DLAC 2017- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Santa Rosa

By | September 5, 2019

Hello, my name is Jacquelyn Ellis and
this is Valerie Winkler and we are from Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa. Our
presentation is in Schoology. We will talk more about Schoology specifically
later. So, you can see what it looks like. Catholic Charities is a national program.
It’s a community-based organization with offices in nearly all 50 states. Many
states have more than one office, and each office serves the needs of the
population in that area. Now, this was the result of the annual survey from the
previous year, and this is just for the Catholic Charities of Santa Rosa, which
is our office. You can see all of the numbers it serves. We serve, we help the
elderly, disaster victims, we have a lot of dedication to helping people who are
dealing with homelessness. And there are two programs, and specifically that we
are a part of. Valerie is a part of the Financial Literacy area, which you see
on the left-hand side, about the middle, and I am part of the immigration
department, which is on the right hand side, at the bottom. Okay. So, this photo is a group of
students in our rent ready class. They came through the program just last
winter. And the rent ready program is designed to help people that are
experiencing homelessness to gain and maintain skills and tools necessary to
get, get back into housing, and keep that housing. So it is an eight-week
program they go through once a week for two and a half hours, and this particular
group of students was the smallest group that we’ve had. And there’s two more
people that aren’t in this photo, but five young women with children came
through the program and learned these skills, and they built a really great
sense of community amongst themselves, and shared successes, and that was one of
the things that kind of got us thinking about using Schoology as a way for, for
the students to connect outside of class and share resources and, and
successes. So, let’s see. We generally have about, we have the capacity to have about
20 to 25 students, but we usually have more around like 15 that start in the
class. But because of the situation that they’re in, it makes it challenging
sometimes for them to come to class, and so we tend to only graduate about 10
students per class so, we really want to raise that to allow more people to
be successful. They do have to come to at least, there’s eight classes,
they, they can’t miss more than three. And so, having an online course would
allow them to really access the materials and keep up with all the
projects that they do. Ok, thank you. And I am the citizenship class instructor. And this is a photo of some of the
students. The citizenship class helps prepare ESL students to pass the
citizenship interview. It’s also called the citizenship test. Most people in
the class are from Mexico or other Latin American countries, but we do have
students from around the world. Faud here, for example, is from Morocco. And as
you can imagine, the test is high-stakes. If they pass the test they
become citizens. The test is very expensive. It’s seven hundred twenty-five dollars currently, and it goes up frequently. So, that’s a large amount of money that students need to gather together.
There are levels of payment for it, depending on your income, so for some
students it is free, other students it’s a reduced amount. But for many
students, it is that very high amount. You can take the test twice for the same
application with the same check, so they don’t, it’s not all on the one test, but
it’s still high-stakes no matter what. If you are, so, the students are permanent
residents, so if they become citizens then they get the benefits of
citizenship, which include you can bring your family to the United States, your
children can get citizenship, and there’s one more, oh very important, you can’t be
deported. So that is very high in the list for a lot of students. And the
students are highly motivated. One student in the class had cancer surgery
the week of the class, and she still came into class. As I’m sure a lot of your
students do too, students in my class work ten hours a day picking grapes and still
come to class. They’re completely exhausted but they’re there
because it’s such an important test for them to prepare for.
Or I have the students who work at night that come to class, and then go to work. So,
very motivated students. And this is a class picture of my current class. The citizenship test is in an interview format. It’s one-on-one with an agent. The test has two parts, just in general two parts. Students must speak, read, and
write in English, and they must also answer questions based on US government
history and civics. And we could not do what we do without the help of our team. This is Mary Lowe, she’s the coordinator for the citizenship class. This is Dina Lopez, she is the senior program manager for Immigration Services. And this is Cynthia King, the assistant director, and Alejandra Torres, in this next picture, she’s
actually going to talk a little bit about how excited she is about the [inaudible] [Video] Our DLAC project for the citizenship class focused
on the questions on United States government history and civics, of course
speaking, reading, and writing are also crucial components because you have to
pass each part in order to pass the entire test. If you get one part wrong,
that is considered not passing. So you have to pass all areas. So every part is
important, but for this project we just focused on the questions, because there
are 100 questions. Which, as you could imagine, is pretty daunting for the
students, who have, the students in the class are multi-level in every way. In
English ability, educational background, well, those being the two key levels in
which there’s multi-level class. And for, for some students, they may have only
had a year or two of education at all, so that’s why I focused on the the 100
questions. For the test, they are only asked ten of
the questions, and they have to get six correct. And after they get six right,
then they move on to the next part of the test. So what worked?
Kahoot was a big success. I have a video. I asked the students
in the class if they liked Kahoot, and you can hear their answer. And see their
answer! [Video] So I would say there is some enthusiasm. There was only a little bit of coaching. Other accomplishments, I created a Weebly website for the first time, and I embedded Quizlets in the Weebly. I also created an LMS for
the first time. I used Schoology. The rollout has been a challenge, and we’ll
talk that, about that a little more later. The TDLP goal, or one of the goals was
that 70% of citizenship students will score 60% or higher on a test, and the
way the test was administered in the classroom was there was a recording of
the person reading the question, and then the students had multiple choices. So it
mimics the test in the way that they have to listen to somebody else’s voice,
but they did have multiple choices to select from. The tech tools that I
used to help students meet that goal include a Kahoot, which they liked, a
Powerpoint, the Weebly, Schoology was challenging, and then there are also
videos created by the Smithsonian Institute, specifically to help people
study for the test. And, like I said, that, there’s the
goal, and I just explained that, go down to the results. So 41 students took the test, and 39 got 18 or more, which is 60%. So 95% scored 60% or higher. And the
threshold was 60% because that’s what it is for the actual interview that they
take. So I think you saw the Weebly in another presentation, we’ll skip ahead
because I want to make sure we have enough time. So DLAC help. I heard
about Kahoot from Mickey at dinner. I don’t know if you remember the
conversation. The first DLAC, session that we had. Went to dinner, by
chance sat next to Mickey and she talked about Kahoot, and I said what the heck is
that, I’ve never heard of it before, and you see the results. Thank You
Mickey. And I learned about TPACK from Jenn. We’ll move ahead because we’re running out of time. So really what I’d like to say about our goals for rent
ready it’s just to, it was to introduce that platform so that the students could
access materials and resources outside of class to build that community and that
connection. We do have volunteer coaches that are involved, and so allowing them
the opportunity to connect in other ways as well outside of class. So we’d like
most of the students to complete this class. They do receive a subsidy for
rental assistance, so if they accomplish this goal it’s really big for them in
maintaining housing. So Schoology what we like, it’s easy to
use. As we found out from doing this presentation, multiple administrators can
work on it at the same time, and it works well for train the trainer, which rent
ready is being used [Inaudible] Challenge was challenging because the free version requires an email
account, and few students in the citizenship class have an email account,
and there’s a vast range of technical ability. Try to get all students there at
the same time. Some are five steps ahead, some are five steps back, and so I need
to get some best practices for how to make that work. The second goal for
our DLAC training is actually, scroll it back up, yeah. Our
original goal, the original reason why we are here, is because our agency wanted to
be able to broadcast a class from Sonoma County, where we are, all the way up. You
know, this all the areas that we serve. So to broadcast it to another class, and
this is the picture from our first session to talk about that goal. So those
are our next steps. One of our next steps. But we’re out of time. Comments, questions, suggestions? I have two questions. The first is just kind
of a methodology thing for the citizenship test. I’m familiar with the 100
questions but I didn’t realize that they random, well that they pick and choose.
So do you know, how do they pick and choose which 10 for each test they’re going to use?
Every day they are given the list of the 10, and theoretically they have some easy,
some medium, and some hard. That’s what I was gonna ask you, because some of them are fairly important, some of them are kind of like Trivial Pursuit. Yeah. And then some are random, some
are more specific, like who was the first president, and that’s easier to remember.
Some are open-ended, like what is one thing that Abraham Lincoln did, and then
some are challenging because one of the questions is what is the rule of law. And
if I asked you what the rule of law is, I see a lot of blank faces. Yeah. It’s hard
to remember that answer that they’re looking for is nobody is above the law.
But that — right. So it’s hard to remember that kind of question when there’s
nothing really to tie it to. Yeah. Or other questions that are hard for a lot
of, a lot of people. How many amendments does the Constitution have?
My second question, thank you, my second question was with your email. I was kind
of interested in that. Is your population, you said a large percentage of your
population doesn’t have email. Is that because they haven’t wanted an email or just don’t know how [inaudible] They actually, we did a survey. They came back only five percent of
the students surveyed had an email account at all. Why? I think it’s more
that they don’t know. That’s a good… More people have, about
half of the student, well more than half, well 75% have smartphones. Yeah. But they
just didn’t have an email address. So a lot of students have smartphones, but
their ability to use them ranges widely. Yeah. Some are quite adept and then
others are less adept. I’m wondering how you chose Schoology as your platform. [Inaudible] Yeah I was it was a an
exploratory process of kind of just seeing what elements we were looking for,
and you know, what was out there. We’re still not completely convinced
that this is like what we’re sticking to, but for now we’re going to try it out,
test it, and see if it works. Some of the elements that we liked were
just kind of a visual of it, kind of looks familiar it’s like maybe a social
media site. We could build a course with these folders and keep those
materials all accessible to us and the students based on how we, you know,
operate it. It’s easy to use. It was, I find it very intuitive. There is a free version, and there’s, always, like to get to the
Enterprise version there is a fee, and from research I did online the fee is
$10 per student which would, based on a K-12 model, at least, apparently, but
we, our classes are eight weeks. Rent ready classes are eight weeks, our
citizenship classes are 18 weeks. So it’s not, it doesn’t make any sense for us to
pay $10 per student. We, we’re we’ve begun communication with them to
try to explain that we are a very large agency, so if they can get in with one
office in California, it could expand to other offices in California, expand like
that. At least that’s their approach that we’re going to take. But like Valerie
said, we’re not completely sold on Schoology. We’re open to other ideas. Other ones that we have looked at?
Edmodo was one. We like that because it was really easy for students
to access. There was, it was just enter one code. So, right, you didn’t need an email address. But we certainly explored Moodle, of
course, so that’s, what would help me a lot, is, and the students too, is if there
was an easier way, another way besides the email route to log in. I think that
would really help. If there is just a username, the paid version of
Schoology yeah, just a username and it’s possible for a teacher to enroll
all the students. So, that’s really what we’re looking for. Oh! Can I get to the thank you page? Thank you thank you, thank you thank you,
I’m really demonstrating how to use Schoology right now! Yeah. It’s real easy. Thank you, Penny, and Branka, and Anthony for all of your help, and thank you all of you for
all of your contributions too.

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