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Justin Loh

Description: Justin Loh is a young man with short, light brown hair and dark eyes. He is wearing a white, short-sleeved polo shirt with dark trim around the collar.

Justin Loh: Good morning everybody. My name is Justin Loh and I do represent Shasta Adult School in the Shasta Union High School District in Redding, California. And my primary area is concurrent education as well as, I guess for lack of a better term, our baby TIMAC, would represent more of a career education.

Description: The first slide is entitled Year Two and reads:

Justin Loh
Cohort 4
Shasta Adult School, Shasta Union High School District
Redding, CA
Concurrent Education / Career Education

Justin: So for the last two years, I've actually taken on dual projects, the first of which in year one, was to establish a Moodle-based Web site for Shasta Adult School. Just a real quick overview about Moodle – it's using the latest in Open Source Web 2.0 software to run Web sites. And I wish I could go into a little bit more detail, but perhaps another time. And obviously, I'll be able to take questions at a break.

Description: The next slide is entitled Overview. The bullet points are:

  • Year One
    • Establish a Moodle-based Web site for Shasta Adult School (SAS)
    • Creation and implementation of district TIMAC beginning with first cohort group
  • Year Two
    • SAS further integrates new Web site into day-to-day activities
    • Completion of district TIMAC's second year

Justin: The second part of the project, as Branka mentioned, was to create and implement a TIMAC-type program in our district. So essentially, taking the principles and structure and ideals of the state TIMAC and bringing that to the district to have our teachers mentor other teachers who are adverse to technology in our own district.

In year two, the goals shifted a little bit. We changed to actually integrate the Web site more in to day-to-day activities for Shasta Adult School. And for the baby TIMAC was to actually finish our second year of the first cohort. So very much again, the same kind of structure that we've all enjoyed here.

Description: The next slide is entitled: Meeting Goals, Part 1. The bullet points are:

  • Successes
    • Web site is up and running and consistently updated
    • Curriculum posted
  • Opportunities
    • Limited curriculum posted
    • Inconsistent teacher use
    • Sky's the limit

Justin: And regarding the Web site, as far as goals go, I'm very happy to report that the Web site has been up and running for the last two years. It's consistently updated with very little, and I realize this picture doesn't do it justice, but very, very, little structure training was required. I basically talked to our secretary at Shasta Adult School. Just showed her real briefly, here's how you use the calendar and here's how you post news and updates. And she's been able to take to it – up and running and very rarely does she actually call me for a question. That's a testament to Moodle – its stability as well as the ease of use that it provides. As well, curriculum has been posted on there, but the successes of which kind of segway into the opportunities.

Although we do have curriculum up on there, very limited curriculum is there. As far as in the near future, I hope that we continue to put more curriculum. Anybody that works, obviously, in adult education, as we all do, things tend to shift as needs change, as populations change, so curriculum is kind of always in this constant state of flux. So as a result, not everything is up online yet. As well as inconsistent teacher use – I would say that about half our students have Internet access, half don't. And that can be a barrier to teachers using the Web site and modeling the use. Obviously, it's difficult if you have a student that doesn't use it – it's kind of hard to show them the grass is greener on the other side, when it's beyond their means to actually use it.

But the sky is the limit. The bottom line is - Moodle is just a wealth of capability and technical possibilities that we've just begun to scratch the surface with the updates that we're doing to it. There's so much more that can be done.

In regards to the second part of our plan and the district TIMAC, again, I am very, very ecstatic to report that as of March, we actually finished our second year for the first cohort group.

Description: The next slide is called Meeting Goals: Part Two. The bullet points are:

  • Successes
    • District TIMAC has finished second year with first cohort group
    • Support of district administration including Superintendent
    • Think tank for district
  • Opportunities
    • Next cohort group
    • Original cohort group
    • Efficient meetings

Justin: And I'm really, really pleased to report that we are on board, actually our district is on board from the very, very top levels. We've actually been able to have meetings with our district Superintendent, who's been able to come down and talk to us about his vision for what TIMAC can be in the future on a district level as well as our head of IT.

We've met with him and we've discussed the possibilities of turning this existing cohort group into more of a think tank. This way whenever districts adopt new technology, and I know the big buzz right now is clicker technology – our district just recently purchased a whole slew of clickers – essentially without any feedback. Which is good, clickers, you know, yeah, I mean, that's the way things are going and there is obviously benefit to it, but the question is, did we get the right one? Did we utilize the most efficient way to spend money? Perhaps there's another alternative out there, a cheaper alternative, but just as good. So these are things that we would request to be a part of and in the future be able to work together and basically help create that buy-in for the rest of the teachers.

As far as opportunities go – the next cohort group will, hopefully, be starting up this fall. I'm hoping that funding will not be an issue as this particular program is funded through Shasta Adult School so we actually make ADA on the back end. But the original group, we need to decide exactly again how often we're going to meet, what form it's going to take, perhaps this think tank, and how can we make our meetings a little bit more efficient? Instead of meeting for five hours at a time, maybe we can structure that out a little bit better.

Keys to Success:

Description: This slide is entitled Key to Success. The bullet points are:

  • Not afraid to fail
  • Not afraid to experiment
  • Tremendous buy-in
    • Staff and administration
  • Patience
  • Flexibility
  • The greater good

Justin: Since this is new territory – we are pioneering new ground – we can't be afraid to fail. We cannot be afraid to experiment. Really, when you think about it, there's so much transition going on in education all the time, what's the worst that can happen? That's really the attitude that I took. I didn't know what to expect, either in participating in this program or on our district TIMAC. But again, the sky's the limit. I think there were more opportunities than perhaps pitfalls. But it was just such a great opportunity to try out something new that no one's ever done before. We enjoy a tremendous buy-in again, from the staff, from the administration. We were able to get a huge cohort of probably about 16 teachers among the biggest high schools in the district. Which is really outstanding, considering again, this is a brand new program.

Patience and flexibility tend to go hand in hand. Since this is something new, you can't get too frustrated early on. OK – no one's written the book on this so it's okay to change gears in the middle and shift gears. (pointing to someone in the audience) And those are very pretty pictures. And the bottom line is that it is okay to fail but what can we do to make it better? What can we do to change? And also realizing that everybody's here for the greater good. We're all here in this together. We're all here for the same reason. How can we improve student learning? And how can we get better at our job? And with that in mind, it's really, really hard to do the wrong thing.

Description: This slide is entitled TIMAC's Impact. The bullet points are:

  • Networking
  • Deeper appreciation
  • Opportunities
  • Ideas

Justin: As far as the impact goes, just, I'm preaching to the choir here, the networking with everybody here and in my district. Being able to meet people that I probably otherwise would not have. And to gain a deeper appreciation for what everybody on the state and local level is doing. Again, we're all in this together. We're all doing very exciting things. And whenever I come to these meetings it gets me excited about what somebody else is doing. Ooh – I want to bring that to my district. I want to bring that to my school. And continuing to just bring opportunities, bridge opportunities. I certainly hope that in the future, I can somehow maintain a part of my connection here as well as continue to network with all of you. And of course, as I said, to see the new ideas that are being brought amongst everybody here.

Description: The last slide entitled Conclusion: The bullet points are:

  • Thank you
    • Everybody at OTAN and TIMAC
    • Marian Thacher
    • Branka Marceta
    • Cohort members
  • Contact
    • jloh@suhad.net
    • sas.suhsd.net
    • nsihs.suhsd.net

Justin: And in conclusion, again, I just want to thank each and every one of you here. I want to thank OTAN, TIMAC, Marian Thacher, for agreeing to kind of bring me on as this kind of adjunct role, Branka, who's been so patient with me, even when I sometimes maintain radio silence for far too long, and I do apologize for that, and, of course, all of you for sharing the journey as well. And if you have any questions, as always, my contact information is on the screen there. And hopefully, I wasn't took long-winded but thank you very much for your time. Appreciate it.

Description: Audience applause. Screen fades to black.