sApp is so widely used by English language learners and, in some places also by native speakers of English, and since we have many teachers and tutors here who are expert in using it. I am going to create a new discussion, in the Integrating Technology and English Language Acquisition groups in which we look specifically at WhatsApp and how it can be used for remote teaching and learning with adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) learners. Stay tuned!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

nanfrydland March 21, 2020 - 11:41pm 0 Likes new

Oh, thank goodness. This is what I was praying for, if I had been praying. Yes, I've been using WhatsApp to send  text,  little videos I made, and to share follow-up materials and conduct some back and forth based on our previous activities, using familiar language and content. But I don't know how to get any audio across and sometimes a student sends an audio message but only I can hear it.No one hears my audio messages. So I guess I need to address the setting the room with audio first---and visual. If I can switch between texting and being on camera that would be ideal. But with your post, I'm on my way after days of struggle. Also, my students do have books that we incorporate into a curriculum that we co-create and that's based on learning experiences, their funds of knowledge, the subjects they want to learn, etc  But I  used the QR code exercises from them just to get some listening activity in the mix (which my students had just learned how to use). I'd just learned how to use a smartboard last month after 15 years of teaching with paper...So we're taking steps into new ways of learning together. I'm very grateful for your post and will continue to ask you questions.

 

Heide's picture
Ten

Thank you so much, Glenda for your great ideas - your knowledge and your commitment to working with students who may not be as tech savvy as others really comes through. 

David had asked about videos for ESL (beyond We Speak NYC) and here's my contribution. In the work I am doing with a school in Rwanda (where we work with teachers and students), I ran across a set or rap videos that everyone really loved - I think they are fun, demonstrate English rhythm and intonation and are great for incidental learning (learning on the fly) 

there are a bunch of videos by Fluency MC on YouTube - check it out https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCo16riRNUATQWQxJODH6qwg - Best to all - Heide 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

I get this question frequently, "How can I help my low income students afford regular broadband Internet?"  Here are two, often inter-related, programs that can help them get broadband Internet access at a cost of $10-12 a month. Anyone else know of other free or low-cost Internet access programs?

Everyoneon offers broadband service to income-eligible families (for example, those that qualify for free or reduced school lunch, or who live in public housing) generally at a cost of around $10.00 - $12.00 a month, although this can vary from state to state. In some states they also offer (often refurbished) laptops or desktops, typically at between $100 and $200.

Comcast Internet Essentials also offers income-eligible families Internet access typically at $10-12 per month, but has announced in some states 60 days of FREE higher bandwidth service during the pandemic. From the Comcast webpage:  "Comcast is offering 2 months free to new Internet Essentials customers in response to recent and anticipated emergency measures associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click here for more details. Pricing subject to change."

Of course, Internet access is free at public libraries. If your students have their own portable digital devices (smartphones, laptops, chromebooks, etc.) they may be able to access the Internet just outside a public library even when it is closed. Ask about the services at your public library in any case. Some may be increasing their Internet access to 24/7 during the pandemic.

Bandwidth in your area may be challenged by the increasing numbers of people who are going online. For parents, particularly of young children, this may not be an issues since the only time they can go online is after they put their children to bed, and the bandwidth may be better then.  We'll have to see what happens.

Let us know about what you are experiencing in your area with bandwidth.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

This was just announced today. On my twitter feed @ProLiteracyCEO I said "Bravo Spectrum! Hopefully this applies to Adult Literacy students and other broadband providers will follow suit!" https://www.syracuse.com/coronavirus/2020/03/coronavirus-spectrum-to-offer-free-high-speed-internet-to-households-with-students.html

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has a daily updated webpage that lists Internet Service Providers (ISPs) with free and low-cost Internet Service Plans.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Deborah Kennedy's picture
Ten
David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Deborah for confirming that Comcast is now offering low-income families free Internet access for 60 days. I hope program administrators and teachers who still have face to face classes, or have a way to contact adult learners, will let them know! I also expect that now that Comcast has announced this, other Internet Service Providers may also offer help.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program MAnagement groups

Stacy Marie's picture
First

I'm skeptical that Comcast really wants to help - 

"new customers will be a free self-install kit that includes a cable modem and WiFi router. There is no term contract." (Any help to install if they are adult learners and don't have help to read directions? And will they remember to cancel? Or will they be billed and not be able to pay then fall in my next note below?)

and under other info on the site:

"You do not have outstanding debt to Comcast that is less than a year old. Families with outstanding debt more than one year old may still be eligible.

You live in an area where Comcast Internet service is available but have not subscribed to it within the last 90 days."

 - So if you have subscribed and canceled because whatever reason you cannot get it and if you owe money you cannot get it. This should be waived to help kids and adults both in times of emergency.

Jessie Stadd's picture
One hundred

A resource that we can share with adult learners is the LINCS Learner Center - https://learner.lincs.ed.gov/. The Learner Center links to federally-funded resources for learners. It is organized around goals such as "Learn to Read" or "Learn English". All resources are freely available, online, and ready for adult learners to engage with at any time!

Stacy Marie's picture
First

Thanks all for sharing! I have created a remote tutoring guide that helps volunteer tutors get their adult learner a Google account so they can usually sign into sites and apps with one click through that. Also included many of the sites from here and others. 

Also, included a few ideas to get tutors thinking for learners that do not have access to tech:

With or without a smartphone:

  • Regular check-in calls and/or texts

    • Keep these short - unless the learner has something to look at it may get more confusing than becoming more clear

  • Calls can be extra helpful for ELL learners practicing conversation

  • Texts can be great for grammar    

    • Send a short text, have the learner correct it, or find an error and text back and forth until it is correct

    • Practice expanding sentences - start with ‘I stayed home today.’ They add in a word retyping the whole sentence with the word in it then you do the same and continue on until you can’t come up with anything else to add

    • Practice writing a story - you start with a sentence, they add one, you add one and so on. Create poetry or lyrics this way too

    • Send a short text then call to discuss what vocabulary words mean or if it is grammatically correct

  • Keep them as you would a lesson plan: if practicing grammar stick to one grammar point

  • Set time expectations for responses for texts and calls - it can be at a set time each week or if ongoing set parameters of certain times during the day and a timeframe to respond

greneau's picture
Ten

Hello Jessie,

Thank you for sharing this resource. I took a look at it as many of the programs I manage are looking for free resources to use during our state's mandatory COVID-19  break. However, you did not mention if the learners need to join LINCS to access this resource. I also wondered how someone  who wishes to learn how to read or improve their English skills would be able to navigate the site on their own. There was quite a lot of reading needed to figure out where they should go to find what they where looking for. Maybe you could share your insights into how instructor's can use this resource and learners can access this site as a distance learning tool. Thanks.

Jessie Stadd's picture
One hundred

Thanks for your questions. Everything on the Learner Center is fully and freely available. (The Learner Center only hosts federally-funded materials and resources). There is no need to register as a LINCS user to access LINCS Learner Center or any of the resources in it. There are a lot of resources on the site, so instructors may want to recommend specific resources to learners, so that learners don't have to explore the entire site to find the resource that may be of best use to them.

For Spanish speakers, there is a Spanish-language version of the website, accessed here: https://learner.lincs.ed.gov/?language=es

There are also some helpful video resources under the Common Questions on the site to help folks get started. Here's a link to the resources: https://learner.lincs.ed.gov/faq?language=en#question-1

I hope that helps! If others have used the Learner Center in their instruction, please share!

BrookeIstas's picture
One hundred

Hello all,

As practitioners are considering moving from face-to-face to online, I thought I would add my thoughts about how to move mathematics instruction online.  I have taught online mathematics for many years.  I would suggest for a new instructor who is moving online to consider using https://zoom.us/ ZOOM is a great (free 40 minutes) real-time conference tool that I have used.  It has a feature that will allow you to share a WHITEBOARD, then using a touch screen monitor/screen, you can write on it; or, if you have a tablet pad you can write, too.  Without those, you can use a mouse but it is a bit more challenging.  You could choose to record these meetings and upload them to YouTube.  I would recommend creating a channel on YouTube to house these videos so other students can see them.

Another thing you can consider is the website: https://classroomscreen.com/ it is a whiteboard, too.  Then using a screen recorder, like Jing or Screen-Cast-O-Matic, you can upload those videos for students to access them, too.  

This is a very simple way to still reach students as many of us are having to transition.  A colleague of mine posted a list of Education Companies Offering Free Subscriptions due to School closings.  

In the LINCS Math and Numeracy CoP, we are also discussing moving math online.  If you wish to join this content-specific discussion please join us: https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/how-do-we-move-math-instruction or in the LINCS Science CoP: https://community.lincs.ed.gov/discussion/how-do-we-move-science-instruction-online

I will monitor all these discussions to help support everyone as we make these adjustments.

Brooke Istas

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

In the move towards more online learning, I want to highlight the need to think about making choices around platforms, materials and resources that are accessible for all.  The University of Arkansas at Little Rock (UALR) offers Ten Steps Toward Universal Design of Online Courses to help with that process.

From UALR's site, "One does not achieve the level of usability aspired to with a simple checklist, but with an open mind and a commitment to making design and inclusion a priority.  There are a few elements, though, that if taken into consideration, can enhance access and usability greatly. Knowing and incorporating these elements on the front end of the design process can save hours down the line.

  1. Include a welcoming access statement.
  2. Provide simple, consistent navigation.
  3. Choose tools carefully.
  4. Model and teach good discussion board etiquette.
  5. Use color with care.
  6. Make sure text is readable.
  7. Provide accessible document formats.
  8. Describe graphics and visual elements.
  9. Caption videos and transcribe audio clips.
  10. Rethink, redesign PowerPoint presentations.

Best,

Mike Cruse

Disabilities and Equitable Outcomes Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

 

 
 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Mike, these recommendations for universal design on online courses are terrific. Some can be implemented quickly; others may require training and more time to implement. I see a need for ideally free online professional development with some of these. Do you know if that exists?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

Yes, there are several good resources for persons interested in learning more about UDL.  Here are a few that I'm familiar with, but I'm sure that there are others out there.  If anyone has other suggestions, please share them.

Google's UDL Tech Toolkit

National Center on Accessible Educational Materials (AEM)

Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST): UDL Curriculum Toolkit

Best,

Mike 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

This discussion is ongoing, however since there are so many ideas and resources already suggested, I thought it might be useful to create a Google Doc summary, with a couple of resources added that were not posted. You will find the summary here.  I have also added links to some of the suggested resources.

Keep posting and replying!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Susan Giuliano's picture
Ten

I came across this list of companies that are offering free subscriptions. Hope it is useful for some folks.  

http://amazingeducationalresources.com/

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Susan. This is indeed an amazing list of free online resources that includes many for K-12 teachers and learners, and some that are also useful for adult basic skills teachers and learners. One way to use it, and perhaps this is what you had in mind, is to check if a resource that you want to use is now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, available for free. It might also be useful for family literacy programs that offer Parent and Child Together (PACT) Activities, and wonder how these could be done at home when schools are closed. Do you, or do others here, see other ways this online spreadsheet of resources, links and sometime comments, could be used for adult basic skills online teaching and learning ?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

One of our Integrating Technology members raised a question for which I seek your opinion: some adult learners may need to self quarantine. If they don't have Internet access from a computer or smartphone from home, can help be provided? Could your program prepare, print and mail or deliver old-fashioned distance learning hard copy lessons? Are there still publishers who provide adult basic skills education material by mail, i.e. correspondence courses? Could a local public library loan an Internet accessible device, and could Internet access be provided free, for example from an ISP that is providing free access for a few weeks? If anyone has information or thoughts about solutions to this problem, please reply here.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

ashly winkle's picture
Fifty

I curated a list using Wakelet specific to adult ed. I am going to be updating as I come across more ed tech specials, etc. https://wke.lt/w/s/BJ2cKo

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

The Barbara Bush Foundation has prepared an Educational Toolkit for At-Home learning. Please help share this with adult learners and others who are parents with children at home now that many schools have closed.  After you have had a chance to look at this, or use it, feel free to comment here on how it might be used.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello, I teach ESL to adult learners through a free program offered at our community college. This discussion is extremely helpful as we've experienced the sudden shut down of in-person classes like so many others. I'm going to be spending time checking out all of the resources mentioned here and trying to figure out which ones would work best for my students.

All of my students have smart phones, but many do not have tablets or laptops. I have a WhatsApp group for each of my classes. We're trying to have the students complete some work at home for as long as this break lasts. I already have them set up with accounts on newsela, and they are familiar with using youtube to access various practice lessons from sites such as EnglishClass101.com. Other resources we've used include  gamestolearnenglish.com and  eslcafe.com. 

I appreciate the Educational Toolkit mentioned above. I think Storyline Online is a possible resource my students could use, even though the books are childrens' books. Many of them also have children at home and maybe they could listen together with their children.

Jennifer Kluempen ESL instructor: Trenton, NJ

 

 

 

 

Paul Rogers's picture
One hundred

David et al: in my opinion we not only should think about online learning during this crisis but all the time. I firmly believe that the use of technology increases interest in learning and therefore speed of learning. It should also increase enrollment especially if we adopt the Drop-In model.

Vinod Lobo's picture
Ten

Our Learning Upgrade team collaborating with ProLiteracy, New Readers Press and WorldEd have developed an action plan for instructors to deliver Adult Ed including ESL, ABE, Math, and GED Prep to learners at home using smartphones and devices. 

The key challenge is remote onboarding: what if your site is already closed, and learners are not yet enrolled in an online resource?

We are making Learning Upgrade available as a no-cost pilot to new programs.  To get instructors started, we are offering a webinar that goes through our approach to remote onboarding, ongoing communication, tracking progress, and rewarding success.

Webinar: Thursday March 19, 2pm EST

For more info and to sign up for the no-cost pilot and the webinar, visit:

https://web.learningupgrade.com/remote-learning/

We welcome your ideas for remote onboarding and look forward to a conversation on Thursday.

-- Vinod,  Learning Upgrade

 
David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

There is a Google Doc summary of resources recommended in the "Preparing for and offering adult basic skills online during the pandemic" discussion.  I have been updating the summary daily. You will find the summary here.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

Hello Everyone,

News for You Online—New Readers Press is providing FREE access to News For You a weekly publication for adult learners that uses current event articles and human interest stories to engage learners’ interest while building skills in reading, comprehension, and vocabulary. Use the courtesy password 22667F through April 30, 2020, to access News for You Online at www.newsforyouonline.com. News for You Online includes a Tips for Teachers section where instructors can find the video How to Use News for You Online and other helpful resources. There are several articles related to COVID-19 with more being added in the coming weeks.

brettstaylor's picture
Ten
I will have prepared lessons and also be open to requests for help on any topic.
The student should put their name and program name when logging on.
Wednesday, 3/18/20 - 10am & 5pm (Eastern Time Zone)
Thursday, 3/19/20 - 10am & 7pm
Friday, 3/20/20 - 10 am & 7 pm 
Saturday, 3/21/20 - 10 am & 7 pm
Sunday, 3/22/20 - 7 pm
 
Share to any potentially interested persons.
Website to follow for weekly schedule-  https://tinyurl.com/aemath   

--

Brett Steven Taylor

Cell- 803-230-1069 (OK to text or call)

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Brett,

It sounds like you are offering free online math lessons for any adult learner anywhere. Is that correct? 

If so, this is fascinating, and prompts many questions.

Questions that potential learners may have

1. Who are you? That is, could you tell those who may be interested, perhaps on your web page, a little about your experience teaching adult math and numeracy?

2. Is there a fee for these classes?

3. Who are these classes designed for -- adult learners only, or anyone? Learners at what level(s) of numeracy or math?

4. How does this work? (Brett, It looks like you are using BlackBoard Collaborate. Can you provide instructions, for example a screencast video for how to get access to your BlackBoard Collaborate site, or is it as simple as clinking on the link from your webpage? Also, adult learners might want to know what course or curriculum you may be using.

5. How long is each session?

6. Is there homework?

7. As a student, can I just watch without having to do problems?

Questions for that I have for you

1. It looks like there may be a limit to the number of people who can join your session. What happens if that number is reached when someone tries to log in?

2. Will a potential student get a notice of some kind that the session is full?

3. If more people want your classes than you have room for, will you then set up a registration process for the next group of sessions, or just keep it as first come, first served?

4. Will you have a way to know how the sessions are going, especially whether or not learners are gaining the skills you intended?

5. Will learners be told the objectives of the session, that is, what they should know or be able to by the end of each session?

6. Is it okay for adult ed teachers to join and just observe what is happening, or would you prefer to have only adult learners?

Others here may have questions for you too. If so, let's hear them.

Can you let us know how this goes, Brett? Perhaps others here are thinking of doing this in their state or for students in their program. They may be able to learn from what you are doing.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

 

 

brettstaylor's picture
Ten

Hi David,

The class is free. It lasts about an hour mol.

I am a certified teacher: SC Elementary and Middle School Math, NC: Math 1 through 12th, Florida: Math 1 through 12.

I taught online GED Classes at Tomlinson Adult Ed in St. Petersburg, Florida...also in person AE classes in a lab setting for about 20 years.

I was a statewide Training Specialist from 2011 to 2018 for SC Adult Ed,

Everyone is welcome to check it out or send students...I am unsure of capacity on this Blackboard account but if it is limited abd we reach that limit I will deal with it at that time.

The BBC account is being shared with me thanks to a Florida colleague who has online classes and I have been keeping my hand in it doing one session a week since September.  I have been teaching part-time at Lancaster Adult Education since July this year.

ALSO...I welcome any interested teachers to join us and try teaching a live online class.  We will train in use of BBC.

Right now I vary the content difficulty level and topics.  I have several Powerpoints I have used over the years that I freshen up and use.  I will be developing more.

Thanks,

Brett

PS I met you at COABE in Phoenix a couple of years back.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Brett. I remember meeting you in Phoenix. it's good to re-connect with you here. It's great that you are offering this free online math class for adult learners. Please let us know how it goes, and what you are learning from doing it. Also, be sure to announce here when the training is available that you plan to provide to other teachers in using Blackboard Collaborate.

David

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Jeff Goumas's picture
Fifty

I've sat in on one of Brett's classes. If I recall it started at 9 PM eastern, and there were nearly 10 students on. It's amazing dedication by Brett and by these learners. 

I find this to be an interesting model of simply having classes available for folks who want to access them, particularly as folks attempt to establish some sort of new routine (which realistically is going to take time for many of us.)

brettstaylor's picture
Ten

Thanks Jeff...It was a pleasure meeting you and I so admire your work.  Thank you. 

brettstaylor's picture
Ten

Thanks David...so far no interest in training to use Blackboard Collaborate so I will likely just do ad hoc if a request comes in.  The structure helps me have a routine and likely the students also.  If it proves valuable it will catch on.  Right now average attendance is about 10....and that is every session...which surprised me!

Jonathan Blitt's picture
First

AZTEC SOFTWARE WOULD LIKE TO DONATE FREE SEATS OF ITS LEARNING SYSTEM FOR ANY DISPLACED ADULT ED PROGRAM

Our hearts go out to the many people, schools and organizations that have been impacted by the COVID-19 virus.  As the outbreak expands, many businesses, especially educational institutions worldwide are experiencing uncertainty.  We see it as our duty, during this difficult time, to promote health and safety among the adult education community at large who are often the most vulnerable.  Our goal is to provide those teachers, schools who are working tirelessly to continue educating the adult workforce with a FREE tool to do so.

Now more than ever, the use of powerful distance learning tools like Aztec Software become not just a matter of preference, but a matter of safety.  The same learning system used by hundreds of thousands around the country in institutions ranging from Adult Education Centers to WIOA funded programs to Correctional facilities, allows students and teachers to work and learn from anywhere - even in the event of a crisis.  We want to reassure you of Aztec’s platform and support service resilience during this time.

 

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We use multiple layers of security and redundant data centers to ensure high availability of services and data protection. Our team actively monitors and optimizes our platform 24/7/365 to ensure our services deliver 99.999% uptime.  We employ rigorous service operations and multi-layered security processes protect our services from wide-spread system failure, operational errors, cybercrime, and outages from natural disasters. 

Aztec Would Like to Offer

For those businesses and institution not already an Aztec customer we would like to offer FREE ACCESS  to Aztec Lite Online, Aztec’s easy-to-use online learning management system for five (5) concurrent licenses.  An unlimited number of students can be enrolled in the system but only 5 can use it at any given time.  Included in this offer is access to the following learning series: Aztec’s  Fundamentals Series (GLE 0.5-2.9), Aztec’s Foundations Series (GLE 3.0-5.9), and Aztec’s Bridge Series (6.0-8.9), and Aztec’s Kaplan GED or  HiSET or TASC Learning System

For those existing customers with access to the full administration system we would like to provide you with increased flexibility, which may include payment deferrals, and discounted licenses to address your needs to increase capacity during this crisis. 

We hope that you and your employees remain safe during this time and stay connected to your students with Aztec Software. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact our Community Relations Support group at crs@aztecsoftware.com, visit our website at www.aztecsofware.com, or call us at 800.273.0033

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

Johnathan,

I'd love to post this information on our website (https://edtech.worlded.org/tips-for-distance-learning/). Please share a link to this info if you have one.

Thanks!

Jen

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

I just got a link in my inbox.  https://www.aztecsoftware.com/192020-2/

 

Jen

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

EdTech Center Launches New Website for Distance Education Support

In response to the need for adult educators to transition from in-person to distance teaching, the EdTech Center @ World Education has created a new website called Tips for Distance Learning, with resources to help adult basic skills programs scale up or launch distance education programs. 

The site includes guidance on the first steps to take in planning, successful implementation (recruiting, onboarding, teaching, and assessing learners), and locating and evaluating online learning resources. We include information on how to meet virtually with students, links to offers for free or reduced online courses or curricula from publishers known to provide quality ABE learning resources, and a professional development events calendar

Join us for the first of weekly webinars this Friday at 10:00 Pacific, 12:00 Central, 1:00 Eastern. The first webinar, designed for administrators, professional development leaders and other practitioners, will cover a preview of the support site. We will feature lightning talks about LINCS resources and guidance on choosing online curricula. We will offer break out discussion on these and other topics participants have about getting started with distance education. 

The link to register and join the webinar is the same: https://jsi.zoom.us/j/398236460.

If you have questions, you can post them here.
 
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups
Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello, thank you for offering this webinar. I plan to attend. I am just beginning to learn about all the possibilities out there related to online learning. It feels overwhelming. I have read through the list of resources you posted. I also read the Tips for Distance Learning. There is so much information it's difficult to sort through it all. My boss was initially hoping we could use Outlook Class Notes, but students have to have a school email address, and our students do not. They only have personal email addresses. I think we would have the same problem with Google classroom. It just takes time to investigate all the options and figure out which one works best. Our main limitations are: students only have personal email addresses, and only mobile phones. We also need something free that will remain free, not eventually charge a fee. Thank you.

 

 

 

 

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

It's tough... if you want to use a learning management system, the students will need an email address - so you can create an account. If you only want to have a site to post information you could follow Nan's suggestions earlier and use What's App. You'll need their phone numbers but they don't need special email accounts.  Use What's App to communicate and then use a simple webpage or a series of linked Google Docs (with completely open share settings).  See the Instruction section of our site (https://edtech.worlded.org/tips-for-distance-learning/) for more details.

Judy Mortrude's picture
Ten

Interesting story on the digital divide from NY Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/17/technology/china-schools-coronavirus.html

In our context, I think this crisis is revealing how many adult education learners exist in a 'quasi-student' status within colleges and K12 districts where they don't have equal access to organizational email, digital learning platforms, and other resources that are the norm for 'traditional' students.  The creativity of adult educators is impressive, and I'm sure there will be many innovative ways to continue adult education programming at a distance.  But perhaps when things return to "normal," we could make a stronger effort to make sure our students have equitable access to the learning tools they need.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Jennifer, and others,

This is a long reply to your post because you have raised an issue that is central to this discussion, namely help for teachers and administrators who want to move classes or tutorials online during this difficult time when the doors of adult basic skills programs are, we hope only temporarily, closed. I encourage every member of the Integrating Technology and Program Management groups to carefully read this reply. I am stepping out here asking for your help

You're certainly right, Jennifer, that the resources we have posted are overwhelming, and I am sure you are not the only person feeling that way. The Summary of the ones described in this discussion is now nine pages long!  Some of those online resources have still more pages of resources within them. Those of us who are creating online teaching tools and resources lists for various organizations trying to help need to know what you -- and other adult basic skills teachers, tutors and administrators -- are looking for, and how you might describe that, so we can use plain language for our categories of available resources. Before you can do that, please try to describe -- for yourself, for your program, or for your program team if you have one, what you want to be able to do online. Here are five examples, but I hope you and others will reply with your own descriptions of what you want to do online, or to reply with, "Yes, this example (e.g. Example 4) is what I want to do. too, (except, and, etc.)"

Example 1: "I want to teach online the in-person ESOL class that I have taught successfully for several years. I want to include check-ins with my students, a quick review of the previous lesson(s), the learning objective(s) for the lesson I will be teaching, some models and practice activities, an assessment so the students and I know for whom the learning objective(s) have been met, and to what extent. I would like to have a way that the students could log in to a website, webpage or something to see the online class schedule, their assignments, and possibly more, such as a link to a free online real time chat feature. I have the students' email addresses, but they are not all school email addresses."

Example 2: "I teach an in person HSE prep class and my students are hoping to take the GED or HiSET test sometime in June or July. They need some polish, however, before they do. I have been using my own paper-based curriculum and handouts, but I don't have time to re-write it as an online curriculum for these students, and I don't know how to write an online curriculum. I am looking for an existing online HSE curriculum, specifically a GED or HiSET curriculum that they can use for free. If that isn't possible, our program may be able to purchase seats or slots in an existing online curriculum for the next few months, but I am not sure. I also want to be available to help students if they get stuck in the curriculum with something like real-time office hours or one-on-one tutoring."

Example 3:  "We have a subscription to a great online commercial course for our students that we have been using as a supplement to our in-person classes, so all the students already are familiar with it and have been using it, but I would also like to do some things as a group in real time as they use this curriculum, and I would like to provide an online list of other (OER or free) online resources organized by unit of the curriculum."

Example 4: " I have been tutoring an adult basic literacy student one-on-one in the library. Is it possible to continue tutoring my student online? Is there an online basic literacy curriculum, and maybe a set of online instructional videos, that I could use? My student does have a computer at home with Internet access."

Example 5: " Our high-beginner and intermediate ESL students all have smartphones, but few have computers at home with access to the Internet. I would like to help them improve their English using a smartphone app, and would also like to provide them with real-time one-on-one or group help."

There is plenty of expertise in the Integrating Technology and Program Managment groups where this discussion is taking place. We are, after all, a Community of Practice, with over three thousand people in these two groups alone, and now is a good time for us, as a community, to offer our help to those who may need it. If someone posts a description of what they are trying to do online now, during this pandemic, I hope that members of this community will post replies offering suggestions of tools and resources that might be useful to them.

If you post a description of what you are trying to do in moving face-to-face teaching online, be sure to include:

1. What you teach

2. At what level(s)

3. What kind of access your students have to the Internet? (e.g. computer from home? smartphones? both? some have smartphones, and some have computers)

4. Describe what your students have already done online, using what online resource(s), and if you already have a hybrid (in-person and online learning) or blended learning (integrated hybrid) program in place what you have been doing and what you would like to do now. Or if you haven;'t done anything online before, make that clear.

5.  Make it clear, too, if you are one teacher with one (or more) classes, or if this is a program team moving many classes online.

6. Include whether you need only free or OER tools and resources or if you have a budget to purchase (some of) them.

As a LINCS moderator I should explain that although members of this community have at times posted questions and that have been answered by other members, the level of involvement that I am asking for now is considerably greater. I want more teachers and administrators to post as clearly as they can what they are trying to do in moving teaching and learning online and, if they know, what they need. I want more teachers, tutors, administrators, professional developers, curriculum developers, and technology experts here to step up with possible solutions to the problem or challenge described. I realize that for some in this community with expertise/experience in online or distance education that may be a lot to ask, and that it will require scanning the many posts you may receive in your email to see if someone is asking for help. I hope you will do this.  I also have to caution that because this is a U.S. Department of Education-sponsored site, those who have commercial products and services should not use this as an opportunity to market them. However, practitioners who have used a commercial product in their distance or online, or hybrid teaching, and think it may be a good solution are certainly welcome to talk about that here.

I am looking forward to lots of administrators, teachers, or tutors describing what they want to be able to do in moving classes or tutorials online and to help that may be provided by others who have good suggestions to make!

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello, thank you for organizing this discussion and offering help to so many educators at this time.

1. I teach adult classes in ESL through a community education department at a community college. These are free non-credit classes, and our students do not receive school email addresses. They only have personal email addresses.

2. I teach one class of intermediate to advanced level ESL students and another of mixed levels containing beginner through advanced level students.

3. My students are all at home and I think most have internet access, but we are in the process of figuring that out. They all have smartphones, but only a few have laptops or ipads. Many of them have children now at home with a laptop, but the children are using it for schooling.

4. Right now my students are using Whatsapp to communicate with me. I have a group for each class. They are checking in, sending messages, trying to study English at home while in person classes are suspended. We don't have standard curriculum so the students don't have any text or workbooks. They have a list of resources to help them study on their own at home. Some of them send me photos of a writing assignment on WhatsApp. This is something they wrote out by hand in a notebook and then took a picture of it and sent it. They also use Newsela and youtube for listening practice.  We don't know how long the closure will last. If it goes on for more than a few weeks, we may need a LMS or platform. The big question is which one can we use with personal email addresses. I think it would be great to add in some video streaming conference feature. We're considering Zoom. I am looking at Canvas and Edmodo, trying to see if we can use personal email addresses with either of those. Edmodo uses Youtube Live for video streaming. All of these options would take time to introduce to the students and get them all on board, as well as time for the instructors to learn how to use it.

5. There are many classes in our department: ESL and ABE/GED prep. Ideally we would all use the same platform.

6. Yes, we need everything to be a free option.

I think I would say we are a combination of example 1 and 5, from your list above.

Thank you,

Jennifer Kluempen

ESL Instructor at Mercer County Community College: Trenton, NJ

Community Education and Training Department

 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Jennifer and other colleagues,

It would be great if some of our ESL/ESOL teaching colleagues here (I do not teach ESL/ESOL) would review Jennifer’s situation as she has described it, and offer her suggestions. I have some thoughts and resources to suggest, but it’s often better to listen to a colleague who is teaching the same subject (ESL/ESOL) and has used a tool or resource successfully with students at the same level.

Jennifer you seem to me to be headed in the right direction. Using Whatsapp makes sense with ESL/ESOL students as most if not all usually already use it on their smartphones, often to stay in touch with family and friends in other parts of the country or in their country of origin.

Here’s a list of free and proprietary ESL/ESOL curricula that you might consider. It’s from The Literacy List. Among the free curricula, USA Learns  would be worth considering for your intermediate and perhaps high-beginner learners, and there are many other excellent curricula listed here.  I last updated this list in June, 2018, so will need to re-visit it soon. ESL/ESOL teachers, please send me recommendations to look at if they are not already on this page. (djrosen123@gmail.com)

Since some of your students don’t appear to have keyboard skills, Jennifer, you might recommend that they buy (most likely online) a bluetooth keyboard to connect to their smartphone, and then to teach themselves to type. (Anyone have suggestions for an inexpensive fold-up, full-size. bluetooth keyboard? Are these sold on EBay? ) Here’s a list of free keyboarding/typing programs, also from The Literacy List. (Anyone have typing/keyboarding recommendations based on your experience using them with ESL/ESOL students?)

Regarding online platforms, if your students plan to continue on in the community college, and there is one platform that the college uses, you might consider that. However, sometimes the platform choice that a college has made is too complicated for adult ESL students who have never used an one and who also have difficulty reading English. If this is the case, or if you are not able to use the college’s proprietary online platform, pick something like Schoology, Edmodo, or Canvas. (If you are looking for other suggestions, go to the learning management System sections of Learning Environments (platforms) and free or Inexpensive Online Resources for Blended Learning for Adults. As you are introducing your platform to your students, perhaps in a screencast video you have made, point out that many of the features will also be found in other online platforms, and introduce terms that describe the feature in your college’s platform. In other words, teach them to use one platform in a way that they can transfer what they have learned to different ones if need be.

Zoom is a popular free choice for real-time classes or meetings or tutorials. The free version, during the pandemic, is no longer limited to 40 minutes.

You are absolutely right that “All of these options would take time to introduce to the students and get them all on board, as well as time for the instructors to learn how to use it.”  Some, like Zoom, and Schoology or Edmodo are fairly easy to learn, but you and other teachers will need to practice using them to feel comfortable. Once you decide on the tool(s), you may want to create an instructor user group for each tool using (free) Google Groups or Slack. You'll want a threaded asynchronous discussion where teachers can pose questions – for each other and you --  about how they are using the tool. If you run into a question no one can answer, try posting it here.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

Susan Gaer, our Integrating Technology colleague from CATESOL in California, had posted -- I think in the LINCS English Acquisition group -- that CATESOL webinars for ESL teachers in California that have been  designed to help them move their classes online are also available free to ESL/ESOL teachers in other states. Jennifer Kluempen, an ESL Instructor at Mercer County Community College in New Jersey, had this to say (cross-posted below from the LINCS ELA group) about the CATSOL webinar(s) she took.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

English Language Acquisition: New Comment: CATESOL free webinars posted by Jennifer Kluempen

Jennifer Kluempen added the following Comment to "CATESOL offering new free online help to ESL teachers to move classes online" in group English Language Acquisition:

I attended one of these free webinars and it was fantastic. I highly recommend them! I learned more about how to use Zoom, and also Kahoot, Quizlet, Flipgrid and Google Docs. I really appreciate that they are offering these to the wider community! I've recommended them to colleagues in my department.

~Jennifer Kluempen

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

Sometimes we make assumptions about a product or service and we tend to pidgeon-hole it into a niche that matches our perception at that time. With the massive number of educators that have had to scramble in these last few weeks, I have found much success with the following tool. 

The name of the tool is SeeSaw and it is a free tool that is available in browsers, phones, and portable devices. When you look at the app and even when you look to YouTube for videos about it, the context is always K-3 instruction, mostly because those learners are typically lacking many written skills. Well, in helping teachers prepare and connect with learners that are no longer face to face with them, I have found some features of SeeSaw that are valuable for the adult education population to really consider. Below are some features and highlights:

 

Setup is easy. The teacher simply makes up a class and chooses the first of three options. This prints out an instruction sheet for learners to connect to your class and the procedure is as easy as downloading the SeeSaw app (or going to the site). When the app is installed, it asks for use of the camera and if allowed it instantly asks to see the QR code that is on the instruction sheet provided by the teacher. This connects them. Alternatively, a learner can type in a code to enter the class and that may be used most by those not on portable devices or phones. 

 

Communication is easy! Both teacher and learner simply click a big green button, click video and poof they are recording a video. When they are done recording they get the opportunity to trim either the front or back end to get rid of any start up or ending noises and then they just click a green button and poof ... they get to choose who this video is going to. Teachers can select individual learners or the entire class simply by clicking on check boxes. By default, learner work all goes to a digital journal of their own. Every item added to the journal allows both the teacher and learner (and other learners if the teacher allows it) to comment, like, and even reply with an audio or video response. Speaking of audio recordings, the process is almost identical to making a movie. One clicks a big green plus button, clicks audio and they are recording. When done they can trim again and hit another green button to ship it off where it needs to go. 

Video and Picture annotations and voice overs. This is a big category and one that everyone will want to really take some time to explore. SeeSaw lets you easily share video you make, pictures you take, or even sketches you draw and annotate all of these and even add voice overs to the pictures and drawings. A teacher can demonstrate a skill and then leave the learner with a practice exercise for them to try. The learner simply hits the assignment, starts their microphone up and gets to work on the screen and all of that is captured and returned to the teacher when done. Amazingly simple!

I could go on and on about what this tool can do for us, but it gets boring reading all this text all the time. Here is a video introduction to SeeSaw. Please keep in mind that most of the SeeSaw instructions out there do seem aimed at younger learners, but I have found that older learners really love the simplicity and variations of work allowed just with a phone or device!

Most of all, as we all adjust to not being around each other and our students as much, doing a short little "Hi, I was thinking about you today and wanted to check in on you. How are you and your family doing? Have you had any chance to look at that work we talked about last time and if so did you have any questions for me? If so, please shoot me a message. I'll be checking in on you in a couple of days" The return rate teachers are finding with such a message has been impressive for me to observe. Even better, the positive glow teachers experience as they watch their short videos or watch their learners sharing their processing and thoughts. 

 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

On March 19th Ed Latham recommended Seesaw, which, although geared for young children, Ed thinks would be useful for adult learners.

I was intrigued with this that Ed wrote, "....doing a short little (video messages such as)  'Hi, I was thinking about you today and wanted to check in on you. How are you and your family doing? Have you had any chance to look at that work we talked about last time and if so did you have any questions for me? If so, please shoot me a message. I'll be checking in on you in a couple of days.' The return rate teachers are finding with such a message has been impressive for me to observe. Even better, the positive glow teachers experience as they watch their short videos or watch their learners sharing their processing and thoughts." 

I wonder if anyone has tried Seesaw with adults, including Ed, and has some examples they could share, or can offer comments about what features they found useful and how they used them. If you have tried it -- or if you do -- please let us know. I also wonder if adult basic skills teachers and tutors are using other easy-to-use video-making tools to make very short videos to stay in touch with their students. If so, what do you use and what kinds of short videos are you making? 

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LIBNCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

Here's a link to a flier that shares info about the website.  http://bit.ly/tips4dl_1

Feel free to share.

JenVanek's picture
One hundred

Please join us for our weekly Distance Education Strategy Session: This week kAshley Winkle from the Literacy Council of Tyler (TX) will explain how teachers can use Hyperdocs (linked Google Docs) as a way to structure lessons delivered at a distance. Then, Judy Mortrude from World Education will walk through the newest guidance document from OCTAE on policy that supports distance education.

Register here:  https://edtech.worlded.org/events/edtech-center-distance-learning-strategy-sessions/

Jen

 

 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

I am interested to hear about adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) programs that have done, or immediately plan to offer, online tutoring or online classes. Please reply here or email me.

Thanks.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred
Hello colleagues,
 
In reply to my request to hear about adult basic skills (including ESOL/ESL) programs that have offered, or immediately plan to offer, online tutoring or online classes, Jaimi Naish, the Director of the Tamalpais Adult School (TAS) in Northern California, sent the description below. Thanks Jaimi. I love your TAS ESL Teacher web pages for students. They are clear, simple, straightforward and attractive, a good model for other large programs trying to figure out what ESL students may need when they get to a distance learning landing page.  It looks like you used a free program to build this, Google Sites.  Good idea, too. to have a YouTube channel page with videos teachers have made for students. (Colleagues, if you know of good adult ESL/ESOL instruction video libraries, especially if they are organized by ESL standards or teaching topics, please share links to them here, and perhaps also in the English Language LINCS group.)  GoogleMeet ( aka Google Hangouts ), also free, is a good choice for real time lessons or tutorial with students.  I haven't used Loom, but it looks like an excellent free tool for screen and video recording software. I see you have added in many other useful resources as well.
 
I would also like to hear what others are doing as you move to online instruction.
 
David J. Rosen, Moderator
LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups
 
Hi David,
 
We are in the process of ramping up from direct instruction to online instruction.  Here is some of what we have done in the past few days to get ESL students transitioned, please share with the Tech group as you see fit:
 
TAS ESL Teacher Web Pages (in progress): https://sites.google.com/site/eslattas/home
 
Creating an ESL Teacher YT Page for Basic Level students:  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZn11djyJ5f_8fmnmvL_k8w/videos?disable_polymer=1
 
Holding classes online through Google Meet:  https://sites.google.com/site/suesged/
mttam_300dpi.jpg
March 17, 2020. Hi Everybody, Our class will continue even though Tam Adult School will be closed. Join me here every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:30 - 7:30.
 
Using Google Classroom, Loom to provide instruction and messaging: https://www.loom.com/share/7bcb633c43744a4fa2804723770efa8e
 

ABE/ASE Levels:  Using Google Classroom, REMIND, Newsela, GEDonline.org, Zoom Online, Acellus Academy for GED Prep and HS Subjects, KET Fast Forward.....
 

Hope this is helpful,
 
jaemi

Jaemi Naish

Director, Tamalpais Adult School

415.945.1070 | www.tamadulted.org |

 

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello Jaemi,

Thank you so much for sharing the information about how your adult school is managing your classes. It's very helpful. I see you are using Google Classroom and also have a separate website set up. Did you feel Google classroom was not enough of a structure? Our program is investigating using Canvas or Edmodo. I thought that would be the only management system needed so I'm wondering what having a website provides for you?

Thanks,

Jennifer Kluempen

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

Hi everyone - ProLiteracy has compiled and continues to update a list of resources on its website for online learning. https://www.proliteracy.org/health

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

When I posted last week about access to News For You online, Deborah Kennedy contacted us and asked if we could go "old school" and make the Census issue of News For You and the related Teacher's Guide available in a printable PDF for those instructors/students who do not have access to a computer/phone and/or broadband. We have just finished the PDF files. If you follow this link, on the right side of the page you'll see "Free Resources to Print" and the links for the files that can be downloaded and printed out. 

For those instructors/students that do have online access a reminder that we are providing FREE access to News For You, a weekly publication for adult learners that uses current event articles and human interest stories to engage learners’ interest while building skills in reading, comprehension, and vocabulary. Use the courtesy password 22667F through April 30, 2020, to access News for You Online

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

ESL/ESOL colleagues,

Susan Gaer from CATESOL, and also an Integrating Technology group member, emailed me that CATESOL has a new service for ESL teachers, whether in California or elsewhere. They are doing "emergency training helping teachers move online. The form to register is here,

 https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1cM_ZS-E_oZzJFYJigvRYIa-pFYbHbsaoM5nO3vSqwKE/edit ."

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program management groups

Michele Diecuch's picture
First

 

Hello colleagues, thanks to everyone who has posted to this important discussion. I wanted to share another resource from ProLiteracy to help programs provide instruction during this difficult time: https://www.proliteracy.org/health. We are updating it regularly, so please let me know if you have anything we should add. 

I'm also interested to hear what programs are doing online to continue ESL conversation groups, which are so important to continue progress for learners. Zoom and similar platforms seem well-suited for conversation groups. What other things have you tried?

Michele Diecuch

Senior Director of Programs, ProLiteracy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

In the Career Pathways group, member Jenna L Kelly asked, "In the wake of COVID-19 and school closures, is anyone compiling a list of post-secondary credentials that can be earned online?  If so, can you share? "   

I replied with the following:  

There is a  robust conversation going on in the Technology group about the move of many programs to fully online, or distance-based, programs.  I am planning a conversation with two of the authors of the recent COABE Journal article on Technology, Innovation and Adult Career Pathways in April.  I'm sure that our conversation will touch on this subject in more detail, but here are a few initial thoughts of where you can look for programs that offer information about online post-secondary credentials.

I invite others to share where they're finding information about online credentials that meet the needs of low and middle skilled adult learners.

Please share your ideas here, and in the Career Pathways thread.  

Best,

Mike Cruse

Career Pathways Moderator

brettstaylor's picture
Ten

I have had participation from Oconee, Lancaster, and Jasper Hampton in South Carolina. Interest was expressed from Louisiana and a steady group from Florida attends.

Average attendance is about 10 students. I prepare a lesson but also take requests.

Feel free to pop in and see what we are doing. or let students know...Live Online Adult Ed GED Collaborate Classroom Link- https://tinyurl.com/2019collaborate 

The class schedule right now is 10 am and 7 pm daily, except Sunday.

Friday, 3/20/20 - 10 am & 7 pm

Saturday, 3/21/20 - 10 am & 7 pm

Sunday, 3/22/20 - 7 pm

I also record the class and those recordings plus schedules are at my class website- www.TinyUrl.com/aemath

Doing these gives some structure to my day and helps some students. If you or any teachers you know would like to try teaching this way (Blackboard Collaborate) we will train in using it...free

My vision is a lot more classes almost around the clock...a schedule with varying levels and topics students could choose from. What do you think?

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks, Michael Matos, for calling our attention to Google's free Teach from Home site. I like that it specifically addresses the issues of moving to online learning during the pandemic, and that it is not just a list of tools but, before the tool, there is a statement of what a teacher may want to do in the online teaching environment.

What do others here think of this site, especially those who are teaching or soon will teach online? Is this a useful resource?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Judy Mortrude's picture
Ten

The fall 2020 Change Agent will feature student writing on the pandemic. Please let your students know about this opportunity to share their experience: https://changeagent.nelrc.org/write-for-us/

Michael Cruse's picture
One hundred

The Chronicle of Higher Education recently published some info that is relevant for all programs in this time of transition.  Some of the ideas have been shared in this discussion, but others are new.  If you're curious, be sure to check it out: Going Online in a Hurry:What to Do and Where to Start 

Mike Cruse

LINCS Moderator

michaelcruse74@gmail.com

Judy Mortrude's picture
Ten

Thank you for joining our Distance Education Strategy Session on March 20, 2020. For those that were not able to make it, look below for links to the slides, recordings, and notes.

  • Breakout room 3 - Administrative Issues and Affective Support with David Rosen and Sandy Goodman. (Use the link to the main webinar room for the recording. Here are the Notes.

 

If you did participate in our session, we would love your feedback. Please complete this survey to help us improve your experience. Also, we will send a certificate of participation to those that participated in the full webinar in the coming week.

And don’t forget that our next strategy session will take place the same day and time, Friday March 27th at 1 PM Eastern. Find more details on our site here: https://edtech.worlded.org/events/edtech-center-distance-learning-strategy-sessions/

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

Many of you may wonder, in the time of this pandemic how many adult basic skills programs or adult schools in your state, and nationally, are moving or have moved classes, tutorials or other services online. How many are offering some services online; how many are offering new services; and how many have just closed their doors and are not trying to offer services online at all? I am aware of efforts by state ABE Directors to survey their programs to find that out, for example in Texas and, I believe, North Carolina. How about in your state? If your state is surveying programs about this, please let us know here, or e-mail me privately. I am also aware of at least one city coalition that has just begun to survey providers. If you are in a metropolitan area, please let me know about that, too. I am hoping to work with other researchers who will also help to gather this (imperfect, not necessarily representative) sample data and to see, if we can, how the data may change over the months ahead. When we are free of the virus, and programs and schools are re-opening their doors, perhaps we can also see what they have learned from teaching online, and what their plans may be for a blended or remote or distance teaching approach. My contribution at this point may be to learn, as best I can,  what states and cities may be surveying programs.   I would appreciate your help.

David J. Rosen

djrosen123@gmail.com

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

This Friday, March 27th, at 1:00 EDT/ Noon CDT/ 11:00 A.M. MDT/10:00 A.M. PDT,  the EdTech Center @World Education hosts a free, interactive webinar to help teachers get on line. Before or after the webinar, questions for presenters or others on the EdTech Center team can be posted in the Integrating Technology or Program Management group in this discussion thread.

David J. Rosen, Moderator LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and program management groups

The EdTech Center @ World Education will host the second of its Distance Education Strategy Sessions this Friday at 10:00 Pacific/12:00 Central/ and 1:00 Eastern. The webinar will feature two lightning talks - brief presentations on key topics. Attendees will then choose to attend a breakout discussion on either of the topics. This week features ESOL teacher Nan Frydland talking about her use of What's App as a key instructional resource and Ginnette Chandler and Tiffany Brand sharing how New Hampshire makes use of the Teacher Verification Model for capturing proxy contact hours for distance learning.  Click here to register for the webinar.
Tiffany Brand's picture
First

I'm looking forward to sharing some of the strategies New Hampshire teachers have been using to capture distance learning hours. I'd love to hear if anyone has questions about the Teacher Verification Model that I can address in the webinar. Feel free to post them here! Thanks!

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

If you have followed the wonderful discussion in the Integrating Technology and Program Management groups this week on how one program, Literacy Partners of New York City, is helping their students online, you may have noticed that one theme is making online learning personal, not just instruction, but checking in with students about what they are experiencing and what help they need during the pandemic. Of course, this means that an adult basic skills program needs wraparound services in place (counseling, housing, food delivery or pickup, community health center services, etc.) that they can reliably provide, or through a reliable network of community services providers they can call on. I would be interested to hear from programs that do have these kinds of wraparound services what they are able to provide in normal times, and how that may have changed during this pandemic.

I would also like to hear -- if you are -- how you are making online learning personal for your students.

Here are some ideas to start with, from a K-12 blog that I sometimes follow, called Ask a Tech Teacher The underlined parts are from there, the rest is my amplification

How do I make online learning personal?

  • Add videos of you discussing a project or welcoming them in the morning. These can be done quickly and uploaded intuitively.

Of course, this doesn't have to be in the morning.

There are many ways to make and post videos for your students. I recently learned from a LINCS post by Integrating Technology colleague, Paul Rogers, for example, that teachers who use WhatsApp groups with their students can make videos right on WhatsApp. Paul wrote that he thinks the quality is higher than when he has hosted his videos on YouTube and then posted a link to them on WhatsApp. Paul, could you post some instructions about how you make WhatsApp videos here?

If you have a Smartphone, you probably already have what you need to make a video for your students. You could, of course, also use a digital camera that has a video option. You may also be able to use a software program on your computer. Anyone have recommendations for free or low-cost software for making videos from your computer? If you make videos, pay attention to sound and light. Make sure you are speaking loud enough (close enough to your mic, and with the volume at a reasonably high level -- better too loud than too soft since students can turn down their volume when they watch your video if they wish. Light can be tricky, especially if you rely on natural light. It may change from day to day or within a day, depending on where you live. You might want to create a quiet place where you are, that has good artificial light. Be sure to illuminate your face.  If possible, try to avoid having other people in the background, and avoid  background noise. You may want a stand for your smartphone or digital camera. You can buy one of these online inexpensively -- usually under $10.00. You could also make your own. Don't worry about editing your short videos. If you don't like the one you just made, re-make it. Unless you are experienced with editing, it can be time-consuming to learn these skills . What advice do others have about making videos?

  • Include comments when listing work so students can ask questions. Or, have a backchannel that you monitor for the same reason. I have used Backchannel Chat, a free, easy-to use program designed for teachers to use in a classroom or remotely. You can set up a separate Backchannel Chat for each of your classes. You can change it every day or leave it up as one long chat over a week or more. You can save it if you wish, but the idea is to encourage students to ask (you and each other) questions. You could leave your Backchannel Chat open all day if you wish, or you could set a time limit. Anyone else using Backchannel Chat? If so how do you use it?
  • Have a frequent virtual meeting via Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom, or an option through your LMS. This has the extra advantage of letting students see each other as they do at school. This is very important if you want to build or sustain community among your students. It's the closest real-time equivalent to an in-person classroom. Zoom, for now during the pandemic, offers unlimited length sessions for teachers, and offers a lot of features such as (text) chatting, breakout rooms, a gallery view of participants so you and your students can see each other -- if they wish to be seen, and others. How are you using Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting or another videoconferencing tool to hold your classes. How do you use these various features?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello all, 

This is great advice. My department started a Youtube channel and teaching staff has started putting up recordings of Zoom classes.

My first video is one I made of myself on Zoom alone in a meeting. I recorded myself on my laptop, added in a powerpoint and then posted it on our Youtube channel. I sent the link to that video to my students by email. I'm not sure if all of them have seen it, but some of them said they did.

In my first video, I decided to talk about what's happening in our classes now, and list some ideas of resources to use for study at home. We're having Zoom classes, but also asking the students to do work on their own. All of your tips on lighting and positioning are great. It's not that easy to make a good video, as an amateur at home. I realize I have a lot to learn and improve on, but you have to start somewhere. I think my first try came out too dark in the beginning, so I'm going to try to get more light next time.

There are so many good online ESL teachers already out there on Youtube, so I know I can't recreate what they have already done. But something personal to the students I think is a good way to try to keep everyone connected and engaged with the classes. I'm interested to hear of any other ideas out there for using video at this time.

Thanks, Jennifer Kluempen

 

 

 

 

 

Catherine Green's picture
First

In response to COVID-19, the American Institutes for Research (AIR) has identified several resources that may assist adult educators on topics such as distance learning, online teaching, digital literacy, and health literacy. To access copies of issue briefs, companion learning resources and additional resources, visit AIR’s Adult Education Research and Technical Assistance Center (AERTAC) at https://www.air.org/center/adult-education-research-and-technical-assistance-center-aertac#covid Among the featured resources are two new issue briefs on Digital Literacy and Health Literacy, produced by AIR for Teaching Skills that Matter in Adult Education, a current OCTAE initiative.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

 Kim Gates, an 18-year veteran distance education instructor, was asked by Steve Schmidt in another discussion in Integrating Technology, and in two other LINCS groups, about the biggest lessons learned in doing distance education. She replied, "If I had to pick just 1 'lesson learned,' it's to have a plan B, a plan C, and a plan D too! laugh  We always expect technology to work (be it hardware like our computers, our smart phones, our headsets, etc. or the software and websites), but be ready to go to your back-up plan if things don't go right!  Sometimes you need to go to the back-up plan's back-up plan!  What if your computer won't connect to the wifi?  Plan B: Reboot!  But what if that doesn't help? Plan C: Go to a secondary device!  What if you don't have one or if that doesn't work?  Plan D: Have a 'buddy' who you can call (perhaps a colleague) to assist!  See what I mean?  wink  (Oh, and trust me - the above scenario is not just a hypothetical!  Been there, done that, and got the t-shirt too!  Haha!)"

Great point Kim!  Any other advice?

Do we have other veteran distance educators here who would like to chime in with tips for effective distance education?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Cop Integrating Technology group

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Music?

Yes!

Paul Rogers, a frequent LINCS poster here, in English Language Acquisition and in other LINCS Community groups, often describes how he uses songs in teaching ESL online. Read this example, or just type "song" in the LINCS search and you will see his many posts and comments about the importance of singing and reading songs for immigrants learning English, in-person and online.

Paul might add, that recordings or videos of ESL teachers singing songs, perhaps ones that are for children, like the ABCs, but also songs for adults, are not only a great way for students to learn, but if you sing them, it's a great way to make your teaching personal. Perhaps you play an instrument and sing. That would be great, too. If you don't feel musical, you can get videos or audios ("podcasts") of good recorded songs for teaching English. I think Paul has a list or by now perhaps lists of these. Paul, let us know!

During the pandemic, larger gatherings have been cancelled across the U.S. Innovative unemployed musicians have been offering online house concerts online. A fellow band member of mine tried a version of a chantey sing that in good times she does regularly on Sundays at the U.S. Constitution museum in Charlestown, Massachusetts. The cacaphonous online version was, in her own words, "hilarious."  It's an Internet Service Provider (ISP) lag time problem. When everyone has even a slightly different lag time between their router and ISP, their singing together isn't pretty. So here are some tips from that experience that might help you if would like your students to sing along with you in a real-time, online class: 1) Mute their mics and ask them to sing along with you un-muted at home, 2) If you have a small class, one- by-one un-mute each student and ask them to sing with the other students singing along un-muted, 3) a variation on 2 -- after you sing a song in one lesson tell the students that they all have to practice singing before the next lesson because you may call on them to sing. If you have a link to an online video or audio recording of the song, post that to them so they can sing along with you, or another singer.

If you try this, let us know how it works for you.

If you have other tips for using music in your online learning classes or tutorials, please share with us what you do.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

.

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Below is a description from a local online newspaper of what a rural, community-based adult basic skills program in western Massachusetts is doing. If you have questions about this, post them here and I will try to get them answered.

Please post a description of what your program has been doing to reach and serve adult  learners during this challenging time.

The Literacy Project

The Literacy Project, adult education program with locations in Northampton, and Amherst, has gone online with its classes. Students are working to get their high school equivalency degree and then go on to community college, job training programs and improved job prospects to better support themselves and their families.

Classrooms are now closed but The Literacy Project is operating online and providing remote learning to adult students. Students are attending classes on Zoom and doing math problems at home on google classroom. They are also doing reading and writing assignments.

In addition to teaching and learning, education and career advisers are calling students to provide a lifeline to link adults in need with services like food, navigating unemployment and accessing mental health counseling. Volunteers are contacting students, reaching out by phone and email to continue to tutor students.

The Literacy Project has secured funding to give out laptops as a “scholarship” to students who cannot afford them and who are working from home. Adults 18 and over who are interested in joining remote learning classes to work toward getting their high school equivalency diploma (HiSET) can email onlinelearning@literacyproject.org.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

You may have noticed that one of the services the Literacy Project provides is telephone tutoring. I am looking for examples of adult basic literacy telephone tutoring programs, and want to know specifically:

1) How they recruit, train, remotely supervise, and support volunteer literacy tutors

2) What hard copy or printable curriculum materials they use

3) Typically how often, and how long, phone tutoring sessions last, and a typical format of activities (e.g. check-in, review, reading and writing activities, wrap-up -- or something else?)

These kinds of adult basic skills services, in addition to moving classes and tutorials online, are essential now for adults who do not have access to the Internet, but do have U.S. Mail and a working telephone.  Would you agree?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and program management groups

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

Do you use WhatsApp? Have you found good WhatsApp equivalent practices to what you have done in your in-person teaching? Would you like to share your ideas with others in a format like this?

=================================================================================================

In-person teaching practice                      Detailed examples of good practices using WhatsApp as an online equivalent

Model skills or learning strategies              Make videos directly on WhatsApp.

=================================================================================================

If so, email me for access to a Google Doc where you can contribute. When it's done, I will post a link where anyone who wishes can see the document. For now, I only want to hear from those who have WhatsApp equivalent teaching practices to add. Thanks.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management Groups

djrosen123@gmail.com

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

In this Ed Surge article the authors, researchers at the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, report how over 5,000 teachers responded when asked what the three most frequent emotions they felt were each day; before you read the article, answer this question for yourself. Then, if you wish, let us know how your results compared to theirs.

The authors argue that emotions have bearing on: attention, memory and learning; decision-making; relationships; health and well-being; and performance, all of which are part of teaching and learning.

Rather than dwell on negative emotions, the authors suggest that schools (and programs) could develop an emotional intelligence charter to support educators' well-being. "Putting our emotional needs in writing has a way of making them real for everyone. It acts as a reminder for those times when we might feel anxious or frustrated or any other uncomfortable feeling. It also serves as a contract between ourselves and our colleagues (and even students and families) to help during moments when we are anything but calm and considerate." Read more about the process of building and using an emotional intelligence charter in the article, and then tell us whether or not this might be useful in your situation.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Colleagues,

In this WBUR article, "Teaching Without a Classroom" four Boston school teachers talk about how they are feeling in the transition to online teaching from home. I wonder if anything they describe resonates with your experience newly teaching online.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Thank you, David, for sharing this article. I enjoyed reading about each of the teacher's experiences. I especially connected to the comment made by David Jones, a teacher in Boston:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            "I can kind of sense within the first few moments of an interaction whether a student will warm up to the idea of academics or if they just kind of need a human that they've built a trusting relationship with to listen to how they're feeling. Some students may need to just have a cry. And that's part of what I see as my role during this time: is to be a human first and then teacher second."

This is the quote I was talking about in the last EdTech webinar and I wanted to link back to it here to mention where the idea came from.  His students sound like they are at the elementary level, but I appreciate the importance of emotional connection at any age while teaching at a distance especially right now during the pandemic. Emotional intelligence is an important aspect of any education. 

Jennifer Kluempen

ESL Instructor

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Are you teaching English online? Are you using WhatsApp, or thinking of using it? Do your students already use it on their smartphones to communicate with family and friends? I have created a table in which in-person teaching practices are compared with good "equivalent" examples using WhatsApp, and have invited several of our ESL/ESOL teaching colleagues here to add in their WhatsApp practices. 

Many thinks to Nan Frydland, Glenda Rose, Paul Rogers, Jennie Mollica and Heide Spruck Wrigley for providing most of the content in this table. Take a look at it HERE. If you have questions for our contributors, post them as replies here. If you would like to add other WhatsApp practices to this table, email me at djrosen123@gmail.com for editing access to the document from which this was created, where you can contribute. Additional contributions may be edited and added to this table. If so, I will add you as a contributor.

The contributors and I would love to hear what you think of this table, and how you might -- or already do -- use WhatsApp in your own online teaching. Feel free to share the link to the table with your adult ESL/ESOL teaching colleagues.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

joeylehrman's picture
First

Hello all!

We just put together a blog post about what our adult education program in New Orleans has learned since we launched a fully online program for adult learners (in 2014). I welcome any feedback on the post - is it useful? Relevant?

https://skillrise.org/article/digital-learning-mindset

And here's a video blog that includes digital literacy tips and stories from the field that we hope will be helpful for our teachers that are just getting started online!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVaexySnkIo

Thanks for any feedback and hope everyone is staying safe and healthy as we all continue the transition to distance ed!

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Joey. I like your Skillrise blog article, and your video log. You provide some refreshing ways to look at remote/online/distance learning from a learner and coach perspective. I also liked learning about the professional development models in Kentucky,  and of course appreciate your letting colleagues know about the LINCS Community.

I encourage others to read Joey's blog, look at his video log, and to comment or ask him questions as a reply to his post.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Community Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

Do you use Zoom? Have you found good Zoom equivalent practices to what you have done in your in-person teaching? Would you like to share your ideas with others in a format like this?

=================================================================================================

In-person teaching practice                                Detailed examples of good practices using Zoom as an online equivalent

Ask students to raise hand to be called on         Ask students to use the Zoom "raise hand" icon

In a discussion, call on a student                           Call on students and un-mute their mics to respond

 

=================================================================================================

If so, email me for access to a Google Doc where you can contribute. When it's done, I will post a link where anyone who wishes can see the document. For now, I only want to hear from those who have Zoom equivalent teaching practices to add. Thanks.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management Groups

djrosen123@gmail.com

Margaret Ibasco's picture
Ten

Hi David,

Thank you for introducing the topic. One can always differentiate in-person teaching and distance learning, but teachers can still find a balance between the two ways of learning.
My students and I meet on ZOOM twice a week. So far, below are a few close similarities.
================================================================================================
In-person teaching practice                                  Detailed examples of good practices using Zoom as an online equivalent
1. 
Upon arriving, students sign in their names           1. Upon joining the ZOOM meeting, students write their names
on the attendance sheet                                                   on the chat space                                   
2. In group discussions, students can be divided into small groups. 2. Students can be divided and assigned
(Teacher can assign the group members in advance)                             to breakout rooms 
                                                                                                                  (Breakout rooms can be assigned in advance as well)
3. Dictation activities: Students are provided with handouts          3. Dictations activities: Students can just use
                                                                                                                         the chat space to write their answers 
4. In a computer day class, students can write their answers        4. Students can write their answers to 
 to a specific grammar question on a  shared Google document      a specific grammar question on a  Google
  without leaving their computer desks.                                               document shared by the teacher. 
. (Students have access using their Gmail.)                                      (Students also have access using their Gmail.)
                                                                                                                                                      ================================================================================
Every class can be unpredictable due to connectivity, students presence,and other matters.
The main thing is that the teacher and the students can have a platform where they can see each other visually and
discuss the essential lessons for each day class and the independent work, a significant part of students learning.

Best,

Margaret Ibasco
ESL Instructor

 

 

 
David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Colleagues,

A colleague emailed me that she is teaching ESL online now using Google Classroom, has newly introduced her students to Readworks and Khan Academy (for numeracy), and would like to sync these with Google Classroom. Can anyone explain how to do that please?

Thanks,

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

There are two ways to link your Google Classroom to Khan Academy and both methods accomplish something a little different. Both ways assume you have a Google Classroom set up already. 

In Khan Academy, when you go to make a class in Khan, it gives you the option of importing from Google Classroom. This will have you sign into your Google account and you will choose your classroom and then which class. All of your students from that class will now be brought over to Khan Academy. This allows you to make assignments in Khan Academy's classroom structure but many teachers get frustrated when they find that they make an assignment in Khan Academy and that does not translate over to Google Classroom right away. There is a fix for this but it is a bit clunky. 

While in Khan Academy, you will want to stay away from the Assignments option (which is a bit counter intuitive). Instead, click Courses and then choose the math content you want, for example let's say 8th grade math. From that list you will see a number of units listed with each skill having a title and an inviting "Get Started" blue button. Click on the title (not the button)  and you will get a list of skills, again with titles and all these pretty buttons inviting you to push them. Resist that temptation and click on the heading of that skill. Finally, you will be at the screen you need to be at to create a Google Classroom event from Khan. See example page here.

At the bottom of the skill page, you will notice the Google Classroom Link. Click on that and choose your classroom. It will then ask you to choose what action you wish. It should look like this...

The key is to find the specific skills in Khan you wish and to link those into Classroom as an Assignment, Question, Announcement or just as a Material post. Most of the time you will want Assignment or Question. 

Hope that helps. 

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

The folks at Readworks have some materials that may be helpful. 

Link to two page instructions (Connecting to Google Classroom on page 2)

Note that there are video links at the bottom of that support page. The videos may help visually get a feel for the process. 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Ed for both your replies. That was quick! I have passed them on to my colleague who emailed me the question, and suggested she join the Integrating Technology group if she has further questions.

All the best,

David

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello adult basic skills online teaching colleagues,

Many adult learners have children at home with them, pre-school-ers, elementary-, middle- and high school-aged children. What do you know, from the adult learners in your online classes or tutorials, about ways that they as parents, grandparents, or other caregivers, may be helping their children learn?  For example, do your adult learners:

  1. Read to their pre-school children. If so what books or other reading materials are they using, and what pre-school reading strategies do they use? Is this something they need help with? Have you provided that help? Do you need ideas about what resources to provide to your adult learners who are parents who may be interested in helping their pre-school children with reading readiness, including reading for pleasure?
  2. Help their elementary school-aged children with homework? If so, how are they doing this? Are they running into challenges?  What are the challenges? Do they need help with good strategies for being an effective homework helper? Do you and they need ideas or resources for how to help their children with homework?
  3. Help their teenage children to become good homework helpers for their younger siblings? Although not every teenager is interested in this role, some are, could be. Do your adult learners need help to engage their teenage children as homework helpers or as "education caregivers" for their younger siblings? Could some of your adult learners be expert in this and have some good strategies to share with others?
  4. Play education board games or online games with their children? The LINCS Integrating Technology and English Language Acquisition groups have as members some experts in what board games and online games have been successful for families, including families from other cultures. At least one, Ed Latham, has helped families in his community in Downeast Maine to develop their strategic thinking applicable to a broad range of daily living tasks through these games. This may be a perfect time for your adult learners to learn and introduce online and board games to their families, and also to develop and help their children develop strategic thinking. Are some already doing this? What games do they and their children find both engaging and helpful in develop strategic thinking?

What other ways do your adult learners help their children learn? Have any already expressed the need to help their children to learn?

If you don't know, consider asking them. If you do, please share what you learn from them. If there is enough interest in this, I will look for experts -- in our LINCS community of practice groups; from K-12 teachers, schools and intermediary organizations; and from local family literacy programs and national family literacy organizations to help you to help your adult learners.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

 

 

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

For many years now, I have been working to promote the hobby of modern tabletop board games in the communities I work in. My efforts have been to introduce how face to face board game play can help to improve so many ways of learning while increasing social interaction. This is a huge topic, so I am only going to outline a few thoughts here and if people have interest in exploring more, please let me know what areas interest you most and there can be so much more discussion. 

The types of games and variety available today is mind boggling. There is an international webpage in which people share their experiences, reviews, and even offer ways to change game experiences all on this incredible site. Here is a link to the Boardgamegeek's list of "top games" as continually voted on by the international gaming community. A word of caution though, just because a game shows up at the top, does not mean it is a great "first experience" to introduce. For example, the game Gloomhaven has been the number one game in the world for 3 years now and yet I rank it a 4 out of 5 in terms of complexity level when I work with people on learning games. I would never throw someone into a game of Gloomhaven without some positive experiences in other, less complex games. If you would rather watch videos on games to learn about them, I highly recommend two YouTube channels. Watch It Played is considered by many to be "the go to source" to learn how to play any given game out there. Rodney is an awesome host and he gives people a great feel for what a particular game is like. For those that like to watch celebrities learn and play games, Table Top is an enjoyable way to learn about games as well. 

Not only is the selection of games available wide, the actual mechanics and amount of social interaction varies a ton. You can have a theme of a game, lets say building train rails for example, and within that theme there are games that have players fighting for control of territory, ones that have the economics of building a rail empire being the focus, ones that build up resources to create a game machine that steamrolls over others and even some party type games that large groups of people might engage in betting on railroad companies and their development. For any given theme, there are so many options about how one could engage in game play. If you have a theme you want learners or families to explore, there are likely game mechanics out there that offer options for you to choose from. 

Although designed for face to face, there are ways to have fun and engage in tabletop games online...for free! One of my favorite ones is TableTopia. You sign up with your email, which is used simply to keep track of your games played and any "friends" you want to play games with. There are a few games that require you to have a subscription, but there are over 300 games that are free and many of them are highly rated on the Boardgamegeek list shared above. There are a few other online systems available, but I thought I would offer the one I value most for people just looking to explore first. I would personally work to help anyone learn any of these games. This brings me to the next point....

When playing games online together, it is a richer experience for everyone if people can use a voice chat program of some sort to communicate. There is a free program called Discord that people use for almost any group discussions, particularly on tabletop or digital gaming with others. My sons and I play games together almost nightly and we use Discord to talk while playing even thought we are full countries away from each other. Additionally, our discord channels are populated with many others that we have become digitally close to which has created new types of social experiences than we might gain locally. Discord channels are set up to be private and you invite others to your discord. It may be a great tool to use to connect with your learners or families. Of course there is also Google hangouts, Google Meet that are also free and at least for now Zoom and some other sources are free. With any of these other tools, people would likely want to turn off their video in order to handle the bandwidth necessary. 

Now we get to the 8,000 elephant in the room, bandwidth and connection. With so many people, the lack of "decent" Internet really makes doing much of any social interaction very limited. For that, I would advise a concentration on physically getting the games. Amazon and Miniature Market are the two places I go to get games that I want. You would be surprised at how many solo games exist today and how incredible those solo game play experiences can be! Here is one person's top solo games list and there are so many other opions on this out there. I personally own most of these games and can offer my personal take for anyone interested in any of these titles. In fact, my collection of games that can be played solo is almost at 100 now and seems to grow every month with our current situation. So, even if you don't have others to play with at home, you can still enjoy tabletop gaming completely by yourself. 

If you still would rather a digital experience and you only have a smartphone, you may want to check out this list of games. These are all tabletop standards and most are great introduction games I use to get people learning about types of games. Please note that some of these phone game versions require network connections while others you simply download and play just on your phone. A warning for those that love your phone battery, these games are often very engaging and it is very easy to loose many hours playing these games so just be aware that you may be charging your phone a bunch more if you are not used to using your phone for hours a day :) 

If any of the above sparks some interest, please know that there is this world of tabletop gaming that has so many reasons for you to start exploring. I did not even touch on the merits or "sales pitch" of why you should be exploring tabletop games. Rather, I focused on ways you might start poking your foot into a very deep pool. If you wish the reasons why, I can certainly offer my perspective and experiences and I am sure we have others in this forum that can share why they value this hobby as a social and mental learning experience unlike anything else educators can offer. I am always up for helping educators try to fit academic content into game play experiences and would encourage people to share things like, "I want my learners to have a better sense of US geography. What sorts of games might I look into?" 

I am trying to start up a webpage, specifically for educators and parents, that help navigate their way into tabletop gaming. I am including my leveling system in which a level 1 game is a great game to start people off with. A level 5 game is one I consider daunting even for experienced players. For each game I also include some academic tie-ins that are possible, and information about how much literacy skills is needed to experience the game. With information like how long the game takes to play, where to buy the game, and even videos that introduce how to play the game, I am hopeful that this website can be something parents could use. For educators, I am even including "challenges" for each game. These are academic explorations that teachers could use, within the game itself, to have learners explore, create and produce some evidence of learning while using the game and its mechanics. Think of it as a sort of learning lab option within each game. My hope is to have the public try some of these challenges and create some of their own challenges specific to other content ideas. I will have a form that people can submit ideas and those ideas get added to the public challenges list for that game. I could see this being useful, but I would welcome thoughts and ideas from others. Would you want to see what this might look like? Does it have any appeal in a practical sense? Are there ways you would want to learn more about tabletop games or gaming in general? Please share your thoughts and questions. 

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks, Ed. This is useful information. To help teachers and their students get started, I wonder if you could recommend one online game and one tabletop board game for families with children aged:

1) 5 - 8 years

2) 8 - 12 years, and

3) 12 years and up.

Thanks for any recommendations to help teachers help their adult learners get started with online games and tabletop board games with their children.

It would also be great to hear more about how these games might help adults learning English, and adults developing  strategic thinking that might apply to their lives as learners, parents, workers, community members and Internet users.

David J. Rosen. Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

The following games would work with all the ages you suggested. With each game, after the players learn the basics of the game, you could add challenges that would be most appropriate . 

Ticket to Ride: If Candyland became a train game, it would be Ticket to Ride. Players take turns either collecting colors, turning in a set of colors to buy a length of train that connects two cities, or they may take their turn selecting new Tickets that will reward connections with points at the end of the game. The trick is that there are only so many connections on the board and people are often trying to get to similar locations. Competition for grabbing tracks gets more and more intense and players struggle with, "I need to get that track before anyone takes it but I don't have enough colors yet to get it ... arrrrggggg!" All players are learning North American geography as they play the base game, but there are many other regions available now. They are also learning pattern sequencing as they juggle between buying track as soon as possible vs building up huge stacks of resources to start buying track every turn for a number of turns. Older players can get into analysis of the Ticket (requests to connect two cities) rewards compared to the cost to build up tracks to those two cities. This data could be graphed and analyzed in a number of different math levels. Players also start learning how other players think and act during this game and that becomes a next level of  play when players not only play within the game mechanics, they start playing within the social framework of who they are playing with. Players start trying to make choices that mask their intent or maybe push others to panic and make rash choices. 

Splendor: This is another game that could be played with all the ages mentioned. On a player's turn, a player chooses between gathering different colored poker chips or turning those chips in to buy cards that act as permanent colored resources. Effectively, players are each building an industrial engine of color production in order to grab resource cards that have victory points on them. First one to accumulate 15 victory points wins. There are so many challenges that can be given to experienced players. For younger players, you could focus on how long the game takes and how many turns each player ends up getting. You could then ask how many victory points do players end up with in a game (older players could figure out averages or even statistical standard deviations). The middle to older kids could graph how many of each color are available on every turn for a player. Is the data for one player similar at all to other players? Are there patterns that all players generally follow? Do specific choices in which color(s) someone concentrates on change the outcome of the game in any way? All of these challenges have to be supported with evidence from the game play. 

Azul: Players take turns collecting colored tiles in order to make patterns on their game board. As they collect enough tiles of different types they collect points. Additionally, the order they collect colors in can vastly change their scoring. When all the game boards are full of tiles, the game ends and the player with the most points wins. All ages from 5 up can play this game. For younger kids, the pattern recognition as well as the point scoring will help both their spacial and conceptual pattern skills. Middle and older players really dig into how much the order in which colors are taken matters as well as how much the choices of others really impacts the flow of the game. Data can be collected and graphed to discuss how the randomness of the color pool impacts the game play or how the number of players changes strategies. This game, more than the others, really depends on choices others make and reacting to those. All players learn some non verbal communication skills as one can often figure out the plans of others based on their reactions to the choices people make. 

There are dozens of other great starter games, but I picked these three because I have always found success in players enjoying their experience and wanting to play these games again. Also, all of these games have no textual content so people who can't even speak the same languages can play these games together and have a blast with each other (the rules are available in so many languages). Some of the other starter games out there have simple language or vocabulary skills that help people learn English (or other languages if one buys a version of the game in another language). What is great about the starter games I shared above, is that people learning English  can enjoy the game at first without worrying about the language challenges. Then, as the players get comfortable with each other, they start interacting with each other verbally and non verbally in reaction to choices players make. For instance, if I buy that train line you were saving up for, you often have some interesting comments to share with me about how you feel about my decision smiley. Maybe you see a pattern of where another player is trying to get to in a game and you want to communicate that with others. It may start with hand gestures and body language, but I have seen communication quickly morph into words, phrases, and with some playing time together solid communication around past and present game play. Playing a game called Settlers of Catan, I learned the Spanish names for Brick, Sheep, Wood, Ore, Grain which are all resources players can auction or trade with other players. In another game, players take quite a bit of time to make decisions, so I was able to learn language around encouraging people to hurry up, or to let others know I am anxious for their turn to be over so I can get to my turn. I am horrible with other languages, which is why I appreciate how quickly people learning English dive into communication with me during these game play sessions!

As to how strategic thinking is developed playing these types of games, there are many aspects. As you may have noted in my write up, patterns exist in each of these games. Algebra, and all those rules and funky symbols is really the study of how we describe some patterns in life. The more exposure our brains get to different patterns, the easier it is for our brain to make a connection to a new pattern that is brought before us. Additionally, all of these games greatly influence a persons ability to adapt thinking based on unstable situations. A player may plan on doing option X, but because another player made that choice impossible with their actions, that plan has to shift to other options. Even the development of what other options exist is a mental exercise that helps people respond to sudden changes in real life. This ability to adapt or find other options also reduces how much stress and anxiety one experiences when changes are thrust upon us. I would bet that experienced gamers have experienced so much less stress or anxiety with all the pandemic changes that have gone on in the last month. These games help people learn to find options, change plans constantly, and adapt to the ever changing environments around them that often include changes beyond their control. 

So many other game options out there, but I hope these three help expose a few layers of this wonderful family, community and educational hobby. 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Thanks Ed. From your description of them these appear to be board games. Correct? If so, do you have any suggestions about how adult learners could obtain them, ideally at a low cost? Also, do you have suggestions for free or inexpensive online games that would be good starter games for families with children?

Anyone else have questions for Ed, or suggestions for family board games or online games that support strategic thinking, and quick adaptation of strategy when the situation changes? Anyone care to comment on Ed's observation that game playing builds adaptability useful in real life challenges that we all are experiencing in various ways now during the Pandemic?

David J. Rosen. Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

In general, many of the board games I mentioned as well as others in the Boardgamegeek list I shared, are not considered "cheap" by many families. I would expect that most games have a starting base cheap price of $20 with most games falling in the $40-$60 range and some even over $100+ !!!!! No matter what the price, people should think about a board game cost in terms of how many players will be playing, and how many hours they will be playing that game. When one thinks of the investment this way, purchasing board games is one of the cheapest forms of entertainment available today that families can engage in and learn from at the same time. Sharing board games can also be a cheap way to access wonderful games as long as families can be trusted to be respectful of the game parts and how expensive they are. In my community gaming group, I don't let others borrow my games often and even then it is to members that have attended over 100 hours of game play with us because by that time I am very confident they will respect the tools they are borrowing. I used to be less discriminatory, but after replacing over $200 worth of games due to neglect or abuse, I decided I need to give people more time to learn about the games they were playing with. 

When looking for the best price, shopping around is certainly the way to go. Amazon.com and Miniature Market are two I frequently end up ordering from after searching around. That being said, I tend to be too busy/lazy to really dig for the best deals some times. Sites like Board Game Prices or a simple Google search for a game using the "shopping" filter can get people many purchasing options to look at to get the best prices. 

As of this writing at the end of April, here are some decent prices for the games I mentioned in the last post:

Ticket to Ride: For the latest version, the 15th anniversary of the game, the cheapest is at Game Nerdz and it is $40. That being said, there is a deal at Walmart where you buy the base game and Ticket to Ride the London version for a combined $50. 

Splendor: Both Walmart and Amazon have this game at $31.39

Azul: The base game is surprisingly sold out in most places because of it's popularity and because there are a number of games that were made by the same company after Azul that people like as much or better. I bought my version a year or so ago for $30 but now copies of the original game run for $60 or more! Families interested in this type of game do have many other Azul type games like:

Azul Sagrata - most like the original game - cheapest without free shipping (unless you buy $99 of games in one order which is then free shipping) is at Miniature market for $28.38. Cheapest with free shipping is Amazon at $37.94

The question about online game options is much trickier and hard to answer. Every piece of hardware has different games available an it is even to the point that a game available for free on one type of device costs money on other devices (yes iOS devices I am looking at you) . There are very few games that are available on all devices and even those have different game feels on a phone vs playing on a large living room TV from a console like xbox or ps4 or even a computer. 

Likewise there are some games available if you sign up and download their free game interface. One of the most popular examples of this in the world  is STEAM. One just needs to click the green install button at the top of their website (after making a free account) and Steam is installed on their computer (only windows, mac or linux machines, not phones). The Steam program is basically a marketplace and a digital games toolbox wrapped up in one. There are hundreds of free games available and often (about 3 times a year) they have incredible sales where games that normally run $60 or more are available for $10 - $20. Still, if a family gets Steam installed I could recommend a ton of free games for them to explore together providing so much exploration and fun! If people have any interest, I could do up a guide of "Best free games that have educational value on Steam". Of course, this would be so hard for me to not include some low cost awesome games as well, but that could even be another post. Again, it is dependent on interest. I know many of you out there like to read and process, but rarely like to post things. If you want either the Steam free guide or the Steam low cost guide done up I can do it, I just need hear from you that it is worth doing smiley

Some companies, like Electronic Arts (EA) require you to sign up for a free account in order to access their online store where they often offer deals on their games. For example, EA has been offering their very popular game, Sims 4, for $5 which is an incredible bargain for a game that started out at $40 Their hope is that people love the base game and end up buying some of the dozens of expansions they have for the game with each expansion running from $15-30. Sims 4 allows players to create a virtual family, design and build their own house, have careers, establish life habits of their sims (artificial people) and even manage the many needs each sim has during the day. 

Perhaps your children have played Fortnight at some point? The company that makes this popular shooting game, Epic Games,  also offers many other games, sometimes free.  Right now, there is a great game on the Epic Store called For The King. This role playing game has players playing a sort of puzzle combat game that is very challenging and feels rewarding as you build and build. Even after a failed game, you get resources that help you expand your game play experience after every run. If parents are playing along with kids, this game is awesome in terms of building up logic, figuring out multiple strategies and in teaching people how to learn from their mistakes or failures. There are hundreds of permutations that can be tried and even if your family team of three players "wins" a run through the game, there are two other more challenging modes to play in as well as 5 expansions of the game available.

I have had some young adults playing this game with me lately and after a 3 hour run (yes games can run 3 hours of intense fun) I looked back at my notes from our discussions during the game. We had to work on teamwork, timing, sequencing, how to share resources available after every battle, how to coordinate our time individually and as a team. how to mitigate what is best for our player vs what is best for the team, how to budget and handle very limited funding, how to manage the supply/demand aspects of gear available throughout the game, and most of all how to adapt to new game elements as we were constantly surprised by some new ability that a bad guy would throw at us. We were all exhausted, but we wanted to play again the next day and some went off to play more on their own to learn more about options and share with us next time we met. 

Some may people question how appropriate any given game is for a particular age range. That is a super subjective subject and it is very important that parents be involved in the choosing, reviewing, and maybe even the downloading processes. Not all parents are comfortable with that responsibility though. Technology anxiety, general ignorance of digital gaming norms, as well as their child's lack of patience when a parent does try to figure out some of this stuff can all contribute to a parent just handing over a credit card and saying, "Go play but don't spend over $XX.XX" Perhaps our adult learners who have families might be interested in resources we create centered on "Understanding your child's entertainment world"? There is certainly enough content and I think many adults, educators and parents, could benefit from understanding the options, challenges, and benefits available in these digital worlds we often just have to let the kids go out into alone because we just don't know enough to conceptualize what these kids are talking about. 

I have almost unlimited energy to spend on helping others learn more about games, so please don't be shy in asking about any of the above content or any other questions about games, gaming, how learning fits into any of these, or any other ideas you have on the topic of families exploring learning through game play. If others have gaming experiences they wish to share, I love hearing from others about what they learned from game play both in physical table top board games and the digital game worlds available today. 

Jennifer Kluempen's picture
Ten

Hello Edward, I wonder if you have any thoughts about the idea of using or adapting games such as Telestrations or Taboo in the ESL classroom. These are some favorite board games in my own family that we've been playing more during the coronavirus lockdown.

I've been thinking about how I might be able to use a simplified version in my classes, once we can meet in person again. We were talking about family board games in a recent Zoom class and my students asked me what games I like to play with my family. I have older teens, and most of my students in this class have younger children. I think Taboo might be too difficult for an ESL class unless it was adapted into a simpler version. Telestrations, which somewhat resembles Pictionary, might also be fun to try.

Thanks, Jennifer

 

 

Edward Latham's picture
One hundred

Thanks for sharing these thoughts, Jennifer. The games you mention fall into a category of gaming called Party Games. Their nature is to get a relatively large group of people participating in game play that is highly dependent on communication. The rules and mechanics are rarely very complex or deep as the focus is on the social interaction within the game set up. 

With that in mind, I think using these party games with ESL students would have more success if the players felt really comfortable with each other and the language required in the game. I have two main concerns with party games in this context:

  1. Many party games try to evoke laughter during the game play and if I am a person that feels insecure in any way, I could misinterpret group laughter at times in a critical light.
  2. Another thought that comes to mind is that different cultures have completely different expressions. In party games, communication within the group is often a vital component and it can be very frustrating to be trying to communicate something that is horribly obvious in my culture, but since the other players don't know my culture well, they don't have a clue and we loose. Now this could be a great positive aspect if the group all knows and trusts each other well and the miscommunication can be used by the group to learn more about the cultural differences within the group, but that can only happen as the group builds up that trust with each other. 

If you stay with party games, you might look for options that really focus on small groups of maybe 3 people, maybe they might even be in teams. It is often much safer to take social risks in smaller groups and with success on those smaller scales the experiences can be expanded to larger and larger group experiences. 

No matter what type of game category people pick from (and there are tons of categories available) I think it may be best to start with games that are not text dependence and may not require much communication as part of it's mechanic. In my informal community experiences, a simple game of mancala (Link for how to play) can be transformative in helping people connect non verbally. As that connection gets stronger, communication starts up. People start with phrases, words or exclamation all centered around a specific move or strategy a player just used. I have had some players  become so much more fluent verbally playing these games that are not communication centered. Almost all of my players then can easily transition over to games like Settlers of Catan in which players have to auction with each other. "I have two bricks. I can trad them for 3 sheep". If your learners are already comfortable with communicating at this level then maybe party games like Telestrations or Taboo could be very successful. 

To your question about adapting either of those games ....

Telestrations: Even when people have shared experiences, like all seeing the same movie, may not get references because art skills can vary so much in this game. While the miscommunication that results in the gameplay can be a blast, it may frustrate people feeling that others just don't understand them or they don't understand others? Perhaps a modification could be to have a relatively large list of vocabulary words players can use so there is a bit more control over the types of words that could be drawn? Having multiple vocab sheets available and even giving each player a different sheet during play could result in other interesting variations of the game. 

 Taboo: Vocabulary can be such a huge part of this game. I have had players frustrated that they did not know what the top word or even some of the forbidden words meant and they get so flustered they forget they can pass. Alternatively, some players end up passing through so many cards until they find a word or set of words they are comfortable with. I love this game in terms of stretching how we describe something to others without saying specific words. I dislike the time element and if I were to use this game I would try to modify it someway to get rid of that timer. In fact, there is a similar game called Conenames that you might enjoy looking into. You have two teams, like Taboo, but instead of just accumulating points, the teams are competing on the same 5 x 5 board of vocabulary words. If someone on a team guesses wrong, they could score points for the other team or they could even loose the game outright. This competitive, puzzle type format really discourages the random blurting out of thoughts or ideas, and teams often will pass simply so they can have whispered discussions with each other while the other team is doing their turn. Teams often take notes to logically put together what their clue giver is trying to get them to guess. Experienced players may even take notes on the other team to start figuring out which words to not guess at all. 

I know your family loves to play these games. Can you share what you hope your learners get form game play? Are you looking to help them feel more comfortable with others? Are you looking more towards building/testing vocabulary? Are you looking to get players collaborating more or competing more? So much of what game we choose, and how we modify games we would love to introduce depend on what we hope to accomplish from the game play. My thoughts above are from a more social comfort angle as I have found that to be one of the biggest challenges in getting people enjoying game play of any kind together. Perhaps you can share some of your outcomes you would be looking for and how you feel each of the games might help learners get there?

Does anyone else have perspective or ideas for Jennifer concerning Telestrations or Taboo games in the ESL classroom? 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello teaching colleagues,

Two days ago I wrote, "Many adult learners have children at home with them, pre-school-ers, elementary-, middle- and high school-aged children. What do you know, from the adult learners in your online classes or tutorials, about ways that they as parents, grandparents, or other caregivers, may be helping their children learn?"

I wonder if you have asked your students this question yet, if you plan to  -- or If you have asked, what they said.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups.

 

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello Integrating Technology and Program Management colleagues,

I want to call your attention to another discussion thread in the LINCS Integrating Technology and Career Pathways groups, A Conversation with Tadd Wamester on Coronavirus, Continuous Learning, and Career Pathways, and invite you to join in. The whole discussion is rich and fascinating. For example, consider this issue raised by Tadd:

What do peer activities look like with social distancing measures in place? How do we model and share recommendations that our learners can bring to their own families, friends and neighbors? I think we are all going to be looking for guidance and leadership in this area. But I also would like to see adult educators share their favorite activities that they won't be leading when classrooms reopen, and alternative activities with similar learning outcomes that align with social distancing guidelines. How do we translate effective peer activities to adhere to social distancing guidelines and so that they minimize the risk of infection?

It may feel premature to think about a return to in-person learning that includes social distancing (and face masks?) and what might or might not be possible in this new in-person teaching and learning under these circumstances. However, I agree with Tadd that it isn't too soon to think about. Have you thought about this? Do you have some thoughts you would like to share?

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Kevin Morgan's picture
Ten

Hi Everyone - As part of the ongoing ProLiteracy webinar series on distance learning, this Friday May1 from 2-3PM ET will feature a Zoom representative who will show how to use some of Zoom's features: breakout rooms, whiteboard, polling, and other features to enhance your distance learning lessons with students. Click here to register.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

On Thursday, April 30th, LINCS offered what turned out to be a very popular webinar (620 registrants and 386 attendees) with three adult basic skills teachers talking about and answering questions about their classes newly moved online. The three teachers were: Nan Frydland, Amy Elston and Amber Delliger. Following brief descriptions of them below I will separately post some questions for each that the one-hour webinar did not allow sufficient time to answer. I hope they will be able to answer some of these questions here. Many, many thanks to all three teachers/instructors and to those who joined in on Thursday with their questions. When the webinar has been approved we will post a link here. Meanwhile, you may be able to receive an emailed copy if you email Jessie Stadd <jstadd@manhattanstrategy.com> or Melissa Zervos <mzervos@manhattanstrategy.com> .

Nan Frydland

Nan has been teaching low-literacy adult immigrants for more than fifteen years, using culturally responsive pedagogy. She’s currently an ESL instructor at Stamford Adult Education in Connecticut. On March 16th, she shifted her classes online, using the app known as WhatsApp. Nan has published and presented on the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm© (MALP) and transformative learning. She holds an MFA and M. Ed from Long Island University in TESOL -- (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Nan is a member of the LINCS CoP Integrating Technology, English Language Acquisition, Diversity and Literacy, Professional development and Teaching and Learning groups.

Amy Elston

Amy has been an instructor of Adult Basic and Adult Secondary Education at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois for 14 years. She is also a Content Standards Trainer for the Central Illinois Adult Education Service Center. She provides reading and writing instruction for adult students, GE levels 2-8. On Friday, March 13th, she learned that her language arts classes wouldn’t be returning to the on-campus classroom. On Monday, March 16th, she transitioned to virtual classroom meetings using Blackboard Collaborate, a real-time videoconferencing tool. By the second class meeting she was able to have 70% of her class join the new format. Through a collaboration of Blackboard, Google, Kahoot, Readworks, and more, she’s continued to connect with students and meet their academic needs. She’s eager to share her successes and failures over the last four weeks in hopes to encourage and assist other instructors during this challenging time. Amy is a member of the LINCS CoP Integrating Technology group.

Amber Delliger

Amber has been an ABE teacher in Minnesota for the past 13 years. Her current teaching assignment involves co-teaching developmental algebra courses with faculty at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She proudly serves as the Adult Numeracy Network Region 3 representative. She’s a member of several LINCS Community groups, including Math and Numeracy, AskANN, Professional Development and the Integrating Technology group, among others. Amber holds a Masters's degree in Educational Leadership. She loves attending and providing numeracy professional development, and she’s been recognized as a semifinalist for the 2020 Minnesota Teacher of the Year.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Nan, the following are questions that were posted in last Thursday's webinar that you may not have had time to (fully) answer. I hope that you might be able to address some or all of them here this week. First, however, I have a question that occurred to me as I read the questions below, and that many teachers may also have. Since I believe that you had not used WhatsApp before, at least for teaching, how did you manage to learn so much about teaching with WhatsApp in just these past few weeks?

Questions from participants in the webinar:

1) How did the microphone feature (presumably in WhatsApp) help your students engage?

2) When you mentioned discovering the microphone, is that with Powerpoint or WhatsApp?

3) What advice do you have for state policymakers who might want to support other adult education programs that are trying to develop approaches like yours?

4) (A comment, not a question) BRAVO!  You have met your students where they are!!  AND..because you are also new to online teaching, your students are meeting YOU where you are, too.  When we are REAL with our students, we all find meaning in learning together!  Thank you!!!!!

5) (I believe this was answered in the webinar, but would be helpful to repeat here.) How much time do you put into all this prep?  It seems very labor intensive?

6) Do you have step-by step instructions for transferring Powerpoint slides to WhatsApp?

7) (Several people asked this question.) Could you provide instructions for hiding phone numbers in WhatsApp?

8) How many students do you have in your What'sApp classes?

9) Do you use WhatsApp on your phone or on your computer?

10)  Is WhatsApp on your computer so that you link it to PowerPoint? I've only used in on my iPhone.

11)  Are you working with all the students at one time?

12) What percentage of your students are able to learn this way?

13) Do you mainly chat with students during the set time for class, or also outside of those hours?

14) Can you send documents in What'sApp?

15) Does everyone see the student texts, or does just the teacher see them?

16) Is it difficult to set up groups in What'sApp?

17) Do you think What'sApp is the easiest format for beginner level students vs. Zoom or Google Classroom?

18) Is there more about MALP that we can read online?

19) How much do you trust Whatsapp? I have heard that it's based in China.

-------

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

nanfrydland's picture
Fifty

Thank you for asking how I came to use WhatsApp as a teaching platform when I knew so little about it before March 13.

The short answer is I learned by doing. I put pedagogy first and technology second.

I was looking to mimic the culturally responsive teaching practice I knew, which meant asking questions, transcribing students’ answers, and making illustrated Word documents that I copied and distributed, to be filed in loose-leaf binders called Our Book. In a class with a smarthboard, I had started using Flip Charts, and lacking a smartboard in the other, I wrote on swaths of white paper taped to a plain old whiteboard.

Fortunately, in my basic class, we had just conducted a Learning Experience Approach event, walking around town to identify buildings and taking photos. Having incorporated this project in Our Book, students had answered questions working collaboratively in class. Answering questions individually followed the scaffolding procedures described by Marshall & DeCapua (2011) in the Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradgim,© which I’ve used as my guiding light for instruction for eight years.

But the process I used was  challenging and tedious, taking a photo of a Word document in Our Book, clicking on Photos, clicking on send, clicking on WhatsApp, clicking on BasicClass, then clicking on send. My head was spinning and my thumbs numb at the conclusion of sending thirty documents, texting and responding, for two hours.  

I switched from Word to PowerPoint after thinking about conference slides with little text and large photos. I sent a PPT, but students couldn’t open it. Again, I took photos of the slides, and sent them from a Photo library. Tedious.

Finally, my husband noticed my frustration and suggested I copy and paste the slides one by one, bypassing the whole Photo and send process. Arranging WhatsApp on left and my slide deck on the right of my desktop screen, I could copy and paste a slide into the WhatsApp message box in one, easy move.  

Next, my husband pointed to the WhatsApp microphone. What a genius! Using voice message, I was closer to emulating my classroom activities. My students and I could talk to each other and I could transcribe what they were saying in real time, sending slides of the transcriptions for them to recognize and read. Exciting! That was even better than the classroom, and using a thumb drive or rolls of paper to transcribe and expand at night.  Now, the slides created in one class formed the basis of the following class, redone as clozes, expanded and developed according to a theme. 

One morning when my internet connection failed, my students and I used the video call feature of WhatsApp to continue our class for an hour and a half. I found it stressful, managing the delivery of content, holding up a textbook, and correcting answers. Although students talked back and forth to each other while I listened, I’ve gotten comfortable with our classroom activities just the way they are. This too, shall pass, I thought.

Eventually, my students and I got into a rhythm of exchanges, text, voice and documents. There were jokes and emojis.  Students contributed to Our Book with photos of themselves cooking at home, studying, playing with children. We were very connected. We studied protection procedures and laughed at our masks. We finished our entire Ventures textbooks and had time for a week of review, and an Introduction to Digital Learning, before classes ended last week.

So far, I’ve done what adult learners, survivors, refugees, marginalized, low SES and others do. We just figure it out, no PhD required, just survivor skills.  I've so much more to learn and I'm looking forward to it.

Nan Frydland

ESOL Instructor

 

nanfrydland's picture
Fifty

Hi David,

Here are my responses to questions from participants from the webinar.

1) How did the microphone feature (presumably in WhatsApp) help your students engage?

 The microphone was essential to participants because they aren't familiar with written English, with the keyboard, or with texting. Participants were able to answer my questions, ask each other questions and answer them, allowing me to write up their speech and send it back formatted in a PowerPoint slide.

2) When you mentioned discovering the microphone, is that with PowerPoint or WhatsApp?

There’s a mic in PowerPoint? Yes, the microphone icon is located in the bottom right corner on WhatsApp. It operates differently on the computer and phone. On the computer, you tap to record and tap to send. On the phone, you tap and hold while recording and release to send.

3) What advice do you have for state policymakers who might want to support other adult education programs that are trying to develop approaches like yours?

I am not in a position to advise state policymakers.

4) (A comment, not a question) BRAVO!  You have met your students where they are!!  AND..because you are also new to online teaching, your students are meeting YOU where you are, too.  When we are REAL with our students, we all find meaning in learning together!  Thank you!!!!!

We’re all adult learners.

5) (I believe this was answered in the webinar, but would be helpful to repeat here.) How much time do you put into all this prep?  It seems very labor intensive?

I found preparing for WhatsApp classes to be easier than preparing for in-person classes.

I used to spend time transcribing flip charts of print created in class, reformatting it, and copying it for distribution in class. But reading pages of text I would normally distribute is challenging on a tiny phone screen, so I made images the focus of each page, with far less text. Using these pages is the mainstay of instruction, and it isn't time-consuming at all. I usually prepare 30 P:owerPoint slides for a two-hour class, including some 40-second videos.

Students had taken photos around town and they were invited to take photos of themselves at home, which they could do with the WhatsApp camera feature and post immediately. I made videos in and around my house that reflected common activities in 40 seconds or less. I urge teachers to follow the example of Canadian teachers who made photo books in a similar way, rather than using stock from YouTube. The more readily students can identify people and places in photos and videos the more likely they are to learn the new language associated with them. After you have created a bank of photos and videos they can be used multiple times for different purposes, grammar objectives, clozes and open-ended questions for students to respond to.

6) Do you have step-by step instructions for transferring PowerPoint slides to WhatsApp?

Hover the cursor on the slide, click copy. Hover on the cursor on message box, click paste.

7) (Several people asked this question.) Could you provide instructions for hiding phone numbers in WhatsApp?

It depends on what you mean by hiding. Phone numbers are hidden in the thread, but I think it is still possible to access phone numbers by tapping on the person’s name to view their contact information. So it might ave been misleading for me to say that the numbers are hidden. They are hidden during our class exchanges.

On the other hand, some students chose not to give their name, just their phone number, so that only the number was visible in the thread and no name was connected to it under contact information.

At any rate, this is how we created groups with only names displayed in the thread.

When you Create a New Group, don’t use Add Participants from Contacts. Instead Add New Participant and enter a person’s name, then their phone number.

8) How many students do you have in your What'sApp classes?

I’ve had 2-6 students in classes. Many students were not present to download the app, some did not understand that we were having class using WhatsApp, some students are working or looking for work, and others cannot use the app because they did not have time for appropriate instruction. I expect that many more will be able to use it when we practice in a live classroom in the future.

9) Do you use WhatsApp on your phone or on your computer?

I conduct the class using a computer but I the phone is connected too because it’s a speedier connection for listening to voice messages. Also, I can send photos from my phone library that aren’t on my computer, and vice versa. I can also have multiple PowerPoints on my screen to borrow slides from other slide decks.

10)  Is WhatsApp on your computer so that you link it to PowerPoint? I've only used in on my iPhone.

I haven’t linked: The programs run side by side on my desktop. The ease of use is transformed with a full keyboard and large screen. Students can also use their computers. Two of my students used their children’s computers and they were much more engaged than those on phones.

11)  Are you working with all the students at one time?

Yes. I often answer individually, unless several students answer at once and their answers are all acceptable, in which case I save time by sending a happy face or thumbs up emoji.

12) What percentage of your students are able to learn this way?

100% of those attending classes, but that is a small percentage of the original classes. I reiterate that it is easier to use WhatsApp on a computer than on a phone.

13) Do you mainly chat with students during the set time for class, or also outside of those hours?

I have chatted only during the set hours, although I have offered to answer questions at any time.

14) Can you send documents in What'sApp?

Yes, it is possible to send a Word or PowerPoint document, but the receiver needs to have the program. Since my students don’t have the programs, pasting pages in the message box works.

The WhatsApp attachment feature from the computer is slow, so I don’t use it.

The WhatsApp camera is good to take selfies and share in class.

15) Does everyone see the student texts, or does just the teacher see them?

I think that any text or voice message can be private using the Reply feature which has several options.

16) Is it difficult to set up groups in What'sApp?

No. It’s very easy. My students did it. Just tap New Group, add student names and numbers, name the group, add a photo.

17) Do you think What'sApp is the easiest format for beginner level students vs. Zoom or Google Classroom?

I haven’t used other formats for teaching, so I don’t know.

I think there is a question about the focus being on viewing participants or sharing materials.

Our small groups share 30 slides of material in two hours, but we don’t see each other.

18) Is there more about MALP that we can read online?

Yes, at https://www.academia.edu/ search: Mutually Adaptive Learning Paradigm.

Helaine Marshall and Andrea DeCapua developed this framework and I, among others, have written about implementing it.

19) How much do you trust Whatsapp? I have heard that it's based in China.

It’s encrypted. People have used it worldwide for years. I have never heard of a problem.

Nan Frydland

ESL Instructor

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Amy, here are some questions from last Thursday's webinar that I believe were intended for you:

1)  We haven't used Blackboard before. What do you suggest?  What are "tips" for beginning and learning quickly like YOU did?  Thanks!

2) Is Blackboard easy to set up?

3)  What were the programs you used in conjunction with Blackboard?

4) Are your students using Chromebooks?

5) What do you do if students don't have a computer?

6) Can students use Kahoot when we are in a video conference and they only have use of their smartphone?

7) How do you use your text books in a digital platform?

8) Is there a cost for Readworks?

9) Does Readworks track time?

10) Did all 11 students engage immediately? If not, how did you reach them to engage them in distance learning?  I have tried calling, emailing, and text messages with no luck.

11) Any suggestions for teaching writing? Are students persisting w/longer writing/reading passages?

12)  I would love to know more about how you're using Google forms!

13) Newsela? I am not familiar with that program... What does it do? You have mentioned it twice and it sounds interesting.

14) (This might be a question not only for Amy, but also for Nan and Amber.) Are grading systems used more flexible now due Due to CV19 challenges? Has your grading changed as a result?

15) Do you use any ebooks?

--------

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

Amy Elston's picture
First

1)  We haven't used Blackboard before. What do you suggest?  What are "tips" for beginning and learning quickly like YOU did?  Thanks!

Lots of online videos are available for learning. I suggest begin by posting assignments in the announcements section as this is easy for students to find. Later move to modules, etc. 

2) Is Blackboard easy to set up? I feel it is easy to set up after watching a few videos. Do not try to learn everything at once. I suggest do a little, learn a little.

3)  What were the programs you used in conjunction with Blackboard? I used readworks, google docs, NewsELA, and edpuzzles.

4) Are your students using Chromebooks? They are not using whatever they have access to. 

5) What do you do if students don't have a computer? Many without computers use phones and some also were able to borrow laptops from the college.

6) Can students use Kahoot when we are in a video conference and they only have use of their smartphone? The students switched between screens, but I also read the questions and color combinations. 

7) How do you use your text books in a digital platform? I scan and share page as a pdf on the screen. They have the text books also.

8) Is there a cost for Readworks? Readworks is FREE! It also has an audio component that reads for the students if you wish to enable that feature. Readworks also offers MANY webinars right now to assist in learning about their site.

9) Does Readworks track time? I do not see an option for that. I am inquiring myself on that.

10) Did all 11 students engage immediately? If not, how did you reach them to engage them in distance learning?  I have tried calling, emailing, and text messages with no luck.

I am so sorry. Most students engaged immediately some took a couple days. But all I can say is keep trying.

11) Any suggestions for teaching writing? Are students persisting w/longer writing/reading passages?  I have students write in Google Docs and Guide with live video discussions. Yes they have done a great job with longer reading pieces and writing. To keep them going with writing, having them share their Google Doc and editing it frequently helps to keep them engaged.

12)  I would love to know more about how you're using Google forms! I use the Google forms for quizzes and worksheets, usually independent homework. Sometimes I put the textbook questions in and have them submit their answers in the Google Form. This makes grading much easier.

13) Newsela? I am not familiar with that program... What does it do? You have mentioned it twice and it sounds interesting. NewsELA allows you to level reading passages for the students. It is everything from current events to history or science topics. You can take a NewsELA text and choose the Lexile you want. This allows all students to read and respond to the same text but at their level.  They provide four questions to each text, which are standard aligned, but there are only four. Many times I would add more questions through a Google Form.

14) (This might be a question not only for Amy, but also for Nan and Amber.) Are grading systems used more flexible now due Due to CV19 challenges? Has your grading changed as a result? Our students are not formally graded. The TABE test is their grading. That being said, I grade student work with a percentile the same as I always have.

15) Do you use any ebooks? I do not. I am sure that is a great option! I think it is important to streamline what we use with students so as not to overwhelm them with too many options. For that reason, I have not moved to other sources.

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Amber, here are some questions for you:

1) How do you deal with privacy rules when uploading Zoom lectures on YouTube?

2)  (Amber, I think it was you who mentioned "phet" online manipulatives. Could you describe what these are and how you use them online?) I love the phet online manipulatives and demos.

3) When I try to use the Zoom white board, my lines come out very squiggly and I find it hard to write (right?)-control the mouse. I use the one built into my laptop. Any tips?

4) How many students do you tend to have in a Zoom class?

5) Are your classes free to the community? Non credit?

6) How do you record DL hours of attendance for assignments?

7) What platform did you use to make your Week at a Glance?

8) Does the register now link access (to?) registration?

9) You mentioned having two days to prepare students for online learning.  What are the numbers like now as compared to in-person? We didn't have a buffer for transition and we're struggling to engage students.  We have tried email, phone calls, and text messages with no luck.  Do you have any recommendations?

10) I would love to hear more about how you're able to see and respond to student work.

11) What is Edmentum?

------

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

 

Amber Delliger's picture
First

 

Hello Everyone!

It was great to be able to listen to such wonderful ideas from my colleagues from around the country during last week's webinar. I think surrounding ourselves with good teachers and good humans is incredibly important during this time.

I wanted to take a moment and reply to some of the questions, but as always, please feel free to reach out to me here or via email or Twitter any time!

1) How do you deal with privacy rules when uploading Zoom lectures on YouTube?

I don't require any students to use a picture or video during my lectures when recording. We always have time that isn't recorded at the beginning/end of class to allow them to speak freely if needed. We also encourage them to 'rename' themselves with their first name or initials. The biggest thing that we do is hide videos when recording so that we don't have to worry about that as much.

Our students also get notified that we are recording when we start. So they are aware.

Our YouTube channel isn't public so that is another way we are working around some privacy concerns. 

2)  Online Manipulatives

I draw a lot of pictures when I teach, but I also want my students to have hands-on experience with content whenever possible.

I use Desmos for a calculator and graphing. Geogebra has some great tools for working with shapes that I like to use. Math Learning Center has good ten frames, fractions, etc that I like to use (https://www.mathlearningcenter.org/resources/apps)  Didax also has some useful tools that I tap into when needed (https://www.didax.com/math/virtual-manipulatives.html)

3) When I try to use the Zoom white board, my lines come out very squiggly and I find it hard to write (right?)-control the mouse. I use the one built into my laptop. Any tips?

ME TOO! :) You're not alone. Luckily my students know that and they roll with it. I don't have a tablet that I can write on with a stylus and I am super jealous of people who do! 

Honestly, I feel like it's getting better and I'm figuring out different ways to write my numbers (6 is tricky for me for some reason) that help with the smoothness of the writing.

4) How many students do you tend to have in a Zoom class?

I average about 15 during live lecture times and then I have a number that pop in and out during open student support hours. It definitely isn't the numbers we had in person, but since we are posting recorded lectures and video supports (recorded modules that are NOT during Zoom Lectures) I know there are many ways to get the content. Students are completing assignments well, so I know they are getting it somewhere! :)

5) Are your classes free to the community? Non credit?

My classes are part of a collaboration between Metro North ABE (my ABE consortia) and Anoka-Ramsey Community College. I partner with college faculty to help provide support and additional instruction for students in developmental math courses. Our hope is to support students in getting through dev ed and into college credit earning courses in as few semesters as possible.

Students meet 5 days/week (MWF 90 mins, TTH 50 mins) but are only charged for a portion of those hours. Students essentially only pay for the MWF portion of the class, and receive the T/TH for free (We consider those extra 100 minutes ABE time). Because of this we are able to get through 2 courses of dev ed algebra in 1 semester. So we save them time and money -- and are able to really dig into their skill gaps or areas of interested with our dedicated ABE time.

I am responsible for about 100 minutes of targeted instruction each week with each class. We use those 100 minutes in lots of different ways depending on the group and their needs. I spend a lot of time building the soft skills based on the ACES set of standards and incorporate growth mindset and problem solving tasks as a regular part of our practice.

ABE also offers a number of additional free supports on campus for students to take advantage of such as ACCUPLACER bootcamps, math study groups, Pre-Fall Semester Refreshers, Summer Skill Building courses, TEAS test prep, etc. 

6) How do you record DL hours of attendance for assignments?

This is one of the trickiest parts we are dealing with right now. So, I am currently unable to collect contact hours for students who are accessing our recorded lectures or YouTube videos. I also am unable to collect hours for assignments I am asking them to complete and turn back in. I'm only getting contact hours for the time they are attending LIVE activities (lectures/study groups) or proxy time for the assignments completed in Edmentum or My Math Lab.

Minnesota recently announced they are working to approve courses run on different learning management systems that are able to track "active time on task". Since we use D2L at our site, I am working with the college to get me the reports for students 'active time' on D2L with the intention that I could submit those for clock hours. 

7) What platform did you use to make your Week at a Glance?

I make everything in Google Docs and/or One Note. The college uses One Note for everything and my consortia uses Google. So, I'm learning to be super flexible in both. I start by making a table and then make it fancy with coloring in cells and adding in links. Once you get the initial structure down, it's SUPER easy to maintain. 

8) Does the register now link access (to?) registration?

All of the links send students to resources that they may need. So I have links to sign up for individual tutoring time with me or the campus tutors. I have links that also go to Tutor.com (which is provided through the campus). Any links about registering for Summer Skills options or other registrations go to a Google Form that allow students to give us their contact into and their areas of interest and then my ABE program reaches out to each student to help them find the ABE offering in our consortia that best meets their needs.

9) You mentioned having two days to prepare students for online learning.  What are the numbers like now as compared to in-person? We didn't have a buffer for transition and we're struggling to engage students.  We have tried email, phone calls, and text messages with no luck.  Do you have any recommendations?

There was a honeymoon period where we had lots of engagement right away. It was new and exciting and they were in the habit of doing school, so I think those first few days were the most attended. Since we had 2 days to show them how to access Zoom and the tools we thought we might use, we were fortunate to get some of those kinks out before they left.

Now the participation is incredibly different. Since we have so many different ways to access content, it's hard to gauge how active students are. Which is great for providing equitable access but trickier for formative assessment :)

It definitely has been hard to track students down. And I'm finding that to be one of the hardest parts of this entire process. I have found texting to be the best way to reach most students. But I'm also calling and emailing too. I don't have any great recommendations. I have sent videos and pictures to try to humanize the experience and instead of focusing on why they aren't in school, my messages are about how I am thinking of them and hope they are well and offering my support as needed during this time. I find that reaching out as human to human seems to at least get some response and then I leave the door open for them to return when things calm down a bit and usually say "Hey, I'm going to touch base with you next month to see how you're doing and see if you're ready to start back up. Call or email me earlier if you'd like."

10) I would love to hear more about how you're able to see and respond to student work.

I have my students use the Cam Scanner app or Google Drive on their phone to make their work into PDFs (It's REALLY easy once they get the hang of it and it's an important skill for college anyway!) and then I add text boxes and/or highlights/ notes to their work and send it back to them. I try to not overwhelm it and find some important pieces to focus on in each assignment. I can also write a note encouraging them to visit me in student support hours for help or pushes if I see the need. Students actually follow up with it!  I'm surprised! 

Also, I will note when the 'work' looks just like what is spit out of a math app and ask them to "explain your thinking" or "How did you know this was a good first step?" "What was your plan when starting this problem? Did it stay the same the entire time? How did it change?" Just asking some deeper prompts, not as a "gotcha" but as a way to re-engage with the materials.

11) What is Edmentum?

Edmentum is a program with lots of lessons in multiple subject areas. You can search by standard or topic and find the right pieces you need to create an individualized lesson with instruction and practice. You can also add pre and post tests to look at mastery of a skill. It is supported by the state of Minnesota so we are able to offer it to our students for free and it is approved for DL proxy hours. https://www.edmentum.com/

Thanks for having me and I'd be happy to answer more questions any time! :)

Amber

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Below are a few questions that might be for any/all of last Thursday's webinar presenters.

First however, a comment for all of our presenters from one of the participants: "Your stories match our experience so closely.  Good to hear others' struggles and great stories."

1) What reasons have students given for not continuing with the remote learning?

2) How are you dealing with bandwidth issues if there are many people in a household using devices at the same time?

3) Any comments about phone hacking prevention?

4) What is the online white board you are using?

 

Anyone, if I have missed a question, or if you would like to follow up with more questions for Nan, Amy and Amber, you can post them here.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Are you looking for free professional development for managing online courses? If so, consider this new Distance Learning Series by Essential Education. It includes six free downloadable courses, starting with the basics and moving to more advanced topics. These include: Technology for the Virtual Classroom, Records Management and Communication, A Teacher's View of Distance Learning, Soft Skills for Distance Learning Teaching, Utilizing Reports to Maximize Learning Outcomes, and a Teacher's View of Data-driven Distance Learning Instruction. For more information: https://www.essentialed.com/educators/distance-learning-series

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating Technology and Program Management groups

David J. Rosen's picture
One hundred

Hello colleagues,

Several articles recently, this one for example, have pointed out that many students cannot access the Internet from home. In some cases, if students have cars they may drive, or they walk or bicycle to hotspots that have been set up in school parking lots or other public places. Some public libraries have left on their wifi access even though their doors are locked, and students and others may sit on the library steps or on the grass or benches to do their homework. Some Internet Service Providers have public lists of free hotspots, although some of these hotspots may be in restaurants that are temporarily closed except for takeout. Have you asked your students how they access the Internet now? From home? from a public hotspot? From a smartphone (when they have data minutes left)? In other ways? If you haven't asked, consider doing so. If you have asked, or when you do, please share here the ways your students access the Internet. They may have found strategies that other teachers' students might use. Thanks.

David J. Rosen, Moderator

LINCS CoP Integrating technology group

Dena Giacometti's picture
First

 

Hi there,

As you may know, recommendations are coming out regarding testing. For CASAS Life and Work, they are stating that proctoring will be a 1:1 ratio of proctor to student. For TABE they are saying that it will be a 1:5 ratio of proctor to students. We have traditionally tested anywhere between 10 – 100 students at a time.

For a program that serves over 8,000 student annually, that is devastating to enrollment numbers. Wondering how other very large programs are thinking about this moving into the Fall semester?

 

 

Thanks!

 

Dena