Technology is helping enhance the education of students at the Adult School in San Mateo, with a new program that allows educators to post videos of their classes online.
For some students who work full time and take evening classes at the school to complete their General Education Diploma, making it to every class can be difficult, said teacher Alesha Tovar.
Class videos began going up three months ago and students like the extra support. So far, clips of lessons online are the imperative, future conditional tense and other English grammar exercises from about five teachers.
“We were all talking about ways to reach out to our students and connect with them,” she said. “It’s for students who’ve missed classes, so they can stay up to date. It’s 2014 — everyone’s on the Internet and social media. We needed to find a way to connect with students who fall behind and stop coming. Once we get more videos up there, it will help the students.”
Tovar came up with the idea last summer, while Carol Gonella, a teacher at the Adult School since 2001 and former longtime school board member, went through a special seminar in September 2013. The two-day training helps teachers develop technology and mentorship programs. This training helped Gonella launch Tovar’s vision for connecting with students. The school provided Gonella with a camera and wireless speakers and she helps film the courses.
“You would be so amazed to see their (the students’) faces [when they see the videos],” said Gonella, an English as a second language teacher. “They say, ‘It’s you. Where do we get this?’”
Gonella said she’s found that every student, even those who don’t miss class, review the videos, which she edits and posts to a website she created. Videos are usually posted two or three days after the class.
“It’s very useful as a supplement,” she said. “The most important thing in learning English is to learn to speak.”
Gonella is no stranger to technology. She got her first computer in 1982 and has been making other videos for the school since 2003. She and Tovar hope to expand the videos to more classes.
To find out more go to smaceclasssclips.weebly.com.
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