Chinese Language Distance Learning: Successes, Realities and Challenges (X2)

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Participants will examine a Chinese distance-learning program offered to largely rural school districts in Ohio, which originated in 2007 to solve the funding and logistical problems of offering …

Participants will examine a Chinese distance-learning program offered to largely rural school districts in Ohio, which originated in 2007 to solve the funding and logistical problems of offering state-of-the-art Chinese language education to a school without the resources to hire a teacher and enroll a full class. The program’s growth—it grew in two years to include 26 schools and more than 400 students—created issues of staffing, scheduling and facilities, among other challenges. It also exposed issues relating to the partner organizations’ diverse goals and needs. Participants in this session will discuss the success of the program and the approaches taken by its partners to manage its growing pains.

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  • Discuss here that we use the brand Polycom, however, there are other traditional models in place.Preview the upcoming video clip. This is Hui Si, and she is conducting a lesson with Tri-Valley Middle School students, which you will be able to see.
  • Discuss briefly what a video conference consortium meansHave 11 true HS partners in our service areaDefine an ESC, ITC and their roles
  • The districts had signed a contract to share the total salary and benefits equally among all 6 districts, each getting 1 period of instruction per day.
  • This means that each district, other than the grant schools, agree to purchase 1 period of instruction, sharing the total cost and salary of the teacher by 6 districts, instead of absorbing the whole cost of instruction.Our FLAP grant employs 3 teachers, the other 2 are employed through the shared payment of the paying districts.
  • High schools with small staff have a hard time implementing new courses, there are not enough periods to shareThis also allows a district to build the capacity at the same time they are building demand.
  • As you can see from this image, our teachers originate from the center of the state. My office is 2 hours, 125 miles east of the teaching staff, and management is mostly remotely through technology and the support of the OSU staff as well as others.
  • In the state of Ohio, video networks are complex, and originate from agencies that provide school internet from the state data site. This enables us to securely and easily deliver high quality video courses. HOWEVER, building equipment, network and support are critical to this success of this delivery method.Discuss the technologyDiscuss the Moodle component.

Transcript

  • 1. Project ACES
    Mandarin Chinese Distance Learning program
    East Central Ohio Educational Service Center
  • 2. Session Goals
    Gain an understanding of traditional Interactive Video Distance Learning (IVDL)
    Learn about the history of the project
    Experience the structure of the current program
    Discuss and share goals and plans for the future
  • 3. What is Video Conferencing?
    Video conferencing, or Interactive Video Distance Learning (IVDL) is the real time transmission of both audio and video over a high speed network to remote sites and locations.
    It is rather like Skype, but much higher quality, capable of whole room instruction, and secure for school districts.
  • 4.
  • 5. History of the Project
    Tec-Link, the ECOESC video conference consortium, has been delivering high school courses through interactive video distance learning for 10 years.
    One of our partner schools asked if Mandarin Chinese was a possibility as a foreign language.
    Through a partnership with Ohio State University, we were able to offer Mandarin as a High School foreign Language during the school year, 2008-2009 to one class of students via interactive video distance learning.
  • 6. During that first year, it was so successful, the consortium agreed to share the cost of the teacher among the group.
    We secured six high school partners, and hired a teacher for the project, all being delivered through IVDL, each partner receiving one period of Mandarin Chinese instruction per day.
    During that time, we also wrote a FLAP grant – Foreign Language Assistance Program – which we received on Sept. 1, 2009. This grant paid for the teacher and equipment cost of the original 6 partner sites.
  • 7. During year two, our first year of the FLAP grant, our model proved successful enough that we decided to replicate it with paying school districts.
    Opening this concept to the districts through IVDL brought an additional 13 sites, and with that, the need to hire 2 more full time teachers, as well as the use of Ohio State University Teacher Assistants to meet the time constraints and demand of the instructional schedule.
  • 8. Curriculum
    Because in the 1st year of the program, OSU Flagship staff provided our teacher, we chose to partner with OSU for the purpose of Curriculum in Mandarin Chinese instruction.
    Our current curriculum is Chinese: Communicating Culture in the Classroom, an Ohio State University Project
    We will continually supplement this, as we are finding that additional High School relevance is helpful.
  • 9. Why offer courses over IVDL?
    To increase access and exposure to foreign languages: Mandarin is deemed a critical language through the office of Homeland Security
    To help fix teacher and school schedules
    To increase the number of course offerings within a school district
    To help mitigate the cost of instruction to a district
    All are sharing the burden of salary and benefits
  • 10. Where are we now?
    Currently, we are completing year 2 of a 3 year FLAP grant. We now have 9 grant partners, and 22 high schools overall in the program. This is the 3rd year of the program, overall.
    The FLAP schools, at the end of next year, will have received 3 years of Mandarin instruction, and will be ready to sustain a part-time teacher at the current student numbers.
    The 13 additional schools are in year 1 of instruction, and have committed at this date to continue with level 2.
  • 11. District Demographics
    The districts we serve are mostly very rural, with little or no access to diverse culture or languages.
    We reach a variety of schools, economically, demographically, and geographically.
    This delivery concept enables all to share in the experience and knowledge of a native speaker, who has been University trained, at a fraction of the local cost.
  • 12. Currently Served Districts 2010-2011
  • 13. Challenges
    Student and building bell schedules at the start – we have much experience working with schedules, so we suggest ways to line up schedules best, and that works well.
    Integration of the technology in districts where video has not been a priority. Video conferencing works VERY well, but requires a network support system designed to prioritize video traffic.
    Sharing physical materials in a remote environment.
    Capturing, rendering, transcoding and streaming daily recordings of the course instruction
  • 14.
  • 15. In Ohio, we have many delay start school days (pep rallies, teacher work days, testing time, etc) and many snow days.
    Our teachers are located in an Urban area, with few calamity days, while our served districts are rural, and call off or start late due to bad weather.
    These schedule changes, on a daily basis, can slow instruction, and if not managed correctly, corrupt the entire instructional day. Each teacher may teach to 6 different districts.. And changing one class would mess up all other schedules.
    Ohio gives a state wide test, and we lose a week of instruction in our class because of their changes.
    Time for teacher professional development –we have 22 different school schedules so it is difficult to find shared planning time.
  • 16. Future of Mandarin IVDL
    The delivery model, which we have worked with for the past 10 years, continues to prove successful.
    We are currently working with partner districts and will model the same teacher cost-sharing model for our next cohort group.
    Each time we reach 6 periods of purchased instruction, we hire a new teacher to deliver this course to students, always over IVDL.
  • 17. Questions