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Sharon Dansereau
ESL Teacher Creates Interactive Web Site
Year One

Description: Sharon is a young woman with dark hair pulled back in a bun at the nape of her neck. She is wearing a dark print dress with a black sweater and eyeglasses. She has a big warm smile as she begins her presentation.

Description: The first slide shows a photo of students working in a classroom with a small computer lab off to the side. The title is Toward Technology Access and Use in a Large ESL Program, Sharon Dansereau, Instruct and EL Civics Coordinator, Santa Barbara City College.

Sharon Dansereau: Good afternoon. I'm Sharon from Santa Barbara City College adult ed and I'm an instructor in ESL and also the EL Civics Coordinator for our non-credit ESL program. And before I start, I wanted to thank my director, Jack Bailey, and also thanks to Branka and Diana, who was my mentor, for their patience with me this year. I've had a few things to, a few extra things going on this year.

Description: This slide entitled Santa Barbara City College Non-Credit ESL Program shows a panoramic photo of the Santa Barbara marina and a picture of the Wake Center sign. The bullet points are:

  • 4 main sites
  • 20 off sites throughout the community from Goleta to Carpinteria
  • 5,000 ESL student per year (not ADA)
  • Less than 85% Spanish speaking
  • 45 – 50 classes, almost 90% beginning levels

Sharon continues her presentation.

Sharon: So anyway, our program again, this is, I'm talking about the non-credit part of our program, the ESL non-credit. Although, this is actually the glamour shot from the main campus. But our sites are really spread out all over the community, all the way from Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria. And a lot of them, most of them, definitely the majority, are at off-sites where there's just one multi-level, anything comes, open entry class. And, I was thinking, that sometimes we're lucky if we get a chalkboard, cuz it's an elementary school by day and it says "DO NOT ERASE" all over the blackboard. So, we're lucky to even get anything. And we do have a pretty large program, I think. That's a statistic per year; we have around 5,000 ESL students go through our program. And almost all of our classes are at beginning levels so that's kind of a challenge that makes things interesting. All of our instructors are part-time.

Description: The next slide is called Process of Project Development. It shows the statistic of less than 10% of ESL classes use any form of technology with an arrow pointing to the portable keyboard graphic, the initial project idea. Then there is an arrow from the portable keyboard pointing to a photo of a computer lab, the new priority. And the last arrow goes from the computer lab to an hour glass symbolizing delays. The presentation continues.

Sharon: Okay, so as I started to develop my project, after October, I was mostly interested in the fact that very few classes use any form of technology, as far as computers. Maybe they have an overhead projector but as far as computers or any lab access, very few. And that's both at our main sites and at our off sites. There's actually a few, one of them I'm going to be talking about, my mentee, a few have managed to find a lab somewhere that they can use but at our main sites they actually, at our primary site, which was on the last slide, which is called The Wake Center, we actually used to have a dedicated ESL computer lab and we lost it because teachers didn't use it.

So, based on the fact that we had such limited technology access, my initial project idea was to work with portable keyboards; buy a few sets of those and take them out and try to, try to go to the most remote sites and work in. However, we got some new priorities mid year when we found out that there was going to be some unprecedented new access coming for computer labs including at that main site, The Wake Center, and also there's a new building acquisition and hopefully in the fall a brand new computer lab at one of our sites. So, possibly all four of our main sites might have computer access. And this is an interesting problem because our teachers aren't used to using it. Maybe they'll lose it again if they don't use it or if they don't use it well. So, this became sort of a new direction for my project and hopefully, we'll get back to the portable keyboards next year. We didn't buy those this year.

So, then again there was another delay and so I started working with a few teachers at the main site but they are just now getting, it was a little bit of foot dragging, they're just now getting the access with their students into the lab. So, I've worked with a little bit with several teachers, but I'm just going to talk about one.

Again, this is a teacher who's at an offsite and she has good access to a computer lab. So what we decided, that in the mean time, in the waiting period, I'd work with Liz and we'd develop some things that we could show and we'd sort of tempt those teachers; get them excited. Because I'm the EL Civics Coordinator, I have access to the teachers; I can give them lesson plans; I can put things there that might get them to go outside their usual routines.

Description: This slide shows a photo of Liz. She is sitting in a computer lab, smiling.

Sharon: So this is Liz. She is a very dynamic multi-level ESL teacher. She's only in her second year of teaching and she was initially interested in finding other things to do in the computer lab. Her lab is at an elementary school that has Rosetta Stone and some other ESL software but she wanted to get the students using regular applications; get them confident so they can help their kids; so they can go out maybe use some of this technology to help them find jobs and things like that. So, that was exciting for me cuz I wanted to try some things too. So, we experimented a lot with her students.

And we did, actually, give some lesson plans and things on to the other teachers with some success. That some of the other teachers did try them and, actually, I'm just going to show a couple of simple things. This is very simple. This was a lesson plan about how to make a flyer to help your student get a job, self-employment job. Not an online job search with all those big fancy Monster kind of things, but just…

Description: The slide shows a flyer advertising Karime's Cleaning. There is a cartoon graphic of a woman holding a bucket and scrubbing the floor. It says to call (805) 666-111, Days, Weekends, Evenings, Apartments, Houses, Businesses. $10 an hour — no job too dirty!

Sharon: This was an unemployed student named Karime that we got the idea and she now has to hire people to help her get all these cleaning requests. So, this is actually something that was successful. We put it in the employment packet. And the lesson plan, very simple, how to make a flyer with your students; here's a template. And apparently a lot of classes have lost some students because they've gotten jobs by posting their little Word flyer around the community. So very, starting slow, getting momentum.

Description: This slide shows a photo of two students working at a computer, viewing a United Streaming video of a man working with power tools. Sharon continues.

Sharon: And we also did work with United Streaming. And that's been really fun and exciting with her class; that some of the students really like it and in this picture you can see that at least two students are getting together and collaborating and talking and challenging themselves and saying, "How many did you get right on the quiz?" And it's just been a new direction and she's also trying some other new things with using Internet Web sites and trying to figure out how to match things to the curriculum better. Instead of having students just let loose in the labs, let's try to keep them working together and working step by step. So that's something we want to bring to the rest of the teachers as they gradually get more and more access to computers.

Description: The next slide is called additional results. There is a log pictured with the words English Literacy Civics Spring 2007 curving across the top. The title is Emergency and there is a graphic of an ambulance pictured. The bullet points are:

  • More tolerance of technology use in the EL Civics program
  • Several teacher motivated to learn to use smartcart
  • New distance learning class proposed for fall (Sharon and Liz)

Sharon: A Few Additional Results - more tolerance of technology use in the EL Civics program. When I first started last fall, it was a challenge just to get teachers to use tape recorders and answering machines for one of the assessments I wanted them to use. (I don't have a tape recorder. I don't want to do this.) But now we're doing thing like giving them a CD with all their, with all the packet of information instead of a huge paper one and different things like that. So they're making some advances that way.

And also several teachers, in the mean time, while waiting to use the computer labs are learning to use things like the smartcart. They want to use the United Streaming videos. The smartcart, meaning a portable projector and computer, that they can occasionally use. They want to do things like that. 

And also Liz and I proposed a new distance learning class for the fall that will happen at several of our main sites. So, we're hoping that's another way we can introduce technology and get others interested.

And I, in addition to the challenges about access and resistance from the teachers, I had one other major challenge.

Description: The last slide called other challenges shows a photo of a smiling Sharon holding her new baby son. The baby is plump, happy, and smiling.

Audience: Awwwwww.

Sharon: Okay, that's all. Thank you.