Alludo featured at the Oxnard Union High School District Board Meeting

We were unbelievably humbled to hear the testimonials for Alludo at the April 10, 2019 OUHSD Board Meeting. Big thank you to Jay Sorensen, Alison Holicky, and Heather Molloy for sharing!


OUHSD Board Meeting - April 10, 2019

JAY SORENSEN: Good evening, I’m Jay Sorensen, Ed Tech coordinator. I’m working primarily with training and professional development with teachers and one of the areas of focus in EdTech right now is our Oxnard Union Express gamified professional development platform that we use, Alludo.

The way it works, is teachers go in and they complete activities in the areas of professional learning networks, coaching and collaboration, digital tools, productivity, digital citizenship and pedagogy.

They have a lot of choice involved in the game. They go in and select the activity that they're going to do. They go through some sort of tutorial or lesson on how to complete it. They submit their evidence, and then they get feedback either earning their points in the game or getting feedback on what they need to do to fix it and do it correctly. We have over five hundred players in the game right now. That's teachers and some staff that are participating.

They have completed over ten thousand activities. An activity range in the beginning of the game could be very quick, five to ten-minute activity up to the last levels where they could be completing something that takes hours or days or weeks. So, unfortunately, the teacher that was going to be here to talk about this is out ill. But fortunately, we have two avid players in the game. They're here with us. So, we have Alison.

ALLISON Hello Board, and the Cabinet.  You didn’t mention I'm number one in Alludo for the districts. Okay, so my favorite thing about it, what I love about Alludo is, it is the best professional development I've ever participated in because I do it on my own time. I don't have to write up plans. I get to pick and choose what I learn about. It has made me absolutely fearless as a teacher and has made my students fearless when it comes to technology,

My juniors especially, I don't even have to teach them a new program. We just do growth mindset. I give them a link and say, figure it out. And that's really kind of what technology is all about when you're an adult anyway. But my favorite part of this is the sense of camaraderie has created in our district. I get approached on Twitter, random people email me. We have this really great network of support and it's really not competition. It's community.

BOARD MEMBER: Thank you.

JAY SORENSEN I did forget to mention that the whole thing was volunteer. So these teachers are completing all this professional development on their own time.

JAY SORENSEN I’m involved with doing the inquiry engagement training for our schools, and we are doing on to one next year. And we really wanted to have them prepared for when these devices show up in student's hands for next year.

We have been using this T3 Framework, this comes from Dr Sonny Magana, who was our keynote speaker on the March 18th, Freshman Development Day, which we had board members share here in attendance.

And so we've been using this framework  partially, we'll explain the framework in a second, but  the statistic that he uses along with this is basically that technology in the classroom over the last fifty years has not had a huge impact on student achievement, and so we're sort of looking at that, why is that. 

We're taking this as an opportunity for teachers, too. Don't just take the devices and do exactly what we’ve been doing, but this is an opportunity to do something different, to do more with it.

So using this T3 Framework, the T1 levels where students, they're just using the technology for automation and consumption. So they're just kind of using these programs which are great and efficient, very helpful. But that's not the ultimate goal.

Moving on to T2, which is where we're putting in a lot of our efforts right now.  That's where students sort of shifting from becoming passive consumers to active producers. Students are producing things and adding to the overall, contributing to the overall learning of the class and then looking forward, moving more towards inquiry. So students doing inquiry projects with social entrepreneurship, making connections, real world connections in projects that that they do so speaking to this is a Channel Islands teacher who's been involved. Heather Malloy.

HEATHER Thank you very much. I have the distinct pleasure of addressing you twice. Okay, I wrote notes because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't going to forget anything. I started off with Alludo, and that was the thing that kind of hooked me into the idea of using technology in a more productive and contributing way. 

I do teach a class an I lit class, which is on computers. I have been teaching it for about three or four years, and there isn't a whole lot of excitement about it. So, when Alludo came along, I was very excited to participate because I like free. And some of the incentives that were offered were a free iPad, a free trip and basically a free computer on wheels with complete computers. And so, I started with a very selfish intent.

And as I went along, I realized, Hey, I'm getting pretty good at this and it was something that I became more comfortable doing. I never had a computer growing up. I didn't have a cell phone growing up, I’m forty-one years old. And it's hard to think about teaching special education students different software or just any technology.

There was another option through inquiry and engagement to get a Chromebook!  Super excited! One of the things that I did was, I attended the first inquiry and engagement. I was really out of my comfort zone.

I was in the beginning parts of Alludo, so I was out of my comfort zone because I was basically one of the only special education teachers in the room at the time. And I was like, “What did I get myself into?”

Fast forward, I'm at now four sessions in and  even though I've been a special educator for six years, I've only recently brought inquiry into my class, and that's actually really quite a shame that it took that long  for us to realize that those kids could do just as much, if not more, than the other students on campus.

This inquiry process has led to outcomes I've never thought were possible. Some questions I have never asked, some problem solving that has been really engaging and fun.  It's led to collaboration and critical thinking at an evaluated level. And again, this is with special education students. 

Their questions have led us to discussions of terminal velocity, so we've had a complete physics lesson, gender inequities and the digestive systems of dogs. The strategies that I have learned in I and E has totally changed my students and the manner in which they think, but I think it transformed me more. And I think the value of being in this district over the past three years and having both Alludo and Inquiry and Engagement and those opportunities will change me forever.

And therefore, I hope that I can continue to have a really high expectations of my students. I really hope that they can be engaged. I hope that we can solve problems. I want them to be able to ask the critical questions that are going to lead to the future, you know, problem solving critical thinking, solutions that the world needs. 

I don't know how many times I've actually said this to Jay. This entire thing has changed my life, and I don't think I've ever had more fun. Teaching this year has been amazing. I've had certainly have my ups and downs. But it has reinvigorated me to a point where I am a completely different teacher now, and I would highly encourage everyone to participate. I can't wait to get some of my other colleagues in to do that. I would like to bring some colleagues in, to see some of the things that I'm doing, and some of the things that my kids are doing, because that's the most exciting thing for me, and I guess that's it.

Any questions? Thanks 

BOARD MEMBER Thank you for sharing that.

BOARD MEMBER I keep thinking about something, and I know I've said this before that there's research that shows that if a student is involved in one after school activity, that their dropout rate decreases by forty percent. And if a student is involved in two or more after school activities their dropout rate is virtually zero.

And I keep thinking about teachers and how in the profession of teaching that the statistic is that, one out of every seven teachers will leave in the first five years. And I wonder if a teacher was involved in something like this, one thing that kept them connected to school besides their teaching, if the dropout rate of teachers would be impacted just as much.

So not only as a teacher, but also as a trustee and of course, as a parent.

Thank you very much for embracing teacher leadership for allowing teacher choice and teacher freedom. And I think that the results, I don't have to say it. I couldn't speak any better than they did. I think it really is impactful and very powerful and technology should be in every classroom, but it isn't to supplant teaching it is to supplement. And so really important.

Thank you. Thank you for that