Episode Transcript
Ixchell Reyes
The DIESOL Podcast

Brent Warner
Digital Integration in English as a Second or Other Language,

Ixchell Reyes
Episode 58: Interview with Dr. Sarah Thomas

Brent Warner
Welcome to DIESOL This is episode 58. We are–

Ixchell Reyes
58, 2022

Brent Warner
Your hosts, I am Brent Warner

Ixchell Reyes
And I’m interrupting. Brent. It’s me. It’s Ixchell.

Brent Warner
Okay (laughter)

Ixchell Reyes
Hey Brent, welcome back.

Brent Warner
Thank you.

Ixchell Reyes
You were just in…

Brent Warner
I was just in not New York, New York even though I discovered it, I canceled my trip so

Ixchell Reyes
So therefore you chose a colder place.

Brent Warner
Yeah. I went to Alaska. It was… Do we have ratings on this show? It was butt cold. It was very.

Ixchell Reyes
We’ve said worse. You’ve said worse.

Brent Warner
Yeah, It was quite cold. But it was beautiful. I did see the aurora borealis from the airplane. But so the airplane Yeah, it was kind of I mean, it was cool to see it from the airplane cuz that’s its own thing

Ixchell Reyes
‘cuz you’re way up high.

Brent Warner
Yeah, cuz your way up high. But also we did not unfortunately get to see it from the ground like when we landed and then it started getting overcast and we missed it from the ground. But I can at least officially say I’ve seen it, but I think we’re gonna challenge it one more time and try and see another time.

Ixchell Reyes
This time you should go to Iceland.

Brent Warner
That’s where I’m gonna go. I’m going sometime in the future.

Ixchell Reyes
Well, I’m glad you’re back and COVID free. Yeah. I’m still in Japan and I got to see snow. I mean, snow like in the city. It’s snowed for a day, then it melted. And then the other thing I did is I as you know, I’m always running at night i i run. That’s my exercise routine. I I did not stretch enough and I hurt my knees. So I’ve been kind of bedridden and not not doing letting letting everything heal. So that’s what I’ve been doing.

Brent Warner
I’m sorry to hear that. That’s a bummer. I hope you feel better soon. Yeah. So let’s get into it.

Ixchell Reyes
Yes. All right. Today I am super well, we’re both super excited because our special guest is someone that I found on twitter first, in 2014. I think it was. And her name is Dr. Sarah Thomas. Let me give her the official intro. Dr. Sarah Thomas is a regional technology coordinator in a large district in Maryland, and she is a founder of a true match, a project that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest. She is an international speaker and presenter and she participated in the technical working group to refresh the 2017 ISTE standards for educators which we’ve covered in one of our episodes. Sarah is the co author of the SD digital equity series closing the gap. She received the SD making it happen award for her extraordinary commitment, leadership, courage and persistence in improving digital learning opportunities for students. So she we are very lucky. We had to work with timezones in order to make this happen, but we weren’t going to miss this opportunity. But I just wanted to say that when I was kind of a newish teacher, I think I’d been teaching for about four years and I found Sarah through the edge to match Twitter account. And I just remember at that time, I think I had discovered boxer and boxer had like a an edge to it. It camp a voxer Ed camp. And I remember I was like what this is crazy. There’s a conference on on boxer and and it’s free and and I just, you know in from then on, there’s just she just has done so many projects. So we’re going to talk a little bit about that today. And then I also want to say that I saw her at is the I think she was getting ready for an interview or something with the SD people. And I just come out of the room and I always thought that Sarah Thomas, I really want to go say hi to her, but I don’t want to bother her and I just I’m too shy. I’m shy so it was really hard for me to walk up to her and also she was probably getting ready for the interview. So, but I was starstruck! Anyway, here we are.

Brent Warner
Sarah, welcome to the show.

Sarah Thomas
Thank you so much. It’s such an honor to be here. Thank you both for having me. And I have to say the feeling is absolutely mutual. I love what y’all do for education for the community, uplifting people getting the information out. And you know, I love listening to your show, and just following both of your work. So thank you for having me.

Brent Warner
Awesome. Well, this is what’ll happen: Someday, when we all get to a conference together, we’ll all be too shy to talk to each other and we’ll all just stare at each other from across the room.

Ixchell Reyes
I’ll just open up a voxer room and then we’ll be like, is that really you?

Sarah Thomas
Perfect.

Brent Warner
All right, so. So Sarah, we’ve had a couple of interactions we’ve done we’ve done a couple of, I think, was it last year, we did a CUE podcasters thing I think together. I

Ixchell Reyes
Meet – podcasters roundtable? It’s all melded together.

Brent Warner
So we’ve had we’ve had brief some interactions over over the years too and, and then just following each other’s work. But we’re really, like Ixchell said, we are so happy to have you on here. And you know, we’ve talked about this before, but as you know, the show is fairly casual. So we’ll go where, where you want to go and where we want to go and just kind of hang out for a bit and let people get to know you as well. We often do talk about in our our little corner of edtech in the in the ESL world or whatever, whatever acronym you’re

Ixchell Reyes
for, yes. Oh, yeah, yeah, no, it’s okay. It’s like 6am for Brant.

Brent Warner
But we’ve talked about this, but I think, you know, our world is still kind of connecting to a lot of these ideas are starting to like starting to learn and getting getting quite a lot better than it was even two years ago. But but, you know, I think that it’s really great to have people with different perspectives, and people who are kind of exploring zones that maybe our field of teachers hasn’t totally jumped into. And so I’m excited to talk to you about quite a few of those things as well. Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah Thomas
I’m just super geeked to be here. So.

Ixchell Reyes
So we have to touch base and talk about edge match. We’ve done episodes on networking, but there are, you know, as much as we’d like to believe that the rest of the world knows what’s going on. And is knows exactly what we do and likes what we do. There’s many teachers who aren’t familiar. Yeah, sometimes I think why you haven’t heard of Google Docs, I think at this, at this point, if you haven’t, I’ll worry. But there’s teachers who aren’t familiar with a job match, especially in our field, we we tend to wait teach ESL in the adult world. And so can you give us a snapshot of what to expect in this community? What is at your match? And just what to expect for somebody who might be listening?

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, absolutely. So Edumatch is a grassroots organization. We started back in 2014. And the mission was to connect educators globally along similar lines of interest. So we first started out with a Twitter, Person of the day. So we would feature a person of the day they would submit a bio, and then you know, we would tweet out using bits of their bio, matching it to hashtags. And as a database grew, then we would tag people who were you know, who had those similar interests? And then as a community started to grow, then people brought their ideas. Why don’t you try doing XYZ so that’s how we ended up next on boxer. So when suggested doing a boxer group, and that was that was gold, that boxer group, that original boxer group is still going to this day, very accurate. Like every day, we have a second boxer group as well as spin off group because that one filled up, and I mean, it’s

Ixchell Reyes
how do you feel?

Sarah Thomas
Like 500 people, yeah, it’s not 500 People talking every day, it’s more like, and 10 people maybe talking every day, but I mean, maybe and maybe like 20 or 30 kind of bounce in and out but um, but we you know, we don’t kick anybody out because a lot of times people just come back to box rafter I hate us. But we have a second room as well. And that room is going as well, that room, the culture is a little different. It tends to kind of pop off whenever there’s an event or something like that, and people start buzzing about it and kind of get the word out. And then from there, and then we just kept on expanding as people brought their ideas. So we moved to doing something called a tweet and talk which is like a video panel. And anyone you know, anyone with an interest in the topic could sign up to be on panel and then we would pair it with a Twitter chat. We put that kind of on pause. We’re going to bring it back in 2022 and then we start Doing it can voice like he said, that was initially not associated with Edge match. But eventually, you know, started to become more associated with Edge imagining. Let me see from there, we started doing publishing. So right now probably the most active part I would say, of edge match is a book publishing. So we put out over 75 titles. And, you know, we were really, really excited to amplify the voices of practitioners just to learn and grow from one another. We have done a nonprofit. So our mini grants, we just did round two. And we’re about to notify the winners, whenever you know, whenever the board meets again, and we’re going to go ahead and notify the winners of the mini grants. And the last thing is professional learning, we started working with districts and doing things like asynchronous book studies, as well as synchronous professional learning opportunities. So it’s really kind of grown over the years, thanks to the people who have joined and contributed their ideas and their talents and skills

Ixchell Reyes
Kind of grown! Just kinda… You know, we put out 70 books and just kind of grown. And the Voxer chat is still going, you know, almost 10 years later, wow, (laughter)

Brent Warner
I have to say that one of my real favorite things about it is just so teacher focused, right? Like a lot of these things, feels feels like people kind of launch these things. And then they’re like, eventually, they’re like, Oh, we’re not going to make money off of teachers, we’re going to make money off of like, doing, you know, like, whatever the some, some other parts of the field, right? And it’s like, and I really feel like that the thing that I love about it matches, it’s, it’s always so like, let’s get into those teachers, let’s get into real people who are actually working, who are actually doing stuff. It’s not, you know, it’s not a bunch of people who are like, oh, yeah, I, you know, I once took a class on teaching 20 years ago, and now I’m like, it’s like, there’s so much real focus on everything. So I really do appreciate that you guys kind of keep that it does feel even as you grow so much, it does feel continually grassroots and for for the peoples, I just want to say thank you for kind of keeping that spirit alive with it to

Sarah Thomas
appreciate that, thank you so much.

Ixchell Reyes
I’m actually excited to hear that you’re going to be doing the tweet and talks again, because I was I was watching one, and the topic was how to keep How do we encourage high school students to join the teaching profession, and it was the, you know, the panel, and you have the students and teachers talking, and it’s everybody’s everybody’s own story of how to do it. And, of course, they’re talking about treat teachers with respect, and you know, pay them what they’re worth. And I’m like, yes. Because we have the same issue with in, you know, as language teachers, it’s just hard and the lifespan of a teacher, I don’t, usually three to five years, you know, in the field, and then with COVID, I don’t know what that’s doing to our poor teachers.

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, it’s really rough right now. You know, just even seeing, hearing the discussions, seeing all my timeline on Twitter, just what people are saying. And, yeah, this is a very difficult time. You know, but yeah, absolutely. But that just, you know, underscores the need for that support, you know, that we can we can provide each other with. And there’s many other things that we need as well. But that’s, that’s definitely one thing that has helped me a lot.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh, for sure. I know. I mean, I’ve also met Brent through Twitter, and here we are, and having that community there, even like, right now, I feel like I’m kind of on hiatus because I’m, you know, in a different country. So I’m a little bit disconnected. But I still go in there and read what teachers are going through and I and it breaks my heart, you know, especially in elementary schools where people have to make a choice or don’t have a choice. That’s a good choice, you know, to make, especially right now.

Brent Warner
Yeah, so I think that’s kind of, if we can kind of move into this with his COVID conversation. So Sarah, I know, You’ve been seeing a lot of different things going on over the last couple of years. You know, we’ve been, I think a lot of so many of us are still processing like, I mean, we’re still in the middle of it, you know, it’s like a lot of people want to imagine, okay, well light at the end of the tunnel. And then of course, like Omicron hits or whatever else it is, right. And so it’s like, I want to be done talking about this, but at the same time, like it’s, it’s an it’s an integral part of our everyday lives and major concerns for teachers and for students and health and all of those types of things. And then, you know, I know these answers will always change. But like, as we’ve been kind of navigating the world with COVID. Do you feel like you’ve gained any wisdom like looking back over the last couple of years and kind of like, Oh, these are the things we’ve learned, or these are the things that like, can really make changes for us or these are, you know, I guess we’re just kind of wanting to get your thoughts on like, how, maybe, this this modern world has changed your perspective on things.

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, totally. Um, you know, this has been an extremely challenging time for everyone. And I would say that there have been some lessons learned and some some positive things I have seen as a result of schools and districts are doing, like, I’ll say, the district that I’m in, I’ve seen kind of a renewed focus on connecting with parents. And I absolutely love that, like, there were so many materials made available to parents, and prior to the pandemic, then, you know, the, we had the slogan, parents are our partners for a few years in our district. But it was nothing like what we saw in March 2020, like, all of a sudden, there was kind of an invitation for parents to, you know, connect in so many different ways, like, there were, you know, parent facing materials on technology, so they could help their students adapt, and they were translated in multiple languages. And I thought that that was, that was fantastic. And I think that they usually do that. But I don’t think that there was like, I don’t think the content was the same in terms of the technology, you know, here’s how you use Zoom, here’s how you use blah, blah, blah. And, you know, I thought that that was great. Parents centers a day created so that parents could come in and get technical support and training, you know, on different things. I thought that that was, that was fantastic. So definitely want to hold on to that. And I see that now that we have returned to in person. Right now we are we are virtual for like, actually, no, I take that back, starting on Tuesday, we’re back to face to face. But we were virtual for three weeks, because of Omicron. But yeah, I’m hoping that they hold on to that. And, you know, there there have been so many things that that people have been stretched to do all stakeholders, you know, that educators to students, parents, and, and I just was inspired by seeing folks come together and do what they had to do to make this work. And I would say in my district, like, I don’t have kids yet. And you know, I’m not I’m not I don’t have the parent to full parent perspective. But from, from what I was seeing, then for many students didn’t seem to go very, very well. So and I’ve heard different stories about how sometimes things did not go well. But I feel like the steps that my superintendent took to just ensure that students had what they needed to to be successful, then then I feel like that did help a lot.

Brent Warner
Can I follow up on that a little bit, just because I think the, you know, it sounds like you’re, you’re in a supportive environment, kind of similar to mine, which I’m always really, really grateful for, because it’s like, the, my admin is really working to support and protect students and protect teachers and to like, say, Hey, you want to try something different? Try it out, see what happens, right? Those types of things. And I think, like, I want to, you know, like, I see so much on Twitter or on Instagram or teacher misery or whatever, then it’s like, all this terrible stuff just happens all the time. And like, I, I want to reinforce that there’s also what you’re saying is there’s amazing stuff happening to write things that never would have happened to before, things that allow for and maybe right now it doesn’t feel good. But in a year, in two years and five years, it’s laying the groundwork for a more positive learning experiences for everybody. I think this like, there’s been a massive shift to the ideas of like student centered, more student centered teaching, you know, a lot of us already were there, but a lot of teachers weren’t there before. And so now they’re kind of starting to see them recognize that like, hey, some of these students don’t have you know, the same benefits that I do or that I did growing up or this a lot of these students are growing up in a rough situation or like even taking classes from home, like, we’re joking about my situation right now is like, you know, my wife’s like walking around over there and my son’s walk over there and they’re like, trying to stay out of the way and not get recorded and like and it’s like I’m trying to do this on a early on a Saturday morning before people are awake. But like a lot of kids if they’re studying from home for example, they’re like everybody around if they got a family of four or five and people were running around in the house and they’ve got a tiny little apartment like I do and they’re making it work like it’s not perfect it’s not it’s not always great but like I also just wanted to kind of follow up with that kind of shout out to the people who are trying to do it and are trying to make it work and are trying to be supportive of that because I think that’s really important to recognize as well and not just all the heavy you know downside like bomber stuff. Of course this there but like, I don’t I am not super into like toxic positivity but I’m also not into like toxic negativity.

Ixchell Reyes
Is there a non toxic negativity?

Brent Warner
Uhh… there’s cathartic negativity? (laughter)

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, definitely hear you on that. Definitely. So there, there have been some some wins. And I mean, it’s, it’s not always been, like you said, it’s not always been like perfect, but you know, there have been some gains. One thing, one other thing is that now we have a virtual online school in my district. And this is like new. There was one at the elementary level, but I think that the students are going back at the end of the semester. So though, there’ll be starting back face to face in February, but for the middle of high school students, I think is going to the end of the year. So hopefully, you know, as you said, and that kind of lays the groundwork for, for more of these, the parents and families have options. So yeah,

Ixchell Reyes
Yeah. And, you know, I also wanted to mention that one of the great that this discussion has always been on, you know, what kind of scores we’re giving students and how we’re assessing them and what, you know, what points we’re attaching to those assessments. And now the conversation is really heating up on, you know, are we how are we going to measure that student progress and success? And, for example, at USC at the university, they have the pass or pass or no pass? I don’t think they’re calling it fail. They’re calling it pass or no pass, they just extended it, which means to me, I see that the conversation is really, you know, they’re making allowances and realizing that yeah, it’s different times and if you’re allowing a pass or no pass, and what does that tell you about our old system? Right. So that’s one of the I think the positive things that it does coming out of it, at least for in in with working with adults, sometimes, you know, with language learners, it’s hard, and especially teaching through COVID. So I want to shift over to challenges that you’ve that you’ve seen, or that you encounter often, especially with our language learners, and tech use. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, absolutely. So, particularly during remote learning, when we first started that in 2020, then, you know, as I said, and there were some translated materials that we put out for parents and for students. However, you know, sometimes there is a, there’s some nuances that don’t necessarily come through with that material, because it’s like a one sheeter or, you know, a video or something like that, or an overview, but a lot of times, there’s like, some nuances, so being able to have the resources in order to go deeper into details, because I mean, even if you give it to a native speaker, you know, as a native English speaker, and in the English language, and then there’s a lot of questions still at that point, you know, like, how do I, you know, like, this is cool, but how do I do x, y and z. So, so, definitely having the resources available to meet any, to be able to further explain like the nuances of the products and things of that nature, I would say another thing is the translation itself, because we do have them typically in English, French and Spanish, and I believe other languages are available upon request. However, if parents don’t necessarily know that they need to request, you know, the other language then that could also be, you know, a barrier, that kind of challenges, challenges folks. And I would say that the third thing is background with the tech and this goes regardless of regardless of language, this is this is all parents, you know, some some parents and students may have had exposure to the technology before and they may be able to, you know, best adapt, but some for some people that this is totally brand new, you know, and they may not have ever seen a zoom before or seen, you know, EdPuzzle or Nearpod or things of that nature. So, just definitely just the varying levels of the varying levels of I guess, knowledge that they’re bringing in with them.

Brent Warner
I was wondering as Sarah I just strikes me as you’re talking about this trying to capture you know, parents from you know, the parents are are oftentimes more likely to not speak the language than the children like the children catch it up cooking you know, quickly and they can kind of start figuring it out where the parents are struggling and I was just thinking about this you know, like with like, some UDL principles and Universal Design Learning principles and all these types of things. I was just thinking of like, you know, the idea of like making training videos or or you know, when sheets like you’re talking about to but that are not like text free, I guess just like image base and like, like just kind of visually walking people through so they can actually figure it out without having to like process language. At the same time, or just just in order to get into some of the tech, what are what are some of the ways I don’t know, like, that was just something I just came up with in my head, I’m like, Oh, that would be a really good way. Like, it just says I’m thinking about it. But I don’t know, if there are ways. I know some of these like, you know, call call this system, and they’ll, they’ll have a translator, like in 150 different languages or things like that, you know, they’ve got all these different types of things. But But what are some ways that you’ve seen that have been successful in helping onboard people, especially when when you’re doing like, the virtual things? Do you have any techniques or, or advice to help people, especially teachers, when they’ve got new new students that don’t totally know, or new, or new students, parents who don’t totally know, like, how do they? How do they make that connection?

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, and I love what you’re saying about like the, the one sheet or without the text on it, I think that that is, you know, that’s definitely very helpful. Also, the videos tend to work better than the one sheets, because you know, people get to actually see what, you know, what’s on the screen and follow along, and things of that nature. I also love what you said about having the having the hotlines in place, we do have a hotline in place in my district that parents can call and, you know, receive support. So I think that that all of those things, definitely, you know, definitely helped to definitely have to make a stick. Yeah.

Brent Warner
Awesome. Awesome. So, Sarah, one of the things that we’ve been, you know, the you are co author on this book on, on, you know, the digital equity strategies and closing the gap and the digital equity gap. Can you talk a little bit about what that means? I think there’s still some people that are like, What is digital equity? And how does it work? And am I achieving it? Or am I not achieving it? And I guess I’m sure as you talk about these things, you get a lot of people that are confused or concerned, can you kind of give us the some of the broad picture and then maybe also some of the things that people struggle with and and how you might kind of help them through the process of understanding and transitioning into being a better? What’s the phrasing better digital equity facing citizens?

Sarah Thomas
Totally, totally. So first, I got to give a huge shout out to my co authors, Dr. Nicole Howard, and Regina Shaffer. So we started writing this series for ISTE. I want to say like 2017 ish, or 2018. I know the first book was released in 2018. And that was a book for higher ed, we also did a book on K 12. That dropped in 2019. And this was all pre pandemic. And, you know, at the time, people were starting to talk about it, and maybe started to talk about I started hearing it for the first time, probably around 2014 ish. But I know that it’s been talked about long before that, you know, there’s definitely pioneers in the field that have started, you know, they started looking into this, like in the, in the early 2000s, or even pre, the early 2000s. But anyway, digital equity was pretty much ensuring that students have what they need, in order to be successful, and using online tools to achieve this. So a lot of times people think about digital equity, and the conversation tends to stop with the devices, and the broadband internet, and the conversation stops there. But there’s so many more layers to it, that, that we kind of described in the in two different books, one of them being access to high quality instruction, another one being access to transformational learning opportunities. So I know a little earlier, we were talking about having students like create, and do open ended things as opposed to the drilling kill techniques. And then, you know, there, there’s just a lot to it. So digital equity, really, really, I would say that it was catapulted in our faces when this pandemic hit, because when so many places did have to go remote, and we’re very unprepared, you know, then that just kind of shone a light on how far we have to go. So and a lot of places are still struggling with it. Some places made great progress. And, you know, so this is just a continual journey, and it looks different in different areas.

Ixchell Reyes
Right. So I was reading an article recently about where we’re going in 2022 in terms of edtech. And a few of the things that were listed were hybrid environments, obviously, asynchronous learning, interactive learning spaces and AI. So I’m wondering where you think we’re headed. What is your area where you think we’re headed?

Sarah Thomas
Absolutely. So when we were preparing to do the first book, then we did a study of various of the Horizon Report, we looked at the Horizon Report. For higher ed, we looked at the Horizon Report for K 12. And we looked at news headlines, things of that nature for various years, so we just kind of went year by year looking at 2004, which, which I think was the first year that we could locate of the Horizon Report, all the way up to 2018, I guess, or 2017, whatever we finished writing, and just looked at the different trends, and coded them. So three main things kind of stood out, the first one was, like you said, artificial intelligence, to seeing how that has evolved over the last 15 or so years. And it’s been around like, since the 50s, or whatever, but seeing how, you know, we’ve incorporated in education over the last 15 years or so the next one was the devices like the devices being more, you know, devices being more commonly used and more sophisticated as years went on. And the third one was social media, how people have been using social media. And it was really interesting to see some of these intersections like, one thing that was really cool was looking at live streaming, you know, and how that’s like kind of an intersection of the devices and social media. And just how that how that has changed the world so much in such a short period of time, how we get stories that traditionally, gatekeepers would shut down. One example that we, that we were, that we mentioned was George Floyd. And no, I’m sorry, I take that back. Because that was after the book came out. But but there was I’m sorry, it was Michael Brown. So we we discussed that and how there was nothing on the news, when it first happened. However, people were, were live streaming video, people were tweeting, and that completely changed, that completely change the narrative. And going back to George Floyd, then you see how the impact of the young lady who was recording everything that happened, how that has had such an impact. So I mean, when you look at all of these different things, and it’s just amazing how, how much a world has changed in such a short period of time?

Brent Warner
Yeah, I was thinking about that. Like, I mean, I think that’s the the other big one that comes up is, is Arab Spring, right? Like Arab Spring, never, the conversation never would have happened if it wasn’t for, you know, people posting everything that I was interested, though, to like, because you mentioned social media. And I remember when we first started talking, like edtech, social media, all of these things, like, I think that the way that education has moved through some of these processes is a little different than we would have imagined. When the first conversations were coming up, you know, because in my, I remember, back then I was like, oh, maybe everybody will be teaching on Facebook, or, you know, something along those lines, right, where it’s a little bit more like, kind of limited. I don’t want to say it in a negative way, but kind of a limited vision of like, what the actual thing might be. So it’s just like, Okay, what we do now is now magically going to take place in this other setting, right? And that’s not really how learning or education or anything works. But I think a lot of us kind of had these expectations. And then when we look back, we’re like, oh, none of my classes her. Well, I mean, I know some teachers do things like have access to their students on Facebook, or, you know, Instagram or Tiktok, or whatever it is. But I’m also just interested in kind of, now look at looking at things. What do you think the what do you think the impact of social media is on learning in education? Teaching, you know, like, the actual, like process of teaching and education, I guess, these days.

Sarah Thomas
You know, it’s interesting when you were talking about teaching on Facebook, then my mind automatically just went to the metaverse. Might how that might actually end up being a thing in a few years.

Brent Warner
That’s like a plan, right? Like, sometimes, sometimes. But it wouldn’t be like that would be the way to get people in, right? It’s like if you’re having all students going in with their teachers and like going into a Metaverse AI you know, if we’ve all got like this avatar world I don’t know whether it is but but like if he gets students going into that and understanding that and that’s kind of their again, phrasing is wrong but the the meaning behind it is like that’s the propaganda good people into it. And they’re like, Okay, I’m used to this system and I know how it works. And then as they become adults and they become, then future leaders, that would be the common expectation in the future, right? So that could be a possibility. I could totally see like Metaverse if, or meta. I’ve got my own mixed feelings about it for

Ixchell Reyes
as one word with new things, right, which we’re not totally close off to, but it’s Brent. kind of new. You know, imagining that, but hey, reports say that in 20, what 20 by 2040, or 2050, its AI is going to be just, it will have half most of our jobs. I was just watching a documentary on that. Yeah. But But for many of us, it’s going to create new ones, and then also support those that it has automated. So yeah, we’ve been I’ve been talking about that to my the teachers that I’m training now. And you know, I’m in Japan, which is like the land of robots and, and AI. So interesting conversations. So, Sarah, going, going back now, turning, turning your back around to pln building, because you’re a part of my PLN. I’m Brent as part of my PLN. And we’re you know, we’re always renewing our commitment to staying connected. In the educator world, we do take breaks, every once in a while everybody needs a break, we go through different stages, we come back, and we’ve changed as educators and we grow. But and we’re, you know, maybe at some point, we feel saturated by so much that’s out there. But again, I always think that there are instructors out there who don’t know where to start. And I find this all the time, especially overseas, overseas, there is not a lot of what’s the organization, the communication between organizations isn’t there. But where to start, even if you’re, you know, in the States, or where we’re just start to start your, you know, building your PLN.

Sarah Thomas
Yeah, so the really cool thing is that over the years, educators have a presence on most social media that I’ve seen. So a lot of people are on Facebook. So on Facebook, there’s educator communities, you just have to search for groups, and then you’ll see like all the different educator groups. So if just one that resonates, then connect there, start connecting with people within the group, you know, maybe find recommendations for other groups and branch out from there. I know that WhatsApp, then there are some I know that we tried to do an edgy, we tried to do an edgy match group on there. And it was going well for a while but I’m sure I am positive that there are other ones on there as well. But just wherever folks already are, look and see if there is an educator community in place there and then just connect with people within the group. You know, don’t be afraid to get into deeper connections. Going beyond just you know, going beyond just talking about, hey, here’s what I did today. What do you think and that there is value in those conversations? I’m not I’m not saying that there’s not but also going beyond that, and developing some real friendships and that that, for me has changed the way that that I’ve seen the world. So, you know, definitely connecting with people at a deeper level and getting recommendations from them about where else to go and just build from there.

Brent Warner
All right, well, there’s so much to continue to talk about. But for now, I think we’re gonna wrap things up. Sarah, this has been great. But we’re gonna jump over into our last little wrap up segment here.

Ixchell Reyes
All right, it is time for our fun finds. And this time around, I have blendy matcha latte. And there are individual packets of matcha latte that you just add water to and it’s so delicious. It’s so good. And I think each little packet costs about probably like $1 so it’s fairly affordable. You can get it on Amazon. You don’t need to be in Japan. Yeah, yeah, those know maybe less than $1 like 30 cents. I don’t know why I’m thinking in Japanese currency at the moment.

Brent Warner
Those things are pretty good, actually. Yeah, I’m always surprised by like how well the Japanese and the Korea those instant instant coffee.

Ixchell Reyes
Oh my gosh, it’s delicious.

Brent Warner
Yeah, they’re there. They do a great job. And normally as you know, I’m a black coffee snob, but like if I whatever sugar they’re putting in there. I think there’s like some extra. Some extra magic go. It’s pretty good. Okay, so my fun find is, I don’t think I’ve talked about this before is the show on Showtime’s yellow jackets. Have you seen this Ixchell or Sarah have either Have you seen this?

Sarah Thomas
I heard of this, it’s on my list.

Brent Warner
OK, oh, my God, this oh, this show

Ixchell Reyes
No! Is a new show. Yeah, it’s okay then I’m like connected it’s like

Brent Warner
one show away from the last show episode of the season but it might be series it might be a single run off. I don’t know how they’re gonna end it but but it’s it’s it’s really really interesting show about these girls high school soccer girls team that gets crapped on you know, stranded in, in the mountains and the plane crashes and they get stranded in the mountains and and it’s about some of them in modern day. So it’s kind of cool because they’re about the same age as I am, they would have been in high school when I was in high school and they’re about my age now that they’re my age and so, so all the music is like early 90s Rock in those times, they have got this whole soundtrack that’s like tied exactly to the time when it was supposed to be. But also the story is just super intense, because it’s, it’s kind of like I don’t know where it’s gonna go totally. But there’s like implications that maybe they became cannibals out there or they had to eat each other and all of these kinds of crazy hey, no spoilers it’s not a spoiler that’s one they kind of they they there’s like strong implications and so that’s what people are asking. The answer has not come out into what actually happened with things but there’s like a lot of implications about that and like that’s what people imagine so kind of looking back at the or sorry looking back at it from the current day that like when the people are still kind of like they’re like a media sensation the these the survivors of this or media sensation. And so people were always kind of like, did you eat people? Did you you know, did you do this stuff? Like what actually what’s the truth about what happened? I mean but

Ixchell Reyes
that’s gonna be our quote

Brent Warner
Episode 58 “Did you eat people?” (Laughter)

Ixchell Reyes
With Sarah Thomas & Brent Warner (Laughter)

Brent Warner
if you have access to it, or if you want to get like your free trial, I think at this point, you could probably if you get like even the one week free trial, you could probably binge it and be done in that time. So Yellowjackets pretty pretty impressive show and the acting from the the younger kids and then the older people are like famous people too. So it’s like Juliette Lewis and Christina Ricci and like a bunch of cool people. So So yeah, if you’re interested in that, kind of show… go for it! Sarah! Whattya got? (laughter)

Unknown Speaker
that show what that shows on my list, but it sounds a little bit similarly, I had a for my thing. I had great shows that just ended. So just wanted to – my favorite show, this might actually be one of my top three of all time Insecure, just ended. Oh my gosh, I love that show. I could relate to it so much. It felt like my early 30s. You know, like, I mean, obviously not doing you know, all the crazy stuff that they did, but a lot of it you know, I could relate to their motivations.

Brent Warner
And she’s amazing, too, oh my god. What a – oh my god. I haven’t I haven’t caught up with it. But I watched the first season and I was like,

Sarah Thomas
Oh yeah!

Ixchell Reyes
I feel so left out. I’ve never ever heard of either of these shows

Brent Warner
Oh, talk about insecure briefly.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, so it’s on HBO. And it’s created by Issa Rae. And she pretty much is it’s kind of like a young adulthood type thing where they’re, they’re kind of talking about they follow these different characters that are kind of insecure, and they are. They’re trying to figure out the world. They’re trying to figure out like, things of that nature, their careers, their romances. And I mean, it’s super funny, super relatable. And, you know, it was such such such a great show. I watched it for a second time immediately after I watched the first time but I thought it was like really cool. And then Dexter was another one the New Blood. extra new blood. Yeah, I just finished watching that. I think that I don’t know if they’re gonna be renewed for a season two. But they you know, it was it was a really, really good show. And then This Is Us is what I’m currently watching that Yeah, yeah, that’s such a good show. And it’s the final season and I’m so sad. What’s gonna happen so..

Brent Warner
So you do like it? I haven’t watched it and I always like I watch the commercials and I’m like, “Oh, these commercials alone or tear jerkers” like, I’m not sure (laughter).

Ixchell Reyes
It’s such a good, it’s a good series. And you know, I’ve recommended that one to my language learners, and they love it. Because there’s so many personalities that they can relate to and especially, you know, it’s just it’s a it’s a good show. Great. Yeah. Love it.

Brent Warner
Awesome. Well, Those are the fun finds. So let’s jump out.

Ixchell Reyes
Thank you so much for listening to the show, you could win a one of a kind DIESOL pin by leaving us a review on Apple podcasts. And that would be the first review of 2022 for us. So you could be that person, I guess. And if you’re giving us a shout out any other way, tag us on social media, we are on all the platforms.

Brent Warner
Yeah, if you want to support the show, we’re on Patreon and you could also buy us a coffee. Oh, we do want to say thanks to Denise Maduli-Williams, our longtime friend, she she threw a little

Ixchell Reyes
She gave us coffee!

Brent Warner
Yes, she gave us some coffee. Thank you Denise. I feel bad cuz she was a guest on the show. I’m like you don’t need to. But thank you, Denise. And we’re hope you’re doing well for the new semester as well. But yeah, we are on Patreon we’re on give us a coffee if you like, if not totally fine. Keep moving forward with the show. This episode’s show notes are available at DIESOL.org/58 That’s the number five eight or you can listen to us on voice and Canada as well. That’s vo ice d.ca And speaking of all the social media and those types of things for the most part, you can find us on Twitter the show is at @DIESOLpod and I am at @BrentGWarner

Ixchell Reyes
and I am at @ixy_pixy That’s I x y underscore p i x y and Dr. Thomas where can we find you?

Unknown Speaker
I’m on Twitter and all of the socials at @sarahdateachur so Sarah d-a t-e-e-c-h-u-r

Ixchell Reyes
Sarah Da Teechur…

Sarah Thomas
Yeah!

In French thank you is Merci. Thank you for tuning into the DIESOL podcast. Messy poor boy cootie DIESOL podcast.

Brent Warner
Awesome. Thanks so much everybody.

Sarah Thomas
I think I said it right! (laughter)

In this episode we sit with Dr. Sarah Thomas, who is a Regional Technology Coordinator in Maryland, and the founder of EduMatch, a project that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest.  She is an international speaker and presenter and she participated in the Technical Working Group to refresh the 2017 ISTE Standards for Educators. Sarah is a co-author of the ISTE Digital Equity series, Closing the Gap. Join us as we talk teaching through COVID, where the future of EdTech is taking us, digital equity, and more!

Resources for Dr. Sarah Thomas

Fun Finds 

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