Get Connected in a Virtual World – Susan Sesker and Danny Sesker
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Get Connected in a Virtual World – Susan Sesker and Danny Sesker

Danny Sesker: We have been traveling this
summer, because we get the opportunity to work virtually, which is super-amazing, and
awesome. We left home May 25th, 26th … I always say
25th, and my wife reminds me that I’m wrong. It’s just been great. We’ve been traveling, and seeing things,
and working. It’s been a wonderful opportunity for us. We’re super-excited to talk to you today
about the things that we do at Pasco eSchool to help us get connected with our students. We’re gonna hit some tools. We’re gonna talk about some of the things
from the teacher’s perspective, and I’ll talk from the admin perspective. I’m a Canvas admin. I’m a jack of- what is it? Jack of all trades, master of none, so I’m
still working on mastering some things. We’ll go through this. We want it to be more of a discussion thing. If you guys wanna share ideas, we wanna share
ideas in the room with what you’re doing at your schools. Quick show of hands – how many people work
at a 100-percent virtual school in the room? My boss obviously does, and a couple others. How many people just have virtual classes,
and courses? Pretty much the rest of the folks. Okay, great. If you would like to contact us, shoot us
an email. We’re gonna talk about Adobe Connect, and
some other things. If you’d like an inside track of how we
set that up, I’d be more than happy to converse with you later on that. If you wanna grab our info there. Here are some of the things we’re gonna
talk about. We wanna discuss the benefits of getting connected,
as an online school, as a community, with our students, our teachers, and our parents. We have three areas to focus on. We wanna talk about how our school can help
students get connected with their learning institution. Since we’re virtual, we don’t see our
students face-to-face, so there’s a little bit of a challenge there. We wanna talk about some of the best practices
in getting connected with our parents, as a third piece. Wanna talk about successful strategies for
fostering connections with teachers. Lastly, we’re going to talk about the things
that we’re looking at, and trying to improve, and where we’re headed next. What are some of the benefits to getting connected? Since we don’t see our students, and we
don’t have them face-to-face, what are some of the aspects that we’re trying to do? We wanna build their trust. We want them to know us as a person, and if
they know that we’re there for them, then we are also gonna get that support, as a follow
up to that. We also wanna increase communication, because
if we’re just an online course that’s graded, and they never, ever see their teacher,
they may not be as comfortable to reach out, and ask for help. We want them to belong to our school. We have students that are at our school, full
time. They do all of their education there, but
we have a lot of students, a tremendous amount of students that take one, two, or three classes
with us, so they also belong to another school. We wanna try to give them a feeling of they
also belong to our school. Like I said, we don’t wanna be a grading
robot. We try to humanize the experience for them. We wanna build those relationships. Out of all of those things, we think that
helps us increase student performance. I’m gonna let Susan talk about some of the
ways that, from the teacher perspective, that we could connect it. Susan Sesker: I taught in a bricks-and-mortar
school for probably 22 years, and I’ve been, now, at the eSchool for two years. I feel like I have a much better connection
with the kids at eSchool. I feel like I know them, and their parents
much better. Here are some of the ways that we do it. We have weekly emails that go out. We have newsletters. Giving kids kudos, and texts – they love
that. I can’t tell you how much response I get
back from them. I’ve even started keeping a folder for myself,
just because they’re so excited that you’ve congratulated them, and connected with them,
one-on-one. We have social events for teachers, and for
our students. We have a lot of field trips. We have field trips. Most times, they’re subject-based, not always,
but like our PE, we went to a Tree Toppers, where they have rope-walking— Danny Sesker: Zip-lining. Susan Sesker: Zip-lining— Danny Sesker: Yep. Susan Sesker: -and the marine biologist teacher,
she takes them to the— Danny Sesker: Aquarium. Susan Sesker: Aquarium, thank you. Then we have, of course, social media. We have friendly contests. When the semester’s winding down, we have
a snowboard shuffle, or a turkey trot, and it’s kids that are on pace get put into
a certain pool, and then we pull names, and give them certain prizes. Danny Sesker: Prizes. Susan Sesker: We have school lab visits. Because we have a lot of kids that are taking
one, two, or three courses outside of their regular bricks-and-mortar class, we have labs
in the school, which is … An adult’s in there, and watched over them, but they pretty
much do their own thing. Their lab managers are very valuable to us,
because they really keep a tab on those kids. Then we have teachers that are also connected
with each of the schools. They go out, and check on those, with the
lab managers, and the students. It’s great for us, because if I don’t
have … If I’m not connected to that high school,
I can contact that teacher, and then, when they go out, they contact that kid, and find
out what’s going on, if I can’t get ahold of them, or something. Personalized messages, of course, to them. Face-to-face live lessons … Our elementary,
and our middle school both have days that the kids can come in, and spend the whole
day with us, so they get a little bit of socialization there, too, and they can get some one-on-one
help, if they need it. We’re gonna talk a little bit more about
our live lessons in Adobe Connect in a little bit. Of course, we send out announcements, and
then we have different appointments [inaudible][05:40] Danny Sesker: Yeah. Live lessons. We’re gonna [kick][05:45] those, the three
red ones on the last screen there, are gonna be the tools we’re talking about – live
lessons, announcements, and appointments. In our live lessons, there’s several different
purposes we use for Adobe Connect in our live lesson rooms. Most of our students are required to have
a collaboration credit in their course, so that they’ve worked with other students. Coming to a one-hour lesson, online, fulfills
that credit. Some of our teachers use Adobe Connect for
tutoring sessions, academic assistance. The ASL team, this year, just started a few
months back, American Sign Language, having office hours, and a walk-in scenario, where
they’ve just … They’re always there, and any student that wants to come into that
room, and get some help, can. We do welcome calls. You wanna talk about welcome calls just a
little bit? Susan Sesker: I think when I went back, and
I said that I feel more connected to my kids is before they start the class, they have
to do a welcome call with us, and maybe some of your schools do it. I know when I got my master’s back in late
2000s, I never spoke to any of my online instructors, ever. We do a welcome call with the parent, and
the student, before they start, so they know what to expect. Then we do monthly contacts with the parents,
at least. Hopefully, the kids, too, but we end up … Usually,
I end up talking to my kids more than once a month. The parents then get to stay in touch with
it, too. Then we do DBAs – discussion-based assessments. All of our classes have those, and the kids
have to talk to us on the phone about what they’ve learned, or we can go into Adobe
Connect, and do it, or we can do Skype, or whatever works best in that situation. That’s where, a lot of times, I feel like
I get to know them better. In fact, during the conference, I had a mother
contact me, and was panicked. She knew that I was at the conference all
week, and she wanted to get her child’s last DBA done, so he could finish the class
before the school year started. I said, “Well, okay, can we do it right
now?” She said, “We’re at the doctor’s office
right now,” so we made an appointment for later. She said she needed to get it done because
he was at band camp for two days straight, and then after that, he was going to Aruba
with a great trip with his family. It’s funny, then when I got him on the phone,
I could say, “How did the doctor’s visit go?” and then, “Have fun in Aruba.” I feel like there’s so much more connection
there, plus the parents have a lot more buy-in to help you, when they see that you’re there,
and you’re supportive. You’re ready to help the kids, and things
like that. I love that part, and that’s where I said
like I feel like I have a better connection with these kids, than I did in bricks-and-mortar. Sorry, I’m nervous. Danny Sesker: I’ll talk a little bit about
how we set up Adobe Connect to work in Canvas, and how we integrated it. We use the eSync LTI tool to bring Adobe Connect
in, so that our students are seamlessly- can get right into their course. They don’t have to go log in again. They don’t have to put in another name,
and password. If they’re in the Canvas course, and they’re
enrolled in it, they see the Join button, and away they go. We’ve had a great relationship with eSync. I don’t wanna be in advertisement, but they
deserve it. They’ve been super-awesome as a partner. They have helped us. We have a tendency to break things in Pasco
eSchool. We’ve been using Canvas since 2012. We have a lot of users, and we say we’re
going to use Adobe Connect with a couple hundred, or maybe a thousand students. They kinda freak out, and then … When we
got up to 4,000, we broke it. It didn’t work anymore, and then we had
to talk about the architecture of their- of how the syncing works, and what we’re doing. They went, and engineered a solution for us
that made it work for our courses, so that was super-exciting. They also have another product, that’s EduGame
Cloud. It has some really neat features that adds
in to Adobe Connect. They have a trivia contest – Who Wants to
be a Trivia Champion? – that might or might not be very similar to a gameshow that was
on TV, about millionaires. Crossword puzzles, and quizzes. They also do grade pass back to Canvas from
those scenarios, so there are some really neat features there. You could really get in there, have a course,
instruct students, and assess them, right within Adobe Connect, which is really nice. The other thing we did was, in our … Off
to the edge there, with all the red text. Those are our subaccounts. Pasco eSchool is a subaccount in Pasco County. We built a sub-subaccount just for the live
lessons, so that we didn’t have to keep changing the rooms, and getting them confused. The nicest thing about that was it let us
put the LTI tool right in there. As soon as I build a course, and put it in
that subaccount, then everything is already there. The Adobe Connect link’s there. Everything’s there. All I have to do is just go in, and actually
add the meeting, which I’ll show you on the next- I think one of the next two slides. That’s worked up super-super-well for us. We’ve got about a hundred … I think we
had 92 when I did the screenshot, but I think we’re at about a hundred courses in there
now. This is what we provided for the students. We had them self-enroll in the courses so
that … Because we have students that are in, and out … We’re 365 days a year. We don’t start, and stop. Our students can come in at any time, go look
at the list, find a live lesson that they wanna join, and get right in. We had to figure out a way for the students
to enroll themselves, and as you know, students, sometimes, don’t read the directions. We had a link for them, how to get the info,
how to get the link straight in. We even had a link on there for them to test
their computer at home. A lot of folks are on older Windows machines,
running older browsers that aren’t compatible, so that gave them that ability to check it
themselves. When they say, “I can’t see it,” or,
“I can’t get in the Join button,” we always just refer back to that document, ask
them to go check it out, and it’s right there for them. We posted that on our website. We post that in the directions for the calendar
links for the live lessons, so that’s about four or five different places they can keep
seeing it. In Canvas, this is what it looks like. Adobe Connect just comes into your navigation
menu for your course. Once they click on that, then that’s it. It’s just right there. It’s very simple. I set up the meeting link. Where it says Add Meeting, you could have
office hours, and you could have a regular meeting room. Most of our courses just use one meeting room
to help with confusion, cuz some students will jump in the office hours meetings, and
go, “How come something’s not going on? What’s happening?” That’s right there. They click Join, and they’re in the meeting. It just launched Adobe Connect, and away they
go, and they’re in the meeting. We had some things in Adobe Connect that we
set up. We don’t allow guests to come in. We wanna know who everyone is. We don’t send out the direct link to the
Adobe Connect room on the backside. We also don’t open the room until a teacher’s
in the room. We keep the room completely closed down, because
if it’s sitting in your course, the students could go click the Join button, and they could
all be in there having a nice little discussion without any, really, adult supervision in
there, which is sometimes not a good idea. Let me show you a little example of just one
of our ASL teachers. I liked this one because it’s a little bit
of personality. We like to tie things in to real-world. We want the live lessons to be fun. Let me play this for you. [Video 12:59 – 13:20] Teacher: – with other ASL course users. We will definitely be using the course today
to learn some signs about how we can communicate with others, using the ASL course. I’d like to see more growth, young [inaudible][13:17]
as we continue through this lesson. We’re gonna be revisiting this poll. Danny Sesker: Elizabeth was doing a Star Wars
reference to American Sign Language signs, and was using those two things to bridge together. That session is open to all students, not
just students taking American Sign Language. A lot of times, we have students who see something
that looks interesting, and they might not even be taking the course. They jump in it, and maybe that spurs a little
growth, or something that they weren’t aware of that they were interested in from that
area. How do we get this information out to our
students, so that they know there are live lessons available, and where to sign up? We use WordPress for our website, in Pasco
County. That’s what we’re required to use. I’ve found a little plug-in to WordPress
called Time.LY. That allows me to get a feed from other calendars,
like a Google feed, or Microsoft Office. That’ll pull both of those feeds in, and
then we just post the live lessons on that calendar. One of the other coaches will post a lesson. We’ll give them all the information about
the lesson. We can give them an agenda view. We can give them a posterized view, if they
click on that. it just opens another website with all the
information. How to enroll in the course, all of that’s
right there. That’s worked out really well for us. We’ve also been able to take that, and iframe
it into other places across our courses, because we’re … We also have an FLVS franchise
site, so we have to have things also work in Educator. We have kind of two houses for everything. You can imagine, with 90 teachers, all the
different courses, and then two different platforms, we decided to try to figure out
a way to provide that information on one place, and then it’s iframed in everywhere else,
so we just make the change once, and then it goes out to all the courses, everywhere
else. Let me show you what that looks like in Canvas. This is a Canvas course – Anthropology – that
we have. This section that’s just in the black, here,
where it says Pasco eSchool Announcements is another thing that we iframed in. We iframe in those live lessons for Adobe
Connect, then below that, as well. Of course, with the iframes, you can resize
them to fit whatever folks need. The announcements is the other piece that
we wanted to talk about a little bit. We found that students were disconnected with
what was going on in our school. We were sending out emails, if we were doing
a fundraiser, or if we were doing a [crosstalk][15:40] Yeah, and it was just they were constantly
getting stuff. Our teachers were getting confused on what
to send out, and where to post it, and what to do with it. The solution was, again, to go back to WordPress,
create a page that we just have posts across the page. One person enters that information, and it
goes out to everybody, again. Then each one of our Pasco eSchool courses,
they’ll see that iframe at the top of the page. Then the students scroll down the page, and
can see all the information we posted about events that are coming up, field trips that
are coming up, all kinds of different things like that. My teachers were super-happy about that. Some of them have 12 courses, so they’d
get a flyer or something that’d come out from admin. “Hey, you guys need to post this.” They’d go post it in their 12 courses, and
then, of course, there’d be a type-o, and then they’d have to go back, and change
that again in their 12 courses, and it was making them crazy. This came from their stress level, of how
can we help them out, and make their lives a little easier? The next thing that we use to help our students
get connected is a software program called Calendly. I’m gonna let Susan talk about that just
a little bit. We’ve always had an appointment-scheduler
system at eSchool, and this is the latest one that we’ve started using. I’m gonna let her talk more about it. Susan Sesker: I love Calendly, because it’s
clean, and simple, and they don’t seem to get confused. Sometimes, with our other system we had, it
was a little more bulky, and like I said, a little more confusing. Most of us have these four types of appointments:
the welcome call that I talked about earlier, monthly calls with the parents, DBAs, the
discussion-based assessments, where we talk about what they’ve learned, and what I really
love about Calendly is, you can’t read it, but underneath each one, it gives them a little
bit of insight of something they might need to do before the appointment. Like for the DBAs on my home page, I have
a little bit of information about what we’re gonna talk about, so they’ll be prepared. Then they’re not so scared about those DBAs. On monthly calls, it says that they need to
have a parent present with them for those calls. That part is what I really like about that. You can also adjust it to what length you
want. Some of us only need 10 minutes for a welcome
call, or a DBA. Some people need a half an hour, so you can
adjust it exactly to fit your needs, and your student needs. Danny Sesker: The nice thing about that is,
if you think about … We went and looked, and last August, we made 7,000 appointments
with students. If you think about it, 7,000 appointments
with students – if we didn’t have a scheduling system, how many emails back and forth of
“I’m available here, I’m available there. I can’t do it here, it’s gotta be cancelled
…” This becomes all automated, then. Susan Sesker: They can call us anytime for
appointments, but they know that this time is reserved for them, and only them, and [crosstalk][18:25]
they won’t be interrupted. Danny Sesker: Right. Got a question? Audience: Are students able to go in here
[inaudible][18:30] Susan Sesker: Yes. Danny Sesker: The question is do the students
have access to making the appointment themselves, basically, is what you’re asking, correct? Yeah, so that’s exactly what it is. Each teacher has an individual link. The student clicks on that link. It might be on the home page, or wherever
the contact information is for the teacher … The student clicks on that, they see a
calendar, and they pick the day that’s good for them, and then they’ll get a series
of times- Susan Sesker: That are available- Danny Sesker: -that are available from the
teacher. The nice thing is, the teacher may have five
or six different appointment types, but the student will pick the appointment type they
need, fill out the information to that appointment type, and then that appointment gets made. It goes directly to the teacher’s calendar. We use Office 365. That appointment then gets blocked out on
Office 365, so the next student can’t make that appointment. An email notification goes out to the student,
and goes out to the teacher that that appointment’s been made. It’s really pretty automated. Audience: I don’t know if you planned to mention
it, but one of the nice things about this switch is let’s say you get a booking of
DEA, or a monthly call. You can have a bounce back, when they book
it, with information, a link, or a text that tells them things to prepare for, or to have
on hand for the appointment, as well. Danny Sesker: I could repeat all of that,
but basically, it sends out a link back to the student, and lets them know the stuff
that they need to have ready for that appointment. If their parents need to be present, they
have to have that there. If they needed to prepare some other way,
they can get that information directly. Again, nice automated process, which is super-helpful. Any more questions about … This is the end
of our tool part of this session, but I’ll be happy to answer more questions. Audience: [inaudible][20:24] Danny Sesker: Great question. The question was do students have to leave
Canvas to make that reservation, to make that appointment? Yes, they do. It’s a link that pops out to another website. Like Susan said, it’s a very clean page. It’s just nice. There’s not a lot of words. There’s not a lot of other information on
there. It’s just here’s the appointment, here’s
the date, fill out your stuff, submit. It’s pretty straightforward. Thank you. Any other questions? Yes? Audience: [inaudible][20:58] Danny Sesker: Excellent question. Do students have to create an account in Calendly
to use the program? The answer is no, they do not. There are some that are out there that require
them to make an account. I looked at a lot of them over the last couple
of months, like 30 different pieces of software for this scenario. That was one of the things we wanted. We didn’t want students to create an account,
have that student information filled out there. Thank you. Okay. Best practices for getting connected with
our parents. That’s the next piece. Do you wanna talk about this one, Susan? Susan Sesker: Again, it goes … A lot of
us, that welcome call that we have with the parents, and the student, and then the monthly
contacts that we have with the parents, and also just then, a positive recognition. I know every time a kid finishes my class,
I send them a text with a tag that says congratulations. Again, they love that. They think that’s really fun. Emails back and forth with the parents, community
events that we have with the whole family came come, and participate in different things
… Maybe we could, if you’ve got any examples of that? I can’t think of any off the top of my head. Do we have an ice cream, and a movie …? Audience: We do. We did ice cream movie night. We did Star Wars night, where we watched the
movie, and did trivia. Whatever’s going on [inaudible][22:19] still
working on logistics stuff. Susan Sesker: Opportunities for the face-to-face
communication. Like we said, our elementary, and middle school,
we do have days that those kids can come in, and we … Also, I think our middle school,
this year … We used to have one where we’re housed at, at the school that we’re housed
at, but we’re such a big county that this year, I think we’re gonna try to have a
coffee shop, or Panera, or wherever, like maybe all go meet some kids on that side of
the county, so that they can come, and get help from me, or one-on-one, or whatever they
need. I’m kind of excited about that one. We can also do some of the collaboration things
with them, when they’re there, and they can work with each other. The LMS orientation, we have a Canvas class
that they go through all that … You talked about it, so that the kids know how to navigate
through Canvas. Danny Sesker: Right. We had a orientation course that we set up
in Canvas, so that they get to know Canvas before they go through it. Then, of course, our teachers with observer
accounts can see some of that, or parents with observer accounts, could see some of
that information, too. That’s super-helpful. We had a lot of kids get into Canvas, and
just get lost. They hadn’t taken an online course before,
so just navigating that: where do I turn in assignments? Where’s my … The students wanna go, “Where
is the thing I’m supposed to do, and turn in?” That’s what they wanna know. Orientation guides them through going to modules,
and getting their course. We talk about keeping things, with requirements. They’ve gotta go look at the content first,
and then answer the questions later. That’s been helpful, as well. Yes, sir? Audience: Is that course on Commons, by any
chance? Is there something to look at? Danny Sesker: I don’t think we put it on
Commons. We definitely could. If you wanna shoot me an email, we’ll put
it up there, for sure- Audience: [inaudible][24:02] Danny Sesker: Yeah. Susan Sesker: It’s actually an assignment,
the very first assignment that any kid has to do, when they are in a Canvas course. They have to complete that orientation. Danny Sesker: Last year, we set it up as a
… We did a badging system. They went, and they did the course. They passed the quiz, they got a badge, and
then they had to submit their badge for the course. They just took a screen shot of the badge,
and sent that in there. What we’re gonna do this year is build a
… What we have done, and we just haven’t implemented it yet … We built a just giant
quiz with all the orientation stuff in it, so it was … Then I saw quizzes next, and
I’m like, “Aww, we gotta start over.” It’s so cool. We got the quiz, and they’re gonna see the
content, then they’ll answer a couple questions, just to check for knowledge along through,
and then they gotta pass the quiz. Once they pass the quiz, then they’ll just
be right in the course. We’re trying to tie Blueprints, and things
into that, so we can push that quiz out to everywhere, because just after being at the
conference, and seeing what’s next, I can tell, before January, I’m gonna have to
change stuff in the orientation, and that would have to change in 90 places. I’m super-happy about Blueprints, as well. Another plug for that. Yes, we’ll definitely put that on. We’ll put that orientation up in Commons,
for sure. The other piece is being a virtual school,
we don’t see each other. We have a couple of meetings a month that
Joann has us come in, and we all get together, and we sit in a room a little bit bigger than
this, and we just don’t … Even in those meetings, you really don’t get to chat with
anybody, because you chat with whoever’s close to you. We’ve kinda looked at how can we, as a staff,
come together, and meld a little bit. We built PLC communities. For our PLCs, we made Yammer groups. We might have six, seven, eight teachers in
a PLC, and then they have got a Yammer group that they can communicate back and forth with. Through the live lessons, as well, even with
our teachers, we’ll do some PD, and some training with them. Last year, our administration came up with
this great idea of having houses. We have three administrators, and we split
our staff into thirds— Susan Sesker: Harry Potter houses. Danny Sesker: -and they did a little Harry
Potter kind of theme. Throughout the year, you had to earn house
points. There’d be an activity, and it might be
just as simple as we just need everybody to turn this document in that’s required from
the county. Then we’d give out house points for the
people that did the fastest, or the quickest. Then there were other things just if you participated
in stuff, and if you came together, you earned those house points. That goes with the friendly contests— Susan Sesker: Motivator. Danny Sesker: Yeah. face-to-face meetups, then we’d have those
meetings, but what we did is we also … Like Susan was talking about with the parents,
and the students, we would have, throughout the county, different regions of the county,
maybe kinda pick it in four corners … We’d have a meetup at Panera. We’d have a meetup at different restaurants,
different locations, wherever else we could find, just to sit, as a group, and talk, because
we don’t have the walk-down-the-hall/planning period/lunchtime scenario to collaborate with
our peers. That’s worked out really, really well. We have a Skype group that has Skype open
all the time. I’ll pop in, and see what’s going on. A lot of times, they’re just talking about
what’s going on with their day, just like the rest of us would at the watercooler kind
of a scenario. Then there’ll be somebody that pops in,
and goes, “Oh my gosh, something happened, and I need somebody to help me really quick. Does anybody know the answer to this?” There’s always somebody there, because they’ve
got that set up on their phone, where it’s popping up on a message. They can get instant help there, as well. I talked about Yammer. We do also do a teacher orientation. Brand new teachers, as we hire them, and bring
them on board, we have an induction process, and a course we built for them to go through. Last year, we started an Ask Anything on Thursdays. We did like every Thursday, at 10:00 a.m.,
and we would have different folks available, so we have an Ask Admin Anything … It was
that opportunity for an hour to go in, and just ask our administrator any questions that
they had about eSchool, what’s going on. The next one would be the eTeam, which is
what we call our team. We’d have four or five people there available
to answer questions about Canvas, or Educator, whatever their needs were, so technical stuff. Then we had coffee chats, and we had, just
at the last … We’d have a wildcard, because there was always something that needed to
come up. Those worked out really well. Those were just nice sessions. We’d get 20-25 teachers show up. They’d have some questions, questions that
other people had. We’d record the session, so if somebody
couldn’t make it, they’d come in, and watch it. Then, we did recognitions. We gave out cookies, and cards, and marigolds,
and different things like that to just thank each other for helping each other kinda scenario. Challenges, right? Any challenge to doing all of these things? Time is the biggest thing, as I think that
comes up with every conversation. Finding that time to get together. Routines are the other one. everybody has their own routine, and we’re
talking students, parents, teachers trying to get connected. Our students go to school at this hour, and
then they’ve got band practice, or they’ve got a sporting event, or they go to work. it’s trying to work out those hours, so
that our teachers are … They don’t clock in at 7:00 a.m., and go home at 3:00, so hours
are shifted with our staff, as well, to be available in the evenings, for those evening
appointments, to try to help everyone out. That preferred method of communication is
a struggle. Some students text like a madman. Other ones, they don’t … We do K12, so
obviously, some of our younger kids aren’t texting— Susan Sesker: Or they get their phone taken
away, so then we have to email. Danny Sesker: You gotta work around those
kind of things, but always finding that best method for that student, that parent, that
teacher, to communicate with them. Distance from activities. We do the activities, and it’s great. Like I said, we have a big county, but it’s
an hour … From one corner of the county to the other can be well over an hour. Then just transportation for the kids. Mom and dad are at work, and then how do they
get to an event? It makes it interesting. Wrapping up, some of the things that we’ve
been chatting about that we would like to improve upon is … One thing is getting information
out about our courses. How do we … Used to have a link to the standards,
and just a little brief sentence. I think we need to do more. I’ve got a dream of having the teacher do
a little video of just what the course is about, what it’s like to be part of their
course. What are they gonna learn about? I think that would personalize it a little
bit more. We would like to get our teachers to collaborate
better, because of that distance, because of just not seeing each other. We wanna work on that piece of how can they
work out collaboration scenarios? We wanna engage our students in more critical
thinking. If we go to an Adobe Connect session, and
we put up a poll, and say, “Hey, did everybody learn this? Is everybody good,” and they just go, “yes
…” well, we wanna get more. We started with Adobe Connect two years ago. It’s been a great tool, and as we’ve learned
to use it, we’ve come up with ways to go with that. That’s kind of the next level for us is
to increase that engagement with the students. The social committee, we’ve kicked off. I think we’ve got that started this year. I think that’s gonna help us to get together,
as well, with everyone involved with our school. All right, our mission is accomplished here. Hopefully, you guys found a nugget of information
in there that you can take back with you. If you have questions, please contact us. Susan Sesker: If any of you have ideas that
you’d like to share out, that you— [crosstalk][31:28] Danny Sesker: Yeah, we’ve got a couple more
minutes. If anything popped up … If anything’s
going on at your school, and you wanna share, please let us know. Sir? Audience: Do you ever do your field trips
as [inaudible][31:36] Danny Sesker: That’s a great idea. It has. We had some students who couldn’t be there
… Oh, the question is have we ever done a virtual field trip, where we’re there
with the kids, and we’re there, also, virtually, with a camera of some type, an iPod, iPad,
broadcasting that? That has been something we have discussed. I think it’s a great idea, but we have not
done that yet. Yeah … Yes? Audience: [inaudible][32:05] do your teachers
ever have students go on their webcams, or do you find that [inaudible][32:13]? Danny Sesker: We encourage … We started
with the webcam. The question is do we have our students go
on the webcams? It was tough to get our teachers encouraged
to go on the webcam, as well, and not be scared. All of us, as coaches, were always like, “Here
we are!” They’re like, “Oh, I’m not ready yet. I wasn’t camera-ready …” We’ve definitely
got the teachers using it, and then, we have given the students the option. Like some of the sessions, we’ll leave the
cameras open, and they’ll just find it, and pop themselves in there. It’s so much nicer, when you can see … When
you’re talking, and see faces, it’s great— Susan Sesker: We do encourage the kids either
to get on the microphone, or to use their webcam. We don’t find it a problem with everybody
trying to get on at once. It’s more trying to encourage them to get
on. A lot of them are shy, and they don’t want
to. Danny Sesker: Right. Microphone shy, and camera shy, for sure. Susan Sesker: They do like it, because I remember
one time, my last … I think it was this summer, I was changing layouts, and I did
… My cam didn’t come back on, and the kids were like, “Where are you? Where did you go?” Danny Sesker: “I can’t see you anymore.” Thank you. All right. Question in the back? Audience: I’m just curious, if [inaudible][33:16] Danny Sesker: Of course, we have to … My
boss gives me a set of things that had to happen, and one of them was it had to work
with Canvas. We had to have that seamless integration across. We started eliminating other … The question
was what other products, and why did we choose Adobe Connect? Basically, it’s features, functionality,
the ability to plug into Canvas. We had used another product before, so to
ease the staff on from one to another, it’s nice to have something that they’re semi-familiar
with, so it wasn’t a complete shock to them. Susan Sesker: We needed the security to know
that it was that student, because the system we were using before wasn’t that secure,
and there might’ve been elementary kids in a session with a teacher, and another student
from another school, like a high school, might come in, and might not be very appropriate
for what the kids should see. We needed something secure to make sure— Danny Sesker: We needed to make sure we knew
who was in the room. That was the key. That’s why we don’t allow guests in. We don’t send that link out. We know who … We at least know who logged
into Canvas, and went into that session, so we’ve got some accountability. Other questions? Go ahead. Audience: [inaudible][34:30] Danny Sesker: Text messaging. I think that’s the biggest one. The question was do we use instant messaging
with our parents and students? Audience: We have some teachers who use it,
but not all of them. [inaudible][34:49] it’s really more what
the teacher’s comfortable … Danny Sesker: All right. Any other questions? All right, folks. Thanks for coming. Susan Sesker: Thank you very much, and thank
you, Amy.

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